18 May, 2024


Final Report Of Public Representations Committee On Constitutional Reform – Full Texts In Three Languages

Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform headed by Lal Wijenayake has today submitted its final report to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Attorney Lal Wijenayake

Attorney Lal Wijenayake

Members of the Committee were Mr. S. Winston Pathiraja (Secretary), Mr. Faisz Musthapha, Prof. A. M. Navaratna Bandara, Prof. M. L. A. Cader, Mr. N. Selvakkumaran, Mr. S. Thavarajah, Mr. Kushan D’Alwis, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Dr. Kumudu Kusum Kumara, Mr. Sunil Jayaratne, Dr.Upul Abeyratne, Mr. Themiya L. B. Hurulle, Mr. S. Vijesandiran, Mr. M. Y. M. Faiz, Mrs. M. K. Nadeeka Damayanthi, Ms.Kanthie Ranasinghe, Mr. S. C. C. Elankovan, and Mr. Sirimasiri Hapuarachchiall.

To read English version of the report click here

To read Tamil version of the report click here

To read Sinhala version of the report click here

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Latest comments

  • 9

    It appears that the Committee appointed by the PM Wickramansighe was not willing or advised not to take notice of recommendations submitted to it with proposals demanding setting up of accountability process for lawmakers, Cabinet of Ministers and the Judges, which is a must in any representative democracy.

    I know some took lot of pain, including me, to submit proposals that gives lot of ideas if the government is genuine in the exercise of establishing a true democratic government that respect their constitutional obligation to the people, whose sovereign rights the three organs (legislature, executive and judiciary) exercise purely on trust. Sadly it appears these proposals have not been taken into account at all.

    • 3

      Not only that Sir, We Sinhalese have presented our ground swell of wide-spreading resentment over federalism , Buddhism’s Foremost placement being challenged, Change of Lion Flag etc. and those are seemingly susceptible to censorship. Further our concern over territorial integrity , democratic governance, Sovereignty are seriously imperiled here . In my view Country with this proposal receding into a grief and despair . a formidable situation similar to late 80 s are dawning . Whether it will be fully coherent or not , the ideological basis of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka is Tamil Nationalism. It’s driving force is the psychological motivation of the actors who conceive of the new state as one in which they will not suffer threats to physical security but enjoy complete equality. It’s very ethno-nationalist character makes it inherently amenable to chauvinism and xenophobia that makes co existence in a multi ethnic society problematic. Here the Mannar women forum’s ideas to change the Lion Flag is codified in this code but not the loathsome resentment that emerged from Kandy against Federalism . People must see this juxtaposition. That;s Funny indeed.

    • 1

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  • 3

    Most probably it is a case of labouring like the Mountain and bringing forth a Mouse!
    What is the point in having a Constitution without Checks and balances?
    I agree with Nagananda.

  • 3

    Totally a biased , Federal oriented , anti-Sinhalese Report . If these proposals are implemented the country will be in flames . From whom these so-called committee made up of ? Ranil’s stooges ? Lal Wijenayake a bankrupt LSSP conman , is he the one who decides the destiny of the country ? Says one thing to Sinhala daily news papers . And does complete contrary. If the Flag is changed everyone will take to streets . A Constitutional Swindle ! Constitution must be made by taking into consideration the ” Grundnorm ” of the country as Kelsen said . Here it is basically manifestly disregarded and some alien cogs are making a constitution .

    • 0

      Talking about changing the national flag at a time like this is a sign of monumental political insensitivity. There are more important things than upsetting either one part of the population or the other. There are more important things to talk about.

      I am not a Sinhala – Buddhist, but I see no point in creating unnessesary problems like this

  • 1

    Lifting the Living Standards of all underprivileged inhabitants, irrespective of caste, creed. ethnic background or religion must be the Mission Statement of any preamble to the constitution.

    Not singing the National Anthem in Tamil and changing the national Flag to include the Tigers.

    How about singing the Anthem also in Burgher, Adivasi, and Mmaladavy as they also have been recognized as separate ethnic groups.

    But a few important things I must admit have been published in Lal’s Report.

    Here is the most important, among them.

    The report says,” Low Caste inhabitants do not want Vella rulers of the North to have Police Powers”

    That says it all.

