24 March, 2019

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Representative Democracy & Constitution Making

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Sri Lanka has suffered heavily in the hands of dishonest and self-centred people who have highjacked the governance of this island nation for decades since the British rule was withdrawn in 1948.

What the people have experienced since then was not a ‘representative democracy’ but a ‘pseudo democracy’ that provided a group of dominant individuals to thrive at public expense, particularly since the introduction of the 1978 Republican Constitution. This deplorable state of affairs have effectively discouraged and sidelined the honest, respectable and learned people from entering into mainstream politics.

The former Auditor General Mr Sarath Mayadunne, in his inaugural and final speech made on 03rd Sep 2015 in the Parliament, has well exposed the dangers faced by the people in this country, unless the current destructive political trends are reversed, if the people with honesty and integrity to be integrated into national politics.

Therefore, on behalf of the people this set of proposals are presented for the consideration of the committee assigned to accept such proposals for the formulation of a vibrant Constitution that would reflect a true character of representative democracy.

The preamble of the existing Republican Constitution recognises that the Government of Sri Lanka shall respect and honour the principles of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY in which people are vested with the inalienable sovereign rights, which include the power of government, including their FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS and the INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY.

However, in practice these noble values are not given due recognition at all. The primary cause has been that the people’s representatives elected to the Parliament that exercises people’s legislative power purely on trust [(Article 4(3)] claims that the Parliament is the supreme body over all other organs, which is absolutely a misconception. The truth is that no organ has a right to claim supremacy over the other branches of the government. However, this country has experienced the opposite, which has resulted in the break down of law due to the absence of a Judiciary free from any encroachment.

Therefore, what is paramount important in the given circumstances is to pay due respect to the Constitutional norm of ‘representative democracy’, and enact a vibrant Constitution with the participation and approval by the people at a referendum.

The Constitution shall not be a piece of legislation permitting corrupt politicians to meddle with it, as Presidents Jayewardene and Rajapaksa have done with the enactment of 14th amendment in 1988 and the 18th Amendment in 2010 respectively. The Constitution shall be designed to withstand any eventuality, permitting no such abuses such as abuse of people’s franchise and judicial power.

Therefore, with due recognition of the Constitutional norm of separation of power, the new Constitution shall ensure the establishment of an independent judiciary, which shall also include the power of judicial review of any legislation that is inconsistent with the supreme law of the country, the Constitution.

Proposal No 1 – Freeing the Judiciary from Control of other two Organs

Article 4 (c)] of the existing Constitution, shall be reformed to read as ‘judicial power of the people shall be exercised by the Judiciary’.

The principle of separation of powers requires that the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of the people shall be exercised by the three entities (the legislature, executive and judiciary) absolutely free from any encroachment between the organs. Absolute power vested in one organ has always proved corruption at its best.

Therefore, the major emphasis here is for freeing the Judiciary, which is vested with Constitutional obligation to protect foster and uphold sovereign rights of the people (Article 105), from clutches of other two organs.

As recognised by the Constitution (1978) only people are supreme and not any organ of the government. Therefore [Article 4 (c)] of the existing Constitution, which states that ‘the judicial power of the people shall be exercised by the Parliament through the Judiciary’ shall be reformed to read as ‘judicial power of the people shall be exercised by the Judiciary’.

With the enactment of 19th Amendment in May 2015, the Executive President is empowered with the authority to make appointments to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (Article 107), which is perceived as a direct conflict with the norm of separation of power. The people do not want this practice to be continued unabated, permitting the executive to have a hold in any manner on the composition and the appointment process of judges.

Proposal No 2 Creating a Ceremonial Head of State

There shall be a provision to create a ‘ceremonial head of the state’, who shall be vested with powers to make all judicial appointments as recommended by the Constitutional Council, guaranteeing the establishment of a vibrant judiciary free from any Executive control.

Proposal No 3 – power of franchise vested in the people

Sovereign power of election of MPs shall be exercised only by the people at elections.

Sovereign powers of the peoples include the franchise (Article 3) which shall be respected and be exercised by the people and not by any other person or body with power to elect MPs to the legislature. Therefore the respective clause in the Article 99A, which empowers the Secretaries of the political parties to elect MPs through the National List, shall be removed.

Proposal No 4 – Making provisions to broaden the fundamental rights

i. Right to Life shall be recognised as a fundamental right.

