2 March, 2024

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The Republic That Fears The Independence Of The Judiciary Even More Than Terrorism

By Basil Fernando

Basil Fernando

When the Speaker of the Parliament made this decision, the Republic had already deprived the Judiciary of the post-legislative judicial review power and it has now been brought to a situation where even pre-legislative review has been removed. What is the nature of the Judiciary that exists in Sri Lanka? These are questions of jurisprudence. These are not just a question of some political opinion. The present situation is logically and legally idiotic. However, to say that there should be no judicial review at all is to say that there is nothing wrong even if decisions are made in an illogical and illegal manner.

In 1972, when Sri Lanka became a Republic by way of adopting a new Constitution, one of the most remarkable features of that Constitution was the removal of the post-legislation judicial review. At the very moment that the country was declaring a republic and completely independent State, it categorically deprived its Judiciary of the power to examine the legality of legislation after the laws have been enacted. Thus, it became a characteristic of the Republic to have a less powerful exercise of judicial power by the Judiciary than the country enjoyed even at the time of the rule by the colonial power or when it enjoyed only dominion status. 

Deciding on the legality of the laws, it was ensured that the people are in fact ruled by laws that are legally based on sound principles that the whole legal system is based on. The legal system is what protects the State to be a democratic State as it claims to be and also ensure that even the Legislature cannot make laws which are violative of the basic norms and standards on which good law is grounded. To leave the power of post-legislative judicial review is to allow the Judiciary to be the ultimate arbiter of what is legal and illegal within the land. For reasons better known to those who have proposed and supported that Constitution of 1972, leaving this power of judicial review as it existed so far was considered dangerous. There had been no explanations publicly as to why the Judiciary should not be trusted with post-legislative judicial review. 

What started in 1972 was continued in 1978 and the position remains the same even up to now. No Government or a political party has even dared to propose that the full powers of post-legislative judicial review should be returned to the Judiciary. Despite all sentimental talk about respect for the Judiciary and judicial independence, this most important power of judging the legality of laws by the Judiciary itself, whenever a citizen is confronted with a problem of the possible illegality of a law, has been deprived to the sovereign people of Sri Lanka. 

While the 1978 Constitution is based on the principle of the sovereignty of the people, these sovereign people do not have the capacity to test the legality of the laws by which they are bound through their own judicial branch. Previously, there have been several occasions during which citizens came to court and challenged the laws that have been passed by the Parliament some time prior to their coming and the Judiciary was constitutionally allowed to entertain their complaints and if the complaints were legitimate, even to declare some laws to be null and void and without any effect in the law for the future. 

A mysterious question that has not been openly discussed is as to why the Legislature and the Executive that were virtually directing the path of law making in the country feared the capacity of the country’s Judiciary to judge whether the laws that have been promulgated are keeping with the principles of legality. 

The 1978 Constitution went further and at various stages, placed limitations even on the time periods during which the citizens were allowed to come before their highest Court and to raise objections to some legislations. In many such applications that have been made, the Court has often held that many of the clauses that have been proposed as new legislation are not in conformity with the Constitution and that if they are to be passed, the necessary changes must be made in terms of the provisions of the Constitution itself. There can be no assumption that a legislature can make errors relating to law only during that period of the passing of the laws. Errors that were not seen at the time for whatever reasons could surface over many years of the actual implementation of the laws. Most errors manifest themselves clearly only when things are put to practical test. If the practical test creates undesirable results or even harmful results to the individuals or the society as a whole, there should be access to the citizens to their legal institutions to resort to with the view to correct such errors. When that possibility exists, the citizen is not thrown into being a helpless citizen where he or she could only say that the only way to get a correction of what has gone wrong is by way of political actions or by taking to the streets. Instead, the post-legislative judicial review provides a rational and peaceful means by which sober reflections can be made on errors and the errors can be eliminated. Thus, the machinery of the State could run without being affected by such errors, 

This possibility also prevents an overzealous Legislature which for some reason may have the required majority to use such majority for limited purposes and thereby cause some major problems to the running of the total machinery of the State and also of the legal system. 

