Opposition SJB to launch anti-20th Amendment movement tomorrow

ECONOMYNEXT – The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) will launch a protest movement against the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution tomorrow September 8 at the statue of the late Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thero, the party announced. A statement from the party issued last night said the launch will take place at 4 pm at the Japan Friendship Road near the Parliament. The SJB has called for a “broad coalition” to be formed against the government’s proposal which they say will create an all-powerful presidency and take power away from Parliament.…

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Proposed New 20th Amendment will take Sri Lanka back to the Stone Age – NPP

ECONOMYNEXT- Opposition activist, Attorney at Law Harshana Nanayakkara is saying that the 20th Amendment to the Constitution if enacted, will take Sri Lanka back to the Stone Age. Nanayakkara, who represents the Lawyers of the opposition National Peoples’ Power alliance, told reporters that the 20A has given the power to the President to kick away the mandate given by the people to the elected parliament. This is because the President can dissolve the parliament a year from the date it is elected. “The entire amendment is made in a way where…

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NPC tells got not to proceed with 20A in its present form

The National Peace Council (NPC) yesterday urged the government to reconsider the need to proceed with the 20th Amendment in its present formulation as it is excessively centralizing and does not reflective of the plural nature of the Sri Lankan society. “The proposed 20th Amendment to the constitution has been approved by the cabinet of ministers and put before the general public prior to being debated in parliament. This far reaching constitutional change seeks to centralize power in the institution of the Executive Presidency with the justification of ensuring stability…

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20A Erodes People’s Sovereignty – Requires Approval At A Referendum

By Jayampathy Wickramaratne – Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution Bill (20A) is in the public domain. If I were to describe it in one sentence – 20A seeks to take the country backwards to the 2010-2015 period. The only features introduced by 19th Amendment that would survive if 20A is passed in its present form would be the five-year term of the President and Parliament, the Presidential term-limit and the fundamental right to information (RTI). Several summaries of 20A have been published and I do not intend providing another. Instead, I will highlight…

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20th Amendment to Constitution claims back powers vested with Prime Minister

The President can claim back the powers vested with the Prime Minister through the 20th Amendment to Constitution, revealed SJB MP Chaminda Wijesiri. He made this comment in a statement to media yesterday (05) In his statement, he mocked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa by quoting his famous words before public den sepada (is he comfy now?), as the powers vested in his capacity would be taken back by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.  Adding, the MP said that all former minister Basil Rajapaksa has to do before entering Parliament is to produce a letter…

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SJB unanimously stands against 20th Amendment to Constitution

The Samagi Jana Balawegaya the runner up to the Ruling Party has unanimously agreed to stand against the 20th Amendment to Constitution, in a move to strengthen democracy of the country.  The decision has been made during a meeting held under the patronage of Party Leader and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa at Hall No 02 of the Parliamentary premises today (07).  The resolution was tabled by SJB Matara district MP Buddhika Pathirana and was confirmed by SJB Kurunegala district MP Asok Abeysinghe.  At this degree, the SJB is of the…

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Any attempt to remove 13A will be grave error … Sumanthiran

Tamil National Alliance Spokesperson Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran has observed that any attempt to remove the 13 th Amendment would be grave error. He made this observation speaking to the Sunday Times. Sumanthiran said:  “It would be the biggest mistake if the Government abolishes 13A. It is based on a bilateral agreement signed with India. This was signed to provide solutions to issues of the Tamils. We understand sections in the government are campaigning to abolish 13A which provides for the Provincial Council. That would be a grave error the Government…

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Arrest Sri Lanka’s Defence Attaché To UK: British Tamil Conservatives & Tamils for Labour

A number of active Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora organisations around the world have urged the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to declare Brigadier Sawrna Bothota a ‘persona non grata’ and curtail his diplomatic visa in order to allow the Met Police to arrest him and investigate him for war crimes. “The first was Major General Prasanna Silva, named in three UN reports as a war criminal. Silva was asked to leave because of the threat of a judicial review. The second was Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who threatened to decapitate peaceful…

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Will The Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord ”13th Amendment” Be Wiped Out?

By Ayathuray Rajasingam – Ayathuray Rajasingam Sri Lanka is a country practicing pluralism. The 13th Amendment was a bi-product of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord which provided room for a political system where the Provincial Councils also could enjoy power with the view to comply with aspirations of the aggrieved community. But Sri Lanka deliberately refused to allocate the required funds and power for the North-East Province for development and ignored the 13th Amendment which was a bi-product of the Peace Accord. In stead the Mahinda Rajapakse government de-merged the North-East Province and violated the Indo-Sri…

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Explained: Sri Lanka’s coming constitutional changes and why its Tamil polity is worried

On a visit to India earlier this year, Mahinda, who had already become the Prime Minister after his predecessor Ranil Wickremesinghe stepped down in the wake of Gotabya’s election as President, promised India that his government was committed to strengthening the 13th Amendment. When he was President, Mahinda Rajapakse expansively spoke of a 13 Plus solution for Tamil demands for political power sharing but his sincerity was in doubt. With India up against China at the LAC in Ladakh, and mindful of neighbours wielding the “China card” against India, Sri Lanka’s Tamil…

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“If the Tamils of Sri Lanka do not the right to self-determination they will become Sinhalese within 15 to 20 years,” says Wigneswaran.

