21 June, 2024


Constitutional Reforms Committee Calls For Public Opinion

The 24 member Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms appointed by Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has decided to call for public opinion.

Attorney Lal Wijenayake

Attorney Lal Wijenayake

The committee will be chaired by Attorney Lal Wijenayake and include President’s Counsel Faizer Mustapha, Professor Gamini Samaranayake and Professor AM Navaratne Bandara and M.L.A. Cader, among others.

The Prime Minister’s office said the PM has granted approval to the committee to seek public opinion and accordingly, the committee is expected to visit across the island and seek oral and written submissions from the public. A report on the public’s opinion and recommendations will be handed to a Cabinet Sub Committee on Constitutional Reforms.

The public can send suggestions separately on the matters below;

  1. Nature of the State.
  2. Form of government (Presidential / Parliamentary)
  3. Basic structure of the Constitution.
  4. Citizenship, Religion, Fundamental Rights and duties, Language Rights, Individual and Group rights, Directive principles on State policy.
  5. Legislature (unicameral/ bicameral)
  6. Supremacy of Constitution or Parliament.
  7. Separation of powers.
  8. Independence of the Judiciary and the Courts Structure.
  9. Constitutional Court.
  10. Power sharing, Devolution and Local Government.
  11. Sharing power at the center.
  12. Constitutional council and independent commissions.
  13. Public Service
  14. Electoral reforms.
  15. Judicial review of legislation.
  16. Powers of President under Parliamentary system.
  17. Election of President under the Parliamentary system.
  18. Public security.
  19. Finance.
  20. Any other issues.

Address – Secretary, Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, Staples Street, Colombo 2

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Please let people know the electronic address to which submissions should be sent.

    • 6

      Two essentials need to be published:

      1 Electronic Address.

      2 Timelines.

      • 0

        There must be a CHAPTER in the constitution on POLITICAL PARTIES and Good governance of political parties and reform of POLITICAL PARTY CULTURE.

  • 5

    I too intend to make a very strong submission on behalf of the people, about the expected role a REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY that exercises sovereign rights of the people purely on trust, which is blatantly abused in pseudo democracies like Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Right now I am away from Colombo (London) and wish to tender my submission on this matter, with copies to print and electronic media for the information of the fellow citizens.

    Please let the people aware where to send their submissions.

  • 10

    Looking at the names of the council, there is not a single Tamil person to represent Tamils in the council. Is it due to lack of professionals among Tamils or no one accepted the offer?

    • 1

      The names of six members are mentioned including that of the Chairman out of twenty four others.
      As a token there may be a Tamil or two in the committee but their names remain unmentioned.
      If the postal address where suggestions on the twenty listed matters can be directed to
      is revealed, it would help.

  • 3

    Do not think I am a resist. In the comity there is Singhalese & Muslims names but not any Tamil name who are in very good posts in the west. West identify Tamils as genuine hard working intelligent people but that recognition is not given in their own country – very sad when you think about it.

    • 3

      It is wrong to assume things before we find the fcts.The commitee has three outstanding members of the tamil community. see here for details.

      The Committee comprises of leading lawyers and civil society persons and include, Faizer Musthapha, Gamini Samaranayake, Navaratna Bandara, M.L.A. Cader, N. Selvakumaran, S. Thavarajah, Kushan de Alwis PC, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Kumudu Kusum Kumara, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Jayaratne, Upul Abeyratne, Themiya Hurulle, Winston Pathiraja, S. Vijesandiran, M.Y.M. Faiz, Nadika Damayanthi, Kanthi Ranasinghe, S.C.C. Illangakone and Samarasiri Hapuarachchi.

      • 3

        Would have liked to see a few radical names too instead of so many ‘same-same’ types. You know just to round off the consultation.

        Eg: Just 2 or three from Kusal Perera, Jehan Perera, Nimalka Fernando, V Kuhanendran, Rohan Edirisinghe, Emil Vander Pooten, Nirmal Devasiri, Selvy Thiruchandran, Chandra Jayaratna or Savitri Bandaranaike, etc

  • 3

    Public opinion is a joke. They will do what they want.

    • 0

      I rarely agree with you Jim, but this time I do.

