30 October, 2020

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Govt. To Have Its Way On Land Powers: Supreme Court Rules Against PCs

The Supreme Court today issued a landmark verdict on land powers under the 13th Amendment ruling that rights over land are vested with the central Government and not  the provincial councils.

De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris

The bench comprised de facto Chief Justice Mohan Peiris and Justices K. Sripavan and Eva Wanasundera.

The Judges ruled that under the constitution land was vested in the people or the central government to be handed over to the provincial councils according to law and on their request.

Today’s judgment also overturns rulings by former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva and CJ 43 Shirani Bandaranayake who ruled separately that land powers lay with the provincial councils.

Land and police powers although devolved under the 13th Amendment have never been granted to provincial administrations. The ruling comes a few days after Sri Lanka’s northern Tamils gave the Tamil National Alliance an overwhelming mandate to seek greater autonomy and political rights for the region.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya has hailed the Supreme Court decision.

Attorney at Law Gomin Dayasri appeared on behalf of the Plantation Ministry while M.A. Sumanthiran appeared as Counsel for the other party. The ruling came in a case pertaining to a land dispute in the Central Province.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Isn’t this why you were appointed? Great job, to enjoy all the luxury, forget the Law and keep satisfying the Master.

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      CHOGM or Commonwealth of Clowns must be protested by the people of Lanka for conniving to conceal the illegal impeachment of CJ Shiranee and for supporting the Rajassa military dictatorship and land grabs…

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        Another defeated Tamil terrorist sobbing!How about the Kangaroo courts of the mass murderer Prabakaran.Idiots without o’levels appointed as judges.Summary killings.A bunch of dreaming jokers!

        • 0
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          Max Silva,

          You agree that Your courts are nothing different to LTTE courts. In other words you agree your state is a terrorist state.

          Have a look at your cabinet: Karuna Amman, Douglas Devananda, Basil Rajapakse, Wimalawanse. Criminals, underworld thugs, exporting children).

          • 0
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            Another defeated Tamil terrorist upset over the untimely death of the mass killer Prabakaran.

            • 0
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              Not just land powers but the entire 13A should have been removed for it was not approved by the parliament after proper deliberations but rammed down on MPs under duress. Good as a start anyway.

              Earlier, SC decided that approval by the majority provincial council would be sufficient for parliament to pass laws on subjects that come under PCs. No longer an odd PC can overrule the authority of the parliament. We are becoming a unitary state once more.

          • 0
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            Next we await the wrath of the international brigade , not agreeing with the supreme court decision . Three judges reported independently of their decisions . If you examine the 13 th amendment , the decision given by the SC , is well documented in English . Pity the previous judges of the appeal court cannot understand the English in the constitution .

  • 0
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    This is a home and home match. Gomin Dayasiri is the lawyer for Military and a hardliner promoting President and Gota. We all noted that for the last few months, Government was silent on amending amendment because they were sure of this judgement, which was fixed. This is what the government expected by bringing the former Adviser of the Government and Defence Ministry as the Chief Justice. Jaya Wewa!

  • 0
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    If the Land powers are vested in the people it should go to the body that is closer to the people which would be the Provincial Councils, Town Councils and village councils definitely not the Central Government which is only a collection of various Provincial Councils.

    This decision has put a nail on the coffin, Indian Prime Minister will not attend the Commonwealth sessions and India may not even send a low level group to participate. Canada is not coming and due to this decision UN will definitely accelerate its pressure now.

    This is the beginning of the GAME! Let the game begin!

  • 0
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    Some facts from the 13 the amendment (Schdule 11) are as follows:

    1. State Land shall continue to vest in the Republic and may be disposed of in accordance with Article 33 (d) and written law governing the matter.

    Subject to aforesaid, land shall be a Provicial Council Subject, subject to the following Special provisions of which the crucial are:

    a. Alienation or disposition of the State land within a Province to any itizen or to any prganization shall be by the President, on the advice of the relevant Provincial Council, in accordance with the laws governing the matter (section 1:3).

    b. The selection of allottees for such land will be determined by the Government of Sri Lanka having regard to settler selection criteria including the degree of landlessness, income level, size of family and agricultural background of applicants. The actual application of these principles, selection of allottees and other incidental matters connected thereto will be within the powers of Provincial Councils (section 2:4)

    c. The distribution of allotments in such projects on the basis of aforesaid principles would be done as far as possible so as not ti disturb very significantly the demographic pattern of the Province and in accordance with the principle of ensuring community cohesiveness in human settlements (section 2:7)
    c The National land Commission would be responsible for the formulation of national policy with regard to the use of State land. This Commission will include representatives of all Provincial Councils in the Island (Section 3:1).”

    As in all sections of the 13th amendment those relating to State Land too can be also interpreted in many ways. as desired by those in power at the Centre. This is what the present Supreme Court has done, in over ruling the decision of the Appeals Coourt.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Please note words in Appendix 11 of the 13th amendment I have cited above.

      Section 1 : ” State Land shall be vested in the Republic”
      What does the word ‘Republic’ here refer to in the context
      used?
      It cannot mean the government or the PCs, as they are
      specifically referred to elsewhere .

