Submission to the Committee of Public Representation on the Constitution
Posted on March 14th, 2016

By Charles .S.Perera

Chairman,

The Committee of Public Representations on the Constitution(CPRC)

Secretarial Office,

Staple Street,

Colombo 2,

Dear Sir,

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

I hesitated to write before on the wisdom of writing a new Constitution to Sri Lanka at the present moment, as I am not quite sure of the independence of the Committee of inquiry.

However, I send this letter to record my protest  on the proposal to write a new Constitution to Sri Lanka at the present time, as there are others who hold my point of view.

Further more I believe that the present constitution even with its Article on Executive President is  quite a satisfactory Constitution.  It would be more so after the removal of the 13th Amendment.

A country should not write a New Constitution each time a new Government is formed by a new Political system coming into power.  None of the developed countries in the world resort to that sort of a radical change in a country’s Constitution  with a change of a  political system.

It is my opinion that the 1978 Constitution  should be retained as the permanent Constitution of Sri Lanka, making changes to it whenever necessary, by Amendments.  

The 1978 Constitution had stood its ground until  2015, and it would serve its purpose for more years to come.  There was criticism in the use of the Constitutional procedure  for the impeachment of the Chief Justice in 2013. There was no error in the implementation of the Constitutional procedure for that impeachment.

It was   the wrong interpretation, for whatever reason , of the Article 107(3) of the Constitution given by the Supreme Court that raised the contention in the minds of some who were biased against the Previous President that the impeachment was not Constitutional.

However, if it is necessary to write a Constitution to Sri Lanka it should be done under a popular government of the people. The Yahapalanaya is a wrong word applied to the present Government.  It is for all intents and purposes a UNP Government  which is determined to carrying out UNP’s own programme  without consulting the Parliament or the people, with a false majority it claims to have. 

I give below the reasons why a new Constitution to Sri Lanka should NOT be written  by the present Government  led by President Maithripala Sirisena:

1,This Government proposing to write a new Constitution to Sri Lanka is not a National Government as it claims, which according to me is  the modus operandi of the present Government to mislead the people of Sri Lanka.

2, There is no National Government in Sri Lanka,  as the SLFP and the UNP cannot form a National Government.

3, In 1951 Mr.S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake broke away from UNP as he did not agree with UNP’s capitalist policies and set up a political party of the Panch Maha Balavegaya opposed to the UNP System.  Therefore, at no point of time could these two parties-UNP and SLFP,  politically poles apart  form a National Government.

Those  members of the SLFP including the President Maithripala Sirisena in joining hands with the UNP to form a pseudo National Government has turned their back to  SLFP Policies conceived by its organiser S.W.R.D.Bandaranaya, to become a part of the UNP System.

4, Therefore the Yahapalanaya Government for all intents and purposes is a UNP government and not at all a National Government. In that respect too this Government led by Maithripala Sirisena has no right to even conceive the idea of writing a Constitution to Sri Lanka.

5, No National Government could be formed in Sri Lanka with Ranil Wickramasinghe as the Prime Minister.  He has shown on several occasions, specially during his Premiership under President Chandrika Kumaratunga in 2002-2004, that he cannot work in cooperation with any one without imposing his own arbitrary  manner of decision taking. Signing of the CFA with the terrorist Prabhakaran was a great mistake made by Ranil Wickramasinghe which caused the lost of thousands of lives.

The Prime Minister  demonstrated his  penchant for  arbitrary decision taking  when he stated recently in Parliament  that he will sign the ETCA  with India in June this year even if there is opposition to it.   This government has lost the confidence of the people in its mishandling of several issues.

This government  has even failed to  inform  the  people of the  Sea Bridge Tunnel  proposed to be constructed between India and Sri Lanka.  This government’s actions lack transparency.

The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister did not take the correct decision in the interest of the country when they sponsored the USA Resolution against Sri Lanka presented at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  This government has also  taken the police powers into its own hands by appointing a FCID.

