16 August, 2022


New Constitution: Report Of The Sub-Committee On Fundamental Rights – Full Texts In Three Languages

The Report of the Sub-committee on Fundamental Rights has been submitted to the Constitutional Assembly for its consideration with the other five sub-committees reports.

According to the Prime Minister’s office sources, six sub-committees were appointed by the Constitutional Assembly to make recommendations on the areas of Fundamental Rights, Judiciary, Finance, Law & Order, Public Service and Centre-Periphery Relations. The Reports have not, as yet, been considered by the Steering Committee. The Reports of the sub-committees are submitted for the consideration of the Constitutional Assembly.

“While there have been many similar recommendations in respect of several important areas, as is inevitable, the Reports of the sub-committees contain overlapping proposals as well as differing proposals on certain aspects. The Steering Committee will consider the sub-committee reports and the views expressed thereon, in preparing its Final Report.” the Prime Minister’s office sources said.

To read the Report of the Sub-committee on Fundamental Rights click here

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Latest comments

  • 4

    We do not need a new Constitution but to ammend the Old and modify to suit the needs.
    Jayampathy you wasted your time to to fullfil a personal undertaking given by you and MANGALA IN SINGAPORE somewhere in 2013.
    The people had then not given you both a mandate to give promises onbehalf of the masses.

    Take the New Constitution and take it home and use it to govern your Spouse..

    • 5


      “We do not need a new Constitution but to ammend the Old and modify to suit the needs.”

      Why do you need a constitution in the first place when you don’t abide by it nor respect its contents?

      Please replace it with Mahawamsa, make Sangha the ceremonial head of state and appoint MR the executive president and his brother Gota the effective hangman of this island.

      • 1

        Dumb NAtive Veddo:

        Please replace it with Mahawamsa, make Sangha the ceremonial head of state and appoint MR the executive president and his brother Gota the effective hangman of this island.

        For the first time, you have used your peanut brain.

    • 2

      Why are you dragging in Jayampathy’s dead wife into this? Shame on you. And why is CT not mentioning that it was Minister Mahinda Samarasingha who was chairman of the sub-committee

  • 2

    The whole exercise is foredoomed a farce and a failure. It is a dossier of disjunctive statements obtained from international instruments on fundamental rights without a coherent articulation of fundamental rights for a strong footing of a futuristic democratic, peaceful social and cultured life the people are longing for. This report is an expression of lack of originality and imagination of the experts in coming out with such a lopsided report. Some alleged to have toured South Africa to study the working of the South African Constitution. It would have been rather better to make international instruments on fundamental rights to which Sri Lanka is a signatory binding and make integrities in subordinate legislations. The fundamental nature ought to be has been watered down by certain individual religious and regional undertones in it. This is a yet another waste of public funds by yahapalana government due to lack of vision for a futuristic aspiration of the people.

  • 0

    Unfortunately very few appear to be interested in the new constitution. There are several reports here.

    • 3

      Lone Wolf

      “Unfortunately very few appear to be interested in the new constitution. There are several reports here.”

      Simply because the final draft of the constitution would be determined by a few Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority and the Sangha.

      More of the same.

      In the meantime why bother?


      • 0

        Native Vedda,

        “In the meantime why bother?”

        Good question. Reading the reports might stimulate the brain? Nothing better to do?

        I read fast this report and discovered that pretty much all is already in the existing constitution.

        Radical changes will not be accepted in any referendum.

  • 1

    These fundamental rights and freedoms were in existence since inde-
    pendence, copied from British constitution. The problem was that they
    were not practised in good faith by successive Govts. For example, several innocent people from N/E are dangling in prisons because Police
    recorded statements in a language they did not understand, specially during the war and the judges gave judgements based on these statement
    given by the police,signed as correct by the accused, leading to mis-
    carriage of justice.Tamil Language was a national language even during
    that period and the above report need not emphasize now that Tamils could use Tamil in their dealings with the govt. authorities.

    It is not a new constitution that is required here, but there should
    be a law like bill 19A, enacted so that the Govt. in power and future Govts.ensure that the Judiciary & law enforcement officials and rest of the Govt. agencies,including the armed forces.follow the rules,word
    by word in the statute books. It is senseless blaming the constitution
    for mismanagement of govt. affairs, wrongly interpreting the laws to suit their convenience.

  • 2

    I happen to think this a worthwhile exercise. This is the first time in history a wider swathe of our people have been given the opportunity to understand what their rights are as citizens. Of course, all may not have the interest to read. Being presented in the three languages -probably for the first time- it definitely targets a large section of our diverse population.

