25 September, 2020

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The Prime Minister – Irremovable

By Rusiripala Tennakoon –

Rusiripala Tennakoon

According to Mr. Shaymon Jayasinghe, an Australian citizen, there is no provision in the Sri Lanka constitution to remove or replace the Prime Minister once appointed. Whatever is spelled out by interpretations of the constitution, there is no doubt that the entire democracy would be shocked by his revelation that there is no provision for the removal of a person from a position by the appointing authority.

Before we examine the veracity of the isolated constitutional aspects highlighted by Shayman, let us for a moment consider the ethics of good governance and established democratic principles underlying the position, as stated by him viz: “However it is possible that he may lose the VNC brought in by the JO. Whatever may happen the move does not inflict terminal damage on the PM incumbent”.

What a sad state of affairs. In a democratically elected parliament, a group of duly elected MPs exercise a legal right and a parliamentary privilege to bring a no-confidence motion against the conduct of another parliamentarian on specific allegations leveled against him. The Parliament accepts and passes the motion with a majority. But, alas! According to Shayman, that parliamentarian can continue regardless of the outcome because according to the constitution “he need not quit his role as Prime Minister”.

Such sadistic and unholy views and observations will make our country a laughing stock in the democratic world. In particular Shaymon should bear in mid the high degree of respectful democratic practice followed by the politicians in the country where he lives, Australia. We are aware that even a person convicted for a major crime will look for ways and means of saving his neck from the gallows. Human nature. But a person elected by the people to hold a position on their behalf, if resorts to hang on to such positions despite, “whatever may happen” seeking refuge under legal provisions there could arise many repercussions. We have seen this happening recently in several countries. Only a few people like Shaymon would advocate such a policy irrespective of serious consequences to the country, people and the political image.

In the current incident, the charges leveled against the Prime Minister are directly pointed and related to him. The CBSL Bond Scam is now a matter, clearly decided upon by :

1. A private lawyers committee privately appointed by Ranil Wickremesinghe

2. Two COPE sittings appointed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka

3. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry which has submitted a report after a lengthy public investigation/inquiry.

The issues raised and the allegations leveled are specifically referring to some involvements established beyond doubt and others admitted by the PM himself. Because it is public knowledge I do not wish to dwell on such here. But if Shaymon wishes to enter into any debate or controversy, such details can be produced in most authentic manner as we have covered this episode in detail from the beginning.

The writer is attempting to show a distinction between a VNC against the PM and a NC against a Minister. According to him, however much a passed VNC is politically damaging to PM, he cannot be removed.

Perhaps people living overseas are exposed to information and events concerning politicians in all capacities where voluntary self-decided actions have saved the need for VNCs than us in Sri Lanka.

The underlying important factor is that how shameless one could be to disregard established opinions against him by other duly elected in a democratically functioning parliament. To seek refuge and cover under constitutional provisions in such situations appears to be mean, to say the least. President Mugabe also could not be removed constitutionally.

Now let us take a look at the constitutional provisions cited by Shaymon in his highly futile attempt to rationalize the PMs action and trying to attribute creditability to a highly uncreditable act.

He has cited Section 48(2) and has stated that “there is no objection for bringing a vote of no confidence. But the Section is totally irrelevant to the issue confronting the PM. Section 48(2) provides for rejection of government policy or the Appropriation Bill and it does not deal with situations of improprieties, irregularities or performance faults of Ministers, MPs or PMs. Hence his citation is irrelevant and misleading in the current context.

The other constitutional provision he has cited is 46(2). This too is not applicable to the present case as it refers to resignation and to an event where the PM ceases to be a MP. 46(2) deals with the situation how a Cabinet Minister and a non Cabinet Minister or a Deputy Minister ceases to be in office.

Shaymon has carefully omitted to refer to Section 48(1) where it refers to different circumstances under which the Prime Minister ceases to hold office and the dissolution of the Cabinet. They are in the English version of the constitution as follows:

1. Death

2. Resignation or otherwise

But the Sinhala version of the constitution (perhaps not available to Shayman in Australia) states these circumstances differently. They are

1. By removal from office

2. Resignation

3. Or otherwise

Mr. Jayasinghe according to the law of the country and according to what is stated in the constitution, the Sinhala version should prevail when there is any controversy!

