1 November, 2020

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Full Text : Proposals For Constitutional Reform

By Colombo Telegraph

This is the full text prepared by the drafting committee of the National Movement for Social Justice. The draft Bill is being developed on these principles.

Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero -NMSJ

Proposals for constitutional reform

The NMSJ proposes the following to be included in the election manifestos of political parties and candidates and then move on with the amendment immediately after the Elections:

1.Abolition of the Executive Presidency

The Executive Presidency shall be immediately and totally abolished with a return to a Parliamentary form of Government.

The President shall be elected by Parliament and shall act on the advice of the Prime Minister, unless when there is express constitutional provision to the contrary.

No person shall be eligible for election as President or a Vice President unless such person is a citizen of Sri Lanka, has completed the age of 35 years and is qualified for election as a Member of Parliament.

The President shall appoint as Prime Minister, the Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, commands the support of the majority of Members of Parliament. The Prime Minister shall be deemed to have resigned if Parliament passes a motion of no-confidence against him, the Appropriation Bill is not passed and when Parliament is dissolved.

The President shall be the head of the Caretaker Government during Parliamentary elections.

2.Vice Presidents

There shall be two Vice Presidents who shall be from different communities and different to the one to which the President belongs. They would be elected by Parliament.

3.Constitutional Principles:

Proposed Article 8A:

(1) The Republic of Sri Lanka is founded on the following values:
(a) supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law;
(b) representative democracy, human dignity, the achievement of equality and social justice and the advancement of fundamental rights and freedoms;
(c) racial, religious and gender equality; and
(d) universal adult suffrage, regular elections and a multi-party system of democratic government.

(2) Legislation or conduct inconsistent with the Constitution shall be void. It shall be the duty of the State and all persons to respect the Constitution.
(3) The peoples of Sri Lanka who together constitute the People of Sri Lanka have the right to develop their own language, protect their own religion, to develop and promote their culture, to preserve their history and the right to their due share of State power including the right to due representation in institutions of government, without in any way weakening the common Sri Lankan identity. This shall not in any way be construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in part, the territorial integrity or political unity of the Republic.

4.Language

At present, Sinhala is the official Language, Tamil is also an official language and English is the link language. Sinhala and Tamil shall be declared as official languages while all three languages shall be national languages, as was proposed in the Constitution Bill of 2000.

5.The duration of Parliament shall be 5 years.

6.Caretaker Government

There shall be a Caretaker Government during the period of Parliamentary elections. It shall have the powers of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Caretaker Government shall consist of the President, the two Vice-Presidents and a member each appointed by the outgoing Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition who shall not be candidates at the Parliamentary elections.

7.Constitutional Council

The Eighteenth Amendment shall be abolished and the Seventeenth Amendment would be brought back with suitable amendments, including those proposed in the draft report of the Parliamentary Select Committee chaired by Hon. DEW Gunasekera. The composition of the Constitutional Council will be designed to strengthen the 17th Amendment further.

8.Appointments to High Posts and Independent Commissions

Appointments to the following positions shall require the approval of the Constitutional Council:

Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court
President and the Judges of the Court of Appeal
Members of the Judicial Service Commission other than the Chairman
Attorney-General
Auditor-General
Inspector-General of Police
Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman)
Secretary-General of Parliament

Members of the following Commissions shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council:

Election Commission
Public Service Commission
National Police Commission
Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
Permanent Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption
Finance Commission
Delimitation Commission

In the case of the Chairmen of such Commissions, the Council shall recommend three persons for appointment, and the President shall appoint one of the persons recommended as Chairman.

9.Size of Cabinet

The number of Cabinet Ministers shall not be more than 25. The total number of non-Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall not be more than 25 and no other Minister in whatever description would be permitted.

10.Electoral reform

The new electoral system shall be a mix of the first-past-the-post (FPP) and proportional representation (PR) systems. Preferential voting shall be abolished. The ratio between MPs elected under the first-past-the-post (FPP) and proportional representation (PR) systems and also whether proportional representation should be national, provincial or district have to be agreed upon. Reaching agreement would have to be done under the new Parliament and the new electoral system will thus necessitate a further constitutional amendment.

However, political parties could commit themselves to a mix of FPP and PR and doing away with the preferential voting system.

11.Cross-over of MPs

MPs elected on PR lose their seats if they cease to be members of the Party and such vacancies shall be filled by the party. MPs elected on FPP lose their seats but a by-election will be held.

