22 January, 2021

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Curfew, 5000 A Month, Compensation; Why Care About Constitutional Change?

By Rohan Samarajiva

Prof. Rohan Samarajiva

Over the past five decades, we have had two Constitutions (1972 and 1978), a third that came close to adoption (the “package” of 2000), 19 amendments, and a whole lot of talk and writing around each. It is reasonable to infer Constitutional fatigue.

The government has promised a new Constitution. It has the votes in a docile Parliament; and depending on the efficacy of its perception management efforts, it may have the votes to win a referendum. But now that a hyper-presidential system has been consolidated through the 20th Amendment. Will it expend political capital on a new Constitution? But it may be wise to be ready to respond if the government chooses to keep its promises.  

But such a commitment requires a good answer to the question of what a Constitution can do. Can it free the unjustly imprisoned? Can it feed the hungry? The former question exemplifies the bad that may be avoided; the latter the good that may be expected. A good Constitution can do both, though not always on the same time scale. The answers may be worked up using a contemporary case: the effects of COVID-19 quarantine curfews on people’s livelihoods. 

The case

Imagine a day in the life of a daily wage earner, before COVID-19. Of a woman who makes her living by providing cleaning services to several houses in Colombo. She was free to take public transport, and on occasion a three-wheeler to get to work. She was free to take up or decline work and negotiate rates and days. She was free to keep cash, put some money in a bank and withdraw when needed. She could choose the vendors from whom she purchased groceries and other items.  

It was no walk in the park. The work was hard, the madams were not always nice, the buses crowded . . ..  But she was able to feed her family and live her life. She could make small donations and participate in a Seettu. She was not dependent on handouts or charity. She had liberty.  

Now imagine her life under quarantine curfew with drones overhead. The money has run out, the jewelry is in the pawn shop. She cannot work, she cannot earn. Even when she has money, she cannot choose; she must buy whatever is offered at whatever price by whoever comes down the lane. She must rely on handouts from government and from others.    

This is what the loss of liberty is for daily wage earners, for those whose work requires co-presence, those most affected by curfews. The freedom to earn a living, to traverse public thoroughfares, to choose from whom to buy and what, to have some peace with the children out playing. All taken away by distant politicians and officials whose earnings are certain, who have no worries about food on the table when they are driven home by a chauffeur after a drink at the Hilton with a friend.  

The bad that may be avoided

This is what is achievable within a short time frame. Even a Constitution that does not provide for justiciable socio-economic rights such as Sri Lanka’s present one may be of help. Article 14(1)(g) states that “every citizen is entitled to the freedom to engage by himself or in association with others in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business, or enterprise.” Article 14(1(h) recognizes “the freedom of movement . . . within Sri Lanka.”

The exceptions to the two rights specified in Article 15 are of limited scope. They would not prevent a citizen who has been deprived of the ability to earn a living and use public thoroughfares by executive or administrative actions (including by the President) from asking the Supreme Court under Articles 17 and 126 to determine that her rights have been infringed and to order relief.  

The curfew may be justified. It may be needed to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed; to save the lives of the elderly and those with weakened immunity; to buy time to get the tests and the acute-care beds and the PPE [personal protective equipment] organized.  

The limitation of movement has significant positive externalities. Everyone benefits, including daily wagers and politicians. But the costs are not borne evenly. Those with curfew passes and government vehicles may bear none. Those among them who exercise discretionary authority may even benefit. The burdens are disproportionately borne by daily-wage earners cooped up in tiny tenements without money to buy food and no certainty about what next week and next month would bring.  

Let us assume that the curfew imposed under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance, No. 3 of 1897 as amended, is perfectly legal. Article 16 of the Constitution states that all prior laws are valid even if they violate the fundamental rights granted by the Constitution. If the law and the regulations made under it have been followed, the executive actions may not be directly challenged. But a good lawyer, supported by public opinion as shown by media coverage and positions taken by opinion leaders, may stand a good chance of gaining compensation for the lost earnings of our citizen. Or just the court case and the associated publicity may change government actions. The principle of providing compensation when the state takes away assets or livelihoods is well established.   

The government has, since the first lockdown, recognized the impact on daily wage earners though not framing it in terms of compensation for the harm done to them by state action. The paltry compensation has been presented as charity or election handouts. A successful action under the Constitution would reframe the problem in terms of just compensation and entitlement, not handouts; it would open the door to moving away from the token LKR 5,000 per month to realistic amounts needed by a household and, ideally, compensation for lost earnings.

