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The legal community involved with work on the process of bringing in constitutional reforms or a new Constitution has complained that MPs were not interested in the matter.

Most recently, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarians were absent from a meeting of the Steering Committee. The said Committee is presently one by one considering the six sub-committee reports on fundamental rights, the judiciary, law and order, public finance, the public service and centre-periphery relations.

On two days last week, the said Committee had met and a third meeting had to be postponed owing to the absence of the SLFP MPs, Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, Lal Wijenayake said.

When queried about the SLFP’s opposition to a referendum and the United National Party being in favour of going for one, Attorney-at-Law Wijenayake pointed out that the matter of whether a referendum was required or not was to be decided solely by the Supreme Court.

“It is not that they are opposed but simply their MPs are only interested in vehicles and other things. Proceedings are going alright, yet not smoothly. There is a certain degree of agreement on the main aspects such as devolution. On the centre-periphery relations sub-committee report, some agree to a reduction of the powers of Governors while others oppose such a reduction. The compromise will be that powers will have to be reduced slightly,” Wijenayake explained.