2 October, 2022

Blog

The Senseless Killing Of 19A By 21A!

By Austin Fernando

Austin Fernando

Proponents of constitutional economic reforms are struggling to prioritize solutions for the current socio-economic-politico imbroglio. Pohottuwa General Secretary Sagara Kariyawasam has said the economic crisis should be resolved first and then an environment created for constitutional amendments. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa banks on the Romesh de Silva Committee for the drafting of a new Constitution. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Tamil National Alliance, and Samagi Jana Balavegaya have prioritized enhanced wider constitutional reforms.

The government is allergic to very radical changes demanded by the ‘Gota Go Home’ protesters et al. Due to intense pressure, the 21st Amendment (21A) has been tabled to revive the 19th Amendment (19A). To my mind, it is a half-baked 19A Minus. It has diluted 19A, which, among other things, prevented the President from holding portfolios and limited the number of Cabinet ministers. The President has brought 42 institutions under the Ministry of Defense through the latest gazette, while admitting that he has made serious mistakes, probably disqualifying him from taking over so many responsibilities.

What the pro-democracy activists are demanding are far-reaching changes such as the President being stripped of immunity and powers to dissolve and prorogue parliament, the pardoning of convicted offenders, etc. It is well-nigh impossible for the 225 MPs to succeed in an impeachment motion to rid of any failed President, but the latter can dissolve the parliament and send home 225 parliamentarians, whether they are good or bad, at the stroke of a pen!

Further, new demands are in circulation, e. g., the creation of a National Policy-Making Council, strengthening public service through depoliticization, enhancing financial accountability (Article 148) through Committee on Public Enterprises, Committee on Public Accounts, Committee on Public Finance, etc. in the Parliament, the appointment of the Monetary Board and the Governor of the Central Bank with Constitutional Council approval, the appointment of the Ministry Secretaries, Provincial Governors, Ambassadors, et al on the advice of the PM in consultation with the Cabinet, etc.  21A does not incorporate any of these and still, government politicians and some civil society spokespersons consider 21A is the best!

Dual citizen decides two-thirds!

One controversial demand is barring dual citizens from holding public office.  A section of the Pohottuwa Group opposes this since MP Basil Rajapaksa will be affected. For instance, MP Sagara Kariyawasam, the General Secretary of Pohottuwa has said that the Constitution should not be designed to target specific individuals. He has overlooked the fact that 20A removed the bar on dual citizens for the benefit of a single individual, namely the same Basil Rajapaksa.

In a lighter vein, it is noted that many of those who are opposed to dual citizens holding public office have Prime Ministerial/ Presidential dreams and consider Basil Rajapaksa as a stumbling block to them. They fish in troubled waters!

Controversial proposals of this nature had to be withdrawn to ensure a two-thirds majority when the 19A was approved by Parliament. On the other hand, another way to enhance the powers of the President under 21A is by withdrawing certain powers that were chopped by the 19A. The media mentioned further strengthening the President’s hand by converting “advice” to “consult” in appointing Ministers, allowing the President to remove the PM, etc to which even the incumbent PM has agreed. What a pity of a PM to give in having fought tooth and nail for such good governance seven years back?

All these are to make the Pohottuwa parliamentarians psychologically comfortable and to motivate them to support 21A. What everyone does not consider important is that constitutions are not only made to suit persons in power. Constitutions are for the long-term. I think something similar might happen this time around as well, as in May 2015.

Thinukural reports that Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa has stated that the “provision on preventing dual citizenship holders from entering parliament is merely a proposal.” It may be a signal for bargaining to withdraw it at the Committee Stage for a two-thirds majority to be mustered. History may repeat itself, and Wijedasa Rajapaksa will be The Savior! He will surely have good reasoning for what happens.

Though I am no lawyer, to my intuition I find one roadblock to Basil Rajapaksa and company. It is in Article 78(3) which was introduced by the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government when 20A was introduced. It says as follows:

78(3) Any amendment proposed to a Bil lin Parliament shall not deviate from the merits and principles of that Bill.”

It will be the inviolable, sacrosanct right for the Opposition to harp on it if Wijedasa Rajapaksa or a Basil Rajapaksa supporters attempt to withdraw the “proposal” (as the former has stated in Thinukural) to be constitutionally crooked to obtain two-thirds at approval. It will be decided by the House or a Court of Law one day when the “merits” and “principles” of the Bil are challenged and decided. In the House, I do not expect merit and principles to reign. Anyway, Parliamentarians may use this provision to prevent anyone from bringing an amendment at the Committee Stage, if lacking merit and principles of good governance meant by 19A. Let us keep our fingers crossed to see the outcome!

