|Curtailing Presidents powers
I believe that the governments attempt to curtail presidents powers is mainly because of the pressure applied by the LTTE. While agreeing that the powers given to president by the constitution of Sri Lanka to dissolve parliament at her will after a lapse of one year from the date of general election, is not acceptable, it is also not wise to amend such clauses of the constitution at this moment, as it is not in the long term strategic interest of Sri Lanka.
LTTE may be fearing that president will have more bargaining power vis-a-vis the Prime Minister after December 2002 because of such provisions. Truly this might jeopardize the peace process as well.
However, LTTEs fears are based more on the thinking of Prabhakaran who ordered the failed assassination attempt on President.
Thus, it is not appropriate to curtail Presidents powers at this moment.
I hope Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will act with patience since curtailing presidents powers, is not in the long term strategic interest of Sri Lanka specially at a time when government is negotiating with a terrorist organisation like the LTTE.
This is because having the president with such powers will ensure that the LTTE will not be able to exert undue pressure on Prime Minister at peace talks and this issue will also show whether the LTTE is truly concerned about settlement of this issue through peace talks.
If the LTTE withdraws from peace talks based on this issue, it will be an indication
that they are not serious about peace talks.
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