19 November, 2017

New Constitution: Interim Report Of The Steering Committee – Full Texts In Three Languages

The Constitutional Assembly established by Parliamentary Resolution of 09th March 2016 unanimously appointed a Steering Committee at its first sitting on 05th April 2016.

The Steering Committee identified 12 main subject areas and assigned six of those subjects to Sub-Committees appointed by the Constitutional Assembly on 05th May 2016. The Reports of the said six Sub Committees and another report by an ad-hoc Committee appointed by the Steering Committee were tabled before the Constitutional Assembly on 19th November and 10th December 2016 respectively.

This Interim Report of the Steering Committee deals with the remaining six subjects that were not assigned to any Sub-Committee and contains principles and formulations that reflect the deliberations of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly that met 73 times between April 2016 and September 2017.

Included in this Interim Report are observations and comments by Members of the Steering Committee on the principles and formulations contained in the Report.

Members of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly comprises:

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister (Chairman), Nimal Siripala de Silva, Rauff Hakeem, Lakshman Kiriella, A. D. Susil Premajayantha, Rishad Bathiudeen, Patali Champika Ranawaka, D. M. Swaminathan, Mano Ganesan, Malik Samarawickrama, Dilan Perera, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, Dinesh Gunawardena, Douglas Devananda, Anura Dissanayake, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Bimal Rathnayake, M. A. Sumanthiran, Prasanna Ranatunga, Jayampathy Wickramaratne and Thusitha Wijemanna.

To read in English click here

To read in Sinhala click here

To read in Tamil click here

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Latest comments

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    Mallayuran has written an unduly long rigmarole instead of presenting his case logically and methodically in a structured format. . He could have avoided vituperative, provocative and demeaning insinuations about R.Sampanthan and M.A. Sumanthiran. Mallayuran cannot claim any superior political knowledge/wisdom vis a vis these two elected representatives of the people. Ridiculing them tantamount to insulting the people who elected them democratically. This apart, he has made some valid points in regard to the existence of not one but three (two Sinhalese and one Tamil Kingdom) at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505. They are the Jaffna Kingdom in the North, the Kandyan Kingdom in the central part and Kotte Kingdom in the south. Buvenekabahu VII, King of Kotte got assistance from the Portuguese in order to defeat his brother, Mayadunne. He also allowed his daughter’s son, Prince Dharmapala, to be baptized as a Catholic by the Portuguese, after Buvenekabahu had named Dharmapala as his heir. In 1597 Dharmapala gifted the Kotte Kingdom to the Portuguese throne and Kotte era was officially ended. The Jaffna Kingdom was captured by the Portuguese in 1619. The Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to the British by the Kandyan Chieftains in 1815 after the British captured and deported Sri Raja Wickramasinghan, the last king of Kandy.
    The war between Ellalan and Gemunu was not a war between a Tamil King and a Sinhalese King. There was no Sinhalese identity at that point of time. Kings prior to Devanampiya Tissa were Tamil/Naga Hindus. The war between Ellalan and Gemunu was a war between Tamil/Naga Hindus Vs Buddhist Naga/Tamil Buddhists.

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    2/2
    Mallayuran also has made another point regarding Sinhalese and Tamil terms used to describe the nature of the state. In place of unitary state the words now suggested is “aekiya raajyaya” – best describes an undivided and indivisible country – and the Tamil language equivalent of this is “orumiththa nadu”. But aekiya raajyaya is not the same as orumiththa nadu. Raajyaya is not nadu, it means kingdom. There is a significant difference between the two viz raajyaya and nadu. One can have several kingdoms within one country. The term should therefore be translated as orumiththa Raajyam. But Raajyam is not a Tamil word. It is Sanskrit. The right word is arasu! That is “aekiya raajyaya”/orumiththa arasu!
    The draft report is what it means a draft. The draft has not covered many other issues like powers of the president, police powers, powers of the governor etc. etc. These will have to be debated in the Constitutional Assembly.
    TNA must press for the recognition of Tamils as a people entitled to internal self-determination under a federal structure in terms of the recent landmark judgment of the Supreme Court. It should also press for the removal the 6th Amendment that infringes the right to free speech.

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    In addition to the Expected surprise for Tamils, there is an already stolen gift also in the Secret Solution. Not many knows this other than Appe Aanduwa, but there are more than a million Tamils have left the country and half a million has been raped, toured and murdered by one other worlds notorious Rapist Army. But almost everyone knows what an empathetic, sympathetic and compassionate government our Yahapalanaya is so it cannot punish any criminals as per its Buddhist principles and so has it swore to protect the criminals whoever caused it. So it is proposed compensatory seats to North
    So let us understand where this gift seat is coming from & what Gilmarts behind that.
    They told the proportional voting system is increasing party conscience, while watering down the country concern. So they want to introduce a mix system. But they want to introduce a bonus system for the National parties winning the election. Under this devolution Tamil parties never can get it. What they are doing is still protecting Sinhala extremist concentrating on Party politics instead of real candidates. That is only possible by stepping up the customary anti-minority slogans. The parties are going to do all tricks to get the bonus votes. What the actual result they are seeking by the new mixed and bonus system is shifting the problem of corruption and lawlessness by the party politics which stems from the PR voting system, to shift focused on anti-minority propaganda. In that condition there is a gift for North extra seats (How Many? 1 ¼ or 1½). “Is that going to be allocated for the winning National Party with the Bonus seats” is not clear this time? There are contested electoral SMC seats, District compensatory seats and uncontested State bonus seats are also there.

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    There is nothing for systematic Provinces level allocation. But temporary seats will be made available for Northern Province. So it is not systematic base, the Secret Solution is not talking about who gets it?
    1. If it is going to represent the dislocated voters, Diaspora has to be allowed to vote postal voting for these seats.
    2. The only practically possible way the Tamils having those seats without diaspora voting is allowing the party that wins the province to have it, which is TNA. But TNA is not the real representative of diaspora, unlike it is in North-East.
    3. District based compensatory cannot work out as missing people are from five districts. Further District compensatory seats are only to promote National Parties in the North-East. That is not representing the Tamil Diaspora.
    4. If this is going to be another Self-Help Hangbangtota tsunami fund, in the name of the suffered Tamils ones, then National Parties can have seats added to their bonus, using the name missing Tamils.
    Now it is abundantly clear, after cutting down the Tamil representation in the North citing population reduction and giving temporary bonus is not in real good intention. These sympathy seats are only to further divide and rule Tamils.
    It is said power is being devolved to Provinces and locals. There are no secret solution provisions that Locals’ chief should regularly meet under prime Minister or Local Council Minister or not even under Chief Minister. But there is a strict law Chief Ministers has to meet the Prime Minister regularly as a compulsory meeting to repeat 6A’ oath. Isn’t Locals’ Chiefs are better than CM under this new law than CMs. Then why the Secret Solution is telling that the primary devolution unit is provinces?

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