10 December, 2018

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Democracy And General Elections

By Mahinda Rajapaksa – 

Mahinda Rajapaksa

It is only in Sri Lanka that you will find political parties agitating against the holding of a general election that has already been declared. In the gazette notification dated 09 November 2018 issued by the President in accordance with the provisions of our Constitution and the Parliamentary Elections Act, dates had been fixed to call for nominations from the 19th to the 26th November, to hold the poll on the 5th January 2019, and for the new Parliament to meet for the first time on the 17th January. If things had gone accordingly, stability would soon have been restored to this country.

Last year, in November 2017, there was the danger of the local government elections being postponed indefinitely because certain individuals had petitioned the Court of Appeal against the holding of the local government elections citing delimitation issues. However when the Chairman of the Elections Commission declared that he will proceed to hold elections at least in respect of the local government institutions that were not subject to litigation, the then government reluctantly fell in line and agreed to hold elections. With that the peitioners who had gone before the Court of Appeal quietly withdrew their petitions. It was quite clear in that instance, that the court procedure was being misused for a political purpose.

Today, six of the nine provinces in the country do not have functioning provincial councils. The previous government avoided holding elections to the provincial councils for more than one year. We held the Eastern Provincial Council election in 2008 even before the war had ended, immediately after clearing the province of the LTTE. Once the de-mining of the Vanni was complete, we held provincial council elections in the northern province as well in 2013. Today, without any war in the country, both those provinces do not have provincial councils. The previous government put off provincial council elections indefinitely by deliberately refraining from fulfilling the conditions relating to the delimitation of constitutencies in Act No. 17 of 2017 which was rushed through Parliament last year just days before the Sabaragamauwa, North Central and Eastern Provincial Councils were to stand dissolved.

I am placing on record this explanation because the UNP and its affilaited political parties have been making misleading statements from the political platform with a view to deceiving the general public. From the time of our first Parliament, elections were called early whenever necessary to overcome situations of political turbulence.  In 1952 when the then Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake died, a division emerged within the UNP regarding the succession. Even though the effective number two in the party was Sir John Kotelawala, the then Governor General Lord Soulbury invited Dudley Senanayake to be the Prime Minister. Within days of swearing in as Prime Minister, Dudley Seneyake summoned a general election and obtained a fresh people’s mandate to contain the divisions within the ruling party.

In 1959 after the assassination of S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike, W. Dahanayake became Prime Minister. When rifts emerged within his Cabinet, he too called a general election. The Governor General’s power to dissolve Parliament was provided for in Article 15 of the 1948 Constitution. Even though Parliamentary conventions like dissolving parliament when the statement of government policy is rejected or when a government loses the budget were not expressly stated in the 1948 Constitution, those conventions applied in Sri Lanka because we closely followed the British system of Parliamentary government at that time. 

Provisions relating to the President’s power to dissolve Parliament in our first Republican Constitution of 1972, were found in Article 21. The convention of dissolving Parliament if the statement of government policy was rejected, or a budget  was defeated found mention in Article 99 of that Constitution. With regard to the second Republican Constitution of 1978, the President’s power to dissolve Parliament and the convention of dissolving Parliament in the event of a rejection of the statement of government policy or the budget, found mention in Article 70(1). I have no intention of dealing with any matter that is before courts. All these are matters that are being discussed in the media, the social media and in society in general.

The UNP and its allies claim that the 19th Amendment repealed and replaced the old Article 70(1) of the 1978 Constitution, and that according to the new article 70(1), the President cannot dissolve Parliament until the lapse of four and a half years. They claim that an early dissolution will be possible only if Parliament passes a resolution by a two thirds majority requesting the President to dissolve Parliament. All the provisions relating to the dissolution of Parliament in the 1978 Constitution, were found in the old article 70(1) before the 19th Amendment. If those provisions have been abolished, then there are no provisions in the present Constitution to dissolve Parliament in the event of a government losing a vote of no confidence, the vote on the budget or the statement of government policy.

Such restrictions are completely contrary to the Parliamentary tradition. Most countries with a Parliamentary form of government have ceremonial heads of state. Even in such countries, the head of state can exercise his discretion in dissolving Parliament. The British constitutional authority A.V.Dicey has said that if the Crown is of the view that the opinion of the public is different to that of the majority in Parliament, the Crown has the discretion to dissolve Parliament and summon a general election. In 1975, the Governor General of Australia sacked Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and called a general election entirely at his own discretion.

Dr B.R.Ambedkar, the founder of the Indian Constitution has said that the President of India can exercise his discretion when deciding whether to dissolve Parliament. The Governors of the Indian states who are representatives of the President, have exercised that discretion from the very beginning.  In 1970, President V.V.Giri exercised his discretion in dissolving Parliament despite the protests of the opposition which had a majority in Parliament. In 1979, President Sanjiva Reddy exercised his discretion and dissolved Parliament due to a situation of near anarchy in the Lower House.

