27 May, 2022


Defeating Rajapaksa Will Create Democratic Space To Find Solutions: Lawyers’ Collective

A group of senior legal practitioners have pledged their support to the common candidate at the upcoming Presidential polls, as the common opposition movement he leads has pledged to restore democracy and good governance in the country.

The Conveners of the Lawyers’ Collective, Lal Wijenayake, Chandrapala Kumarage and JC Weliamuna releasing a statement to announce their stance that was decided at the Executive Meeting held on November 24, have pointed out that they decided to support the common candidate since he has pledged to:

·         Abolish the Executive Presidential system and establish a parliamentary system of government

·         Re-enact 17th amendment

·         Restore democracy, good governance and establish a society where people can live as free citizens in a free society

Lawyers collectiveThey have pointed out that the deep social and political crisis in the result of significant powers being vested in a single person under the Execrative Presidential system and has pointed out that although the abolition of the Executive Presidency is not the solution to all social, economic and political issues, they believe it would create necessary democratic space for to engage in finding solutions to the prevalent issues.

We publish below the statement in full;

The Executive Committee of ‘Lawyers Collective’ at its meeting held on 24th November unanimously revolved as follows:

‘Lawyers Collective’ which emerged as an umbrella organization of several lawyers associations when the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa introduced to Parliament the infamous, scandalous, impeachment motion in Parliament, to impeach the 43rd Chief Justice. ‘Lawyers Collective’ has throughout uncompromisingly and steadfastly stood for Rule of Law, independence of the Judiciary and protection of human rights.

We are a nation that has a long history of democratic governance where democratic values were respected and where there was space for dissent and diversity.

In the past, our country was accepted as a model democracy and we won the respect and affection of the international community. Through the democratic process we were able to build a welfare state where social justice prevailed.

What we see today is the total dismantling of the system that prevailed. We see a complete breakdown of Rule of Law, independence of the judiciary and respect for human rights, and the welfare state based on social justice has disappeared.

We are of the view that the deep social, economic and political crisis that we face today is mainly due to the enormous powers vested in one person under the Executive Presidential System. Adoption of the 18th amendment has created an authoritarian state stinking with corruption and family rule where one family controls the political power and economic resources of the country.

We cannot even think of reversing this trend unless we abolish the Executive Presidential System. Though we do not envisage that the abolition of the Executive Presidential System is the solution to all social, economic and political problems facing the country, we believe that it will create the necessary democratic space for us to engage in finding solutions to our problems.

Lack of accountability at all levels of government is of serious concern to us.

For these reasons we resolve to support the candidature of the Opposition Common Candidate, who with number of opposition political has pledged to

(1)         abolish the Executive Presidential System and to establish a Parliamentary System of Government where the executive power vest with the Prime Minister and a Cabinet accountable to Parliament.

(2)         re-enact the 17th amendment.

(3)         restore democracy, good governance and establish a society where we can live as free citizens in a free society, free of fear.

Conveners : Lal Wijenayake, Chandrapala Kumarage, JC Weliamuna

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Tide is coming and it will become a tidal wave pretty soon. This will be big.
    However I am worried about the actions of ruling party. Will they allow this election to take place ? I am sure they have started thinking about the alternatives available to them.

    As RW said it is better to go streets before the election than after the elections. Every like minded Sri Lankan should do the right thing come this election. The opportunity missed and misused by this regime since end of war in 2009 can be put right. The country can regain it’s lost credibility.

    Peace,equality and prosperity to all !

    • 4

      RE: Defeating Rajapaksa Will Create Democratic Space To Find Solutions: Lawyers’ Collective

      Lawyers’ Collective

      Can Somebody, anybody, write the Common sense Pamphlet Sri lanka 2014, just like Thomas pain did in 1776 for america.

      The Politicians did their job and came up with a Common Sense candidate.

      Time is running out.

      Presidential election on Jan 8, 2016. Choice is Between Good and Udgly, MaRa, Mara.

      Common Sense (pamphlet)


      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

      • 3

        Amaraya again sticking to his BBS type jumping the queue attitude, or maybe he does not know that comment should be posted individually rather than as a reply to the 1st comment.

        some people will never change. Paw ithin. what to do !

      • 2

        Amarey, may I ask you pls write the common sense pamphlet for Srilanka.

