23 September, 2018

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Presidential Term-Limit Is Unconditional: Not Just Prospective 

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The 19th Amendment or more specifically now highly debated Article 31 (2) of  the Constitution on the term-limit of the President should be considered in its overall application and not specific to the future or the past. That is the way it is amended/drafted in the constitution like in the case of the 18th Amendment. 

Whatever the criticisms that we may have on the Attorney General’s Department, it is difficult to imagine that they or others behind the drafting were unaware of the possible legal ramifications when they were finally drafting the 19th Amendment according to the government’s specifications. They must have had some constraints due to political requests/pressure on other matters i.e. ‘powers, functions and duties of the President,’ but in the case of Article 31 (2), it is difficult to believe that it was the case. 

There is no apparent contradiction between the modified ‘powers, functions and duties of the President’ and the way he/she should be elected and the required qualifications. Both are in the democratic direction. 

The mere debate of prospective or retrospective application of  constitutional amendments is completely outdated. There are so many other ways of amending or drafting constitutions (i.e. sunset, sunrise, continuity or transitional clauses etc.) and what is important to ask is whether a particular clause or article is conditional or unconditional. Article 31 (2) in  the 19th Amendment is unconditional and applies in the overall context of the constitution and office of the President.     

Comparative Examples 

The Thirteenth Amendment in America outlawed slavery in 1865. Did this mean it outlawed ‘slavery’ for the future and not for the past, and the slaves before should have remained slaves? It is mere constitutional rhetoric that people like G. L. Peiris, Sarath N. Silva and Nihal Jayawickrama have been uttering in recent times directly and indirectly, arguing for yet another presidential contest for Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the only merit of Dr Nihal Jayawickrama’s article is that he has taken great pains to justify his claim/s.   

The 18th Amendment abolished the term-limit by repealing Article 31 (2) in the original constitution of 1978. Did the amendment say it applies retrospectively? No. The 19th Amendment reintroduced it again of course with several other changes. The other changes were there even in the 18th Amendment. Both applied to the future as well as to the past or more correctly in overall terms. How come otherwise, Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to contest the January 2015 elections? Under the original 1978 constitution as per the Article 31 (2), he was disqualified to contest again after he was elected to the presidency for the second time in January 2010. This must be the very reason why Nihal Jayawickrama has put forward a convoluted additional argument that the Presidency after the 19th Amendment is completely different to the Presidency before, or to the original constitution of 1978.     

What does the Article 31 (2) exactly say? 

“No person who has been twice elected to the office of President by the People, shall be qualified thereafter to be elected to such office by the People.” 

We should specifically note the term ‘thereafter.’ This means Mahinda Rajapaksa was disqualified until the 18th Amendment was introduced in September 2010. Now he is disqualified under the 19th Amendment again which has the same effect as before. That is a correction to the previous democratic aberration. The aberration was in respect of the repeal of the term-limit with the characteristic tendency towards authoritarianism. How come that those who were silent on the absence of a ‘retrospective clause’ in the 18th Amendment in repealing the term-limit now thunder about its absence in the 19th Amendment? 

Undesirability of Retrospection? 

Prospective vs retrospective debate is not completely limited to Sri Lanka although it is largely the past and not the present. In respect of the United States Akhil Reed Amar (America’s Unwritten Constitution: The Precedents and Principles We Live By, 2012) raised the following questions with legitimate inferences, ironically as if he was talking about Sri Lanka. 

“On which side of the line did the Nineteenth Amendment fall? Did it merely create new rules that would apply purely prospectively as with the Eighteenth Amendment? Or did it call for fully retrospective application, as with the Nuremburg prosecutions? Or was some intermediary approach called for? If so, what were it contours?” 

He was talking in respect of how to interpret constitutional amendments. In my opinion, Sri Lanka needs a new approach (which is already there among more enlightened people) where constitutional interpretation should be based on not whether a clause or an amendment is prospective or retrospective, but whether it is conditional or unconditional. If the application is unconditional  or overall, the prospective vs retrospective debate does not arise. There are several conditionalities in the 19th Amendment but not in respect of the two term-limit or the (five year) tenure of the President. Therefore, they are unconditional.     

