23 October, 2020

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20A Grave Threat To Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty: Counsels For SJB Petitioners

Counsels who appeared for three petitioners from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya stated this morning that the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution would gravely undermine the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and could not be passed with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The Supeme Court conducted hearings of the petitions filed against the 20th Amendment to the Constitution for the second consecutive day. Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya said yesterday that the court intended to conclude submissions of all petitioners by Friday.

Rasika, Mayantha and Lihini

Making submissions for Samagi Jana Balawegaya’s Rasika Jayakody, Counsel Gehan Gunatilleke drew attention to Clause 17 of proposed Bill. “Holding citizenship of any other country typically entails pledging allegiance to a Sovereign other than the people of SriLanka,” he said.

Gunatilleke added. “A committee appointed by the Bar Association recently released a report on 20A Bill, which reproduced some of the citizenship oaths: Two examples are as follows

Section 42 of the British Nationality Act of 1981, as amended (para 26):

I, [name], swear by Almighty God that, on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors according to law.

The oath of citizenship according to Section 337(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States of 1952:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen

The sovereignty in the case of Sri Lanka would be the People of Sri Lanka – so any person taking the US citizenship oath would be renouncing all fidelity to the People of Sri Lanka

These oaths impose a legal duty on the said person to safeguard the interests of that country notwithstanding holding any public office in Sri Lanka, and in some cases to renounce fidelity to the People of Sri Lanka.

The question is whether a person who makes such an oath—for example an oath of allegiance to the Queen of England—should ask wield legislative and executive power of the People of Sri Lanka”. “These oaths impose a legal duty on the said person to safeguard the interests of that country notwithstanding holding any public office in Sri Lanka – in some cases to renounce fidelity to the People.”

Gunatilleke concluded that if enacted, Clause 17 of the draft 20th Amendment would be inconsistent with Article 1, 3, 4 of Constitution. “The clause would therefore require approval by the People at a Referendum in terms of Article 83,” he said.

Making submissions for Samagi Jana Balawegaya’s Lihini Fernando, Counsel Viran Corea said no government can remove constitutional provisions and weaken effectiveness of checks and balances by 2/3 majority alone.

“If checks and balances are removed abuses will result in weakening Sovereignty of the People,” he said.

He also said attempting to give “unsigned document that no one knows who authored”, without re-Gazetting, that promises sweeping changes, undermines ability of court to properly scrutinise implications.

“The constitutional provision given for the court to suggest any amendment that may make a Bill consistent is intended only to make recommendations in considering the Bill itself, and should not be allowed to be a provision that negates the ability to canvass constitutionality – the first counsel wasn’t even given half an hour to look at it. All this reeks of bad faith that shouldn’t be tolerated.

“Court should not accept and pronounce on so-called proposed constitutional amendments.”

Farman Cassim PC, appearing for MP Mayantha Dissanayake drew the court’s attention to Clause 14 of the Proposed amendment which aspires to dissolve the parliament after 2 and ½ years of being appointed.

He said, “It is abundantly clear that the authors of this bill are setting the stage for classic case of skullduggery, and thereby clean the coffers of the treasury by way of siphoning out billions of Dollars through state owned enterprises.

The context of this action is that by clause 32 to 39 the audit commission is removed, by clause 54 the bribery commission is removed, by clause 55 the National Procurement Commission is removed and to have the Auditor General appointed by the President as well as the chairman and members of other remaining commissions appointed by the President will only leave to a Mihin Lanka kind of high way robbery. And all this will take place without citizenry having recourse to Your Lordships’ Court by Clause 05 of the Proposed amendment by Presidential immunity being introduced.

“It is respectfully submitted, that in the course of six years during 1999- 2005, there were three general elections and two presidential elections at the expense of the public funds. It is respectfully submitted that these unnecessary expenses due to whims and fancies of the executive will be reintroduced if the proposed clause 14 is passed. Also, I concur submissions made by the President Counsel and other Counsel, who presided me. I specifically concur and associate myself with the submissions made by Mr. Kanag-Isvaran PC, in as much as the Bill named “The 20th Amendment to the Constitution” violates the basic percepts of Constitutional law and thus cannot be even put to a referendum by the people and Your Lordships’ court should strike down the Bill. ”

Counsel Suren Fernando who appeared for Samagi Jana Balawegaya General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara explained yesterday as to how the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution sought to violate the basic tenets of the Constitution.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    2

