23 September, 2020

Blog

Champika Seems To Be Confused

By R.M.B Senanayake

R.M.B Senanayake

R.M.B Senanayake

I was listening to the views expressed by the Minister Champika Ranawaka over the Sirasa TV program on Saturday. I am afraid the Minister seems to be confused about the two different forms of government. There is the Executive Presidential form of government and the Westminster system. The latter form of government which prevails in Britain is governed more by Conventions rather than by law. The alternative to the Executive Presidential form of government is the Cabinet form of government where there is no Chief Executive. It is a collective form of decision-making called the Cabinet with each Minister being responsible for the supervision of the departments under his control. The Prime Minister was never considered the Chief Executive in the Westminster form of government. In fact there is no formal Head of the Executive in the Westminster form of government. The Government is the Cabinet. The post of Prime Minister is considered as the first among equals not a Chief Executive.

Champika

Champika

But a collective body cannot be an effective Executive as pointed out by theorists of political science and management. So over time the Prime Minister evolved as the first among equals. Some British Prime Ministers were strong like Margaret Thatcher but their power depended on their control of the political party. She eventually lost control over the Cabinet. This situation was possible because there was no legal or constitutional provision that the Head of the Government was the Prime Minister. So those who drafted the 19th Amendment seem to have erred. They are constitutional lawyers’ not political scientists who have studied the evolution of the Cabinet form of government. Similarly Minister Champika is confused about the Westminster form of government. But nowhere in the British Constitution is the Prime Minister legally recognized as the Head of the Executive branch of the Government. As far as I remember he is not even recognized as the Head of the Government.

President J.R.J adopted a hybrid form of government and the present constitutional experts also seem to be confused into adopting a hybrid form of Constitution. Minister Champika opposes the abolition of the Executive Presidency. I thought the SLFP wants it abolished. So the political leaders must first decide between the two forms of government.

To meet the criticism of the Minister Champika I suggest that the clause about a Head of Government be deleted. The President is the Head of State and in the Westminster system it is the Cabinet which is the form of government. There is no legal provision for a Head of the Executive or a Head of Government in the British form of Government.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    10

    I believe Minister Champika has been advised by astrologers that he would become President of this country in 2020.Therefore he wants to see that the Presidential powers are not diluted.
    Further, in the next election around June/July this year, UNP would win and RanIL would be a powerful P.M. He may not be able to try his bulldozing with him even if he wins a parliamentary seat and given a Ministerial Post. All these politicians are selfish and Champika is no exception

    (However, at the next elections,JHU would find it difficult to secure atleast one or two seats.)

    • 1
      7

      in 2020, I blv FM Fonseka will be a Presidential Candidate. Just like General Buhari et al who came from the Army to Govern.

      What are FM’s chances ?

    • 9
      3

      The Maithree election manifesto clearly says that the executive powers of the president will be abolished. Now, suddenly Champika is against it, why?

      Yes, like MR he also believes everything that the astrologers say. He can NEVER become a president.

    • 5
      1

      Minister Champika is opposing it for his personal gain and not for the benefit of the country. Some astrologer has advised him that he will become the SL President in the next Presidential election. He knows very well that he can never become a prime minister even if he joins the SLFP but he can contest for President. The government should ignore such individuals who are working towards their personal interests and not the interest of the country.

      • 1
        0

        RW should immediately go for elections if the 19A is defeated, thanks to idiots like Ranawaka.

  • 7
    3

    Mr Senanayake, according to the 19th Amendment Bill read with the committee stage amendments submitted by the Attorney General to the Supreme Court, neither the President nor the PM is the Head of Government.The PM is only the head of the Cabinet.