Legislation in retrospection is generally considered inconsistent with the principles of rule of law. As the Australian Law Reform Commission states “One element of the rule of law is that laws are capable of being known in advance so that people subject to those laws can exercise choice and order their affairs accordingly. It follows that laws should not retrospectively change legal rights and obligations, or create offences with retrospective application.”  

However, the ‘undesirability of retrospection’ does not apply in the same manner in the case of constitutional matters as in the case of ordinary law. Because a constitution is fundamental law of a country and when a Parliament or a Parliament plus people at a referendum approves a new constitution or a constitutional amendment they do so (presumably) under considerable consideration. Therefore, in a constitution, if a particular article, provision or clause is not specifically conditional, its application is overall. 

Already Determined 

The Supreme Court (SC) has already given a determination, if not a verdict, in a similar matter on Article 30 (2) of the 19th Amendment which says “The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and shall hold office for a term of five years.” Whatever the reason, as we know, the incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena requested the Supreme Court to determine whether he could continue until January 2021, for six years, as he was elected in January 2015 before the 19th Amendment. Irrespective of the lack of a retrospective clause in respect of 30 (2), which was enacted in May 2015, the SC determined that the incumbent President’s term in office is limited to five years from January 2015. Because the specific amendment to the tenure (from six to five) was unconditional.   

It is well known that the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that time, if the SC determines in favour of President Sirisena, he himself could run again for the Presidency (Indian Express, 15 January 2018). However unfortunately, things didn’t turn up that way. His tongue-tied position thereafter was an implicit acceptance of the verdict that the absence of a retrospective clause would not preclude its application in overall terms or even in ‘retrospective terms.’  

A Historical Irony 

Sri Lanka is well known for passing legislation in retrospect, when it suits political ambitions or necessary for political vengeance. In 1971, the then government passed the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) legislation to prosecute the JVP leaders, making previously noncriminal acts suddenly criminal. Otherwise many of those who were prosecuted did not indulge in criminal acts although the whole insurrection was a ‘criminal offence,’ in my opinion, in political terms. There were so many well-meaning people who were unfortunately incarcerated. The most ironic in the present situation is that Nihal Jayawickrama who now opposes introspection was a key person who brought the CJC legislation in 1971 as the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice. 

The general democratic reservations on retrospective application that they ‘infringe the principles of rule of law’ are in respect of ordinary legislation or law, covering legal rights and obligations and criminal offenses. However, this is not the case in respect of constitutions or constitutional amendments. Otherwise, what is the difference between fundamental (constitutional) law and ordinary law? For example, when a fundamental rights chapter of a constitution is changed, that applies in overall effect (present, past and future) empowering the whole population on those new rights. The same goes unfortunately for obligations, restrictions or reductions in rights. That can be done by a new constitution or constitutional amendment but not by an ordinary law without infringing the principles of rule of law. Because the principles of rule of law while emerges in and generally consistent with international law and democratic and justice principles, hinges within a particular constitution in a country. That is another reason why a constitution or an amendment itself should be democratic and consistent with justice principles and should not unnecessarily place conditions retrospectively (i.e. disqualifications on dual citizens) unless some democratic principles are necessary in overall terms, like in the case of term-limits and limited tenure.  

What Matter’s in Interpretation? 

The people’s or their representative’s intent is primarily important, in interpreting an amendment, unless it is blatantly negated in legal drafting. There is no such a blunder in the case of the term-limit (re) imposed for the election of President in the 19th Amendment, whatever the other defects. The intent can safely be identified as the ‘need to reimpose the accepted democratic principle of two term-limit, which was there in the original constitution, and accepted by democratic and civilized nations’ (See Michael Korzi, ‘Presidential Term Limits in American History: Power, Principles and Politics, 2011).    

This is about the qualification or rather the disqualification of a person who would intend to stand for the presidential election under the current circumstances. The right question to ask is ‘have you been elected twice by the people to the presidency?’ If the answer is affirmative, the person is roundly disqualified. Neither Mahinda Rajapaksa nor Chandrika Kumaratunga can say, ‘yes, but before the 19th Amendment in May 2015.’ They were even disqualified before the 18th Amendment in September 2010. Because this was exactly the same in Article 31 (2) in the original Constitution of 1978 which became deleted for ambitious political reasons in the 18th Amendment. Therefore, the democratic aberration was in the 18th Amendment and not in the 19th. It is quite inappropriate for a person like Nihal Jayawickrama to raise the issue as an apparent ‘rights issue’ in the case of MR or CBK.  

