Joint opposition note concerns on Constitutional Assembly

G.L-PeirisThe Joint Opposition Group (JOG) has picked holes in the procedure adopted by the Government to draft a new constitution.

Speaking to the New Indian Express former Constitutional Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris said that it was wrong to have tried to turn parliament into a “Constitutional Assembly” through a parliamentary resolution, by-passing the Standing Orders of Parliament. Under Standing Order 86 (1), the House could convert itself into a “Committee of the Whole House” which could then draft the constitution. By not following this rule, the constitution making exercise has been rendered invalid, he said.

The second objection of the JOG was the provision for the involvement of non-parliamentarians in drafting the constitution. The resolution which was moved in parliament on January 8, has provision for the Steering Committee to seek the services of any institution or person, and appoint any person to aid and advice the constitutional Assembly or any of its sub-committees. The Constitutional Assembly can also invite any one to make submissions to it. In fact, leading lawyer and non-MP, Lal Wijenayake, will be heading the Public Representation Committee of the proposed Constitutional Assembly.

“The involvement of outsiders dilutes the power of parliament,” Peiris argued.

Lankan nationalist groups see the danger of foreign-funded NGOs, foreign experts and foreign governments’ representatives being invited. Western or Indian experts could press for more concessions to the Tamils and Muslims or a greater degree of devolution to the Tamil-dominated provinces. This is why, President Maithripala Sirisena had to assure the MPs in his speech in parliament on January 8, that there will be no foreign input and that the proposed constitution will be a fully homegrown one.

The third objection raised by the JOG is that the resolution presented on January 8, had no provision for a judicial intervention at any stage. The common man would not be able to approach the court to thwart clauses which hurt his interest.


  1. GLP the professor who could never practice so he entered politics as a true nationalist. He learnt at oxford the English way of doing things- bad logic and confidence so he coined the slaughter of the innocents `humanitarian operation`

    Most Sri lankans pride themselves in being `panditayo` Appe Ratte Appe Anduva Suddha te Gahamu- not just modawanse but common folk too.

    We all talk of we can do this locally and do that locally just like the English but unfortunately non can do it even when it comes to technology or even road works so you look towards the Chinese who need the Germans like the English to carry out works.
    In British industry when some robots do not work 100’s of workers are left without work (usually one week) but paid until German/Austrian engineers are airlifted to UK.This adds to sale price of product.

    To put is bluntly all lawyers are parasites- they thrive on the misery of the victim So UK has a system of tribunals which are cheaper.

    Remember the less written in a constitution is the best constitution. Sinha la have drafted constitution after constitution and have nationalist in parliament who have not even passed GEC then we had Colvin the great. All this was for??
    Sunday Sil, Monday Kill, Kill the Minorities, Blame the Suddha.- GL is not immune from this from his campus days.

    You don’t have a constitution that treats that all citizens are equal there won’t be an awakening and support for a Marshall Plan type forthcoming from the west.

  2. By not following this rule, the constitution making exercise has been rendered invalid, he said.

    Rules are made to be broken because they were never made in heaven but stupid fellow humans in power who ruled with passion for one thing or other but never for others. Even wise Solomon could do nothing about his son.
    BodhiSira MR2 is now the epitome of “Bob’s your uncle”

    “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
    ― Mark Twain


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