  • 9
    6

    Either Champika has low IQ or he is deliberately misleading the Sri Lankan people. Recently there was an interview with Prof Jayampathi Wickramasooriya( ITN Nihanda 7.30) on the new proposed constitution amendments where he clearly stated the difference between an executive presidency and the proposed Cabinet system. New ruling machinery is going to be the Parliament where PM has no special power. We understood it as laymen with no political lenience. Prof Jaympathi revealed that he has met all the political leaders/parties separately and explained the proposals. So it can’t be that Champika is misinformed. Champika’s horror scenario’s about MS becoming a puppet with no powers too is erroneous(actually misleading to be correct) since many of these proposed executive provisions are going to come into effect for the next president( who comes after MS). This is where the cat is coming out of the bag. So why is he worried about what is going to affect the next presidency unless he is dreaming to hold the position. He knows he will never garner enough support among peers to appoint himself the leader of the cabinet(PM), his only far etched shot at becoming the leader of the country lies on leaving the president post through his racial/communal politics. His antics are purely personal. He is trying to sabotage the best hope/ step towards democracy in SL.I hope our people will see his true intentions sooner. cause Champika as an executive president in SL in my opinion would be the next nightmare in waiting as we just voted one dictator out.

    • 8
      6

      Please beware, Champika has all the qualities of a hypocrite.

  • 2
    10

    It has become very clear that the Amendments Gazetted for public study were not the same agreed upon by the parties and the Cabinet. Now another proposed Amendment has been placed before the Courts through AG and that too contains provisions not agreed upon. The question then, is who and how such discrepancies came about? The Amendments were introduced to the Cabinet by the Prime Minister and for any discrepancy therein he must be held responsible. In such an event, hasn’t he acted in a suspicion manner and trying his ways and means to achieve a personal agenda? As a dialogue on this subject has arisen among the public, the PM must come out and make a statement clarifying the position. At the moment Prime minister seems to be the Head of everything and most of the people are expressing their disapproval of his activities and that has given a golden opportunity to MR & Co. to campaign for resurgence. As usual, this PM is working on a different and a personal agenda than the expectations of the people. He is already in a big soup with the appointment of the Governor of the CB and his reliance on personal friends have brought enough objections to his administration. If he continues in this way, he will definitely be taught the next bitterest lesson at the next election. Be prepared for the biggest surprises.

  • 7
    4

    Champika certainly made some serious allegations against Ranil in last night’s Satana program, so it will be interesting to see the reactions of Ranil (for one), Maithri and other parliamentarians.

    On the other hand, it seems like Ranil doesn’t seem to care about all the negative reactions to the mess he made with the CB and Mahendran.

    Wonder what’s going on???

    • 12
      6

      Reaction from Ranil? Not likely. He wont be moved. Neither will be the President. Wild boars may but their horns against it, but great Oaks remain unmoved.

      Ranawake last night showed he was juvenile. That is all. He can never be a team player. Neither is Rajitha Senaratne.

      Team players don’t let down their captain in public.

      As I said, Ranil depends on an intelligent public to understand him. That is why he gets the lesser numbers while MR gains much more.

      It isn’t Ranil’s fault. The best manager we could think of, to guide the cabinet.

      • 6
        4

        J & F – Unfortunately for me, my Sinhala comprehension (except for the colloquial) is barely good enough to get the niceties and meanings of a lot of what went on, but from what I gathered, Ranawaka was insisting that Ranil was bypassing conventional procedures to get himself into a position of (virtually) unbridled power. I may well be wrong!

        I always considered Ranawaka to be a rather extreme Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist, although of late he seemed to be changing his stance.

        Rajitha Senaratne was always ‘iffy’ in my book and I still view him with a good deal of suspicion.

        Too bad that most of our politicians can’t be depended on to ‘play with that straight bat’ and be ‘straight’ the captain as well.

      • 7
        6

        Oh one more thing… Champika made reference to men born with the golden spoon in the mouth (he forgot the silver!), and the lineage, the dependency and so on… obviously referring to Ranil’s background.

        Champika disappointed me wholesale and bared himself badly. The fact that he made reference to these things showed those who know, the inferiority complex he suffers. Besides he has never been in this league as an important member of the cabinet. It was a shame how he pointed his finger at the Prime Minister leveling all those allegations against the PM.

