Govt commences process to draft new Constitution

The government has embarked on the process to gather public opinion to draw up a new Constitution, said Co-Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne yesterday (17) at a Cabinet media briefing.

On 18 November, the Cabinet appointed a committee headed by MP and President’s Counsel Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne for the formulation of a new Constitution. In accordance with its recommendations, the Cabinet this week approved the appointment of a committee of 24 experts to gather public opinion and proposals on the matter. These experts will be divided into teams of three experts each and they will be sent to each district to speak to public representatives and the local people in each area to ascertain what they would want in a new Constitution.

The Prime Minister also informed Cabinet that he would present the proposal to turn Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly on 9 January 2016 in order to work on the draft of a new Constitution.

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe speaking to the media earlier that day said a draft for the new Constitution would be ready by July 2016.

Zahrah Imtiaz, Ceylontoday

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