Presently, although an MP who loses membership of the Party loses his seat unless the Supreme Court holds that his expulsion is invalid, MPs go to the District Court and get an injunction, stalling disciplinary proceedings. This could be prevented by providing that the Supreme Court shall have sole and exclusive jurisdiction relating to disciplinary proceedings relating to MPs. This amendment need not wait till a new electoral system is agreed upon.

12.A new fundamental rights chapter

The Bill of Rights mentioned in the National Human Rights Action Plan is a good basis for a new fundamental rights chapter. However, it has not been discussed enough in the country and, as such, this should come after more debate, possibly along with electoral reform. Since the issue of the Right to Information has been widely discussed it could be introduced immediately.

Political parties shall commit themselves to a new Bill of Rights that improves on the present fundamental rights chapter by expanding the scope of civil and political rights and by the inclusion of social, economic, cultural rights as well as women’s and children’s rights.

13.Enforcement of Fundamental Rights

The following provisions can be included immediately.

All existing laws and written laws, except personal laws, shall be read subject to the fundamental rights chapter.
The remedy for infringement of fundamental rights and language rights will be available against all State action. A fundamental rights application may be made by a relative or friend of the aggrieved person or in the public interest. There shall be no time limit for filing an application, as is the case in writ applications.
Although the President is non-executive, he would still perform executive acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. Such executive action shall be subject to judicial review.

In the case of judicial action violating fundamental rights, compensation shall be paid by the State.

14.Constitutionality of legislation

A Bill shall be published in the Gazette at least 2 weeks before being placed in the Order Paper. There will be no “urgent” Bills.

Post-enactment judicial review of legislation shall be permitted.
The Supreme Court shall have power to make a declaration that any law passed by parliament or statute made by a Provincial Council or any provision of any such law or statute is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. However, in order to mitigate hardships that may be caused to persons by who may have acquired certain rights under the legal provisions being struck down, the Court may limit the retrospective effect of the declaration of invalidity or make an order suspending the declaration of invalidity for such period and subject to such conditions as would enable Parliament or a Provincial Council to take steps to make the impugned law or statute cease to be inconsistent with the fundamental rights chapter. The Indian Supreme Court has used the tool of “prospective over-ruling”, limiting the retrospective effect of a declaration of invalidity in appropriate cases. Section 172 of the South African Constitution expressly permits such limitation.
Article 84 (Bills inconsistent with the Constitution) shall be deleted.

15.Impeachment of Judges of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal

Provisions similar to those found in the Constitution Bill of 2000 shall be introduced. An inquiry will be held, in the case of the Chief Justice by a committee consisting of three persons each of whom hold, or have held, office as a judge in the highest court of any Commonwealth country and in the case of any other judge by a committee consisting of three persons former or present Judges of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal. The procedure to be followed, the mode of proof, burden of proof and the standard of proof of any alleged misbehaviour or incapacity and the right of the Chief Justice or such Judge to appear before and be heard by such committee in person or by representative shall be provided by law.

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    Correction – A Sri Lankan of recent Indian Tamil origin to be in the list of alternate VPs.

    Senguttuvan

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    Great Proposal.

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    All I could say is……Sinhalaya Kapatiya Huura Kanna Sooraya.

    Give the country back to Suddha.

    Otherwise get ready to eat Punnakku and Thanakola Kenda.

    Dena velanda………Nodena Bodhu Bana. (If Know do Business…..otherwise preach Bodu Bana…..which nobody understand.

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      Mahela

      “Give the country back to Suddha”

      Why not give it back to Veddah?

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        Native,

        Now Vedda play cricket and use cellphone Pojja and eat Barbecue meat.

        Therefore for me both same and I don’t mind as we all could travel Visa free to UK and CW countries.

        Only thing Enough been duped us to eat Punnakku and Thanakola Kenda by Parliament crooks making us Mee Harakas for 65 years.

        No more Punnakku feed.

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          mahela

          “Now Vedda play cricket and use cellphone Pojja and eat Barbecue meat.”

          Also the stupid Sinhalese and stupid Tamils play cricket which doesn’t make them English, does it?

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            Vedda,

            I think there still little English left in our Cricket team until we have a saloon door at SLC and the Min. of Sports.

            Also need to watch how our team plan to be Baptised with “Kunu Bittara” Rotten egg shower by BBS and Rawaya to make them more buddhist when they return after IPL.

            If you still like adventure, you could still jump into a boat to venture world without a Passport or Visa.

