SL’s ‘Unitary’ character must remain unchanged: JHU

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) said today Sri Lanka’s ‘Unitary’ character should remain unchanged.

General Secretary and Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka said their party was against the interpretation given on the ‘State of Sri Lanka’ in the Constitutional Reforms Steering Committee Report.

“The provincial council system has damaged the unitary character to some extent. However, we firmly believe that the article pertaining to the Unitary character and the Clauses 4 (1) and 76 (1) of the current Constitution should not be changed,” he told a news briefing.

Although some political parties alleged that the foremost status given to Buddhism had been challenged in the steering committee report, the minister said, to begin with, no special status had been given to any specific religion even in the existing Constitution.

“Article 9 which relates to Buddhism has not been properly interpreted. This particular Article has not given special privileges or special treatment to Buddhism. Whatever is mentioned is just a decoration. However, If attempts are being made to remove that ‘decorative’ status, we are against it. No matter what, Buddhism is a part of our heritage. No harm has befallen other religions because of the peaceful nature of Buddhism. This Article should also remain unchanged,” he said.

The minister said Presidential Powers should not be pruned any further. “The new Constitution should only be made with the consent of all stakeholders. We must make sure that the new Constitution will ensure the country’s stability and its democracy,” he said.

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