FIDDLING PRIME MINISTER
Posted on May 6th, 2017

Ranjith Soysa

The Prime Minister recently stated that the New Constitution will be introduced and  it will be based on the report of the 11 member committee appointed.  He further said that the Unitary nature of the Constitution will be preserved and all parties have agreed to the recognition of the foremost place given to Buddhism.

If his intention is to introduce a constitution with these features and it will in turn be based on the 11 member committee report one can conclude that the PM is desperately attempting square a circle. It is in black and white the views of the 11 member committee regards the following important issues:-

The recommendations of the committee was to establish a secular state and among other proposals under the related issues were

  1. Heading of Chapter II of the current Constitution should state ‘Religions’ and not Buddhism and retain Article 9 as it is with no change

2 Reformulate Article 9 of the current Constitution as follows:

The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give all religions equal status. The State shall protect and foster Buddhism and the Buddha Sāsana while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1) e of the current Constitution.

  1. Sri Lanka shall be a secular State
  2. Sri Lanka shall be a secular State while recognizing the role of religion in the spiritual development of people
  3. Heading of Chapter II of the current Constitution should State ‘Religions’. The clause should be revised as follows:
    The Republic of Sri Lanka will give all religions equal status”

Then the subject of the Unitary state will have to be analysed as per the report of the committee.
The proposals submitted give precedence to the Provinces at the expense of the Centre. The one and only reason flaunted by the committee is the undue advantage enjoyed by
the Centre when examining the issues from the point of view of the Periphery. They repeat the term ‘impediment to healthy relationship’ to identify the specific powers entrusted to
the Centre for governance. The recommendations are by and large an attempt to dismantle the Centre and equip the provinces to follow a path towards complete independence.
The report clearly states that The UNITARY CHARACTER IS AN IMPEDIMENT” which reveals the preferred directions of their agenda. In short, the committee is overtly interested in a Federal government, a way towards the dismembering of the SOVERIEGN UNITARY state OF SRI LANKA.

Some of the proposals put forward by the committee are as follows.

1 The powers of the Governor to be reduced to make him a nominal head of the Provincial council system.
2 The Provincial public service to be brought under the Provincial Public Service Commission.
3 The concurrent list which is in the present constitution to be abolished as an impediment to the spirit of devolution.
4 The Provincial Police to be under an independent Provincial Police Commission.
5 All state lands in the Provinces to be administered by the Provincial Council.

In addition there are other recommendations in relation to Finance and Revenue collections, Parliamentary laws, Reserved List etc. which are said to a part of a hierarchical pyramid structure” rather than playing an effective role in the sphere of the Periphery.

The pervasive inference of the proponents for more devolution to the Periphery is not difficult to comprehend.

In the circumstances, the Prime Minister is getting ready to play the very Devil with the aspirations of the majority Sri Lankans by driving all Sri Lankans to the wall. How can the Prime Minister reconcile the written word of the committee to pave the way to protect the Unitary State of Sri Lanka and the foremost place given to Buddhism?

Can the Prime Minister square a circle?

Ranjith Soysa

5 Responses to “FIDDLING PRIME MINISTER”

  1. Christie Says:

    Do as the Emperor say.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    The PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION is a PRESCRIPTION for National Suicide of Sri Lanka as a Sovereign Unitary State and a Homeland of the Sinhala Buddhist people.

    It must NEVER BE ALLOWED to SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY!

    The FULL SCOPE of the TREACHERY of the Yamapslanaya us ASTOUNDING:

    1. Create a SECULAR STATE wit Buddhism reduced to being just another religion in Sri Lanka.

    2. DISPLACE Buddhism as the FOREMOST religion of the nation and THERBY DENY Buddhism the PROTECTION and SUPPORT it has enjoyed from the State ever since Mahinda Thero brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

    3. DESTROY the UNITARY CHARACTER of Sri Lanka, REPLACING the Provincial Governor appointed by and teporting to the National Government by the Provincial Chief.

    4. DEVOLVE Police power and Lands to the Provinces, thereby enabling the achievement of ALL SEPARATIST ASPIRATIONS. Without National government control of Police, illegal immigration cannot be controlled, the rise of terrorist seoaratist organizations cannot be prevented. Without National Government control over state land, ETHNIC CLEANSING of the Sinhala Buddhists from the North and East cannot be prevented, the DENIAL of land in the Provinces for Military bases and assignment of Provincial lands to foreign powers cannot be prevented. No National projects, such as dams, irrigation canals and reservoirs, roads can be built if the Province opposes them, and National Infrastructure development will come to a screeching halt.

