Lanka Speaker praises Marxist party for acting as a watchdog

Wednesday 06th June 2018 06:20 EDT

Colombo: Sri Lanka's Speaker Karu Jayasuriya praised the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) for their contribution to protect the democracy by acting as a watchdog against corruption. The Speaker said the JVP which was the protagonist in the uprisings of 1971 and 1987 is now very much part of the political mainstream often acting as custodians of democratic values and institutions and watchdogs against corruption.

Jayasuriya said the JVP, while still a minor party represented in Parliament, has been at the forefront of delivering national reforms that have strengthened the country's democracy through their support for the 17th and 19th amendments to the constitution. "I believe the JVP stands as resounding proof of the transformative power of individuals and organizations when an opportunity is granted for this kind of change and reform," he said. Speaking of Sri Lanka's constitutional reform process that is currently underway, the Speaker said it is a 'bottom-up' and all-inclusive process aspires to address problems of the minorities, ensure the equitable and just sharing of power and resources among all people of Sri Lanka, and address discriminatory provisions in the existing constitution.

He reminded that Sri Lanka has had its own share of conflict. "Two youth insurrections and nearly three decades of violence related to separatism, have taken an unimaginable and inexplicable toll on our nation's post-independent development and progress," the speaker said. However he said, unfortunately, we failed to seize the moment immediately following the end of the conflict in May 2009, to work on introspection and healing based on consultative approaches inclusive of all victims.

It is hoped that a new constitution will address social inequalities and deliver on a promise of social justice, the Speaker said adding that the Tamil National Alliance, the main Opposition Party in Parliament is an active participant in these processes.

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