Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution will be passed without a referendum.
A meeting to brief members of the ruling party on the 20th Amendment Bill was held at the Presidential Secretariat under the chairmanship of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, attended by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and leaders and members of all parties that are partners in the ruling Sri Lanka People's Alliance.
He further said, During the election period, we promised the people of the country that we would repeal the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and pass the 20th Amendment.
At the same time, we have promised that a new constitution will be introduced. Therefore, we cannot break these two promises.
We must first pass the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and then the new Constitution. We will not back down.
We take note of the religious leaders' demand that the 20th Amendment be made unnecessary. But we cannot deceive the people of the country who voted for our president and our government.
Amendments can be made during the committee stage debate in Parliament on the 20th Amendment. The order of the High Court will also be taken into consideration.
We cannot do anything against the judgment of the High Court. But we do not need to go to a referendum. He added that amendments could be made to the bill to avoid it.