The Judges refuse bail to persons connected to the Previous President who had been arrested by  the FCID.  This shows that the Judiciary fears to take  independent decisions.

6, The Government led by Maithripala Sirisena has acted contrary to democratic norms appointing as the leader of the Opposition a political leader having lesser number of  parliamentary seats,  when there is another united group of opposition parties which has a much larger number of  parliamentary seats.  That has been done purely to win over the minorities onto its side, which shows the government’s bias in favour of the minorities.

7, This government has distanced Sri Lanka from its friends who helped in the progressive and rapid development of the country and taken it into the fold of the enemies of the Sovereign State of Sri Lanka. Therefore this government if it is given the responsibility to organise the writing of a new Constitution , will be influenced   by the enemies of Sri Lanka who helped the terrorists and prolonged terrorism.  The people of Sri Lanka has also the fear that this government may be fooled by the enemies of Sri Lanka to include clauses in to the Constitution  that may change the unitary status of Sri Lanka.

Under the above conditions the people of Sri Lanka has no confidence in this Government and therefore it is not appropriate a new Constitution to Sri Lanka is written under the aegis  of the present Government.

This government cannot be trusted for the  preparation of a Constitution to Sri Lanka in keeping with the historical cultural and religious values of Sri Lanka.

Furthermore,  it is no secret,  and no body can deny that it was the votes of the minorities that assured the  election of  the President Maithripala Sirisena, and the UNP at the  following general election of  August,17,2015.  Therefore, this government indebted to the minorities –Tamils and Muslims, will continue to take decisions in all maters including in writing the Constitution  to please the Tamil and Muslim minorities that voted them into power. Therefore,  allowing  this government to make preparations for the writing of a new Constitution to Sri Lanka will have dangerous consequences.

Since the coming into power of the President Maithripala Sirisena  on 9 January,2015 he had continued to act in breach of the Constitution of Sri Lanka .  Therefore this government led by Maithripala Sirisena has forfeited its  right to replace the present Constitution they deliberately breached  to serve their own political  purpose.

A Sovereign State is recognised from its majority, and the Constitution of  a Sovereign State should safeguard the country’s Culture- which is unique to it, its original religion, language and other national identities such as the National Anthem and the Nation Flag.  

 This government of President Maithripala Sirisena has already mutilated the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka and therefore they cannot be entrusted with the writing of a new Constitution to Sri Lanka.

I therefore wish to express to the Committee,  my strong opposition, and my condemnation of  even  the proposal  by the Present Government of  President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to write a New Constitution to Sri Lanka.

Yours Sincerely,

Charles.S.Perera

7 Responses to “Submission to the Committee of Public Representation on the Constitution”

  1. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Charles, I have been saying this all the time. “It is my opinion that the 1978 constitution should be retained as the permanent constitution of Sri Lanka making changes to it when ever necessary by amendments.” The 1978 constitution was written by all the people. Late JRJ included all parties and all races and religions in this effort. It was the time an every Sri Lankan could say proudly that I am from the Republic of Sri Lanka, where the people one vote one man elect the president. Of course we must erase the INDIAN AMENDMENTS form this constitution. Today there is no constitution; this out put was put together by MENTALLY RETARTED JOHN KERRY and MUSLIM OBAMA. These must be completely removed. All Gazetted amendments must be removed. A special section must include clearly to indicate the Defense of KATHEV Island where the Republic is most venerable for attack. A large Naval Base must be established to cover an entire set of uninhabited Islands belonging to Sri Lanka. A training facility for elite troops educated with INTERNATIONAL MERITIME LAW must be must be included in the new constitution. Constitution must clearly state the NASA (USA) proposed renovation of HANUMAN Bridge, or any other kind of railway, or Vehicular traffic bridge cannot be built to access the Sri Lankan Republic. No Classical Tamil should be allowed in any school in the Republic. All languages spoken in the Northern and Eastern province must be safe guarded. An example, TAMIL VADDHA and SINHALA VADDHA languages are different and they cannot understand by each other. Sri Lankan Creole must be safe guarded in the Eastern Province. I have expanded what CHARLS States: ” A Sovereign State’s Culture the language, religion and other national identities such as the National Anthem and the Flag.” I hope the reader will understand that the Original Constitution of 1978 was by the people headed by JRJ who wrote it. IT WAS CERTAINLY NOT BY THE UNP. THE UNP was good only when the founder D. S. Senanayke was the head of the party. When Suchritha Muddkkuva Pramadase made it stink. Today’s UNP is the same.

