Sri lanka News – Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled a proposed framework for sectoral oversight committees in parliament with the objective of increased bipartisan parliamentary involvement in governance and policy-making.
Wickremesinghe told parliament on Wednesday July 06 that under such a system, the entire parliament irrespective of party difference will participate in governance.
“In a committee system, the government is compelled to reach a consensus and not act of its own will, and the opposition has to participate in finding solutions without limiting itself to criticism,” he said.
Wickremesinghe said for Sri Lanka to come out of its economic crisis, the worst since Independence, such reform needs to take place.
“No matter who’s in power or in opposition, the whole parliament must contribute equally,” he said, adding that MPs in government without ministerial portfolios and young MPs in the opposition could all take part.
With this in mind, the prime minster said, he had approached former Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayauriya to formulate a proposal on activating the sectoral oversight committees. This report is now tabled in parliament, he said.
Wickremesinghe called for the support of all parties represented in parliament in implementing the recommendations of Jayasuriya’s report.
There are four objectives to the sectoral oversight committees:
- Providing relief to communities and families affected by the economic crisis
- Reviving the country and its entrepreneurs economically
- Healing the people and wider society
- Revitalising state institutes to implement the above three
Sixteen committees have been proposed. These are:
- Committee to Alleviate the Impact of the Economic Crisis
- Energy and Transportation Committee
- Committee on Food, Security and Agriculture
- Committee for Promotion of Production and Export of Goods and Services
- Education Committee
- Health Committee
- Committee for Open and Accountable Public Servants
- Committee on International Relations
- Committee on National Security
- Committee on Foreign Employment and Labour
- Committee on Justice and Law Respecting Society
- Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development Committee
- Committee on Media, Youth, National Heritage and New Citizen
- Committee for Reconciliation and National Unity
- Committee on Children, Women and Gender
- National Economic and Physical Planning Committee
The report also recommends the formal participation of youth not represented in parliament as well as scholars and experts.
“There are a large number of young people who do not want to be directly involved in politics. A way to get their ideas and suggestions in preparing the country’s policies and plans is provided through this,” said Wickremesinghe.
“By successfully implementing this system, on the one hand, there will be a huge change in our political culture. On the other hand, there will be a support base to build the future of the country. A solid foundation is being built for the purpose of creating a developed Sri Lanka. A real system change begins,” he said. (Colombo/Jul06/2022)