        Ranil W will – like that great oak – remain unmoved. Neither will he overly bother, if he loses his position. The ultimate loser will be the country, not him. A fact that only the President concedes, and all others know but haven’t the guts to admit.

        The real loser last night was Champika. He lost the chance to portray himself in much better light than he did. Sorry.

  • 0
    5

    We do not want a canda haliya. There has to br some sort of Executive contol. The answer maybe to eliminate the election of the President to one selected by parliment. Overall the members of parliment and provincial members should be decreased. In electing minority members in parliment and districts a mechanism should be intriduced ensure minority representation. Minority representation in the Noprth and East should be ensured. Some minority members of Pc could be nominated to Parliment. The system should be smaller and simpler. The cost is less and more effective. Grass roots should be able to be more effective with the new commisions. They should be able to make representation through cevil Institutions and media and appealing to Commisions and a free Judiciary and Police. Allegations nopt proved should be granted redress. The accused for slander must prove his case to some degree. A system of chaos with conflicting views must be min8imised. Our Representatives should take a flexible view for the common good.

  • 4
    8

    MR. Senanayake appears to be more confused than Ranwaka.
    What RW is trying to crate is a unique kind of executive Premiership by hook or by crook. He knows he cannot become the head of state or head of government by people’s vote

  • 4
    2

    the Westminster system has a head of state and a head of government. the head of state is a soverign or ceremonial role ALTHOUH it has all the powers including appointing the head off government. the head of government is called the prime minister (prime = number 1, like saying he is the number one among many , like a captain of a cricket team or as the author has said first among equals.)

    we had a ceremonial head of state before – the one i remember is president Gopollawa.

    england also has a head of state – the Queen! maybe people do not know that all parliamentary decisions need her approval (which is more or less symbolic)BUT there have been the odd occassion she has wanted changes.

    JRJ tried to merge the American and British style ; he did come up with a good constitution BUT subsequent changes have ruined it to joke.

  • 1
    6

    Here he comes again.
    Respected banker turned constitutional expert.
    Mr Senanayake, you seems to even more confused. Not that I have an iota of respect for the unprincipled Champika Ranawaka who can tell falsehoods at the drop of a hat.
    With respect to the constitution, you are waffling. Have you not studied the french constitution which was the basis of the constitution of the J R Jayawardene regime. Of course tou could have expected a water tight constitution like in France from the most disingenuous, machiavellian leader since our independence. True, amendments were brought in since, to consolidate the powers of executive president.Many experts agree that French constitution is more solid than the unwitten uk constitution or the Australian or Canadian constitution.
    What I object is that people like you who should know better and political opportunists like Ranawaka and JVP and self seeking Narcissists like rev Sobita are responsible for muddying the water either unintentionally or intentionally .
    Likewise, one cannot trust J R’s nephew who is the most dishonest and autocratic leader since JR .

    • 0
      0

      ¬¬Many experts agree that French constitution is more solid than the unwitten uk constitution or the Australian or Canadian constitution.¬¬

      Jack of all trades square head master of none,

      more accurate to refer to Britain’s constitution as an ‘uncodified’ constitution, rather than an ‘unwritten’ one.

      It makes life easy to find- a `one page` is necessary not volumes like mainframes instead of cell phone.

    • 4
      0

      Giguruwa, you say “Likewise, one cannot trust J R’s nephew who is the most dishonest and autocratic leader since JR “.

      Did you forget about the most recent “dishonest and autocratic leader ” we have EVER had, or was that an intentional omission?

      • 1
        1

        Mr, Mrs, Miss Jango.We are talking about the propsed cnstitutional changes. You donot seem to understand what the topic of discussion. Are you , with your pseudonym, another of those lackeys of Ravindran Karunayakam who has changed his name with ulterior motives

    • 0
      0

      Ever heard of Mahinda Rajapasa?

