Category Archives: constitutional amendments

Ehaaa. Mehaa. Presidential Manouevres in Sri Lanka

Rajan Philips, in The Island, 13 October 2018 where the title reads “Checkmate Politics II: Diminishing Options for MS, MR and RW

There is no presidential checkmate after all as many of us were alerted to last week. President Sirisena is in no position to checkmate anyone. No surprise there. He has burnt his boats with the UNP, and even Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot rally everyone in the JO to support a new political arrangement with the old defector. It is now reported that Maithripala Sirisena first approached the UNP to canvass for a second term as President with UNP support, and only after being rebuffed by the UNP that he sought an alliance with the Rajapaksas. It is also known that there were quite a few meetings between Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, which would only confirm that the former President has been quite serious about pursuing a deal with the current incumbent. And obviously because a second term Sirisena presidency is the only way to secure a path for the now underage Namal Rajapaksa to become president in 2024. That the former President could not get others on board for this scheme shows how tenuous and tentative are the loyalties within the Joint Opposition. Be that as it may.

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President Sirisena addresses United Nations in New York

News Item, AT http://www.president.gov.lk/president-urges-the-international-community-to-look-at-sri-lanka-with-a-fresh-perspective/ … with this title President urges the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective”

President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the international community to look at Sri Lanka with a fresh perspective and consider the tremendous progress made by the government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law and [therefore to] extend the fullest support to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society.

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A Legal Minefield: The 20th Amendment

Neville Ladduwahetty, in the Island, 14 September 2018,

The JVP has presented to Parliament the 20th Amendment to the Constitution under provisions of a Private Member’s Bill. The primary objective of the 20th Amendment is to abolish the Office of an Executive President being elected by the People as stated in Article 4(b) of the 1978 Constitution. It is reported that several petitions have already being filed in the Supreme Court.

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Presidency Stakes: A Constitutional Knot that is Gordian as Gordian can be

Neville Ladduwahetty,in The Island, 29 August 2018, where the title runs “Interpreting the 19th Amendment”

The hot topic in town is whether former twice elected Presidents Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa are qualified to seek reelection under provisions of the 19th Amendment. Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama in a legally well analyzed article titled “Disqualifying Twice Elected Presidents – A Failed Endeavour” (Sunday Island, August 19, 2018) argues that since Parliament did not provide in the 19th Amendment, a disqualification that would apply retrospectively former twice elected Presidents are not disqualified from seeking reelection.

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New Constitution opens door for CBK and Mahinda to enter Presidency Stakes

EDITOR, News-in-Asia, 19 August 2018, where the title is “No constitutional bar on becoming Lankan President more than twice, says constitutional expert Prof.G.L.Peiris”

Prof. G.L.Peiris, a former Sri Lankan Minister for Constitutional Affairs who is currently one of the leaders of the Joint Opposition (JO), has said that there is no constitutional bar against any person being President of Sri Lanka more than twice, even though the 19 th.Amendment (19A) enacted in 2015 says that a person cannot be President more than twice.

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Jayampathi Wickramarathna n Q and A on the Process of Constitution-Making

Sandun A Jayasekera in Daily Mirror, 25 July 2017, where the title runs New Constitution for Sri Lanka : ten experts working on initial draft of Constitution”

The Constitution making process is in limbo right now and the ‘Yahapalana Government’ seems quite content with the passing of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Attempts to introduce a new Constitution has come under much criticism by many in the country. The Daily Mirror spoke to the main architect of the drafting of a new Constitution for Sri Lanka, Parliamentarian and Constitutional expert Dr. Jayampathi Wickramarathna on the issue.  Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s Political Swamp, Gotabhaya and the Viyath Maga Tamasha: A Critical Evaluation

Rajan Philips, in The Island, 26 May 2018, where the title is  The Shangri La tamasha: Neither presidential nor parliamentary, it’s Port City politics now

After a week in Cuba, I am late in gate-crashing the Shangri La party, the onset of the newest political tamasha in town. Calling it a tamasha is not to belittle the political potency of the event, but to highlight its ideational bankruptcy. No one took Donald Trump seriously when he slid down his gilded Trump Tower escalator, in January 2016, and announced his candidacy to become President of the United States of America. Look where he landed before the year was over and where he is dragging by its nose the world’s so called sole superpower. The Sri Lankan contrast is glaring.

GR making Viyath Maga speech at Shangri La

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May 28, 2018 · 2:38 pm