Hence one should be able to see that the irremovability attributed by Shaymon to the PM does not exist in reality. The Sinhala version of 48(1) clearly refers to the removal of PM from office. Therefore the immutability and the highly privileged position of the PM that he is trying to make out is not real.

If fact the constitution before the last amendment contains his removal from office as one of the circumstances for the ceasing of office of the PM. Iso-facto it has been continued in the 19A but due to some deliberate or in advert situation the English one remains totally different to the Sinhala and the Sinhala version continues to contain the removal of the PM as one of the circumstances for his ceasing office.

Obviously removal has to be by the person who appoints.

It is very strange that Shaymon is trying to point a picture of a possibility of an impeachment against the President but the impossibility of removing PM even after no confidence against him, succeeds.

I do not know whether we can rejoice the fact that there is no provision to remove a PM who fails to maintain confidence of the parliament due to performance lapses. But there is sufficient provision under morality, ethics, goodness, convention, practice and principles for a voluntary action not amounting to a removal.

Politicians do not behave like the charged law-breakers who attempt to escape somehow by getting the best paid lawyers. The world we live in does not permit anyone to hide their actions. They will be known to the whole world and it will be very hard for poets and balledits to change the resulting adverse opinions.

I do not know what could be the outcome of the VNC or this episode by the time this article is published. But the contents will serve as material for future reference I believe.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    Sri lankan Democracy is a joke. It is run by embsssies in colombo and NGOs. I don’t know how this PM goes and meet another so-called dignitary fron another sovereign country except one likePabakaran. Unbelieveable leson to others in Sri lanka. IT is OK to have suspected and almost proven bank robbers in the parliament. Parliament is a place full of CLOWNS or THEOICVES, RAPISTS like prisoners from Bagambara andWelikada. How proud are you rusirupala as a Sri lankan voter.

    • 8
      2

      Oh dear, Rusiripala,
      You say:
      ” The CBSL Bond Scam is now a matter, clearly decided upon by :

      1. A private lawyers committee privately appointed by Ranil Wickremesinghe
      2. Two COPE sittings appointed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka
      3. A Presidential Commission of Inquiry which has submitted a report after a lengthy public investigation/inquiry.
      Yes,yes, but nobody has been convicted of anything yet, and quite likely nobody will, due lack of concrete facts.
      But you did leave out the conviction by the Sirasa media kangaroo trial. Is that because you yourself played a prominent part in it?
      It is better not to throw stones from glass houses.

      • 6
        3

        Is Rusiripala now playing the role of executioner? He was both judge and jury on Sirasa not long ago.

        • 0
          0

          My dear Friend
          I was neither a judge Nor a juror.Never aspired to be any executioner either.
          I remained a fair commentator and will be one
          Thank you

          • 2
            0

            Rusiripala Tennakoon

            “I was neither a judge Nor a juror.”

            Yes you are. Please read what you have typed above:

            “Mr. Jayasinghe according to the law of the country and according to what is stated in the constitution, the Sinhala version should prevail when there is any controversy!”

            Why should anyone accept the Sinhala version of the constitution? Is the state double-tongued? Are you double-tongued? Are those attached to Legal Draftsman department incapable of drafting and translating legal document or they too double-tongued?
            Are you confirming that the position of Tamil language is deliberately left inferior to Sinhala Language as far as constitution is concerned?

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 3
    0

    In every democratic system, a prime minister is removed when he loses support in Parliament. The rule does not have to be written down. Shaymon does not have to stooge so low to support RW. I support RW too but recognise the fact that had the motion against RW carried, he should have resigned and if he did not, he would have been removed by the head of state (not in capitals, because the head of state is a buffoon).

  • 3
    0

    It is very interesting to note that the Constitution in Sinhala is different from English and Tamil. Particularly in this case there is no complexity between the words “Death” and “Removal from the office”. It is very clear that was done with purpose and cheat some one. Do we need a constitution to cheat people? Constitution and politics in Srilanka is a joke.
    WE never had a NCM against the one who robbed the whole country to become the richest person in Srilanka. Fortunately, country get rid of him from his post because of his greediness. But in Ranil’s case, we have no confidence motion to bring back that man who robbed the whole nation in order completely destroy the nation.

