Sri Lanka’s biggest challenge of good governance is re-establishing and strengthening democracy says PM

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sep 30, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s biggest challenge of good governance is re-establishing and strengthening democratic society in which government plans to achieve within next two years, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a forum on Tuesday.

“Today in Sri Lanka the biggest challenge of good governance applies to all of us in terms of re-establishing and strengthening a democratic society,” Wickremesinghe said.

“Hence, our primary objective and obligation is to establish a fully-democratic society in the next two years,”

“Good governance is the only way that the sovereignty of the people can be safeguarded. There will always be extremists on either side who will oppose it for different reasons, but the people as a whole have to face this challenge in re-establishing and having a strong and vibrant democratic society in which you will feel safe.”

He was addressing the National Management Conference 2015, organised by the Institute of Management of Sri Lanka held in Colombo Tuesday (29).

Wickremesinghe said that was one of the main reason for Island’s main two political parties to come into an agreement to run the country together.

“The Government is trying to bring reconciliation to Sri Lanka as a democratic country,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We cannot do that only by building ourselves to judiciary mechanisms or non-judiciary mechanisms,”

“It must be in the background of a highly functional democracy. We will work it out and reduce bad habits and see where we can work together,”

“This was also the basis on which the main parties of Sri Lanka, the UNP and the SLFP, got together to form a Government for two years.”

Sri Lanka will have two years until 2017 to implement the country’s democratic practices from the day that the resolution is passed Wickremesinghe said.

He said to do that the country needs a new constitution and a method to dissolve powers in to the areas where it needed.

“Firstly as President Maithripala Sirisena announced in New York, we require a new Constitution,”

“Secondly, the issue of how we can dissolve powers, analysis of the shortcomings of the present structure and what more can be done are the key main issues that we have to deal with.”

He said it is high time to correct the powers of parliament as it had been downgraded progressively over the years.

“We have got to strengthen the Parliament. We are proposing an oversight committees following the model of the European Union Parliament, a parliamentary budget office because it is the Parliament’s duty to keep control of public finances and making the Jayawardene centre a research and training centre for parliament.”

Wickremesinghe said executive powers also should be handed over to the Cabinet.