1 October, 2020

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Thoughts On Resolution To Form A Constitutional Assembly

By M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran

Thank you, Presiding Member, for the opportunity to speak on this historic occasion. I say historic, because we have a Resolution before the House that has been signed by the Honorable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Hon. Nimal Sripala De Silva on behalf of the SLFP, the Hon. Lakshman Kiriella the Leader of the House, the Hon. Rauff Hakeem the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Hon. D.M Swaminathan, Hon. Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, setting out the purposes for which this country has to enact a new Constitution and thereafter, listing out modalities by which this drafting procedure is to take place.

So far as I can gather from the debate today, I don’t think there is anyone in the House who says that the country does not need a new Constitution. Although outside this House there have been pronouncements made that all we require is amendments, I don’t hear anyone seriously challenging the proposition that the country does need a new Constitution.

We had the First Republican Constitution in 1972 and Second Republican Constitution under which we function now, adopted in 1978. Although these two are called ‘Republican’ Constitutions, already speakers on both sides of the House have stated clearly how these two Constitutions were made. The Governments of that day – the United Front Government in the early 1970s and thereafter the UNP Government that came in 1977 – both had the requisite two thirds in Parliament and therefore what they enacted as a Constitution for the whole country merely mirrored their own versions of what for that time they thought was good – not for the country – but what they thought was expedient.

Most importantly, in both those procedures the Tamil speaking people of this country – particularly the Tamils – were left out. If there is a recognition that there live in this country different peoples that belong to different linguistic, cultural, and ethnic groupings, those who have different religions, and together, that there is a mix of rich diversity that must enhance the character of this country – then certainly the First and the Second Republican Constitutions must be done away with and we must start from the declared status that all are equal in this country; that each group, each people, have a stake in this country, and not just as individuals’ equality. Even as communities, as Peoples, they are equal to each other.

That fundamental premise is a sine qua non for this island to continue as one strong country. It was the non recognition of that fundamental character of this country that resulted in a large amount of misery; three decades of actual fighting and a conflict that has raged since independence even to this day. The Constitution cannot grant pre eminence to one or the other group of people. I am glad His Excellency the President while speaking after the Resolution was moved, very clearly said that. The Leader of United National Party moved this Resolution on which His Excellency, as the Leader of the SLFP as well, very clearly enunciated this thought process last Saturday.

So we have seen a paradigm shift in thinking, in the presentation of this Resolution which has been affirmed by the leaders of the two main parties in this country. This is significant because the history of our country, particularly that of Constitution making and also of various efforts at reconciliation, is marred by one party or the other opposing the initiatives taken by the party that is in office at that time. This is the first time we have the leaders of the two parties clearly enunciating to the country that this must be done and setting out the premise on which we must build a new Constitution.

I heard the Chief Opposition Whip, my friend, Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who stated that the problems faced by the Tamil People is not that of the Constitution, but day to day affairs, economic difficulties, lack of job opportunities and the like. Our people face all of that and more, particularly after the cruel war that they had to face for such a long time. Recovery from that has been very, very difficult. For lack of political will, for various other reasons, our people face an enormous amount of day to day problems. But that is not the fundamental issue faced by our people, and I am sad that a party like the Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna which expounds such progressive thoughts and ideas on other fronts, is not able to see this.

They are not able to see it also because of the language divide – as I stated while he was speaking, when he accused that the Tamil National Alliance of not being close to our people; not getting involved in the day to day difficulties and the problems that they face. The reason is that the Sinhala papers don’t publish any of those stories. What happens there stays there, and in Tamil media. What happens here stays here and is limited to the Sinhala media. The converse is also true. If today, you go to a Tamil speaking area and talk to them about some of the developments in the South – particularly with a small group of people trying to whip up racial tensions in this country – they are totally unaware. That is not depicted there. And so we journey along – whether the Constitution says separation is illegal or no – in fact, on the ground, as two separate worlds, not meeting in any way.

Now if are to forge head as one country we must realize this. We must realize this and accommodate all the different communities and all the different peoples of this country by granting them equal status, never mind what their numbers are. The type of Constitution that we were given – the Ceylon Independence Act in 1947 – gave us a system of simple majority rule, and that is what gave rise to majoritariarism. What some people don’t realize today is that what they call a “unitary” state is actually a majoritarian state. Because if you implement one important aspect of democracy – which is majority rule – in a heterogeneous country like ours where there is a permanent majority and permanent minorities, all the time it is the will of the majority that prevails. That is why it was possible in 1949 to deprive a section of our people of their citizenship itself – their absolute fundamental right to be citizen of this country. People who had voted in the first election – who were able to elect seven representatives to Parliament – were deprived of their franchise because they did not have the majority numbers.