  • 2
    1

    Shyamon Jayasinghe is a Rationlist. He is not one grown up with a certain value system. His system of values were that Almighty created we all. So, he can abuse us all. So, most powerful of us, can abuse the ones below us. so, what he is writing and his manoevers matches from that side to this matches what he writes. that is the Multi-Everything Sri lanka. See how many are there to say AVADA Ayubo to Ranil. If that was carried out by another he would be in jail for years. So, how mush you respect now to the Two piece suit. Now, you know how gentlemanly they are. I show a photo some where with A two piece suit, in a foreign country, a man is waiting in a back ally like road the board he is holdiing says I AM LOOKING FOR A JOB.

  • 1
    2

    “Kanna deepu atha hapaa kaa gama kapu ralage Gomaral’s ” and (Sak) Kili maha jara’s henchman has easily forgotten what Chandrika did to Ranil in 2002-2004 govt. SC Judges are appointed by President on the recommendation of Constitutional Council but President as appointing authority doesn’t have power to remove them. That is to avoid Executive arbitrary decisions on high posts. RW may have foreseen the current situation when amending the constitution. NCM is one of the options according to the constitution and Aappa Sira and JO fails. Now this Pissu Pusa is adamant and refuse to remove 6 cabinet members who voted against the PM. If the President has the power to remove PM this country should have been in a bloody mess and may be in a blood bath.
    This may be very important for (Sak)kili Maha Jara Sirasa.

  • 6
    1

    Ok lets say for once Shaymon is wrong. But it is pathetic and despicable to see that you are with the Killi Maharaja Group.

  • 0
    0

    Old King’s 18A is 10 times better than Ranil’s 19A. 18A allows a dictator EP reelected. But with all the explanations, Lankaweyans, with their puny brains, IQ below 79, still rejected Old King under 18A. The democracy was not lost. But, when they elected New King, then the democracy was lost. Ranil created the undemocratic 19A, which blocks a PM being removed by No Confidence Motion, when he was appointed as minority government’s PM under 100 days(6months) government.

    PM cannot be removed. But EP wouldn’t allow that PM to run the Cabinet. A real nightmare situation! The democratic function is in deadlock. So then why there are EP, Parliament and cabinet. These are Chambers of, as Jimmy said, “CLOWNS or THEOICVES, RAPISTS like prisoners from Bogambara and Welikada.”

    The new mixed system (PR + FPTP) has created 320 deadlock Sabas. No parties have formed any government in any of them. A sheer waste of entire country’s resources! Even New King’s Thirukkaiwaal cannot fix those people who created these 320 rotten chambers. I don’t understand what the hold up for them to bring back Soulbury’s magnificent constitution. There were errors but the local crowd doesn’t have the brain capacity, like White Man has, to design such big things. These monkeys only praise their tails but do nothing useful in The Wonder of Asia.

  • 0
    3

    Thanks for citing the available provisions to remove a parliamentarian, whether an MP, minister or the PM; through a No Confidence Motion.

    The argument was there even before taking the NCM against the PM for debate in the parliament on 4th April.

    It arouses doubt now that whether this misconception impacted MPs decision making on that day to make the PM the winner.

    So it’s wise to reconsider; make April 4th NCM results null & void & make a fresh vote of no confidence against the PM on the same charges.

    Attention please MPs & people, especially those frustrated over the outcome on April 4th NCM .

    Shall we try for the sake of the country?

  • 0
    0

    I think you need to think, how did Ranil get this much of courage to face this much of oppostion. the reason is that 2015 common Candidate project, the project of anti-mslims violence, the movement of saying that 31% of Minority votes are superior to 69% of voters (eventhough democratically elected 69% must have the superiorioty.). that is an on going problem in the world. this 31% included Tamils, Muslims and a [art of ther 7% of other sinhala people. Tamils and muslims know that foreign organizations are tryng theor best to fulfill teh wishes of the repesctive funding countries. Search in this web site. It talks so many about Sri lanka including they want to partition Sri lanka under R2P. https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-china-and-the-war-in-sri-lanka/12881. this is only link. there are so many including how some NGOs getting foreign funding. so, what I say, there were countries and Organizations asking him not to step down. In that MR and MY3 are playing double game and their own interests.