According to the government’s own Household Income and Expenditure Survey (done every three years, but latest available is from 2016), it is not possible for an average household (approx. 4 people) to meet their food requirements with LKR 5,000 a month, as claimed by Minister Wimal Weerawansa in Parliament. In 2016, the mean household expenditure was LKR 54,999 per month, of which LKR 19,144 was spent on food. Considering inflation and assuming frugality, a minimum of LKR 20,000 per month per household would be needed just for food. Deaveraged numbers would be best so higher costs in areas such as Colombo are recognized. Not all households are of similar size or have similar needs, so adjustments may be required as discovered in the first lockdown.  

The Constitution may have other uses as well. As people in isolated areas protest their condition, they may face various forms of repression and arrest. Here, they can seek relief for infringement of their freedom to peaceful assembly (Article 14(1)(b)) and other associated rights. They may also seek remedies from the Court of Appeal under its writ jurisdiction (Articles 140 & 141).  

The good that may be expected

It is not easy for an aggrieved citizen to proactively assert her rights, evidenced by the fact that such legal cases have not been initiated yet. The first protests have been in the streets. The first formal communication has been through MPs raising questions in Parliament. Political remedies appear to be preferred to Constitutional ones.  

Would it not be better if the state does its duty without placing the onus on citizens?

This would require an efficient, responsive and well-resourced state. This can happen under any Constitutional arrangement, including one that includes justiciable socio-economic rights. But the utility of the state response will depend on actions prior to the pandemic. Even if the right to adequate food is included in the Constitution, it is unlikely that a practical and generally applicable remedy will be available in the absence of prior planning and preparation by the state.  

Italy’s Constitutional right to employment has been in place for decades, but there are many without employment in that country. South Africa’s justiciable Constitutional right to housing and the right to shelter for children was interpreted as not giving respondents an immediate right to claim shelter. Nepal has “a right to quality foodstuffs” in addition to rights to food and to food sovereignty, but not everyone has a court decreed full belly in Nepal. Socio-economic rights in Constitution come with escape clauses and doctrines because it is simply impractical for courts to formulate and implement policy. 

So, the foundational question is what contribution a Constitution can make to the emergence of an efficient, responsive and well-resourced state. Generally, such qualities are correlated with prosperity. Whether improvements in state organization and quality of civil servants cause prosperity or whether prosperity results in the emergence of an efficient state is yet unresolved.

A Constitution that makes the executive accountable for its actions without disabling decision making and implementation is likely to contribute to prosperity. The available evidence suggests that Constitutional provisions that reduce the risks of outright or administrative expropriation by the state are conducive to the kinds of private investment that contribute to prosperity. A non-corrupt judicial system that delivers timely and impartial justice appears essential. Without it, the justiciable fundamental rights, the accountability provisions and the safeguards for investment are meaningless. A legislature that takes its responsibilities seriously by making good laws and exercising proper oversight also appears a necessary condition.

If these conditions are in place, it is more likely that the resources for compensating citizens deprived of their earning capacity will be mobilized and that efficient mechanisms for disbursing such compensation will be set in place, especially in the case of a nine-month old pandemic. None can claim surprise at this point.  

If the state did its duty, there would be no need for street protests. Parliament and fundamental-rights petitions can smoothen the rough edges of the compensation program. We would be on the way to living in Ketumati, the Sri Lankan equivalent of the shining city upon a hill.  

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Latest comments

  • 21
    2

    Parliamentarians are receiving big fat salaries and generous fringe benefits. They even get a daily sitting allowance. During crunch times for the government, their going rate to cross-over runs into hundreds of millions. So at least these vultures must work together in a responsible manner to help enact a new constitution to bring relief to the toiling masses and build a democratic and egalitarian society. Will they rise to the occasion? Or will they be subservient to corporate interests and dismiss peoples’ concerns with the beggarly 5000 Rupees ?

    • 15
      0

      Any presidential election held so far, they each and every candidate made false promises about abolishing the 78 constitution.

      Shortly before our LATE rev. Sobitha Thero left us, made it clear GOOD GOVERANNCE would be caught by the bunch of thugs, that made records to be the high criminals. If SIRISENA did his job only, the situation would have been in favour of a better future. Now the chance is gone, but SIRISENA is speechless so as current man got elected as the president.

      Even if the last election was not solely based on BRINGING reforms, but they were aware of the crucial importance of a new reform/consituation if the country needs to move forward.

      Except good governance, all other govts did almost nothing in that regard.

      However, good goverance under Polonaruwe donkey did not last long, as if the wrong man got elected to the highest position. We know that we would not stumble down again and again, if we are sane enough to bring the issues back into track. It was caught by mafia boss et al, along with his high criminals just after passing 2 years with the direct support of Pinguththara community, that always cough for the benefit of the racial and extremists forces in the country.

