19 September, 2020

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After Dissolution

By Jayadeva Uyangoda – 

Prof. Jayadeve Uyangoda

The sudden dissolution of parliament on the 9th of November is yet another blatant violation of an explicit provision of the constitution. If president violates the constitution so frequently with impunity, this opens the door for a dictatorial rule. This is the gravest constitutional crisis Sri Lanka has had since independence. It also marks the beginning of total break down of the constitutional government, rule of law as well as law and order in the country. Even Mahinda Rajapaksa did not violate the constitution in this way. He changed the constitution when he found that the existing constitution was not adequate for his political objectives.

President Sirisena‘s gross violation of the constitution by sacking the prime minister on October 26 created a political crisis which he could not resolve. The locking up of parliament through proroguing it and his failure to garner a majority to legalize the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister aggravated the political mess he himself created. He has opted for the path of total disregard of the constitution as well as constitutional morality to handle a crisis caused by one grave violation by him of the constitution.

The Supreme Court is the only forum now available to the UNP as well as any citizen on this issue. But it is not clear whether the UNP is opting for this path. If the matter is brought before the Supreme Court, the judges will have to decide on a very controversial political issue. It will be a test case for the Court’s sense of independence as well as its constitutional duty to uphold and protect the constitution, its democratic values, and democratic freedoms of the citizens.

Holding elections after an illegal and unconstitutional dissolution of parliament is not democracy. The election campaign would be a bitter fight between political adversaries.

President Sirisena’s unrepentant violation of the constitution raises very serious questions about the political choices he is making now. He can only plunge the country from one crisis to another and take the country down the path of Myanmar, or turning it into a banana republic where law and the constitution do not matter.

People of the country should unite and fight together to save democracy from the gravest threat it is facing since independence. Yet, public opinion would be sharply divided on this issue and not everyone would be interested in saving democracy.

A broad democratic front of political parties, civil society and citizens need to be formed to defend Sri Lanka’s democracy.

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Latest comments

  • 24
    4

    The only language Dictators understand is International pressure and sanctions. However, Sri Lanka has not yet reached that stage. The President is like a bull in a china shop at the moment.

    • 13
      1

      Prof. Jayadeve Uyangoda

      ” This is the gravest constitutional crisis Sri Lanka has had since independence.”

      You ain’t seen nothing yet.
      Sri Lanka as a country (a political entity) won’t exist without crisis.
      Lankans have been expert on creating new crises before solving the previous ones.
      In fact it is politically an exciting country to live only if one chose not to use one’s brain. Lankies are fortunate enough to be born with an ability not to use it anyway.

    • 3
      0

      Sri Lankans have a very strong tradition of democracy.

      It will take more than this stupid President to put a stop to that.

  • 12
    0

    once parliament is dissolved what happens to he budget or the vote on account
    without it how can the new govt. function?

  • 11
    7

    I think this is a good time for Chandirika to start a political party .so that she could rebuild SLFP from its destruction. Mahinda destroyed it. Now she must come out and form a party to clean politics

    • 2
      0

      Oya hari funny meya

  • 19
    3

    Thanks Prof. Jayadeva for remaining honest, unlike Prof.. Laksiri.
    .
    Not only the Supreme Court- we have the 3 guys in the Elections Commission as well.

    • 7
      0

      Sinhala_Man

      “Not only the Supreme Court- we have the 3 guys in the Elections Commission as well.”

      I beg to differ, it depends on their future job opportunity and job security even physical security.

      • 0
        0

        True.

    • 10
      1

      Thank you Jayadewa. We trust you and have a high regard to your articles. Laksiri has defecated today on the CT

  • 18
    2

    We are with you Prof Uyangoda

  • 1
    0

    Prof. Jayadeva “People of the country should unite and fight together to save democracy from the gravest threat it is facing since independence.

    Agreed prof “but we need to take the fight from CT forum to the streets of Sri Lanka. all roads leading to the President’s palce.

  • 1
    0

    “Yet, public opinion would be sharply divided on this issue and not everyone would be interested in saving democracy.”

    World famous cricketer Mutthiah Muralitharaa aka “Muttal”tharan is one of them.
    He is happy to swap democracy for 3 meals a day. Not that he is starving on the contrary he is dining in stylish restaurant.

    he was of course referring the poor souls with who he sympathies and raise money via his charity organisation. what a humbug

  • 0
    0

    Laksiri Fernando is a fraud

  • 0
    0

    We talked about Plans A and B, namely ensuring an MR majority and if it fails deny RW the post in a UNP led government.
    This seems to be Plan C (or D or E, whatever it may be).
    I fear that it is a move driven by the JO to avert developing political risks like the Special Courts.
    MS was never his own man. The UNP part of the Good Governance regime made a mess of things and made MS isolated and vulnerable.
    He is now putty in the hand of MR.
    *
    Talking of Myanmar (then Burma) it was a military coup in the early 1960s. There is no comparison with events there since the “dame of democracy” who was the darling of the West soon proved to be a fake.
    Myanmar’s problems have a long history, its campaign for democracy was entwined with Burman Buddhist chauvinism.
    *
    It is time that democracy developed outside the walls of the parliament. The Left should have awoken to this decades ago.