      Can a legal eagle please explain?

      Dr.RN

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        The name of SL according to the SAME constitution is democratic socialist REPUBLIC of SL. So the republic means SL.

        Bloody racist Tamils are condemned to hell.

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          Is then the ‘ Republic’ = ‘Sri Lanka’= ‘ State ‘= ‘President’?

          The State Land is within Sri Lanka, thus it is part of Sri Lanka. Why should there then be references to Republic, State, President and PCs?

          Would it not be reasonable to surmise that the State Land is vested in the people of Sri Lanka ( Republic as a composite of all its citizens) and this ownership is shared equitably by the PCs? The role of the President being that of a referee to make sure that the game is played according to the law and the rule.

          Dr.RN

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            Incidentally the Asian Tribune has published the full details of the said verdict today. It appears that the verdict applies to a specific instance in a specific province – the Central.

            Dr.RN

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              So, Wiggi as CM in the NP can promote ITAK bantu land policies for four years. Is that what say you Dr. RN.

            • 0
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              Not true. You can’t have one law for one province and another for another province.

              SC verdict is state land belongs to the centre not to PCs.

              Asian Tribune’s KTR is now with TNA. Earlier he was with Rajafucksa.

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              We obtain our environment clearance certificate for our factory in Kurunegala district not from Central Environmental Authority (CEA) but from North Western provincial environmental authority set up in 1990 under the powers of 13A. Now mind you, this is not a branch office of the CEA, but an independent authority.

              Imagine where we head if ordinary people in this small country have to deal with nine different laws for environment legislated by nine different PCs. What if CMs become enterprising and every PC started to have their own laws for every subject that is devolved.

              For example If police powers are devolved, local police officers will report to the CM appointed DIG and not to IGP. Imagine the consequences. Cons will have a field day by robbing in one province and shifting to another province to make arrest difficult. What if one CM got his DIG to arrest a minister of the Central Government he doesn’t like? We’ll have to keep a line open to Soleheim to plead him to mediate.

              Fortunately, all PCs were controlled by the ruling party so far. We should get out of the madness before rump LTTE push Wigge to be mad. Then again that’s what the rump LTTE want, I suppose.

          • 0
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            The Republic has 3 branches – the foolish president, the dumb parliament and the useless judiciary. That is all. It does NOT include PCs!

            So the president, the parliament and the judiciary preside over land powers.

            If it were to be vested in the PEOPLE, the constitution should say PEOPLE, not the republic.

            Sovereignty rests with the PEOPLE according to the same constitution.

            • 0
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              What is the 13th amendment’s place in the constitution and the meaning of the executive power that has been devolved from the President to the PCs through the Governors. The 13th amendment overrides anything that contradicts its intent that may be in the constitution. Are the CP and the NWP that have elected new councils, also Bantustans, in your vocabulary?

              Sovereignty of course rests with the people, who make up the Republic. They include Vaddahs, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers, Kafirs, Andhras, Borahs, Scindhis, Malayalees and many other groups who inhabit this country.

              The PC system will benefit from Justice Wigneswaran’s tenure as CM and as a result will also become an improved instrument for power devolution. This is the hope and prayer of every Tamil who cast their vote for the TNA in the last elections. I can only hope that common sense will prevail in the execute, parliament and the judiciary that consitute the State. Further, for your information the powers of the judiciary have been devolved to the provinces under the 13th amendment.

              Dr.RN

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    A layman does not comment on a judgement by the Supreme Court BUT it will be a good thing for the Government to be guided by the spirit of the law and not use the letter of the law to be obstructive. Of course the same applies to the Provincial Council. The PC is there, let’s face it. Best to work as amicably as practicable.

    • 0
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      What’s the use of the PC without land powers?

      So Tamilian HomeLAND belongs to SL! That is what the constitution says.

      LTTE took up arms because there is NO peaceful solution to Tamil aspirations. It is foolish to think there is a peaceful solution.

      • 0
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        Tamil homeland belongs to SL and SL belong to Tamils.
        Tamil homeland=Tamils.
        What’s the problem?

        • 0
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          Banda

          “Tamil homeland belongs to SL and SL belong to Tamils.”

          No both Sinhalese and Tamils belong to India. You can have your Tamil and Sinhala Eelam in Bihar or Tamilnadu.

          This island belongs to Veddahs.

          Do you have any problem with that?

          • 0
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            To start with, if Vedda are the descendants of Kuveni and Vijaya as you say, then Vedda is 50% Indian. Next, if so, how are you going to prove Vedda is the original Bhumiputra of Lanka? Thirdly, taking the ancestors of Sinhla namely, Yaksha and other four known tribes in to consideration it can be said Sinhalas are only 20% Indian.

  • 0
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    In nutshell, GoSL is inviting another trouble in the land. Note: TNA, you cannot rely this GoSL which uses military and judiciary for its own benefits.

  • 0
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    This tile boy is doing a good job for his rajapakka Mahathaya;why not give the rulings under the court name “Rajapakka Courts”;Because this rajapakke’s tile boy is an illegal judge not recognized by the SL Bar Association.

