The adoption of the 19th amendment to the Constitution by a two-thirds majority is a historic victory of Sri Lankan society, said President Maithripala Sirisena. This victory is the result of a 37 year long struggle of the people of Sri Lanka.
President thanks all stakeholders who contributed to this effort, including the Maha Sangha, political parties and civil society groups, and active citizens, who struggled for, sustained and enriched the discourse on this amendment. The President specially thanked the Members of Parliament and political parties who supported the amendment.
He observed that though Presidential candidates had promised to abolish the Executive Presidency at five Presidential Elections, this is the only time it could be made a reality.
This is a major step taken to strengthen the democracy of the country, achieving it constitutionally following the recommendations of the Supreme Court and with the consent of all political parties.
Since adopting the 1978 Constitution, every amendment apart from the 13th and the 17th, further strengthened the power of the Executive Presidency. The 18th amendment was a reversal of the democratic achievements of the 17th amendment, which hugely strengthened the powers of the Executive President, in an unprecedented manner.
President Sirisena expressed his belief that this victory is relevant not only for today, but also for the future generations.