In this country killing of suspects in the police custody is a very common occurrence. This needs to be stopped with a strict liability provision enacted by law to discipline the police and all other law enforcement agencies.

Therefore, Right to Life shall be given a foremost place in the protection of rights of the people and in all cases of violation of this right shall be made a serious criminal offence with stringent sanctions, which may include automatic dismissal from office by operation of law, plus adequate compensation awards which shall be made by the right violators in their personal capacity.

ii. Right to equality before law and equal protection of law

This right shall be further advanced with specific provision provided by law, which may stipulate that violation of this right shall include discrimination of ethnic minorities with the word of mouth in any manner with a stringent penal sanctions imposed by law.

iii. Right to liberty and security

Everyone arrested or detained in accordance with law shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorised by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time.

There shall be a provision in the proposed Constitution, permitting the initiation of legal proceedings against any enforcement agency, which deprives the liberty of citizens by unlawful arrest or detention and also guaranteeing speedy disposal of such cases

Any person who becomes a victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the law shall also be made entitled for a enforceable right to compensations.

iv. Right to private and family life – Everyone shall have the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

Fundamental Rights of the citizens as recognised by the Constitution shall be respected and advanced collectively by all organs of the government and any person found guilty for violation of such rights shall be appropriately dealt with stringent punishments. All compensation awards made against any person found violating fundamental rights of citizens shall be made to pay in violator’s personal capacity and no tax payers money shall be allowed to be used for payment of such compensation, with automatic dismissal from any public office by operation of law.

Proposal No 5 – National Day

National day shall be an appropriate date, which shall not be the date on which the British withdrew its colonial rule on its own initiative, retaining several colonial vestiges for another 24 years.

Proposal No 6 – Reduction of Public Holidays appropriately

It is proposed to reduce the number of pubic holidays with equality guaranteed to all communities coupled with wage increases in proportionate to the extra number of hours people are made work.

Countries that are concerned with well being of people and their quality of life want people to work for their own good with a minimum hourly rate guaranteed by law. This objective cannot be fulfilled with a lengthy schedule of public holidays as seen in Sri Lanka, which has a tremendous effect on the economic growth. In the UK, total number of public holidays is only seven days, as opposed to Sri Lanka’s 25 public holidays.

Proposal No 7 – Constitutional Protection given to Buddhism shall be removed

In the Constitutional history of Sri Lanka there was no such protection given to Buddhism until such a protection was given in 1972 Republican Constitution. Sri Lanka’s political history since then demonstrates that the said Constitution protection has done more harm than any good to Dhamma as people of other religious faiths believe that Dhamma is another form of religion which is given a preferential treatment, over other religions. This is clearly a misconception, as Dhamma is all about the noble truth and a philosophy based on the rule of nature and not a religious faith at all.
If one is concerned in protecting what Samma Sambuddha has taught what needs to be done is to take right measures, discouraging all pseudo disciples who are causing tremendous damage to Dhamma. In this regard the Constitutional protection for ‘Dhamma’ is just a futile exercise, as law can no way protect Dhamma, which refers to a code of ethics based on natural law of cause and effect.

As Samma sambuddha has taught, his rediscovery of ‘noble truth’ would stands on its own eternally, regardless of people who practice it would disappear. Samma Sanbuddha has taught that with the perception on false beliefs that the purpose of life is all about pleasing of senses, driven by passion for attachment to all forms of pleasure, (regardless of such pleasures brings only a moment of pleasure but infinite paid and suffering), the Dhamma is bound to disappear, resulting the ultimate disappearance of it in the foreseeable future.

Proposal No 8 – Make obligations of state an enforceable right

The law (Article 29 of Chapter VI) shall be amended to the effect that the obligations of the state as an enforceable legal right.

Proposal No 9 – Office of the Executive President

Remove the office of the Executive President and instead create a ‘Ceremonial Head of State’, before whom those who are appointed to offices created by the Constitution to take their Constitutional oath of allegiance.

Proposal No 10 – Cabinet of Ministers

There shall be a cap on the number of portfolios in the Cabinet of Ministers to not more than 12 in number and the number of Deputy or State Ministers also to 12 in number.

