Global Sri Lankans Form Submits Proposals for Amendments for the Constitution
Posted on March 17th, 2016

Global Sri Lankans Forum, (GSLF)a group

Global Sri Lankans Forum, (GSLF)a group of expatriate Sri Lankans in Europe, North America, Australia and Middle East submitted their proposals to the proposed amendments to the Sri Lankan Constitution to the Chairman of the Committee of Public Representations on the Constitution (CPRC) Secretariat Office.

The salient features of the proposals submitted by GSLF are that the devolution of limited power shall be given to the Districts. In that way it could develop each district with micro management and would give each majority ethnic community to manage their district development. Further it has proposed Buddhism as Religion of the State and Sinhala as official language of the country and proposed to repeal the 13th Amendments in its entirety.

The summary of the proposal submitted by the GSLF is are follows;

              Proposals to the Proposed Constitution Amendments

  • THE PEOPLE, THE STATE AND SOVEREIGNTY
    • Unitary State.

The Republic of Sri Lanka shall always be a Unitary State. In any forms or any acts, it should not be allowed and/or promote to create a separate state or states, or federal state or states, or to create any form confederation state or states within Sri Lanka. Such acts or promotion or and the like shall be punishable.

Further, the characteristics of Unitary status shall not be diluted under any circumstances by delegating its power(s) and authorities to any other local or provincial or any other institution whatsoever.

1.2       Exercise of Sovereignty.

In addition to the Sovereignty of the People described in the Article 4 of the current Constitution following shall be considered;

(a)   Election System; The present proportional election mechanism shall be abolished and electoral representative system shall be brought back to select their respective representative by the people;

(b)     Judicial Power; The judicial power of the people exercised by the Parliament through courts shall not be delegated to any other institutions whether there are National or local or International or even to a province of Sri Lanka.

1.3       The Territory

1.3.1      Republic of Sri Lanka shall consist of the twenty-five (25) administrative districts. These district shall not be re-demarcated or amended or increased or decreased in the basis of any ethnic groups or religions.

1.3.2      The current provisions provided for amalgamation of provinces in the 13th Amendment of the current Constitution should be removed from the Constitution.

1.3.3      Sri Lanka is an Island. Accordingly, the boundaries of the Sri Lanka shall not be physically or otherwise annexed whatsoever with a neighbouring country or countries.

1.4       The National Flag

The current Lion Flag depicted in the current Second Schedule of the Constitution shall be maintained as it is and it shall not be amended and changed even through a referendum.

1.5        The National Anthem

1.5.1          The National Anthem of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall be Sri Lanka Matha”, the words and music of which shall be as set out in the current Third Schedule of the Constitution.

1.5.2          The National Anthem shall only be sung in Sinhala Language.

1.6       The National Day

The National day shall be 22nd May of each year on which day Sri Lanka obtained its complete freedom by removing head of state as Queen of England.  It shall not be the date of 4th February on which date the British withdrew its colonial rule but retaining several colonial vestiges.

1.7      Ethnic Communities

The Constitution shall recognize that there are mainly three ethnic communities such as:

  1. Sinhalese (majority community),
  2. Tamils (including Indian origin Tamils) – minority community,
  • Muslims (Including moors and similar others) – minority community.

These communities shall not be referred as nationalities. It is only one Nationalities which is Sri Lankans.

There should not be given preferential treatments and/or advantages to the ethnically or religiously minority communities of Sri Lanka.

1.8     Citizen of Sri Lanka

Those who have been issued with a Birth Certificate by Sri Lankan Government shall only be entitled to be called them as Sri Lankan Citizen. No other any person shall be given Citizenship in Sri Lanka which imbalance the current ethnic distribution of Sri Lanka.

                2.0          BUDDHISM

The following proposed provisions of the Constitution shall be maintained as it is without any amendments or changes. It is also noted that the foremost place given for the Buddhism and Buddhists and Buddhist mocks shall not even be amended or changed through a referendum.

Note –

In many countries has identified a main religion as State Religion. In Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Pakistan Islam is considered as Religion of the State, Norway, United Kingdom, United State, Germany considered Christianity as Religion of the State.

Accordingly, Buddhism shall be stated as Religion of the State of Republic of Sri Lanka”.

The Current wording under Article 9 of the Constitution shall be amended as follows:

The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and considered as State Religion accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

                3.0          LANGUAGE

          3.1.1    The Official Language; The official language of Sri Lanka State shall be Sinhala.

Tamil and English shall also be the link languages and can be used as appropriate.

