THE ‘CONSTITUTION’ AND THE ‘CRISIS’
Posted on November 3rd, 2018

KAMALIKA PIERIS

 Pub 3.11.18 Revised  7.11.18, 16.11.18

This essay looks at certain matters which emerged in the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister in October 2018. There is far too much emphasis at the moment on the legal issues relating to this matter and none at all on the politics which are at the bottom of it all. The Parliament of Sri Lanka is primarily a political institution, and there are certain political imperatives that rank way above the procedures for appointing the Prime Minister.  Let us look at some of these imperatives.

The primary requirement in a democracy (sic) is to give effect to the ‘will of the people’.  (For those who know political theory, this is not Rousseau, this is me) This ‘general will’ or ‘will of the people’ as regards the government it wants is demonstrated in three ways in Sri Lanka. Firstly in elections, which Sri Lankans love, secondly, in public assemblies and utterances. Thirdly, by strategic   hoots and jeers indicating political disgust.

There is also a new development in the general will, worldwide. Voters at national elections now want an opportunity to change things if they got it wrong the first time. They say they were mislead by wrong information and want to undo the damage. We see this in the request for a second Brexist vote in UK.  We also see it in Sri Lanka in the reaction to the   defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015.

When the Presidential election results were announced, there was disbelief.  When they saw the voting pattern, voters realized that they had been taken for a ride. ‘Meka keruve api ne’ they said and decided to try and reverse the decision. The Sri Lanka      electorate is politically very mature,  very savvy   and alert. It is also highly literate. It was used to having its own way at elections.

The very next day, the public ran, in droves, to Rajapaksa at his home in Medamulana. They discovered that they loved him. Throughout the past four years, they kept up the momentum. Crowds pursued him everywhere he went.  The crowds at his functions were greater than those for Sirisena or Ranil Wickremasinghe .

Rajapaksa’s May Day rallies were  bursting, the Pada Yathra and Janabalaya Kolambata  had much support. The decisive event was the  public voting in huge numbers for Rajapaksa‘s new, untested Pohottuwa party at the local government election of February 2018.  By all this, the public had made it abundantly clear that they wanted Mahinda Rajapaksa back and they wanted Ranil Wickremasinghe out.

The public in the hinterland of the country were well aware of the doings of the Yahapalana government. Are people in the villages actually aware of the Central Bank bond scam and other such deals,’ asked the Colombo elite. After recent visits to the Uva, Central and Eastern provinces, the answer to that query is in the positive, said an analyst.  Smart phones are in use not only in urban areas but also in the rural areas. Users of these mobile phones know what is going on the centers of power.   Claims that complex issues, like the bond scam did not reach the countryside were incorrect.

To their delight, and initial disbelief, Mahinda Rajapaksa was suddenly made Prime Minister. This was no accident. Discussions had started after the Pohottu win of February 2018,  reported Chandraprema. The 16 dissident SLFPers had maintained constant contact with President Sirisena and continued their efforts to bring the two estranged factions of the SLFP together again. The high point in this was Basil Rajapaksa’s secret meeting with President Sirisena. The mere fact that there was a meeting between the two was the first indication that something very serious was afoot, said Chandraprema. Also the repeated announcement on televisions, ‘we want Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister ‘

The precipitating factor , according to President Sirisena was the threat of assassination. No one was surprised to hear this. It was perfectly obvious to  us all, that if the USA wanted to  achieve its objectives through Yahapalana, then  USA would have to kill. In his address to the nation, President Sirisena  said,  ‘I would now like to explain  the reason that made me appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and remove Ranil Wickremesinghe from the post of Prime Minister. Recently, a person called Namal Kumara came before the media and disclosed about a plot to assassinate me and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. There is also an involvement of a Cabinet Minister in this plot to assassinate me.’