If 21A does not receive a two-thirds majority, the President may be the happiest. Some civil society persons, without being critical of attempts to dilute the 19A, as it is by day, claim they accessed the country’s highest political leaders, and everyone has agreed with their proposals. But concurrently we hear dissenting voices from the latter, making us wonder who is telling the truth.

Economic and constitutional mess!

Many proponents of constitutional reforms steadfastly believe that the economic collapse was due to political mismanagement, exacerbated by 20A, which led to the concentration of too much power in the executive presidency. They insist on reinstating the 19A even with its weaknesses. Another reason is the conviction that 21A is a halfway measure aimed at strengthening the position of the President. In the meantime, some demand a total system change and think it should be done constitutionally in one go.

Several critics believe that no system change could happen unless the President resigns. At a workshop attended also by Aragalaya representatives, this view was emphasized more than anything else. When difficulties were mentioned, they cited the removal of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa as proof of the effectiveness of pressure brought to bear on the government and insisted the President, too, should be similarly dealt with.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) wants the Executive Presidency abolished early. The public, civil society, and the Aragalaya demand that the President leave office immediately. Those canvassing for the abolition of the presidency or/and resignation question why a failed President should be allowed to be in office. Nevertheless, it is difficult under the prevailing constitutional law. This made the Aragalaya demand that the President go home. Those who are supportive of the President claim that he was elected by 6.9 million people, though the reality must be troubling them.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe believes that the BASL is of the view that the 20A must be abolished and does not mention the President’s resignation. True. BASL proposals are extremely proactive, but they are not sacrosanct. Nor are the views of the Aragalaya or civil society views for that matter! The PM thinks that after the passage of the 21A, having restored the 19A, and strengthening the Parliament, the PM, all party leaders, and the President must decide a future course of action.  It appears that everything has been positive and the PM believes that the President would leave office when party leaders wish him to depart. Nonsensical and wishful thinking!

But the Minister of Justice does not want to restore 19A through 21A. Hence, how 21A strengthens the Parliament is an issue. For example, imagine a situation where the parliament is prorogued to save roguish sugar importing businesspeople or “bond rogues” or to spite another politician. It is only wishful thinking that 21A, which provides for the President to do so, will strengthen the parliament. At a time when the President’s powers to pardon convicts have been challenged before the Supreme Court, moves to retain such power sans checks and balances suggested by the BASL, are absurd.

Combined Economics and Governance approaches

The success of efforts being made to achieve economic revival with international assistance hinges on not only economic reforms but also the implementation of political reforms. Hence the need for an approach, which supports the combination of both, as evident in the call for “a strong and conducive environment for resolving the balance of payments crisis would be to direct the country to a program of structural reforms.” They must go hand in hand, and not otherwise.

For instance, the IMF Staff Statement speaks of restoring fiscal sustainability, protecting the vulnerable and ensuring credibility of the monetary policy and exchange rate regimes; preserving financial sector stability; and states structural reforms to enhance growth and strengthen governance. Hence it can be seen that economic and political governance is on the IMF agenda.

IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva has stated that what we undergo now is “a result of mismanagement,” and the most important thing to do is to put the island nation back on a sound macroeconomic footing. We know who bungled the macroeconomic footing and who admitted ‘mistakes’ and hence was responsible for mismanagement. The 21A tries to enable those responsible for the current mess to exercise the same powers to mismanage the economy!

The World Bank has said that it works with the IMF and other development partners in advising Sri Lanka on appropriate policies to restore economic stability until an adequate macroeconomic policy framework is in place and does not plan to offer new financing to Sri Lanka. The macroeconomic policy framework will invariably include political governance reforms too.

 US Ambassador Julie Chung, at a meeting with the Speaker, has emphasized the need to carry out political reforms desired by the people and to safeguard democracy in the country. The Ambassador has said she hopes the government, including the new PM, will be able to bring about political stability and overcome the current economic crisis.

Samantha Power Administrator of USAID pledged her support to Sri Lankans and committed that USAID would help the country weather the crisis and concurrently stressed the need to urgently undertake political and economic reforms. Samantha Power’s power when she works closely with other donors such as the IMF, the World Bank, G7, and others to support Sri Lanka is assured, but her aforesaid concerns will influence her thinking.

