1st November 2017

Exposed – Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Political Hypocrisy and Double Standards On the New Constitution and Greater Devolution.

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Tamil National Alliance Spikesperson and Jaffna District MP Mathiaparanam Abraham Sumanthiran addressed the Constitutional Assembly at the inception of the three day debate on the Constitutional assembly Steering Committee Interim report on October 30th 2017. Sumanthiran MP reiterated in his speech that the TNA despite having a different mandate would abide by the final decisions of the Constituent Assembly in the interests of achieving a consensus if the main parties the UNP and SLFP reached mutual agreement. In an impactful speech Sumanthiran also exposed the hypocritical double standards adopted by former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts in opposing the envisaged new Constitution and the granting of maximum devolution through the provincial councils. Sumanthiran cited relevant provisions of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2015 Presidential election […]

New Constitution a must for peace- Sampanthan

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Opposition Leader R Sampanthan says a new Constitution is a prerequisite to sustainable peace, development and progress. Parliamentarian Sampanthan addressing the Constitutional Assembly said the previous Presidents and governments who were in power tabled proposals for power devolution that went far beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The Opposition Leader quoted a statement by Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who said any solution must be seen as one that stretches to a maximum possible devolution of powers Former Minister GL Peiris from 2002 who said the government sought extensive power sharing within a framework of one country. The Opposition leader highlighted that despite the conclusion of the 30 year long conflict steps have not been taken to look into the causes behind the conflict. The Parliamentarian noted […]

Three Racist Opposition MPs threatened to set the Parliament on fire

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday said that those who threatened to set the House on fire, could not be allowed to stifle democracy. Speaker Jayasuriya reprimanded Joint Opposition MPs Dinesh Gunawardena, Keheliya Rambukwella and Prasanna Ranaweera for trying to shout Constitutional lawyer and MP Dr.Jayampathy Wickramaratne down and disturb his speech repeatedly. As Dr.Wickramaratne took the floor opening the Constitutional Assembly debate for the second day, the JO MPs repeatedly disturbed him asking for opportunities to raise a ‘Point of Order’. The MP declined to allow the JO MPs take his time and tried to continue his speech. Speaker Jayasuriya asked the JO MPs to raise their concerns in the time slot allocated to them, adding that the MP must not be disturbed. MPs Dinesh Gunawardena, […]

Who is really behind the New Constitution-making process in Sri Lanka?

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

There is currently a debate about the drafting of a ‘New Constitution’ for the country among the academic community and the general public in Sri Lanka. This started with the appointment of a 19-member Committee headed by Lal Wijenayake called the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms. Its report was released in May 2016. Meanwhile, a Constitutional Assembly was established by a parliamentary resolution on March 9, 2016 and a 21-member Steering Committee chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed thereafter. The Steering Committee had its first sittings on April 5, 2016. The Steering Committee recognized 12 main subject areas and assigned six of those subjects to sub-committees appointed by the Constitutional Assembly. The reports of the six Sub-committees were presented on November 19, 2017. […]

Don’t miss the ‘Last Bus’ to lasting solution

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Former leaders S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, J.R. Jayewardene, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Rohana Wijeweera and also the Communist Party had pointed out that all had agreed beyond question that there is an ethnic issue in the country.  Minority have sadly been deprived and cheated of the rights of economic prosperity that this nation could have achieved during the last 70 years. By Gagani Weerakoon Government leaders yesterday warned the country that this was the ‘last chance’ the country had to bring about a lasting solution to the ethnic or national problem by bringing in a new Constitution. “For the first time, the biggest representation of Tamil people, the TNA, has actively participated in the process of constitutional reforms and this chance will never ever come to us. Already, it […]

New constitution can change the course of the country – Minister Mangala Samaraweera

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Oct 31, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera says by formulating a new constitution the trajectory of the country can be changed towards a new direction and create an ‘equal citizenship’ to bring about economic prosperity. He expressed these views participating in the debate held in parliament today on the Steering Committee Report on constitutional reforms. The Minister said the burning issue in Sri Lanka is the ethnic problem although certain quarters do not seem to have such a problem. Over the years, leaders of all political parties have spoken about a constitution that secures the rights of all races but only the present government under President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has come forward to make it a reality. The […]

Ploys by the MAHINDA to scuttle Govt. moves for new Constitution

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

Several people have come forward to defend National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa who threatened to bomb the Parliament if a new Constitution was adopted on the basis of the interim report submitted by the Constitutional Assembly’s Steering Committee and tabled in Parliament on September 21 by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Keheliya Rambukwella a former media minister in the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and joint opposition front-liner in the Central Province, Dilum Amunugama had echoed what Weerawansa had said while NFF deputy leader and MP Jayantha Samaraweera defended his boss. He said bombs should fall on the Parliament (not that Parliament should be bombed) if a new Constitution was promulgated on the basis of the above interim report. They advocate violence and justify it on […]

President announces three major steps regarding constitutional reforms

1st November 2017 // 0 Comments

President announces three major steps regarding constitutional reforms “The government will take three important steps on constitutional reforms and to prevent incorrect information which creates incorrect ideas about the proposed new constitution”, says President Maithripala Sirisena. “Accordingly, the government will call for an all party conference, with participation of the political parties represented in Parliament, a conference of all religious leaders and another conference of scholars and intellectuals who are interested in this national issue”, he said. “At these conferences the issues pertaining to the proposed new constitution can be discussed and unnecessary clauses could be removed and new clauses could be included, if required”, he further said. The President was speaking at the National Convention on Reconciliation, participated by associations and national civil society […]

NGOs and Federalism

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I see no reason why the majority of public could not agree to the word ‘United’, instead of ‘Unitary’ – M.A.Sumanthiran Prof. Ghai drafted Kenya’s and Papua New Guinea’s Constitutions Federal State is the last nail that will be driven into the coffin of reconciliation Fear and mistrust crept into Sinhalese in the South as if any change is made to the word ‘Unitary’  Prof. Yash Ghai, a Harvard Scholar and Prof. Emeritus of the Nairobi University, was a Kenyan who had over the years been regarded as an international expert in constitutional making. It was a great honour for the University of Nairobi to have educated and nurtured such a magnificent scholar. He has been invited by many developing countries to formulate and assist […]