Nalaka Kumara  went public. He held a press briefing at his home in Ampara on 28.10.18.  Daily News reported.‘ In a special media conference Nalaka Kumara alleged that former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka are behind giving instructions to the assassination plot against President Sirisena and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. According to Kumara, DIG Nalaka Silva received instructions from Wickremesinghe and Fonseka to use Makandure Madush in the assassination plot. He does not have evidence”, [on the matter] said Kumara, he is simply revealing what he knows.( Daily News 29.10.18).  I saw this on Derana evening news as well.

When Mahinda Rajapaksa became Prime Minister , there was jubilation. There were  dan salas with kiribath.   Trishaws carried pictures of Rajapaksa. There was also an ashirvada puja in a temple.   Copies of the Gazette announcing Mahinda Rajapaksa ‘s  appointment were distributed free.  Crackers   were lit in towns. Crackers had been lit when  Premadasa was killed, when Kilinocchi fell, when Prabhakaran was killed and now  when Ranil Wickremasinghe was removed..

At the same time, the public also showed their deep dislike of the Yahapalana government and its leader Ranil Wickremasinghe. The UNP ministers held a press conference at Temple Trees and when it was relayed live on Face book, all the comments made were hearty curses against the Yahapalana government and expressions of jubilation at their ouster, said Chandraprema.

When  Mangala Samaraweera, Rajitha Senaratne and his son Chatura went to the Rupavahini Corporation to give a live broadcast to protest against their ouster, they were prevented from doing so by the staff of Rupavahini . TV news showed this at length because it was not  the usual reaction. They were chased away amidst loudly uttered curses, jeers and obscenities, said Chandraprema. They hooted and jeered and chased after the departing cars for quite a length. This  alone shows the extent of their  dislike. I cannot recall such anger towards a government before.

Yahapalanites  were shocked and  furious over the removal of Ranil Wickremasinghe. They challenged it immediately on the basis of numbers. They said it was Ranil Wickremasinghe who had the majority in Parliament, not Mahinda Rajapaksa . They wanted Parliament  to meet immediately, to decide if Ranil Wickremesinghe or Mahinda Rajapaksa commands a majority in the House.  But there is nothing in the Constitution about majority.

Critics  pointed out that when Ranil Wickremasinghe became Prime Minister in 2015,  UNP only had 41 seats, SLFP had 161.  At the time Ranil Wickremasinghe was appointed Prime Minister, there was a sitting Prime Minister, DMU Jayaratne. Yahapalanites were told  if the appointment was not lawful,  why did not Ranil Wickremasinghe go to Supreme Court and challenge the appointment. Some  wanted Ranil Wickremasinghe expelled from the country.

An entertaining discussion about the validity of the new Prime Ministerial appointment started thereafter.  Thanks to the 19th amendment to the Constitution, the only person who can remove the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister himself, either by dying, resigning or losing support. This  amendment was brought in May 2015, after Ranil Wickremasinghe was made Prime Minister . It was  done to make sure Ranil Wickremasinghe stayed in power. The President cannot remove him, said Yahapalana supporters triumphantly. ’Oh yes, he can’ replied the Rajapaksa team and rattled off the relevant clauses.

They pointed out, inter alia, that   certainly, both the Sinhala and English versions say at 46/2 that The Prime Minister shall continue to hold office until he either resigns, or ceases to be an MP. That was Yahapalana‘s argument.   But  section 47/2 says something   different.  Notwithstanding the death, removal from office or resignation of the Prime Minister”  said the English text. Agamethi  miya giye vuvada, durayen evat karanu labu veda, asvuye vu vada said the Sinhala text.  At 48/1 the Sinhala text repeats this statement in a different tense, ‘ Durayen ivat karanu labeemen’  and that,  said the Mahinda Rajapaksa team clinches the issue.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa team stated that it is the Sinhala version which is legal. This cannot be contested. It has been long accepted that where texts differ, the Sinhala text takes precedence.  G.L. Pieris  added ‘I was a member of Parliament when the 19th Amendment was discussed and enacted by Parliament. It was the Sinhala version which was put to the House, clause by clause, during the Committee Stage. The English version did not receive the attention of Parliament at all.