Proposal No 11 – Parliament & Election Commissioner

i. There shall be a provision in the Constitution empowering the Commissioner of Elections to remove the names of candidates who fail to make a formal declaration of assets within a specified period. And also to publish such asset declarations of the candidates in the government gazette for the information of the constituents.

ii. There shall also be a provision in the Constitution imposing a blanket ban in any form of political advertising, except a limited party broadcasts in the run up to the election.

In the run up to the Presidential Election 2015, the people of this country witnessed disproportionate political advertising campaigns, with billions of rupees wasted, in which public funds too were abused by the party in power.

All candidates contesting elections seek a mandate from the people to serve the nation and hence there is no need or reason to spend billions on election campaigns.

iii. Commissioner of Elections shall also be empowered to call for detailed election budget from all political parties and independent groups with names of donors declared who makes significant contributions declared, and shall be made available to the Commissioner with the nominations. There shall also be a stipulation to furnish final audited accounts to the Election Commissioner; with a right granted to the citizens have access to such information.

iv. Commissioner of Election shall also be empowered to bar any person engaging in any form of business involving the government or any government agency from contesting any public office. If any candidate makes a false declaration and in the event being elected to office such candidates shall forfeit the office by operation of law.

v. There shall be mandatory educational qualifications imposed by law with a minimum qualification of a degree from a recognised university to contest for any public office.

People want the best out of best people and do not want uneducated to hold any public office that makes important decisions. Since the withdrawal of British colonial rule in 1948 people of this country faced several social unrests and uprisings as a result of politicians without proper education and common sense holding public office and making important decisions that effectively degenerated the standard of administration, after the British allowed self-rule in 1948.

vi. It is also proposed to reintroduce Westminster style of governance with all members to the legislature to be elected on an electoral system based on first-pass-the-post.

vii. There shall also be a provision in the Constitution introducing a recalling mechanism to help restore people’s faith and confidence in politics and politicians similar to the ‘Recall the MPs Act’ in the UK.

This gives power to the people to recall the politicians who fail to deliver and make them accountable for their actions. The power to recall MPs shall mean that an MP who is found guilty of serious wrongdoing is forced to stand down and face a by-election. The recall mechanism shall give constituents to have a say about the actions of MPs, where their behaviour has fallen below the standards expected of an MP.

Proposal 12 – Abuse of public funds for unjust enrichment shall be stopped

There shall be provision in the Constitution for removal of any MP who found guilty of in any form of fraud or wrongdoing causing a loss to the Government.

Under the existing law the MPs are allowed to abuse the office for unjust enrichment Example:- Customs Law, (Section 19A), permits the Minister of Finance to exempt charging of levies on imported goods by certain individuals, provided the minister deems that granting of such tax exemptions are expedient in the ‘public interest’.

This provision of law is being blatantly abused by lawmakers to defraud the government revenue, chargeable on motor vehicles causing a colossal loss of revenue to the government.

Proposal 13 – Interference with pubic bodies by those holding public office

It is proposed to create an office by law for a Parliamentary Liaison officer to communicate and serve as liaison between the members of pubic and members of parliament on matters relating to government business.

Law shall forbid members of Parliament to interfere with the affairs of any government department or agency in any manner, which shall be made a punishable offence leading to dismissal from office.

The law shall also provides legal protection for public officers who expose abuse of office by any member of parliament or any member holding any Cabinet portfolio for interference with affairs of the government department or agencies.

Proposal No 14 – Pay and Pension rights to lawmakers be scarped

It is proposed that provisions for pension rights or pay to lawmakers be scrapped with retrospective effect, with a stipulation introduced in the Constitution that the people’s approval for such perks is made mandatory before their implementation. The law shall provide a stipulation that the approval of the people shall be obtained at a general election or at a referendum for granting of salaries, pensions, other emoluments such as tax-free permits and decentralized budget allocations to MPs to be spent at the pleasure of the MPs.

Up until the Republican Constitution was enacted in 1978 those who were prepared to sacrifice their time, energy and money for public good entered the politics and the supreme law did provide no form of returns or perks for the contributions made by the politicians whose contributions however were valued and appreciated by the people. Since then the floodgates were open for all forms of frauds and corruption involving politicians, which shall be stopped forthwith for pubic good.

Therefore, it is proposed that those who enter politics shall be made to do so as an honorary service to the nation and not as a business with enormous money making options made available by the system.

Proposal 15 – Decentralised budget allocations for MPs

In the interest of good governance with due regard and respect to the rule of law, it is proposed to abandon this improper practice altogether.