    5. ELIMINATE the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY, the MOST STABLE & DECISIVE FORM of Democratic Parliamentary government adopt by the largest number of leading nations in the world as the MOST appropriate for National Defence and RAPID Economic Development. The Executive Presidency should be FURTHER STRENGTHENED in Sri Lanka, not eliminated, and TERM LIMITS under the 19A should be REPEALED!

    These proposals and DESTRUCTIVE IMPACTS of the PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION confirm the following:

    1. The YAMAPALANA government CANNOT BE TRUSTED to IMPLEMENT any CONSTITUTION. It is SIMPLY TOO UNPATRIOTIC and therefore should be REPLACED with a PATRIOTIC government.

    2. Most of Sri Lanka’s governance PROBLEMS arise from the Provincial Councils created under the 13A. Thetefore, 13A should be repealed together with the 19A, at the earliest possible OPPORTUNITY. Any PATRIOTIC party that seeks election to REPLACE the Yamapalanaya must PLEDGE to REPEAL both the 13A and the 19A and ELIMINATE the Provincial Council System. The PC System is a PARASITIC LAYER of government bureaucracy that is an UNNECESSARY COSTLY BURDEN feeding off the tax paying public. It MUST BE DISSOLVED and Replaced with a District Administration with sn Districh Governor APPOINTED by the National Government. The Members of Parliament can be empowered with MORE DUTIES to enable them to SERVE THE PUBLIC MORE than just participating in a DEBATING SOCIETY!

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Leaving traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Bay Gal Karaya Mega Thief Batalande Wadakaya pol pot [email protected]
    wickramaSinhalakiller in charge of Buddhism can be likened to leaving fox in charge of the chickens. A lot Buddhists
    think this wolf in sheep’s clothing who was born to the number one christian family in Sri Lanka is a safe hand.
    Cancer in Mother Lanka pol pot [email protected]’s religion of convenience has given him the cover he need to destroy
    Buddhism, Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese race. After all Sri Lanka is the Sinhala modayas paradise. So the xxx’s job
    is much easier.

    Sinhalaya famous for being modayas have fallen to the carfty, murderous, anti Sinhalese, anti Buddhist, anti Sri
    Lankan pol pot [email protected]’s lies. Now the destruction of Buddhism goes on without a hitch. Catholic controlled anti Sinhalese,
    anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lanka UNPatriotic party is running Sri Lanka and cancer in Mother Lanka Batalande Wadakaya
    will get the job done this time. Hope lightning will strike traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist Bay Gal Karaya Mega Thief Batalande Wadakaya pol pot [email protected] wickramaSinhalakiller and save Mother Lanka, Sinhalese race and
    Buddhism; destroy the cancer in Mother Lanka for good.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Constitutional proposals contrary to promises given by Prez, PM-NJC

    Island.lk
    May 7, 2017, 10:44 pm

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    The National Joint Committee (NJC) has alleged that recently unveiled constitutional proposals are at variance with repeated assurances given by both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe regarding matters of crucial national importance, including the status of Buddhism.

    The NJC alleges that controversial proposals are contained in an interim report of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly tasked with the constitution making process.

    Constitutional affairs expert Manohara de Silva, PC, said that in the wake of strong public criticism of the Report on Public Representations on Constitutional Reform (Lal Wijenayake Committee) and reports of Six Sub Committees, the government had reassured that foremost place would be given to Buddhism.

    Addressing the media at the National Library and Documentation Services Board, attorney-at-law de Silva flayed the yahapalana government for seeking to deprive Buddhism of its foremost place, do away with unitary status of the Constitution and transform Sri Lanka to nine federal governments.

    The lawyer pointed out that in accordance with the repeated promises given by yahapalana leaders, the Steering Committee should not have interfered with Article 9 meant to ensure Buddhism the foremost place while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e). Instead, the Steering Committee had made six recommendations in respect of Buddhism/Religion in addition to the existing Article 9.

    NJC heavyweight Gevindu Cumaratunga said that the government had accused those opposed to the ongoing constitutional making process of propagating lies. The government repeatedly alleged attempts were being made to sabotage post-war reconciliation process, Cumaratunga said. There couldn’t be any justification for proposing four recommendations in place of Article 1 and Article 2 that dealt with unitary status of Sri Lanka, Cumaratunga said.

    Alleging that the government was bending backwards to appease those wanting to divide Sri Lanka on ethnic lines and transform the country into nine federal areas, Cumaratunga said that proposals were meant to empower Provincial Council to such an extent they would enjoy unprecedented powers at the expense of the central government.

    Cumaratunga said that the Joint Opposition had quite rightly rejected the entire interim report toto.

