Defeat 19A by Bringing a Motion to Abolish Executive Presidency
Posted on April 27th, 2015

Dilrook Kannangara

19A is another Indian imposed constitutional gimmick aimed at empowering Indian origin minorities. It serves the wider Indian hegemonic project of turning part of the island into another Andaman, Nicobar, Wheeler, etc. type island to be used for Indian military purposes. 19A must be defeated. However, merely rallying MPs and the people to defeat 19A alone has not enough traction. Instead the promise made by Sirima (1988), Chandrika (1994), Mahinda (2005) and Maithripala (2015) to abolish executive presidency must be honoured. The SLFP parliamentary group should bring a motion to abolish the executive presidency (EP) altogether.

The Myth of EP Saving National Security under Current Conditions

There was a time when the EP was a pillar of strength for national security. However, it is not so anymore. Today the EP is actually a threat to national security. Under the parliamentary system, any foreign interferer had to buy out at least half the parliament (113 MPs in today’s conditions) to influence national policy. However, today they only need to buy just one person, the president. The parliament and MPs are under the law. As such MPs have some control over their action. The president on the other hand has no such restraint.

13A is a case in point. If Sri Lanka had a parliamentary system in 1987, 13A would never have been passed. All MPs except Ronny de Mel boycotted the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord which laid the foundation for 13A. India cowed president JR Jayawardane into total submission. He in turn coerced his parliamentarians to support it. MPs were incarcerated in hotels along with their families and threatened to vote for the 13A or else. Without the EP, none of this would have happened.

CFA is another case. Although the CFA was illegal, the president’s tacit approval kept it going. Had the country a parliamentary system it would not have happened as people would have petitioned to court to abolish it immediately.

Political Package (1995, 2000) and LLRC Report (2012) are other national security threats initiated by executive presidents. As can be seen the executive presidency is the biggest threat to national security!

EP Manipulated by Tamil and Muslim Voters

What if the 2015 January election was a parliamentary general election? Then the UNP would not have won anything more than 80 seats with TNA, SLMC and CWC winning a combine of 30 seats giving UPFA 115 seats. Presidential elections are easily manipulated by Tamils and Muslims voting as a block. As a result the executive president once elected will serve Tamil and Muslim kingmakers more than the others and the nation. This was seen after 1988, 1994, 2010 and 2015 presidential elections.

It is suicidal for the nation and its majority to continue with the EP.

Under the parliamentary system, Ranil could not have become the Prime Minister. Only the MP with the most parliamentary support would be the Prime Minister. In the current circumstances, Dinesh Gunawardane would be the Prime Minister under the parliamentary system. However, with executive presidency, the executive president can appoint anyone as Prime Minister! That was how DB Wijetunga, DM Jayaratna and Ranil Wickramasinghe became prime ministers.

When the country was under the parliamentary system (1948 to 1977) national security was better protected. Transparent decisions were made and TNA, CWC and SLMC type parties were not kingmakers. It is no wonder the treacherous EP was the product of Yankee Dickie and his cahoots.

Abolishing EP Makes Great Political Sense

The real SLFP can turn the tide against Sirisena and the UNP by bringing a motion to abolish EP. Abolishing EP is the most popular and consistent presidential election promise! It is very popular among voters. By taking it up, the Mahinda group can topple the Sirisena-Chandrika-UNP government.

If a motion to abolish executive presidency is presented in parliament, 14 TNA MPs and 7 JVP MPs will certainly support it which means only 129 MPs from UPFA and UNP need to vote for it. Those who vote against it will be marked by the people and punish them at the forthcoming general election.

The SLFP proper cannot produce an executive president for another few decades. Sirisena who is working to a UNP agenda is rather a UNP president. His successor will be from the UNP as the SLFP would have been reduced to a name board under Sirisena within another five years. Therefore it is unwise to keep the EP hoping that one day the SLFP can lay its hands on it. The day will not come for a few decades.

16 Responses to “Defeat 19A by Bringing a Motion to Abolish Executive Presidency”

  1. Independent Says:

    This is the only way to those who hate My3 and waiting to send him home. Otherwise MR will have to work under My3’s rule which he never will.

  2. Independent Says:

    But how about UNP forms a government with the aid of TNA , Muslims and Corrupt SLFP animals ( who were plenty under MR thanks to his good leadership) ? These blind MR lovers must think.

    Dilrook has given what is best for the country. But as long as 13A is there and a government that cannot be trusted, it is best reduces powers of President and enhance some parliamentary powers. This is the only balance we can achieve.
    Therefore 19A must be supported with suitable amendments to remove dangers. Removal of EP+ 13A can then be done using a referendum.

  3. Christie Says:

    Has any one seen this is doc 19A. It is definitely from India. I have not seen it.