Indian PM Narendra Modi has stated that India will continue to stand with Sri Lankans and support democracy, stability, and economic recovery in Sri Lanka. He also combined political stability with economic revival.

All foreign dignitaries have stressed the need for political stability, but SLPP General Secretary Kariyawasam is convinced otherwise.  Understandably, this is to defend his political boss. He contradicts even the President who has prioritized political reforms.  Against this backdrop, the onus is on PM Wickremesinghe to prove that he is in control of the situation.

The Way forward

The problems faced by the government in respect of 21A are very complex. There are conflicting demands even within the government group. Civil society does not speak with one voice. The President’s wishes are reflected in 21A, for he has confessed that it was proposed with his consent. No President will voluntarily give up powers in 20A. Discussing political power I am reminded of a quote in ‘The Power of Politicians.’

“The need to seek and retain power never goes away, and our political leaders are vulnerable to corruption just by virtue of that. … For a democratically elected politician, walking alongside every policy development, every wish for wisdom, is the thought of what its effect will be on gaining or retaining in power.”

This applies to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa, et al without exception. They will do everything to gain and retain power. Hence, with many manipulations, Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa may be able to secure a two-thirds majority for 21A, after compromising the provisions such as those that prevent dual citizens from holding political office, unless the President and the PM defeat moves being made by Basil.

Reviewing 21A by Minister Rajapaksa and the PM before ratification could prevent mass resistance. Those in civil society and Aragalaya also should consider these practicalities of implementation without saying “To hell with the Constitution.” Aragalaya also needs to gain and retain the power to bring about changes democratically and hence the above-mentioned quote applies to it as well.

All politicians can learn a lesson from what Elaine Glaser says in Anti-Politics: “… politics is about a generality of jurisdiction, a social desire to collectively organize how things work- to have a single, agreed way of doing things.” At present we are not destined for such politics but manipulative crookedness. Let this statement be heard by all political groups.

Civil society also should mind the criticism against them as carry-overs of what Hirunika Premachandra started at Mirihana. It must be aware that it should not allow the politicians to take it for a ride with promises to reduce presidential powers later, to secure a two-thirds majority for the 21A. It will not happen as many in politics whether in the government or the Opposition aspire to use these draconian powers and will fall back at the crucial juncture because as quoted above, they need to ‘gain’ and ‘retain’ power.

To PM Wickremesinghe one may say, “Sir, this is the last opportunity for you to make good governance a reality, and do not allow it to be whisked away by manipulations. If you do not achieve it now, you will be called a failure who sinned against democratic good governance values, for which you are beholden even in the international arena.”

Let us wait to see whether the PM heard us!

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Latest comments

  • 13
    8

    Mr Austin Fernando,
    .
    You have said, “Though I am no lawyer, to my intuition I find one roadblock to Basil Rajapaksa and company. It is in Article 78(3)”.
    .
    What I find commendable in this is your seriousness of purpose, coupled with modesty. This is so lacking in the majority of commenters, who are relatively young, and live abroad.
    .
    nimal fernando is the wittiest of them, and I think the most intelligent. When the comments do come on, I’m sure that you will see something entertaining from him. Since he has decided to bully this GambadaIngirisiIskoleMahattaya, (not that it bothers me!), I think that I shall take him on, here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/aragalaya-peoples-response-to-rajapaksa-made-crisis/
    .
    The irresponsibility of these fellows is such, that they refuse to do the little that they can.

    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

    • 9
      0

      I dont think the devil is darker than appeared to be.
      .
      The differences between 19 A and proposed 21A are as given below.
      .
      The two draft amendments have some similarities but also major differences. Following are some highlights:

      The SJB’s constitutional amendment
      They seek to abolish the executive presidency and revert to a parliamentary system. There will still be a President but the office of the president will perform a ceremonial role after he or she is elected by Parliament. The President will continue to be the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
      **
      The person elected as President cannot hold office in or be a member of any political party so long as he holds office.
      **
      The President too can be removed by a No-Confidence Motion passed with a simple Parliamentary majority.
      **

      • 7
        2

        “Since he has decided to bully”

        SM,

        Off to tour the Balkans …… the first outing since the pandemic …… some places too close to the war ……. I’m chicken to go but my wife and the kids have a penchant for danger …..