      • 2
        2

        Mr. eLM (eternal Loose Motion),
        .
        I quote…..
        ———-
        “””Any presidential election held so far, they each and every candidate made false promises about abolishing the 78 constitution.”””
        ———-
        End of quote.
        .
        In last 4 elections GR/MR/SLPFA campaigned for strengthening the Presidential system by giving more power to GR.
        And they fulfilled that promise.
        .
        Thank you for praising GR/MR/SLPFA government in your broken English.

        • 2
          2

          Mr. eLM (eternal Loose Motion),
          .
          And most importantly.
          .
          Thank you for accepting the fact that “Yahapalana” experiment is a failure.

    • 7
      0

      Ajay: “So at least these vultures must work together in a responsible manner to help enact a new constitution to bring relief…..”

      The hidden plan is for Basil to join the vultures and prepare a “Constitution” that will eventually create a single party (as in China) for Rajapakse Rule to eternity. The Sinhala Buddhist intelligentsia & monks will succumb as they do not engage in true patriotism?

  • 5
    32

    Prof. Rohan Samarajiva,
    .
    Can I ask you couple of laymen’s questions….?
    .
    1. Did “Yahapalana” government had a people’s mandate to try and manipulate constitution to suit their political goodwill….?
    2. Did “Yahapalana” government had parliamentary power to propose a new constitution….?
    3. If new constitution is of no use why don’t we cancel the existing one altogether and support GR to do the needful as he see fit…..?

    • 21
      2

      Gota has already proved his inability to work in a democracy. Those stupid voters who paved the way criminals to grab power and ruin the nation/country from where they stop ed in 2015.make every effort to mislead the nation today. Today the man cant face the nation. Thst is why brother duo keep away from the press. But media mafia paints the picture
      still in favour of the criminals, but for how long????? Not a single pledges made to the people has fulfilled yet today, even if his asskissers struggle to prove th other around. What they have achieved so far is taking the power of country s judicial power on to their hand in order to manipulate the evidence already collected for their high crimes incl numerous murders be painted the as Rajapakshes and their henchmen are clean people. But the buggers dont know that world is watching ar them. 🤔😎🤔😎🤔😎😎😎🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

      • 2
        2

        Mr. eLM (eternal Loose Motion),
        .
        Who cares what you think.
        .
        People of this country will decide GR’s “ability” to work in next presidential election. You don’t have to worry about that.

    • 16
      1

      Ms Scp, name of the god be away from ur low level remarks, these are beyond all bearing, even 10 year olds are clever today, killing friendly brother duo would know nothing other than filling their pockets no matter 40% of the nation is under poverty levels. In today’s context we need a recognized leader to do the job. Gota may have good to do the job of a hang man, but not as a president. Self adulation cant bring u guys nowhere that ge had proved well. Hate against Rajapakshes are growing exponentially that is inevitable. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

    • 21
      4

      Did you use the three brain cells you have left at your disposal to come up with those three absolute nonsense points ?

      The mark of an absolute coward; that you try to blame something (yahapalanaya) that doesn’t even exist now to cover the failures of yourself/those who you support. Well the lives of people are at risk here so we are not going to play these moda games with moda people and their moda three brain cell arguments. gota and his not-even-olevel-qualified governemnt along with the war criminal armed forces have turned this country into an absolute failed state.

      • 10
        3

        sitrep24

        Unfortunately, Ms SCP s last brain cells were taken away from Medamulana rascals. So dont take it serious if it come from the curseful man/woman.
        -The kind of low lives are not even found in the most abusive states of the world today.

    • 9
      3

      S. C. Passqual

      “Can I ask you couple of laymen’s questions….?”

      Before you ask any stupid question tell us this being a proud patriot of this country are you proud of to be eating Pizza or Kiribath?

      • 2
        1

        Mr. Native Kudda,
        .
        So…..
        You wants to avoid the issue by muttering some unrelated bullshit?

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda,

        SCP s condition her/his trans OP is even worsening. I wonder if those surgeons in the OP were mistaken by touching his/her little brain instead.

        So called royal college old boy/girl has forogtten his statistics on COVID realities as of today. He has not shame at all, rascals may have taken away his/her shame-gene.
        :
        There are few that cough for RAJAPAKSHES today, but jackels like SCP would nt never be away from loads of shits.

  • 10
    1

    In essence the article finally asks for :
    A Constitution that makes the executive accountable for its actions without disabling decision making and implementation is likely to contribute to prosperity…………………… A non-corrupt judicial system that delivers timely and impartial justice appears essential. ……………. A legislature that takes its responsibilities seriously by making good laws and exercising proper oversight also appears a necessary condition.
    In the context of the current political thinking of the powers that are, such a Constitution is not even in the horizon. Their thinking is exemplified by the 20A.
    To expect a new Constitution as envisaged above for a Ketumati, that earthly paradise, is further made remote by a nine member bunch of acolytes, mainly lawyers who traditionally accept briefs for fee or reward from their clients.
    So unless constitution drafting is done by a panel of well balanced patriotic persons, may be it can become worse than now, with two thirds of the House in the grip of a family.
    Let us live in hope, however.

