Political deadlock: President, Parliament and protesters

Ram Manikkalingam in the Sunday Times:

Sri Lanka is at a political deadlock. Protesters want the President and parliamentarians to go home. Parliament wants the President to go home. And the President wants the protesters to go home. But no one is going home. Meanwhile, we cannot change the President without changing the prime minister. We cannot change the prime minister because no party leader wants to be saddled with the economic crisis. And we cannot manage the economic crisis because there is no new prime minister. How do we get out of this triple deadlock?

It is very hard for the protesters to shift tack, because there are many tens of thousands. It is difficult for parliament to move, because at least 113, out of the 225 members, must agree. But it is easier for the President to change course because he can take a decision and implement it on his own. So what can he do that meets the concerns of the protesters?

The President can declare that he is ready to get rid of the executive presidency. He can commit to initiating a process of constitutional change within parliament to do that. He can also commit not to serve out his term, but to quit as soon as the amendment is passed.

More here.