    • 0
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      Members of SL Bar Association should boycott courts if they are genuine. But they won’t do it for black coated sharks are greedier than any known animal.

  • 0
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    The stones have been laid for the President to walk on.This decision another ‘against’ the NPC.

    Govt is worried that they will have to extend land and police powers may be fund collection too to other provinces in the south.This irks them as the govt will loose complete control of the south and too soon the UPFA will become a dead stinky fish.

    Tamils have waited long enough.Another week or two is not too long.

    Maybe Drums,fire crackers,kiribath,garlands,marches are already planned for the south.

  • 0
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    What do you expect from a kangaroo legal system where the chief kangaroo does not even have the right to be there.

    Govt or the 2.50 deshapremis should not complain when people plead with entities outside the dorders of the country as they cannot get justice within.

  • 0
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    Once again, it is very clear how the authoritarian state can manipulate the existing laws to suit their objective. The merged North East Province was dismantled by a simple weakness in the law by a political party that was considered as a terrorist outfit. Now, we understand why President Rajapakse removed Chief Justice from the bench and appointed a man who just follows his order rather than law books. As long as this chief justice is in power and Rajapakse is in Power, there is no place for law and order or justice. Do you thing that reconciliation is a possible one in Sri Lanka? Do you think 13th amendment is going to work?

  • 0
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    The de facto CJ has done his duty as expected.
    He has negated rulings by Sarath Silva and CJ Shirani B.

    Accordingly,state land – not privately owned land – can be used by a PC for any purpose,only if approved by the central government.

    Now accordingly,the PC must obtain permission to open employment/production oriented projects on state land.

    The NPC has a difficult task ahead.

  • 0
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    The Govt and its irregularly appointed CJ may pat them on the back they have won. They have not. The judgement is in contravention of
    and spirit of the 13th Amendment signed by two sovereign governments.
    Indian Senior Minister Shri Chidambaram maintains GoSL is obliged to
    honour the amended Bill. Dr. R. Narendran in these pages quotes the
    law from which it is clear the matter comes under the purview of the
    PC. Sinhala chauvinism, like in that charade of the de-merger carried with the help of a maverick CJ, is taking the country to division.

    Varathan

  • 0
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    Well…. as one who have watched Ezham events for the past 50 years and a lawyer, let me tell the Singalese kinsmne that from Selavaa to Prabhakaran, the ethnic Tamils were FULLY justified to seek tomhave their own sovereign Thamizh Eezham!

    • 0
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      Now they have to seek Tamil homeland in hell.

      ALL land in SL belongs to the genocidal Chingalam government. :)

      Tamilian joy of winning north PC lasted only a few days. Premature!

      Now weep and howl.

  • 0
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    Next, police powers should be removed from PC. Then all the powers should be removed from PC gradually..

    • 0
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      Cyril

      “Next, police powers should be removed from PC. Then all the powers should be removed from PC gradually.”

      It is a brilliant idea, your thinking is so advanced my elders are finding it difficult to identify the political philosophy behind it.

      Now they say you are planning to build a stateless egalitarian society. Is it true?

      In that process do you intend to remove powers from Police, government, courts, president….. eventually you want to abolish the state and its institutions.

      What a brilliant idea and utopia.

      I support it.

      Lets start work on it.

      My elders also believe that only stupid will remove powers from people. I agree with them.

      • 0
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        Vaniala Atto should be the next chief justice.

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          Vedda cousin

          “Vaniala Atto should be the next chief justice.”

          With your latest cunning plan, do you want to destroy us as the only people with integrity?

          Didn’t work won’t work.

    • 0
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      Absolutely. Give them nothing. Let them eat out of the scraps falling from Muslim and Chingalam people’s tables.

      Homeless, stateless people.

  • 0
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    The Supreme court order is no surprise! We all know that there is no independent judiciary in this country!

  • 0
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    Well done Gomin and Supreme Court.

    Now Tamil LOSERS can start weeping and howling again. :)

    What’s the point in having a provincial council without land powers?

    That is why I say it is very easy to fool Tamilians.

  • 0
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    A shameless junior lawyer as a pliant unlawful CJ; an “Yes, Sir” SC
    and Police force; a captive army and it will not be long when it may be decried all land in Tamil areas
    hereafter belong to the State and the President has the right to allocate to whomever he likes. All it requires is the 20th Amendment and those two-legged chimps that sit in The House will vote where they are asked to. That is the ethics, moral and legality of a country where Majoritarianism is King – where men like Sharma are influenced to mislead the world everything in the Miracle of Asia is just fine.

    F-Word

  • 0
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    peoples power has to be accepted and respected. supreme court decisions, ministerial decisions etc. are irrelevant when it comes to peoples power. tamil people have demonstrated in no uncertain terms that political participation is more important for them than roads, bridges, buddha statues, buddhist viharis, toilets, brothels, gay quarters, lesbian hostels etc. i hope confrontation is not what the chingala government of rajafcuksha wants.

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