  • 1
    6

    Mr Senanayake appear to be confused about the topic discussed by Mr Ranawaka in the Satana programme.

    His entire discussion was based on the election manifesto of President Maitreepala Sirisena and not on the existing types of Governments viz. Executive Presidential system and the Westminster system. In the programme CR justified the JHU stance was in conformity with the President Sirisena’s election manifesto.

    It is clear that the present actions of Ranil Wickramasinghe are quite similar to the manner in which he deceitfully revised the UNP constitution to become the LEADER FOR LIFE in the UNP without the knowledge of the majority of the UNP working committee.

    MR Ranawaka should be congratulated for exposing these sequence of events and the motives of such people.

  • 6
    1

    In the election manifesto of President Maitreepala Sirisena it is clearly stated that the present executive presidential system should be abolished. And not to be amended as suggested by Mr C Ranawaka. He is misleading the public saying there will be an executive PM once the 19A is passed. We are changing to Westminster parliamentary system where executive powers be vested to the cabinet of ministers. The most trusted and capable minister among them will be the PM. It is obvious that Mr C Ranawaka is acting with an ulterior motive.

  • 5
    1

    Well stated RMB. It is quite clear that Champika is confused, perhaps he should change his astrologers. Bensen

  • 2
    0

    Mr,Champike Ranawake must be dreaming.

    He may become the President if all the TAMILS, Christians and Muslims are prohibited from exercising their right to vote.

  • 0
    2

    Ranil is a traitor and he needs to be removed from the PM post as soon as possible. Anybody is better than Ranil. I thought he wanted real change in the political culture in SL. But he just wants to gain power for himself and he wants to sell the country to its biggest enemies who tried to break up SL for decades.

  • 6
    0

    RMB:

    With all due resect I am not sure who is confused. I haven’t listened to what Champika said but agree with some of your observations but disagree with others .

    1) There is the Executive Presidential form of government and the Westminster system. The latter form of government which prevails in Britain is governed more by Conventions rather than by law.

    *** Agreed:

    The system is a series of conventions and procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once also used, in most Commonwealth and ex-Commonwealth nations

    2) The alternative to the Executive Presidential form of government is the Cabinet form of government where there is no Chief Executive. It is a collective form of decision-making called the Cabinet with each Minister being responsible for the supervision of the departments under his control. The Prime Minister was never considered the Chief Executive in the Westminster form of government. In fact there is no formal Head of the Executive in the Westminster form of government. The Government is the Cabinet. The post of Prime Minister is considered as the first among equals not a Chief Executive.

    *** I am not sure if I agree with the above for the following reasons especially ” First among equals”

    A cabinet member may be forced to resign, or may choose to resign, if they oppose one aspect of a government’s agenda. The power to appoint ministers to the Cabinet – and to dismiss them – is perhaps the single most powerful constitutional power which a Prime Minister has in the political control of the Government in the Westminster system.
    So British PM is first but not equal.

    3) Similarly Minister Champika is confused about the Westminster form of government. But nowhere in the British Constitution is the Prime Minister legally recognized as the Head of the Executive branch of the Government. As far as I remember he is not even recognized as the Head of the Government.

    *** The following might help.

    Responsibilities

    The Prime Minister is head of the UK government and is ultimately responsible for the policy and decisions of the government.

    As head of the UK government the Prime Minister also:
    •oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies
    •appoints members of the government
    •is the principal government figure in the House of Commons

    4) To meet the criticism of the Minister Champika I suggest that the clause about a Head of Government be deleted. The President is the Head of State and in the Westminster system it is the Cabinet which is the form of government. There is no legal provision for a Head of the Executive or a Head of Government in the British form of Government.

    *** You don’t have to stick to the West Minister Model as you can see
    from the following

    “There are other parliamentary systems, for example those of various European countries, whose procedures differ considerably from the Westminster system”

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