That was in countries with ceremonial heads of state. However the Sri Lankan head of state is an Executive President directly elected by the people. It has been clearly stated in the Supreme Court determination on the 19th Amendment that the power that the sovereign people have vested in the President cannot be removed without a two thirds majority in Parliament and a referendum. Even though it is claimed that the President’s power to dissolve parliament that had been provided for in the old Article 70(1) have been removed, what has actually happened is that those provisions have been taken to another part of the Constitution. 

While amending the old Article 70(1), the 19th Amendment also introduced a new subsection (2)(c) to Article 33 of the Constitution. What this new provision says is that ‘in addition to the powers, expressly assigned to the President by the Constitution or other written law, the President shall have the power…to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament’. The new provision that has been introduced to the Constitution in the form of article 33(2)(c) has not been made subject to Article 70(1) as amended by the 19th Amendment either.

That is obviously why the 2015 Supreme Court determination on the 19th Amendment did not say that the amendment made to the old article 70(1) had reduced the President’s powers to dissolve Parliament. If the purpose was to reduce the President’s powers, an amendment would have been made only to Article 70(1). Legal experts are of the opinion that the reason why the President’s powers to dissolve parliament which were provided for in the old Article 70(1) have been reintroduced to the Constitution in the form of Article 33(2)(c) is because the President’s power in that regard cannot be taken away except through a referendum.

The 19th Amendment shifted other provisions of the Constitution from one place to another in a similar manner. The old article 42 which declared that the President was responsible to Parliament in the execution of his duties was repealed and the same provision without any change in the wording, was reintroduced as Article 33A by the 19th Amendment. Only the drafters of the 19th Amendment will know why that was done. But the end result is that the President continues to be responsible to Parliament under the 19th Amendment just as he was before the 19th Amendment was introduced. The same applies when a power that the President had under the old Article 70(1) is reintroduced to the Constitution in the form of Article 33(2)(c).  

After the 19th Amendment, Parliamentary conventions have been preserved in our Constitution through Article 33(2)(c). If we ignore that Article and accept only Article 70(1) as amended by the 19th Amendment, then we will be faced with a situation where there is absolutely no provision in the Constitution to dissolve Parliament in the event the government is defeated at a vote on the budget, the statement of government policy or a motion of no confidence is passed against a government. Such a situation is completely contrary to Parliamentary tradition.  If even the ceremonial heads of state in countries with parliamentary forms of government can dissolve Parliament and call for fresh elections at their discretion when the circumstances so require, how logical is it to say that the President of Sri Lanka who is vested with the executive power of the state on behalf of the sovereign people cannot dissolve Parliament no matter what happens in the country?

How can it be said that the President does not have the power to dissolve Parliament when Article 33(2)(c) was specifically introduced to the Constitution by the 19th Amendment? It took only 56 votes in Parliament to pass into law Act No. 5 of 2018 which put in place a legal framework to hand over our war heroes to foreign courts. How then can one argue that you need 150 votes in Parliament to be able to pave the way for the sovereign people to exercise their franchise? I was recently given a copy of a report published by an inter-governmental organisation called the ‘International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’. The member states of this organisation include Germany, Australia, Canada, Switzerland and also India and Japan.

According to that report, there are only two countries that require a two thirds majority to dissolve Parliament – Kosovo and Lithuania. However even in those countries the head of state can dissolve parliament if a no confidence motion against the government is adopted or if the statement of government policy is rejected. The only country mentioned therein which has a Parliament that cannot be dissolved under any circumstances until the end of its term, is Norway. However the situation in Norway is very different to ours. The population of Norway is smaller than that or our Western Province. Furthermore, that country is a constitutional monarchy.

Even if a government is defeated in Parliament, it has to continue in office until a new government is appointed by the King. When the King in Council presents the annual budget to Parliament, it will be debated but there is no tradition of defeating budgets in that country. Most of the time, Norway has had minority governments that do not have a majority in Parliament. That is the situation at this moment as well. It should be clear that what works in Norway will not work in Sri Lanka.

The manner in which the French Constitution evolved is also relevant to this discussion. The Constitution that France had before 1940 had made it virtually impossible to dissolve Parliament. This led to chronically unstable governments being formed in France during those years. In 1940, Hitler invaded France. After being liberated from the German occupation, France promulgated a new Constitution in 1946 which relaxed the provisions relating to the dissolution of Parliament and allowed the calling of fresh elections in the event where two no confidence motions are passed against a government within a period of 18 months. However, because even that did not suffice to ensure stable governments, the present Constitution of France which was adopted in 1958 has given the President the power to dissolve Parliament at his discretion.

