The Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) general secretary demanded that the former military commander explains what type of government will be in place after the proposed abolition of executive presidency in Lanka.
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunarathne was addressing journalists in Colombo alongside leaders of the opposition movement, Vipaksaye Virodhaya (VV), following a public rally held in Colombo where General Sarath Fonseka called people to rally behind him to do away with the executive presidency. The rally was organised by a group of Sinhala Buddhist monks, Eksath Bhikku Peramuna. Dr. Bahu challenged the former military commander and presidential candidate to come out with clear proposals that devolves power and strengthens democracy when calling to abolish the present constitution. He recalled that his opposition to the 1978 constitution that ushered in the Executive Presidency has landed him in jail. Vickramabahu, who led a black flag protest against the dictatorial constitution at its inception, was also sacked from his senior lecturer post at the Peradeniya University. Even though he was jailed and the party led by him proscribed in 1983 by the JR Jayawardene regime, Bahu recalled that the NSSP took part in All Party Conference called by JR to find a solution to Lankan national question. APC discussed a solution based on power devolution even before the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987. He emphasized that the NSSP gave its support in 1986 to setting up provincial councils.
In the first ever provincial council elections held under the 13th amendment, "the north and east got a Tamil chief minister and our party sacrificed twenty three lives in the battle to safeguard devolution," he added. “Any constitutional reforms that do away with the 13th amendment and the 17th amendment will be vehemently opposed”, said Dr. Bahu. The 13th amendment devolving power to provinces and the 17th amendment bringing in a democratic process safeguarding the independence of several state departments and authorities, has contributed to weaken the dictatorial nature of Lankan constitution, he explained. Therefore, if Sarath Fonseka is proposing to revert to the 1972 constitution which has no provisions given by the 13th and 17th amendments to the 1978 constitution, Dr. Bahu assured that every organisation on the VV platform will be opposed to it. "It might empower the parliament. But, it will totally destroy devolution and will concentrate power in the hands of Sinhala Buddhist supremacists," warned the NSSP general secretary. He added that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has also joined the VV movement to save the country. "TNA stands for a united country based on autonomy to Tamil homeland; Lanka cannot be saved without the help of Tamils," he stated.