Are democratic principles valid considerations for constitutional interpretation? For G. L. Peiris or Sarath N. Silva, those democratic principle might not be relevant. But it would be strange, if Nihal Jayawickrama disregard these considerations. Under modern circumstances, legal principles and democratic principles are increasingly the same and should be the same. Even if the legal scholars appear to discard the democratic principles, the political science students and scholars should uphold them in constitutional interpretation.   

Conclusion  

It is true that the argument by Nihal Jayawickrama about the absence of retrospective application of the term-limit in Article 31 (2),  particularly hinges on the premise that what is created by the 19th Amendment is a New Presidency and not the Old Presidency or a Reformed Presidency. Therefore, in his ‘legal opinion’ the term-limit disqualification does not apply to those who held office prior to the 19th Amendment  This argument is farfetched although it may have a democratic merit when it is taken in isolation to interpret ‘powers, functions and duties’ of the President. He goes to the extent of saying that the Presidency that is ‘newly created’ by the 19th Amendment is ‘essentially non-executive, primarily symbolic and ceremonial.’ This is highly questionable. How come that such a drastic change is achieved without referring to the people at a referendum as required by the constitution? If he is an independent scholar, Nihal Jayawickrama should criticize this lacunae or the misadventure, without trying to justify the eligibility of this or that past President for further election.  

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Latest comments

  • 22
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    I wish MR appeals and wins and contests and loses – and get lost

    • 12
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      Dear BSP,

      I agree that we want MR to get lost, but allowing him to contest would further confuse the average citizen.
      .
      Let’s stop imagining that the average citizen knows what is best for him. We need a clear constitution and scrupulous adherence to it. Even if we think that the majority of voters (50%+1) have made the wrong choice, we have to respect that wish for the next (now reduced period of) five years. Ideally, as in America, the election should be on a fixed day, once in so many years.
      .
      Of course, for that to be possible there would have to be clearly laid down ways in which somebody else (e.g. the Vice President) succeeds to the Presidency in the event of the incumbent not being able to complete his five years. The new guy must represent the desires of the entire country, so he should not be a guy elected by a small group of people (as a Member of Parliament is).
      .
      I think that there should be laws to throw in to prison those who confuse others about the contents of the constitutions. No wonder people get cynical.
      .
      Lastly, don’t imagine that MR is incapable of getting elected by indulging in rabble rousing talk.

      • 2
        1

        I too want Mahinda to come back …….. so he can build more things in Hambanthota …….. I just love driving on empty highways in Hambanthota as fast as the car would go …….. what a thrill !

        But our angst is in vain, my dear dear motherland-loving patriotic buddies ……… Mahinda is yesterday’s man …….. what a bummer …… he cannot be the el presidente of the Democratic Socialist Buddhist Plátano Republic of Sri Lanka ….. again

        He is desperate to be presidente ………. doesn’t want to be PM and play second fiddle ……. such love for the moterland!

        The moment another is nominated as the presidential candidate of his mob ……. Mahinda is relegated to the dustbin

        The good ol’ conundrum for poor Mahinda is ………. it’s gotta be el presidente ……. or nothing

        Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!

        The great man who saved the beloved-motherland from Prabakaran ………. and then from a subsequent 30 year Rajapakse dynasty

        He didn’t save the country just once …… but twice! ………. that’s greatness personified

        I’ve already started collecting for his monument ……. dig deep ……. so later we don’t have to raid the public coffers …… just trying to save another lawsuit for poor Gota ……

