Lanka to use social media in new constitution making process

Colombo: Sri Lanka today said it will use social media for formulating its new Constitution aimed at achieving reconciliation with the minority Tamil community and preventing another ethnic war, becoming the first country to allow its citizens to contribute ideas in the process.

“We want to accommodate everybody in the process. We will welcome ideas through social media. We will be the first country to formulate a constitution through ideas to be made through social media,” prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe said.

The Lankan government on January 9, moved a resolution in a special session of the Parliament to convert the whole Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly.

However the opposition parties have pointed out technical issues opposing the move.

“They are free to make amendments. We will consider all opinion. This is only the mechanism to make the constitution,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said his party would not propose any, but all other political parties big or small are free to make proposals.

“We do not know what it will be,” Wickremesinghe said adding that the government would not allow the separation of the country.

“We have all taken oath under the sixth amendment to oppose separation of the country. So we will not do anything against it,” he said.

The new Constitution will replace the current executive president headed constitution adopted in 1978.

Sirisena, who was elected last year after his stunning electoral victory over Mahinda Rajapaka, wants to abolish the present executive presidential system which for long has faced accusations of being authoritarian.

Sri Lankan troops in 2009 defeated the LTTE which was fighting for an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils.

At least 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed in just the final months of the civil war, according to a UN report.

The Sri Lankan government has promised that it will investigate alleged war crime allegations against government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels.