The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has warned that the abandonment of the Constitutional reforms process at this juncture would constitute a serious blow to reconciliation efforts.
Whilst expressing bafflement about the Mahanayakes’ recent statement concerning the Constitutional reforms process, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran PC added that a new Constitution was a governmental promise made to the Tamil political representation as an essential component of a solution to the National question.
Sumanthiran cited the resolution passed on January 9, 2016 making the entire Parliament a Constitutional Assembly as proof of the Government’s intent.
He said that it was willing to meet the Mahanayakes and hold discussions with them over the formation of a new Constitution.
Sumanthiran urged the Mahanayakes to reconsider their stance on the Constitutional reforms adding further this was an opportunity for the entire country to enact a Constitution which would have the consent of different parties and broad-based agreements among various segments of the society.
“A new Constitution, a new social contract to unite the people is absolutely necessary,” he said.
Speaking to the Nation, TNA Parliamentarian, President’s Counsel, M.A. Sumanthiran stated that the country was in a crucial stage and that this was the best opportunity for Sri Lanka to go for a new Constitution. “For the first time there is an opportunity presented to enact a Constitution with the consent of different parties,” Sumanthiran said. He said that moves to change previous constitutions had failed due to opposition from various stakeholders. “In 1947, although we made representations, it was the British Parliament that enacted it. In 1972, it was the Party in power that enacted it and the Opposition and other communities opposed it and did not unite with it, a fact which has since been paid for dearly because the matter remained and remains unresolved,” he added.
“We urge the Mahanayakes to reconsider and are willing to meet and explain. A new Constitution, a new social contract to unite the people, is absolutely necessary.”