29 November, 2022


Put The Country Before Private Concerns

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Speaking to Indian Express on 11th Jan 2015, Mahinda Rajapaksa stalwart and former Constitutional Affairs Minister GL Peiris has said that not following the due process established by law, the new regime’s constitution making exercise would become illegal.

Speaking to the Island on 30th Dec 2015, he had also said that though the Constitution had to be amended from time to time as circumstances required, it should be done in accordance with the law and the procedure is very clearly spelt out in Article 82, 83 and 84 in the Chapter 12 of the Constitution.

The legal scholar further elaborated that the most important provision in this Chapter is Article 83. And Article 83 identifies 11 provisions, which require in addition to a two-thirds majority approval by the people at a referendum and that, “these provisions are specifically entrenched in this manner because of the importance in terms of the nature as well as essential characteristics of the Sri Lankan State. They cannot be amended or repealed without a referendum. This is a mandatory requirement contained in the highest law of the land.” GL Peiris further emphasized that those provisions had been given special status to enable the people to consider them separately and decide whether they should be retained or abolished.

Article 83 of the Constitution

Article 83 provides that a Bill for the amendment or for the repeal or emplacement of or which is inconsistent with any of the provisions of Articles 1, 2, 3 (sovereign power of the people which include the power of the government, fundamental rights and franchise), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,11, 30 (to extend the term of the President, 62 (to extend the duration of the Parliament) shall not become law unless, in addition to the two-third majority, approved by the people at a referendum and a certificate is endorsed thereon by the President (not by the Speaker) in accordance with Article 80.

Article 82 of the Constitution

The Article 82 in very clear terms provides that no provision in any law shall, or shall be deemed to, amend, repeal or replace the Constitution or any provision thereof, or be so interpreted or construed, unless enacted in accordance with the requirements of the said Article [Article 82 (6)].

The requirements set out in the Article 82 includes that no Bill for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution shall be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, unless the provision to be repealed, altered or added, and consequential amendments, if any, are expressly specified in the Bill and is described in the long title thereof as being an Act for the amendment of the Constitution [82(1)].

It further provides that a Bill for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, shall only become law if the number of votes cast in favour thereof amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present) and upon a certificate by the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, being endorsed thereon in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 or 79 [Article 82(5)].

18-A enacted to satisfy the greed of one individual

When 18th amendment to the Constitution was enacted in September 2010 it was purely done to please the greed of one individual (permitting the President Rajapakse to contest for third term with absolute power afforded to the President to keep the judiciary under his firm grip). Prof. GL Peiris was a leading Cabinet Minister in the regime, a regime that totally refused to follow the due process as set out in Chapter 12 of the Constitution and passed the 18th Amendment as an urgent bill, the process the Prof GL Peiries profess illegal now.

14-A enacted to satisfy the greed of cheat condemned by the people

When the 14th amendment was enacted in May 1988 the process followed by the then President JR Jayawadena was and insult to the sovereign rights of the people. By the said amendment people’s sovereign right of franchise was robbed permitting the party secretaries to ‘elect rejected candidates as MPs through the National List. Though the franchise was an entrenched right (Article 83), the due process, as set out in Article 83, was never followed.

Undeniable truth of insulting intelligence of the people

This is the undeniable truth in the state of affairs in the government business of the Repubic of Sri Lanka, which the media should take due notice of. It is sad that some sections of media continue to afford opportunities to the proven self-cantered politicos to deceive the electorate again and again, which some quarters perceive as an insult the intelligence of the people.

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Prof GLP – Let us not take too much notice of him. Sajin never did!

  • 4

    Sri Lanka’s main opposition leader and TNA leader R. Sampanthan insisted that there is no more a demand for a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka. He also appealed to Mahinda Rajapakshe to back the new Constitution-making process, saying the former president’s support is important.

    After winning the war against LTTE and after winning the presidential election and the general election with a two third majority, Mahinda Rajapakshe had enough opportunity to solve the National problem and become a true Statesman but unfortunately he (along with his brother Gotabaya Rajapakshe) selected the option of following the path of a few Sinhala-Buddhist Ultra-Nationalist Racists and Pseudo-Patriots, thinking that by whipping up Ultra-Nationalism and Sinhala Patriotism among the majority Sinhala-Buddhists, and by threatening and further suppressing the Minorities (Tamils and Muslims) he can rule the country for ever as the hero of the Majority (Sinhala-Buddhists).

    At least now, the former President Mahinda Rajapakshe should put the country before everything else and support the constitution-making process to end the National problem once and for all. At least now he should keep away from the Ultra-Nationalist Racists Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpilla, and Dinesh Guanwardena, the three bankrupt politicians who ruined the former President Mahinda Rajapakshe and made him an anti-minority leader.