         3.1.2    The Sinhala language shall be given the top priority as it is the language being spoken and used over 90% of the population of Sri Lanka.

3.1.3    All government publications and the like shall be in Sinhala language along with other two languages of Tamil and English where appropriate.

3.1.4       Sinhala shall be the languages of administration throughout Sri Lanka and Sinhala shall be the language of administration and be used for the maintenance of public records and the transaction of all business by public institutions of all the Provinces of Sri Lanka. Where appropriate Tamil and English language shall be used along the Sinhala Language.

3.1.5       All Orders, Proclamations, Rules, By-laws, Regulations and Notifications made or issued under any written law by any Provincial Council or Local Authority and all documents, including circulars and forms issued by such body or any public institution shall be published in the language used in the administration in the respective areas in which they function, together with a translation thereof in Tamil or Sinhala where appropriate with a common translation of English.

                4.0          THE EXECUTIVE

4.1          The President; The Presidents shall have the full executive powers in all affairs of the Republic of Sri Lanka. The President shall be the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

4.2          The Executive Power; President shall have full executive powers to interfere with the affairs of government bodies, local authorities, district authorities and the like when it is matter related to national security, and any other matters which are endearing the Unitary status of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

4.2.1      With regards to power vested on the President in paragraphs 4.1 above, the President shall have executive power to abolish, dissolve, take over, suspend, take back, cancel of any such government bodies, local authorities, and district authorities as appropriate.

                5.0          THE LEGISLATURE

 5.1          The Parliament; The Parliament shall consist of two hundred (175 from Election and 25 from National list = 200) Members elected in accordance with the electoral based election mechanism.

5.2          Members of Parliament; Any Sri Lankan Citizen who contesting for the Parliament shall declare his/her wealth in written form to the Commission of Election and he/she shall have minimum of educational qualification of General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) conducted by Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka and any other approved and recognized international body.

5.3        The Supremacy of Parliament; There should be no institution, body or authority locally or internationally restrict or impediment on the legislative supremacy power of the Parliament.

5.4        Members shall be Citizen of Sri Lanka; The President, Prime Minister, Ministers, Members of Parliament, including any office in the Executive, Legislature, or the Judiciary, Chiefs of Security forces must be held only by a citizen of Sri Lanka who is not a citizen of any other country.

5.5        Appointments; All appointments to senior management executive positions in Ministries, Departments, Commissions, Judiciary, Corporations, Local Authorities or in any other institution shall only be made on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council.

5.6        The Constitutional Council; The Constitutional Council shall consist with nominees of recognized political parties proportionately represented therein. No majority representational shall be given to the ethnically minorities simply because number of recognized ethically minority based political parties.  All nominations made to the Constitutional Council shall be approved by a majority of the Members of Parliament.

5.7      Number of Ministers; The number of ministers in the Parliament shall be restricted to 30 with similar number of Deputy or State Ministers. There must also Monitoring Council appointed by the Parliament to review the functions and efficiency and progress of each ministry. The Monitoring Council shall directly responsible to the Parliament and shall report on each ministry every 12 months. Upon the recommendation of the Monitoring Council appropriate actions shall be taken by the parliament within 60 days of such recommendations.  The Monitoring Council shall consist of 21 members of Academics, Civil Servants, Intellectuals, Members of Security Forces, and Professionals without visible political alliances selected by the Parliament upon proposed by the recognised political parties.

6.0        ELECTION

 6.1         Election of Member of Parliament; Each Candidate of the Member of Parliament shall not spend more than the amount prescribed by the Commissioner of Election in his/her election campaigns.  The political parties shall also not spend for the election campaign(s) not more than the amount prescribed by the Commissioner of Election for each election such as General Election and Presidential Election.

6.2          Members of Parliament from National List; Twenty-five Members of Parliament shall be allocated to the Parliament through the National List. The nominees for the National List from each political party shall only include academics, intellectuals, professionals and eminent personality of the society.  No any other candidates participated to the election or person who has not contested in the election other than who are in the proposed National List shall be nominated to the Parliament under the National List quota.   

                                6.3        Cross-overs; After elected to the Parliament, the Members of Parliament shall not cross

over to another recognized political party in the parliament nor sit and act as an independent member of the parliament. This adversely affects the Rights of the Sovereign of the Voters who voted based on his political party ideology as Candidate who contested under recognized political party; exception applies where it is an independent Candidate. Those who Cross Over to another Political party from his original party from which he sought the votes shall be dismissed from the Parliament membership and new member shall be appointed through a By-Election for that electorate.

