Education Minister Professor G.L. Peiris today said there will be no legal requirement to go for a referendum in terms of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution’s draft when the government incorporates all proposals, if any, recommended by the Supreme Court.
Speaking at the weekly SLPP news briefing, Minister Peiris said the Supreme Court’s determination on the constitutionality of the draft of the 20A will be presented in Parliament on October 20 by the Speaker.
“If the Supreme Court has made any proposals to change the draft, the government will incorporate them at the committee stage in Parliament. Based on the recommendations made by the Supreme Court, the government is ready to make more changes to the 20A. In that way, there is no legal necessity to go for a referendum. Supreme Court proposals will be added to the final draft and with a two-thirds majority, the 20A will be legalised,” he said.
When the 20A is taken up for a second reading in Parliament, Minister Peiris said party leaders and the Committee on Parliamentary Business will decide on a date to debate the 20A and for how many days the debate will last.
He said the government’s position to add more changes to the 20A during the committee stage has already been expressed to the Supreme Court by the Attorney General.
“Apart from the government’s amendments, we will add more amendments to the 20A based on the Supreme Court recommendations,” he said.
When asked about concerns raised by Government MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Minister Wimal Weerawansa over the 20A, Minister Peiris said he hoped all stakeholders in the government will consent to the legislation in line with the collective responsibility.