        If you don’t see me again ……. you can thank the Russians and the Ukrainians for your good fortune …………

        Unless, Native starts where I left off ……… :))

        • 5
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          nimal fernando

          “If you don’t see me again ……. you can thank the Russians and the Ukrainians for your good fortune …………”

          Are you going to replace Udayanga Weeratunga and follow in his foot step?
          Hope you are aware of MIG deals which in the past/present known to be a sticky mess. Beware you might end up as the fall guy.

          Even SJ may not be able to save you with all his Mao loyalty.

        • 0
          7

          This fellow “nimal fernando” is a genius. His wit wafts him away from concerns.
          .
          I tell people that I happened travel First Class on a free pensioner’s pass, and Jit says I’m saying it to impress him, but here’s nimal nonchalantly announcing a holiday in the exciting Balkans at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, and nobody but me to rebuke him for crass unconcern for other citizens who are gasping for life.
          .
          Go, if you think it worthwhile, but I’ve told you about the issues that you wilfully ignore. When I relate how his barrister-cousin can strike a blow for justice, he gets very British about it. “Not discussed in the family.”
          .
          Much of it is here, with links to other places. So he impresses all with his “connections”, and I’m regarded as a guy who is crazy for telling down to earth truths which are out of place. Of course he makes useful points, but what value are those, when he scarcely shows concern for us here, and lives it up in Sarajevo? Please regard what is said here:

          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/epitaph-on-a-tyrant/comment-page-1/#comments
          .
          Do the little that you can.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

      • 13
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        LM
        .
        I think they should include, the exclusion of religious men getting involved in politics, particularly the Yellow pets, others don’t indulge in this way anyway.
        .
        Another thing I can tell you without any doubt is that you can continue to make all constitutional changes on paper till the kingdom come, the status quo will remain until the average citizen genuinely changes his/her mindset towards each other.
        .
        Our problem is our cussed mindset. We all behave the same way and all of us seem to carry some unseen baggage in our hearts and minds. Always compulsively trying to prove to the next person that I am better than you. In the process, we forget the bigger picture. We are all human and we desire the same things in life. We all need to succeed.
        .
        This cussed nature in us has been successfully exploited by a set of devils we call politicians. So until such time we get realistic and turn a new page, no constitutional change can do anything serious.
        .
        The mindset change is happening right now, but it is too soon to tell if it is genuine or a result of having to tighten our belts.

        • 13
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          continued

          I blame the yellow pets largely for the failure in our society. They mislead the people into worshiping trees and statues etc. instead of teaching the absolute dharma. We give them too much regard and keep feeding them for free, in return, they relax all day and do not put any effort into improving themselves or orientating the society. Buddha Dharma has been made a mockery of by these time wasters.
          .
          Just as the politicians are guilty of our plight, Yellow pets too are equally guilty. Now they sit around and cry blue murder, if they had acted through the Dharma, do you think the Rajapaksa’s would be in charge. They supported the Rajapaksas for all the wrong reasons. Where did Mara go for solace? Yellow pets implored the people to vote them back. Now everyone has to eat humble pie.

        • 6
          1

          nimal fernando

          “If you don’t see me again ……. you can thank the Russians and the Ukrainians for your good fortune …………”

          Are you going to replace Udayanga Weeratunga and follow in his foot step?
          Hope you are aware of MIG deals which in the past/present known to be a sticky mess. Beware you might end up as the fall guy.

          Even SJ may not be able to save you with all his Mao loyalty.

        • 5
          0

          You are spot on.
          .
          Yellow pets are the virus that hurt the people more than what COVID 19 did. .
          .
          In today’s context/ all those star monks that were seen like decorations of Rajapakshe parades should be living like Kotowe Hamudurueo.
          .
          Mara forces misled entire society for his greed.
          .
          People are shameless/ so all I can say good riddance only😶🐃😎🐃😎☹😎☹🐕

    • 2
      7

      Sinhala_Man who thinks he knows it all was explaining elsewhere from where the word Robot came from. It is the acronym for Radio Operated Bi-Onic Terminal.