Thus, the problem of the post-legislative judicial review is not about this or that Government but is about running the State on sound legal principles. The mere passing of laws by the majorities that may be available due to whatever reasons may create a formal legitimacy but the vitality of the State does not depend entirely on mere formal correction. Formally, many things can be done in many areas of life and still wrongs can continue to accumulate and create havoc for individuals as well as for societies. 

Maintaining the rationality of laws is essential to maintain the sanity in all the operations of society. Once what is illogical and incorrect enters into a system, that gradually multiplies itself and creates more and more problems to an extent that the system can no longer produce the kind of results that the Republic is made for. For example, within a Republic, it is expected that by making proper laws and by the implementation of those laws, corruption could be eliminated. Even when laws are made, if the situation of corruption does not see substantial changes for the better, it means that there is something wrong with the laws and also the implementation of such laws. The mere claim that the laws have been passed through the proper manner does not go to resolve the practical problems which the law is supposed to resolve. 

It is not only the area of judicial review post- and pre-judicial review related limitations that the judicial power has been interfered with by the Legislature and also by the Executive. Large bodies of laws which come out with provisions which deprive the Magistrate of the power of granting bail as is normally required by law without extraordinary reasons for such limitations being imposed, is a serious attack on the functioning of the legal system. Similarly, many such limitations are made without extraordinary reasons to do so and as a result, there develops a confusion as to how independent the Judiciary is allowed to be. The Judiciary does not create its own power. Its power is given by the Legislature and if the Legislature deprives it of its power, then, there can be serious problems with the actual identity of the Judiciary as an institution. 

These days there is talk about gaining respect for the Judiciary. This is one of the most valuable goals that any society should pursue. However, mere speeches about protecting the role of the Judiciary and its independence while creating legislative obstacles to its functioning and also creating confusion about what the courts can or cannot do is far more harmful than anything that any other enemy of the State can do. The State has powers for example to deal with terrorism, however ferocious such terrorism could be, as we have seen in the past. By controlling the country’s financial resources and also law enforcement and military resources, any determined ruler can deal with terrorism if it arises. Above all, a wise ruler who wins the hearts and minds of the people can easily find ways of dealing with attacks on the legitimacy of the State and those who attempt to disrupt the functioning of the State. It is people who are the ultimate guardians of the State. However, when the Legislature creates problems for the functioning of the Judiciary that can be a matter that can create huge repercussions for the entire functioning of the State and also undermines the understanding of the rights of the citizens. 

Citizens equate the protections of the rights with the possibilities that they have to access justice. When a citizen feels that in the event of an attack on his or her rights there are avenues open to him or her to go to an impartial and independent judicial institution where he or she could reasonably expect redress for his of her wrongs, that gives the citizen a sense of stability. Even when he or she is not sure as to whether certain rights of his or her has been infringed or not or certain entitlements of his or her have been illegally dealt with, he or she can satisfy himself or herself by saying that an institution which bases itself entirely on law and justice is available to him or her to go and get the matter sorted out. 

Thus, it is not merely some errant citizens that can commit disturbances about the exercise of the authority of the courts. The Legislature and the Executive that create limitations can interfere far more seriously on the functioning of a just system of laws than any terrorist could do. The reason is because when such actions take place, there is no defence mechanism available within the State to protect the people. The ultimate function of the State is the protection of the people and the property within the territory of the State. The State exists for the purpose of ensuring that there is authority working within the framework of rational systems of law to protect the people. And within that rational system of law, there is nothing more important for the protection of the people than an independently functioning judicial system. Now, if we take the issue of the recent controversies about the Employees Provident Fund and the Employees Trust Fund and the measures that have been proposed by the Government to be undertaken in terms of what is purported to be as the measures associated with the agreements with the International Monetary Fund, the affected people, which is the entire working population of the country, whose interests are affected for now, and for the future, are likely to have enormous problems about the legality of all that is being done. So, therefore, it was natural as under those circumstances that the people resort to the Court with the view to get the interventions of the Court to sort out the matter. By filing petitions before the Court, these citizens have consented that they accept the authority of the Court and that the Court will finally arbitrate on this matter as required by the law, taking into consideration all the circumstances and also ensuring that all matters are done according to the rules of justice. The much discussed decision of the honourable Speaker deciding that the a resolution passed on this issue by the Parliament cannot be questioned before a court is not merely an issue about this particular resolution or this particular issue about the EPF and the ETF and the rights of the persons affected. It is an issue about legality. There has to be an ultimate assurance about legality if the State is to function on the basis of a structure that is based on the law. 