    It is a pity that the report didn’t quantify this most important item with statistics on the ratio of Low Caste Inhabitants to the high class Vellas, among the inhabitant population, there, excluding the Weekender Vellalas.

    Wahabis say no re merger with the North according to the Report.

    But the Report recommends a special clause to have referendums in adjecent Provinces if they want to merge.

    This is dangerous with the Dual Passports are now available for the Diaspora at USD 2000 a piece..

    How if even 500,000 from the 2 Million settle in the East temporarily.

    Wahabis will be stuffed. Wouldn’t they?..

    5 Federal Provinces including one for Vellas has been knocked back, Which is good and bad.

    If our Dalits had at least 2 in the South West, we could live peacefully and happily with out getting ripped off by the Elite, Anglicans, Vellalas and the wahabis.

    The rest of course are the same shit but different buckets.

    I wonder what the 225 half wits in Kotte are going to do with this Report.

    May be they will sit on it for the next 4 years, enjoying the USD 68.5 Million worth of luxury car permits and the LKR 6 Billion spending money to take the Muissus , Girl friends and Concubines on Holidays to chilax and recharge.

  • 2

    Devaka Jayasuriya.

    You say that the country will be in flames!
    The country was in flames over the past 30 years,for not addressing the National
    So what you say is that if it is resolved,it will be in flames!
    There is something wrong in this country is that not so?
    My comment on Naganandas response only relates to the Separation of Powers,which we never had either in the 1972 constitution or that was foisted by JRJ in 1978!

    • 1

      “The country was in flames over the past 30 years,for not addressing the National Question!”

      The country was in flames not over the past 30 years, it was over six decades with the buring of people thowing petrol in the capital city of colombo and other cities with the military protection for criminals.
      1956 – Solomon Bandaranaike elected on wave of Sinhalese nationalism. Sinhala made sole official language and other measures introduced to bolster Sinhalese and Buddhist feeling. More than 100 Tamils killed in widespread violence after Tamil parliamentarians protest at new laws.

      1958 – Anti-Tamil riots leave more than 200 people dead. Thousands of Tamils displaced.

      1959 – Bandaranaike assassinated by a Buddhist monk. Succeeded by widow, Srimavo, who continues nationalisation programme.

  • 0

    While the report appears rather bland and safe unlike the expectations placed on it, it is important to take into consideration some important points regarding this report.
    The lack of a proper stance or rather a very diluted stance on the issue of the nature of the state and federalism as a whole is disappointing. The same can be said of the recommendations on the second chamber in the legislature.
    However, it must be noted that this is after all a report of recommendations to the Constitutional Assembly only. We are generally aware of the divisions within the Parliament as well. From a certain point of view it is fair that this report attempts to play it safe in order to avoid antagonizing the discussions of the Constitutional Assembly which may adversely affect the final outcome. My only hope is that this was intentional and not a coincidence.
    After all, it is only a report of recommendations – it is up to the Constitutional Assembly to decide whether they will use these recommendations or whether to consider them at all.

    While it is an unfair comparison (based on the timing and number of submissions received/taken), one cannot help but compare it with the Soulbury Report which, against this is more thorough and definitive with clearer explanations. Nevertheless, kudos to the Committee for actually managing to produce a tangible result though. Naturally it is up to the individual citizen to interpret what is said. It seems rushed but this probably was to be expected given the time-constraints as explained in the report.

    During the process of the public sittings, the Committee had mentioned that they had to extend their time in Jaffna for example due to the sheer volume of submissions brought in – not just of constitutional matters but of personal land matters etc. If the PM and/or the Committee can figure out a way to address those grievances or to collect those (there were possibly more in other districts as well?)and to ensure that some form of action is taken to address those issues it would produce an even more tangible outcome for the individual citizens themselves.

    Let’s hope that the Constitutional Assembly will be smart about the next step!

  • 1

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  • 1

    Republic Constitution promised by UNP, TNA, Muslim Congress, CBK and MS and diasporas of axis of Western old agenda division of Island by the basis Ethnic and Religion grounds . To achieve this set of policies by British Empires to they convene new age changes by Federal of partition constitutional assembly led by Trotskyist-outfits.
    It consider that its main job was to prepare New proposal for constitution that reaffirmed Federal State for ground work Eealm regime in North and East. Nevertheless the new chance are a hundred to one against that UNP+ TNA+ MC want constitution assembly being convened on that date.