      • 6
        13

        Dear Mr Nawalage Charles Upasena Cooray (NIC 372143037V), alias hanchopancha
        .
        Ever since I told you that I’m not a lawyer and cannot understand all your problems related to the ownership you claim to a property, 367, Nawala Road, Nawala, you’ve been harassing me. Then you asked Nagananda Kodituwakku, Harini Amarasuriya, and I wouldn’t know how many others, exploiting always serious comments on CT by us.
        .
        I congratulate you on your excellent English which enables you to sneak in comments of the sort above, and also on digging up some esoteric acronym.
        .
        I had commented on the etymology of “robot”:
        .
        This is just one of many blogs:
        .
        https://interestingliterature.com/2016/03/the-curious-origin-of-the-word-robot/
        .
        My comment there related to how, even today, in the Sinhalese pronunciation of the word the final “t” gets dropped in line with what happens with many words of French origin.
        .
        Readers of articles like the above, by Mr Austin Fernando, have more serious concerns than the non sequiturs that you keep coming up with. I hope that Colombo Telegraph will understand that I’m trying to stop meaningless and malicious trolling.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

        .

        • 4
          7

          Part 1
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V has provoked me to put him down to where he really belongs. He has demeaned this parochial intellectual forum by taking advantage to boost his deflated ego. I was having a conversation with Fahim Knight when he barged in keeping with his nosy character. He expressed his keenness to help and wanted to know more about it and it was he who suggested the name of Mr. Kodituwakku saying he knows him one, who could help. I asked him to put me in touch with Mr. Kodituwakku. I assumed the man is sincere, benevolent and public spirited. As it is between with two gentlemen I copied him a letter I sent to another party after obtaining his email address. In his little mind he got all of it in reverse.

          • 3
            7

            Part 2
            That is how he got my personal details as I thought of him to be a respectable and an educated man who knows to respect and protect the privacy of the person. Obviously he does not seem to know where decency ends and savagery begins or visa versa. There are two distinct violations of Articles in the Constitution. Since it affected all citizens and Harini Amarasuriya being an NMP hoping that in the interest of the general public that she would seek a clarification from the Minister of Justice but she turned out to be a damp squib like the rest of NPP. His harangue demonstrates emptier the vessel bigger is the noise

            • 3
              2

              Continuing:
              .
              These were lengthy letters, but does anybody want more quotes? I will, if anybody wants me to, and I could send the whole lot to Colombo Telegraph. However, I don’t think that we should get bogged down in this. “hanchopancha” has my email address and phone numbers; if he wants to tell me things of this sort, why doesn’t he contact me direct? A bit unlikely that I will respond. Why?
              .
              There were something like eight emails in five days. He wanted me to introduce him to Nagananda Kodituwakku. On the 31st December I told him that I had met Nagananda only for three minutes. I also took exception to this phrase of his: “sodomizing the blindfolded Lady Justice”.
              .
              His response on January 1st 2020: “It sure sounds Nagananda does not suffer fools. 3 minutes must have been too much for him.”
              .
              His problems seemed to centre upon the fact that the State’s Examiner of Questioned Documents had declined to give an opinion on the legitimacy of a document where only a photocopy was produced. Unsurprising! I said so in more polite words.
              .
              Now isn’t this enough?
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

          • 3
            2

            Most disappointed with these ridiculous digressions must be Mr Austin Fernando who wanted a serious discussion. I hope that CT will note that all this has been started by hanchopancha, and there are falsehoods from him which I shall counter with his own words.
            .
            That Fahim Knight contacted me first is correct. That was after he was worried about an attack on Freemasons; he claimed to be one.
            .
            Thereafter, Fahim wanted me to contact this “Charles” and this is how my brief first letter to Charles, with copy to Fahim, on 28 Dec 2019, opened:
            .
            “Presumably, you are the person who writes under the name of Charles. It is so late that I’d better just make sure that you have all my contact details”
            .
            This was the opening of his first email to me, on the same day:
            .
            “Dear Mr. Edirisinghe,
            .
            I have been consistently following your comments in the Colombo
            Telegraph and always wished if I could make contact with you.”
            .
            So what he says above, about my being a “nosy character who expressed keenness to help” is wrong.

            • 0
              1

              Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V). Please pay heed to intelligent comments made by MF and JIT.

        • 14
          4

          S_Man!
          How DARE you reveal the id of someone who uses a pseudonym!
          I must say, I’m pretty shocked that CT didnt subject at least THAT part of your post to the regular treatment EE gets.
          However much Hanchopancha may have been bothering you had no business to trumpet his name & ID details to the world.

