Church of Ceylon says PM was removed unconstitutionally

Monday, 29 October 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Church of Ceylon issued a clarion call for democracy and constitutionality to prevail yesterday, standing against the removal of a sitting Prime Minister in an unconstitutional manner, and saying it would plunge the nation into a state of instability.

Issuing a statement and adopting a petition, the bishop, clergy and lay representatives of the Diocese of Colombo of the Church of Ceylon said they were of the view that there were no provisions in the present Constitution of Sri Lanka to remove a sitting Prime Minister as the 19th Amendment had reduced the President’s executive powers and transferred such powers to the Prime Minister.

“The democratic framework enshrined in our Constitution should not be abused for political expediency,” the Church said in a hard-hitting statement signed by Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rt. Revd. Dhiloraj R Canagasabey. Gathering at the 133rd Session of the Diocesan Council, the statement said the church held a long tradition of “speaking truth to power” in the country at different times in history, when “peace and democratic values have been threatened.”

“In 2013 we even gathered on Independence Day in our cathedral to lament our nation’s political crisis,” the Church said, referring to the aftermath of the illegal sacking of the country’s first female Chief Justice by the Rajapaksa regime.

In yesterday’s statement the Church urged instruments of the State, religious institutions and peace-loving citizens to uphold democratic values and peace with justice for all, as well as the rule of law for the greater common good of the people of our country, and the preservation of democratic institutions so that all communities that call Sri Lanka home may live without fear of intimidation.