Posted on December 3rd, 2018


The current constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka clearly indicates that the existing constitution has created an instability to the country.  The nature of this instability is that country cannot govern as the way people expect and cannot implement economic and social policies to gain prosperity to people.  In fact, current constitution is good for lawyers to make arguments and make gossips, jokes and fabrications for publics and politicians to refrain from their responsibilities to people playing in political platforms misleading voters.  In this environment it clearly indicates that the constitution does not work as a viable instrument to govern the country.

When Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, a constitution drafted by British rulers was received, which was based on parliamentary democracy and was a unitary government.  Many shortcomings were in the constitution, but it was difficult to amend due the requirement of two third approval of the parliament.  The election held in 1970 provided two third majority of the parliament and the constitutional council appointed by the parliament produced a new constitution, which was within parliamentary democracy, but it introduced the concept of republic with executive authority to the president.  After 1977 election, the elected government introduced a new constitution in 1978, which based on executive presidential system within a unitary framework.

The presidential power in 1978 constitution was supreme and the authority of the parliament limited to legislative council (parliament) with approval of the president. With the constitution in 1978, a constitutional court established with a view to interpret and make judgements on constitutional matters, but later the role was shifted to the Supreme Court, which is a busy institution that needs to consider large volume of cases in the country.  The experience indicates that Sri Lanka needs a new constitution as well as a constitutional court to interpret and make decisions on the constitutional cases.  When the decision-making authority given to the Supreme Court, it would be an additional pressure to the Supreme Court and with a new constitution, the establishment of permanent constitutional court is essential.

After 1978 presidential constitution within unitary framework, several amendments were introduced from 1978 to today, but they were with many errors and omissions and such amendments were motivated by political ideologies and racial purposes.  The major weakness of the constitution was that it doesn’t encourage to consider people as a one nation and it also encourage to consider constitutional matters on communal basis.  This situation has motivated to divide people and complicated the governance and allowed outside forces to put hands on Sri Lanka’s matter.  As a result, there is an instability in the country.

To resolve these problems, Sri Lanka needs a new constitution, which should be drafted by a wide, knowledgeable drafting committee without political interest.  So far it was reflected that constitutional decisions and matters were handled by political and communal supporters, who destroyed the fundamental wish of the people.

To achieve this purpose, political parties need to clear give a promise to voters in the next general election and need to get public approval for drafting and approval of a new constitution.

Next essential requirements are banning or crossover in the parliament of elected members and criminalizing the behaviour of elected members accepting bribery style payments to change political party for various purposes.  If there is effective legislation to control these two points, it would not difficult to treat the parliament of Sri Lanka is clean place.


  1. ranjit Says:

    It’s not fair to show the majority only from the 225 parliamentarians and say we have the majority. As per this crooked,corrupt parliament we cannot expect anything good will happen to my country. This parliament comprises of thieves, murderers,thugs,drug lords etc whom we do not have any trust therefore all 225 should resign,sacked or scraped before the citizens of this country booted them out from the parliament. No one in this country want this current parliament or the parliamentarians in it. People’s wish is a new parliament with new parliamentarians. To make a clean society we need cleanest representatives representing us in the parliament. So let’s do it for the sake of our beautiful country without thinking only of ourselves and ruined our future. Go for election and see who will get the majority. That’s the only way out of this mess.

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