MR’s Role, 13A & The Constitutional Changes

By Dayan Jayatilleka –  Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka If all power and decision-making are vested in one person, even if that person has originally been elected, then that political order is defined in classical (Aristotelian) terms as “the rule of one man”, a “tyranny”. In modern times this is defined as a dictatorship, especially if the ubiquity of the military is an aspect of that person’s rule, as in Sri Lanka today. Other terms, also deriving from political thought and philosophy can be used: ‘absolutism’, ‘autocracy’, ‘despotism’.  Substituting the 19th amendment with the 20th  is not…

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Report in the UK “Guardian” About Murder Convict Premalal Jayasekera Being Allowed To Be Sworn in as MP by the Speaker in Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan politician sentenced to death for murder has been escorted from prison to parliament to become the first convict to be sworn in as an MP, amid heckles from the opposition. Premalal Jayasekara, 45, from the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party (SLPP), was convicted in August of murdering an opposition activist after opening fire at a 2015 election rally. As his conviction and sentence came after nominations for the 5 August poll, he was able to contest the election and take up his seat. Continue reading ‘Report…

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Row over murder convict-MP: Speaker takes cover behind court ruling as SJB fires salvo after salvo

By Sandun Jayawardana Less than a month into its five-year term, the Ninth Parliament of Sri Lanka achieved world-wide notoriety this week when a murder convict on death row was sworn in as a member of the august assembly, amid jeers and a walkout from Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MPs. The swearing-in of Ratnapura district Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) MP-elect Premalal Jayasekara was the first item on the agenda when sittings began on Tuesday (8). He was sentenced to death by the Ratnapura High Court on July 31…

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There are clear and present dangers in allowing such ‘unfettered’ powers to be wielded by the President who is being elevated as a ‘super-constitutional creature’ by the 20th Amendment

By Kishali Pinto Jayewardena As public concern over Sri Lanka’s draft 20th Amendment to the Constitution increases exponentially since this amendment was gazetted on 2nd September 2020, so do the sheer absurdity of the justifications thereto. Cunning and deplorably simplistic explanations are put forward by some in Government ranks. The President as a ‘super-constitutional’ creature It is bad enough that the Justice Minister asks as to what is the point of constitutional commissions when the narcotic trade cannot be eliminated in Sri Lanka? He needs to be reminded that the…

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