Yahapalanites   refused to stay silent.”If a Sinhala translation of the Constitution has a reference to “removal”, that word cannot be used to undermine the specific provisions on termination of the term of office of a PM, and argue for an open ended, discretionary, and different concept of Presidential “removal”, said one critic.  It is hard to understand how a single word incorporated into the Sinhala copy of the Constitution (perhaps by a single legal draftsman struggling with translating a legal document using two languages) can give legitimacy to actions taken by the President  Sirisena last week when they are contrary to specific provisions in the Constitution.

It is very clear that President Sirisena, in his appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, replacing former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has acted constitutionally and practically, said Dr. Jayatissa de Costa. The country is still governed by the 1978 Constitution and it is Presidential rule. The Constitution says, ‘the President shall appoint as Prime Minister, a member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of parliament. ‘Therefore, I think this decision taken by the President is in accordance with the Constitution.”  A similar incident happened in Pakistan in the case Asma Jilani Vs the Govt. of the Punjab over the awarding of military degrees. The judges of the Supreme Court had to decide and they used the doctrine of necessity.

Pointing to the recent Local Government elections, de Costa  said,  Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna had swept the boards across the country and they clearly won the election.Hence, the SLFP and the SLPP together would far exceed over 50% even at a General election. This combination is adequate,” he said, adding that it is clear that the President had exercised his powers in this instance in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and in a practical sense.

In addition, all the Governors of the nine provinces have also accepted the new government under Sirisena and Rajapaksa.. Hence, the above doctrines are applicable here,” Costa blamed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution for the current predicament. What was promulgated as the 19th Amendment is a recipe for disaster,” he said,  however, the country must run.

Mahinda Rajapaksa was recognized as Prime Minister  by no less a country than China. The ambassador for China met Ranil Wickremasinghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa and thereafter recognized Mahinda Rajapaksa  as Prime Minister and conveyed to him the  greetings of the  President of China. He posed for a photo with Mahinda Rajapaksa . The nine Governors of Provinces also stated that they unanimously supported Mahinda Rajapaksa. K.C.Loganathan, Governor Western Province,   the  spokesman said that [with Yahapalana]  they   could not carry out any work in the Province due to interference from Colombo.

There are two opposite reactions to the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ven. Keppetiyagoda Siriwimala Nayake Thera of Rajopawanaramaya Peradeniya and members of the Sri Lanka Ramanna Nikaya issued s statement  where he hailed the action taken by President Sirisena at a time of political crisis in the country.

The Yahapalana administration led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was responsible for the political chaos in the country during the past three and a half years he said. former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the New Prime Minister would be competent to restore the country to normalcy after resolving the many issues created by his predecessor. The entire Sri Lankan nation had  confidence that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, with his far-sighted patriotism and courage,   would efficiently resolve the many burning issues created by the Wickremasinghe regime during the past years.

The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) said in its statement: It is with a sense of shock and dismay we received the announcement on the evening of Friday 26 October 2018 of the swearing-in of Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of our country by President  Sirisena, and the removal of the serving Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe from such office.

The NCCSL takes serious note of this political development and considers this unprecedented move which is questionable in terms of the accepted norms of democratic principles and the provisions in our Constitution. It is our belief that the matter should have been best resolved in Parliament in a transparent manner with adherence to stipulated and clear procedures. The turn of events shrouded in secrecy and surprise, we regret, has raised many questions in the minds of our people instilling fear and uncertainty as we witness two competing Prime Ministers together with their respective parties jostling for power, authority and legitimacy for state rule.