            You see what Portuguese and British did in 15th Century AD we did in 2nd Century BC and still continue in 21st Century. Both same, travelling without Visa or Passport..

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    Here is a unique example of what a honest and sincere religious preacher could do in the good interests of all the people and the country. There could be pros and cons in the proposals but they are worthy of being discussed and debated. Christian, Hindu and Muslim clergies too should support the initiate of Rev. Sobitha and take the proposals to their respective faiths. It is time that religious heads take the lead to save the country from the corrupt and self-seeking political culture in the country which has been going for the last sixty years and give a new lease of good life to the people promoting peace, justice and harmony.

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    The proposal is commendable.

    i wish if a clause is introduced for a total ban relating to parties denoted by religious interpretation ,since the advent of that practice is instrumental to the disharmony and discord of the multi ethnic society of my motherland.

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    I am glad Ven Sobitha Thero has taken the bend from his days as a rabid
    extremist – not long ago. Harvard’s Prof. Stanley Thambiah will remember the Buddhist Fatwa invoked on him by the yellow brigaded mullah when he came out with his book “Buddhist betrayed”. The yellow brigade went crazy during the time – taking to the streets in all fury, as they did against Ranil’s inadequately-considered move to celebrate the arrival of the Portugese. Both “revolutions” petered out with tail between the legs, as it were. So much so for rabid reaction of Buddhist priests that, like soda pop, fizzles out and quickly dies down. The title of Thambiah’s book just about sums up what everyone here – Buddhists included – think today of the fate that has befalled the teachings and tenets of that Great Teacher from India
    which our majority fell in line with. Buddhism certainly has been betrayed far more than Thambiah would have imagined in his wildest dreams.

    Senguttuvan

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    The timing of Ven Sobitha Thero’s is perfect. A new system of governance is what is needed to save this nation. Following is something put together for a presentation some time back. Hope it can add to the forum.

    A RIGHTEOUS NATION – By Yohan Fernando
    When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
    But when a wicked man rules, the people groan. (Proverb 29:2)

    Sri Lanka experienced a thirty year civil war that killed over one hundred thousand of her sons and daughters. Two rebellions of the young men and women, one in the 70s and the other in the 80s took the lives of many thousands. The waste of the resources of the nation could probably add up to a few trillion rupees. It would be impossible to put a monetary value to the loss of the human resources due to these disasters. Who or what should be blamed for these monstrous debacles?
    In 2012, two politicians, both Presidential Advisors, shot each other killing one of them immediately along with a few others. This is not an isolated incident. Politicians have been killing each other in the past twenty years on a regular basis, increasing progressively each year. Who or what should be blamed for these lawless lawmakers?
    Many undemocratic laws are passed in the “democratic” Parliament taking away the basic human rights and human needs of the citizens of the nation. Who or what should be blamed for these callous acts of elected legislators?
    The list of wickedness in Sri Lanka would go on and on and on. The objective of this writer is not to dwell in the curse of history or to find something or someone to blame for the current status of the nation (I leave it to many who will respond to this writing to fulfill this purpose), but to draft a fresh vision for “a righteous Sri Lanka.”
    Warning to the reader and participant to the discussion – The writer of this article is no constitutional lawyer. That would be a qualification considering the mess made by the so-called constitutional experts.
    THE GOVERNMENT
    The government of the nation will be the responsibility of three offices, namely, (1) Parliament, (2) Senate and (3) President.
    The Parliament shall consist of men and women elected by the citizens of the nation. Their priority will be the well being of the nation above their own. They shall pass laws to meet the needs of the nation as and when required.
    The Senate shall consist of men and women selected by a parliamentary committee and appointed by the President.
    The non-partisan non-executive President shall be a person nominated by a parliamentary committee, seconded by the Prime Minister and installed by the Chief Justice.
    THE PARLIAMENT
    The Parliament shall consist of MPs (Members of Parliament) elected by the citizens of the nation on a District basis. Each district will be represented by 5 (five) MPs elected at a general election. The total number of MPs in the Parliament will be 131 (125 elected and 6 nominated by the Prime Minister to accommodate intellectuals and professionals in governing). The voters.will vote for the (registered) party of their choice. Each party will nominate 5 (five) members to be selected from. In the vent of Independent candidates, they will contest as individuals or as a group. THERE WILL BE NO PREFERENTIAL VOTES FOR INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES.
    The general election will be held on a fixed day (example first week of December) every 5 (five) years.
    THE CABINET
    The Cabinet will be appointed by the President as per the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The maximum number of ministers, including the Prime Minister shall be twelve (12). Each minister shall have a maximum of three (3) Deputy Ministers to assist them. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF MINISTERS AND DEPUTY MINISTERS SHALL NOT EXCEED FORTY EIGHT (48).
    THE SENATE
    The main responsibility of the Senate is to examine and approve ALL legislation, prior to a vote
    being taken in the Parliament, to ensure that it is fair by ALL citizens of the nation. The parliament shall not have a third reading of a bill until this Senate approval is received.
    The members of the Senate shall be appointed by the President following a selection process by a parliamentary committee. The selection mechanism will consider the following;
    • Men and women of good character – no criminal record whatsoever
    • Twenty five men and women – One Senator from each district – at least 50 years old
    • Maximum fifteen Sinhalese – Maximum six Tamil – Maximum three Muslims
    • Minimum one Other (Burgher, Malay etc.)
    • Minimum five shall be women
    • Maximum serving time of a Senator is 15 years – shall retire upon reaching age 65.