We must learn from those experiences. Since the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of fresh elections will have implications for the person ordering such actions as well, no head of state will take such a decision lightly. Such a decision will be made only in serious situations. The only way to restore stability to a destablised democracy, will be through a general election. According to our Constitution, sovereignty is vested in the people and not in Parliament. The manner in which the people exercise their sovereignty is through the franchise. I invite all those who respect democracy to give careful thought to these matters.

May the blessings of the Tripple Gem be upon you, 

God bless you, 

and my best wishes for the future.

*Text of a speech delivered by Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday the 2nd December 2018.

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Latest comments

  • 21
    4

    You lost your reputation and dignity ..
    Once you lost the election in 2015 ; you should have left the office with respect ..like many others who did it in the past ..
    But your greed for power hunted you ..
    You fraud and public looting did not let you to.do that .
    You helped many to loot public money and now you are trapped between two evils .
    You can not leave politics but you want to hang into it to save your criminals .
    Time will tell.what is going to happens.
    Shame on you for crimes of your family you lost your repscts

    • 5
      7

      Shenal,

      Why did Ranil stay behind even after getting defeated so many elections?

      • 15
        1

        “Democracy And General Elections”

        Mahinda,

        Buddy, first step down from the position you so un-democratically – now, now, don’t try to pass the blame only to Sirisena; both you guys conspired for months – ascended into and show what democracy truly is.

        Usually elections are held when elections are due …….. not when you want them. :))

    • 2
      10

      Lankan No 1
      Give me one good reason why should MR go home after his defeat?
      He came back at the request of people. Therefore, you mind your own business, ok.
      Why do you hold him responsible for crimes said to have committed by others as you yourself say? Are you a descendant of King Kekille who once ordered to kill a fat jeweller in place of a thin rogue because he was too thin for King’s elephant to stamp him to death?

      • 8
        0

        Dear ..champa .
        All what MR did was not for him.
        He may have been a good man .
        But people around him fooled him.
        Sorry for him.
        China deceived him.
        China trapped him in loan .
        China fooled him too.
        When power comes into hands; our leaders forget national interest ..
        It is very much clear China is cheating all poor country .
        Do a research on it .
        We have blessed with many experts in Sri Lanka …in economics and geopolitics ..
        But Mahinda did not seek good advice from them..
        He behaved like idiots in all these areas ..
        Now he paid the price.
        Sorry for him ..
        His luck runs out .
        Sorry for him
        He is good man ..but he trusted bad people ..
        I respect him but his groups .
        Sorry for his politics went wrong ..
        You can fool people now ..

      • 6
        1

        Champa,
        How do you know that people requested MR to come back? I and you know that Mahinda brought 18th amendment after bribing number of MPs in order to become President for 3rd time. That is why he went for an early election when no one asked or requested him. He lost both Presidential and parliamentary election. The current President who appointed MR as PM told in public that MR bribed MPs and made several attempts to bribe more MPs. Do you think bribing should be encoraged by our leaders or bribing should be legalised.

      • 3
        3

        You are an idiot Champo.

        Who on the earth would ever trust your words ?

        Ballige putha after being defeated in 2015 were no longer in demand inthis country.

        If you mean that local elections results are to a call him to return. There we need to question the people again.

        See howthe UNF gatherings these days, if Ballige putha was in demand. Today, we have deivions, between the civlized and the uncivilized.

        You still seem to be the uncivilized that would by force want to keep the power for them.
        You will seem to be with the uncivilized that behaved so ill in the parliament, not knowing the the least about parliamentary democracy.

        I think you too should see it right yet day, if we to go for the civilized and promote the ballige putha led uncivilized.
        To me, if Ballige putha would have been taken away by nature tomorrow, that will be the day me to celebrate the future of this nation.

        • 2
          0

          Despearate Asinhalaya
          If he was not in demand, how could UPFA won 96 seats in 2015 itself?

          • 3
            1

            Dont try to overestimate: Next days we will see more of Manusha Nanayakaara that would join UNF, JVP and TNA.

            I have no doubt, people are becoming more aware that Ballige putha grabed the power to block his various kind of investigations.

            If Buddhas teachings work on the human beings, Ballige putha should be punished by all devine forces, since what he has been doing with SIRISENA gothadiya will create unexpected problems to this nation.
            People are so stupid, and cant know the facts and figures of the ground reality of the political crisis.
            People are caught by both Ballige Putha led Facists politics and his MEDIA mafia.
            Media Mafia run by Ballige putha s loyalists keep the masses in the island in dark.
            If you live in the country, please try to interview 50 coming from various walks of lives, there you will get to know the truths about the people easily. I do it each time travelling to the country.
            I know people would rather stay like followers than making efforts to know the truths by themselves.

    • 2
      0

      Oh Lankan No 1 other than throwing insults read the above, you may learn something.

      Mr PM says above “If those provisions have been abolished, then there are no provisions in the present Constitution to dissolve Parliament in the event of a government losing a vote of no confidence, the vote on the budget or the statement of government policy.”
      That is spot on! You could read the Hansard of April 27 and 28 and Hon P. Gunawarhana repeatedly tries to bring up the absurdity in the repeal of the article 70 but he is shouted down.