      Yes, they will do what they want. We have seen both MR and the Yahapalanaya joker My3 do the same. And all before them and everyone else after them.

  • 0

    Representations can be sent to
    Web site
    Time line -on or before 10th February 2016

  • 2

    I am sure none of your/our suggestions are goping to be taken up for any consideration as the constitutional layout has been finalised by the so-called experts who have no human touch and like SPECIALIST DOCTORS- who only know their specialised field. Any one spending their valuable time in making suggestions, if I am not mistaken, is wasting their time. We failed to understand the most serious deficiency in our constitutions- i.e. lack of accountability process; Recalling mechanism, Non legally binding election manifestos and a minimum educational qualification to become a M.P. You will see none of these shortcomings will be redressed or discussed in the proposals of the prop[osed constitution. Responsibilty of constitution making should be entrusted to Non- Parliamental body outside parliament and Politics and submit for a referendum without any meddling by Politicians, who wants their positions/perks/ future /pound of flesh guaranteed forever to cheat the masses for ever.

  • 4

    With Hirunika also to be arrested, and imminent arrests of more corrupt MP’s and with the mentality of reappointment of rejected contestants, may be the new constitution has to cater to a parliament to operate inside the prison premises. Some times remanded public officials might become useful too to conduct the parliamentary sessions.

    A new constitution is absolutely of no effect as long as parliament is supreme with corrupt MP’s. Ranil must think logically.

  • 0

    Government’s idea to seek public opinions for the proposed constitution is admirable; however, people do not have proper and sufficient information about the government’s motives, readiness, and plan as to how to do it. It would be more effective if government has made highly organized national level campaign with a total transparency, for instances, it would be more effective, if government has implemented national level campaign involving media, awareness programmes while highlighting the shortcoming an weakness of the existing constitution and creating a public education programme on the importance of the constitution and its impact on people of the country.
    As noted today, both state media and private media reluctant to give media coverage to this national course so that it could be made an event with an organized national level effort and receive a broader public participation. Further, the government has been unable to bring the parliament membership together to organize a proper discourse about the constitutional reforms. People who are keen on submitting their opinions are doubtful about this mechanism of collecting public opinions; it should be highly technical and transparent process.

  • 0

    waist of time and money.nothing sensible will come out of this exercise.we are a very biased and cunning lot as past experience tells us and it is time that we realised our inadequate capabilities to constitution making.we should get the involvement of foreign experts to do the job-we simply do not have the necessary talent or the mindset to undertake such a task.

  • 0

    Your electronic mail address is essential for us to transmit our detailed proposals. We urge the repeal of the thirteenth amendment to the present constitution as this amendment is ultra vires the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution, was adopted in a slipshod and slapdash manner without any mandate from the populace, does not manifest any will, desire or aspirations of the general public other than the arbitrary, dictatorial decision of the brutally murdered Indian Prime Minister, has not contributed to the solution of any social, political or economic problems, has created organizational, institutional confusion, disorder and conflict between various public strata and proved an enormous wasteful drain on the public exchequer leading to a situation of denial of otherwise fruitful services and economic prosperity at the disposal of the poor masses, and is considered the bane, disaster and burden of the whole country by the majority of the people. Gamini Epa, Retd.Auditor General

  • 0

    W.Gamini Epa

    So what is the alternative you suggest?

    By repealing 13th Amendment would you like to go back to the Sinhala Only language policy which lead to the carnage?

    Without the 13 A you would be sitting in your comfortable chair in possibly an air-conditioned room, pushing pen, ignoring the needs of people, ………..

    The decentralisation/devolution of power is essential as the bureaucracy has been living in it’s own world, alienated from the people, which never respected the people’s will.

    Whatever minuscule powers enshrined in 13 A should have been brought in by the state, it’s rulers, and its bureaucrats if they truly believed in democratic rights of the people, not by Hindians from New Delhi.

    You too have to own up your share of responsibility for the destruction of the island. The problem is that none of the bureaucrats had the vision, reason, wisdom to steer the politicians for building a secular country, but then I don’t expect such qualities from those state officials who could not see beyond their nose.

    If you don’t learn to treat your family well, strangers will grope your women folks, particularly the neighbours.

    One would have hoped better than this from a retired top pen pusher.

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