12 December, 2019

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UNP Presidential Candidate’s Stand On The Unitary State

By Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa

The chapter on constitutional reform in the manifesto of the UNP presidential candidate contains provisions to replace the unitary state with a formulation that describes Sri Lanka as an ‘undivided and indivisible’ state. This is accompanied by the pledge that governmental power will be devolved to the provinces to the ‘maximum extent possible’. Identical provisions can be seen in the draft constitution tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister in January this year. 

The UNP manifesto also contains provisions to expand the powers and functions of the provincial councils, to set up a second chamber in Parliament made up of provincial council representatives in order to curb the powers of Parliament, to allow the provincial units to raise funds independently, to place district and divisional secretaries under the provincial councils and to create a Constitutional Court which will adjudicate in disputes between the center and the provincial units. Like the draft constitution, the UNP presidential election manifesto also aims to turn Sri Lanka into a loose federation of virtually independent provincial units.

The draft constitution sought to describe Sri Lanka as an ‘ekeeya rajya’ in Sinhala and as an ‘orumiththa nadu’ in Tamil while carefully refraining from using the English phrase ‘unitary state’ which has specific constitutional connotations. Thus the label of a unitary state would have remained in Sinhala while in Tamil and English Sri Lanka would no longer be recognized as a unitary state. A similar deviousness is to be seen in the UNP presidential election manifesto. Though great care has been taken to avoid using phrases like ekeeya rajaya or unitary state, it has a reference in Sinhala to ‘maubime ekeeyathwaya’ which translates into English as ‘the unity of the motherland’. The phrase ‘maubime ekeeyathwaya’ has no constitutional value but it can be used to misleadingly suggest to Sinhala readers that the manifesto seeks to uphold the unitary state. 

Former Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has rejected such devious and dishonest attempts play around with words to convey different meanings to different persons. Significantly, the UNP manifesto has refused to use even the Sinhala phrase ‘ekeeya rajya’ that had been conceded earlier in the PM’s draft constitution to assuage Sinhala sentiments. There is a clearly apparent hardening of the federalist position in the UNP manifesto.

A federal arrangement will never work in this country because the majority of ethnic Tamils live outside the northern and eastern provinces and the vast majority of the Muslims live outside the east. Any attempt to impose a federal system on a country with such a demographic pattern, will be fraught with serious consequences. Even the British colonial rulers never sought to dismantle the unitary state. The Donoughmore and Soulbury Commissions expressly rejected federalism.  

The UNP manifesto with its toxic constitutional provisions was presented with much fanfare to the Venerable Mahanayake and Anunayake Theras in order to deceive both the Maha Sangha and the general public. This is the first time that a mainline political party has included in an election manifesto provisions to dismantle the unitary state and to create a federal state in its place. Therefore this is a matter that needs to be taken very seriously.

Regardless of the contents of the manifesto that has already been released, I earnestly request the Venenerable Mahanayake Theras of the Three Nikayas to obtain from the UNP candidate, a written pledge to uphold the unitary state, to oppose federalism and to oppose all the proposals contained in the draft constitution tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister earlier this year.  

*Mahinda Rajapaksa – Leader of the Opposition

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Latest comments

  • 9
    3

    Uncle, could you please tell me which locations should I avoid until elections ???( I will pay you for the right answers)

    • 0
      6

      chives
      Why do you ask him?
      Ask Uncle Ranil or Uncle Mangala.
      Ohhhhh I forgot. Ask Harin malli.

      • 2
        1

        Madame Champawati,

        They all are super smart crook with IQ below 79.

        New King is condemning the candidates for promising free fertilizer, as importing diabetes. He approved the banned asbestos from Russia. Then he employed Thero as ambassador. That’s all were for junkyard ships commission!

        The innocent Old King has $18B in foreign banks. But GLP has no idea about it. It is Because GLP gets no internal information to write his blah blahs. You can ask Mangala & Ranil also of how did they saved Old Royal from that jugglery.

  • 2
    2

    Champa, none of them seems as desperate as Uncle and family . Your Uncle is also the author of “cons piracy theories”, Just ask the people of Kurunegala. Didnt he write books on illegal sterilization methods , finding unlimited oil and gas , printing US dollar in his backyard, electric chairs —–etc. “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice ????