If the structure of the State is not based on the law, what is it based on? Can the mere passing of a law separated from all other considerations relating to legality be a guarantee of legality of anything whether this is about this law or any other law?

Thus, the problems affecting the Sri Lankan legal system are of a very fundamental nature. When the Speaker made this decision, the Republic had already deprived the Judiciary of post-legislative judicial review power and it has now been brought to a situation where even pre-legislative review has been removed. What is the nature of the Judiciary that exists in Sri Lanka? These are questions of jurisprudence. These are not just a question of some political opinion. The present situation is logically and legally idiotic. However, to say, that there should be no judicial review at all is to say that there is nothing wrong even if decisions are made in an illogical and illegal manner.

When questions of this sort arise, under normal circumstances, that has been the courts that have settled the issue. Now, there is no one to settle this issue. That could create one of the most serious confusion that could affect every aspect of the functioning of the State. Now, this happens at a time when the country is at its worst in terms of the economy, in terms of the society, in terms of the political life, in terms of the political life, and in terms of the basic needs of the people where many questions of survival are at stake. The question arises as to what role the State will play in resolving any of these problems. Can the State intervene into these problems while ignoring the fundamental problem of legality?

This is why the present situation is much worse than what has ever been caused by terrorism or any other threat to the survival of a legitimate system of governance within Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    0

    Of what use are these lofty comments in CT when nothing substantial is gained by citizens. MPs have sleepware in parliament. What a disgrace to the leaders who ignore all this which the whole world reads about.

    • 4
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      V good write up.
      Time for a new Constitution with term limits and age limits to elected office to get rid of the culture of impunity and enforced judicial review.
      Just get rid of the old “BASTARDS”.

  • 26
    1

    The judiciary is a thorn in the side of grand criminals sitting in parliament. The criminals would want unfettered access to illegal laws used to control the people, exemption from themselves being brought to justice and unfettered ability to be in contempt of court and therefore would prefer that the judiciary is always beholden to them and are toothless and impotent.

  • 20
    0

    Is our judiciary actually independent and incorruptible? The author suggests that it was, before 1972. That may have been due to most senior judges at the time having been educated during colonial times. That applied to senior police officers too.
    In present times, who hasn’t heard of Chief Justices called Sarath Silva and Mohan Pieris, and police officers called Vass Gunawardena and Deshabandu Tennekoon, and an IGP called Mahinda Balasuriya?

    • 12
      0

      Dear OC,
      As I see it, the judiciary in Sri Lanka is like a lorry displaying “budhusaranai-Board” that transports slaughtered animals (cattle, pigs, chicken). Does anyone have a good recent example of what our judiciary makes us proud and admirable?
      Who cares in that rotten country, GLP or similar law professors (with PhDs from Oxford and other prestigious institutes) sat with middle class dogs. Professor Laksiri Fernando (still alive) or others awarded honorary doctorate degrees to those criminals.
      Not all social hazards are created overnight. Stupid people including our Pandit “Sinhala man” who did not raise his voice properly against Rajapaksa supported it. Doing nothing alone is a great crime.

      • 7
        0

        LM ,
        If there is anything we are good at, it is hypocrisy. On the surface, this is a Buddhist country where meat eating is frowned on, and actually banned on some days. But the reality is that human lives matter less than those of cattle. The very same people who claim to be conducting an Aragalaya will try to wriggle out of a traffic fine. Doctors educated on public money hold the patients to ransom because they don’t want to pay taxes.

        • 5
          0

          Dear OC,
          Thank you for speaking the truth as you always do.
          Many will not dare to speak it. People behave like dumb patients who cannot open their mouths. Most of them wear “Pirth thread” but don’t know its meaning. It is more of an imitation than anything else. If a dog urinates somewhere, all the other dogs will imitate it to mark their territory. Likewise, today our sinners have become fools to do any lowly work. What made them fall so deep? I did not live in our homeland, but you did. Who knows who did it ?
          POITICIANS, MLECHCHA MEDIA and SINHALA-BUDDHISM (which is not buddhism based on true teachings of buddha).