        • 3
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          With regards to this mess the political system and its managers have created, many people are failing to read the CODES the establishment is conveying through the media and through the inactions to arrest, to prosecute and to punish those who have committed horrendous crimes, especially those who are surviving under the political patronage accorded by a clan who are self imposed rulers and top managers. This clan is the none other than GOVIGAMA Mafia Ruling Elites. Just look at the stage they have put the country into about discussing the decomposed garbage politicians in the likes of Rajapakses, when the country should be forcussing its time, money and energy in not wasting in discussing this kind of political drama hoaxes. The present rulers are the ones who are protecting the Rajapakses as the Govigama clans are in shortage of experienced criminal clan members who have tasted power and who could be of immensley handy to take over the reign (the unbroken chain) and be helpful to manipulate the minds of the populace. If you have the knowledge to decode subliminal messages the Govi Mafia delivers in the Mainstream media (divaina, lankadeepa, derana, TNL, Mawbima, rivira,swarnavahini..etc, etc) stereotyping the Tamils and the Muslims, you can detect their deceptive plans designed for the future.

          • 1
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            What the system and its managers have done is, they have created the climate for the people to break their heads in finding who is the best to rule over the population. Is it the UNP, SLFP or the Super Criminals infested SLPP. The fact of the matter is that all of these Terror filled political parties are headed and owned by the Govigama Mafia. Its not a matter to them as to who wins and takes over the reign. Its all them. It is a serious matter to the people who are paying Taxes to run the system. The general public do not know what to do when the SELECTION of the candidates are done by the Elites the very same forces that is manipulating and engineering the fake election competition. If the SELECTION process with regards to who contests for what, is truly decided by the people then that person will fix things faster and he will do his best to keep the country united and fighting against all corruptions. in contrast, what the Govi Mafia does is playing delay tactics on the national issues, invent and engineers conflicts amongst the population by playing the racism card.

  • 22
    2

    People like G. L. Peiris, Sarath N. Silva and Nihal Jayawickrama are legal Frankensteins. They just want to play games with the law to show people how clever they are and then cause a lot of misery to the citizens. There has been no shortage of diabolical lawyers in the post-independence political history of this country. H.W. Jayawardene was another of those.

  • 2
    2

    The smiles, oh those smiles!!

  • 6
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    With respect, this author is not a lawyer (as far as we know), and if he is, he is certainly not of the calibre of GLP, SNS and NJ.
    =
    The decent thing to do when people who are more knowledgeable speak is to keep quiet.
    =
    Hope our learned writer will get it.

    • 1
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      LF is not a LAWYER, neither Dr NMP when he (NM) wrote (1978) Critical Analysis of the Constitution of D R of SL 1978.
      “people who are more knowledgeable speak”, they are “emperors in new cloths”

  • 3
    7

    another weak response that doesn’t get to the crux of nihal’s argument. Or rather the crux is vaguely handwaved away in the final para

  • 6
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    If the 19th amendment does not stop a person elected twice by people to be the president for another term, we need to start writing our constituiton in Swahili.

    Not that I know a word of it. But it’s got to be better.

  • 1
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    Let MR file a nomination paper and face the music. No, he will not take the chance. Even if the Election Commissioner cannot or will not reject MR’s nomination paper, there are many legal avenues available for citizens to challenge the nomination paper. If the MR camp thinks that an election petition is the only way out, they are living in a fools’ paradise. GLP is not a lawyer and does not know the practical aspects of the law. Nihal J has not gone to court for decades. Sarath Silva is no longer CJ, which he tends to forget. His recent application to invalidate the PC Elections Amendment Act was thrown out by the Supreme Court. If GLP, Nihal, Sarath and JO are so sure, let the JO announce the candidacy of MR now.

  • 2
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    M&s did not do well ..
    That is why people want MR back ..
    Why Ranil sold central bank..
    M&S did not do any thing yet….
    M&S and Ranil are partners in politics ..
    So sorry for MR who miscalculated out come that election ….

  • 2
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    All these arguments have arisen as a result of the main contenders, like those of MR, GR, MY3, RW fighting a battle to grab power. If, all these contenders were properly and duly investigated , charged and disposed of the cases against them during the last 3 1/2 year period, all would have been convicted and would be behind bars. If , proper, impartial and swift actions were taken on those accusations, all of them PLUS many, many of their family members and cohorts would have been DISQUALIFIED even to contest at any election in the country. Then there would not have arisen all these “PANDITHYAS” to waste their and our time in arguing the 19th Amendment of its legality and its provisions. Isn’t it advisable to do that even at this late hour.?

