Concerns raised over process to draft a new Constitution

srilanka_parliament-8The Sri Lanka Solidarity Movement has raised concerns over the process to draft a new Constitution for Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lanka Solidarity Movement notes that many persons, especially Sinhala Buddhists and the Sinhala people are having very strong reservations about the drawing up of a new Constitution.

“There are widespread fears that a federal constitution will be brought in surreptitiously with a ‘unitary’ label to hoodwink the Sinhala Buddhists and the Sinhala people. Surely, a small country such as Sri Lanka does not need a quasi federal constitution since only countries which are large in size adopt quasi federal constitutions for better management purposes and small countries have adopted unitary constitutions for good reason,” the movement said in a statement.

The movemment also notes that the the 13th amendment to the constitution is already quasi federal. This is due to the fact that, to overturn a statute approved by a provincial council with regard to a provincial subject which is inimical to the country, Parliament needs a two thirds majority to overturn such a provincial statute.

“This is in sharp contrast to a simple majority that Parliament needs to overturn a law which has been approved by Parliament i.e. the central government. Surely in a unitary state, to overturn a provincial statute, Parliament only needs a simple majority? We urge that in a future constitution, if it really is unitary, then Parliament should be able to overturn a provincial statute, if it is inimical to the country, by a simple majority in Parliament. If the constitution really is unitary, the legislative at the centre should be able to wield its power over the legislative at the provincial level without any hindrance,” the Sri Lanka Solidarity Movement said.

It also said that if the Constitution really is unitary, the legislative at the centre should be able to wield its power over the legislative at the provincial level without any hindrance.

The Sri Lanka Solidarity Movement also urged that the relevant clauses of the Public Security Ordinance remain intact and not be amended or deleted as OHCHR’s Prince Al Hussein, the TNA, other separatists, US, EU, UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India wants.

It says if the Constitution really is unitary, the executive at the centre should be able to wield its power over the executive at the provincial level without any hindrance. (Colombo Gazette)

5 COMMENTS

  1. Good some people are finally voicing their concerns and anxieties about this new Constitution. Ranil clearly is not being straight about, which means he clearly has something (or things to hide eg selling the Sinhalese down the river and neglecting the First Nations people of Sri Lanka the Vedda people).

    A major issue that has never been properly discussed in this context is that the majority of Tamils live in the Sinhalese areas, owning expensive properties and businesses, but TNA et al want 33% of the country (NP+EP). They should not be given that. Solution has to be proportionate and fair to all communities not just the selfish Sri Lankan Tamils who want to have the cake and eat it.

    Sri Lankans should not be afraid of voting against the new Constitution if it is over generous to the Tamils/TNA as the Colombians did a couple of weeks ago. Then back to the drawing board.

    • Yes, let the status quo remain and work within the present constitution without creating opportunities for a future turmoil in the country for the benefit of those with vested interests

      • It is quite amazing just how blinkered Sinhalese nationalists are. “let the status quo remain ” I mean its a mystery how the war started in the first place when everything was and is so perfect , so why change it ?
        It would seem to me as a regular foreigner visiting yearly for the last 25 years that ” the vested interests” you speak of are the SLA who it seems are beyond criticism , and the entrenched Sinhalese establishment.
        The mere mention of any kind of devolution for Tamils gets them frothing at the mouth , why ? what are they all afraid of ? perhaps the thought that the Tamils might just be able to run their own affairs better.

    • ” SriLanlans are happy with the present ” Would that be all Sri Lankans that you are the spokesman for ? or are you just assuming all Tamils are delighted with the present set-up ? Having recently visited the north of your country and seen large monuments erected to the army hero’s ( in a civil war can you imagine ? ) and heard the comments about this from locals , I think it safe to assume Tamils are far from being delighted with the present state of affairs.

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