          As soon as we returned to Europe after each trip, we always talked about this topic. The dichotomy forces us to rethink. .
          Our SM keeps giving YOU ON CT wrong interpretations that I am against our own people.??????? If what he is trying to paint about me is true, why on earth am I giving charity to some poor students and elders? No NGOs are behind me… it is my own hard earned money.
          .
          I have been doing this regularly. If I am against our people I can stop it at anytime.
          Am I really a sinhala hater? No, I am trying my best to reveal that the failure lies in our Sinhala mentality

      • 4
        3

        “Properly!”
        .
        An interesting word choice, “/b>leelagemalli”!
        .
        Sometimes memory lets a person down. What had I said before the Presidential Elections?
        .
        I looked here at an article that has run into 178 comments spread over three pages:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-price-of-freedom-yahapalana-failures-must-not-drive-us-into-the-arms-of-an-authoritarian/comment-page-1/#comments
        .
        I have said the following:
        .
        “We just have to stop Gota from being elected.”
        .
        Second Page: “Gotler remains the guy whom we must at all cost keep out of power if anything like civilised life is to remain in Sri Lanka.”
        .
        Many more comments by me. But it’s not me that is important. There isn’t a single comment from Dan Silva. He uses one or two other nicknames. Here he says, “Doing nothing alone is a great crime.”
        .
        I grant that he has always hated the Rajapaksas, but he was always scared of his identity being revealed. and also the town he lives in, although he boasted many a time that he was in Germany,
        .
        After the Elections:
        .
        Jeevan Hoole courageously wrote this article, and I have given the link many times; “leelagemalli” finally said that he hadn’t seen it during the ten days it was on. I have said much

        • 3
          3

          No response from Dussedldorf, Germany. And so it goes on, and on.
          .
          That previous comment got too long last night, and I was unable to give you the link to Hoole’s article:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/was-the-presidential-election-free-and-fair-when-colombo-returning-officer-called-sajith-premadasa-the-son-of-a-donkey-asks-prof-hoole/
          .
          I have “leelagemalli’s” contact details, but sadly it’s proved futile to appeal direct to him. I’ve tried so much; it keeps failing. These are public issues, and LM does much harm by doling out rubbish. I’m sure that he hasn’t read this article. Readers will see clear signs that he writes without bothering to read the article. Even I replied without reading.
          .
          But I have now read it carefully, and then decided to delve into the work of the man who;s written it. Results will appear at the bottom of the page.
          .
          LM is not a bad guy but he continues to unload his frustrations on us.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444v)

        • 4
          2

          “leelagemalli” recently surprised me by linking us to an 8-minute video which was an excerpt from a public speech by Anura Kumara Dissanayake, which he said that he enjoyed.
          .
          Why? AKD”s speeches are replete with wit, and humour which isn’t really nasty. LM’s appreciation and the reasons given by him provide yet more evidence for his motivation in giving us an endless stream of comments. In that excerpt AKD criticises the reasons for the Rajapaksas being elected to office. The superstitions, gullibility, and careless thinking of the voter were dwelt upon.
          .
          It is significant that LM l

          • 4
            4

            “It is significant that LM” liked it. He hates his own people so much that he enjoys it when fun is made of them. In this hatred, he is similar to his hero, Ranil.
            .
            LM, I have said this before, but I’m saying it again: if you so much love white Europeans, please desist from writing about us – insulting and ridiculing our people, If you stick to facts, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. Sometimes you resort to actual lying. You’ve been telling people again that I don’t know Sinhala. I know my language, but I don’t write it.
            .
            You now seem to pick on Ramona as well. I feel that many people have begun to avoid reading you altogether. That is a pity;
            .

            • 3
              0

              Dear SM,

              Please for Sri Lanka’s critical situation,
              Why don’t you come up with your long-awaited answers to our questions? You owe us with lot more infromation about JVP potential. If you would not care it seriously, you shoudl better reveal that you are just cheap-propagandist to them only.