  • 3
    2

    Champa, none of them seems as desperate as Uncle and family . Your Uncle is also the author of “cons piracy theories”, Just ask the people of Kurunegala and his former boss Chandrika. Didnt he write books on illegal sterilization methods , finding unlimited oil and gas , printing US dollar in his backyard, electric chairs —–etc. “fool me once shame on you, fool me twice ???? By the way not just Uncle the whole family are creators of such theories. Gotha, of course have to read from the paper given to him, Namal is creating enough in social media, Basil is the co author, Chamal does the official signing of such books before release. Remember ex CJ , SF, Tsunami funds .

  • 4
    2

    Another SLPP supporting scum , Thilanga Sumathipala, ICC has provided evidence of receiving money from two of the international MATCH FIXERS (usually it is the players ,who are involved, this shit head must be a exception where administrative head having direct nexus with match fixing Mafia, we indeed are unique ) and from media group in giving broadcast rights. Each of these payments are above $ 100,000. This guy was recently seen appearing with Rajapaksas telling the public “about taking them to future”.

  • 4
    3

    This is a joke. The man who proclaimed “13+” and “India is my brother!” with pride talks about the unitary state! Sri Lanka lost its unitary status in 1987 thanks to Indian bootlicking politicians of which Mahinda Percy Rajapaksa is one of. Just like Ranil and Sirisena, you have sold this country out to India, importing their shoddy trains and buses for the people (instead of Japanese/Chinese/European models), holding us back by abiding by the traitorous Indo Lanka Accord (denying us the right to engage with other countries of our own free will) and modelling us on backward corrupt India, a nation without toilets (instead of trying to turn us into another Singapore/South Korea).

    You have ZERO SHAME. All of you useless politicians shouldn’t walk around with your trousers on. This total Kakistocracy should be abolished, and Singapore style rule of law, ethnic integration and LEAN governance should occur so we can usher in a new era for the country and our children.

    All of these mindless stupid politicians should be rejected. They have not a semblance of common sense, an iota of dignity, and not an ounce of honour.

    SYSTEM CHANGE
    Let us have a system like Singapore, a leadership like Lee Kuan Yew, or DS Senanayake, and our young talented minds guiding us forward as one people with one indomitable destiny. Reject all these Indian style politicians and their sycophants. They are parasites to this nation that in 1948 had such potential!

  • 3
    0

    This essay is in the realms of Constitutional Law which is double Dutch to MaRa.
    De Facto is GLP.
    De Jure is MaRa.
    Someone should alert MaRa that there is an essay on the CT. with his name!.

  • 1
    1

    Dear Uncle,
    i wish to invite you home for a meal. Will you very kindly accept.
    The menu is as follows.

    Dung Thel Buth
    Ala Thel Dala
    Vabotu Moju
    Parippu & Nivithi
    Isso Thel Dala
    Thora Maalu Masala
    Pork Badhuum
    Murunga Curry
    Katta Sambola
    Maalu Miris Thel Dala
    Seeni Sambola

    Wattalapam

    Included will be a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label

    Please !!! Uncle reply asap.

    Looking forward, your’s in service

    Chooti Putha.

  • 1
    3

    “A federal arrangement will never work in this country because the majority of ethnic Tamils live outside the northern and eastern provinces and the vast majority of the Muslims live outside the east.”

    Mahinda is right. There is no point in having a federal arrangement. In 30 years time, Tamils will be a dot on the demographic map compared to Muslims. Look at Kalmunai if you don’t believe me. Every town and city in the North and East will look like this. Muslim women are having 4-5 children on average, while Tamil women in the North don’t even have husbands (due to the war). Islam is not only the fastest growing religion in Sri Lanka, but all over the world. Eelamists kicked out the Muslims to get their apartheid paradise, this is the karma: Tamils will be lucky to be 10% of the total population. The South, of course, will always remain predominantly Sinhalese.

  • 0
    0

    Lester.
    …….The south will always remain predominantly Sinhalese……
    So the Sinhalese are fighting for the cause of the Tamils,against Muslims, in the North-East eh?

  • 0
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    Mahinda Rajapaksa is not a scholar on federalism. He does not know or pretends he does not know that federalism is not separation. It is one of the foremost systems of government found all over the world. Sri Lanka is a multi-national, multilingual and multicultural country. If you want to keep the country and the people united it is necessary to follow unity in diversity. Diversity should not be thought of as a weakness. Unity in diversity is the answer to several problems facing Sri Lanka. We have wasted 71 years in enacting constitutions based on the unitary principle.

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