The role of the lawmakers is not to engage in any other business except dedicating themselves with the parliamentary business.

There is a decentralised budget allocation system for MPs. This has now been increased from 10 million to 15 million. This is not subjected to audit by the Auditor General and hence open for abuse for unjust enrichment.

Proposal No 16 – Constitutional Council

There shall be no members of parliament, who exercise people’s legislative power of the people, in the Constitutional Council that is empowered in the selection process of judges to the superior court system.

The Government should pay due respect to the principle of separation of powers and the law shall provide no provision for one organ to encroach or influence the affairs of other organs, such as appointments and selection processes.

Proposal 17 – People’s judicial power & independence of the Supreme Court

17.1 It is proposed that the number of judges in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court be increased to 15, guaranteeing mandatory 4 regular sittings in the Supreme Court and 7 regular sittings in the Court of Appeal.

Sri Lankans as at present experience severe delays in dispensing justice and one is the inadequacy of number of judges in the superior court system.

17.2 All appointments and the selection process of judges to the Superior Court system shall be vested in the Constitutional Council. The law shall provide all serving judges to be qualified for consideration without any application being made to the council. The Council shall also be empowered by law to call applications for any vacancies in the superior court system from the senior most lawyers from the private bar, the process, which shall be triggered at least three months before the date of retirement of a judge serving in the Superior Court system. The short-listing of the candidates and final determination of appointments shall solely be in the hands of the Constitutional Council. The same process shall also be applied for the appointment of President’s Counsels.

17.3 The retirement age of the Judges serving in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court shall be increased to 65 years subject to regular screening for mental and physical competence, after completion of 60 years in their judicial career.

If there had been a similar system in operation, irreparable damages caused to the judiciary by the judges with deranged mental conditions would have avoided.

17.4 The law shall provide a stipulated tenure of 3 years for all judges in the Superior Courts, including the Chief Justice. However, with a provision for consideration for reappointment, strictly on the basis of proven evidence of competence and efficiency in dispense of justice. This process is proposed as a deterrent to ensure all judges discharge their duty efficiently and effectively leaving no room for inordinate delays in the dispense of justice.

17.5 The rules made by the Supreme Court under the power vested in it by the Constitution to make rules may also include rules specifying time scales within which hearing and disposal of cases shall be done with a mandatory case management hearing, barring unnecessary postponements unless allowed only under ‘exceptional circumstances’. The failure on the part of the lawyer to be present in Court or to take steps as required by rules, shall not be a ground for postponement of cases.

17.6 It is proposed to introduce a provision of law with specific direction to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal to hear and determine all fundamental rights applications and writ applications within two months from the date of filing such applications in Court.

Under the existing Constitution the Supreme Court is required by law [Article 126(5)] to hear and dispose of any Right Petition within two months of the filing of such petitions, including writ applications filed against the Election Commissioner (Article 104). However the Supreme Court that is established to observe the rule of law has failed to honour its duty as required by the Constitution.

Writ applications are filed before the Court of Appeal and in some cases also in the Supreme Court, hoping speedy disposal of justice. Yet it is observed that a large number of cases are lagging behind for over five years.

Proposal 18. Judicial Review of all statues

It is also proposed that the Supreme Court shall be vested with power to review any legislation for consistency with the Constitution and also with power to declare any law, which violates the Constitution void.

This is extremely important at a time where the Supreme Court has failed to exercise people’s judicial power as required by law.

For instance Article 82 (6) of the Constitution provides that any law enacted in violation of the Chapter 12 of the Constitution shall be void ab initio and shall not be construed as valid law. However, the Supreme Court that exercises people’s judicial power on trust has shown its ineffectiveness to declare that laws enacted in violation of Chapter 12 of the Constitution have no legal effect in terms of Article 82(6) of the Constitution.

Proposal 19. Remove the regulatory power of Lawyers from the Supreme Court

It is proposed that the regulatory powers of the legal profession by the Supreme Court shall be removed with a creation of an independent regulatory authority to regulate the legal profession.

The existing Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to make rules, to regulate the legal provision. However, it has failed to create a strict regulatory mechanism to discipline the lawyers and to win the trust and confidence of the people.