And that was repeated in 1956, when the Official Languages Act was passed because of the fact that one People have an overwhelming majority in the country in matters that affect them and the permanent minority Peoples – and I am using the word ‘minority’ only in terms of numbers – it is always the will of the majority that prevails. That is why it is important that the system of government is changed so that it will not be possible for one community to override the others merely because of the strength of their numbers in this country. There must be some fundamental safeguards. When such an adjustment is made – so that even those who are smaller in numbers are able to exercise governmental power, at least in the areas in which they live substantially, in numbers – then there can be a balance that is struck. Then it is possible for all these Peoples to live together as one country because they share power in an equitable way; not leaving to one Centre that decides what happens to the others; and they have no say whatsoever because they are a minority in numbers. Now this is a fundamental thing. The world over, there have been different ways in countries in which different peoples are able to share power and live together. Then there are other fundamental issues like human rights which will have to apply to all equally.

So institutions of government must be worked, so that people of all the different people’s groups have a stake in it, have participation in it. It is the exclusion of Tamil students from tertiary educational institutions in the 1970’s, coupled with the First Republican Constitution that effectively alienated the Tamil people from the institution of the state, that resulted in a call for a separate state. And justifiably so. Justifiably so, because if you can’t live together, if you can’t accommodate, if you don’t have the will to share power with everyone irrespective of their numbers, then you must let them live by themselves. You can’t hold on to them and insist that your writ must run in their lives too. That was sought to be changed. This fundamental flaw was addressed in the Indo-Lanka Accord. I heard the Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake say that all the agreements have had foreign pressures. I’d like to ask him the question: what foreign pressure was there for the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact? What foreign pressure was there for the Dudley-Chelvanayagam Pact? There was no foreign pressure. But two Prime Ministers of this country – great leaders of this country – made pacts with the Leader of the Tamil People, and failed to keep those promises; failed to honour that pact. And when they failed to do that the Tamil People could do nothing, because we were small in numbers. That is when we appealed to the outside world. We had to. If you don’t do the right thing by is, you can’t expect us to fold our hands and collapse. We will not do that. This is when our youth took up arms. You can’t expect to do this – sign pacts, tear them up, and then expect us to be meek, mild and obedient. No. That will not happen, and that did not happen. But now, we have come a long way from that.

From the speech that His Excellency delivered on Saturday, and the objectives that are enunciated in this Resolution, it is clear that there is a realization now – at least now – the realization that we must change the rules by which we engage; the rules by which we live. That social contract under which the country attained independence in 1947, where there were safeguards put in that even the Parliament could not pass laws that took away rights of certain people or conferred on others, rights that were not conferred on everybody – that was done away with through a procedure in 1970-1972, which proclaimed that it was an autochthonous Constitution, where the word “autochthonous” only meant that the people who were the majority in numbers of this country had their way, and not the others. In 1978 they followed the procedure that was laid down in the First Republican Constitution – had a Parliamentary Select Committee. And – as Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena read out portions from the Hansard – the TULF stayed away – had to stay away – with a five sixths majority that Government steamrolled (them) and enacted a Constitution. That should not happen. That should not happen. Today we are at a stage when history is to be made. The bitter experiences of the past must not be missed. We must learn from that. That is why the leaders of the two main parties put this Resolution forward. That is why we are supportive of this procedure.

Now, there is so much talk about this procedure. I was glad that the Hon. Douglas Devananda said that the discussion in this House to akin to splitting hairs. Everybody wants the new Constitution to be made in terms of what is laid down in the present Constitution; that the present Constitution should not be violated. I don’t see anything in the Resolution that has been placed before the House violating the present Constitution. If you care to read Article 74 of the present Constitution it very specifically gives the power to Parliament either by Standing Orders or by Resolution to deal with matters the Parliament is authorized to deal with. And in Article 75, making of a new Constitution is one of the matters that Parliament has been authorized to deal with. So the Constitution is quite clear for anybody who is able to read.

Parliament has been given power to enact, repeal and replace the Constitution with a new Constitution, and for doing that it has one of two options: it can do it by Standing Order or it can do it by Resolution and the Resolution then, will control the whole procedure. But here, what does the Resolution itself say? The Resolution is not giving this power to somebody else outside. It is semantics to say so. This Resolution is calling on Parliament to form a Constitutional Assembly consisting of the 225 members of this Parliament – no one else.

The Standing Order provisions talk about a Committee of the whole House. Technically, this is not a Committee of the whole House. It is by Resolution. You can either do it by Standing Orders or by Resolution, but the end result is the same thing. How does that change? How does the nature of the Constitutional Assembly in this Resolution change from a Committee of the whole House? It is the Committee of the whole House. The Resolution – even though Parliament could have resolved otherwise – this Resolution only authorizes the Parliament to make a Constitutional Assembly consisting of the Members of Parliament themselves and no other.

