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Sri Lanka: 21st Amendment proposal to be presented in new cabinet meeting

The opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the United National Party and a group of those MPs who recently became independent have submitted their proposals to the Speaker of the Parliament for the drafting of the 21st Amendment of the Constitution, Colombo Page reported.

ANI | Colombo |

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will present on Monday proposals submitted by political parties to Parliament to draft the 21st Amendment of the Constitution at the first meeting of the new cabinet, local media reported.

The opposition party Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the United National Party and a group of those MPs who recently became independent have submitted their proposals to the Speaker of the Parliament for the drafting of the 21st Amendment of the Constitution, Colombo Page reported.

The first meeting of the newly formed cabinet will start today at 5 pm under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

A new Cabinet was sworn in on April 18, following the mass resignation of senior Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) members earlier in the month.
After receiving the approvals on proposals proposed by the cabinet, the approved proposal will be sent to the Legal Draftsman’s Department for adoption as the basis of the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, reported Colombo Page.

The party leaders in Parliament agreed to revoke the 20th amendment and bring the 21st Amendment to Constitution with new changes and eliminate the shortcomings of the 19th Amendment.

Meanwhile, a meeting of party leaders is scheduled to take place on April 28, as reported by Colombo Page.

On April 3, the entire Sri Lankan cabinet decided to resign in the wake of the large-scale protests. The only exception was Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who remained in office. On the same day, Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed key ministers to an interim cabinet.

Mass protests over economic mismanagement escalated in early April, prompting the president to declare a state of emergency on April 1, reported Daily Mirror.

One of the demands of recent anti-government protests has been a constitutional amendment to reduce the power of the executive.

Sri Lanka has been gripped by an economic crisis considered the worst since the country gained independence in 1948. Due to energy shortages, some parts of Sri Lanka have rolling blackouts. Sri Lanka’s foreign debt is estimated at USD 51 billion.