The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Parliament this week urged the Government to hold a referendum on the new draft Constitution.
TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, while taking part in a debate in the House, called on the Government to fulfil its mandate of completing the task of formulating a new Constitution and to hold a referendum to seek the opinion of the people.
"Overcome all obstacles and go ahead with the enacting of a new Constitution and hold a referendum on it," he urged. He then pointed out that this may be the Government's final chance of finding a lasting solution to the national problem and to introduce important constitutional reforms.
"We should not admit defeat at this point as we have come so far. The sub-committees have met over the past many months and compiled reports. The Steering Committee too has held over 60 meetings. The people voted in this Government on the promise of bringing about a new Constitution and this pledge must be respected. The very purpose of forming a 'Unity Government' was to bring in a new Constitution. Both the JVP and the TNA, though in the Opposition, support the Government in this endeavour," said MP Sumanthiran.
In other developments, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned the House that if the Courts continued the ban on garbage disposal in some areas, the country would see an escalation in the spread of diseases such as dengue fever.
The Premier made this observation in response to a question raised by JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake.
He went on to say that currently the country was lacking a proper mechanism to dispose of garbage collected in cities.
"That is the main cause for the garbage problem. We are trying to find a permanent solution for this problem. As a part of this solution we have instructed that garbage be disposed by region. We have initiated the procurement of nine machines to manufacture compost fertilizers and they are to be distributed among the nine provinces. We have also commenced 25 projects to recycle garbage. We are also planning to purchase 100 vehicles and to obtain 150 more vehicles, with the Korean Government's assistance to transport garbage. "The end of the Rajapaksa regime left the country with not only a mountain of loans, but also a mountain of garbage. We will not run away from this problem the way the Rajapaksa regime did. We will not leave the loan problem and the garbage problem for the next generation. During the time of previous government all garbage was dumped in the garbage mountain. Today the garbage mountain is not there. We are currently transporting garbage to Dompe, Karadiyana and Muthurajawela. There are some problems reported with regard to dumping of garbage at Muthurajawela and so the courts have suspended disposing of garbage at Karadiyana and Muthurajawela. We will take action to make Colombo a city clean of its garbage. There are no problems with regard to garbage disposing in Dehiwala, Mount Lavinia and Kotte. The problem exists in Colombo, Kolonnawa, Kaduwela, Biyagama and Kelaniya. If the courts continue to issue orders against garbage disposal then there would be heaps of garbage all over the city. Garbage would continue to pile up. Garbage removal is an essential service. How could a court give an order against the continuance of an essential service? The courts are bound by duty to summon all parties concerned and hear their views before giving orders. This is a serious problem. People are dying of dengue. If the courts continue to issue orders of this nature, there would be further deaths and spread of diseases. The army, police and town councils are ready to dispose garbage. The courts should act accordingly."
Furthermore, the Prime Minister informed the House that the Police have commenced an investigation into reports of a possible ISIS attack on the US Embassy in Colombo.
He said, the Police had been instructed to obtain information from the media outlets that had reported of a possible ISIS threat to the US Embassy, in order to ascertain the accuracy of such reports.
"There is no room for spreading racism and religious disharmony. Those who do so will end up in the dustbin of history," the Prime Minister said.
"We have created an environment for Sinhala and Muslim people to live in harmony. The aim of extremists is to instigate people and create ethnic disharmony, cause instability in the country. Some media too, help in promoting racism, enmity and hatred among religious groups.
We have instructed the police to conduct continuous night and day foot-patrolling in their areas and to conduct awareness programmes against the propaganda of troublemakers. It is our policy to compensate any place of worship damaged by attacks. None should come forward to protect those responsible for such attacks."(Ceylon Today)