The NCCSL statement has been signed by Rev. Heshan de Silva, Chairperson of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, and President, Sri Lanka Baptist Sangamaya Rt. Rev. D.R. Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Colombo, Rev. Saman Perera, President, Presbytery of Lanka, Rt. Rev. Dr. Daniel S. Thiagarajah, Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, Church of South India, Rev. Asiri P. Perera, President/Bishop, Methodist Church of Sri Lanka, Rt. Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando, Bishop of the Church of Ceylon, Diocese of Kurunegala, Rev. Shirley Faber, President, Christian Reformed Church, Colonel Yousaf Masiah, Territorial Commander, The Salvation Army, Rev. G. Nadarajah, President, Lanka Lutheran Church, Rev. Michael Dissanayake, General Superintendent and Chairman, Assemblies of God of Ceylon, Rev. Leslie Keegal, President, Church of the Four Square Gospel Church in Sri Lanka, Rev. T. Thevanesan, President, Church of the American Ceylon Mission and Rev. W.P. Ebenezer Joseph, General Secretary, National Christian Council of Sri Lanka. The NCCSL also represents Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Student Christian Movement (SCM), The Ceylon Bible Society Christian Literature Society, Theological College of Lanka. Back to the Bible Broadcast, Colombo Theological Seminary and Youth for Christ.

The world reaction to the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister is significant and should act as a wakeup call  for the public .The UN acted correctly. Its representative  met the President who  responded.

The Delegation of the European Union said in a statement issued in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission resident in Colombo  that  the Ambassador of the European Union as well as the Ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and UK  are closely following the events as they are unfolding in Sri Lanka. UK parliament  said  that  they recognize Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister.

Canada issued a  separate statement. “Canada is very concerned by the recent events in Sri Lanka and is closely monitoring the situation.” A number of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and several other European countries, Australia and India have  expressed concern over the sudden transition of power by President sacking Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointing former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister, concluded Canada.

USA  which was so brash and confident in 2015,  has turned cautious. The acting US Ambassador  together with the  Head of the Political Division in the embassy had met  with Speaker. They     said they were surprised at the developments and they were watching. In Washington, the spokesman for the Secretary of State was evasive when   asked whether USA would take action on the coup. The spokesman replied that the United States believes the determination should be made in accordance with the Sri Lankan law and due process.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway  advised, “Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented constitutional crisis which must be urgently resolved by peaceful and legal means. The country cannot afford reckless political maneuvers advised. Lakhdar Brahimi, former Foreign Minister of Algeria, said:”In all its years of conflict and anguish, Sri Lanka has never experienced such a serious constitutional crisis. The country’s leaders must abide by its traditions of constitutional law and parliamentary democracy.

This  transfer of power is a good opportunity for the watching public to see how the western media and western agencies distort local events and also  how local events are stage managed  for the purpose. The UNP show of strength  is a good example. This  smallish gathering  included NGOs and civil society members as well. That explains why the crowd looked  unconcerned and indifferent.  Some were dancing the baila. A true UNP gathering would have been very different. They would have wanted to tell Ranil Wickremasinghe a few things.

BBC  showed a shot of the crowd, referred to it as a massive meeting , said that Temple Tress was the true seat of power in Colombo  and asked for comment from their reporter in Colombo. The reporter told the truth. She said that the public disliked Ranil Wickremasinghe , the gathering    shown on  video was mostly ‘civil society’ and that the Sinhala version of the Constitution  supported the transfer of power. But Reporters without Borders (RSF) said  ‘Tens of thousands of Wickremesinghe supporters blocked roads in Colombo on Tuesday’.

Reporters without Borders” (RSF)  also said supporters of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa stormed state-owned media institutions shortly after he was controversially named Prime Minister on Friday. “The violence with which Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bully boys took over the state media is absolutely unacceptable,” RSF  said

Minutes after Rajapaksa was sworn in, his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party activists invaded the newsrooms of various state media. RSF said the SLPP activists forced journalists at the Daily News and the Lake House group’s two leading weeklies, Silumina and Sunday Observer, to change the front pages of their next issues. They took control of the two public service TV channels, Rupavahini and ITN, the radio stations that are part of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, and the Lake House press group.RSF said the constitutional crisis recalled the “darkest hours of the Rajapaksa presidency between 2005 and 2015,” when he lost an election to current president Maithripala Sirisena, said RSF.