          • 4
            1

            Dear MF. Your forthright comment is highly appreciated. It is paramount that people take privacy of an individual seriously and respect it. He barged into our conversation and I never bothered him. He said there obviously is something wrong done and wished to know more details for him to be of assistance and I truly appreciated it. He loves to think that the whole world is his classroom of village kids. This type mentality defaces this forum making it hideous. It seems he bears a permanent chip on his shoulder.

            • 1
              3

              MF. I have a hunch that you might like to get to know the bones of this case which has the potential to go into annals of legal history.

          • 0
            0

            Manel
            Thank you for that little lesson in ethics.

        • 14
          3

          Panini, why do you call yourself Sinhala Man??
          Change it to Don Vito Corleone!!!!
          You are no better than a blackmailing mafia guy!!
          You are an utter disgrace to your Alma mater!!!

          I never thought you could go down to that low level….!!!!!

          P.S: Not sure whether you have the backbone of the weakest mafia leader tho!!!

          • 3
            1

            Jit. Thank you very much. You hit the nail right on its head.

    • 6
      10

      I submitted my initial comment as the article came on – with a host of other articles. I have now studied this more carefully, and I confirm what I felt then. It is very sound.
      .
      Looking at details; yes, it would be best to first “solve” the economic problems before starting on political changes, except that given the scale of the task it is IMPOSSIBLE.
      .
      What do I do? I’m a retired man. I fully endorse the aims of the peaceful protesters. I live in Bandarawela (any Lankan who doesn’t know where this is?), and I suffer like everybody else. We have to live through this, survive if possible. I will do nothing to sabotage the efforts to keep some civilised way of life going. Will my adoption of such an attitude make it more difficult to get short-term relief? Yes, but that is not my aim; those who have now jumped on the bandwagon are those to blame.
      .
      In the longer term won’t the World help us? No. There are others whose circumstances are more pitiable. This is a problem of our own making, and it is our collective responsibility to get out of this. If I were to take this stand whilst living comfortably
      outside the country, I would be to blame.
      .
      I have revealed too much of my identity, location and circumstances. I’m not finding fault with those who do otherwise, but this is the way I do things, consistently.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

  • 6
    0

    “In a lighter vein, it is noted that many of those who are opposed to dual citizens holding public office have Prime Ministerial/ Presidential dreams and consider Basil Rajapaksa as a stumbling block to them. They fish in troubled waters!”

    does this author have something called commonsense.Education is not only paper qualifications but wisdom and culture.Educated person-refers to someone with knowledge+culure+ wisdom. Austin has the first two but alas lacks the last one.So he is not a fully educated person.I have the first and last but not the one in the middle.So i am also in the smae boat as austin,not a fully educated person.If you have only one you are a semi educated person.

    If austin has a ny wisdom he should learn what happenned to us by employing a dual citizen arjuna mahendran.WE can’t get hold of him in singapore to question him and arrest the other rascals who robbed the central bank of sri lanka.To make a mistake is human. Repeating the same mistake -a person who lacks wisdom.

    • 8
      2

      “If austin has any wisdom he should learn what happenned to us by employing a dual citizen arjuna mahendran.”
      Shankar,
      I don’t think we can generalise a one or two bad examples to justify the call to make a fundamental change in the constitution regarding about dual citizenship. It is the weakness of the law and implementation of the law that made not only dual citizen Arjuna Mahendran but also Sri Lankan citizens like Mahinda Rajapaksa or Gotabaya Rajapaksa who are not brought to justice for their corruption or any other crimes.
      Who are the dual citizen?.
      They were citizens of this land. Their contribution to the country and economy cannot be under estimated. Many of them have to leave this country because of the failure of the governments mismanagement politics and economy. What is important is unbiased rule of law, security and justice system. If there was unbiased, accountable mechanisms were there in practice how can Arjuna Mahendran can still escape the arrest or Gotabaya can become President? How can a person considered as a Terrorist who shipped number of illegal weapons and ammunitions was arrersted in Malaysia by Malaysian Police and brought to our country by our country and allowed to live freely without any investigation at all?
      The country need proper system, not to favour one with other.

      • 2
        0

        dear ajith

        ” If there was unbiased, accountable mechanisms were there in practice how can Arjuna Mahendran can still escape the arrest “

        the previous attoney general livera who is a good fellow unlike the present one who is gota stooge,sent thousands of pages to the singapore government because first they said we have to justify why we want him,but after thousands of pages were given and the charges so serius that our own central bank got robbed by white collar criminals,the singapore govt just ignored dappul de livera.So you can see why we should never employ dual citizens to be in our parliament or any other govt institution because we are commpletely powerless as we a small country to exert any pressue even on a small country like singapore,let alone the US.