Eventually, it says very clearly for the avoidance of doubt, it follows the procedure that is laid down in the Constitution. There must be a certificate by the Cabinet of Ministers, that this is a Bill for the repeal and the replacement of the Constitution, and that it is intended to be passed by a two thirds majority and placed before the people at a referendum. That is a requirement in this Constitution, and the Resolution says so specifically. I was alarmed when I heard Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena say ‘we want to go to court’. You can’t go to court. He says ‘we want to follow the Constitutional procedure’. The Constitution itself says that when there is a bill for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution the Court has no jurisdiction. You only have to read. Article 120B very specifically says that the moment the Cabinet of Ministers certify that it is a bill for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, it says the Supreme Court shall not exercise any further jurisdiction. Quite logical, don’t you think? The only point the Supreme Court can ever rule when a Bill is challenged is whether it’s inconsistent with the Constitution. If you are replacing the Constitution, by definition it is inconsistent with this Constitution. And if it is inconsistent with the Constitution the Supreme Court can only say – it can’t say it cannot be enacted – it can only say that you must place it before the people at a referendum. Here is a certificate of the cabinet of ministers that it is intended to be passed by a two thirds of the majority and placed before the people at a referendum. There is no place for the Supreme Court also to rule that you must place it before the people at a referendum. That is superficial, and that is why Article 120B very specifically says “where the Cabinet of Ministers certifies the bill which is described in the long title as being for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution intended to be passed with a special majority required by Article 83 and submitted to the people by referendum the Supreme Court shall have and exercise no jurisdiction in respect of such bill “

You want a new Constitution drafted and adopted in terms of this Constitution. That is your position. If that is so, how can you then ask that this matter go to the Supreme Court? It says you can’t go to the Supreme Court. You must choose one of the two: you must either choose it to do it under the Constitution, or you must say that we will stand outside the Constitution and we’ll go to Court. If you are doing it under the provisions of this Constitution there is an express prohibition to challenge it in the Supreme Court, and as I said, logically so, because the long title itself by definition is inconsistent with this Constitution and will require a referendum. So therefore, I appeal to the Members of this House, please don’t split hairs on a procedure. Members of this Parliament have expressed their concerns and I respect those concerns and value those concerns. I say with respect sir, that all of those concerns are contained in this procedure that has been laid down. It is Members of this Parliament who will draft it. They are not going to adopt it like the 1970 Constituent Assembly. It is not a Constituent Assembly. The new Constitution – it (the Resolution) says very clearly, for the avoidance of doubt – will be adopted by this Parliament through the procedure that has been laid down in this Constitution. And therefore I like to appeal to those Members who are seated in the Opposition, who call themselves the Joint Opposition – you were on the other side under President Rajapaksa. He made various efforts to change the fundamental premise of the Constitution. He even signed joint communiques with international actors – various others – saying that this premise will be changed. All of those are in writing. Now, it is true that some of you are on that side and some of you are on this side. But please don’t repeat the grave mistakes that were made in history by the two main parties. Even though you are part of one main party please don’t fall into that error yet again. Be statesman-like and join in this process so that we can all join together and go forward as one country.

Thank you.

*Parliamentary speech by M.A Sumanthiran on Resolution to form a Constitutional Assembly (2016.01.12).

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Keep up the good work, Mr Sumanthiran. Without a ‘can do – will do’ attitude from Sinhala leaders, nothing will happen!

    • 2
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      Good work, Mr Sumanthiran!
      But one point is that there needs to be a Chapter in the New Constitution on Political Parties, Political culture and Good Governance.

      This is the new trend in constitution drafting as Political Parties and politicians are the bed rock of democratic process, and yet are the BIGGEST STUMBLING block to genuine democracy in many parts of the world. International IDEA has done a lot of work on this.

      1. A code of conduct for politicians is necessary and an Independent Commission to monitor this Code of Conduct for politicians and political parties.
      2. Politicians should be required to have a University Degree. Now that Sri Lanka has had free education for decades, it is fair to expect minimal qualifications for the job an those without a degree would be too stupid to be leaders.
      3. Those with Criminal records and substantial allegations should be banned from politics.
      4.. Politicians should be required to declare their assets and promise not to spread hate speech.
      5. Term limits for Political Party Leaders and office bearers are imperative to avoid dictatorships and family rule.
      6. Politicians who jump parties should lose their seats and face a fresh election. The cross over culture that is the reason for bi-partisan MEGA CORRUPTION must end.
      7. It is only once the political parties are cleaned up that there will be POLITICAL WILL to build a new Sri Lanka.
      8. An Independent Commission to monitor political parties and a Code of Conduct in political parties and hold politicians ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE is needed.
      9. Representation of Women and youth in political parties.
      Even the most perfect constitution will not get rid of the culture of political corruption that reigns supreme in the Parliament at the Diyawenn Oya today. So we need constitutional experts to look at countries that have Constitutions that have a Chapter on Political Parties – for any real change in Sri Lanka

      • 0
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        Great expectations, but see Dinuk’s remarks below which sum up the real corrupt status of politics and impunity in Sri Lanka which will remain for generations to come.

