The coming constitution: A ‘SYSTEM CRIME’
Posted on December 23rd, 2015

By Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Three speeches last week revealed our future. Each concerned an aspect of this island’s fate.Together they show the whole. The Prime Minister announced that the country will have a new political system next year. That change has to be understood within a geopolitical and geo-strategic context signalled in two speeches, by an Indian Minister and a senior US official.

India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed Lokh Sabha yesterday that India will construct a bridge and tunnel linking Rameswaram in India with Sri Lanka…The project was also discussed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his counterpart during the latter’s recent visit, Gadkari said”. (The Hindu, Dec 17, 2015)

 Senior US official Thomas Shannon revealed in his Kadirgamar Institute lecture, the factor animating Washington’s Lanka policy: To put it simply, stability and prosperity of the entire world is dependent on the stability of these vital energy and trade routes.  And Sri Lanka is at the centre of this.”

The 2016 Constitution must be located at this intersection of Indo-US perspectives. It envisages the most drastic disruption of the Sri Lankan State formation arguably since 1833. The rupture would change the very type of State, implanting a new political matrix. We are being constitutionally reshaped to be integrated as a ‘chip’ into the Indo-US grand strategic matrix.

The PM’s Sujatha Jayawardena Memorial Oration contains the blueprint:
1.    …work within the structure of the 13th Amendment to the 1977 Constitution a unitary structure with further devolution of powers…The…task is to identify the additional powers to be devolved to the Provincial Councils…”

2.    …subjects and functions once devolved to the Provincial Councils should not revert to the Central Government even when Parliament legislates on national policies in regard to devolved subjects…”

3.    the future emphasis on devolution should be on the exercise of executive powers by the Provincial Ministers…enlarged executive power can be devolved to the Provincial Councils…[through] the apportionment of Executive Power between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Provincial Boards of Ministers”.
4.    …the Austrian system of devolution…would be a useful model”.


Having stated that The emerging consensus is to work within the structure of the 13th Amendment the PM admits later in his speech that” the apportionment of Executive Power between the Cabinet of Ministers and the Provincial Boards of Ministers” marks a radical departure from the 13th Amendment”. How can one work within” something (13A) and make a radical departure” from it at the same time?

There can be further devolution of powers”, i.e. additional powers devolved to the provincial councils”, but this cannot be done within a unitary structure” because the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in 1987 that the 13th amendment barely remained within the unitary structure, and that too because of the Executive Presidency which exercised executive power through the Provincial Governor. Any further devolution of powers” would destroy the unitary structure.
Devolution means certain powers are transferred outwards/downwards by Parliament, which retains the right to retrieve such powers in exceptional situations, without which Parliament would not be sovereign.The PM’s description of the change he hopes to implement as well as the model he explicitly evokes, aren’t unitary. The PM’s model of devolution, Austria, is an explicitly, unambiguously FEDERAL State.

The 13th Amendment already has a concurrent list of powers shared between the centre and the provinces, in addition to powers which are the exclusive preserve of one or the other. The PM’s plan would make most powers either concurrent (shared) or devolved to the provinces, while powers enjoyed exclusively by the national legislature, representing the people of the country as a whole, will be few. If the powers wielded by the national Parliament are restricted to Defence, Foreign Affairs and Finance, that is a federal model.

What if the provincial legislature passes laws on subjects which the national Parliament too legislates on, but in the opposite direction from and in contradiction to the national Parliament? In the PM’s vision, the powers of that Provincial assembly will not be repealed.

However, badly the Northern or Eastern Province behaves (e.g. towards the Sinhala minority in Trincomalee and Ampara) its powers cannot be revoked by the national government under the new constitution. Our North is 19 miles from a huge landmass with 70-80 million co-ethnics, whose Chief Minister Jayalalitha handed an official note to Prime Minister Modi calling for support for Tamil Eelam. Soon it would be connected by a bridge, road and tunnel to Tamil Nadu, allegedly with our PM’s concurrence.

With the island constitutionally carved like a cake into self-governing segments, Sinhala national consciousness will atomize and disintegrate. Simultaneously the Constitution will facilitate and empower Tamil consciousness which is not merely provincial but sub-regional (Tamil Nadu) and global (South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore Diaspora). The new model would aggregate the North and East and pan-Tamilianism, while disaggregating the South and the Sinhalese.
Economic independence for provinces,shrinkage of the role of central government and neo-liberal privatization will impoverish some and enrich others,under-developing the largely rural Sinhala majority provinces. While they will be unable to compete, Western and Indian patronage and Tamil Nadu and Diaspora capital will flood the North and East.

The coming Constitution’s underlying logic is not national reconciliation,since deliberately deepened provincialism/regionalism will surely doom any Lankan consciousness.The real logic is (I) rewire and reprogram Sinhala consciousness so we can never win another war (II) ‘divide and rule’ the majority through hardcore provincialism (III) weaken the national state through multi-polarity. This will dismantle state barriers to Western and Indian politico-economic penetration, ownership and control.

Just as the Portuguese invaders’ fortress in Kotte was about to be overrun by Sitawaka Rajasinghe’s men when the rivalry between the Kotte and Kandyan kingdoms put paid to the siege, the new self-ruling provinces will be manipulable and pitted against each other by external powers, preventing unified national action.

