Sri Lanka’s new constitution to include economic, social, cultural rights

MANGALA

Nov 16, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s proposed constitution will include a Bill of Rights that takes into account economic, social and cultural rights of the people, the Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.

Delivering a lecture at the National University of Singapore, Foreign Minister said a constitution that addresses the needs of all citizens and communities would allow greater participation for the public in decision making processes.

Sri Lanka’s current constitution covers only civil and political rights that are considered to be the most basic rights of a human being.

“Among the steps envisaged is a new Constitution which will include a Bill of Rights that takes into account not only civil and political rights but economic, social and cultural rights as well,” Samaraweera said.

“The priority objective of the Government is of course the achievement of “reconciliation and development” which is essential for the nation’s long-term stability, development and prosperity,” Samaraweera said.

Last week, the Prime Minister outlined the government’s economic policy that centered on a knowledge based social market economy built on social justice principles.

Important areas included generating one million job opportunities, development of the rural economies, ensuring land ownership to rural and estate sectors, the middle class and government employees and creating a wide and strong middle class.

Samaraweera said there will be reforms in the financial and monetary sectors and more stringent control of the Budgets.

“In order to strengthen social sector programmes especially universal access to education and health, the Government will increase the budgetary allocations to both sectors,” He said.

“New set of laws will be put in place to combat corruption and financial crimes.”

The first budget of the Government will be presented to Parliament this Friday.

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