  • 5
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    Mr. Sumanthiran, you use the term honourable a lot!
    It seems that there are too many “honourable” men in the Diyawenna Parliament of corrupt clowns!
    They are all honourable men, the corrupt crooks who are the great majority in the Parliament.
    Corruption is bi-partisan – UNP and SLFP – both are rotten. It is these corrupt crooks who you call honourable men and the CULTURE OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION that they represent that is the root cause of the ethnic problem. They DIVIDE, DISTRACT and RULE the masses though racism that is now INSTITUTIONALIZED in the Governance system. But changing the constitution without changing the CULTURE OF CORRUPTION in the Parliament of corrupt morons will be useless!
    There needs to be a 2 ponged strategy – change the constitution and the corrupt political culture, by holding those who are most corrupt and spread hate speech to distract the masses from their corruption (as did the Mahinda Jarapassa regime) accountable.

    You must recognize this?! Even the most perfect constitution to share power will not work without the reform of the POLITICAL CULTURE AND POLITICAL PARTIES of the country. As long as the parliament is full of corrupt clowns there will be no POLITICAL WILL to change and reform Lanka into an inclusive and prosperous country where growth with equity is the norm.

  • 0
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    The video of this speech is in youtube at this link:

    v=kJlgxDlLelE

  • 8
    3

    Mr.Sumanthiran,

    I am sure Dinesh Gunawardene has learned something from you, if he did not know i.e. Or understand it before.however, if he is pretending that it is otherwise and continues to hold onto that premise, Your effort was wasted. It is obvious that the joint opposition led by him is just quibbling to once again thwart constitutional reform in its many facets.

    Keep up the good work and fight for what is right, not only for the Tamils, but also all the citizens and communities in this country. Help free us from the jack boot of peer hungry and pernicious politicians , and a spineless and corrupt bureaucracy.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

  • 0
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    Mr.Sumanthiran,
    (Corrected)
    I am sure Dinesh Gunawardene has learned something from you, if he did not know or understand it before. However, if he is pretending that it is otherwise and continues to hold onto that premise, your effort was wasted. It is obvious that the joint opposition led by him is just quibbling to once again thwart constitutional reform in its many facets.

    Keep up the good work and fight for what is right, not only for the Tamils, but for all the citizens and communities in this country. Help free us from the jack boot of power hungry and pernicious politicians , and a spineless and corrupt bureaucracy.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

  • 1
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    Dinesh Gunawardena is a real *%#@~^ and a “%$:>^!

  • 1
    1

    The new constitution making is nothing but Sumanthiran making the opening speech at the common Candidate Launching and receiving a paperboy ministry as a reward from the New Yahapalanaya government for that. He worked hard to remove Mokan Peris and bring back Shiranee Bandaranayke. But Ranil removed her in one day.

    This was posted somewhere else. I brought it here based on the relevancy.