  • 1
    0

    In the event of shameful chicanery of the reinvented rules, by and for the PM, the other 122 should take hold of him tightly around the legs, boost him upwards, and place him outside of parliament. Shut the door then.

    • 1
      4

      I am happy that my article has aroused so much of concern and interest barring a few characters notably known only to slander and insult.
      A matter of national interest such as this episode could only be justifiably commented upon only by persons who could make an assessment based on facts and realities.
      It is not a forum for nincompoops and prostitution
      I sincerely thank all who have expressed valuable views and regret those with nothing valuable to add accusing me as a pawn of somebody.
      I have a history in this country for standing against the might of many including ministers who came after me with their revolvers pointed at Mahara By- Election!

      • 3
        0

        Mr. Rusiri,
        “I sincerely thank all who have expressed valuable views and regret those with nothing valuable to add accusing me as a pawn of somebody.”
        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it IS a duck. If you give paid speeches on a certain TV channel, supporting the views of the owner, then you ARE a pawn of that owner, revolvers and trade unionism of the past notwithstanding.
        “Because it is public knowledge I do not wish to dwell on such here.”
        Please do explain all about this “scam”. We are listening. Who better than a banker to explain?

        • 0
          0

          You appear to have missed the bus chum.
          For your information I have never ever participated in any program where I was paid in money or kind
          The programs we participate are honorary work and at our expense
          I am sorry about your perverted imaginations
          It is only another media medium for me
          I trust you read my writings on many matters
          They too are my voluntary contribution to the society
          All the people all the time do not do things only for money!
          If you have followed my presentations, writings, tv forums and even books published by me so far I have nothing more to explain my good Friend
          I broke the ice and reached the innocent public who were clueless and misguided
          Tv helped me to do so
          Although unpaid I am grateful to the media for accommodating free exchange of views on such controversial subjects
          If you send me your postal address I will post a book I have written Long before commissions were appointed for you to understand A to Z of the scam
          And chum I reconfirm it is a scam which had the blessings of the so called mr cleans!
          Thank you

          • 1
            0

            Mr. Rusiri,
            Yes indeed I have read many of your writings here on CT, including the Sinhala ones. I have not found even one where you talk about corruption under the Rajapaksas.You cannot deny that you were chairman of BOC under the Mahinda regime. So it is most disingenuous to claim “I remained a fair commentator and will be one” as you did to another commentator.
            You have appeared in dozens of Sirasa and Newsfirst episodes with Faraz Shauketaly, Dayan Jayatillaka and others, as “senior banking expert”. No contrary viewpoints were entertained .
            As to not being paid, are you then using the publicity to run for future political office?
            There is no need to post books on the “scam”. I am sure CT will allow you several pages to prove your points. I for one will not be holding my breath, chum.

            • 0
              0

              Please surf the CT under my name
              You will see all what I have written about the bond scam. Many
              You seem to be wrongly informed about me
              I have never held or being posted to any positions during Mahinda regime!
              Even during Chandrika regime I held the post of the gem authority chairmanship appointed by RW when he was the PM then
              I was in BOC during Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike era
              You also seem to have missed my criticisms on the Mahinda era
              What may have happened is you have seen my talks and shows about the bond scam where I talk of the subject only
              In my criticism s I don’t make pickles
              I talk as clearly as possible on the subject
              If you expected achcharu from me sorry chum not from me

              • 0
                0

                Mr. Rusiri,
                I accept that you were not a bank chairman under Mahinda.
                But I have indeed searched your posts on CT. Nothing about Port city/ Mattala airport/ Hambantota Port or even the Greek bond issue. CT has been around since 2012.
                In this video with Shauketaly, you seem to agree that there was a loss of 14 billion on the bond issue. Would you care to explain how this was computed? Surely it will not take an entire book do do that?
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNbjoVYVckw
                You do also make comments on Mr. Sampanthan (achcharu ?) that reveal your political leanings . It is easy to put two and two together.

                • 0
                  0

                  Yes Mr. Tennekoon, as Budhdhadasa requests, please do explain where these figures come from. Also how even 14 billion can bankrupt the country?