  2. douglas Says:

    The reasons given from 1 to 7 why a New Constitution should NOT be written, in my opinion are: “Yanne Koheda, Malle Pol”. Last week the Whole House, including UNP, SLFP, UPFA, TNA, JVP, UNANIMOUSLY agreed to form into a “Constitutional Assembly” and get involved in this subject of Constitution. If the reasons given by the writer are so plausible, why did not that “Joint Opposition” with the blessings of the ex President and presently a Member of this Parliament. Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse OBJECT to it rather than SUPPORT it? Looking at from the writers point of view, all EXCEPTING, MS & MR factions, should have rejected that “Motion” and cast their votes against it. But, the “Motion” was passed without any OBJECTIONS and it was UNANIMOUS.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    We agree with Charles. NO New Constitution is needed. The illegal 13-A must be removed and the 6-A acted upon.

    MR had been ‘cornered’ with false charges against his Family (through FCID and the Presidential Committee). Yoshitha has been ‘arrested’ and ‘released’ a few times now, and the so called Court Cases go on against various Rajapakse Family members. The War Crimes charge is still unresolved. What is Ranil/CBK duo up to here ? It appears to be political blackmail.
    What is the bearing on this as MR as an MP – is he truly free to speak his mind in Parliament ? MR now makes his statements to the People of Lanka, outside of Parliament.

    Besides all that, the Parliament has been bought and silenced with fat pay packets and food. It is a virtually dead Parliament.

    In addition : What about the Ranil proposed 5,000 acres leases for 99 yrs to foreigners ? That too will be incorporated into any New Constitution ? Who will benefit from such a move.
    Add the Ranil Chunnel to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is Caste infested and troubled. There are over 15 Million Tamil folk there with Dalit status on their birth certificates. We can imagine what will happen to Lanka if such a bridge tunnel happens.

    This is indeed a UNP govt by stealth. Under JRJ the UNP was a National govt though ultra west. Under Ranil the UNP is a wayward govt, selling out Lanka to outsiders, proven so earlier, under CBK/Ranil.

  4. Dham Says:

    Douglas,
    It appears to me starting from MR to Ranil , MS , Champika, Rajitha right down to Wimal and Gammanpillai have all become pawn of India. They are all good friends of India.
    All are ready to betray the motherland. Only difference is one fellow says he will shoot illegal Inidans and the other will say India is our brother. Everyone has pledged to up hold 13A and give maximum devolution to Tamils.
    No need to believe this, if the lection manifestos of both sides were read carefully it is exactly the same.
    Sinhalaya have to surround the parliament and …….
    Very soon 10% from every project to import from India will be going to pockets according to the new con-institution. All are thieves. There will be more and more Bjaajs , Shoker Leylands, Marutis, Tatas and it will be TA Ta to Sinhalaya.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Anyone who heads Lanka will have to ‘get on’ with India. No doubt about that.

    However, to cave into India wholesale is another thing. That is what Ranil is doing. He is going beyond being a ‘relative’ (per MR). Ranil, through the UNP & Yahap is selling out Lanka per his ECTA & Ranil’s Chunnel to Tamil Nadu, plus the 5,000 acres lease for 99 yr leases.

  6. douglas Says:

    Dham: Thank you. To me all those named are “same” to me. They sign the same “song”; but change the “tune” to grab power. Permit me to say it in a more crude way: Same old shit but different colour.

  7. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Douglas Don’t forget this government cannot be changed by the Parliament. Parliamentarians must heed to the public out cry.

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