  • 2
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    Provided people are given an alternative choice, they don’t want any of this whole lot; MR, RW, MS & their obedient followers.

    In such a development, there’ll be no issue in interpreting 19th amendment in anyway.

  • 1
    3

    Laksiri by writing this shows his ineptitude in the analysis of legal arguments To me Nihal Jayawickrama’s analysis is logical, he even points out the contradictions in his argument. The 13th amendment of the US constitution says ” Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. “. The key words here are “shall exist”. So it cannot exist! Very bad example Laksiri, even my mom could have done better.

  • 5
    1

    The most who violated Srilanka’s constitution and moral obligations among the Presidents of Srilanka we ever had is Mahinda Rajapakse. It is sad that the so called Legal professionals killed their conscience, kill the justice system in order to bring this greedy Mahinda back into power to bury the justice system once again. Who is GL Peries? A dirty educated politician who always changed his benches for power. One day in SLFP, other day in the SLFP and another day SLPP? It is sad that those Buddihist Religious leadership wants to bring back Hitler to the land of Lord Buddha to destroy Lord Buddha. What these greedy politicians and religious leadership are going to leave our children and grandchildren other than greediness, Bribe, murder, Lies, robbery etc.

  • 7
    0

    Dr. Fernando, you’re right. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If the 19th amendment creates a new presidency as Nihal Jayawickrama deceptively argues, then Mahinda comes back as a ceremonial buffoon and rubber-stamps legislation and participates in school prize givings. If it doesn’t and the presidency retains its current powers, then Mahinda stays home. No more terms for him. He can hang on his window at Medamulana and jingle his bell for all he wants.

  • 0
    0

    Laksiri says “The 18th Amendment abolished the term-limit by repealing Article 31 (2) in the original constitution of 1978. Did the amendment say it applies retrospectively? No.” Because if it did poor old JR has to be woken up from the grave. That is a joke, but it is a nonextant condition is it not?

    Laksiri think of it this way, say hypothetically if 18th wanted to limit two terms to one term, and if they did it retrospectively, what do you do? Punish JR, CBK and MR, ? That is not how the law works thankfully.

    And 18th amendment’s key term is ” his current term of office” , so retrospective or or prospective issue is immaterial.

  • 0
    0

    Attorney General is very corrupt ans he shows it openly that he is biased. One thing is PCOLI report is in the safe and it is locked. Mist probably he is not working as an indepenendt individual or he also became beneficiary to the Bond Scam profits. the important thing is we know that 13th amendment was forced upon Sri lankan and after no one politicians dares to cancel it. Attorney General did the same with Singapore Free Trade Agreement.He said, there is no need of Cabinet approval. It looks another powerful country need free access to Sri lanka via the Singaporean – FTA. After that, they threaten Sri lanka. YOu singed it and respect it. That is all Ranil fools voters as his Economic development program.

  • 0
    0

    Dr Ranil’s nemasis, and the only clean UNP Minister said the other day that Mr Mahinda will be dead meat, as soon as he posts the Application to Makka or is it Makko.( I don’t know why they call him that).
    Anyway according to the Yahapalana Law Book , Mr Mahinda will be put in the Slammer for 3 years just for applying ..
    And no ifs and buts as the Law is crystal clear according to Dr Rajapaksa..
    And Dr Ranil’s Minister of Law & Order Princess Thalatha will make sure that the AG’S blokes don’t have to do O/T on Mr Mahinda.
    Dr Wijedasa Rajapaksa I believe has written many Law Books ,including Law Books on Yahapalana Constitution.
    Wonder why DrLaksiri is trying to stop Mahinda sending his Application……
    Has Dr Laksiri got a Soft Spot for Mr Mahinda?……

  • 1
    0

    Law makers of SL have no done a proper job. That is why everybody different opinions. wait for the supreme court decision.