  • 11

    Who takes G.L.Pieris as a person or his words seriously today? He is an unprincipled man , who uses flowery and high sounding words to justify malevolence. He has sold his soul to the devil and thrown principles to the wind. He is an opportunist and mischief maker par-excellence. He has also brought the word ‘Educated’ into utter meaninglessness, despite his degrees , the high positions he held and the many books he has authored. He is a disgrace to the academic community in this country. !

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4

      “He is a disgrace to the academic community in this country. ! “
      Quite true.
      Even the ‘Best before’ has passed now. Ready for R…ing.I.P.

  • 6

    Peiris is a shameless sycophant. No one wants to know his views. he is a washed out politician. When the previous regime extended the Presidential term he did not think it fit to put it to the people (being something of great importance)
    Now he thinks various things should be put to the people.
    This is a man who cowed down to a set of jokers in the foreign ministry.
    Do you know the meaning of the word SHAME peiris?

  • 5

    G L Peiris and his former master are crooks who knew how to cheat the public. Majority of their supporters including those who held powerful portfolios in the cabinet and other dummies are prepared to be continuously fooled by them. Grassroots supporters ere mostly illiterates and were prepared to be bribed or intoxicated with ‘Sinhala-Buddhism’ . None of the above gave any thought about the country and how the self-centred crooks indebted the country and shovelled the profits to foreign banks. While other countries such as Malaysia and Singapore are advancing at a rate Sri Lanka is still in the grip of racism and communalism.

    Newspapers are either solely in the business of increasing their circulation or like the autocrat, filled with racist venom. They are inclined in keeping the ethnic minorities out of any sort of power and promote the racist policies and bankrupt the country to help the greedy leader.

  • 4

    Nagananda Kodituwakku

    RE: Put The Country Before Private Concerns

    We had King Duttu Gamunu, the Second from Medamulana.

    Now we have King Maha Parakrama Bahu, the Second transplanted to Pollanuruwa from Gampaha Korale.

    Yes, they are putting the country after the Private concerns and Family.

  • 3

    The sword of Damocles is hanging over each of the Rajapakse family – those whose arrest has been stayed. The decision of MR on the Constitutional matter will decide his fate. That is why MS is holding
    back the arrest of the Rajapakses – the best of bargains for the betterment of Sri Lanka?

  • 5

    Mr. Nagananda Kodithuvakku: Your article: “Put The Country Before The Private Concerns”. Have you heard the story of a woman who ran around with the dead body of her child and ultimately met the Gauthama Buddha and asked that the child be brought back to life. The Buddha undertook to give life to the dead, but asked the woman to bring him a few “mustard” seeds from a house where no death had occurred. Thereupon the woman ran and ran but could not find a single of such a house. In the end she realized that death was a common feature that existed in this life.

    In like manner would you be able to find ANY SINGLE POLITICIAN who runs the affairs of this country to match or even come nearer to what you are asking: “Put The Country Before Private Concerns”?

    • 2

      What you are saying about the lesson Buddha taught the grieving woman is to console her and accept learn to accept certain ground realities.
      That to find a politician in these days who twould sacrifice his self interest, put the country’s interest is hard to find.
      But that does not we should give up the idea or responsibility of installing politicians who we believe would not mess up the country that affect our lives.
      I think that is what Mr.Nagananda is trying to do with the laws available on behalf of all of us.
      So why should one instead to supporting him, cynically question him about his good effort?

  • 3

    Nagananda Kodituwakku,

    You say, “Undeniable truth of insulting intelligence of the people”.

    Hmm, I thought we have all agreed that we Sri Lankans are not an intelligent people. How easily the politicians keep pulling the wool over our eyes. And furthermore, well educated Sri Lankans are only that – well educated. Like in the case of GLP. But we must not equate education with intelligence – when it comes to Sri Lankans of course. I can name any number of well educated meeharakas from Sri Lanka.

  • 0

    Uthungan: Thank you. I never intended to be cynical of the proposition of Mr. Kodithuwakku viz. “Put the country before private concerns”. It is definitely good; but my attempt was to tell him that it would never be heeded by the people to whom he is appealing until and unless they too are made to roam around like that woman in the Gauthama Buddha’s story. At lease that woman REALIZED the TRUTH; but the “Class of People” to whom Mr. Kdithuwakku is appealing will never, ever “REALIZE” or at least come to an “Understanding” of the TRUTH even in this life time. In that context, I doubt, that “CLASS OF PEOPLE” to whom Mr. Kodituwakku is appealing would see the light of the day even in the presence of another Buddha. However, I support Mr. Kodithuwakku in his valiant efforts.

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