Summary of the proposal submitted to the Expert Committee to draft a new constitution
Posted on November 26th, 2020

C. Wijeayawickrema

November 27, 2020

Secretary,
Expert Committee (EC) to draft a new constitution
Colombo.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Topic 2(h) – Decentralization – Jana Sabha

I wish to submit this summary of the proposal sent by me a few days ago. Several readers who saw a printed version of it in a popular website (Lankaweb), suggested that I provide a ‘summary’ of it, which was in Sinhala.

Considering the fact, that this Island is the only piece of real estate on earth, historically demarcated for the Sinhala race, facing the danger of extinction, it is my view that the topic 2(h) is the most important one on the list of topics.  Ironically, the first section in the line, decentralization, is facing a threat from the other two separations anchored comfortably with the support of the 13th Amendment, Sri Lanka’s death-trap.

The non-majoritarian solutions offered to world ethnic conflicts, and Sri Lanka’s specific issue of fight for self-rule to achieve Tamil Aspirations are covered by the phrase, ‘meaningful devolution,’ first used by Robert Blake, the then American ambassador, followed by a long line of European and Indian politicians. When one asks devolution to whom, they look upward and see the likes of Vigneswaran, Sumanthiran and Gajendran, and a block of large land area.

The reasonable, rational and science-minded, Sinhala Buddhists look downward, and see Tamil and Sinhala villagers, who lived together peacefully, their lives shaped by the socio-economic and political Model, the Trinity of Village-Tank- and the Temple, where organic unity of the man and his environment and Small Is Beautiful is cherished.

Thus, one force is toward the balkanization of the island; while the other is to keep a 2,600-year old civilization intact, despite 550 years of attacks from both whites and black-whites. My proposal is aimed at the latter purpose, where (1) the concept of region in geography, (2) the reasonableness doctrine in jurisprudence and (3) the Middle Path in Buddhism, work in unison to promote sustainable development and build ethnic harmony again in the Island, in a just and fair manner.

The experience so far in the world scene of the non-majoritarian path of ethnic Nirvana, ended up in misery and disastrous new ethnic wars. So far, Sri Lanka has been saved from this fate by an unforeseen divine power, but see what is unfolding in Ethiopia right now with a prime minister who won the Noble peace prize for implementing non-majoritarian solutions (Ranga Jayasuriya, Daily Mirror, 24/11/2020).

The answer lies, therefore, with the indigenous solution of our own Gam Sabha (Jana Sabha, Indian Panchayatha Raj Institute), which the father of the non-majoritarian genie, Donald Horowitz, has ignored in all his writings on this subject! The Rural Reconstruction and Crime Eradication Island-wide Movement of the Ven. Kalukondayave Pragnasekera in the 1940s, sabotaged by both white officers and black-white politicians, and the successful  Gami Diriya Program, free of politician interference, suddenly stopped, more recently, indicate how hard it is to convince politicians to think of a paradigm shift toward a real people-centered ‘yahapalanya’, instead of ‘Euro-centric’ cancer feeding.

You could, therefore, appreciate why one must justify in detail, Why Jana Sabha is the best solution available to cover the politician-created topic of ‘center-periphery relations,’ because, in Sri Lanka there is no ethnic issue, but a problem of Spatial Inequity, and lack of Equal Access of Opportunities to all. There is no center and no periphery here. Just ten miles from Colombo, or in Kotahena, one could see this periphery! In Buddhism, individuals are unique panchas kandhas, and he/she lives in a much diverse physical and human environment. Besides, Sri Lankan ethnic distribution is more like a pan of scrambled eggs!

Summary

(A)  Main proposal relating to 2(h) in point form is:

1. Re-demarcate boundaries of the 14,022 GSN units (grama seva niladharee), using natural criteria based on geography, geohydrology and ecology, so that they become language-blind (religion-blind now with the Sharia village fortresses project), civil lowest-level administrative units. 

2. Use these natural GSN units to create Jana Sabhas (Jana Muula Sabha) to empower people with delegated governmental powers. Instead of separation of powers vertically at the national level, think of distribution of the total/sum of  governmental power to a maximum number of smaller units at the grass root level.  What Montesquieu meant by his famous doctrine was not what USA is now in crisis, but power distributed spatially, including some judicial power. This new discovery of M’s idea is called, M standing on his head. The village temple priest is such sovereign body not subjected to edicts from a central agency! In ancient Sinhale, only the king could give the capital punishment.

3. Create a National Jana Sabha Council to function as a Senate, with limited powers.

4. In case 2 above is not accepted, develop a land use database for each GSN unit with other socioeconomic data that a GSN routinely collects to create and a national database to be utilized in economic planning and effective  plan implementation.

(B) Miscellaneous other suggestions to think about:

1. Re-introduce history & geography as school subjects;

2. Change the name of the country back to Sinhale from which the name Ceylon was derived in the past by the European colonial masters;

3. Make Sinhala and Tamil mandatory subjects for school children (including international and private schools);

4. Discontinue separate state school system based on language or religion;

5. Establish, a Sanghadhikarana with civil jurisdiction on matters relating to monks;

6. For premediated murder make jury trial and death sentence mandatory;

7. Utilize prisoners for public works in army camps or under military guard with targeted tasks; pay an allowance for such work and allow remittance of money by them to dependents;

8. Make the declaration of assets by political representatives and public servants mandatory; allow people access to such information after paying a reasonable fee;

9. Introduce the right to recall their elected representative by petition to voters.

One Response to “Summary of the proposal submitted to the Expert Committee to draft a new constitution”

  1. Nimal Says:

    The above proposals are helpful also get honest wealth creators and even get foreign advisors like from UK and Germany to help- us devise a good constitution and set of laws that is line with developed world we all like to migrate to.

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