  • 0
    0

    Clearly the intention of everyone, particularly those who raised the hands voting for the enactment of the 19th amendment was to limit the presidency of an individual to two terms including those who held the post prior to the enactment. It is unfortunate that authors of the 19th amendment drafted it in such a way as to cause an issue raised by Dr. NJ. It is equally surprising that one of the authors, Dr. JW, who is also the Minister in charge of constitutional matters is silent as his professional competence is now indirectly questioned. As far as the present article is concerned I am interested to know that in enacting the CJC act, while this country was “Queen’s Ceylon”, what acts were criminalized with retrospective effect. My reading is that a new form of tribunals were created to deal with acts which are already declared criminal in our statute books. The sad feature in it was the denial of an appeal from it. But the “gentry” of the day did not mind it just as much as they did not mind the military summarily executing youth in “tire-pyres” in 1988. Their general reaction was “They deserved it”. But the gentry of the day was alarmed when the CJC started trying Foreign Exchange offences, particularly with politician turned judge turned politician Jaya Pathirana (who really appreciated the East German justice in an article published by him) in the bench. YES this country is full of double standards.

  • 1
    0

    Retroactive laws have been the bane of Lanka’s legal tradition that propelled us towards anarchy: To quote from the writer: Legislation in retrospection is generally considered inconsistent with the principles of rule of law…”
    It began with the Immigration and Registration Acts of 1941 by the Government of D.S. Senanayake and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike whose term had expired and were continued in office by the grace of Governor Caldecott. Allowing these laws to stand and become the Citizenship Act of 1948 were among the special favours done to the Sinhalese leaders by the British to ultimately wreck the country. The laws above took away rights of the estate population recognised by the Donoughmore reforms.

    • 1
      0

      Correction
      The Immigration and Registration Bills were passed by the State Council in March 1941, but did not become Acts, as the Governor could not and did not accede to them. There was a war going on and the Government could not antagonise India. Bandaranaike made noises about undermining Ceylon’s support for the war because the Governor did not accede to the Bills, but the Governor used his clout to tame him. The passed Bills remained in abeyance until revived as the Citizenship and Immigration Bills of August 1948 with the connivance of the British (e.g. The Soulbury Report).

  • 2
    0

    MR supporters are day dreamers , They very well know he does n’t have even a dog’s chance of coming back to power. He simply does not deserve it. Right thinking people know the calibre of those who are promoting him . It is a disgrace for their learning and whatever the positions they have been holding. They know they have no other escape route, even if the present leaders try to rescue them as is seen by their double standards, moral justice will see to it that justice is done fairly and squarely. That is the only consolation for the languishing families. ‘ Truth will make us free’.

  • 0
    0

    “ How come otherwise, Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to contest the January 2015 elections? Only Suitable person who should answer to this is Mokan Peiris.

    Most of the time, even if it is boring, I try to finish reading the essay before I write something. I could not go even up to half so I am staying out of writing anything to accept or rejects the specific points on the essay.
    Extremely poor; It is not believable a learned man would write like this unless if it is Lankawe Sinhala Intellectual. So badly misunderstood the points and he got confused. Funny and shame!

    Let me put a general Point. President was removed by removing S30. But he cannot be allowed to continue once removed, without appropriate constitutional reappointment with referendum or election. So there is non-authoritative illegal EP is sitting on the chair. Supreme Court has to remove him. Otherwise Supreme Court has one option; declaring 19A unconstitutional, at least at the point it repealed the installation clause of Presidential office. So, minimum, 5 years term is not valid. Supreme Court must allow New King to continue for 6 years.

    All the laws in all countries are only prospective; otherwise they will go back and do serious disruption to all the verdicts delivered by all judges in all previous cases.

    DR. NJ’s argument is plain and simple even a kid can understand. 19A abolished the Old Presidency. It newly created a new Presidency. Both don’t match. So both are cannot be considered as equal. So anything retrospective to the new will not automatically apply to the old unless it is expressed there. Period! This is a case for Supreme Court to declare that Jayampathy gang did not have authority to unseat a sitting president and abolish his office without referendum so 19A is null and void at least at that point. .

    • 0
      0

      Mally,
      This Constitution .. Have they translated it into Sinhala and Tamil ,so the inhabitatns can understand.
      I know the Vellalas don’t need one, with their gun English speakers lead by Sampathar & Abraham…..
      My problem is the 70 Percent of the Inhabitant population ,
      Who can’t say even Good Day in English..
      They must be feeling Constipated , every time they parade this new Dr Ranil’s thing.
      How about Doughie & his Boys>….. Do they understand all this?….
      And also Mano of course …..

