Sri Lanka’s new constitution is for all Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Saturday as he stressed on the need of achieving reconciliation based on communal harmony.
Addressing an event to mark the 70th anniversary of United National Party (UNP), Sirisena recalled that the UNP’s founder leader, D S Senanayake, had called for a Sri Lankan identity built on the support of all communities, seventy years ago in 1946.
“The new constitution is for all Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims,” he said..
“Over the last 70 years we have not been able to build that Sri Lankan identity,” he said.
“We are still trying to achieve reconciliation based on communal harmony”.
Sirisena’s unity government formed with the UNP is currently in the process of formulating a new Constitution to replace the existing 1978 statute. Sirisena said the opposition led by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was spreading rumors and misinformation about the new Constitution.
In his address, the UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the government was moving ahead while addressing the most pressing issues in the country. Economic benefits would be passed on to people while facing the current hardships.
“We will make this country free of debt by the year 2020,” Wickremesinghe said.
The unity government formed after Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa in 2015. The Rajapaksa administration was blamed for high cost commercial borrowings to finance its large infrastructure development projects.