Friday, 1 May 2015 00:00
The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), the only private sector chamber which exclusively serves the interests of Sri Lankan exporters, in a statement said it sincerely appreciates and commends the leadership provided by President Maithripala Sirisena in bringing together leaders of all political parties, and other diverse groups, to reach consensus to enact this crucial piece of legislation.
The Chamber also recognises the indispensable and important roles played by the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, leaders of all political parties, and other stakeholders, particularly the Maha Sanga, and civil society groups in supporting the President to achieve this landmark objective.
The Chamber applauds the sincerity and steadfastness of the President in driving this vital amendment to its fruition, which is indeed an endorsement to democracy and hence the revival of a friendly and progressive business environment to benefit all stakeholders of the economy.
The Chamber particularly recognises the importance of the 19th Amendment in establishing the Constitutional Council, and through it, Independent Commissions such as the Public Service Commission, Police Commission, Audit Commission, Bribery or Corruption Commission, and the important Elections Commission, which will strengthen democracy, the rule of law, and good governance, in the country.
Although the original intention prior to the committee stage amendments was for the majority of the Constitutional Council to consist of independent and competent persons of integrity, which would have been the ideal position, the fact that the Constitutional Council although consisting of a majority of Parliamentarians, will still contain three independent members, is noteworthy, leaving room for further improvement in the structure in the future.
The Chamber hopes that the other proposed changes to the electoral structure and reforms through the 20th Amendment, will receive the same cooperation, and support from all concerned to arrive at a sound consensus, to create genuine democracy, and a society which is committed to equal opportunities for all citizens of Sri Lanka.
The Chamber believes the stage has now been firmly set for Sri Lanka to strengthen good governance through multiparty government, which will pave the way to improve the business climate of the country to attract both local and foreign investments for sustained economic development. It will also establish the platform for sustainable growth to create enhanced job opportunities, and a higher standard of living for all Sri Lankans.