    Commenting on proposed provision in respect of merger of two or three neighbouring Provinces, Cumaratunga said that the government objective was to restrict referendum in case of a merger of the Provinces concerned. The move was meant to facilitate the merger of the Eastern Province with the North, Cumaratunga said, pointing out that the government wanted to do away with the country’s ability to exercise franchise as one electorate.

    Cumaratunga explained the circumstances under which Provincial Councils could take control over land at the expense of the government. The civil society activist alleged that the central government would be at the mercy of provincial government if a particular administration declined land required for security purpose.

    Recommendations pertaining to introducing amendments to the proposed Constitution in case adopted by parliament were meant to thwart any such move, Cumaratunga said. According to him, an amendment couldn’t be moved unless it received a two-thirds majority in the proposed Second Chamber comprising five members representing each Provincial Government and also obtained two-thirds majority in Provincial Governments.

    PC de Silva and Cumaratunga dealt with recommendations in respect of devolution of powers and how the process could endanger the unitary status much to the disappointment of the vast majority of people. They asserted that the elimination of the Concurrent List, limiting Reserve List, Provincial Government given the authority to implementing laws in respect of subjects coming under the purview of the Central Government, subject of national Policy to be removed from the Reserve List, sharp dilution of powers currently exercised by Governor vis a vis Chief Minister to pave the way for the former to take decisions in consultation with the latter.

    Cumaratunga pointed out that recommendations had been made to deprive the Governor the authority to intervene in the Provincial Statutes. The activist said that the Steering Committee had gone to the extent of recommending an unprecedented Constitutional Court to decide on constitutionality of Provincial Statutes.

    Cumaratunga urged political parties to examine the threat posed by setting up judicial mechanism outside the existing system. “We are heading for chaos, unprecedented turmoil,” Cumaratunga warned, faulting successive governments for not abolishing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution forced on JRJ government by India three decades ago.

    The NJC pointed out that the 13th Amendment had considerably eroded supremacy and sovereignty of parliament thereby undermined significantly the unitary status. PC de Silva said: “Article 154 G (3) requires a majority of 2/3 of the members of parliament to repeal or amend laws passed by a Provincial Council whereas it only needs a simple majority to repeal or amend own laws.”

    PC de Silva said that the Parliament needed a two-thirds majority to only amend the Constitution and not amend ordinary laws.

    The NJC said that a wider discussion involving all stakeholders was required and a cohesive effort made to educate the people of the despicable project. Cumaratunga said that giving in to separatist demands was as worse as losing the war.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Constitutional Reforms debate likely end June

    DailyNews.lk
    Monday, May 8, 2017 – 01:00

    Disna Mudalige

    A debate on Constitutional reforms by the Constitutional Assembly is likely to take place towards the end of June.

    The interim report of the Steering Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be placed before the Assembly next month, a member of the Steering Committee told the Daily News yesterday.

    A copy of the same would be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena. The interim report, which deals with the vital aspects of Constitutional reforms including the electoral reforms, devolution of power and nature of the State, spells out the contours of the Constitutional Bill. A member of the Steering Committee said a draft interim report prepared by the Constitutional Assembly Secretariat was circulated among the Committee members last week.

    “The draft report is given in all three languages. All members of the Steering Committee have been asked to make their comments, if any, on the report in writing on or before May 23,” he said.

    The Steering Committee is to sit consecutively from May 23-26 to consider the responses of the members and finalize the report. “Through compromise and negotiation, we will try to reach a consensus during these meetings. Where there is no consensus, the members will be allowed to mention their own positions in the report. Likewise, the dissenting views will also be accommodated,” he explained.

    However, it is learnt that this is the third draft interim report presented to the Steering Committee. The Committee members were unable to reach an agreement on the two previous drafts. The latest draft has taken into account all the deliberations up to last Tuesday’s meeting, the Steering Committee sources said.

    Sources said the President has regularly been kept informed of all developments at the Steering Committee.

    When contacted Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena, one of the two members who represent the JO in the Steering Committee spoke in very negative terms on the Constitutional drafting process stating it seriously lacks transparency.

    “The JO flatly rejected the two previously submitted draft interim reports. We have been making our contribution actively at the Steering Committee. However, the government wants to do everything in secrecy keeping the others in the dark. We do not have secrets when it comes to matters that affect the country and national security,” he commented.

    The reports of six sub-committees on ‘Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Public Service, Law and Order, Centre-Periphery’ were presented to the Constitutional Assembly by the Prime Minister on November 19. A three-day debate on Constitutional reforms initially scheduled for January 9 was postponed indefinitely as there was no consensus among the political parties.

    The Steering Committee has so far conducted over 50 meetings and according to the sources, a broad agreement over vital aspects such as electoral reforms and devolution of power have been reached after lengthy discussions.

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