  • 5
    5

    Every one needs to act with wisdom and discretion at this challenging time.

    The instrument weput in place in November 2015 with a most effective anti-MR propaganda campaign and so much foreign assistance has been in vain. It has been reversed by the very same man we recruited for that purpose. But these things happen in any foreign-sponsored program.

    Our poor economic performance in government did not allow us to proceed with the Federal Constitution project and dismantling of the traditional Sinhala Buddhist claims to this island before 1505. We also could not deliver the wishes of our foreign friends who were concerned about Sri Lanka building on historical relationships with China.

    The way forward is going to be hard because the civil society has lost the trust and confidence of the people and we need to seek more financial and other assistance from overseas, howsoever. We need recruit new leaders like Chatura Senaratne and Kavindu Jayawardena who have a following among the youth.

    The road is hard but we must keep plodding, remembering all good things come to an end as per Buddhism.

    • 2
      0

      “Our poor economic performance in government did not allow us to proceed with the Federal Constitution project and dismantling of the traditional Sinhala Buddhist claims to this island before 1505.”
      You are another crook thriving on $$$$s coming from Western countries who want to break this country into pieces so that they can go ahead with their agenda.
      Why the hell you want to dismantle the traditional Sinhala Buddhist claim to this island? This country was known as ‘Sinhale’ before British ‘Awajathakayo’ changed that. Sinhalayo has a unique language and a culture based on Buddhism which is different from Hindians. We Sinhala Buddhists are proud of that. Demalu are descendants of invaders and slaves brought by colonial parasites. Their homeland is across the Palk Strait, not Sinhale. Probably you are also a descendant of one of them who change the language and religion.

      • 1
        0

        “What a tragedy… those bloody Indians gave us the Buddhism.. not only Tamils”. I realized this by your great thoughts. Thanks..!

  • 7
    1

    I agree with the points made by Prof. Uyangoda..I am surprised that religious leaders are silent on this crucial issue. They seem to be sitting on the fence, waiting to see who is going to come out ahead.. I suspect President Sirisena is being manipulated by unscrupulous power hungry politicians to achieve their ends. Why aren’t there more public demonstrations to protect democracy? Is the country sharply divided on this essential principle? Is the majority of the electorate still longing for the dark period prior to 2015? If elections do go ahead, could the same corrupt politicians return to power? Is the public fully aware of the atrocities committed during those years? This snap election may have been planned to help his chosen Prime Minister and his band get back into government.
    The events of the last few weeks have tarnished the reputation of the country. It is the duty of every citizen to strive to restore its reputation.

    • 3
      0

      Hadeniya,
      “Is the majority of the electorate still longing for the dark period prior to 2015?”
      For you it may be a dark period but to a large majority of people, it was a bright period. People could enjoy a peaceful life after Rajapakse regime got rid of Demala terrorists. The dark period started after Ranil the traitor became PM. He killed democracy although he came to power promising to restore it. Economy went down the drain. Sold national assets to foreigners.

  • 7
    1

    This person titled “The President” – Mr. Maithripala Sirisena , as we know and proved during the last three and half years in office, is “Spineless” and an “Upstart” brought to life by the 6.2 million people assisted by the so called “Civil Society” organizations that which were headed by Late Rev. Sobitha Maha Thero. He (MY3) has, “Appeared”, “Monstrous”. At this moment, even the critics, analysts, try to put on him a “Cloak” of “Monstrosity”. That is all WRONG. In my opinion, this “MAN” is nothing more than a “PUPPET” performing on the stage as per and in accordance with “RULES” of the “GANG” of “PUPPETEERS” led by the newly “Appointed” PM (MR) . This is what the PEOPLE in the country and the outside world have to be told and understood. He is a “PUPPET” and a “VICTIM” of political “Immaturity” NOW manipulated by “MR & CO. Inc”. Therefore, at this moment, it is very important to IDENTIFY the “REAL ENEMY” and refrain from going after the “PUPPET”.

