The September 8 Passage of Sri Lanka's 18th Amendment

Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
September 11, 2010

The United States has closely followed the progress and the passage of the 18th Amendment in Sri Lanka. The amendment eliminates term limits for the president and expands the power of the president over independent institutions, including the elections, police, and human rights commissions, as well as the judiciary.

The United States is concerned that this constitutional amendment weakens checks and balances and thus undermines the principles of constitutional democracy.

The United States calls on the Government of 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.

PRN: 2010/1235