First move is to rectify issues in 19A: SLPP

First and foremost move of the government in making constitutional changes would be to rectify the issues arisen from the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairman Professor G.L. Peiris today said. Speaking at a news briefing held at SLPP head office, Minister Professor Peiris said the 19A is a cursed piece of legislation detrimental to the economic development, the security and the democratic culture in the country. “The 19A has been a great obstacle for economic revival. Especially in the post-COVID-19 period, we need to…

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Pros and cons of repealing 19A

It is a well-known fact that the government is going to amend the Constitution since the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) had requested the people to grant them a two-thirds majority power in order to do away with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. However, leaders of the party did not tell the country, before the Presidential election or the Parliamentary election as to what would replace that amendment.    Therefore, fear is expressed from some quarters of the society that the Constitution could be amended in a manner that…

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British HC (Acting) Meets Foreign Minister And Pledges Enhanced Mutual Cooperation

British Acting High Commissioner Lisa Whanstall paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena today. Advancing the bilateral engagement in the economic, security, health, tourism and cultural areas were the key highlights of the meeting. It was the first official high-profile discussion between the two countries after the appointment of the new Cabinet. State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya was also present at the meeting. more

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“Chiththi”: With One Tamil Word In Her Acceptace Speech, US Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris Warms The Hearts of Millions pf Tamils in India and Throughout the World

By Hannah Ellis-Petersen As a child wandering between the legs of the aunts, uncles and family friends who filled her grandparents’ apartment in Chennai, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a young Kamala Harris grew used to being addressed in Tamil. It was the main language spoken by her grandmother, who had only fragmented English, and over the years of Harris’s childhood trips from California to Chennai – which back then was called Madras – to visit her mother’s side of the family, she slowly learned to understand,…

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Future Course of Defeated ITAK Leader “Maavai” Senathirajah.

By D.B.S.Jeyaraj The recently concluded Sri Lankan parliamentary election resulted in the defeat of several veteran politicians. Among these was well-known Northern Tamil leader Somasundaram”Maavai” Senathirajah who had been representing Jaffna district in Parliament for 20 successive years since 2000. Very often the electoral defeat of a long established political leader causes political convulsions in its wake. In the case of Senathirajah the way in which he faced the hustings as well as the manner in which he is reacting now indicates that the ex-Jaffna MP is not likely to…

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Changing East to Buddhism? – Four more monks appointed to Task Force

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had appointed the Presidential Task Force in June by exercising the powers vested in him by Article 33 of the Constitution. In a new gazette notice, the President notes that since many of the Archaeological Heritages in the Eastern Province are based on the Buddhist religious background and associated with those places of worship, it has been recognized that the guidance and patronage of the Venerable Maha Sangha is still needed in the identification and management of those heritages. As a result, the President said that he…

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Supra majority and making Sri Lanka great- or break

What stands against the absolutism is the constitutionally mandated safeguards against excesses of political leadership. However, in the developing world, most of which are in different phases of transition to liberal democracies, such constitutional safeguards are fragile. That is because the evolution of the institutions of the state has not kept up to the pace of the social and political mobilisation of the population in those countries. Also, the social and economic representation of the population themselves, who are overwhelmingly poor or the lower middle class is staked against the…

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One country, one law – better sense should prevail

In his policy statement presented to Parliament on August 20 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa outlined his Government’s plans for the forthcoming year. Among the measures he proposed was the one relating to the removal of the 19th Amendment as a prelude to enacting a new Constitution. The President in his satement to Parliament expressed his intention in the following words: “The basis of the success of a democratic state is its constitution. Our Constitution, which has been amended 19 times, since 1978, has many ambiguities and uncertainties, presently resulting in confusion.…

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Floating in the cloud of majoritarianism will cause to lose empathy with the others.

“As representatives of the people, we always respect the aspirations of the majority. It is only then that the sovereignty of the people can be safeguarded.” Here the word, ‘majority’ needs to be clarified. This word has taken an additional political meaning, pre and post, the recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The Presidential election campaign was run solely wooing the votes of the Sinhala people who constitute the majority, around 74%. In other words, with the expressly stated position of not relying at all on the minority votes of the…

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Power politics and fake causes

There have been quite a few self-declared liberators of different ethnic and religious communities, in this country, and they have even formed political parties to champion their causes and gain political mileage. Among them are some Buddhist monks, who succeeded in securing the support of the majority community to enter Parliament, in the early-noughties; they promised to safeguard the interests of the Sinhala Buddhists, but ended up being a bunch of politicians and lost popular support. Their party, the JHU, has since opted for political coat-tail rides for survival in…

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Muslim MPs fight each other like the Tamil MPs

Sri Lanka’s Shoora Council had decided to felicitate all Muslim parliamentarians who were elected at the August 5 parliamentary election. Shoora is the Arabic word for consult and its role is like a counsel. Of course, in Sri Lanka, the council’s key members also play an active role in many other Muslim bodies. At the Sri Lanka Shoora Council reception – Rishad Bathiudeen (ACMK) and Rauff Hakeem (SLMC) The council sent out colourfully printed invitations to all new Muslim parliamentarians. The event, it said, would be held at the Rosewood…

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Government moves towards self-driving cars in UK

Consultation from August to October marks first steps Motorways only, but ‘hands-off’ control Issues include insurance liability and emergency procedures We would say ‘if’ passed, but one way or another, this is going to happen. The systems are already in place in many premium cars, and the rest of Europe is pressing ahead (despite EU membership having often been held up as a barrier to these systems). Once in place, you will be able to legally switch on the ALKS system on the motorway and the car will proceed along…

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