From simple distortion we move on to more serious  observations, containing veiled threats. .My  example is from Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch issued a statement, where it said, inter alia, ”Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision on October 26, 2018, to appoint former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister has raised fears about a return to past abusive practices in the country The sudden announcement to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, was made without informing Parliament or the Cabinet.

“Rajapaksa’s return to high office without any justice for past crimes raises chilling concerns for human rights in Sri Lanka,”  continued Human Rights Watch. The current government’s failure to bring justice to victims of war crimes under the Rajapaksa government reopens the door for past abusers to return to their terrible practices.”

Rajapaksa’s administration was implicated in violations during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and in suppression of freedoms of the media, expression, and association.  Military forces under Rajapaksa’s authority indiscriminately attacked civilians and summarily executed prisoners during the final months of fighting against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), continued Human Rights Watch.

People with suspected links to the LTTE were subject to arbitrary arrest, torture and sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances. Journalists and activists critical of the Rajapaksa government faced harassment, arrest, and even physical attack. The media outlets, rights organizations, and victims’ groups who had been vocal and free from government threats now fear a return to anxiety and fear, concluded Human Rights Watch.”

The Yahapalana reliance on foreign countries was made clear when Ranil Wickremasinghe invited the ambassadors of EU, USA, India, Japan, Australia and Canada for a discussion at Temple Trees after he was deposed as Prime Minister. He has wanted to internationalize the issue.

Thereafter he wrote to the ambassadors of USA, UK, Germany France, Norway and Italy, on the letter head of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, saying that he sought their cooperation to protect Sri Lanka and its peace. He said, please consider the possibility of deploying UN Peacekeeping Force here, and let me know.

It is of note that instead of seeking the support of his own people when removed as Premier, Ranil Wickremasinghe turned to his mostly Western friends and allies, said Tamara Kunanayagam. The intention was to agree on a narrative that helps legitimize external intervention, she said. A photo of this letter is available on Lankaweb (http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2018/10/31/call-for-ranil-to-be-indicted-for-high-treason)

Ambassadors of EU, UK, Canada, and Germany   had warned the Speaker of inimical outcome of the unexpected transfer of political power’ and the unfriendly situation the country could face. There was also a comment that the crisis could lead to a “bloodbath” on the streets if   Parliament does not hold a vote soon.  The Speaker’s Office said that Jayasuriya urged the delegation not to take action against Sri Lanka.

Foreign intervention can be carried out in several ways. One possibility is the Right to Protect Strategy (R2P) which gives countries the right to invade other countries saying the people in it need to be protected.  R2P” is definitely the line which interested western countries will try to use to invade Sri Lanka and therefore, Sri Lanka should   be alert about R2P. Tamara Kunanayagam has repeatedly drawn attention to this danger. , Damien Kingsbury has written on Sri Lanka and the Responsibility to Protect”.

Sri Lanka tumbled into the R2P scenario in 2008. In 2008, there was an attempt to make the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo into the Southern affiliated centre of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. ICES was listed as such on the website of the Global Centre. Rama Mani, the ICES director responsible for this activity had her visa revoked and was asked to leave the country.  Rama Mani and Radhika Coomaraswamy were on Advisory Board of the Global Centre.

Before that, Gareth Evans, the head of Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, was invited to deliver the Neelan Tiruchelvam Memorial Lecture 2007. In his talk he said that mismanagement of the Eelam issue could lead to international intervention. There were murmurs but since this was almost a private function, nothing transpired.

In 2000 an International Commission on Intervention and State sovereignty (ICSS) was created in Canada, with funding from the government of Canada. Its head was Gareth Evans, also head of the International Crisis Group. ICISS was convened, to provide information to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, on the subject of  intervention .

ICISS issued a report titled ‘Responsibility to Protect’  in 2001.This put forward the idea that  when any group  faced a crisis in a sovereign state,  the international community   could respond by, inter alia,  coercive actions and military intervention,  and  bring ‘security and justice’ to the victim population. This was an attempt to set a new set of rules that might allow intervention in sovereign matters.