    And even if it is UNP the chance are again a hundred to one that Tamil Eealm of Federal Regime as impotent and useless, as was the Parliament until peace and reconciliation of democratic revolution and development of capitalism triumphs in Sri lanka.

    What is UNP-Ranil.W… MS and CBK doing now to appreciate this new constitution you only have to detach masses for the moment from that present hubbub of empty phrases ,promise to TNA & MC by doing petty ,which fuddles people thinking and take a look the key issues of Tamil Terrorist War and post- War construction of things at what determines everything of improved People life and political of the Parliamentary democracy .

    Its very clear that UNP-Ranil W…. MS and CBK of Sri Lankan leaders have become very closed tied up with USA, UK and Indian monopoly capital and their power hegemony in Indian Ocean.

    This shows New constitution proposal, the whole media of News papers ,electronic media ,Western Press, past elections, the entire policy of UNP, MS and CBK for the Federal regime for the Tamil Eellamist.

    Now the political power in the state is in hands of comprador class of UNP’s ,that their interest conflicts with majority people ,that state be governed truly in line the ANTI-democratic WILL of MAJORITY.

    But UNP’s political power is in the hand of Foreign powers whose interest diverge from those majority Sinhalese ,any form so-called majority RULE is bound to become deception or suppression or oppressions of majority Sinhalese.
    his is new example set by this kind of UNP democracy in Sri lanka.

    In fact now USA, UK and Indians as well as UNP’s, TNA, MC and JVP Rule many Economic, Political and Social life in Sri lanka since 2015 January.

    New proposed constitution list these conditions in a precise and clear way to understand Federal bragging for Tamil Eealm and utter foolishness of the constitutional illusions of UNP, MS, CBK, TNA and MS as well as diaspora regarding a New Constitution for Sri lanka.

  • 0

    Lal W.
    You chaired the Panel that was divided, as I observed on the day I presented my observations. Your report has the integrity of reporting those in the Panel who had alternate recommendations. However the gist of the presentation you received was reported even though the report omitted the Term Limits on elected representatives at all level presented by an old gentleman. That was his only recommendation made in 5 mts, though your panel questioned him for 20 mts.

    Your report in the restricted space and time given to you, made it clear the DIVIDE of the ethnic communities that exists today is far more worse than since 1930 and during the War Years. It also shows why all the so called Peace Talks failed though those in the middle tried to bring about a federal political solution also have failed. Most of the Federalists and the Asymmetric devolutionists during the war years have now retreated to their comfort of the Unitary State and 13th Amendment Minus as there is no longer a “Coercive Force.”

    The report substantiate the position held by Pirapaharan that the Sinhala-Buddhist majority will never change their position that the Island belongs to them and that they will never recognise the rights of any community of people. The Sinhala Buddhist position is very clear now. The question is what options are left to the Tamil Community as the divide widens without any common grounds.

    Reconciliation is a mirage that some thought was real. The Report has now shown that there are no reconciliation Rainbows when there is no light. We are descending once again into the boarder-less darkness and there is no safety net unless the International Community steps in.

  • 0

    The status-quo continues. The Sinhala-Buddhist State has been enshrined again!

    The Tamil members in this Panel,will go down in History,as those who had an extremely flexible spine.
    Senator Nadesan,walked out from a panel that was appointed to go into the issue of a National flag more than 60 years ago!

    The Sinhala-Tamil divide,will most probably widen still further!
    By then it may be too late for any reconciliation!

  • 0

    It is good that the ideas of the general population, including the scathing criticism of the national list issue, were recorded. But do we need a new constitution?

    We need to get along with improving the code of conduct of government ministers, depoliticizing and improving human rights to the levels that the UN has recommended. We need infrastructure development and equitable distribution of public and private wealth.

    For reference: These countries have not changed theirs for some time:

    Constitution of Malaysia- August 27, 1957

    United States United States Constitution-June 21, 1788

    Constitution of India-January 26, 1950

    Constitution of France-October 4, 1958

    These countries do not have a official constitution :

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom

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