    It is upto the media to take it to the people and stimulate a wider discussion . The right not to be targeted by deliberately designed deceptive advertisements, promotion campaigns and financial deals, may be one that has to be considered. This may apply to agro-chemicals and drugs. The deceptive manner in which Finance Companies offer apparently ‘Easy Credit’ and impoverish the gullible poor is another serious matter that has to be addressed in terms of the right not to be deceived.

    What has been presented covers a wide ambit of rights issues in this country- many not addressed or ignored before.

    What happens to these proposals in parliament and as part of the full package in the refersndum is another concern.

    The above concern, raises the point whether the referendum should address the questions whether each sections of the proposed consritution are acceptable to the people, instead of a simple ‘ All or None’ question. This will certainly ascertain whether the Sinhala people are against the concept of devolution. It will help explode the much vocalized claim that the Sinhala masses are against or confirm it. We should know the factual position at least now.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0

    The man of Jayampathy Wicramatarana is not Constitutional expert of change of old one into ‘New’ Republic Constitution by his proposals are on behalf UNP of Neo-con political proposal by divided People of Sri Lankan and well, which bluntly Surrender their National Sovereignty to Foreign powers.

    The very issue is not that Federalism, but key factor is Nation Political, Economic and Social sovereignty lie on Western power of aim to dismantled Sri Lankan state by the prime interest of USA and Indian hegemony in Monsoon politics of Indian Ocean.

    We have to get out of this orbit of USA political global strategy to keep and maintain Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, Independent and Democracy of all nationalities living togethers in ONE Island.

    The Island of Sri lanka that cannot be divided between lines of Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese on RACIL BASIS of so-called Federalism.
    In reality power devaluations by Federalism is sharing power among Tamil and Muslim bourgeoisies STATE , those who want serve incoming and growing Foreign power in South Asian region.

    The Tamil and Muslim are Separatist and apply mode of struggle extremism of Terrorism since 1949 by origin of Federal Party politics. The current TNA Tamil extremist are origin of out of democratic establishments since last 70 years from Federal Party .

    They(TNA) who were Tamil ideologies of separatism, that politically provide jusficiation of myth of “Tamil Eealm” for ruthless struggle of LTTE terrorist outfits by through out 30 years mode of armed struggle by LTTE for the achieve Tamil Eealm.
    That Tamil terrorism of LTTE had been undermined values of democracy norms and morals by adding and abating by TNA leadership. To bring that TNA into democratic mainstream orbit will long-term process.
    The large numbers of TNA mindset cannot shifted overnight or couple of years is not sufficient bring even after end of Tamil Eealm war footing physiology since 2009 May.

    Therefore is short term-solution by “New” Constitution will be another failure in locally.New proposed constitutional “changes” cannot be read by irrational man that call Jayampayhy!

    Their(his) politics motivation is position of power are short -sights seen. He cannot created new ERA or Epoch in our history by his own ‘changes’ of Constitution by USA vital interest.
    The man called Jayampathti is Sinna Dora!

    Needless to say that any type of proposed “New Republic Constitution” by man call Jayampathy W….is not principle interest of Islanders, but it is mainly serve for the Indian -RAW and CIA-USA by using “devolution” enter tactics of domination that USA imperialism by New Strategy of Indian Ocean.

    The man Jayampathy is just figurehead or scrip writer of proposed constitution. By the Greater role played by local agents and the Political main streamer rollers are that behind by UNP-Ranil W, MS and CBK.
    hey work on Neo-con agenda and road map of 2015 January, that bring back “rainbow Revolution” was another counter-revolution led by misled millions of voters by Simple M. Sirisesa, CBK and UNP-Ranil.w of UNP’s Christen democracies.

    Their misused people power of Voters to misguided slang of “Corruptions” against MR and ruling alliances to turn into New Colonial domination by proposed “New Constitutional Republic”.
    The man who write ‘constitution’ is not creator of new constitution of Island he is just writer.

    The proposed “New constitution” one is NOT that Secular, Democratic of transplanted of Rights of People democratic credentials ; it is obviously led to Divided Sovereignty People and give power to Tamil and Muslim bourgeoisies of extremist, who run the Provincial Councillors of current CM of that anti-democratic outfits are head of North and East region.

    This type of “constitutional democracies” are not going workable in Sri lanka at any cost of by so-called power ‘devolution’.

    It will be failure state some time to comes into being the future.

    The look at power devolution derived form the GUN POINT OF INDAN IPKF 1987 by UNP-JRJ politics of “Open economy” has undermined nation integrity and values of democracy of participation model being replace by the WAR become different tone politics over 30 years.
    We lost WHOLE image of Democracy by Indo-Sri-LANAK ACCORD IN 1987.