R2P argued that when the sovereign state was unable or unwilling to protect its people from internal war or repression the principle of non-intervention in the affair of sovereign states must give way to the international responsibility to protect. R2P wanted to bypass Security Council permission to invade. This was rejected. Security Council authorization remained.

Countries feared that R2P would be used to legitimize military actions intended to advance imperial ambitions, rather than human protection. R2P is just another pretext to justify neo colonial intervention in the domestic affairs of developing nations, said Ajit Randeniya. R2P has still not been formally accepted, observed G.L.Pieris.

R2P has not been accepted by the UN though supporters of R2P say so. At the UN World Summit, 2005 R2P was reluctantly included into the statement, and given minimum mention in items 138 and 139.This is not the victory it is made out to be. UN appointed a Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect in 2009.  This Special Adviser is responsible for the further development and refinement of the concept as well as for the continuation of dialogue with Member States.

R2P was debated in UN General Assembly in 2009 with 94 member states voicing concerns and the resulting resolution only records that it had taken note of R2P.  In 2018, UN General Assembly include R2P, with prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity” as part of the Agenda of its 72nd session. Delegates have talked and talked but nothing seems to have been decided. It is most unlikely that UN member states will allow blanket R2P,  but it is best to be watchful.

The Constitution of Sri Lanka has  been invoked in the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister.  The present  Constitution is the old 1978 Constitution with 19 amendments added on. The original  1978 Constitution  converted  Sri Lanka abruptly from  traditional Parliamentary rule to extreme Presidential rule. It was specifically   designed to  give excessive powers to the then President, J.R.Jayewardene, who was  pro USA. These powers   were hidden in the body of the text.

I had looked at the original 1978 Constitution but not its numerous amendments. The present ‘crisis’   sent me to the 2015 version of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. This Constitution  contains howlers.  The Legislative function of Parliament usually takes precedence over the Executive and the Judiciary. But in the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the Legislature   appears at Chapter X, behind Executive, Cabinet, Constitutional Council and Public Service Commission. In Chapter XI, legislative power’ (75) comes after ‘voting’ (72) ‘quorum’ (73).This indicates the low importance placed on actual law making.

The Constitution declares at 30/1   that   ‘there shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces’. Section 33/2 says President shall have the sole ‘power to declare war and peace’ . Yahapalanites state that these powers are now restricted by Section 33A which says ‘The President shall be responsible to Parliament for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers’.  Howlers appear when you look at this provision closely. They make it difficult to go ahead with 33A.

Section 33/2/C states that the President shall have the power to summon, prorogue and dissolve parliament. Therefore, the President has to summon Parliament before Parliament can summon the President.  Section 32/3 says ‘The President shall, by virtue of his office attend Parliament once in every three months” but Section 70/2    says ‘Parliament shall be summoned to meet once at least every year’. This means is that the President can summon Parliament  once a year, (or once in three months,) and tell Parliament what he did or what he  plans to do.

The problem does not end there. Section 33A is far too vague for the vast powers given to the President.   Section 33A   does not say what Parliament should do after listening to the President. Does it have the power to approve, ratify or cancel any action taken by the President?   If so, why have an Executive President at all. The work can be done better by a Prime Minister     answerable to Parliament, like in the old days.

We could attach another observation to this analysis. The value of Parliament lies in the fact that its members are elected by the people. When Parliament includes persons who actually lost the election, (coming in through the National list), it no longer represents the people.  It is a tainted Parliament, sort of ‘kiri hattiyata goma.’ If so, it also loses the right to judge the President, who at least is directly elected.

A constitution must be able to accommodate change and respond to public opinion. When the public are  fed up with the government they elected,  the head of state must be able to dissolve Parliament and go for elections.  If the Prime Minister is  exceeding his role and also the trust  placed in him,  the Constitution must enable the Head of State to dismiss the Prime Minister. Sri  Lanka  showed through demonstrations and elections  that they wanted a change of  government and also that it wanted Ranil Wickremasinghe removed.