    • 0
      0

      Hey it is high time Guanthanbe prisoners to come out and talk about their high crimes, if Ballige putha Rajpakshe is given chance to talk about democracy in this country.

      So long lanken media slaves would behave with fears, no truths would outreach to the masses. Masses behave to the command being given by Rajapakshe rascals.

      My Worry is why the media slaves are made that servile yet today knowing that Ballige putha Rajakseh hurt them not just one single person but over 44 journos were tortured and sent missing.
      Why on earth very same journos to behave further in favour of them ?
      Is that jus tbecuase we the sinhalaya are born slaves ( I mean most of us ) .
      ?
      Rajapakseh should be hung by their balls in galle face in order us to feel fine.
      These criminals not hurt not just tamils and muslims but own race.
      I would do anything any everyhting to reveal Rajakshe TERROR wihtin this slave island.

  • 14
    1

    Dear Mr Rajapakse,

    It appears from your argument that you are very well versed with the constitution and democratic tradition of Sri Lanka. Now that the decision to dissolve the Parliament is with Supreme Court and two NCM against you and your minority Government have been passed should you not respect the Parliamentary democracy and resign from your position as Prime Minister?

    We all know that you are one of the veterans of our Parliamentary democracy and a decent and honorable old member of our Parliament. We, citizens of Sri Lanka beg you to resign and bow out of your present post honorably.

    • 3
      4

      Nakeeb M Issadeen,
      _

      How can a Dissolved Parliament bring about NCM’s and minority/majority status? In this interim period before general elections, government with Rajapaksa as PM is the majority one with plenty of CM’s for him.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Ramona,

        The Parliament is not dissolved yet. The decision to dissolve the Parliament is pending with Supreme Court. Until the judgment is issued by SC Parliament will conduct its business as usual.
        In the event that SC rules out that the order by the President to dissolve the Parliament is unconstitutional, the verdict is sufficient ground to impeach the President for acting contrary to the constitution.
        The chain of events clearly show that the intention of the President was not to dissolve the Parliament. After appointing MR as the PM he prorogue the Parliament to give MR sufficient time to ‘buy’ the additional no of MPs to prove his majority in the Parliament. When MR could not do within the allocated time, as a face saving measure the President attempted to dissolve the Parliament.
        When the Executive attempted to abuse the Legislature the Supreme Court is for the rescue of democracy in this country.
        May God saves the Queen.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Ramona,

        The Parliament is not dissolved yet. The decision to dissolve the Parliament is pending with Supreme Court. Until the judgment is issued by SC Parliament will conduct its business as usual.
        In the event that SC rules out that the order by the President to dissolve the Parliament is unconstitutional, the verdict is sufficient ground to impeach the President for acting contrary to the constitution.
        The chain of events clearly shows that the intention of the President was not to dissolve the Parliament. After appointing MR as the PM he prorogued the Parliament to give MR sufficient time to ‘buy’ the additional no of MPs to prove his majority in the Parliament. When MR could not do within the allocated time, as a face saving measure the President attempted to dissolve the Parliament.
        When the Executive attempted to abuse the Legislature the Supreme Court is now entrusted with the task for the rescue of democracy in this country.
        May God Save the Queen.

        • 0
          0

          Nakeeb M Issadeen. It is a mere formality – a judicial technality to go back to the first set of circumstances before passing final judgement in a week’s time. If “God save the Queen” comes over “Triple Gem bless Motherland- Budu Saranai,” it will be a travesty of international justice towards democracy for the masses.

        • 0
          0

          Court can make rulings but the execution power is still with the Executive which represent the people’s authority — So Sirisena can go back to people and ask do I need to abide by the verdict of Court –

  • 19
    2

    Mahinda Rajapakse should be making these submissions before the Supreme Court. Any person who has the good commonsense to know why flies gather round shit, should know what our glorious ex president is now talking about. Let the Supreme Court give its verdict. If it rules the dissolution invalid , MR is a fake PM and the President has committed an impeachable offense that parliament is compelled to take note of.

    • 7
      1

      Mr De Alwis,

      I m bit worried of the upcoming SC verdict. If that would be inf avour of Ballige putha
      Rajkashe, I have no clue how i would end up.

      The CJ Nalin Perera is a man appointed by Sirisena albeit he has a clean record in his carrier.
      But this will be highly decisive to the future of SRILANKA.

    • 2
      4

      That is not true Sarath my (former friend). Nowhere in the constitution, it says that the President has to appoint the person who has the most votes in the Parliament as the PM. It says the person, the President consider who has the most confidence in Parliament is to be appointed as the PM by the President. So, Mahinda’s premiership is not fake. If anyone wants to bring an NCM they should according to the standing orders, why not? Why suspend the standing orders? There is no rush, if the speaker started the proper procedure on the 14th it would be done by now.
      How can dissolution of the Parliment by the President be an impeachable offense? The shoddy 19th do has complicated the dissolution issue to a glass half full/half empty argument.
      Is the cat dead or alive?