    We do not need repeated similar situation again under New UNP regime of syndicated by Old-UNP Ranil W.., CBK of Neo-con that New Federalist-SLFP and MS of New UNP leader.

    We are at Turing point of history of Nation sovereignty challenge by local agents as well as foreign Power .

  • 0

    Such a cowardly move of SLMC representative Salman for demanding the retention of Personal Laws in the event of repealing article 16 !!! They have heard enough from their community women on reforming Muslim Personal Law (even Minister Hakeem goes around saying that he supports the appointment of Muslim women as Quazis and Muslim girls age of marriage to be 18).

    MPs Sumanthiran and Jayampathy have openly indicated that their parties have no reservation on reforming the Thesavalaimai and Kandian laws if there are discriminatory clauses that contradict article 12 of the constitution. It is only SLMC and it’s Mullah like men who think that the Muslim Personal Law is a divine law and untouchable. These men are hiding the fact that the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act came from Indonesia (then called Batavia) in 1951 and Indonesian governments have reformed it many times and they now have over 100 female Quazis.

    Mr. Salman had asked for exemption of Personal Laws!!! Since when the SLMC has become the guardian of all Personal Laws? Who gave Mr. Salman the authority to be the custodian of all Personal Laws in this country? If he wants Muslim community women to be treated as second-class citizens he can ask for Muslim Personal Law to be retained. Mr. Salman please do not mess around with women’s rights in this country.

    See page 17 under existing written and unwritten laws ref. article 16 (1).
    (2) The provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article shall not apply to personal laws (provide an appropriate definition of ‘personal laws’) in force at the time of coming into force of this Constitution. endorse by Mr. Salman
    And also see the footnote on page 4 and 11 by Mr. Salman

  • 2

    Here is  video on the CM of the Northern Province addressing in Sinhala to the Sinhala people and explaining  what federalism is. ​


  • 0

    While I appreciate the whole effort and the draft in principle, I like to make initial reservations on two sections: (1) Right to ownership of property and (2) Freedom from exploitation.

    The right to property is contested as a human right. It is not even there in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). At least it should be qualified as ‘personal property.’ Then it could further be expanded as “Every citizen shall enjoy minimum of personal property needed for living life in dignity.” Otherwise I will strongly oppose the misleading and conceptually wrong inclusion.

    There is also a difference between the Sinhala version and the English version in 3 (C) where in the Sinhala version the ‘armed struggle’ is mentioned! I don’t see the relevance of it to be included in the Fundamental Rights Chapter in the proposed Constitution at all.

    In respect of the section on “Freedom from Exploitation” I don’t have an objection to the contents. It is necessary. However, ‘exploitation’ has a different meaning in the present capitalist society. Therefore, the title should be ‘Freedom from Forced Labour’ or the contents should also include ‘freedom from exploitation of labour for profit making.’ I hope my line of thinking is clear!

  • 1

    I have no confidence in the present government to draft a proper constitution that will serve the needs of the people of Sri Lanka. It is better to follow the present constitution and work with it.

    How many constitutions we have had – all to fulfill narrow political aspirations of the ruling majority.

    This is patently absurd.

    I will be voting no.

  • 0

    It is easy to read a report and jump to conclusions. As a member who had continuously attended meetings of the Committee, I had the opportunity of listening to all shades of opinion on the subject matter and reading voluminous material that were presented. “Jodha Akbar” terms my position a “cowardly move”. Sorry, I did it openly and lent my name unlike you, hiding behind a fictitious name and commenting. Remove your cover and let us engage in a constructive dialogue.

    Committee was dealing with the question of fundamental rights and not Muslim Law per se. There was discussion regarding the fate of Article 16 of the current Constitution, which validates existing law (enacted prior to 1978) notwithstanding inconsistency with the rights chapter. Mind you the Article refers to written and unwritten law.

    My position was that personal laws in the statute books had evolved over time and as such reforms too should not be rushed. As for Muslim law, I said it is based on religious principles and therefore individuals should not attempt to change in haste. I further emphasised that all parties (learned, scholars, professionals etc.) must be consulted and consensus reached.

    I hold the view that Muslim law reform shall be effected through the legislature and not by the judiciary based on some constitutional provisions. This may lead to very serious consequences in the future and create confusion. Remember section 29 of the Saulbury Constitution, it did not bring in desired results.

    Surely, I am not the custodian of personal laws or Muslim law for that matter. The same applies to you as well.

    For your information, the SLMC has not taken any policy decision on specific aspects of Muslim law reform. Surely there are different views on the subject.

    my e mail – mhmsalman@gmail.com

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