  • 21
    4

    There is nothing this government will be able to do to in the coming four years to reverse the damage their incompetence has done. But then again that isn’t much of a concern for the average moda sinhala buddhist voter. As long as they get a promise that their thug child absuing monks are kept well fed with taxpayer monies these hordes of moda sinhala buddhist voter will support even convicted criminals/thugs/murderers/rapists. What a sad destitute hopeless people.

    • 12
      4

      Dear sitrep 24.
      It is indeed sad that strong feelings cloud good judgement.
      To shift all the blame on only of a section of the people is unfair. May be Sinhala Buddhists voted in large numbers but the Catholic belt and Muslim areas also voted to the SLPP and affliates. Cardinal’s views and sympathies were well known and the flock reacted accordingly in those areas. Even after all the damage at general election voting, six Muslims and a Tamil voted for the govt. recently.
      Sinhala Buddhists are only 74% and the SJB and JVP nominees party collected many SB votes, especially for SJB to get 54 seats. They could not have got the 54 seats with only minority support.
      Therefore, if the destitute hopeless people includes a large proportion of non SB as well, I fully agree.

      • 4
        1

        Lol I know what you mean, I know the areas (sadly some individuals I know personally as well) where minorities supported this criminal government and their warcrime armed forces.
        .
        Don’t take me using the term ‘buddhist’ to think that I think of all buddhists as idiots or I look down on them; on the contrary I know what real buddhism is from genuine buddhists who cannot believe what these child molesting thug monks and the corrupt politicians who prop them up are doing to buddhism. I firmly believe that what the current clergy and politicians have done to buddhism to weaponize it and use it for political reasons is exactly what isis have tried to do with Islam and what the rss are currently doing to hinduism.

        • 6
          4

          Dear sitrep 24.
          Your first statement : But then again that isn’t much of a concern for the average moda sinhala buddhist voter…and… these hordes of moda sinhala buddhist voters.
          This implies that all the ills of voting for MR, was the fault of SBs. No mention of ANY others.
          Then you later retract by saying: I know the areas (sadly some individuals I know personally as well) where minorities supported this criminal government and their war crime armed forces.
          Thank you for that.
          Then you go on to say: “on the contrary I KNOW what real buddhism is from genuine Buddhists” but this would contradict your saying later : I believe in God alone without associating partners with Him. I believe in a God that commands people to establish Justice in the land. Justice according the laws given to each nation that has been transmitted to them through the Prophets that God has send to them.
          But Theism and Buddhist Philosophy are quite far apart. So your knowing REAL Buddhist Philosophy is in some doubt as these two concepts cannot be reconciled.
          This then goes back to my first statement of these comments ;
          …………It is indeed sad that strong feelings cloud good judgement………
          Let us express our views rationally without too much personal attachments, which can cause distractions from the main issues discussed.

          • 2
            0

            Yes, let’s approach this rationally. While it is true there were some self serving individuals from among the minority groups who voted for the criminal murderer rapist gang, by no means does it come anywhere close to the hoardes of moda sinhala buddhist voters who voted for this thug criminal because of the hate that was sown in their dirty hearts by the child abusing thug monks and criminal chief prelates. They (clergy) knew the level of murderers and rapists who they were informing their peasants to vote for; and they justified it with the talk of some buddhist eutopia where prostitution and crime is rampant and out in the open as was during the golden age of buddhism in this land (as evidenced by the perverted drawings on an excuse for a castle/rock).
            .
            And maybe you should reconsider your ‘suggestive tone’, I’m not a coward like the moda sinhala buddhists who have now gone silent now that the rabid dog they elected into office has escaped their leash. I openly make it known my hatred of cowards who use religion to push their political ideologies like the chief prelates/frustrated monks and politicians in this country. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; buddhism in sri lanka is to buddhism what isis is to Islam.
            .
            Maybe the rational sinhala buddhists should talk some sense into the moda sinhala extremist buddhists

            • 0
              0

              I will still maintain my suggestive tone to meet your irrational outbursts directed only at some sections of Society, fuelled by hate as you admit.
              When you say “ hatred of cowards who use religion to push their political ideologies” – it is no different to anyone using religion to denigrate another section of society to buttress one’s arguments, political or otherwise. I hold no brief for the current government – far from that – but some fairness should prevail in apportioning blame.
              I wonder whether you would extend this same argument to USA where white racism as a political ideology, is pitched against liberalists. ( meaning a section of society – religious or racist).
              It is indeed irrational when you say “dirty hearts by the child abusing thug monks and criminal chief prelates” when the Catholic Church has been at the centre of this problem and even the Pope admitted it. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/17/pope-francis-ends-pontifical-secrecy-rule-child-sexual-abuse-catholic-church.
              When you try to pass off the participation of other sections of society by simplifying it as “some self serving individuals from among the minority groups” and trying to reduce their blameworthiness, as a minor fault, it is irrational.

