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Sri Lanka’s leftist parties last week said that none of the major parties including the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) faction in the Joint Opposition (JO) had any moral right to move away from the mandate to establish a new Constitution in the country. Speaking to the Nation, former Minister and General Secretary of the Communist Party, DEW Gunasekera said the left parties stood for a new Constitution, adding that the United National Party (UNP) and the SLFP, who are coalition partners of the government, had the responsibility of fulfilling their mandate to the people.

“The UNP, SLFP and the Mahinda faction of the SLFP have no moral rights to move away from this process,” he said. He pointed out that various presidents had received the mandate of the people to change the Constitution, but did not fulfill them. “The call for a new Constitution has been there since 1978. Former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike was not in favour of the 1978 Constitution. Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was also against the 1978 Constitution. Even the current regime came into power with the mandate to bring in a new Constitution,” he added.