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Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan rights bodies jittery over charter change

Activists say proposed 20th amendment to the constitution will erode democratic rights

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Updated: September 07, 2020 07:59 AM GMT
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Sri Lankan rights bodies jittery over charter change

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (center) looks on as military personnel parade during Sri Lanka's 72nd Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Feb. 4. (Photo: AFP)

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Christian rights activist Sanuja Sampath Jagoda is alarmed at the drafted constitutional amendment allowing Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to hold any number of ministries as well as appoint and sack ministers.

Jagoda said several political parties and voluntary organizations intend to take legal action against the proposed 20th amendment to the constitution, adding that it is very important to explain the reality to the public.

The activist said the amendment will increase the powers of the president, allowing him to appoint top judges, members of rights commissions, public services, the election commission and bribery commission as well as the police chief.

All such appointments are currently made on the recommendation of a constitutional council appointed by MPs representing different parties.

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