      • 7
        1

        Ferryman,
        .
        My gosh, why you say “May be Sinhala Buddhists voted in large numbers but the Catholic belt and Muslim areas also voted to the SLPP and affliates”- I thought you have been living in Srilanka.
        :
        During my last visit paid to the country, Feb 2020, I myself collected lot more hidden info about the unethical reactions of srilanken citizens coming from various walks. Those who worshiped the temple following that FAKE saga was more than 0.5 millions.
        .
        That SAGA water snake carried a piththala pahana filled with FAKE RELICS to so called most sacred (but today most scared place) Kelaniya Rajaamahaviharaya made even unborn eligible voters, because the purpose of that myth was to mislead the nation. Not just the freak’s actions in that regard, but SORBONE educated Chief Incumbent monk made a public statement about a dawn of a so called GOOD LEADER….. so dont you think, a nation that would line up behind WALAMPOORI and OTHER MISBELIEFs in order to face their day today, life, our stupid sinhalayas would refrain from being caught by the easy tricks ? Never… this was the nature of them over the decades since independence.

        As a knowledgeable octagenarian, you should be be well aware of the facts, better than us. I am in my mid 50ties btw.

        • 4
          3

          Dear LM,
          You do indeed surprise me. Expected better. My statement that Sinhala Buddhists voted IN LARGE numbers as well as the Catholic belt around Negombo and the southern electorates of Beruwala Maggona Ambalangoda along with Muslim electorates of Mawanella and Beruwala, as well as Tamil voters of plantations, is in response to a statement alleging ENTIRE blame on the Sinhala Buddhists for voting for this govt.
          This still holds water that Catholic, Tamil and Muslim voters all together with SB voted for MR and affiliates. My comment is about voting pattern that made out only SBs to blame.
          What has fake relics, valampuri unethical reactions etc fit into what I said. I do not disagree that Buddhist Philosophy has been really desecrated by the monks with their rituals, (the worst is erecting Ran Wetas around bo trees for a philosophy that shuns worldly shows). I hope that 0.5M in a population of 23M ( 1 in 46 people of SL including very small kids, 12% Tamils, 7% Catholics and 9.5% Muslims) visited the temple is not an exaggeration and you really find it true.
          My thinking on this matter of rituals, has been evidenced by my comments elsewhere in CT.
          Age is not a factor here but right understanding of the context of my comment is best.
          Good luck.

    • 2
      11

      Sitrep24, you take any and every opportunity to attack the Sinhalese Buddhists and their clergy, attributing every ill to them and their religion. No doubt your ‘God’ is watching your rotten heart with great interest and noting the intention behind every hate filled comment. I expect you to burn in hell for a long time.

      • 5
        2

        I believe in God alone without associating partners with Him. I believe in a God that commands people to establish Justice in the land. Justice according the laws given to each nation that has been transmitted to them through the Prophets that God has send to them.
        .
        What is right and wrong is NOT determined by some frustrated thug monks or corrupt politicians or sexually frustrated incels who follow them. The moda sinhala buddhists think they have a ‘right’ to feel superior and oppress minorities in the land, for that I have no doubt they will pay dearly in this life and in the hereafter they will be in a punishment they will not be able to run away from. On that day they will claw at the skins on their faces and cry out for destruction but there will be no such end to their neverending tormenting punishment. They will look to the devils who took the from of monks and politicians who they used to worship/follow to take some of their punishment, such devils will say to worry about your own selves as no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of others. That day the destitute moda buddhists who though they were superior in the land will come to know the truth of how lost and destitute of a people they actually are.

    • 3
      13

      sitrep24,
      What moda Sinhala Buddhists do is none of your business. When Sinhalayo who are the native people in Sinhale gave citizenship to ‘Para’ people they expected them to mind their business and live in this country without putting their nose into the affairs of Sinhalayo.

      • 14
        2

        Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

        Why does the Jaffna Police Station HQI Prasath Fernando think
        Pizza is most desirable food than
        Roast Paan (Roasted Bread)
        Kiribath (Milk Rice)
        Pol Roti (Coconut Flat Bread)
        Boiled Manioc
        Kadala Tel Dala (Stir-fried Chickpeas)
        Kola Kenda (Herbal Porridge)
        Kukulmas Mirisata (Spicy Chicken Curry)
        Prawn Curry
        Jaffna Crab Curry
        Jaffna Kool
        Pittu
        Iddiyappa
        Appa
        Dosa
        Idly
        Ambul Thiyal (Fish Curry)
        Kalupol Wattaka (Pumpkin Curry)
        Batu Moju (Eggplant Curry)
        Polos Curry (Young Jackfruit Curry)
        …..
        …..