              Please watch the video below. That will give you some more information about JVP-NPP.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EkF0kg_YW0

              Instead you talk about me being pro-white and various other redherrings.
              In fact, I relate to blacks, Latinos, whites, and everyone. To be honest, I have no barriers in my work and personal life, we are all human

        • 2
          0

          Self Proclaimed SINHALA_Man (not knowing sinhala)@

          you may have added some posts against RAJAPAKSHSE, I mean you are not vocal enough.
          Many of us did that on CT. However if you were super sensitive than anyone else, as one who lived there for entire life could do lot more right ?
          You are now in your mid-70s. You are the same age as the worst politicians. Looking back, many of your posts contained ” totally incoherent contents”.

          Today you are strongly against Ranil as no others would do, but at the same time why are you silent against Mahinda? who is the elephant in the room ?????????

          If anyone with some knowledge compares the damage done by Mahinda, there is a difference between heaven and earth. Even so, you deaf people don’t have the due courage to stand against Mahinda Rajapaksa even today. why is that ?

          Why can’t JVP single-handedly take the VERY lead against Mahinda and his large-scale crimes? Above all against melchcha MEDIA houses ? I know the answer, then they would not have been given a chance to transport their views to the nation. Are they different then regarding their selfish-gains ?

          Sharing with a small spoon and doing it with a giant spoon should be seen differently. Likewise, if the JVP does not do the job well enough, the people will never understand the true intentions of the JVP. JVP is being threatened with their silence against Tiran Alas. However, JVP will have to come up with better arguments on this topic.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EkF0kg_YW0

          Now becoming clear, you are no longer an independent commenter.

          • 2
            0

            cont.
            If anyone with some knowledge compares the damage done by Mahinda, there is a difference between heaven and earth. Even so, you deaf people don’t have the due courage to stand against Mahinda Rajapaksa even today. why is that ?

            Why can’t JVP single-handedly take the VERY lead against Mahinda and his large-scale crimes? Above all against melchcha MEDIA houses ? I know the answer, then they would not have been given a chance to transport their views to the nation. Are they different then regarding their selfish-gains ?

            Sharing with a small spoon and doing it with a giant spoon should be seen differently. Likewise, if the JVP does not do the job well enough, the people will never understand the true intentions of the JVP. JVP is being threatened with their silence against Tiran Alas. However, JVP will have to come up with better arguments on this topic.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EkF0kg_YW0

            Now becoming clear, you are no longer an independent commenter.

        • 1
          0

          SM,
          .
          Why I hated Rajapaksa should not be justified because it is obvious to anyone with some common sense. My curse to them begins with the dawn of his first term. My subconscious guided me by telling me how CBK was completely damaged in every way only for his power struggles and Mara was the alleged killer of late honourable Minister Laxman Kadiragamer.

          And how Rajapakshes brother grabed the credit for hoodwinking the nation, all beyond ethics and morals, but lanken MEDIA mafia did the job in favour of Rajanos. That is the start of making upside down of the society which is crime friendy but for their political survival.

          To be fair, may I ask you to tell me where I brag about living outside the country. You can get them with MANEL FONSEKA and HUMAN TOUCH. I have never been one to brag about anything.

    • 3
      0

      old codger

      I concur with you.
      However, can you convince all those nationalists, practicing fascists, religious fanatics, lazy dump asses, perverted historians, Marxists, Maoists, JVP, ….Sinhala/Buddhists, who still (or pretend to ) believe that the people are being divided and ruled by Colonialists, Imperialists, Capitalists, Expansionists (not China though), Multinationals, Western Education, International institutions, …….?

      Look at the unfortunate events taking place in Krindi hills, Trincomalee, Thaiyitty, Pulmoaddai, Kinniya, ………………

      Please consider weekly supply of men/women or boys/girls, or ….. to those raging sexually frustrated 70,000 men who took the vow of celibacy. As long as they keep everything within the confines of their Bedroom, its fine.

      I am going back to sleep.

      • 1
        3

        You do need some sleep.
        How is the search for the doctor?

        • 3
          1

          “How is the search for the doctor?”

          What sort of doctor you need?
          Tell us the type of doctor that will help you clean your polluted lazy mind, unlearn Maoism, ….. erase Mao loyalty, ….

