The controversial 20th Amendment of Sri Lankan Constitution will weaken the powers of PM’s office and cabinet. Recently Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 20th Amendment on 22 Oct 2020.

Points To Note

  • The controversial 20th amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution has weaken the powers of PM’s office and cabinet and expanded the powers of the President and also have increased the immunity of the President.
  • Under the new amendment, the President gets the power to dissolve the parliament after 2 years and 6 months after being elected. It has weakened the powers of the PM.
  • 20th amendment empowers the President to appoint any person to the Govt office without having need of getting consent from members of the Sri Lankan parliament. This includes public services, election officials, human rights, police, corruption investigation commissions, bribery, etc.
  • 20th amendment give the power to the president to hold any ministries and also appoint and fire ministers.
  • 20th Constitution amendment rolls back the 19th amendment of Sri Lanka passed on 28 April 2015.

19th amendment

19th amendment was introduced to weaken the powers of the president which was passed on 28 April 2015. 215 Members of Parliament voting in favor and 1 against the bill. 19th amendment weakened those powers that were expanded by the 18th amendment.

18th amendment

On September 8, 2010, Sri Lanka’s Parliament passed the controversial 18th amendment. 161 Members of Parliament voting in favor and 17 Members against the bill. it introduced 4 main changes. They were

  • The President of Sri Lanka can seek for a re-election any number of times
  • President can bring in independent commissions under his authority
  • The Constitution Council that initially had ten members was replaced with a five-member council
  • It allowed the President of Sri Lanka to attend Parliament once in 3 months and entitled him will all privileges, powers and immunities as that of the other member of parliament.

Sri Lanka President and Prime Minister

The current and 8th President of Sri Lanka is Lieutenant Colonel Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The current PM of Sri Lanka is Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa are brothers.

President Gotabaya Rajpaksa recently introduced a clause that lifted the ban on people with dual citizenship.