    THE PRESIDENT
    The President of the nation shall be a non-partisan person of exemplary character with no criminal record whatsoever. He or She shall be nominated by a by a parliamentary committee, and seconded by the Prime Minister. Upon being seconded by the Prime Minister the President shall be installed by the Chief Justice.
    The responsibility of the President is to safeguard the rights of ALL Sri Lankans. He shall function as the non-executive Head of State and he shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. All legislation passed in the Parliament and approved by the Senate will need the assent of the President prior to becoming the law of the land. In the event of the President not being satisfied with the fairness to ALL Sri Lankans of any legislation, he or she will have the right to conduct a public referendum on the matter.
    To prevent interference from politicians, the following institution will come under the protection of the President.
    • Public Services Commission
    • Armed Forces – including the Police
    • Supreme Court
    • Auditor General
    • Attorney General
    • Elections Commissioner
    • Bribery Commissioner
    LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION
    A practical local government system devoid of main government interference should be developed.
    CONCLUSION
    Participants interested in this discussion should note that this may sound like the skeleton of a utopian dream. Their intelligent discussions would help in the making of the body of the dream.
    Will this dream come true?
    God knows!

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      Good suggestions.

      Why is the ceremonial president given too many responsibilities?
      Shouldn;t the commisions be independent of the president too?

      How will the senate be appointed? Will this be a permanent Job? Will retiered executives of Government/NGOs be appointed? Or should it compromised of persons of leagal profession eg: retierd judges, lawyers?

      Can a constitutional committee meet and agree on proposal what is best for this nation?

      ‘The Parliament shall consist of men and women elected by the citizens of the nation. Their priority will be the well being of the nation above their own. ‘ This is the single most important character we lack in parliment today and for the last 50yrs !

      Yes brother stand in the gap and pray ! God will answer eventually….

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        Why is the ceremonial president given too many responsibilities?
        Shouldn;t the commisions be independent of the president too?
        HE SHOULD ONLY HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO SEE THAT NO INJUSTICE IS DONE.

        How will the senate be appointed? Will this be a permanent Job? Will retiered executives of Government/NGOs be appointed? Or should it compromised of persons of leagal profession eg: retierd judges, lawyers?
        THE SENATE
        The main responsibility of the Senate is to examine and approve ALL legislation, prior to a vote
        being taken in the Parliament, to ensure that it is fair by ALL citizens of the nation. The parliament shall not have a third reading of a bill until this Senate approval is received.
        The members of the Senate shall be appointed by the President following a selection process by a parliamentary committee. The selection mechanism will consider the following;
        • Men and women of good character – no criminal record whatsoever
        • Twenty five men and women – One Senator from each district – at least 50 years old
        • Maximum fifteen Sinhalese – Maximum six Tamil – Maximum three Muslims
        • Minimum one Other (Burgher, Malay etc.)
        • Minimum five shall be women
        • Maximum serving time of a Senator is 15 years – shall retire upon reaching age 65.

        Can a constitutional committee meet and agree on proposal what is best for this nation?
        THIS SHOULD BE THE CASE, BUT NOT A 10 YEAR DISCUSSION

        Yes brother stand in the gap and pray ! God will answer eventually
        YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT.

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          Thank you for engaging.

          I do not think that the criteria for selection for senate is adequate:
          good character – no criminal record whatsoever, age 50-65, ethnic origin.