        ….

        Is he an Italian or European by birth ?

        • 3
          1

          XD there’s no talking to this fellow. He’s just copying and pasting his pohottuwa propaganda.

        • 1
          0

          NV

          Now you mentioned Batu Moju……you got me all upset now. One other is Murunga Curry you missed?

          May be a big may be the Officer was hinting the “Italian connection” of a neighbouring countries Head of State whom the FP/TULF children brigade took out and hence the fate we have to miss out on all the goodies you mentioned?? quite a bit of truth in that you know…

          Except for those who lived in Colombo all their life and retire to Jaffna you still can have access to all this and get some pocket expenses as well……I am still washing toilets overseas having lost my Father and my Home.

          Waiting for a Malayali to come and open a Pizza outlet with the Jaffna fusion….Jaffna Sambal Base….

      • 4
        2

        I have no respect for moda people like you who don’t have respect for fellow human beings irrespective of their beliefs. Nowhere did I mention the word ‘para’, clearly indicates moda people like you only project your insecurities on to others.
        .
        Stop trying to get attention from me in order to give your worthles life some meaning.

      • 3
        2

        EE,
        .
        why none of anyone s business ? Today mess was created by MODA SINHALA BUDDHISTS…. they are not real buddhists but just buddhagama followers. If they would be asked to eat RATATHANAKOLA on one go, they would do at once. But Rajaakshes will have to face it sooner than later, the karma is wating to flat them and leave us a nice sight.

        I pray all divine forces to terminate the time given to Mahinda Rajakashe sooner than later. It is sorry sight to see him being MAIN JACKELs in the parliament today. Longer see him appeareing in the virulent parliament, we become more sick. At least we should have the right to work on our lucky hormones in a such appalling situation faced by the country today just because the b++puthas cant relinquish the power.

        • 4
          2

          “I pray all divine forces to terminate the time given to Mahinda Rajakashe sooner than later. “
          Real Buddhist Philosophy does not admit of getting relief from prayers. It is the admixture with Hinduism that this has crept into Temples.
          Even if the whole world prayed, can we eliminate Covid ?
          Unfortunate that there is categorisation of Sinhala Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims.
          Of course only SB are modayas but misguided Tamils who wanted Eelam and SL lost 30 years and Easter Sunday massacre by misguided Muslims cost the country very dearly. So only Moda Kama was voting in the Family.
          And so there are exceptions to moda kama ?
          These digressions take us away from the subject the Author wanted discussed.

  • 2
    2

    Majority may happy with 20th for Gota at the moment,in the future if repeated the 2015 scenario what’s the consequences would be,foreign inversion.
    Sangha wants a dictator like Hitler!
    It will be militarized and all the civil service be changed.
    Also mentioned the circular would be over the phone,.with that we have raw fish eaters as opposition.
    Budha pls reborn again and put your foot in mother Lanka that’s all I hope for,
    The poor eats bread the flour comes from USA,god knows where the paruppu comes from,these are the poor rich may be!

  • 9
    0

    Constitution making for country and people cannot work in this country because the politicians, professionals, Judges, Civil Societies, Medias are afraid of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists. Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism do not like equality and true Buddhism.

    • 2
      1

      Dear Ajith

      I really think there was never any Singhala nor Buddhist fundamentalism. In the post colonial days the Sinhalese tried to find their own feet in their own land without help from the foreign brand of Muslims who moved to SL as traders (not the local Muslims) & the Federal Party drama over the foreign workers in the plantations a land that belongs to Sinhalese people.

      The Sri Lankan Tamils who are not the Christians and caste oppressed and or just economically deprived found themselves misrepresented by the same FP demons in their own spaces sighting “Sinhalese” a non existing thread.

      FP/TULF have successfully through thuggery created all the Fundamentalism we have seen since 1970 with the help of Tamil and Muslim Fundamentalism. JVP is lost in this space as much as the Tamil and Muslim fundamentalists who do not even have answers for each other to date. Therefore this JVP/FP/TULF/Muslim minority has nothing to do with the Majority Sri Lankans period.

  • 9
    2

    This is Gota’s opening statement on his 1st Anniversary message:

    I quote “It is no secret that the majority who voted for me then were Sinhalese. They rallied because they had legitimate fears that the Sinhala race, our religion, national resources and the heritage would be threatened with destruction in the face of various local and foreign forces and ideologies that support separatism, extremism and terrorism.” unquote

    This guy is a dangerous racist. The entire Rajapaksa clan are racist. They want to thrive on racial hatred and racial fear. They want keep the racial hatred burning for their own benefits.

