Home / News/ President Sirisena yet to decide on SC clarification: Bandara

President Sirisena yet to decide on SC clarification: Bandara

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 12 April 2019 00:00




  • Contradicts Dayasiri, says SLFP members had not discussed seeking SC clarification on President’s term 
  • SLFP members not yet notified of official decision 
  • But concedes President has power to seek SC views if he wishes 
  • Reiterates five years could be till June 2020


Presenting a contradictory view, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Youth Front President MP Shantha Bandara yesterday said President Maithripala Sirisena had not taken a decision to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on the length of his term and that this had not been officially communicated to the party. 

President Maithripala Sirisena
MP Shantha Bandara

However, earlier this week SLFP General Secretary Dayasiri Jayasekara said at a news conference that discussions are underway among members of the party on whether to seek the Supreme Court’s advice on the duration of President Sirisena’s term. “An official discussion was not carried among members of the party. However, the President does have the power to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion on the length of his term. Whether to do so is a determination only he can make,” Bandara told reporters at SLFP headquarters. 

He said the majority of SLFP members were expecting the President to serve his full term as a democratically elected President. 

Bandara said that according to the Constitution, only once the Speaker has granted approval does a Bill passed by Parliament become law. Accordingly, the Speaker has signed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on 22 June 2015. “Therefore, it is effective from that day onwards. According to this understanding it is only five years from 21 July 2015 that a Presidential election can be held.”

He noted President Sirisena was the only Executive President who agreed to give up power voluntarily, and therefore he had shown that he was not after power or authority.

Bandara said even though the United National Party (UNP) had taken initial steps to reduce the power of the Executive Presidency in 2015 they were unable to find a sufficient number of MPs to pass the Bill by themselves. “It was the President who helped the UNP to find sufficient numbers to pass the 19th Amendment.” 

He also said the President had expressed his support to abolish the Executive Presidency. However, Bandara pointed out that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should also be abolished along with the Executive Presidency. 

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had criticised the decision to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court on the length of President Maithripala’s term in office. SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris said that he will challenge any effort to seek a second clarification, as in his view it was a ploy to delay elections, which the SLPP would not support. 


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Will power cuts solve electricity crisis?

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

The country faced electricity power cuts, reminding citizens of early 1990s, which resulted in private power producers supplying electrical power with long-term power supply agreements. Today, most have completed their agreement period, but some were

Easter attack: Going beyond condemnation

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Yesterday was Easter Sunday; 227 persons [at the time of writing] have been killed, and many times more injured. The primary targets were churches and international hotels. It seems clear that the extremist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Easter Sunday nightmare

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

This is the most important day of the year for Christians – the Peaceful Easter Sunday or Easter Day was shattered by deadly explosions in several Christian churches throughout the country; and we excoriate such hatred in our beloved country. We th

Poignant pondering on a patriarch

Monday, 22 April 2019

Almost five months have gone. It is with a profound sense of sadness that we experienced the demise of our veteran teacher, respected author, legal luminary, an accomplished ambassador, an eminent public servant and an amazing human being, Dr. Wickre

Columnists More