    I for one have never come across any living beast or 2 legged being so avaricious greedy for power of any sort.
    @
    Can anyone let me know as to what the rajapuka s have achieved in their long soujorn of being in the royal latrines.
    From 2005 till 2015 in the first instance and at present from the 16th November 2019 till this very second.
    Absolutely ?? nothing except change the constitution by bringing in the 18th amendment.
    @
    That was to enable mahindapuka to continue being president for life till death did him part.
    He paid the price for being so avaricious I mean greedy when he got defeated by his egg hopper eating buddy.
    @
    Now not being satisfied that the whole clan. Are now back occupying the royal latrines they want to amend the constitution once again by bringing in the 20rh amendment.
    Why why why ?? I ask.
    @
    All the democratic lovers must join their paws together and ensure that this autocratic draconian piece of unnecessary legislation is flushed down the latrine as soon as it is presented in the appropriate chann

    • 14
      2

      The appropriate channels and protests must take place in an orderly manner where no lives have to be lost as the hung ho gun happy rajapukas have before killed a few law abiding peaceful citizens who were protesting for their lost rights by brutally gunning them to death whilst they were alive.
      @
      The SJB should get married to the UNP along with the other opposition parties and the freedom loving citizens should all pool their resources and peacefully battle the greedy power hungry ?? rajapuka mongrels by staging peaceful demonstration s and protests which will drive them away from holding onto power.
      @
      The sooner it is done it will be for all the global ☮️ loving citizens.
      #
      Alleluia may the gods look after and give guidance to get rid of these vagabond rogues.

    • 4
      14

      rj1952,
      “Can anyone let me know as to what the rajapuka s have achieved in their long soujorn of being in the royal latrines.
      From 2005 till 2015 in the first instance and at present from the 16th November 2019 till this very second.”

      You must be suffering from dementia to make this statement.

      The greatest achievement of Rajapakshes is eradicating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam terrorist barbarians who indiscriminately massacred people (Sinhala, Vedda Eththo, Demala, Muslim and others) in this country for three decades and giving the opportunity for the people to live in peace.
      Rajapakshes gave democracy to people in the North who lived under megalomaniac Prabhakaran’s despotic rule and held elections knowing very well that racist separatist Demala politicians will win.
      Rajapakshes rehabilitated about 14,000 LTTE cadres and guided them to self-employment.

      Just to name a few. The list can go on ….

      • 4
        14

        rj1952,
        There is one thing Rajapakshes could not achieve. Liberating low caste Tamils (Dalits) from Malabar Vellala Tamil feudal lords who oppress them.
        This time President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakshe should do that. Should not allow Malabar Vellala Tamils to treat citizens of Sri Lanka as sub-humans.

        • 5
          0

          EE
          I am not sure how the “low caste Tamils (Dalits)” will respond to such caring concern.
          For some reason, most of the fighters for the LTTE came from their numbers, despite caste based discrimination still existing.
          *
          Also most of the Tamils killed by the armed forces were from their lot, including non-combatants.

          • 1
            4

            SJ,
            Dalits were hired by Malabar Vellala Tamil politicians to do the dong key work for them. Probably they got remunerated well for their service.

      • 4
        1

        Eagle ? a punakku eating puntak with no balls at all.
        @
        All I remember is how mahindapuka bribed velu Anna to get the Tamils not to vote and then win the election with a very slight slender majority of 148000 votes.
        If the 650000 Tamils were allowed to vote mahindapuka even with the bribe would have been a also ran case.
        @
        To win the war he turned his guns on the hands that fed him by holding onto hostages using banned weapons bombed from very high in the air and what an illicit win it turned out to be.
        @
        Even after 11 short years the Tamils have not got their properties back they are still being being occupied by an unwelcome Maude ring war criminal army and no compensation of any sort have been paid.
        @.
        I can go on and on but the limit on the number of words I am allowed to use curtails me from doing so.
        @
        The Tamil family are still being tortured and tormented.

    • 1
      11

      rj1952,
      .
      For “Yahapalana” shit…..
      .
      With friend like you who needs enemies…

      • 1
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 4
        1

        Pesky the pest.
        Since when were we ball squeezing buddies.
        @
        A petty minded racist is the last person I desire to acquaint with.
        @
        Rest in peace.
        Alleluia of an amen.

    • 8
      1

      As we all know, Rajapakhes were hung by their balls in 2015, this time, it will their permament down fall.

      Almost every 2nd in the country today is in the view that they are patta pal horu (mlechcha politicians).

      They would focus only on their family rule.They dont care about the election pledges they made prior to Nov 2019. Today srilanka is cornered as no times in the past.
      :
      Their so called election victory was BASED on 40% of voting eligible srilankens.