  4. nilwala Says:

    Not so simple to abolish the Executive Presidency, Dilrook, when this Parliament has many MPs with vested interests and who would like to stay the rest of their elected periods for various reasons. Also, in a country with disparate interests and aspirations it is just such a Constitution as JRJ’s that can prevent disintegration and the challenges as we are experiencing right now. While you acknowledge that the EP was necessary once (for stability and national security no doubt), that situation has not changed. Parliamentary composition also remains unchanged.

    19A is a faulty piece of legislation being rushed through, and the situation is worsened by new clauses being added daily. Even the knowledgeable Ministers and MPs do not know what clauses are being added daily, and this is being done without the SC having the opportunity to properly examine them for consistency with the rest of the Constitution. Wisely, the SC refuses to accept Urgent Bills, but this brings matters to an impasse. The much needed public discourse has not and cannot happen in the secretive circumstances surrounding the legislation either.

    This piece of Legislation is too complicated and has too many unknowns to be rushed through and allowed to pass

    Parliament should VOTE OUT 19A!!

  5. Charles Says:

    Dilrook,

    during the last 100 days this governbnment has done much damage to Sri Lanka, with lot of development projects stopped and having had a record bond fruad involving millions of dollars. They have done absolutely nothing for the benefit of the country or the people, going all out to please the USA and the West. Indian fishermen are reported to be misusing the right they have been given to fish in our waters.

    This government has to go for the well being of mother lanka. The executive powers of the President should not be removed as long as the 13 Amendment remains in the constitution

  6. Dr.K Says:

    I fully agree with Charle’s comment above.

    Powers of Executive president’s should not be abolished until Land and Police powers are removed from Provincial councils.

    Rev. Sobitha should understand this situation. Unfortunately Rev Sobitha tries to abolish Executive presidency and establish an Executive PM. Why? he should carry on a Satyakgrahaya to empoer the Parliament. Even with the 19A the parliament is still the same – no powers at all in front of Executive PM.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    Charles and others:

    13A passed through all executive presidents and they did nothing. No president will remove 13A. On the other hand if there is no president, the parliament can abrogate 13A on its own accord. That is the only way 13A can be abrogated.

    To make it easier, if the executive president is not there, the northern and eastern provinces will be even more bolder and that will compel the parliament to take some action. The fear of 1989 style UDI having a real impact is false. Anyone can declare UDI and raise a flag. But that doesn’t divide the country.

    Continuing with Sirisena is far worse and dangerous than no executive president, particularly after the racist declaration by Chandrika.

  8. SA Kumar Says:

    The 225-member parliament passed the second reading of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with 215 in favor , 1 against and 7 absentees.

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    1 against – who is this one Mother Lanka ??? Wimal !!!

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    7 absentees at voting for the 19-A. Wonder who they were ?

    ———–

    Christie,

    The 19-A document has been put out now. ​Here it is from LankaPage.​

    http://www.parliament.lk/files/documents_news/19th_amendment/19th_amendment_bill_gazette_e.pdf

    ————

    Wait and see how things work out. The “proof will be in the pudding only”, as they say ….

  11. Marco Says:

    I’m indeed delighted with the news that 19A was passed with an over whelming majority.

    It of course begs the question why Mahinda Rajapakse did not use his 2/3rd majority to repeal the 13th Amendment when President Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil were able pass an Amendment mandated by the people.

    There is a complaint that readers are not aware of the contents of the 19th Amendments. One ought to widen your readership material!

  12. SA Kumar Says:

    MR promised 13 plus (13 + 0.000001 or more) so only our sakotharaya modaya would have been expected MR to repeal the 13a to use 2/3rd.

  13. SA Kumar Says:

    is it first time our history our Demila TNA voted Not against – Hope they all were in Kanja ???

  14. Dilrook Says:

    Now that the 19A has been passed with an astounding majority, it does beg the question why Mahinda when he had this very same parliament and 2/3 majority didn’t repeal 13A. Not to be fooled yet again, nationalists must demand from the party Mahinda would contest to make a firm promise to abrogate 13A for them to vote. Rightly or wrongly, President Sirisena looks after those who elected him to high office and makes constitutional amendments to appease his voters. Something Mahinda was never interested in after 2010.

    Next the 20A will be passed making it impossible for Mahinda, Gotabaya and Basil to run for presidency and for the latter two to become MPs. As we predicted way back in 2012 the Rajapaksa clan will be kept out of power by the new government thanks to its own neglect of core Sinhala voters in favour of Tamils since 2010. Tamil voting pattern very closely follows racism than development in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

  15. Independent Says:

    Andy Lingam,

    You asked “1 against – who is this one Mother Lanka ??? Wimal !!!.

    Wimal ? you must be joking. He is my only hero Sarath Weerasekara, who wrote

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/04/22/post-of-opposition-leader-an-open-letter-to-the-speaker/

    watch out ! He will become President one day , real Dutugemunu.

  16. Independent Says:

    Dilrook,
    Your wish is 1/2 came through. It will come fully through only if UNP comes into power.
    No point dreaming of Mahinda’s 13A abolition.

    We should rally behind Sarath Weerasekara – only Sinhalaya in the parliament.

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