          The need to know the law and legislature of this country well otherwise they will become stooges of politicians/political party.

          We should appoint men & women who are learned with knowledge and expierience and a history of good conduct to responsible positions.

          Even the election nominees should have a minimum education qualifications at least A/L pass or higher, with a good character and no criminal record.

          ‘God will answer eventually
          YOU CAN BE SURE OF THAT.’

          – yes ! the war ended God answered our prayer. I believe anything is possible if we pray and have faith….

          2Chronicles 7:14; if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

          If we want our land to be healed you know what we should do now.

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      Here is thought for discussion on the Cabinet.

      The no of ministers and deputy ministers should be limited to 48.
      This must be legislated.
      There will be a TOTAL of 12 Ministers and 36 Deputy Ministers.

      1. PRIME MINISTER (Home Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs, Defense)
      Deputy Ministers (3) Public Administration – Provincial Councils – Local Government

      2. FINANCE (State Revenue, Planning)
      Deputy Ministers (3) Import & Export, Trade, Tourism

      3. STATE DEVELOPMENTS (Highways, Irrigation, Water Management)
      Deputy Ministers (3) Power & Energy, Aviation & Ports, Technology & Research

      4. NATURAL RESOURCES (Lands, Environment)
      Deputy Ministers (2) Agriculture/Livestock/Fisheries, Tea/Coconut/Rubber/Minor Crops

      5. HUMAN RESOURCES (Labour Relations, Foreign Employment)
      Deputy Ministers (1) Women’s Affairs/Youth Services

      6. PUBLIC ENTERPRISE (State Corporations)
      Deputy Ministers (5) Petroleum Industries, Public Transport, Postal Services, Railways, Telecommunications

      7. HEALTH (Health)
      Deputy Ministers (2) Child Development, Indigenous Medicine

      8. EDUCATION (Education, Higher Education)
      Deputy Ministers (1) Examinations

      9. JUSTICE (Justice)
      Deputy Ministers (1) Correctional Services

      10.INTERNAL TRADE/ CONSUMER AFFAIRS (Internal Trade)
      Deputy Ministers (1) Consumer Welfare

      11. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Foreign Affairs)
      Deputy Ministers (1) Diplomatic Services

      12. SOCIAL AFFAIRS (Social Affairs, Disaster Management)
      Deputy Ministers (4) Religious Affairs, Sports, Cultural Affairs, Ethnic Harmony

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    Am a non-Buddhist, but through Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, Sri Lanka and its people may find true freedom from the grip of the Rajapakse regime.

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      I thank Ven.Maduluwewa Sobitha Thera for taking initiative to bring a change to the governing of our country.

      But the question is whether he will be able to break through Parliament Mapillas who’s roots have already planted deeper and tasted the Parliament wisky life for a long time.

      I still feel that the only solution available is to give the administration of the whole country to a committee (a board of Professionals) comprised of Professionals, economists, Businessmen, and scientists including foreign advisors to Administer our country.

      This will eliminate all Govt.unqualified and uneducated Pin Padi Pandam Karayas and red tape.

      There is no other option I see that our country could overcome from this present massive crisis.

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    I would like if CT could publish the Video clip or the Minutes of the conference presided by the Panel of Elete persons held on monday regarding finding solutions to our current crisis. I think Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka presided it.

    If we could have access to listen or read the contents of that conference will be great.

    Thank you.

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    Brilliant!