    Sangilian, Kailai Vannian and Vikrama Rajasinhan fought with foreigners to protect their people, the land and the sovereignty of the country and lost their life, family and their properties. Puvanekapaku, Wimaladharmasuriya, Ehelepola, Philimathalava all become foreigners’ agents and enjoyed their life by selling the country’s freedom. Sir. Pon Ramanathan went to England during the WWI to obtain justice and bring peace in the land. Ranil went to New York on government money to suppress UNHRC investigation and deny justice to Tamils. Ramanathan had released Don Stephen. He disenfranchised the Tamils. The Wildlife Sanctuary SinhaLE Lankawe’s history is full of these unfaithful acts. Tamil will not benefit anything talking these. We have seen all the arrangements have been made to extent the real investigation until Sec. Kerry and the democratic party of US government leave the office. Sampanthar need to realize that whatever the route he can take to negotiates is only to defer the problem until the end of his life time. Freud did a lot of reach on the human mind’s Psychology. Psychology has now gone many thousand miles from wherever he left. If a person is sick medicine has been developed to cure tat. If a man has fallen ill even Ebola, AIDS, Cancer etc. all will be soon curable. But, even after those developments in human psychology, if a man has a sick mind, is there a compound the dispenser can mix to make that ill-mind think gracefully? There is nothing. It is not expected anything soon to be available to cure Hitler, Old King, Jenkiskhan like births. It is not explained why some strange people find pleasure in mass scale torture, rape and murders like they did in the Wildlife Sanctuary Lankawe. It is even stranger why a group of people are willing to associate their name into that after such horrendous crimes are committed. Ranil, Chandrika all claimed that the war victory was their action. International community has accepted the victory is only due to the genocide crime. After seeing that in UNHRC with their real eye and after doing everything to water out the resolution so their name in International arena would not fly in the wind, is there a common sense to claim fully or even part of those barbaric actions as their good deed. It did not end there. Now the New King and New Royal Prime Minister are advocating that if the Banda-Chelva fact had been implemented the war would not have been there. Will they ready to openly denounce that if the Tamils votes were not disenfranchised or Sinhala Only not implemented there would not have been a need to Band – Chelva pact? These crooks, when they see the water is coming more and more close to the nose, subletting the crimes they committed in their tenure to the ones who opposed the implementation of those old pacts. Will these guys accept, if they go back and correct the resolution words of “foreign and Commonwealth” to UNHRC and IC” and have that fully implemented, then there is no need to lament about those who disturbed the Banda – Chelva pact? Sincerity and honesty is the scariest thing in the Sinhala Intellectual politics. “The Statesmanship” is a word never exited the Sinhala language. I ask a question; will one of the Sinhala Intellectual politicians come forward to fix the Sinhala Intellectuals’ politics even at the cost of their life. They are comparing themselves to SWRD and in turn comparing SWRD to Lincoln and Gandhi. Is this all really necessary if, instead of saying “not one single leader, not one commander not even a private soldier” would be prosecuted, had they had told during the election campaign that they were not aware if anybody had done a genocide crime, but if there was a crime had been committed, in their Yahapalanaya Government it will be punished? After created challenge against the Tamils and IC on their ability to investigate even a private soldier, during the election campaign, now they are declaring they are the SWRDs? If So, where did they get the guts to say that those who wanted to win the election sabotaged the Banda-Chelva pact? What a shameless politics these men are doing when 47 of them are in the list of OILS war crime list, they are comparing them with Lincoln and Gandhi. Sampanthar is delivering oratorical, masterpiece speeches for what? Out of the FP, TC, TULP & TNA parties, SJV was the only one gives out 5 minutes or 10 minutes speeches. Tell me a name out of GG, Navaratnam, Vanniyasingam, Rajavarodayam, Amirthalingam, Sivasithamparam, Alalasundaram, Rajathurai, Mangayarkarasi….. who lacked much behind Sampanthar on delivering speeches? Did any one of them penetrated the Sinhala Intellectuals’ Iron Dorm and achieved anything for Tamils? Now they are claiming Sampanthar hope is well placed, unlike the previous ill put faiths on Sinhala governments, because now there is IC also in the loop. What happened to India’s involvement? Didn’t they fool Rajiv with 13A? Didn’t they beat him with intention to murder when he came to sign the accord? Did not they ask help from Thatcher and Reagan to remove Indian army? Did they give money and arms to LTTE to fight and send out them back to India? So now what is the difference between the current negotiations and the Past negotiation with India and USA. Ambassador Blake has already declared that Sri Lanka cheated him. This is what the Norwegian envoy, Solheim feels. We all know the Constitution amendment is only to cover up the UNHRC resolution. Where is Sampanthar’s new hope is founded? Will somebody explain to me what is the new thing is present here to talk about a new hope?

  • 1
    2

    MR.SUMANTHIRAN-please make A-CD- of this speech together with a tamil translation and send it to TAMIL MANDIAN PEERAVAI members like MANDIAN SURESH,WICKEDNEASWARAN,PLOTSITTAR,AND QUEEN STREET DOUBLE JUNIOR PONAIANPALLM-these people are always awaiting to find fault of every thing you do in and out of parliament.KEEP YOUR DOING YOUR GOOD WORK.

  • 3
    4

    Mr. Sumanthiran has forgotten that he is in the main opposition. He is carrying the bucket for Ranil pleading Ranil’s case. Pathetic. Now all the diaspora boys have found another phoney hero who over estimates himself like the Nandikadal hero only this time thinking he is wittier than all. The fact that he has become part of Ranil’s freak show makes him the biggest fool. He will go into the books as the hero who went down sucking up to Ranil. If he is wittier he would join the united opposition and get MR to champion the cause. But historically Tamil leaders have shot themselves in the foot Mr. Sumanthiran is no different. Walkha Thalaiva.

    • 2
      2

      Pathetic

      ” He is carrying the bucket for Ranil pleading Ranil’s case”

      Its alright, as long as he doesn’t carry leaders’ b***s everything is fine.

      Please do continue to carry MR’s if that job makes you happy and contented. There shouldn’t be any objection as to how you serve your leader.