    • 0
      1

      Dear Rajesh

      “This guy is a dangerous racist. The entire Rajapaksa clan are racist. They want to thrive on racial hatred and racial fear. They want keep the racial hatred burning for their own benefits.”

      I am 57 years of age and a Sri Lankan and please explain why the above is true pls??

      I think we have elements of racism/bigotry in all of us and can go further to say perhaps more in Tamils and Muslims than from Sinhalese even after this audacious act that we took a war to them sighting reasons which are entirely unreasonable in any Country?? Most of the reasons if ever remotely justifiable regards to unfair violence was all to do with the GOSL responses during this unprecedented war that GOSL paid a lot of tolerance that does not get mentioned?? is it because we have made all the Soldiers death as a collateral damage?? all the opponents who were against FP/TULF/JVP/Muslim ISIS ways as enemies?? Indian activities accepted SL and now is all ok?? who said so etc?

  • 1
    2

    Dear Prof Rohan

    Thank you.

    (1) Giving credit to the people who has sacrificed all what they had since 1970 – 2019made a selection of a GOSL that they wanted even during the panademic. We have to deliver all that was promised including the issues you have kindly made a case for etc.

    (2) The first Constitution was all about being a republic and the Nation was proud in doing so…….some of you may not like it but you are all allowed to choose “freely” without any guns pointing to your heads is given. How cool is that/

    (3) The 1978 second constitution and /presidential drama came about because when the FP and TC took a blow in Jaffna elections they (TULF) conspired with foreign Nations to destroy our Nation. A foreign boot in Sri Lanka a taste given to the Indians by the JVP drama earlier.

    (4) We need a new constitution that will eliminate ghetto politics for ever and if anyone wish to have their kingdoms they should leave Sri Lanka and fight their battles in someone else Countries…..I can direct you to few places should you wish so please. The only crime that is left unattended is the killing fields in Jaffna by the Ratha Pottu Mafia FP/TULF/TN from 1970-1977-1981.

  • 0
    2

    Can CT create a bank account we can all contribute to help the people of Sri Lanka during the Pandemic??.

    • 7
      0

      Thiagarajah Venugopal

      President has set up an Account for the purpose of raising fund for relieving Pandemic related problems:
      Sri Lanka sets up special COVID-19 fund with open invitation for local & foreign donations
      Monday March 23, 2020 20:52
      Earlier today, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged USD 5 million (LKR 928.4 million) to the SAARC Corona Emergency Fund, the government’s official news portal reported.

      An account bearing the number 85737373 has been opened at the Corporate Branch of the Bank of Ceylon to house the Sri Lanka fund.
      -https://economynext.com/

      His brother Mahinda was once responsible for Tsunami relief fund.
      Mahind withdrew certain amount for his own from the bank account when questioned he said he returned it.

      Don’t forget you should not demand detailed audited accounts for the funds. Failure to comply this unwritten rule would warrant a visit by white/black/green/blue/burgundy/….
      colour van at unexpected times.

      • 2
        0

        NV

        You have all the insider info which I do not sorry….can not comment nor can I live for others deeds.

        However I really meant to ask CT to consider collecting funds from us all for the said help of our Folks?

  • 3
    1

    Even Hitler changed the “Constitution” after being “Elected” to govern Germany. Our President too must be thinking on the same way to Govern Sri Lanka. As an indication for what to come, our President too passed “20A” and obtained wide powers that were to an extent curtailed by the “19A”. Some of the powers under the “20A” are now been implemented and examples of that “Executive Power” are demonstrated in public. For example “The appointments to Judiciary”, The Proposals to name the Constitutional Council”, “The appointment of a “Sangha Saba” to advise the President on Governance” and some more are due. The people, either by own volition or misguided gave this “2/3rd” mandate and they are at the receiving end today. The decisions now forthcoming from the Judiciary are, perhaps the dangers appearing in the horizon. Together with the mindset of muzzling the “Free Media” could be another sighted danger. One commentator viz. S.C.Pasqual posed some questions to the writer and I hope the writer will not venture to answer such “Stupidities” wasting his time. One simple answer could be: “Yahapalanaya” was chased away together with it’s PM to do things much better by Pohottuwa and the same fate would have fallen on its President if he was not allowed into “Pohottu Camp”.

  • 4
    6

    I wonder whether Prof.Rohan Samarajiva wrote a similar article when ‘Jadapalana’ Government allowed to draft a new constitution which was a ‘Two Men Show’ to break the Unitary State of Sri Lanka (former Sinhale) and form a Confederation of nine units to fulfil the aspiration of Vellala Tamil politicians who are only a very small number out of the whole Tamil community scattered all over the country.