      • 0
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        KAS
        I thought the constitution was written in Sinhalese and then translated to the other languages.

  • 0
    0

    Since 2015 January 9th nation democracy has lost all accepts of values norms and previous guide line discarded by under the Gamralaga Srisena allies MS of New UNP leader and CBK of Tamil federalist and Ranil Wicks of Old UNP leader. Political land scape has change for negative side of democracy never exist even before last 65 years .

    That is how <"new- democracy." came into being which under the logic of 'Good governances' and 'rule of law' that an advocated by so-called bunch of few elites in Island …….since 2015 January 9th .
    We no place or nowhere of at bourgeoisie democracy at all time being …exist under UNP new regime led by Ranil Wicks of Christian Democracy of orthodox line of political that belongs to reactionary line of democracy .
    No body knows or what happen old Constitution and people are not aware of 19th amended of Republic Constitution stand where are?

  • 0
    0

    Both of them are in one umbrella when it comes to investigation and set opportunities
    for defense against the charge of which he is accused, on them

  • 0
    0

    May I remind the unaware that the US President had no term limits, and that Franklin D Roosevelt, who pulled the country out of depression and led the country in war, successfully, was reelected three times. So much for being civilized nations. Is MR like FDR? Well let the people decide.

    The entire case hangs on the meaning of the term “President” . It can be argued, and in the face of this politicized legal system, I argue that the office of the “President” has changed substantially enough to warrant the ruling that a ‘pre-19th amendment ‘ president is not the same as a ‘post 19th amendment’ president.

    In this case the matter is finely balanced.

    • 0
      0

      Vanguard,
      Franklin D. Roosevelt was President for four times (1933-1945) until he died, and not three times! The term-limit came to the US constitution in 1951 after much arguments, and it has now become a general democratic norm although the temptation or urge to run for more terms is there even in the US.
      I can agree with your view that the office of the President has changed substantially, but not totally after the 19A. The reintroduced term-limit to two terms, and newly introduced tenure limit to five years were part and parcel of the same process. When these changes were brought in, the past experience was a primary concern and MR and his 18A were particularly in the background.
      Even if you don’t agree that the people gave a popular verdict on this matter at the Presidential elections on 8 January, defeating MR, don’t you think that their sitting representatives (MPs) gave a verdict on 28 April 2015, when they overwhelmingly approved 19A?

  • 0
    0

    Hello to all legal pundits. It is not Sarath or GLP to decide , the eligibility will be determined by UN and International bodies. Like in Myanmar the day of reckoning is not too far. But regardless the road to become another Venezuela is almost certain. KUDOS to the leaders and their followers for a job well done.By the way how much is $ today???? Just imagine the interest being paid on a loan received in $$$$

  • 0
    0

    Good news Lankans . China is offering $60 billion to African countries.That means more loans to Lanka too.?????? Nothing to worry, continue partying.

  • 0
    0

    The PCoI is releasing almost daily, the feeding frenzy in SriLankan Airlines.
    MR must lose the election if the voters take this into account. Unfortunately the voters find a protest march in N&E more important.
    MR will win and the continued use of the language/religion-divide is the problem.

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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando, is intelligent enough to read and understand what is correct in constitutional law. Constitutional Law need not specify the past, present and future, in writing constitutions of any other changes to the constitution. Every one familiar with Constitution Law know this as 19th Amendment is written for the past,present and the future. Most SL Lawyers are not even understand the common law or any other law as they interpretation the written law as they need for political needs. Former President Chandrika or MAHINDA IS NOT ENTITLE TO CONTESTthe next Presidency. Sarath and GL interprets this on political lines, but Dr. Nihal, someone I knew when he was the Ministry of Justice May have ignored the basic principles in Constitutional Law, think otherwise. Thank Dr.Laksiri for the well prepared article.

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    The sprit of the ‘PapaDoc President for life’ constitution change was sealed on 08 January 2015.
    The so-called constitution experts are dismembering the rigor-mortis body looking for a bit of soul!

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