Nine-member committee to draft new Constitution - Justice Minister | Sunday Observer

Nine-member committee to draft new Constitution - Justice Minister

25 October, 2020

Justice Minister Ali Sabry PC told Parliament the draft of a new Constitution will be presented to the House within one year under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Delivering the reply speech in the debate on the Second Reading of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution on Thursday (October 22), the Minister said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed a nine-member expert Committee headed by Romesh De Silva PC to draft the new Constitution.

He said, “We will also appoint a representative of the estate-workers community in the hill country to this Committee of experts. We have appointed experts from all walks of life to this committee.” Every citizen shall be proud of a new Constitution that strengthens the Sri Lankan identity and will turn a new leaf in the country’s progress.

Minister Sabry said that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution is the first step in directing the country towards its socio-economic triumph under a strong Executive President.

He said, “A country cannot develop by establishing fake Commissions. We are dedicated to bring in a new Constitution in a year’s time. Our intention is to bring in a Constitution which will embrace diversity among the people, give Buddhism its due place, respect each other’s religious beliefs and cultural values and create a long-lasting Constitution which is inclusive, forward looking and serve as a catalyst for national unity, amity, progress and accelerate economic growth.” Minister Sabry said, “We need to show empathy and compassion. We respect our national anthem. It says we should live as children of one mother. “However, these past decades we have not been able to live in such harmony. There is a saying ‘United we stand - divided we fall’. When we fall, we fall together, irrespective of race or religion and we drag each other down. There are two strong bonds that bind us together, one is humanity and the other, nationality.”

The Minister said the law’s delay is a major problem in the country at present. There are 4,000 cases before the Supreme Court, and 4,000 cases in the Court of Appeal. There is only a limited number of judges to take up these cases. From 1978, the number of judges has not increased in the country. In India, since 1978, they have increased the number of judges three times. We have introduced an Amendment to resolve this issue”.