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    Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha and his Christian-Marxist friends
    C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.
    Service of a monk
    The monk Ven. Sobitha (S) did lot of great service to Sri Lanka, especially to the Sinhala Buddhist cause. He was never a racist; he was presenting the reasonable path. A true Buddhist monk cannot be discriminating against any other living being or destroy or harm even a tree or an insect without a valid reason. He was very active and at times emotional and was no fake monk. Once he asked from Kumar Ponnambalam “Can you tell us what special problems Tamils in Sri Lanka are facing which are not faced by Sinhalese and Muslims?” Kumar after thinking for a while said, “Tamils have aspirations.” Ven. S was like a fruit tree attracting bats. This was why the Marxist daughter of a white Christian English woman, Vishaka Kumari Jayawardena sent to her husband Lal J at WIDER in Norway (relatives of Milinda Moragoda) a picture of a fiery-looking face of S to be used for the front cover of Stanley Tambiah’s book, Buddhism Betrayed, which was banned in Sri Lanka. The anthropologist, Gananath Obeysekera, now in the Friday Forum in Colombo wanted the ban lifted. It was Ven. S’s reputation as a symbol of reason, that Kumar David (KD), a Christian-born, Tamil Marxist, tried to capitalize to dislodge MahindaR at the next presidential election. KD proposed to use S as a single issue candidate to abolish Executive Presidency as the next election issue. KD sent a trial balloon and H. L. Seneviratne living in Virginia, another anthropologist, who blamed Vens. Walpola Rahula and Yakkaduwe Pragnarama for Sri Lanka’s problems in his book “The work of kings,” was thrilled by KD’s brilliant idea. People like KD who are looking for any loophole to promote Eelam agenda was trying to get S as a cat’s paw. These toothless Marxists are going crazy. See what Vasudeva and Bahu are doing. At least Tissa Vitharana and Dew Gunasekara have now become silent lambs.
    Using Buddhist monks as pawns was going on in Sri Lanka at least since 1956. This was done by the black-white Colombo crowds who are predominantly Christian or Christian Tamil. For example, Buddharakkita and Somarama were used by them to kill SWRD. Ossie Corea (OC) and Inspector Newton Perera were suspected but escaped. OC had his head shaven at the time and somebody jumped out from the wall behind SWRD’s house. These same forces tried to give cobra venom to SWRD at a cabinet meeting and CP de Silva drank the fateful glass of milk. Even then SWRD did not want the police guard to search monks visiting his house. It was these forces which had the 1962 Coup. A classic example of using or fooling Buddhist monks was the appointment of Ravi Karunanayaka (RK) as the chief dayaka (not just a dayaka) of the Kotte Raja Maha Vihara. The only result was that the main branch of the Naga (Bo?) tree hanging on to the Catholic Church side was removed (cut) and the tree died! RK is the son of the daughter of CC Dissanayaka (CCD) who led the 1962 Coup. CCD could not attend the wedding of his daughter because he was arrested by his own brother S.A. Dissanayaka. SWRD did a wrong act by not appointing CCD as IGP simply because he was a Catholic. Instead, a Buddhist, Abeykoon, a puppet, was given the job who only knew how to play bridge at the elites’ Sinhalese sports club! I write these little tit bits of history for the benefit of readers who are young and those who have forgotten them. They have great historical value in understanding the dramas we see today. It is my intention to try to help Ven. Sobitha to understand the black-white game fooling Buddhist monks.
    I do not know if Ven. Sobitha was also in the category of those Inter-faith monks like Vens. Dambara Amitha, Bellanwila Wimalaratena or Baddegama Samitha. Living with people of other religions in harmony is different from thinking God-based religions are the same as Buddhism. This Inter-faith bait was eaten by the Buddhism minister PM and ruined the 2600 Sambuddha Jayanthi. But it is clear that S has come under the control of Eurocentric black-white crowd in Sri Lanka. These people who were in the “this war is not winnable” boat are trying to capitalize on the politically inappropriate acts of MahindaR to derail him and to plant the germs that will break Sri Lanka or destroy Buddhist society in Sri Lanka. The constitutional proposals S presented have these hidden aims along with one or two good ones. For example, the most crucial issues are ignored, such as the removal of 13-A. Instead, appointing two Vice Presidents by ethnicity which will reinforce separate thinking is introduced. The most needed requirement of empowering people at the village level is also ignored. This last item is a solution to all kinds of corruption and inequities we can find in present Sri Lankan society.