  • 10
    1

    Rajakshe has no the least right to even talk about democracy and its values. May well be these are just slogans to the punnakku eating Rajakshe loyalists.

    Not just once but 4 or more times have now been proved, that the junta govt being made by him is no longer consittutional.

    Better to listen to the high criminals in Guantanamo Bay detention camp, if we the folks are to listen to you MR and his chillipowder- loyalists.

    I think the people have been caught by abusing the media but infavour of them.
    Nothing in MAIN STREAM media within the country are ground realities.
    Basil Rajakashe the most abusive in the bunch of thugs in that family, are believed tob e handling local media (printed, pvt TV senders etc).

    If the SC s decision would be infavour of them, this country would end up the way Zimbabwe faced it. No doubt about that.

  • 8
    2

    This “Deposed King -MR” is asking the People to abide by the Gazette Notice through which the President has notified the dates for “Nominations” and “Elections”. However, those “Nomination Dates” have already passed and “History”. He “The Deposed King” has “Ignored”, as usual , that very notification has been challenged and a decision is awaited. If he is so keen in holding elections, then what he should tell his present “King” whose “King” he was years back, to STOP all these “Negotiations” with UNF & TULF and await the “Decision” of SC. He, the “Deposed King” has “Ignored” that his “Usurped” position of PM has been challenged and presently under investigation. I used the word “IGNORED” to show his usual and accustomed tactics (arrogance & dictatorial) to divert the attention of the people from a crisis situation. Now he (MR & CO. Inc.) is planning an “EXIT STRATEGY” by advocating to hold an “Election” to settle the crisis. This is a “Big Ploy” adopted and an “EMISSARY” – a member of the “JUNTA” by the name Dr. Wijedasa Rajapakse was sent to to the Parliament to sow the seed of a “Negotiated Settlement”. This “SERMON” narrated in this article is noting but an “APPETIZER” to stimulate the taste buds of the People to a “Happy Meal” that he is ready to cook, but in actual fact is nothing but an “EXIT STRATEGY”. Hope the PEOPLE will understand this “JUNTA” operations clearly. It is a “BITTER PILL” coated with “SUGAR”.

  • 11
    1

    G L Pieris

    Thanks for the above.
    Though I haven’t read the above I know well Dr Mahinda does not believe in Democracy or Elections. So do many.

    By the way On 27 October 2018 the political brat who is in your care/custody told the media that he was going to visit the Tamil detainees the next day and promised to get them released as soon as possible.

    Did Namal Baby visit them?
    It is generally understood that he is the head of Horse Trading replacing his uncle Basil in the last few rounds of trading. Is it true?
    If you don’t want to discuss clan’s family matters don’t you worry we have our source, KASmaalam K A Sumasekere who in his own long winded vellala ways inadvertently will confirm of the wheeling dealing of the family.

    Hope you are taking good care of the baby.

  • 4
    0

    Madamulana “Seeni Ukkun” Jathiye Adambarakara Appachchi should get his own dose of medicine.

  • 5
    0

    Sira single-handedly created this crisis. But it is beginning to look like he may not be able to resolve this all by himself.

  • 7
    1

    I did not waste my time reading this article. You got some one else to write your law exam. Leave alone the constitution,you do not know the difference between right and wrong. When 6.2 million reject you in an election, not because you won the war, but because you let you family and friends loot the country, you must learn to respect the people’s will. Creaping in through a coup is not democracy.

  • 4
    0

    To justify the putsch MR says ~ “………If things had gone accordingly, stability would soon have been restored to this country………”.
    Unwittingly MR accepts it was a putsch.
    How come the explanations and/or examples here are not offered by MS?
    .
    ‘The Daily Mirror’ had this “We will adopt next strategy after Supreme Court ruling MR”.
    Of the 2014Aluthgama-type?

  • 7
    0

    Mr. Ex President and now Fake PM. You must read Tisaranee’s article of today on bits and pieces of your horrific record.

    You had lamented in a BBC interview “We ask for a general election… There is a small problem in the Constitution. The President can’t do it. Because there is a clause preventing him from dissolving until after four and a half years.” What are you saying now?

    Then when the Supreme Court ruled that the PSC set up to conduct impeachment hearings against CJ Shirani was not properly constituted, and had no power to conduct an investigation against the CJ and also soon after the Appeal Court quashed the PSC’s findings you flippantly ignored these court rulings and proceeded to throw her out. Your reign was dotted with such contempt for the judiciary whenever it suited you.

    Now you wait for the SC ruling on the illegal dissolution of parliament because it is your last straw to hold on to. Why don’t you ask MS to hold Presidential elections in January? The constitution allows it!

