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Work has commenced on the preparation of a preliminary Draft of the proposed reforms in relation to the new Constitution which is scheduled to be presented by the end of the month or early next month for public discussion.

Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PRCCR), Attorney-at-Law Lal Wijenayake said that the decision had been taken by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on January 7 following a public request for a Draft.

The Draft will be based on the six Sub-Committee reports on fundamental rights, the judiciary, law and order, public finance, the public service and centre-periphery relations.  The drafting will be done with the participation of the Steering Committee and the Constitutional Assembly.

“What will be included and what will not be included will be based on the reactions to the said reports,” Wijenayake said while adding that there was also the report of the PRCCR.
He explained that the process at present was rather slow owing to the busy schedules of the MPs involved. He pointed out that the school programme involving public discussions with the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level students in the districts with regard to the proposed new Constitution had now been concluded.

“As far as the district level public discussions with youth councils are concerned, there are 18 more to go and around seven have thus far been completed,” Wijenayake said.  Accordingly, the next series of public discussions will be with the public servants such as district secretaries. He said a public forum will be held at least once in each district.

“The public can put forward their views at the public forums and take part in the constitution-making process. At these forums, we explain constitutional and related matters when the public makes queries. The outcomes of these main discussions will be put to the people handling the process,” he added.