Converting to the perennially pro-Western, pro-Indian doctrine of the Federal Party, the regime has crucified the island on the Indo-US axis. Tamil nationalism is logically pro-Western and pro-Indian because the Tamil Diaspora and Tamil Nadu are stakeholders in those societies — just as the West and India tilt to the Tamils for that reason.The national majority, including the national bourgeoisie,enjoys no such leverage. This regime strategically de-linked from China’s counter-power which enabled us to win the war and rebuild as a modern country. It is the agenda of the Tamil bourgeoisie including the Diaspora capitalists, reflecting its interests, which pilots or guides the new regime. The regime serves the interests not of the organic national majority but of the minority elites with dense cross-border, transnational affiliations, networks and loyalties.

Under-secretary Shannon’s statement shows that the West wants us for where we are. It wants the regime to midwife a Tamil Kurdistan to serve as permanent proxy. The client regime aims to deliver that by changing who we are, destroying the memory of who we were and robbing us of what we won. Suckered by Western flattery, the client regime would produce a client Constitution to create a client State and citizenry.

The Wickremesinghe-Kumaratunga Constitution would murder the unitary State. The ‘national’ would be reduced to the mere arithmetical aggregate of self-ruling provinces. The Constitution will bear closest resemblance to the ideas and programme of SJV Chelvanayakam, founder-leader of the Federal Party. When the Austrian-model constitution and the Special Courts for war crimes” are unveiled in 2016, it is he, the father of federalism, Tamil national self-determination and Tamil Eelam, who will have proved the ultimate victor. It is his ‘virtual’ statue that would stand in front of the new constitutional, political and legal order erected upon the rubble of the monuments of our national leaders. It is this coming Constitution that is a system crime”. – See more at:

6 Responses to “The coming constitution: A ‘SYSTEM CRIME’”

  1. Nanda Says:

    Some people voted for UNP , others for SLFP and few for JVP , TNA ect. Except those voted for TNA ( and few Muslim parties), no one voted for Federlism. 40% people trusted MR to fight against Federlism.

    In other words we have 240+ : 17 against Federalism. Even if you take out whole of UNPiers, we can defeat Fedralism 130+ : 127 but surely there are many UNPier who will vote against. What we need is a leader who will convince, organise, and carryout a fight against it. Even if JVPeers take the lead, Weerawansa is there to sabatage. Either MR will not vote or only protest outside. We have to condemn this behaviour and get the whole opposition on the same track.

  2. AnuD Says:

    If it goes that way, there should be an Island wide Arab Spring.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:



    All concerned Sri Lankans must get together and REMOVE the 13-A. Most of Lanka fall into this category and will bring in at least 17 MILLION PEOPLE !

    In the first place, the 13-A (1987) is an iILLEGAL piece of legislation, imposed under DURESS during the JRJ period. It was during the Cold War times that the 13-A was imposed on Lanka, when ultra-West JRJ was in power. India was pro-Soviet at that time, and the LTTE was trained by India. In addition, India imposed the 13-A on Lanka under Duress.

    Any laws imposed under Duress is null & void in any Court of Law, anywhere in the world.

    Remove the 13-A, NOW !! Demand that, and make sure it is done. It is the right thing to do for the Country and the People of Lanka.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    If the 13-A is removed, we do not need another Constitution, do we ?

    If forced, the REFERENDUM must be done to stop the new Constitution.

    Just imagine if the New Constitution is brought about : It seems ridiculous that tiny Provinces are turned into virtual countries !
    Just imagine living in such a country where just a few miles away, as one drives from one Province to the next, the laws keep changing !

    Pissu Yahap !

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    If there is a New Constitution, it should be the Old Constitution sans the 13-A !

    Then the Prez MS can keep going on till his term expires in another 4 yrs time (!). CBK & RW can both retire early as hardly anyone really wants them around !

    Btw, RW is in London Town for 10 days. That’s where Trade Routes began in earnest for the Brit Empire ….
    If safe and quiet Trade Routes to and fro from Lanka is all that the US wants, that can be easily assured. To that end, remove the Tamil language (N&O) from Lanka, so that division of Lanka will not happen. All will then be well.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    From the way they have behaved so far since taking up positions in the Jada Palana Aanduwa, we cannot rely on any patriotism coming from the current politicians – be they SLFP or UNP. They will vote only to retain their positions. If people has no voice in how the Sri Lanka is going to be dismembered only solution is for a coup to topple the traitors and safe guard the unitary nature of our land.

    Moment the power is devolved as envisaged the as yet undefined ‘borders’ will move southward every day and every night till they secure the head waters of the Mahaveli. The bridge and the tunnel across Palk Straits is to build a road straight to Trincomalee for Indians to occupy and dominate if there is anything left of Sri Lanka by then and to be their command post in the Indian Ocean.

    There couldn’t be anything else for the Sinhalese but to wage eternal war across moving borders or capitulate and live forever as vassals of the Northern and Tamil Nadu Tamils.

    I wonder what motivates the likes of Ranil Wickramasinghe and Avamangala Samaraweera et al to betray their own kind in this fashion?

    Munta saha mun balayata genapu hathikarayata Hena Hathama gahanna oni!

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