Proposal 20. Transitional provision to reconstitute judges in Superior Courts

It is proposed that there shall be a transitional provision in the proposed Constitution to cease all the offices in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court from the date of commencement of the operation of the proposed Constitution with a right guaranteed to those holding office at the superior court system to be considered for reappointment purely on merits, impartiality and competence.

There are several judges in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, appointed to office purely at the whims and fancies of the former President Mahinda Rajapaska with no due process being followed for their appointments.

Considering the recent (30th Jan 2015) statement made by the Prime Minister in the parliament, wherein the disgraceful conduct of the serving Chief Justice was revealed to the nation, that the Chief Justice callously compromised the judicial power of the people with the Executive, agreeing to make any Court Order to please the executive and also to appoint judges to please the executive, it is strongly proposed that the insertion of transitional provision in the proposed constitution to reconstitute the composition of the judges in the Superior Court system is of paramount importance to restore people’s trust and confidence in the judiciary. This fact has been already conceded (paragraph 6) by the Government of Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Counsel Resolution (A/HRC/RES/30/1) adapted on 01st October 2015 without a vote.

Proposal 21 – Provisions to strengthen the Office of the Auditor General

It is also proposed to empower the office of the Auditor General with adequate authority to regulate the public finance, ensuring accountability by all persons and public authorities for all their actions.

The Auditor General shall also be vested with power to call for any records, as the Auditor General may deem appropriate, making failure to comply with the directions of the Auditor General a punishable office with strict disciplinary actions for none compliance.

Proposal 22 – Abolition of the Provincial Council System

It is also proposed to enact a provision in the new Constitution, abolishing Provincial Council system, which has fatally failed to discharge the desired objective.
This system was introduced as a remedial measure to address the issues faced by the people domiciled in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. However, this system has since been abused to install provincial councils in other provinces to provide extravagant life style for second tier politicians of the political parties at the expense of taxpayers’ money. This has now become a bane to the national economy with no value for money spent on them is justified.

Proposal 23 – Measures for logical Re- demarcation of Provinces

There shall be a provision in the Constitution to re-demarcate the Provinces of Sri Lanka with equal economic, social and political opportunities afforded to the people, ensuring no discrimination any ethnic group.

The demarcation of provinces and districts in Sri Lanka was made in 1832 by the British to suit their colonial administration, which was not based on any logic whatsoever, and without considering the needs of the people belonged to different ethnic groups domiciled in the respective regions. The present demarcation has contributed to the ethnic conflicts between the different ethnic groups.

Proposal 24 – Provision to appoint Ministers for Northern and Eastern Provinces

It is proposed to make provisions in the proposed Constitution for the creation of Ministers for Northern and eastern Province, who shall be a MP elected to office with the highest number of votes polled at the General Election either from Northern or Easter Province. They shall be Ex Officio members in the Cabinet of Ministers representing the people of Northern and Eastern Province. The said Ministers shall be empowered to oversee all Government business in the said provinces with a proportional distribution of government income, investments, expenditure, welfare and all state sponsored infrastructure development projects in the said provinces guaranteed by law.

The Ministers for Northern Province and Eastern province, with the concurrence of the government, shall also have a liberty to negotiate foreign aids for the development of the respective regions and in the event the government concurrence is denied for unjustified reasons to challenge the same in the Court of law.

Proposal 25 – Provision for independent Police Complaints Commission

It is also proposed to make a provision for a new Independent Police Complaints Commission, which shall be a non-departmental public body with additional powers and responsibilities for overseeing the system of handling public complaints made against the police Department, improving the way public complaints are handled. This commission should also have powers to handle appeals made by public about the way their complaints were dealt with by the police department.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    Thank you for a very good article. I never miss your writing as it makes sense and also I noticed that you are not biased towards any party, race or religion.

    I wish you had touched on section 16 of the Constitution, which takes away the fundamental rights given under section under section 12. of the constitution which states that ” no person shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language,caste, SEX, political opinion or place of birth or any of such grounds and
    Section 16 says that all written and unwritten laws shall be valid and operative not withstanding any inconsistency with the preceding provisions of this chapter.

    Now Section 16 keeps the discriminatory provisions of the laws such as Land Development Ordinance which favours male inheritance, Thesavalami law by which a woman cannot transfer some property without the consent of the husband and the Muslim law which is very discriminatory towards women. All articles in CT has not touched these provisions.