By Manjula Fernando/Sunday Observer Courtesy NewsIn.Asia “The genuine grievance of our people is the non-settlement of their political issues. Not the denial of economic sops!” the former Northern Province Chief Minister said. Colombo, September 6: Maintaining his penchant for making controversial statements, the former Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran told the Sunday Observer in an interview that if the Tamils of Sri Lanka do not get the right to self-determination they will become Sinhalese within 15 to 20 years. Here are excerpts: Q: You maiden speech in Parliament last week is still…

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MR pledged 03 times through joint statements with India that he would implement the 13th Amendment, reveals TNA

Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa had issued joint statements with India three times pledging that he would implement the 13th Amendment to Constitution, TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran reminisced. He made this disclosure speaking to a public rally held in Kilinochchi yesterday (06). The TNA spokesman added that the Ruling Party’s adaptation of the new contitutional amendment would open doors to many challenges before the country in future. Sri Lanka may be at the verge of dictatorship, as the 19th Amendment to Constitution strenghtening democracy has been scrapped, he said. “There is a…

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JVP to support moves to abolish provincial council system

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says they will support a move to abolish the Provincial Council system in the country in the upcoming constitutional amendments. Addressing a panel discussion on Swarnavahini, MP Dissanayake said that the 20th Amendment is an amendment to the Constitution, like the 13th and 19th Amendments. An Amendment focuses on the articles that need to be retained, amended, and those that have to be replaced with a new article, he explained. MP Dissanayake said if that is the case, the JVP supports the…

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An opening for India in Sri Lanka

In just about six months into office, the promises made by the Sri Lankan president are slowly being jettisoned. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is clearly issuing orders that have been responsible for gagging the media. This is amply evident from the censorship imposed by the government on the coverage of the issue of seeking accountability for the deaths of 11 innocent Tamil youths, who were shot in cold blood on the orders of the then police chief of Sri Lanka in the concluding stages of the war in 2009. The police chief…

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13th amendment visualised devolution of powers to the Tamils in the north and east province of the island — will get the Hamlet poison.: What are India’s choices?

Whatever its apprehensions and concerns about the regime of the Rajapaksa clan, India must be ready with unconditional assistance when Colombo asks for it. Because it will, observes Aditi Phadnis. Most Sri Lankans are placing bets on how soon the 13th amendment — which was a product of the India-Sri Lanka Accord and visualised devolution of powers to the Tamils in the north and east province of the island — will get the Hamlet poison. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told Mahinda Rajapaksa in February during his India visit that he wanted…

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Indian Envoy’s Stance on India’s Long Standing Position on Peace and Reconciliaion in Sri Lanka and the Full Implementation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment has Not Changed Says Spokesperson for Indian High Commission in Colombo

By Skandha Gunasekara India refuses to budge on its stance on the 13th Amendment despite reports of possible changes. “The position of the High Commissioner has not changed. The High Commissioner reiterated India’s longstanding position on peace and reconciliation and the full implementation of the 13th Amendment,” a spokesperson for the Indian High Commission told The Sunday Morning. Continue reading ‘Indian Envoy’s Stance on India’s Long Standing Position on Peace and Reconciliaion in Sri Lanka and the Full Implementation of the 13th Constitutional Amendment has Not Changed Says Spokesperson for…

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What is the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, and why is it contentious?-“The Hindu” Explains!

By Meera Srinivasan After the Rajapaksas’ win in the November 2019 presidential polls and the August 2020 general election, the spotlight has fallen on two key legislations in Sri Lanka’s Constitution. One, the 19th Amendment, that was passed in 2015 to curb powers of the Executive President, while strengthening Parliament and independent commissions. The Rajapaksa government has already drafted and gazetted the 20th Amendment. The other legislation under sharp focus is the 13th Amendment passed in 1987, which mandates a measure of power devolution to the provincial councils established to…

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Now, Wiggy seeks India’s support for his ‘struggle’

By Dinasena Rathugamage Thamizh Makkal Thesiya Kootani (TMTK) Jaffna District MP C. V. Wigneswaran says he will seek India’s help to win the rights of Tamil people in the North and the East. Addressing the media in Kilinochchi on Saturday (5) MP Wingeswaran said that his inaugural speech in Parliament on the historic supremacy of Tamil language and Tamil people had marked the beginning of his campaign for winning the rights of Tamil people in the North and the East. “Tamils too have rights. The Sinhala Buddhist forces have no…

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What do the Tamils want?

N Sathiya Moorthy As with all post-war elections especially, the nation’s Tamil community remains confused – as much as what they want of the Sri Lankan State system as whom to vote for. Their political leadership(s) are divided and guilty, but neither seems to have touched them or the captive sections of their declining constituencies. Topping the list of course is the TNA, whose parliamentarians met and repeated one more time their vague demands and vaguer posturing one more time. They want to negotiate with main presidential candidates, but are…

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What is wrong with the Tamil polity…

By N Sathiya Moorthy It is anybody’s guess why Erik Solheim chose to speak one of his irregularly regular outpourings just now. However, the one-time Norwegian peace negotiator’s assertion that the Diaspora Tamils misled LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran should be worth recalling, for current and future generations of Tamils to remember – unless of course, ideological LTTE remnants, nearer home and abroad, want to brand Solheim as traitor as Prabhakaran had all but done with his one-time deputy Mahattaya and later, political advisor, Anton Balasingham. Solheim’s current intervention, though unintended,…

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