      The rest is nearly 60 %.. Meaning, silent majority in this country would not let bitch s sons to abuse their power over their citizen rights. If a dog lived in the states for a period of 15 years, he would be exemplary on his return to our mother land, but Rajakashe genetics dont let any changes in their criminal energies. They have got that in their genetics.
      :
      Sorry, Ms SCP and the like ilk, you will have to sink in Rajapkashe asuchi pits. Get ready Ms SCP ! ??????????????????????????????

      • 2
        8

        Mr. LM (Loose Motion),
        .
        “””pleased to be appointed as an envoy to Sri Lanka that has overcome the COVID-19 pandemic”””
        – German Ambassador Holger Lothar Seubert.

        • 6
          1

          Ms SCP,

          that is VALID only within SL, in Europe, they dont consider Rajapkashe achievement.
          -Truth is EUROPEANS know it very well, RAJAKASHES are barbarians:’

          Ghana, Sudan, Ethiopia and Myanmar would be well recognized by them.
          :
          You can go on saying your thought to PUNNAKU drinkers, but we in europe would not consider mlechcha Rajaakshes as leaders. Wait and see, how they will end up this time.
          :
          I have no idea if you are still wearing a PANT…. ahead of you is a GREATER DISASTER…. ane paw ane …. !!
          Jaya NIYATHAYI. ..??????????????????????????????

          • 2
            3

            Mr. LM (Loose Motion),
            .
            So…..
            What you propose….?
            German not belongs in Europe…..?
            .
            Or…..
            .
            German Ambassador Holger Lothar Seubert
            A career diplomat,
            Business Administration and Political Sciences graduate,
            Who served in Warsaw, Kampala, Hanoi, Jakarta,
            And hold the office of,
            Federal Foreign Office – Europe and Culture Department,
            Federal Foreign Office – Deputy Head of Department, Budget and Finance,
            Federal Foreign Office – Commissioner for Finance,
            Doesn’t know what he is talking about…..?
            .
            Or…..
            .
            Is it possible your are an idiot…..?

      • 2
        2

        “Rajapakhes were hung by their balls in 2015”
        Are you sure about who really got hanged by anything if any did get hanged?

        • 0
          1

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

          For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

        • 1
          2

          Mr. SJ,
          .
          A person(LM) already hanging from his balls looks at the world in a deferent way.
          .
          Harlan Ellison said…..
          “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 6
    23

    Isn’t this funny…..
    .
    Didn’t “Yahapalana” management and 19A got us in to the “Easter Sunday Massacre”….?
    .
    And….
    Same people who is responsible for the “yahapalana” shit telling us “20A Grave Threat To Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty”
    .
    Go check your heads fellows………

    • 30
      4

      Easter attack was possible by the state intelligence officers with loyalty to gota and on instructions of zGota who gave money to zahran.
      Gota wanted power using dead bodies.
      EASTER ATTACK has nothing to do with 19A

      • 2
        13

        Mr. Dilshan,
        .
        No wonder you believe Earth Is Still Flat………..

      • 3
        14

        Dilshan,
        President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe did not want power over dead bodies. It was megalomaniac LTTE leader Prabhakaran who wanted power using dead bodies and slaughtered tens and thousands of innocent Sinhala men, women, children and even unborn babies.

        “Gota wanted power using dead bodies.”

    • 10
      3

      SCP, the real threat is not 20A but Rajapaksas + 20A powers.

      If an anti-Rajapaksa president is elected with 20A powers that is fantastic. That will help SL get rid of the cursed clan with impunity. SL will celebrate. Unlike in 2009, this time the south and the north, the west and the east will celebrate. Every part of SL.

    • 12
      1

      Easter Sunday attack was allowed by Gota, Mahinda and Sirisena to save Buddhists and sacrifice Christians. Sirisena, Mahinda and Gota were in bed since October 2018. They all discussed it in April 2019. Gota considered the election impact of it and was fully in favour of it. Foolish Christian voters voted for their butcher!

      • 3
        0

        There is reasonable speculation that Sirisena connived to be away from Sri Lanka on the crucial date of the bomb.
        Also Sirisena quickly sets up IGP to take the blame with offer to give him all he wants.
        Further Gota declared his intention to contest within a day or two of the incident.
        Co-incidence or calculated actions.

  • 19
    2

    It is not only the 20th amendment is a threat to soverignity of Srilanka, it is the Mahinda Family that is the real threat to soverignity of Srilanka. I don’t think that this court is capable to challenge Gotabaya because he is above the law and he controls everything.

    • 8
      2

      Agree. 20A per se is not a threat to SL. Rajapaksas are the biggest threat to SL. If 20A is passed and an anti-Rajapaksa president is elected with all these powers, it is a good thing. It may even help SL get rid of the cursed clan with impunity.