    • 2
      0

      I am aware of a case where the woman to whom the Thesavalamai Law applies was gifted a residential property by her parents before her marriage.
      She is unable to sell that property because the husband who is living in separation refuses to join in the transaction.
      She does not want to sue for divorce in the interest of her unmarried daughters and the husband is taking advantage of the Thesavalamai Law by denying her permission to transfer the property to finance the education of his/ her daughter.
      The constitution of the county makes no gender distinction made between it’s citizens.
      But the said personal Thesavalamai Law contradicts the constitution.
      Unless this hiatus is resolved there is no freedom for women who come under the said law.

      • 0
        0

        As Mr. Uthungan points out how Tamil women suffer on account of Thesavalamai, Muslim women also go through terrible times with the Muslim Law. Woman can be divorced without a reason, she is not paid alimony. A friend of mine was married for 20 years and was divorced for no valid reason and family members tried to patch up the marriage and it did not work. She is 45 and she has no proper source of income. Dispute was apparently she had a small property and the husband wanted that property after squandering his property. Property rights given to women are of little use with husbands such as this. I could quote several similar cases.

        What women go through in kazi courts is another matter. In fact most of these fellows who man these courts are uncouth and are very rude to women.

        Mr. Uthungan do you know that Tamil woman whose husbands are missing also cannot transfer their property as they are not dead. Things are pretty bad for both the Tamil and Muslim women also.

        • 0
          0

          Zaneera Farook
          I understand there is a procedure available via court for any legally married woman whose husband has gone missing for more than at least seven years to apply for a declaration to the effect that she is a feme sole, which means that she is by law regarded as an unmarried.
          There is no legal impediment after that for her to transfer her property.

  • 3
    0

    Reply to Maali Karunaratne

    Please refer to the section 18 under ‘Judicial Review’

    I understand your concerns. Unfortunately under the existing constitution Sri Lankan Judiciary has no power to inquire into the inconsistency of any law with the provisions of the Constitution and only the bills can be challenged.

    This needs to be changed. I absolutely agree with you and promote the idea that citizens shall be empowered to challenge any law that violates Constitution with the judiciary empowered to declare such laws void.

    • 3
      0

      Thank you Mr. Kodithuwakku
      How would you suggest to address and change this in the proposed constitution.

  • 2
    0

    Please refer to the section 18 under Judicial Review

    I understand your concerns. Right now the Sri Lankan Judiciary has no power to inquire into the inconsistency of existing laws, with the provisions of the Constitution. This needs to be changed. I absolutely agree with you and promote the idea that the citizens shall be empowered to challenge any law that violates Constitution with judiciary empowered to declare such laws void.

  • 3
    0

    “””It is also proposed to enact a provision in the new Constitution, abolishing Provincial Council system, which has fatally failed to discharge the desired objective.”””

    It is true that provincial council system introduced in 1987 failed to discharge the desired objective because this was not created with the honest agreement of the people, government. This was forced by India and there was no commitment in the part of Government in implementing a proper devolution that should have been the desired objective of the government. Provincial council system was not asked by other provinces than North East people. North East is different to other Province because majority of people speak different language, different religion, different landscape and their needs are different and their problems need different approach. It is not only the provincial council system failed to meet its objectives but the unitary system itself failed to provide desired objectives such as rule of law, justice, equality, human rights etc. There is no central government in Srilanka, it is a government for one community, one race, religion.

  • 4
    0

    Very good article to read by all who are praying for a miracle to happen in this cursed country. The country is being destroyed by the Politicians while the gullible praying sadhu sadhu for every curse and destruction.
    Some of the learned Sinhala Buddhists are waking up to the reality.
    Very satisfied to read some of the articles in line of sincerity and prosperity in their heart and soul for this beautiful country.
    . The big question is how to educate the masses who have been fed and watered with lies and more lies for Decades since the independence , why ? it was mainly for the crooked politicians advantage. ,
    The gullible children’ s mind had been tarnished beyond anyone’s imagination. Children of the 40s – 90s are the ((present day racists adults) to children of present days are taught lies from schools , and from the Dhamma classes ect.
    The politicians are spreading the lies too. How do we correct this cancerous problem. Even cancers can be cured with modern science.
    Srilankan curse is a curse which is incurable. Only the broad minded Sinhala Buddhists may be able to educate the masses and change the mindset for the betterment of this country.