The 19th amendment was set in place to make sure that neither of these happened and  that the present puppet government would continue till its purpose was achieved. Under the 19th amendment, there were two undemocratic features.  the Prime Minister  could not be dismissed by the Head of State once appointed, and  the Yahapalana Parliament could not be dissolved for four years. Within those four years, it was  hoped  that USA could take full  control of the country, own its land, destroy its people and move  the USA’s 7th fleet” into Trincomalee.

 

2 Responses to “THE ‘CONSTITUTION’ AND THE ‘CRISIS’”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Who says the majority of ordinary people of this nation are UNGRATEFUL and FORGETFUL? They will NEVER FORGET that Mahinda cared enough for them to take-on the world, defeat terrorism, reunify their Motherland, and bring UNPRECEDENTED DEVELOPMENT, National Progress and Economic Prosperity to them.

    The Foreign Engineered REGIME CHANGE that spewed FALSE Propaganda to capture power with the agenda of subjugating themajority Sinhala Buddhists of this country to a Foreign Yoke with a PARA-GATHI PUPPET AGA-MATHI as their willing instrument never commanded the support of the people after the Massive Bank Thefts and National Asset sales to foreign powers, and Constitutional Manipulations revealed their TREASONOUS duplicity.

    Our Motherland is now POISED AGAIN on the THRESHOLD of RESUMING ITS MARCH TOWARDS GREATNESS!

    This OBJECT LESSON that NOT ONLY THOSE BEARING ARMS are OUR Nation’s ENEMIES, but also that those PARA-GATHI LEADERS who SLITHER and HIDE AMONG the BUSHES pretending to be “Democrats” and “Human Rights Advocates” are PUPPETS of our ENEMIES, is CRYSTAL CLEAR NOW to our people. NEVER AGAIN will they be allowed to capture the reins of POWER through subterfuge!

    Those who NEARLY DESTROYED our Nation within 3 1/2 short years, should be BANISHED to the POLITICAL WILDERNESS for DECADES TO COME, and be PURSUED FROM PILLAR TO POST to make hem PAY HEAVILY for their TREASON & TREACHERY!

    JAYAWEWA DESHAPREMINI! BANGAWEWA DESHADROHINI!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    All of this makes CRYSTAL CLEAR that our Constitution is FATALLY FLAWED through the tinkering power hungry LOCAL POLITICIANS and FOREIGN POWERS eager to mold Sri Lanka to their liking irrespective of our wishes as citizens!

    We need a PATRIOTIC CONSTITUTION that

    STRENGHENS the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY instead of PRUNING it, by REPEALING 19A and giving the Presidency even additional powers,

    ELIMINATES Term Limits on the Presidency to allow the VOTERS to FREELY ELECT their President as they see FIT,

    ELIMINATES the REDUNDANT POSITION of (Executive) Prime Minister to PREVENT the kinds of INTERNAL WARS BETWEEN EXECUTIVES we witnessed in the last 3 1/2 years,

    RELIES on the SPEAKER to manage and moderate the House Proceedings (as in the US House of Representatives),

    REPEALS 13th Amendment now to PREVENT a SEPARATISM PRONE Federal System of Government emerging in Sri Lanka. and

    DISSOLVES and REPLACES ELECTED Provincial Councils with District Administrations led by District Governors APPOINTED by the National Government. This will ELIMINATE MUCH of the over 8500 tax-supported do-nothing PARASITES of Provincial Governments, and deliver streamlined government tto the people under a national government administration. It will HALT SEPARATISM in its TRACKS and REDUCE the multiple barriers that EXIST NOW to getting anything done in our country.

    FOSTER ONE National Parliament with 225 MPs, and perhaps CREATE a Senate with ONE Senator per DISTRICT to give each DISTRICT equal representation in Parliament irrespective of its population size.

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