    • 2
      0

      @Patriot, the disgrace –
      “But historically Tamil leaders have shot themselves in the foot Mr. Sumanthiran is no different”

      Tamil leaders did not have to shoot themselves in the foot. Sinhala racist Buddhist hoodlums did that in 4 riots. They were so kind, they looted all the properties of Tamils, burnt the escaping Tamil civilians alive during these riots, set Jaffna town and the Jaffna library on fire, tried to murder the MP of Jaffna, arrested students on their way to school, raped many Tamil women, murdered civilians traveling to Colombo on buses in the Vavuniya jungles, etc. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself to call yourself whatever you call yourself.

      Thanks for your kindness. Now it is time for you to go and [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      I want a opposition party not to be an ‘opposing everything party’. I am happy to take a leader like Sumanthiran any day than most of the current leaders in Sri Lanka.

      I would be excited to see a commonly acceptable solution from all parties together for the people. But, Sinhala extremists and Tamil extremists ain this together, trying to topple to efforts.

      Patriotic? More like Pathetriot!

  • 0
    0

    Cut the bullshit out and look at the facts.

    Why did the West, the Diaspora,and UNP London made the one time hardcore Sinhala Buddhist Bodhi Sira, the President..

    It is the only option to hoodwink the Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant population, which is the great majority and give a separate Homeland for the Tamils.

    If 13 A was granted , there would have been another 8 Wiggies who would have been out of control.

    Observing the Embilipitiya behaviour of just the Yahapalana Police who are now under Batalanada Ranil’s independent commission, just imagine how fascinating the policing would have been under 9 different forces , controlled by the characters, like Rajithas,Hirunickers,Baththudeens,Fonsekas, Ranataungas and even Mervin Silvas.

    So the next option is to go Federal.

    Only God knows how that will work ,.

    225 of them both elected and unelected will now design it.

    Wouldn’t their first priority be to protect their current jobs ?..

    Or are they going to do hara kiri?.

    How can the new Constitution accommodate both Bodhi Sira and Batalanda?.

    The latter has no intention of going to heaven even, let alone from Temple Trees , going by his recent statement to Yahapalana suckers in Jaffna following the inspection tour with Bodhi Sira.

    Mr Sumanathira’s speech doesn’t give any clues to what this new arrangement will be to get his Homealand.

    It seems logical.

    The 225 there now can make suggestions , argue about them and carry on for the next 4 years without addressing the real time issues.

    Because they are all busy with the more important new Constitution.

    In the mean time Treasury Ravi can stitch up deals with anonymous donors and investors to keep the Yahapalana suckers happy.

    The most interesting bit in Sumane’s spiel is his stoush with the JVP Prince, Kumara.

    Sumane’s boss Vellala Sambnadan not only hand picked the Prince ,but also gave him a Merc to travel in comfort to speak for the Vellalas.

    Has the Prince also gone out of orbit like Sambanadan’s hand picked Vellala Wigneswaran?.

  • 2
    0

    Sumanthiran and other legislators must get into the bottom of their heart that it is important to address the concerns of the people. Why did a good majority of all shades of people decide on 8th of January 2015 to say enough to Jarapassa? They wanted a better working system above all a clean Government. Are they getting it?

    It appears that the strategy of having so many “independent” commissions may not have the expected result. Yes! we have an independent police commission. Yet there are many violations of human rights (the 17 year old being unfairly arrested by police) and very suspicious conduct of the police in a violent atmosphere (Embilipitiya case). Then are those so called independent commissions effective? The police commission cannot control the police and the human rights commission unable to control the level of human rights in Sri Lanka. We have an independent public service commission. Did the service levels offered to the public increase? Certainly the politicians are the elected representatives of the people. If they think that they can palm away the entire responsibility of government by creating independent institutions then the poor people will have to wait until the next elections to boot out a set of shirkers, who are arm-chair representatives of people who do not believe in results.

    The biggest issue that people face is the long delays in meting out justice. The straight forward divorce of a childless couple has taken five years. In the columns of CT it was published that to get leave to proceed in a fundamental rights case took 10 years. Sumanthiran and others who are lawyers themselves and in the legislature will not talk of this. Whatever constitutional refinements that he now talks of will that help in solving the problem? What happens with this poor state of affairs is prevalence of gangsterism and thuggery where the justice delivered is swift and severe. What use then is of a government when it comes to solving typically the civil law problems of the people? Hasn’t the great legislator observed that during off hours, there are the unofficial parking wards who now collect a minimum of Rs 20/= for parking (which is very much cheaper than some of the official rates at private parking lots)? I am told that still in Jaffna area the edict of Prabahakaran only to charge Rs. 500/= per case still prevails among Jaffna lawyers. When we hear that we loose faith in democracy. It is interesting to note that Bhutan, a country that was much backward than Sri Lanka has electronised their judicial system and thus eliminated their delays. In Sri Lanka we have a set of legislators like Sumanthiran who talk big but do not address the real concerns of people.

