Sri Lankan politicians vote to reduce presidential powers

The Sri Lankan parliament has voted overwhelmingly to reduce presidential powers.

215 out of 225 politicians approved a constitutional amendment yesterday to restore a two-term limit for presidents. The bill also removed the president's power to dissolve parliament; and to appoint judges, police and public officials.

The amendment rolls back changes made by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa after he successfully crushed the Tamil separatist uprising.

Rajapaska’s term in office is now the subject of corruption and human rights abuses investigations following his surprise defeat in January’s election. Justice Minister, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says "This amendment marks a historic moment in Sri Lanka returning to a democracy.