    There were so much hopes for this country men and women soon after the Independence, which was all destroyed progressively by the Racist greedy politicians , starting from SWRD.

    Mr Nagananda are you serious ?? I am sure people of your category may be able to change this ONCE WONDERFUL ISLAND.

  • 3
    0

    Institutional independence of Sri Lankan judiciary: Institutional Independence is the independent judiciary and separate branch of the government which is free and not bound from the force and pressure of the other branches of the government. Revealing examples of these are the decisions of our previous CJ’s, Sarath Silva, Shirani Banadaranaike and Mohan Pieris. Their behaviors prove their dependence and duress or influence for self-interests
    Decisional independence: Decisional independence is the independent judiciary which is able to make decisions free from the pressure and force of the other branches of government i.e. legislature and executive.
    Fundamental values of the justice system: there are five fundamental core fundamental values of the justice system and they are as follows:
    Fairness and justice
    Efficiency of the judicial process
    Access of justice
    public confidence in the courts
    judicial independence
    Without these we will be compelled to seek outside help. That’s why even Mahinda Rajapaksa went to Geneva during UNP rule to complain about judiciary to uphold human rights.
    As proposed the executive shall not have the power to control over judicial tribunal.
    Decisions must be made on the basis of the facts of the case and the law alone and failing this our country will not progress with all its resources… and as the popular song says “ When that day will be..I don’t know”

    • 2
      0

      Good one-thanks
      When that day will be… is a song of expectation from the day of Suddas.
      Today is it better or worse, people have to answer.
      Most Sri Lankans are not concerned and silent about their plight while politicians make their buck and send their families to West, still seeking the refuge of Sudda. Gammanpila and Weerawansa are waiting in line while arousing communal passions while enjoying the political perks.
      Apata Puthe magak nathe…sad.

  • 2
    0

    I am sure there are people like me who are prepared to ‘sacrifice’ their time and energy for the people who are being heartlessly cheated by the existing corrupt to the core political system, however subject to some serious changes made to the existing system.

    Please refer to the proposal No 11 to 15. If all perks privileges and liberty to interfere with the affairs of the public bodies are completely done away with, I am sure people with high degree of integrity and commitment to serve the Nation may take on politics not otherwise.

    As it stands today politics is a dirty ‘game’ and not the right place for such people.

    • 2
      0

      I agree with you that perks should be cut like paying 20000 for a sitting and the car permits etc.
      Salary for the Parliamentarians in UK was introduced as otherwise only rich would be able to enter parliament. So I would like the pension to go on, but for 10 years service, like that of the public servants. Also pension to be calculated on the same basis as for the public servants.

    • 0
      0

      Mr.Nagananda
      I have read and re- read all what you have said in your article.
      Let me take this opportunity to tell you that I have no problem associating with you in your endeavours,
      and have no objection to your requesting CT for my e-mail address if you would like to contact me.

  • 5
    2

    Nagananda Kodituwakku:

    Representative Democracy & Constitution Making

    *** From your Article I take it that you claim to be an an Honest Individual and if that is the case can you give me an Honest Answer to the following Questions.

    1) Sri Lanka has suffered heavily in the hands of dishonest and self-centred people who have highjacked the governance of this island nation for decades since the British rule was withdrawn in 1948.

    *** If my arithmatics is correct that is for almost 68 years. Sri Lanka has been a Democracy for all these years. If what you says is true where was the People Power. My friend it was in the hands of the RACISTS.
    Dont balame just the Politicians they were simply fishing in a Sea of RACISTS. They did not hijack they simply steered the ship without hitting the Banks sailing along merrily.

    2) What the people have experienced since then was not a ‘representative democracy’ but a ‘pseudo democracy’ that provided a group of dominant individuals to thrive at public expense, particularly since the introduction of the 1978 Republican Constitution.

    *** You have absolutley got it wrong. People got what they paid for and what they subscribed to. It was an AUTOMATIC Renewal paid for by DD.

    3) This deplorable state of affairs have effectively discouraged and sidelined the honest, respectable and learned people from entering into mainstream politics.

    *** Can you identify any of them and can you put a Figure and where were they hiding.
    How would you describe MS, RW and last but not Least the beast MR.

    My Friend Sinhala Lanka is BANKRUPT.

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    Thanks Nagananda.