    We say openly that we will abolish the much abused executive presidential system. But as it is we appoint brothers only to vote themselves 10 Million bucks a month. Directors not voting for the proposal? Chop them off like the trees in the woods. Then what is the guarantee that the new constitutional arrangements would be better than the present if the intention demonstrated is to have their way to AMASS? Say we give full autonomy to provinces. What is the guarantee that the provincial politicians are not a bunch of blood thirsty chaps who would also do the same thing like their national counterparts but there antics not much published?

    If Sumanthiran and others legislators demonstrate by action that these problems are unsolvable it is natural for people to conclude that Jarapassa was better in the sense that he built up certain infrastructure such as roads though he and his gang may pocketed a fat lot of bucks and trampled our rights.

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    THERE BEING DUD DUMB DEMONIC HEADS WONT DO.WHAT PERCENTAGE OF EDUCATED PEOPLE CONSTITUTE THE CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY.99% ARE VIRTUALLY ILLITERATE WHO CAN ONLY SIGN THEIR NAMES.SCRAP THIS ASSEMBLY OF 225 STUPIDS AND ELECTED 15 EXPERTS WHO CAN DRAFT A CONSTITUTION, WHICH CAN MEET THE ASPIRATIONS OF THE CONSENSUS OF THE MAJORITY COMMUNITY.

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    Mr.Sumanthiran:

    Before I pick some holes in your historic speech I have a few bones to pick with you.

    1) What is this tussle between you and TNA headed by the Clown Sambanthan. I call him a clown because he has invited the War CRIMINAL to be part of making the New Constitution. Can you ask him as to what on earth made him invite him. Was it to give the New Costitution legitimancy or protect the CRIMINAL from the Genocide Charges. Please tell him AIDING and ABETTING is also a Crime.

    2) CCM bashing. What is the justification for attacking the CM when he had no choice but to ask the Questions through inaction by MS & RW. He was elected by the people and it is only the people who can throw him out.

    Now turning to your speech:

    Some definitions to clear your Misquoting.

    a) A constituent assembly (sometimes also known as a constitutional convention or constitutional assembly) is a body or assembly of representatives composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution.
    b) Standing Orders are the written rules which regulate the proceedings of each House.
    Resolution a firm decision to do or not to do something.
    a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group.a firm decision to do or not to do something.

    c) A Committee of the whole House is sometimes used instead of a Public Bill Committee for some or all of a Bill’s committee stage in the Commons. It takes place in the main chamber and allows all MPs to take part in the debate and to vote on the Bill’s contents.
    When the House sits as a committee it is chaired by the Deputy Speaker from a seat at the Table of the House. Committees of the whole House are favoured for Bills of constitutional or ethical importance and for parts of the annual Finance Bill.

    1) I say historic, because we have a Resolution before the House that has been signed by the Honorable Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Hon. Nimal Sripala De Silva on behalf of the SLFP, the Hon. Lakshman Kiriella the Leader of the House, the Hon. Rauff Hakeem the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Hon. Malik Samarawickrama, Hon. D.M Swaminathan, Hon. Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, setting out the purposes for which this country has to enact a new Constitution and thereafter, listing out modalities by which this drafting procedure is to take place.

    *** Agreed

    2) Most importantly, in both those procedures the Tamil speaking people of this country – particularly the Tamils – were left out. If there is a recognition that there live in this country different peoples that belong to different linguistic, cultural, and ethnic groupings, those who have different religions, and together, that there is a mix of rich diversity that must enhance the character of this country – then certainly the First and the Second Republican Constitutions must be done away with and we must start from the declared status that all are equal in this country; that each group, each people, have a stake in this country, and not just as individuals’ equality. Even as communities, as Peoples, they are equal to each other.

    *** A correction. There are only Tamils & Sinhalese ( No Aliens from outer space)

    3) The Constitution cannot grant pre eminence to one or the other group of people. I am glad His Excellency the President while speaking after the Resolution was moved, very clearly said that. The Leader of United National Party moved this Resolution on which His Excellency, as the Leader of the SLFP as well, very clearly enunciated this thought process last Saturday.

    *** This is 67 years too late. It was the fault of the Colonial Masters.

    4) This is significant because the history of our country, particularly that of Constitution making and also of various efforts at reconciliation, is marred by one party or the other opposing the initiatives taken by the party that is in office at that time. This is the first time we have the leaders of the two parties clearly enunciating to the country that this must be done and setting out the premise on which we must build a new Constitution.