  • 5
    0

    Dear Mr. Mahinda Rajapase, everyone knows how you built your family dynasty and involved in HR violations. You and your family members are trying to escape from legal cation Read the constitution about dissolving parliament. You have to wait 4 years and six months after 2015 elections. Just because you won many seats in the Pradesh Sabah does not mean that you can become a PM. The general election is different from rural lections. Here the minorities play a vital part. Now after this crisis your popularity has dropped and people feel that if you come back, Sri Lankan will become a state of Chna. Moreover there SLFP MP’s who still support Chandrika. They will not support you. I would advise you to resign honorably without listening to the advice GL and former CJ. They mislead you

  • 7
    2

    MaRa Man,

    You have become a worthless trash. You have been long rejected by the people in 2015. Six times consecutively you lost the trust of the parliament.

    You are surrounded by scoundrels like SB. Go back to Madamulana and never try to grab power.

    Don’t let us call yoy “Bellige Putha”

  • 6
    1

    You should be tried and suitably dealt with for treason: corruption at levels impossible to imagine, obtaining Chinese loans for improbable and impossible “projects”, putting the country in debt for generations to come, allowing your family members a free hand in corruption and even murder, etc etc etc. BUT I will say one thing: you may manipulate your way to a place of power once again but that too will pass away and the great day of judgment WILL come.

  • 4
    1

    Hmmmmmmmm….. a new detergent to wash Maithri’s dirty clothes!!!!! :D :D :D
    .
    I have to ask you again, my loving Mr. former President. Who drafted this?
    .
    Let’s start from the “first para” which is totally irrelevant for two reasons; 1. The dates have already passed. 2. The matter is now before the SC.
    Mind my telling you, the phrase “if things have gone accordingly…. ” is usually said by old maids who laments for everything. Besides, President has no power to dissolve the Parliament “thanks” to his own 19A which was in effect since May 2015 (I believe.) That is the reason his term of office was reduced to 5, from 6.
    .
    The second and third paras.
    Again they have no relevance to the matter. There are no provisions stipulated in the Constitution about holding or not holding LG or PC elections whereas the dissolution of Parliament has clear guidelines.
    Oh, let me take your own words about PC elections. “Today, without any war in the country, both those provinces do not have provincial councils.” Yes, without war, they don’t need PCs which were introduced under Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord in 1987 to end LTTE’s war against civilians, forcing them to surrender their arms which never happened. When you eliminated LTTE in 2009, you should have abolished PCs as they didn’t serve its purpose. I am glad for postponing PC elections which are absolute white elephants and havens for corrupt politicians. Moreover, the 2017 Boundary Delimitation Report had many flaws in amalgamating and separating villages without having proper consultations.
    .
    Your “fourth and fifth paras” made me laugh. :D :D :D Never mind.
    .
    Your “sixth para” is also not relevant in view of the 19th Amendment.
    (300 words dead)

    • 2
      1

      Continued…….
      Your para “7” is a good observation, which is correct. The 19th Amendment has taken away President’s power to dissolve the Parliament in the event a no confidence motion is passed, or loss of a vote on the budget or the government policy statement, thus making this Parliament fixed for 4 1/2 years.
      .
      I agree to your paras “8 and 9.” Yes, they are Parliamentary Democracies whereas India is both a Parliamentary Democracy and a Parliamentary Republic by having a Ceremonial President.
      .
      Your paras “10 and 11.” Yes. Presidential powers cannot be taken away without bringing an impeachment against him or without having a referendum. However, you would appreciate the fact that his powers have been “restricted” by way of 19th Amendment in “two explicitly” mentioned occasions, i.e. dissolution of the Parliament and removal of the Prime Minister.
      Your Executive President can “still” dissolve the Parliament under Article 33(2)(c) PROVIDED THAT it (Parliament) has reached its expiry of 4 1/2 years or at a request made by MPs by way of passing a Motion with 2/3 majority.
      .
      Your paras “12 and 13.” Many Clauses had been revised after 2015 SC’s determination. I think many people have seen or looked at the Concept Paper not the revised document at the time. I think they tricked the UPFA there. What I understand is, they didn’t make any changes to the Article 70 (1) as there was a ruling by the SC. But they used a different channel to restrict President’s powers i.e. by fixing the Parliament for 4 1/2 years where the scope of SC’s ruling has no impact. Do you know what I mean? They are shrewd.
      Continued ………

