Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says she regrets not being able to be a dictator for a six month period during her presidency to enact the 2000 Constitution that sought to devolve power extensively.
In an interview with Daily Mirror`s Kelum Bandara and Tamil Mirror Online`s R. Sethuraman, she said that it was her `passion project`.
Mrs. Kumaratunga said that she had 34 rounds of talks with the main opposition UNP alone to draft this Constitution, but could not muster. Besides, she said that she held similar talks with the Tamil and Muslim parties.
I talked to Tamil and Muslim parties. We could not include all what they asked for. It was my passion project. Had the UNP supported, I could have passed it. In fact, I could have become a dictator.
Several people suggested it. I could have become a dictator and brought the Constitution. I considered that, not for myself, for me to remain in power, but to bring that Constitution which had extensive devolution of power. It also had a section to do away with Presidency. Yet, I did not have it in me anyway because I have been a Democrat. I have never ever indulged in anything undemocratic during my time. I could not bring me as a dictator even for this purpose. I may regret it now. Temporarily, I should have become a dictator for six months and brought the Constitution, and then gone back to democratic system, she said.
Mrs. Kumaratunga also scoffed at the APRC, and said years of valuable time were wasted on it by the government instead of deriving insights from the work done by her and other parties.
Commenting on the post conflict peace building, she said that she was all the more worried about the situation in the country today. She opined that there was no tangible effort being done to bring about durable peace despite the lapse of two years after the end of the war.