  • 5
    0

    “Even Mahinda Rajapaksa did not violate the constitution in this way. He changed the constitution when he found that the existing constitution was not adequate for his political objectives” – It is like saying, A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge :-)

  • 0
    0

    ” The Supreme Court is the only forum now available to the UNP as well as any citizen on this issue. But it is not clear whether the UNP is opting for this path. ” Prof Uyangoda, be honest at this uncertain situation. It is abundantly clear for you that Ranil doesn’t want UNPyers to go for court because he thinks that may endanger the War Criminals’ standings.

    ” People of the country should unite and fight together to save democracy ” You mean under the leadership of Kandy Ayatollahs? I wonder if anyone of you ever could think of something right, irrelevant of whether you are a democrat or an autocrat.

    ” Holding elections after an illegal and unconstitutional dissolution of parliament is not democracy. “ Whether there is an election or not, the country can only (and will) go in one path. If SC rules that this is unlawful, he will have to overrule SC – Otherwise, he will be labeled as a criminal & any time he step down anybody will sue him. If SC uphold him and he loses the election, then he cannot hand over the power to anybody, either. Because he will face the same problem, being labeled as criminal. Only path you have to solve this is to make Ranil step down from UNP leadership and face the CB looting crime. That may make New King to relax his holds(, but I am not certifying that). Instead you, with the name solving the impasse, catching Ranil and hand over to him, just let the events to take their course and be relaxed.

  • 1
    2

    Even Mahinda Rajapaksa did not violate the constitution in this way. He changed the constitution when he found that the existing constitution was not adequate for his political objectives.//

    Ranil did the same with 19Amendment. The 19 Amendment was brought by Ranil only to make sure his government wont be dissolved again and he can remain PM (Just like he did to UNP party constitution.)

  • 2
    1

    If My3 thought he has played a trump card”dissolving the parliament ” ….
    sot that RanilW will vacate Temple Trees …
    he is wrong again.

    Ranil W is playing his counter trump card.
    he is staying put at TT and refuses to budge from TT
    what is My3”s next trump card?
    A spade to dig deeper hole?

    • 1
      0

      Rajash

      Could you enlighten me with Hopper Sirisena’s card tricks up his sleeves.
      There may be one or two in his Amude.

  • 2
    2

    TIME: What was the immediate reason for calling an election?
    President KUMARATUNGA: I was forced into it by a total breakdown of cohabitation in government. The Prime Minister (Ranil Wickremesinghe) was determined to harass me and chase me out. He has only one obsession: he wants to be the President. And he does not seem to care what happens to the country in the process. We came to an impossible impasse. The only way to resolve it was to ask the people for a mandate. —TIME’s Alex Perry at President’s House in Colombo, March 29, 2004
    The comments of President Chandrika Kumaratunga on her friend Ranil Wickremesinghe cited above reveals how history never fails to repeat itself says H.L.D.Mahindapala. Anyone interested in reading the full article, please search “Ranil abused and subverted parliamentary democracy.”

    • 1
      1

      Eagle Blind Eye

      “The comments of President Chandrika Kumaratunga on her friend Ranil Wickremesinghe cited above reveals how history never fails to repeat itself says H.L.D.Mahindapala.”

      Is HLD M still sitting on your brain?
      Too bad.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Prof (Real political scientist)
    This is what you wrote in 2007 “ACCOMPANYING Sri Lanka’s elusive quest for a political solution to the ethnic conflict is an equally elusive goal: consensus among political parties about a broad framework of a constitutional settlement to offer regional autonomy to the Tamil minority. The two main parties, the United National Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), that have alternately ruled Sri Lanka for the past six decades, despite a number of attempts to reach such a consensus, have at crucial moments backtracked to return to what has been described as ‘acrimonious competition’.” http://www.india-seminar.com/2007/576/576_jayadeva_uyangoda.htm

    Acrimonious competition continues

  • 4
    0

    Everyone is talking about the constitutional crisis and how to put that Humpty Dumpty back together. We should be looking to see what made Humpty fall from the wall. Was Humpty too heavy for the wall or was there a lot of cracks in the wall or was the wall had more sand and less cement. Or was there no reinforcement to hold the wall. I think we need to hire an honest contractor to build a strong wall and shop around for a trim strong Humpty Dumpty.

    Jayampathy and crowd tried to create a. New Humpry who will not be so Dumpy. But they forgot to strengthen the wall from Kandy to Jaffna. They forgot the 30 year war and events that lead to that war damaged the wall may be beyond repair. Humppty Dumpty, however light and strong cannot sit on the weakened and damaged wall. We need new structural engineers, masons and not repairpersons, priests and reconciliators.

    • 0
      0

      ethir

      ” shop around for a trim strong Humpty Dumpty.”

      All those type of humpty dumpties with trunks got shot to pieces by prabhaharan who bombed the wall.The only humpty left then sat glued to the wall for 23 years.

