Wither Democracy in Sri Lanka
Posted on April 13th, 2015
By Garvin Karunaratne
Today’s Island tells us that “ the SLFP and UPFA have decided to deny nominations to their parliamentarians to contest the forthcoming parliamentary polls in the event they decline to vote in favour of the 19 th Amendment to the Constitution”
It is also important to note that , “this decision has been arrived at following agreement reached between President Maitripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe that the proposed 19 th Amendment should be passed through.”
( From The Island 13/4/15)
It is clear that this is a high handed manner of forcing the Members of Parliament to vote for an Amendment to the Constitution. It is an agreement by the President and the Prime Minister the latter belonging to another political party, a party that does not have a majority in Parliament.
Are we not getting to the manner President Jayawardena forced his Members of Parliament to vote for the 13 th Amendment. It is a well known fact that the Members of Parliament (except for Ronnie de Mel) were locked up in a four star hotel in Colombo, kept there under armed guard and armed with undated letters of resignation from the MP which he held threatening to dissolve Parliament if the MP decided not to follow his dictate, went to the hotel and escorted them to the Houses of Parliament and compelled them to vote as he wished to pass the 13 th Amendment.
In today’s case though the MPp are not held at gun point and not incarcerated in a hotel, yet they are held to ransom, by being told that they will not get nominations to come forward for their election if they do not vote in fvour of the 19 th Amendment.
We all know what the 13 th Amendment has done to our sovereignty. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi forced it on us. The country is saddled with it; cannot get rid of it.
Let sane opinion prevail. The Constitution of a country is a sacred document that needs to be amended with due care and deliberation and it is not a football to be kicked around at anyone’s fancy.
April 12, 2015