                7.0          THE JUDICIARY

7.1          Source Law; The Parliament is the primary source of law. Provinces and other local bodies shall not have power to make laws.

7.2          The Supreme Court; The Supreme court of Sri Lanka should be unlimitedly empowered with the Judicial Review Power to decide the Constitutional validity of any Law made by the Parliament.

7.3          Foreign Courts and Jurisdictions; Foreign government or foreign institution should not be allowed to exercise any judicial power or proceedings to interfere in Sri Lankan Judiciary system. No any other special tribunals, commissions, courts, institution and the like shall be established over and above the current Sri Lankan Jurisdiction system.

7.4          Police powers; Police powers relating to law and order shall not be delegated to any provincial or regional or district local authorities. The Sri Lanka Police shall be under the direct command as currently administrated by the Inspector- General of Police of Sri Lanka who shall be the head of the Police and reported to the President.

Sri Lanka being a small country it is not practical on the ground have nine separate Police forces for each province. Further, considering the imminent security concern from neighboring countries it is not advisable to have regional Police forces considering the National Security and historical circumstances of Tamil terrorism.

  • FINANCE
  • Only Parliament Control Funds; Parliament shall have full control over public finance. No tax, rate or any other levy shall be imposed by any local authority or any other public authority, and Provincial or district authorities.
  • No Direct Funds; No direct funds, grants, aid and loans etc. whatsoever shall be directed to any other institutions in Sri Lanka unless such funds, grants, aid, loans first channeled through the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Foreign States, Non-Governmental Organizations, and United Nation and the like shall also first channel such funding and materials through the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

9.0        DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

The current Provincial Council system imposed by India by force on Sri Lankan Constitution is a failure. It was not able to serve the intended purpose but create mess and constitutional failure in all aspect of current Provincial Council mechanism.

The current provincial council mechanism create mistrust among the various ethnic communities. In particular, the 13th Amendment enacted for the Provincial Council is violating the Unitary status of Sri Lanka and but promoting Federal State. This has created a huge mistrust among the people in North and Eastern Provinces with rest of the country. In short, the Provincial Council formed under the 13th Amendment, while violating the Unitary status of Sri Lanka promoting the Federal Stated based on principle of United country which lead ultimate Separatism in Sri Lanka – Refer Figure 01- Attached below.

In view of foregoing, it shall abolish the current Provincial Councils and repeal the entire 13th Amendment made to the current Constitution.

In place of failed Provincial Council, it should establish District Development Council for each district. In this case there will be four Tamil majority Districts Development Councils and one Muslim majority District Development Councils and number of Sinhala majority District Development Councils. Each of these council shall take care development of their respective districts. In this way there shall be 25 District Development Councils instead of number of Provincial councils and Local councils.

10.0      INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS

The Government shall not enter into any agreement which are injurious or which has a prejudicial effect on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security.

Such agreement which are in relation to sovereignty, unitary character, territorial integrity, and national security of Sri Lanka shall only be valid upon approval of the two third majority of Parliament and a two third majority at a referendum.

           11.0   LANDS

All lands are belonging to the Government of Sri Lanka. No land shall be given any other country     or province and district.

                          All historical and archeologically valued and Buddhist historical important locations shall be preserved and developed by the Government.

                12.0    National Oath

The Seventh Schedule related to the Current Constitution referred in Article 157A and Article 161(d( (iii) shall be amended as follows;

do solemnly declare and affirm;

“I,……………………………………………… swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and that I will not, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State or Federal State or and the like which harm, damage, imbalance, breach of Unitary state of the country within the territory of Sri Lanka.

3 Responses to “Global Sri Lankans Form Submits Proposals for Amendments for the Constitution”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    Global Sri Lankans Form Submits Proposals for Amendments for the Constitution- Namo namo Thaaye !!!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    At first look, we think fine ideas are presented here to ensure Security & Unitary status of the country. We agree with all ideas presented here.
    The powers of the President ought be debated further ?

  3. Cerberus Says:

    I would suggest that we change the name of the country to the original name which is “Sinhale”. This is the name in the Ttreaty signed with the British in 1815. We should also use the original Sinhale flag without the two colored stripes on the side.

    However no Constitution or Laws are of any use if the leaders are too afraid to implement them. For example there are many instances where the Amendment 6 should have been used against unpatriotic Tamil leaders including Vigneswaran. So long as we let India wag Sri Lanka, we will always be in a mess.

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