    • 3
      7

      Ajith,
      Demalu who faced a humiliating defeat at Nandikadal because of Mahinda Family and suffering from inferiority complex are free to express their view.

      “it is the Mahinda Family that is the real threat to soverignity of Srilanka.”

  • 19
    4

    A great irony in the modern history of Sri Lanka: A Sinhala Alt-Right extreme nationalist who captured power promising to protect the country’s sovereignty actually works to advance US interests in the island. He is waiting for his draconian 20A to become law to sign the MCC and SOFA agreements. He needs the unparalleled power going to be bestowed on him to brutally crush the expected political violence unleashed by Buddhist monks and their hardcore supporters. When the US government realized Yahapalanaya was doomed and Ranil had become a leader most hated by the majority Sinhalese and had no political future, it ditched him and decided to work with Gota and his family dynasty. The American’s found Gota’s authoritarian streak, his Deep State activities, his Sinhala-Buddhist credentials, and his high standing in the Sinhala Alt-Right poised to capture power – all the while maintaining US citizenship – ideally suited their clandestine design over the strategic island.

    • 4
      17

      idiot when you come up with a conspiracy theory it needs to be based on atleast a few facts. If he wants sign he can do so now. no one needs the 20a he already has the majority 2/3

      • 4
        0

        To sign MCC and SOFA now is not that easy. Possibilities of reaction from so many quarters. But with 20A and absolute power under the belt, even over the Parliament,
        the sky is the limit.

    • 3
      14

      Ajay,
      “all the while maintaining US citizenship”

      But President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe renounced US citizenship before he submitted his nomination.

      • 4
        1

        Puntak
        What a lie.
        He may have made an application but it was accepted eight months after he began squatting on the royal latrines.

        What a cheap dumbbell of a pathetic liar punakku eating puntak has turned into.

  • 10
    0

    First, it is necessary to understand what the SC has to decide on. When the “19A” was introduced, similar cases came up in SC, and the determination was whether (1) proposed amendments were in contravention of the existing Constitution (2) whether any new additions were made to the Constitution (3) what such proposals could be passed with “2/3rd” majority and what needed to be passed at a Referendum. I believe, even with the “20A” similar considerations would be taken by the SC. Therefore the limitations are already in place for decision by the SC.on these Amending Proposals. If any of the proposed amendments do not come within that range of such considerations,(all that do not fall within the “Interpretation” and “Determination” of SC), would be a matter of “Public Opinion” and would be a matter for a “Referendum”. So, we have to understand that SC would not be able to do “MUCH”, other than to allow the “PUBLIC” to decide what needs to be done. That is where the “Peoples Sovereignty” would prevail. So, “PUBLIC AWARENESS” of the “Merits” and “Demerits” have to be infused to achieve beneficial results for the country and the people.

  • 10
    0

    My comment continued…. I referred to Public Opinion; but please note that it is not “restricted” or “confined” to within the boundaries of the country, but refers to “Outside World” too. One can argue (and it is argued) that Sri Lanka is a “Sovereign Country”, and it decides what she wants and needs. Now the “World” is “ONE WORLD” and not “Separate” entities in all respects of politics, economic and social. Even the statement of the President made at the UNO .i.e. “Do not interfere with our Internal Matters” has already begun “Ripples” and “Adverse Effects” (Moody’s downgrading of major Banks etc.) and with this “2OA” and what it points to a “New Constitution” would definitely worsen the situation for the country. I again stress, that “SKKAYA DITTHI” – “Personality Belief” (Ego & Arrogance) of the Leadership (President, PM & Majority backing) would not “Survive” that long once the “Pressure” builds up from within and outside. The “Leadership” has already felt the pulse and that is why AG submitted to courts that “20A” would be “Amended” at Committee Stage. Those “Amendments” are not yet known to the Public both within and outside. Hope the “Petitioners” would demand to know what those “Committee Stage Amendments” are and take steps to steer the movement against implementing this “20A” to safeguard the wellbeing of the country and the people (larger interests) and defeat these petty “EGO Centric” belief systems.

  • 0
    0

    20A can’t be put for vote at parliament on a mere 2 member majority. No sane startegist would do that. BR will not do that. they will have to get more numbers to make sure it passes. MS is under pressure on the 21/4 bomb case – if he and Dayasiri were to not vote for 20A – the 2/3 would not be available? how to solve this – it aint gonna be easy.. cracks already appeasing within the large amount of ministers and GR getting impatient.. – MR can sit back and enjoy the ride as its a win-win for him and his son…

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