  • 10
    1

    “Let us wait to see whether the PM heard us!”
    Our PM is a head of a political party and a politician and a lawyer and not an elected member in the parliament. He was brought by Rajapaksa family to the current PM post and so far he has not brought all political parties or civil societies or explained the people what the people wants and what is good for the country.
    For example, many constitutional amendments within the past two/three decades are brought in order to make some advanatages to one family that is Rajapaksa family. 18th amendment to bring back Mahinda Rajapaksa again and again, 19th amendment to stop Mahinda or Namal coming to power and 20th amendment is to more power to family and to bring basil to parliament. It is now clear that Rajapaksa family brought not only created a constitutional complexity but also real damage to the country. Therefore, it is impossible to make changes under the same parliament or PM who also part of the problem.

    • 1
      2

      ajith
      “Let us wait to see whether the PM heard us!”

      ajith if you are a man you have to whisper into his asshole not earhole.If you are a woman you have to contact his wife who will whisper into his earhole when in bed.

      • 0
        0

        S
        This is plain ugly.

  • 8
    0

    The General Secretary of the Pohottuwa says that the Constitution should not be designed to target specific individuals.
    The converse of this is also true; Constitutions should not be designed to take on board specific individuals!

    • 3
      0

      More than that, Yes, this 21A is only an exercise to fool the masses and buy time as “….they (MPs) need to ‘gain’ and ‘retain’ power…..”
      There is no input from the public or the country at large and civil society in this and it is only “for the politicos” and not “for the country or the people”.

  • 4
    0

    The Senseless Killing Of 19A By 21A!

    Wasting time, appointments and reassignment taking place on the same day .
    People are on the road and dying for food, One cannot think well, love well, sleep I do anything well, if one has not dined well

  • 7
    0

    It is not the stupid constitution, Stupid. We need urgently food on our plates.

  • 2
    1

    “The 21A tries to enable those responsible for the current mess to exercise the same powers to mismanage the economy!”
    The above is the truth. We [those who really care for the motherland] ARE NOT at all pleased with what is going in the Parliament with Ranil.W as PM. We want both PM & NGR to go as soon as a new constitution is passed in public referendum as the current lot of parliamentarians are self serving criminals mostly.
    We need a new General election as soon as possible

  • 5
    7

    “…but SLPP General Secretary Kariyawasam …. to defend his political boss …. contradicts even the President who has prioritized political reforms.”
    Does the President truly desire reforms?
    *
    Given the state of disarray in parliament, we may see little change, however the voting may go.
    Those in parliament do not represent the people.
    The Aragalaya needs to get democratically and militantly politicized as a mass movement that rejects the existing parliamentary system as a whole..

    • 9
      1

      “The Aragalaya needs to get democratically and militantly politicized as a mass movement that rejects the existing parliamentary system as a whole..”

      “militantly politicized”

      Good let the young innocent unarmed get hammered by the war criminals under the leadership of the crooks, and destroy budding democracy.

      Old Maoist have failed miserably in the past with their stupid ideology.
      Let the young learn, fail, reinvent, …. democracy.
      Old especially the old men should just sit back and watch and learn, where they went wrong.

      Hope young nimal fernando joins the protesters sooner than later.

      • 10
        1

        Native, that is exactly what our old comrades wish. The younger generation to” fight their war”, so that chair warming comrades could continue with their anti imperialism, anti US, anti West rambling. People who questioned the purpose of Aragalaya and called aimless are now giving advise.

        • 0
          0

          No help with comprehension?
          Too bad.

          • 3
            0

            Basil says “you are not alone, he too does not have balls” ( says Daily Mirror 9/6/22, watch video, you sure can relate to his plight).

            • 0
              0

              Good one.
              Who was Basil addressing? Someone of the opposite sex? Cannot be you.

        • 6
          1

          chiv

          The old chattering classes and arm chair generals too want change though they still want to retain their influence over politicians, entitlements and privileges.

          • 3
            0

            Native, today’s DM carries article on victims of MR violence, fighting for justice. Apparently two are disabled with head and spinal cord injury. Few others are still receiving treatment for severe trauma. Following MR , Basil resigned today promising not to enter politics again. What our voters, politicians, comrades and politicians couldn’t, was achieved by Aragalaya in a month or two. Lets appreciate their sacrifices, instead of giving advises.