    The two Tamil and Muslim Vice Presidents is in line with the new game called “meaningful devolution” by way of “unmajoritarian institutions.” This became so popular during GL-Neelan package deal days and CBK’s several versions of such deals. This method promoted by white Eurocentric writers like Donald Horowitz creates regional ethnic minority elites and slowly weakens the central governments in former colonies (it may take a decade or two or more), until a new Kosovo or South Sudan (or even a separate country of Scotland) is established splitting countries. Thus, the new policy of creating “unmajoritarian institutions” is a “sanitized” version of the old divide and rule policy, providing ladders to separatist monkeys to carve out separate countries at each other’s throat. Already, South Sudan started an internal war. Rohan Gunaratne from Singapore University used to promote a quota system for different ethnic groups in the army, police, government jobs etc. These are sure methods of breaking up of Sri Lanka.
    Lawyers are mostly crooks and the development of constitutional skeleton should never be entrusted to lawyers. It was lawyers who messed up all Sri Lankan constitutions since 1946. We know at least three names that Ven. S (S) has behind him or they use S as the front man. Jayampathy W is a Marxist who was with Tissa Vitharana’s infamous majority APRC report. J. C. Weliamuna is an NGO man and a Christian lawyer who does not reveal how much dollars he gets from his Transparency International agency. Elmo Perera is another Christian, writing as if he is some kind of a political science saint. Christian parents sometimes camouflage names of their children: Who would have thought that Ananda Tissa de Alwis or Jayantha Danapala are Christians?
    Good from the bad
    One basic problem with Ven. S proposal is that he forgot even war can produce some good results. Or bad things can bring good things. For example, JRJ got into trouble with India for his stupidity, arrogance and his false-blind faith in the U.S. government (Yankee Dickey). But in 1987 if he did not surrender to the Boy PM Rajiv Gandhi, India was going to occupy N-E and leave it after creating an Eelam with even parts of the Malayanadu annexed to it. So JRJ did the right thing at that time. Similarly his Executive Presidency monster served Sri Lanka in killing Prabakaran. EP is not a bad job post. It is the person who gets it who becomes bad and worse. MahindaR was able to make an Aladdin’s Lamp out of EP job to win the war. EP job can be controlled by other means. To throw it out like the baby with the bath water is not wise in the present geopolitics. Limiting it to just one six year term like in Mandela’s South Africa, removing blanket immunity are examples. Actually, even now EP is under the control of Parliament. No vote in Parliament for the budget means no money to run even the EP office! We saw what had happened to CBK under JVP control. She was under JVP probation! Therefore, the real problem is not EP, but the electoral system that allows criminals and crooks to become MPs. EP position can be made democratic and effective with gentleman MPs selected on electorate basis.
    How EP monster helped Sri Lanka
    Why did JRJ create this EP monster? Since 1948 party politics (not the 1947 constitution) and Colombo political families ruined the country. JRJ even tried to join with Mrs. B to create a national government when he was fighting with Dudley. LSSP and CP combine really ruined Mrs. B. The best example of parliament not allowing a PM to operate came when Lake House bribed Managala Samaraweera’s father and 16 others to defeat Mrs. B’s coalition government. Philip Gunawardena also took revenge from Mrs. B by voting against her. Mrs. B lost by one vote. JRJ was talking about a need for an EP kind of system to create a strong executive not controlled like a puppet by MPs. Now we know JRJ abused the power people gave him. Look at the number of constitutional Amendments he made and purpose behind each of them. But MahindaR could not have won the war if there was no EP job. Ven. S cannot say now that the war is over, because the war is not over. And there is the other war, the war against poverty, inequality and the rapid decline in morals and ethics.
    Sarvodaya Ariyaratna’s book
    To think that 17-A can rescue Sri Lanka from the mess that JRJ created for the benefit of the Colombo crowd is like expecting to empty the Parakrama Samudraya using a tea spoon! If the eminent persons, concerned citizens, NGO mudalalis, HR agents, retired CCS officers and retired professors who are back home to roost etc. were really concerned about the rule of law and the separation of powers they should have read the book written by Sarvodaya’s Ariyaratne in 1988, “The Power Pyramid and the Dharmic Cycle.” In chapter 7, pages 116-122, he explained in detail what was/is wrong with the bahubootha system and he identified the problems and a set of solutions to them. Rather than trying to apply lipstick to a pig, the solution is to throw the JRJ system (baby) with the bath water (17-A), and prepare a home-grown constitution with input from village people. Ven. S should request ideas from people first before presenting his and the Christian Plan.
    17-A was a joke
    What about Ven. S wanting to bring back the 17th Amendment. This amendment was a joke. Controlling EP job is one thing. We all want it. But it must be done the right way. All the independent bodies that 17-A wanted to create to encircle EP had the basic corruption germ. Members to these bodies were to be appointed by political parties. I quote below from what I wrote on March 19, 2009 (Lankaweb) about the classic case of UNP nominating Jayadeva Uyangoda (JU) (anti Sinhala Buddhist, former terrorist-Marxist) to the constitutional council.
    “Ironically, JU’s case together with the nomination of the retired Tamil judge who said “Tamil rights were robbed,” damaged the very spirit and purpose of the CC idea. Those who nominated these two persons violated the basic natural justice rule that not only justice be done, but it should so appear. These two with such bias against the views of the President of the country, who is responsible to the people of Sri Lanka, have no legal or moral right to accept membership even if some people with vested interests and hidden agendas nominated them expecting them to be cat’s paws to try to imprison Mahinda Rajapakse.”
    Teach Tamil and Sinhala
    Teaching Sinhala and Tamil to Tamil and Sinhala children will erase all these TNA and American demands and Tamil Nadu demands. The big fuss that Vasudeva Nanayakkara is making about the need to sing the national anthem in two-languages is a joke.
    What Sri Lanka needs
    I wish to draw Ven. S’ attention to the following urgent needs in Sri Lanka today.
    1. Remove 13-A. This is what LLRC meant when it said there are no homelands in Sri Lanka.
    2. But removal 13-A must be linked with empowering people at the village level. This is also what LLRC recommended.
    3. This empowerment of people at the lowest level can be done using GSN units. But RPremadasa increased GSN units from 4,000 to 14,000 to give jobs to UNP catchers. These GSN units must be re-demarcated using language-blind, ecological/geographical boundaries. Once such new units are identified non-political party basis, locally elected 10 member committee takes care of local policy decisions relating to basic human needs. Officers are there to help the GSN committee and not control them. The Divineguma law was a wrong method in this regard. Divineguma law should be modified to allow this kind of non-political party local rule.