    • 4
      1

      OC
      Many of the defendants of the independence of the judiciary have forgotten the charges that they threw at the judiciary.
      We can defend the independence of the judiciary conditionally, i.e. the judiciary treats that independence wit due respect.
      *
      The same applies to free speech and journalists.

  • 10
    0

    The fundamental issue in SL stems from the politicians acting like thugs. Most politicians, especially the Speaker, the Leader of the Govt ruling party in the Parliament, and the Govt Whip do not understand that there are three pillars of power – the Parliament, the Judiciary, and the Presidency. Ranil as the President should not have made the statement he made challenging the Judiciary, similarly, the standing order violating – the constitution violating speaker acts bias in the parliament. To add fuel to the fire the police force too acts outside the laws of the land. A combination of these has resulted in the country having no civil code of conduct.

    It’s time the entire deck has to be cleared and allow even foreign judges to sit on the bench.

    • 9
      0

      Buddhist1,
      “To add fuel to the fire the police force too acts outside the laws of the land. A combination of these has resulted in the country having no civil code of conduct.”
      I suppose you know that many alleged criminals die in encounters staged by the police, where they “attempt to escape ” while being taken somewhere.
      You also know that there are many people and politicians wearing red clothing, who will block the roads demanding various rights.
      Have you seen any of these people protest against these illegal killings? Nor did any of these “progressives” demonstrate against the killing of Northern civilians during the war.
      The politicians are a reflection of the people’s attitudes. You must blame the people.

      • 3
        0

        Dear OC,

        “Politicians are a reflection of people’s attitudes. You have to blame the people.”

        This is something I always say. Politicians are the mirror of society. But except our Bandarawela man who I say is against our own people, no one in CT and outside will add anything against it. Even in CT they don’t seem to take it to heart.

  • 2
    0

    The present situation is much worse than what has ever been caused by terrorism.

    A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

    The church bombing happened did not know what will happen tomorrow.

  • 9
    0

    “The Republic That Fears … More Than Terrorism”.
    I am annoyed at the caption.
    Terrorism?
    When did we have Terrorists in the country?
    We had thuggery. We had political attacks. We never had Terrorism.
    Guns came into the picture when words were silenced. When ears were deaf.
    What is dreadful is inhumane treatment of fellow humans on the basis of Language and Religion.
    When you act humanely, you won’t have the fear of Terrorism.

  • 4
    0

    THE Judiciary in srilanaka has gone to dogs not recently but long time ago.Former chief(cheap)justice SARATH SILVA openly said that he was the one who gave the ruling in favor MHINDA RAJAPAKSE IN THE SUNAMI MONEY RACKET.No one made any fuss about this misconduct of this double tonuge twister judge.
    NEXT-JVP went to supreme court against the north-east united provincial council and got the ruling if favor of them and divided north-east provincial council as two separate unit.NORTH-EAST PROVINCIAL UNITY WAS GURANTEED UNDER THE 13 AMENDMENT OF THE CONSITITUTION BUT NO BODY IN THE PARLIAMENT OR THE GOVERNMENT AT TIME MADE AN APPEAL AND WANTED TO MAKE THE CONSITITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENT SAFE.Since of late the case against DIANA GHANJA GAMAGE THE COURT IS NOT INTERESTED TO QUESTION THE POLICE FOR NOT ARRESTING DIANA EVEN AFTER GIVING A RULING THAT SHE CAN BE ARRESTED EVEN WITHOUT A COURT WARRANT-SRILANAKA JUDICIARY IS NOT FIRM AND STANDING ON ONE LEG WITHOUT FIRM COMMITMENT.

  • 5
    1

    There is no doubt the Speaker especially, fears the independence of the judiciary even more than he fears terrorism. That is why I commented in these pages about three or four months ago that he should be sent in for Rehabilitation. It is still not too late now!

  • 5
    1

    In praise of Ranil and his friends …….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUFkAAFomkM

    • 5
      3

      Thank, nimal.
      .
      You can never be wrong when you actually listen to all these speeches and share them with others.
      .
      This is a long speech by AKD – yet you are sometimes critical of the NPP. That’s fine, Keep them on their toes.
      .
      What a contrast with LM.
      ..

  • 4
    1

    What Languages ought a human to know?
    .
    Ranil Wickremasinghe made a much publicised speech saying that Hindi and Chinese have to be taught to children. What did he really say?
    .