    • 0
      0

      NE
      Humpty Dumpty had his fall in 1978 and the cracks went unnoticed, but they surely spread beyond redemption.
      Al of us know who pushed HD off the wall?

  • 0
    0

    With this coalition, we have wasted a lot of time, why waste more time?
    A constitution is only a part of a democratic government which is expected to do good for the people. In this situation if we stick to what constitution says, we will end up wasting more time living under a government of 2 rivals not seeing any developments as in the last 3+ years. MS will still wait for 4.5 years to dissolve the house, while RW will be struggling to impeach MS without success. GE is the shortest path good for the country to get rid of this shitty marriage, and move forward with people’s choice, and to teach these politicians a lesson. Even though many did not like MR’s government, we still had a stable government. But with this coalition gov, even after more than 3 years the Prez and PM did not get settled in their posts

    • 1
      0

      The inner spirit of successive governments, reinforced and fortified by ethical and moral rectitude of the legislators has held together the United Kingdom. Yet the Kingdom gave way at its weakest link – Ireland – when the Irish were treated the way Tamils were and are being treated for decades on end.
      If the ethnic and religious fabric is woven with ethical fibre, will it get frayed as we witness the the tatters. Then even an unwritten constitution would suffice. We have seen the making and breaking of the supreme law and never its working.

  • 0
    0

    Now the ball is out of ugly Ranil’s hand. JVP & TNA want to go to court. They would do it. Nothing heard from Muslim Parties. Now it is said they are coming on 11th not 19th. They too may join the minority parties in the lawsuit.

    It was Ranil who has been blocking going against the EP’s unconstitutional acts to court claiming that the parliament is the Supreme Body. In that case, Ranil should have taken EP to court for all his action above the Parliament. He is cheater, his intention everybody do know is to protect Old Royals.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Prof. Uyangoda,
    Do you believe that President singularly acted to desolve Parliament and that no others had a hand in this?

  • 0
    0

    There are some home truths that we all need to understand here. In these truths there are serious contradictions also. Sinhala Buddhists had been feeling that they are losing their status as the majority in the face of growing impact of neoliberal economic doctrine promoted by Ranil and the expanding power of a minority group including land grabs in the northern and eastern provinces. Yet in the current circumstances Ranil’s UNP seems to be the defender of democracy and rights. Contradiction 1.

    Sinhala Buddhists seem to prefer Rajapaksas yet again to govern the country die to their nationalist credentials compared with Ranil and the lot close to him. However, they are accused of corruption, nepotism, and heavy handedness in the use of power.Contradiction 11.

    In these circumstances Who do we support? JVP?

    People are still fearful about the JVP platform. They have not been able to develop a discourse or a message that can appeal to the broader community.

    Masses are helpless and powerless. Can there be a third force without a party and a leader?

    Perhaps Jayadeva can answer this question?

  • 0
    1

    Native, I am with you Bro. Lankans have no clue . This is just the beginning and there is plenty more to come. If you dont mind I am curious to know your personal opinion on this. Is Lankans are 1)truly naive 2) ignorant 3) pretending to be one 4) Too cunning 5) in apparent denial (but it is too long) 6) none of the above 7) all of the above 8)answer I am not aware of. If you feel like please give your opinion

    • 2
      0

      chiv

      According to my Elders, the country has been transformed into greed driven society. They rage on 24/7/52 basis. Any fib could spark a violent confrontation. People do not stop and question those who have lead them or want to lead them? The people do not want to jeopardise their chances of getting favours mostly illegal or immoral from the leaders, politicians, functionaries, rumour mongers, paranoids, …… . The elbowing society has transformed itself into a society which does not know the limit to its greed. How much greed is too much.

      In the old days people stole to satisfy their immediate needs, now they steal to keep up with Johnsons. The wife look down on honest husbands. If one is honest one becomes a laughing stock among colleagues.

      I believe you have heard the crabs in a bucket story, “if I can’t have it, neither can you” .

      Even if I have plenty, you can’t have it”

      Above all Lankans rate themselves too highly, most believe they are too clever however they end up being clever dicks.

  • 0
    0

    The Motive: MS has a carefully crafted plan and what we are seeing now is the initial part of it. When you want to solve a crime, you have to look for the motive. MS is no one’s friend. He looks after himself and his close family. He wants a successor to the throne from his own family. The son being an idiot even more than Namal, the choice is his daughter.
    .
    At the elections she will come out as a contender from Polonnaruwa, where MS has done an immense amount of work. Additionally, there is the sand and paddy mafia headed by his brothers. It is an ideal place to start with. If this opportunity is missed and the elections are held after the stipulated 5 years, it will be useless. The father + daughter combo will be strong as the father remains the President for one year more.

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