    *** This New realisation has only come about after so much Bloodshed and that is why what the CM says speaks volume.

    5) I heard the Chief Opposition Whip, my friend, Hon. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who stated that the problems faced by the Tamil People is not that of the Constitution, but day to day affairs, economic difficulties, lack of job opportunities and the like. Our people face all of that and more, particularly after the cruel war that they had to face for such a long time. Recovery from that has been very, very difficult. For lack of political will, for various other reasons, our people face an enormous amount of day to day problems. But that is not the fundamental issue faced by our people, and I am sad that a party like the Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna which expounds such progressive thoughts and ideas on other fronts, is not able to see this.

    *** If they mean what they say they must take steps to Empower the Tamils to be in charge of their Destiny under a Federal Structure. We cant leave it to the Majority.

    6) They are not able to see it also because of the language divide – as I stated while he was speaking, when he accused that the Tamil National Alliance of not being close to our people; not getting involved in the day to day difficulties and the problems that they face.

    *** What the hell is he talking about. Ask him to listen to the CM.

    7) The reason is that the Sinhala papers don’t publish any of those stories. What happens there stays there, and in Tamil media. What happens here stays here and is limited to the Sinhala media. The converse is also true.

    *** You are confirming that you are deep rooted in the South and no wonder have elected not to stand for elections in the North before you speak on issues affecting Tamils.

    8) If today, you go to a Tamil speaking area and talk to them about some of the developments in the South – particularly with a small group of people trying to whip up racial tensions in this country – they are totally unaware. That is not depicted there. And so we journey along – whether the Constitution says separation is illegal or no – in fact, on the ground, as two separate worlds, not meeting in any way.

    *** What is your point . I am totally lost. Who are thses small group trying to whip up Tensions. Would it CM and his minders.

    9) Now if are to forge head as one country we must realize this. We must realize this and accommodate all the different communities and all the different peoples of this country by granting them equal status, never mind what their numbers are.

    *** If you mean by equal status the North being controlled and run by the Majority I dont agree.

    10) Then it is possible for all these Peoples to live together as one country because they share power in an equitable way; not leaving to one Centre that decides what happens to the others; and they have no say whatsoever because they are a minority in numbers. Now this is a fundamental thing. The world over, there have been different ways in countries in which different peoples are able to share power and live together. Then there are other fundamental issues like human rights which will have to apply to all equally.

    *** You hail from Nedunkeni but you have abandoned your Ancestral Home and do you expect everyone do the same. It is not practical and in any case it will only suit the Majority to Colonose. As a minority how are you going to be involved in the decison making process.
    You cant be head of State you dont control Police, Army, Navy or Airforce. Wake up my friend instead of living in Fantacy Island.

    11)From the speech that His Excellency delivered on Saturday, and the objectives that are enunciated in this Resolution, it is clear that there is a realization now – at least now – the realization that we must change the rules by which we engage; the rules by which we live.

    *** The change that we need is a recognition that we are two different people and must have seperate sleeping arrangement and let us not pretend otherwise. You live in Colombo if you want and may be a Cabinet Post might come in handy.

    12) Now, there is so much talk about this procedure. I was glad that the Hon. Douglas Devananda said that the discussion in this House to akin to splitting hairs.

    *** You should be ashamed for calling the above the Hon.

    13) Parliament has been given power to enact, repeal and replace the Constitution with a new Constitution, and for doing that it has one of two options: it can do it by Standing Order or it can do it by Resolution and the Resolution then, will control the whole procedure.

    *** Based on the definition I have given above can you expalin to me how. Do you understand the difference between the two.

    As I understand Resolution to be carried out under the written rules which regulate the proceedings of each House. Not one or the other as you suggest. Get your facts right.

    14) The Standing Order provisions talk about a Committee of the whole House. Technically, this is not a Committee of the whole House. It is by Resolution. You can either do it by Standing Orders or by Resolution, but the end result is the same thing.

    *** You are muddled.

    15) It is Members of this Parliament who will draft it. They are not going to adopt it like the 1970 Constituent Assembly. It is not a Constituent Assembly.

    *** The following might help your confusion.

    “A constituent assembly (sometimes also known as a constitutional convention or constitutional assembly) is a body or assembly of representatives composed for the purpose of drafting or adopting a constitution”

    16) But please don’t repeat the grave mistakes that were made in history by the two main parties. Even though you are part of one main party please don’t fall into that error yet again. Be statesman-like and join in this process so that we can all join together and go forward as one country.

    *** I sincerely hope it hasnt fallen on DEAF EARS.

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      Hi Koli,
      You are just sick.

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        Rotten Mango:

        It shows your level of Inte;igence. BLOODY IDIOT & ILITERATE. Go and learn ABCCD. Nexttime when you open your Mouth I will ask you some Questions to test your IQ. It will just the starter.

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    Rotten Mango:

    It is sad Sumanthiran has to rely on his Cooli and Pankawala to reply.

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