US expresses concern over changes to Lankan constitution

US expressed concern over the changes to the Sri Lankan constitution that eliminates the term limit for President.

Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 20:02 PM IST

Washington: US on Saturday expressed concern
over the changes to the Sri Lankan constitution that
eliminates the term limit for President, saying it undermines
the principles of constitutional democracy.

"The United States is concerned that this
constitutional amendment weakens checks and balances and thus
undermines the principles of constitutional democracy," State
Department spokesman P J Crowley said in a statement.

The Sri Lankan Parliament, though boycotted by the
main opposition, in a Constitutional Amendment eliminated term
limits for the President and expanded the power of the
President over independent institutions, including the
elections, police, and human rights commissions, as well as
the judiciary.

Expressing concern over such an amendment, the US
called on Sri Lanka to promote the principles of good
governance, democracy, and independent State institutions.

"The United States looks to the government to take
measures that will strengthen democracy including appointing
appropriately qualified officials to bolster independent
institutions, increase transparency, enhance power sharing and
dialogue, and promote national reconciliation," Crowley said.

PTI