DOES THE METHOD OF DETERMINING TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF PARLIAMENT IN SRI LANKA REFLECT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF PEOPLE?
Posted on January 9th, 2019

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

Many judgments of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, which were believed to be the accurate interpretation of the constitution and bills presented to the parliament.  The Supreme Court is the authority to interpret the constitution, ruled in many instances that the legitimation of various bills requires the two-thirds majority of the representatives of the parliament.  The idea of the two-thirds majority of parliament literally means that the condition of two-third majority represents the sovereignty of people. The literal meaning of the sovereignty of people reflects in elected representatives by the people.  This is a quite confused view of ordinary people.

In the parliament of Sri Lanka, there is two type of representatives.  One is representatives elected by the votes of people and others are representatives appointed by the political parties who were not really elected representatives by the votes of people.  How should define the two-thirds majority of parliament was not clearly interpreted by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.  Without a clear interpretation, if the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka does rule that appointed representatives also include to the sovereignty of people, it will not accurate.  Sri Lanka needs clarification of this point and corrects the various judgments made by the Supreme Court.

If we deeply investigate the history of appointed representatives, we would find that many appointed representatives were related to corrupt practices or rejected by people in elections or people were selected to appoint as they were relatives or favorites of the party leaders.  In fact, most appointed representatives were against the concept of the sovereignty of people.

The other important point in relation to the sovereignty of people that constitutions in Sri Lanka have not interpreted the meaning of two-third majority and the Supreme Court always considered two-third majority including the appointed members by the political parties.

The unelected members of the parliament became powerful than elected members of the parliament in many instances.  Why did learned judges of the Supreme Court and President Lawyers didn’t consider this point?  The appoint of members is based on various purposes, but is a purely an act against the sovereignty of people.  Compare to the executive president of Sri Lanka, He or She is an elected representative by the people and there is no violation of the sovereignty of people with executive president in Sri Lanka and it is not against the democratic principle, but many members of the parliament are not elected by the people and they are representing against the fundamental principle of democracy.  According to democratic principles, the executive president is represented the sovereignty of people and the attempt of the parliament which include representatives appointed against the sovereignty of the people is purely undemocratic.  The prime minister of Sri Lanka is not a representative elected by the people and his attempt to abolished the executive president and taking to executive power to the prime minister is an attempt to cheat democracy.  How did he get such ideas from Western democratic countries is difficult to understand by ordinary people in Sri Lanka?

My view is the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka needs to clearly interpret the meaning of two-third majority and how to count the two-third majority in terms of the peoples’ sovereignty and democratic principles. Are appointed representatives honestly consider as elected representatives by the people. If not how to count the two-thirds majority according to the accurate principle of the sovereignty of people.

The constitutions approved by the parliament of Sri Lanka in 1972 and 1978 had two third majority of the parliament without appointed members by the political parties and 18th amendment to the parliament also had two third majority of elected representatives by the people, but 19th amendment to the constitution had the two-thirds majority of elected representatives should be reviewed.

4 Responses to “DOES THE METHOD OF DETERMINING TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY OF PARLIAMENT IN SRI LANKA REFLECT THE SOVEREIGNTY OF PEOPLE?”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    Who will review it?

    When the Supreme Court is filled with judges with no common sense to see what is best for the country for moving forward in a critical juncture like this by allowing the people to vote in a general election to decide who should lead the country out of the serious trouble and the mess it was in, and giving judgements to satisfy the separatists and foreign powers, nothing good can be expected for Mother Lanka.

    They very well knew that the hooligans in the parliament were bought by the ruling clan with the money looted from the Central Bank and the funds from the separatist LieTTE and that these hooligans in numbers are not a true reflection of the view of the public.

    Mother Lanka gave free education to her sons and daughters who then come back and preach her in foreign languages they learned about multi-cultures, reconciliation, democracy, equal rights, human rights and high level economic policies etc and without her consent, sell piece by piece of herself.

    What a pathetic situation!! Mother Lanka is crying for help. There is no one to listen. She is weeping all alone.

    Those who betrayed their mother land will suffer badly in their deathbed. There is no escape. No money earned from these unfair acts can come for their rescue.