    In Sri Lanka there is a triangle of three evil forces: politician-officer-NGO. These operate from village level to the national level. It is by killing this evil triangle that Sri Lanka can come out of the present mess.

    4. Because village level empowerment is based on ecology-based, language-blind smaller administrative units, these can provide the basis for Electorates, Districts and Regions. Thus Sri Lanka will have seven River Basin Regions.
    5. With local level empowerment, there is no harm in having an EP job with necessary other controls.
    6. Colonialism was maintained and continued using humiliation as a strategy. This was more dangerous and more effective than the use of guns, Bibles or bottles (Arrack). Local people, who became black-whites suffered from inferiority complex and became blind followers of the white man. They in turn passed it on to local non-English speaking natives. Anagarika Dharmapala understood this and he had a simple mental therapy method. He asked people to make an effigy of a white man, keep it in front of his house and kick it twice daily calling it para suddha! Those days the unofficial national anthem of village Ceylon was “Danno Budunge” written by John de Silva who was born to Christian parents.
    In April 2009, Gotabhaya Rajapakse gave this humiliation strategy back to white Europens via David Miliband and Bernard Kushner. Now Bodu Bala Sena is forcing Sri Lankans to come out of this white-European game of humiliation (otherwise how can they teach human rights to Buddhists?). Take a simple example. Mahinda Ralapanawa and Wickrama Weerasooriys wrote two books about Buddhist monk and temple control laws enacted by the colonial master. Perhaps, they did not know what Prins Gunasekera wrote about Vihara and Devalagam laws in 1958, which pointed out how British judges ruined Buddhist traditional systems. These Eurocentric experts do not know they are under the spell of humiliation ghost. So are the people who are fooling Buddhist monks like Ven. Sobitha.
    The sooner BBS makes Anagarika Dharmapala method a household practice again (modified) the better for Sri Lanka.
    Cwije7@gmail.com

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    Reverend Sobitha and his handler Welliyamuna are on a mission to please the UNP “dayakes” and their overseas mates.

    Why fix if it ain’t broken?.

    Has Revereand Sobitha forgotten how the current system helped to prevent more Arantalawas?.

    Is the Reverend oblivious to the obvious development around him which gives social justice to millions in the form of jobs and incomes to put food on the table.

    Isn’t he happy about the freedom and peace that the great majority enjoy at present bar the TNA and UNP and a few other fringe parties?.

    Can the Revered and his National Movement mates get it past the post by appeasing just the Opposition , their political allies and the overseas handlers?

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      Reverend Sobitha and his handler Welliyamuna are on a mission to please the UNP “dayakes” and their overseas mates.
      I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN AS THESE MEN HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS

      Why fix if it ain’t broken?.
      BROKEN? IT IS IN PIECES!

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    Congratulations the National Movement for Social Justice!

    Your initiative is timely and most appropriate.
    Our special thanks should go to the enlightened members of clergy who are at the helm of the Movement.

    All political parties, organizations and individuals who are for the national reconciliation in the country should join this brave initiative.

    We sincerely hope that this attempt will lead to a fruitful discourse that will bring peace and prosperity to this country.

    No sacrifice will be too much to achieve this end.

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    It would be a good thing if you could provide a link which would enable us to e-mail such articles to friends in SL (who may not be able to access your website) and others overseas.

    Just click the “print” then you will see the email option – CT

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