      • 1
        0

        Continuation….
        Your para “14.” This is a repetition of para 7. I fully agree. There is absolutely no provision for the President to dissolve the Parliament before it completes 4 1/2 years. The other way is by way of a Motion, which will never happen.
        Your people (MPs) voted in support of the 19A anticipating a victory in the Parliamentary election at the time. Some things go awry despite our best wishes, you know.
        .
        Your paras “15, 16 and 17” aptly express your exasperation. However, your examples are not relevant to the subject.
        For an example; Norway is a constitutional monarchy and a Parliamentary representative democracy where executive power is vested with the Council of State (Cabinet) headed by the PM, which is totally different from ours.
        Moreover, Germany is a federal parliamentary (sort of bicameral) republic while Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy with a bicameral system.
        Canada has a federal constitutional monarchy with a Westminster style Parliament.
        Switzerland, I think is the only country which has a direct democracy which is also a federal republic.
        Japan is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a Parliamentary system.
        Your examples have no relevance. I am sure you find the report interesting. But do you find time to read? That is really good. I thought you only read the Budget!!! :) :)
        .
        Back to the subject. This 19th Amendment should be repealed one day, with 2 exceptions i.e. two terms for the President and barring of dual citizens from contesting where a conflict of interest may interfere.
        Cheers!

        • 1
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          About the penultimate para:
          Our Presidential system is a mix of American and French. Same as the French President, 1978 Constitution had given the power to the President to dissolve the Parliament at his discretion, only to be restricted by 19A.
          About last para:
          If I am a UNPer, I would ask, if the President is so serious about dissolving the Parliament, why didn’t he do it when Ranil was the PM? How come “the situation became” serious only after Ranil was removed? I mean, why did he change the PM and formed a new government before dissolving the Parliament?

          Whatever is, the new government is super fast in awarding contracts to foreign governments, isn’t it? Is that also for the country? Who gets the commission? Is the President also get a cut?
          .
          Didn’t they say the reason for grabbing power from Ranil was to review those projects? This government is only one month old. How could they award contracts to foreign governments so fast? The same JO MPs who demanded transparency from Ranil now award contracts in the moonlight.

    • 0
      1

      Champa, whose p1$$ pot are you holding these my pretty maid?

      • 2
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        wannihami
        I have a right to voice my opinion on any matter of my choice.
        I enjoyed that right since February 2015 (prior to that I didn’t post comments.)
        Before you told me if you were me, you would not “challenge someone like Dayan.”
        Now this.
        Are you trying to deprive me of my right to expression now that “Mahinda is in power?” Really? Are you serious?

      • 4
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        wannihami

        “Champa, whose p1$$ pot are you holding these my pretty maid?”

        I am not sure about Champa however I believe you are carrying Mahinda’s clanging b***s..

    • 0
      1

      We dont even take time to read the kind of article if came from BALLIGE putha Rajakshe.

      You Champo, time to time, you change your mode, why you cant do the job as a spy in a steady manner ?

      What is your purpose of this life Champo ?

      • 1
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        I challenge you to call former LTTE leader Prabhakaran “Ba… P…”

      • 0
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        Desperate Asinhalaya
        I told you 100 times. You have no right to judge me. I have every right to give my opinion on any issue of my choice.
        I am my own master. There is no reason for me to share your or Mahinda’s or anybody’s opinion when I have my own opinions.

  • 2
    2

    Dear President Sir

    Much research has gone into the speech that the article refers to.

    Several comments:

    The proposed new constitution is not constitutional – how can it be? It seeks to make everything that is now uncostitutinal not so. It is an attack on our country, and it the Presidents decision is reasonable.

    My reading of the constitution is that the President does have the power to dissolve parliament. It would be interesting to see the Supreme Court decision, but the crux of the decision will be the opinion handed out by the SC.

    The opinion should satisfy the common man and common sense.

    I ask myself why so many experienced politicians have more or less bet so much political capital on the SC ruling in their favour. Why take such a huge risk without legal advice, and was that legal advice top class? Would it not be more likley that the present government was sure that the decision would pass the test of an SC challenge? I think so.

    Regardless of the allegations, no – one deserves to be insulted in public like on these Colombo Telegraph pages, there should be a law against these – but they never dare to insult any terrorist, or the foreign agents who try to mess up our country. Scared?

    A President will call an early election only if he is confident of winning. So those who are calling for an early Presidential election must be confident that President Sirisena will win… or are they trying to get him to sabotage his Presidency? Those foreign powers (not constitutional for them to interfere or put pressure on our government) must be ready with their plans and schemes.

    You think President Sirisena is bad, well Foreign powers have a enviable track record of messing things up in this country and creating a Right Royal mess.

    • 0
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      Vanguard, are you referring to the above article or an article by the President? Whichever the case what we have asked the SC is equivalent to, placing a half-filled glass on the high bench and asking the excellencies whether the glass is half full or half empty. There is a lot of talk from people like Prof Savithri on “the spirit of the constitution”, the “intent” and the “golden rule of legal interpretations”. I can, without doubt, say the crafter of the 19th amendment (I will not call them drafters), had tried to pull a fast one. i.e. their INTENT has been to fool the parties who wanted to devolve the executive powers and complicate the issue for the SC by inserting the 33 (2)c so that it did not have to go to a referendum. The SPIRIT of the constitution” after the 19th amendment is nothing but mean, and as for the golden rule of legal interpretations, the crafty drafters should be exposed for their lowly actions.