    • 6
      1

      Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

      Why does the Jaffna Police Station HQI Prasath Fernando think
      Pizza is most desirable food than
      Roast Paan (Roasted Bread)
      Kiribath (Milk Rice)
      Pol Roti (Coconut Flat Bread)
      Boiled Manioc
      Kadala Tel Dala (Stir-fried Chickpeas)
      Kola Kenda (Herbal Porridge)
      Kukulmas Mirisata (Spicy Chicken Curry)
      Prawn Curry
      Jaffna Crab Curry
      Jaffna Kool
      Pittu
      Iddiyappa
      Appa
      Dosa
      Idly
      Ambul Thiyal (Fish Curry)
      Kalupol Wattaka (Pumpkin Curry)
      Batu Moju (Eggplant Curry)
      Polos Curry (Young Jackfruit Curry)
      …..
      …..

      ….

      Is he an Italian or European by birth ?

  • 7
    1

    Latest news, murder suspect Pilliyan was released on bail. What a justice system in SriLankan under Mahinda family rule. IT is now very clear about the rule of law and justice system. Do we need a constitution to do this?

    • 0
      0

      The guy is released because there is more need of him. First could be Karuna, Then other Easterners……….

  • 3
    1

    From the time of Independence, Ceylon/Sri Lanka has had many “constitutions”.
    All of them would have brought prosperity to the nation, if the politicians who were elected had been honest, truthful and just; -never mind the race and religion of each of them.
    The latest version offers the same fate to the nation, because the same ‘type’ of politicians have been elected/installed.

  • 4
    2

    I yet to see any serious discussion of any errors in Soulbury constitution, though Tamils claimed that Privy Council did not save them and SWRD wanted to abolish it because he thought Privy Council was shielding Tamils from the Sinhala Intellectuals’ point blank shots. Dysfunctional Soulbury constitution was said a replica of Westminster, like other failed 13A is from Indian model. Though those two countries are doing well, imitations didn’t do any good in Lankawe, but only helped to nationalization, disenfranchising & MMDA to use Muslim extremist. Because of this, it is under Soulbury constitution the JVP’s and Tamils’ rebel started. Further, this type of soft essays can do no good. 1). Sinhala Buddhists have no idea about what is talked or written beyond their Mahanama world. 3). Sinhala Intellectuals have so thick immune skin to the shame at international level, so they care nothing. This essay is only “the rain in the wild on the buffalo”. As the essay tends to tell at the start, constitution is only a frame work. It is the artist put the shape and figures on that frame and makes the statue. There is no artistic Sinhala Intellectual who can make a Ganapati Statue; that is why all that so far tried turned out to be monkeys. No way can any new constitutions help Lankawe, so, only solution that left for Tamils is going alone.

  • 3
    1

    The essay talks about lot of things. I think the case picked up to illustrate the topic is ideal one. It is not citing a case woman, but presenting clip of “A day in the life of a Lankaweyan Woman”. Other than in superrich families of politicians or Business families, whether employed or begging on the road, under culture of all three Lankaweyan races, all women have to discharge their housewife duty, daily, religiously. 90,000 Tamils women are war widows, doing extreme menial jobs to bring up the children, some are invalidated by Rapist Army Cluster, Chemical, and Thermobaric bombing and shelling. Muslim women cannot go out and wash houses or dishes, locally; no approval from Exs or quack (quasi) judges. Countries main income are from Sinhala Girls works in factories, Up Country women who scale the mountains and those are rented to Middle Eastern masters, unitedly by the family. The media and Champika’s speech in last government suggests that out of remaining number, some females are employed in clerical service and as sales girls’ of stores, pretty decent for any society. Astonishingly, Lankawe economy is women’s economy, incomparable to many other countries. Lankawe has 52% women population. But Less than 5% representation in the legislative body, parliament. By that defect, the life of fair sex is pathetic in Lankawe. Can constitutions correct this like, Tamils despair?

  • 1
    0

    Rs 5000 a month for how long before the money runs out? Curfew means to earn a living for most self employed taxi/bus/lorry drivers, day laboures, trades people like wadu/mason/ pipe basses. A whole host of people have no money and are starving. How long into the month does Rs5000 last that is assuming it is given fairly which more than likely is not happening and is being suppressed by the boot licking media. What is the point of a new constitution when a bunch of murders have usurped power and subverted the constitution. These are the masterminds behind the massacre of 250 odd innocent lives. They are also the master minds behind undermining and finally wiping out of the only governmnet that followed democtratic and constitutional rule? There is no need for a constitution in the neo fascist ditatorship of Sri Lanka and soon to be the Chinese colony of Chi Lanka. To these scoundrels constitutions are what they wipe their you know whats with. The good professor is delusional.

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