                • 0
                  0

                  I fail to understand how achcharu could b taken as a reference to Sampanthan!

          • 1
            0

            Rusiri

            “For your information I have never ever participated in any program where I was paid in money or kind”

            How about any pogroms?

  • 0
    0

    Why did the american LAwyer come to Sri lanka and wanted to help the govt ?. why MCC gave $ 750 million for politics, Transport and Lands. Lands finished. Politics part is this. finacial regulation changes continues in the middle of Local elections, anti-muslm violence etc., So th emedia is busy.

  • 0
    0

    There should be a strong president because it is the peoples’ power. PArliamentary lost should not be thig bigger. PReident should be answerable to LAw courts once he completed his term, I suppose, if he abuses his powers beyond the needs of protecting country’s soverenity and security.

  • 2
    0

    Rusirupala: Thsi govt in the middle of the Bond scam brouhaha, hulabaloo, there were some finacial legislation changes. I heard Ranil’s economic vision Team for 2020 wanted it that way. That also acquitted Ravi the Money Launderer and some more both from this govt and the previous govt. Why there is not talk about it. I am not talking about officials.

  • 0
    0

    As an Australian of Sri Lankan origin, I fought openly through the law against racial discrimination and thereby upheld the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka. On that basis – I find that Mr Shaymon Jayasinghe to be attached to his past and that seems to be in favor of UNP. I voted through my feeling of Independence – for Mr Wickremesinghe because he is the best fit for the likes of me who have invested in global values. The outcomes that happened confirm to me that my ‘vote’ was positive.

  • 2
    1

    until recently I admired Rusirupala as a professional banker. Now I doubt his reasoning power. If the president can change the PM whenever he wants is it democracy? The majority of parliament only can remove PM. When MS chose Ranil to be the PM before the election if then parliament exercised its power he would have been removed. I don’t know this Shaymon but he is just another guy.
    Risirupala has become just another guy to quote him.

    • 0
      0

      May I respectfully remind you that the article in question on which comments are exchanged is in reply to a write up by one Shaymon stating that the President cannot remove the PM.
      I only pointed out in my article the relevant constitutional provisions.
      Some of which although very relevant have been ignored by the writer and trying to make out that the PM cannot be removed even with s NCMotion passed against him.
      I have not advocated a removal or continuation of the PM
      I only pointed out that there are legal provisions to do so directly as well as indirectly under the powers vested in the President of the country!
      I have not said anything to adduce a meaning such as “whenever” as stated in your comment.
      My writing refer to specific instances how the office of PM ceases and how the cabinet stands dissolved when that happens etc etc and not some wanton imagination of removing a PM whenever some one wants.
      Thank you
      More thanks if you read the entire article again

  • 2
    0

    Democracy values of UNP are not base on rationalism ,it has demand not that respect & accepts the sovereignty derived from People of Sri Lankan by Republic Constitution exists of 1972 and 1978.
    The UNP way of politics come to power which that accept only right to vote; the very principle standing by UNP leadership since 1977 that JRJ, R.Premapala and Ranil Wicks, hence immediately they being to power , its discarded the Will and Sovereignty of the People..
    As act of UNP politics hence RW is disqualified for modern democracy rule by majority will of people from 2015 January 8th!
    Why is that certain UNP line of irrational writers says, People and Constitution having no right to removed Primer -Minister of RW from dismissed post of Premiership by rule of constitution ?
    Even that RW had committed crime of Central Bank Bond robbery in 2015 February 26 and after that.
    Needless to say Right-wing” rationalist ” think-tank seems to be assume under the any circumantance, which that RW of UNP remain in power for ever, with all his crime against people and nation sovereignty ?
    This is a logic has no relationship with Democracy in modernity will suited to 21st century.

    In 19th century Adam Smith Said ” the people on the other side of the water afraid lest that distance from the seat of govt. might expose them to many oppressions. But their represtattives in parliament ,of which the number ought from the first to be considerable ,would easily be able to protected them from all oppression. The distance could not much weaken the dependency of the represtattives upon the constitution, and the former would feel that he owed his seat in parliament, and all the consequence which he derived from it .to the good-will of the later..[Smith (1776.vol. 2 book5,chaps.2:124]
    .

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