  2. aloy Says:

    The writer is raising a valid point. Those appointed from the national list are the close confidantes of the leader of the party and are powerful, one way or the other. Their votes should therefore not be counted. But who will give a ruling on this at his juncture when we cannot trust those elected ones also.

    In fact this parliamentary system do not reflect the sovereignty of people; only the results of a referendum will. This parliamentary system of democracy has been invented in UK that does not even have a written constitution. Their judges as we see from here, decides what is right or wrong as per their traditions and beliefs and give the appropriate verdict. Our learned judges who have been given free education at the expense of poor tax payers will put the poor man in jail for the flimsiest thing while allowing the big thieves whose unruly behavior in parliament was seen by the whole world scot-free. These parliamentarians create conditions so that they can pass what they want one way or the other. The acceptance of speaker the votes cast by voice was one such case. Therefore we cannot trust what they do in Diawanna.

    To my mind the people should not allow this parliament to sit. If they do we do not know what mischief they will be upto. The leader of the opposition, MR, has a responsibility to use his skills and lead the country out of the precarious situation it is in. We cannot trust prez either, to do the right thing; we see his picture in glossy colours together with those of the bond men RW and Sujeewa Senasinghe on every lamp post in Battaramulla area right now. So I believe he is very much with them.

  3. aloy Says:

    If the people have sovereignty then they should be respected and their grievances should be looked into by all parties that are above the average man such as law enforcement agencies, the politicos etc. I see that this is not happening. I give a first hand experience that happened this morning:
    I am doing some drainage work in my lane and I wanted to buy one item that is available only in Old Moor Street (or Galwala area). Since it is very difficult to drive in those areas I decided to go there in a three wheeler. I noticed that the frail looking driver was worried over something and on the way he requested me to hold on for a second, parked the vehicle and rushed to a nearby place. In couple of minutes he returned with a small parcel which he said contained asamodagum, a medicine for one of his relative. He was not sure whether he was given the right stuff by the shopkeeper and was checking to see whether it had the correct smell. With some difficulty I found a place to buy what I needed and the driver was waiting patiently. On our way back there was heavy traffic and there were several lanes of vehicles near Maradana police station when our three wheeler stopped. The fuel has finished and the driver rushed to the back to put in some fuel from his reserve in a bottle. He could not push the vehicle aside as he was in a middle lane. A young looking policeman walked up to the driver and angrily ordered the man to push the vehicle to a side. He then was getting ready to book him. I too pleaded with the policeman to let the poor man go, but he wouldn’t listen. Finally the driver was taken to the police station and was given a dadakola for Rs.2000. On the way home, I saw the hopelessness of his face as now he has to find money to get his documents back on top of other worries. He said his wife is warded at Maharagama cancer hospital and the medicine he bought on he way is for her. On reaching home my bill in the meter was only about Rs 500 and that was for about two and a half hour’s labour. I gave him extra 2000 rupees for him to get his documents back. These days the people have to pay so much of indirect tax and these drivers do not have enough money to fill up tanks let alone repair the fuel meter. The law enforcement people should consider all these factors when deciding on penalties. perhaps the judges deliver judgement on the way the cases are presented to them by police.

    I am sorry I have taken so much of space but this is the stark reality under which the people have to live in our so called paradise today.

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    Thank you for sharing this Aloy,

    How can we expect prosperity to a country where day-light robbery of Central Bank done by the PM and the clan looting billions of dollars and behave like clean people without being tried and poor woman plucked some mangoes from someone else’s mango tree to fill her hungry belly was put in jail.

    I feel sad for the suffering people. But they are the ones who will cast their vote in favour of these rogues for a bottle of arrack and a packet of lunch.

    Average folks do not bother if these politicians divide the country which will create havoc in future and destroy the future of their children engaging in never ending hostile at the borders.

    What can you expect of these people when learned judges, Engineers and other professionals do not bother if this island is divided into pieces.

    Only the doctors came forward against the Singapore FTA which will destroy this Island nation slowly. Other professional bodies were happy with that. Can’t they feel 1 cent of sympathy towards Mother Lanka, who gave free education to them?

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