    Sri Lanka constitution: What’s in it for the Tamils?

    by JS Tissainayagam | 28th January [Edited out]

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      [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

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    How can we trust Ranil, My3 or …?

    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has denied that President Maithripala Sirisena rejected the UN Human Rights Council’s call for foreign participation in the Lankan war crimes probe.

    Wickremesinghe told the UK-based Channel 4 news on Wednesday: “We have not ruled it out. He (President Sirisena) has not ruled it out. We are standing by our commitment on the Geneva resolution.”

    The Lankan Prime Minister said his government is putting together by May, a mechanism to ensure accountability and reconciliation. In June, Lanka is required to give the UNHRC, an oral update on action taken on the commitments made in October 2015 resolution co-sponsored by the US and Lanka.

    “I don’t think there is anything to be worried about. We are all people who fought for it. I put my neck out more than anyone else, and by May, all these doubts will go out,” Wickremesinghe said.

    The question is whether the Sinhala leadership is willing to grant the minimum Tamil demands.

    The national unity government’s stance was manifest UNP’s leader Wickremesighe, who in a statement to the Joint Opposition Group, “There is no need to break the unitary status of the country.” Earlier he was at pains to point out that devolution of power would not exceed that that which is already given through the 13th Amendment to the current constitution, which is devolution within a unitary system.

    To reinforce it, his partners in the national unity government, the UPFA insisted that the new constitution to be drawn up would have to be put before the people at a referendum. While on the one hand it is very democratic to do so (neither the first nor second republican constitutions were formally approved by the people) there is very little doubt that the Sinhala majority will reject any federal arrangement with the Tamils and Muslims.

    The Government has argued the process to draw up the new constitution would be inclusive and transparent where the views of all the 225 members of parliament would be consulted. But by rejecting even before the process has begun a key demand of the Tamils – federalism – it has made a mockery of the whole process.

    There has been an attempt to say labels of ‘federal’ and ‘unitary’ constitution are not important. Labels are unimportant, but substance is. We have to understand that the Sinhala ruling class has not only rejected labels, but equal citizenship for the Tamils through discriminatory laws that judiciaries from 1948 up to today have been unable to redress. Tamils believe that they have the right to control aspects of their internal affairs and be protected from a Sinhala-dominated central government taking it away arbitrarily. That is what federal power-sharing is about.

    The need of the hour is for Tamils to see that even before the process has begun, Sinhala politicians are hell bent on denying Tamils federal power sharing, so that they can control Tamils through a Sinhala majority parliament. It will be important for the Tamil public, civil society and the Diaspora to keep pushing the TNA represented in the Constitutional Assembly not to back down from its election promises in the face of the mounting threat of the majority.

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    Consistent with the concept of sovereignty vested in the people, it should be provided in the constitution that landed property may only be owned by Sri Lankan nationals or their direct descendants but not grandchildren.

    In ALL of ASEAN, only citizens can own property. Our fools allowed foreigners to buy property paying 100% tax which was peanuts to foreigners and now much of Galle as well as other beautiful places is owned by foreigners.

    Everyone including foreigners should be allowed to buy condos above a certain height.

    True, our existing laws prohibit foreigners from buying land. But when our neo-liberal cabinet goes with a begging bowl to the IMF or the WB, they will put as a conditionality that the restriction be lifted. Our leaders will agree and the choicest parts of the country will be owned by foreigners.

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    Mr Nagananda K

    I very much like your style trying to beat up the saddle of an old unruly horse and directing it from the dirt track to get on the RIGHT Track.
    Hope you’ll succeed with the help of like minded professionals and philanthropists of SRILANKAN ORIGINS living in and out of Srilanka. All with the same GOAL FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR GENERATION AND FOR THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY. T he goal should be ” The Paradise Lost to be Gained for all “.

    We tried , of course we tried very hard ,voted and WON last year and they formed the GOOD-GOVERNANCE , sad to note we are still in the RUT containing the ROGUES THE THIEVES AND THE MURDERERS ruling our country and the future generation showing the WRONG PATH.

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    Kodi,your proposals for a future constitution are very good. And thank you very much for publishing it in this manner.
    I wish to state here that we have become signatory to the UN anticorruption law introduced in 2004. But successive government have no interest to make it as a law of land. If there is no proper system to check individual accountability no way of elimination of corruptions. If we don’t have a such a law the enforcement of constitutional provisions of a constitution become inevitably a farce.

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