      • 1
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        The above article. Let’s agree on one thing: the way the 19th was drafted leaves room for doubt. Simply they could have made a additional statement that the 70th does not apply to the 19th.

        Also, the powers of the PM come to play if the PM is in disagreement with the President, from another party for example. We might as well insert the word ‘ Ranil’ instead of Prime Minister.

  • 3
    1

    Hello Mahinda, you murderous tyrant,
    .
    It is only in Sri Lanka that you will find:
    – someone who was soundly defeated by the people at the polls come back to power through a coup staged by the very President who was specifically elected by the people in his place to bring him to justice for the heinous crimes he had committed against them.
    .
    Do you have any conscience or shame still left in you?

  • 0
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    I suppose Politicians should work with their conscience to develop the country and for the betterment of the people. There what is important themost is their own conscience. The constitution must come forward only when their won conscience goes against it. DAHANAYAKE, DUDLEY SENANAYAKE, MRs B are exceptional politicians. All others were/amd are there for their own advancement. At present Sri lankan democracy is the ruling by a few of the elite. The PM, the speaker, REpresentatives sent by the People, NGOs/INGOs and the Internatioal community can not be the Pillars of the democracy. What all of these Repsentatives and the People who supported the electionof the PResident by PEOPLES’ power says that the PEOPLE ELELCTED PRESODENT SHOULD REPORT TO THEM AND MUST DO WHAT THEY SAY. So,the Democracy that is spread and taught by the west is CRAP. WE had better human rights even by giving space to the birds fly over Sri lanka. Now, These DOLLAR KAAKKAs are trying teach human rights and democracy to us. Definitely Mahinda Rajapakse is safe. Mahinda Rajapkse won’t get another fifty years to do politics. You should leave your personal needs behind and should think of helping the country Itis well known that JRJ like people are not in better places in the afterworlds.

  • 3
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    My dear friend, the problem with all of you is that you think that you are clever and the rest are mut. But, it’s really you are mut and rest are clever. Man, you, Sirisena and both of your cabals plotted against the people, by grabbing power, by illegal, undermocratic and unconstitutional ways, which is a coup against the people for that crime, all of you should spend 20 years behind bars. When all failed you people want an election. Man, the present parliament has another one and half years of life span, before that country doesn’t need to wast huge sum of money on an election. Plus after seeing the recent actions of your minions in the parliament, the people are terrified to go for an election under your watch. First off, respect democracy, before anything, and restore the democrats order which prevailed before that mad actions of you and Sirisena.

  • 2
    0

    Mahinda – Your appointment as a fake PM is not Democracy. Period.!

  • 0
    0

    Can somebody verify, whether MR’s cousin MIG deal criminal Udayanga Weeratunga was seen among the listeners seated at the table. I saw in a video, somebody looked like him.

  • 1
    0

    What a pity that a man who was hailed by some of his people as a ‘Maha Rajanani’ ( Great King ?) even as he was engaged in white van abductions and murders, has been reduced to illegally holding on to a PM’ship and then coming up with weaselly arguments in support of it.

  • 0
    1

    Fantastic! 33(2)(C) cliches the dissolvement and new PM nomination. Now that the crux of the matter has been identified, snap elections must be done asap!

    • 0
      0

      clinches*

  • 1
    0

    By this “sermon” on constitution he is dictating judges what to do. Pathetic effort but it’s the Rjapakka style. .

  • 0
    0

    coming in through the back door and talking of democracy.pooh.

  • 0
    0

    An Impartiality of Judiciary system and Equality before the law has lost in Sri lanka due to the foreign infiltration by hegemonies . We have totally lost that confidence and credibility of ongoing Judiciary function under present heads of Judges. Prevailing Justice system has no authority to dismissed Primer and his Cabinet Ministers .But they did? How they did? Not that Answers by citizens. Of SL!

    How is that Judiciary been created a man-made disasters by paralysis function of govt. elected by People’s votes. Are there any means is that drastic political involvement on day to day function of Judiciary in seems to be appear since 2015 January 8th by influence of UNP leadership of Ranil Wicks.

    Therefor it is an obvious facts that UNP is unpopular among masses of people their negative of development act by Ranil Wicks and CBK. To be safeguard their classes and political survival of persons and salvation of political parties that corrupted elements that depend on purely act of Judiciary of that some of Judgments are aim at protected state of power of UNP’s.???? of that $$$$$$.

    Indeed our system of judiciary are orthodox many of that supports aligned within their own rank by ideology of UNP masters.
    What ever the reasons that Sri lanka Judiciary is above People’s Sovergnirt.

    By the time it has created New Law Innovation that uncertainties and instability an Island-wide turn into unchanged features of after 19th ameadeant of Republic Constitution adopted since 2015 …….

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