    Reference to Chinese and Hindi in the first and second paragraphs here:
    .
    https://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/SL-Children-will-have-to-learn-Hindi-and-Chinese-in-the-future/108-265443
    .
    A video, 14 minutes in Sinhala; Ranil Wickremasinghe’s speech commences about four and a half minutes into this video.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azkLPy_IPyI
    .
    There have so far been only two comments on the YouTube, both by me. This is the first.
    .
    “I listened to all this. Where is the much publicised reference to teaching Hindi and Chinese?”
    .
    The second comment was much longer, and will appear separately.
    .
    A much fuller description, in English, but the speech was clearly made in Sinhalese. So this is merely a good translation.
    .
    https://www.newswire.lk/2023/08/17/president-highlights-two-vital-languages-for-students-to-learn/
    .

    A skewed report from China – in English.
    .

    https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/p/02UF5DCO.html
    .
    .
    The school, as described on 05/03/2023
    .
    https://www.sundayobserver.lk/2023/03/05/news-features/anula-vidyalaya-nugegoda-home-ol-high-flyers
    .
    Wikipedia:
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anula_Vidyalaya
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)
    .

    • 2
      1

      This is the second comment:
      .
      @Panini_Edirisinhe
      .

      “Loading’ the child with so many languages is nonsense, of course. The current State policy is Sinhala/Tamil as First Language, plus English as a Second (call it International if you want to). Teaching Tamil or Sinhala as the Third Language is part of the present policy. Yes, very necessary for the Unity of the Country.

      .

      I’m a retired Language Teacher (English). Providing all opportunities to learn the three languages is fine, but NEVER insist that it be compulsory to pass in them. Perhaps, passing the first language at the O. Levels could be made compulsory for certain sorts of employment. But even those humans who have not passed in any language have a right to live. Teaching Chinese and Hindi to all school children will be absolute idiocy.
      .
      To be continued:

    • 2
      1

      Continuation:
      .
      Apart from State recognised schools there are various other schools. Almost all of them conduct classes in the English Medium. I don’t know about “legalities”. Such “Laws” are made by humans, and the word is prescriptive. There’s nothing sacred about them. Scientific Laws (e.g. Newton’s Laws of Motion) are Descriptive. They’re not sacred either. They cannot be changed by humans, but our understanding of them may get revised (refined)

      .
      Right now all State education is a mess.”
      .
      End of second comment.
      .
      I will probably make anotrher comment to explain what languages are spoken in my family. Dan Silva seems so concerned! What business of his is it?
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

      • 3
        0

        SM, are you standing on your head? I am not interested in your gossip. People who claim to be Sinhala_man but don’t comprehend what AKD is saying in public is a big lie to me…
        -..
        -. I am against anyone who spreads blatant lies. In the eyes of many in CT and beyond, I am afraid, you are one of them. Evidence is your own archive. You should think carefully before doing anything in this life.

        We will not bring anyone forward with your boastful stuff. We are here to discuss why our people are dumber than they look. Basta..
        Watch the video below to see what goes through the minds of the idiots at the meeting ?Either they must have come from Mulleryawa or some other psychiatric clinics, or are born idiots? May 09, 2022 was just a year ago…. can you imagine ?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDhU429hP2E

  • 2
    1

    PART ONE

    Something else that LM thinks that he can accuse me of is not helping those who need English desperately. I’ve been doing much more than necessary. Right now, I’m working with my 10 inch Acer laptop because things were going wrong with the other computers after a virus infected pen drive was put in by me. The computer shop guys have put them right, charging me only their cost. I guide these people, they disappear without a word of thanks, and then don’t answer on their mobiles and WhatsApps. I don’t think that you will understand any of that.
    .
    However this you ought to understand. I’ve given you all those links to Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda. I hope that old codger noted the strikingly beautiful Principal of the school. Vishakha Rajapaksa. She is from Bandarawela. She had studied in Bandarawela Central, where I taught for so long. I didn’t know her then, but then she was the Principal of Visshakha Vidyalaya, Bandarawela, which I had to visit in 2016 for Third Party Evaluation of World Bank assistance to Sri Lanka for “Bilingual Scheme” using “Content Language Integrated Learning” techniques.