        Put it forward so we can digest and make our contributions. If you have already done it, repost it. Better as most people now learn through pic’s and animation than reading, narrate it to us through a collage of pic’s or a youtube clip.

        Looking forward to reading/viewing it Amarey.


    • 1

      JC Weliamuna turning against the goverment? Shock, horror!
      What is the world coming to?

      Can’t trust anyone or anything any more? can we?

  • 3

    The country is trying to take a necessary sharp turn to travel back in the right road. Luckyly we intelegent srilankans spoted the mistake in time before jumping from the hill into ireversible ditch and sudden death.So still there is hope for future paradise as long as we recover most of the stollen money and illegaly sold land from MR & co.They cannot hide even in China because chinese government have to deport them if there is court case against them in another country – they will not wast time with someone not in power or not usefull anymore -which is called use and through which is very common in developed countries.

  • 2

    Well done!
    Hope more groups endorse ‘The Common Candidate”, to help Sri Lanka progress into a forward thinking, not backward scratching country.

  • 2

    I have to presume that Lawyers’ Collective, have set upon on a mission to restore sovereignty in the hands of the People, believing that that would bring back democracy into our lives. A noble objective, indeed.

    However, the three pledges they have made do not seem adequate enough to fulfil their mission.

    Pinning the cause of deep social and political crisis in the country to the single factor of significant powers vested in a hands of a President is grave negligence.

    The current malaise in the country did not begin with the incumbent or with any of the past occupants who adorned the Presidency. The rot began much much earlier.

    As such, the pledges run short.

    Abolishing the Executive Presidential System alone does not create the necessary space for finding democratic solutions to our problems.

    Even though the claim that we are a nation that has a long history where there was space for dissent and diversity is largely true, there was no room ever for dissent and consensus. There is no room for the claim that we had democratic governance where democratic values were respected.

    When was our country accepted as a model democracy? When did we win the respect and affection of the international community? Why decorate these claims with untruths.

    I am disappointed that even the respectable JC Weliamuna who sincerely believes that the end of the war has not solved the ethnic conflict in SL and that it still persists has signed on to those inadequate pledges.

  • 3

    hey !! Card board lawyers for many things to place, first defeat Rajapakshe and then open your gabs.
    Are you guys coughing for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?

    You Colombo kakkas in black are dreaming………..
    First look at the task of how to defeat……….

    You guys are dreaming and groping in the dark noy knowing the direction of the Carriage or the Horse.
    this is the same manner you dupe your clients.

  • 2

    Defeating Rajapakse is the first step, so let’s focus on it. Public statements from organisations such as this should be communicated in Sinhala to all rural and village voters.

    The aim should be to win the support at grass root level.

  • 3

    “Defeating Rajapaksa Will Create Democratic Space To Find Solutions: Lawyers’ Collective”

    This a load of crap:

    The common candidate for the Sinhalese opposing Mara junta may make them rejoice at the prospects of electing Sirisena.

    However, Sirisena has said he will not allow Rajapakse regime (and presumably the mass murdering military) from being hauled in front of international war crimes tribunal.

    This is obviously to win over the Sinhalesesupremacist votes.

    Now, this means he does not want accountability or justice for the tens of thousands of Tamil victims.

    Is it how he is is going to restore democracy?
    Democracy for the Sinhalese but not for Tamils?

    They are all the same from D S Senanayake to Mahinda – they all took away something or the other of Tamils’ historical rights.

    As Kusal Perera said the Sinhalese society in the “South” has become corrupt and immoral, and admire as heroes all the wrong-doers amongst them starting from the CJ, president downwards. Even the mahanayakes are liars.

    Heil Nazi style Sri Lankan democracy!

  • 1

    Defeating ~ MR will definitely give and opportunity for another bunch of roughs and crooks ~ consisting cross overs who could not rob enough and those who were impatiently waiting to rob ~ in addition to that LTTE , Diaspora and TNA will have another chance to start their political game again to create a separate country within our country ~ this time not by war but by a referendum in the north and east ~ if anybody thinks MS is going to save this country that will never happen because after 100 days he will be nothing but a puppet President without any of executive powers ~ which will be taken over by Ranil ~ MS you already reserve a place in our political history as a traitor blinded by your own ego ~ your love for the country ~bull shit stories

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