  • 5
    1

    It is the STUPID constitution that NGR as the supreme is the PRIME cause of LACK of foreign currency and grossly reduced local food + tea production. We need a constitution that is made by real experts that satisfies the minorities as well. A constitution that does not allow criminals to escape.
    I am not sure whether our JUDGES are still fearful of Rajapaksas. Already killings have become rampant.
    Fear is being instilled.
    We need to revitalise the “ARAGALAYA” movement. Rajapaksas + their stooges are getting back having an upper hand.

  • 6
    0

    What an “Irony”? The man who voted for “20A” had become the “Architect” of the “21A”. These are the types of “BAHUBOOTHAYAS” who are voted to represent the people in Parliament. So the question before the people is: Are we to continue with these “BAHUBOOTHAYAS” and allow them to ruin this country by hoodwinking the masses?

    • 4
      1

      Simon.
      .
      Garbage dumps in Wnathamulla = srilanken politics.
      .
      Srilankens regardless of any race and religious barriers/ they would remain as they are .
      .
      Colonial masters studied that long ago that our people would never succeed in ruling.
      .
      The people themselves and media mafia should be blame for the mess..politicians are their representatives.
      .
      Dealfasa was stoned by various MPs 3 years ago having noticed his secret missions saved Gotavaya and Rajapakshes not being charged by law. .
      As if people are fully new/ the very same person is handpicked today to be minister of justice.
      .
      Dealdad was highly instrumental protecting that BP Senadhipathi / any powerful right respecting govt would have hung all these men long ago/ the other Mahaut is Sorysena/ the is main reason why Rajapakshes returned to power// may Aragalaya youth be blessed for rebuilding this stupid nation 😎🐃😎🐃😶🐃😶

  • 1
    2

    We think that the current lot of parliamentarians behave as DONKEYS. But these crooked politicians are treating the PUBLIC as modyas. With the appointment of Ranil.W all the crooked ones have become invigorated & acting as if they are working to solve ALL the VARIOUS SHORTAGES. The ARAGALAYA’S
    REQUEST for a SYSTEM change is becoming a dream & hopes are being dashed like it happen in 2015 when the guilty ones were let lose.

  • 1
    0

    AF, You say government is allergic to protestors of aragalaya. The command to set a king by inspired Moses in Deut.17,15 is to select one from own people and not a foreigner, and one who does not multiply horses (wars) or does not multiply wives.(family wars), Deut,31,24 in order to walk in the ways of the creator. When the breath leaves the body, there could be many who will go into a fearful state of shock.

    • 3
      1

      Aragalya Is very successful so far.🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 If anyone sees that it is not successful, he or she should have something wrong in the eye.

      most abusive man of the nation Mahinda Rajapaksa was😉😉😉😉 forced to resign

      🤭🤭🤭🤭🤭most abusive minister of finance along with his backpacker Cabral were forced to step down and become known as King of looters in this country

      last but not least

      almost every corner of the country people started talking why the youth protest as no time seen this culture.in the past.
      people Are today awaken, we salute Hirunika again to have risked her life😉😉😉😉
      She was fearless 👍👍👍👍👍like a honey badger
      Sajith was pushy footing. India hibernation mode
      .
      We are with Aragalaya forever 😀😀😀😀

  • 2
    0

    Why do people keep referring to Mahendran as a dual citizen?
    I thought he was not even that!
    And that Singapore doesnt allow dual nationality.
    So he threw in his lot totally with Singapore.
    Not like this idiot —
    who relinquished her Brit cit in 1975 when she needed a job here & Ceylon didnt allow dual cit. at the time.
    And that’s all I am to this day.
    I think I even had to pay something to surrender my passport.

    And it hasnt exactly been peace on earth
    or goodwill towards men
    all these years.

    Quite the contrary.
    Anyone with a head on their shoulders would have given up the fight long ago.

    After all these years, I’m still asked by strangers (trishaw drivers, for instance):
    “Where do you come from?’
    Or told:
    “You dont belong here.”
    That’s really painful.

    • 0
      1

      “So he threw in his lot totally with Singapore.”
      It was not Singapore bust just himself.
      Singapore has no legal mechanism to extradite him to SL, and that is it.

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