    • 2
      2

      PART TWO
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_and_language_integrated_learning
      .
      There’s lots of literature on that subject, and I’m pretty sound on that sort of thing.
      .
      Anyway, she was sharp enough to realise my scholarship on these things, and wanting to add an LlB to her formidable list of qualifications she came to me for help with English, where it had been made mandatory for people like her to get a certain band or IELTS. That’s not a particularly difficult exam but unless you have a background of English it becomes heavy weather. I helped by giving all the material, but it looked as though she was just couldn’t find the time to focus on the work. She and her husband (recently married she was, and had no children at that time) visited me a few times. I still have her contact details, but let her be.
      .
      As for payment, I got very little from her, but this is what constantly happens. I tell you publicly, dear LM, that although you have now made a habit of saying nasty things to me, you don’t realise just how much I do for people.

    • 3
      2

      PART A
      .
      Mr Basil Fernando

      .
      There are many absolutely dedicated people who write articles to Colombo Telegraph, but it is not often that we, the readers who make comments, delve into the motivation of these writers. I decided to find out more about the writer of the present article.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Fernando
      .
      His articles are always serious, and well-written, but do we read them with the care that they deserve? You will see here a longer than usual Wikipedia entry, and he clearly deserves to have his more significant interventions recorded. From his writings it was always clear to me that he had a legal background, but I hadn’t realised the extent of his efforts in countering some of the worst evils seen in our part of the world, particularly in Cambodia.

      • 3
        3

        PART B
        .
        I had some vague idea of his literary output, but in this area, too, it hadn’t been known to me that his output has been of this quality, and that he has written so much in Sinhala. I’m sure that some of the regular commenters were quite aware of his stature, but on the other hand many, including me, haven’t read carefully enough.
        .
        https://web.archive.org/web/20101229010440/http://basilfernando.net/
        .
        Three days ago, with a larger monitor to help me, I had spent many hours marvelling at all that is to be seen there:
        .
        https://web.archive.org/web/20101229010440/http://basilfernando.net/
        All this has to be understood as we appreciate his consistent efforts to analyse the knotty problems that confront us at this time. Since one commenter had challenged me to listen to this clown, Rasika Jayakody,

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EkF0kg_YW0
        .
        I listened for the full half hour; I urge others also to do so, and contrast it with the seriousness of Basil Fernando’s writing.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

        • 4
          0

          SM,
          Why do you call Rasika a clown? Have you any evidence that the allegations are false? Except your blind faith in the JVP.?
          These allegations were made, not by Ranil or some Pohottuwa guy, but by Duminda Navagamuwa of the IUSF. This is one of the saintly guys you were praising not so long ago as “Aragalaya heroes”. Are you really so brainwashed?
          Please note that I personally have no opinion, but has the JVP countered effectively?

          • 3
            0

            OC,
            SM does nt know what RJ or others talking about. Anyone who would stand against JVP is a bad person for him. This much of naivity is really dangerous 😳

      • 4
        0

        This is a good comment – I added my likes.
        But I really don’t like adding your personal stuff to the comments. I respect BF and his articles. He may be in your age. However he has been doing a great job over the years. Hope others do the same.

    • 3
      0

      Dear Rational Thinkers, this is to SM who is our NPP promoter of CT@

      You will be forced to misinterpret what you see. It is normal for a person who has spent almost his entire life only in Sri Lanka. My aunt, who has never had a chance to move around, does not listen to me when I explain many things to her in this life. She argued with me and stayed moody towards me for a long time. Similarly, your situation is no different. That may be the nature of Alpha Genzers- beyond questioning how you can relate to X, Millenials and Z-Genzers ? Please listen to what Viveka Ramaswamy(a millenial) has got to say. That will help opening your disturbances for sure.
      .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pYvzgBplGA
      However, whatever you come to share with us, objectivity is often beside the point. Our people are obviously dumber than they appear.Nor would they listen and correct themselves.
      After watching a video based on a cricket match held in Nuwara Eliya lately in order to send th hoodwinking message that MR is still the leader again across the country, I was compelled to check the comments below the video. Most of them are still PRO-MARA and his mlechcha politics.

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