Category Archives: constitutional amendments

Evaluating Jehan Perera’s Assessments of the Presidential Candidates

Edward Upali in Canada, via Email Memo to Thuppahi, September 2019**

In his opinion piece on the Presidential Stakes Jehan Perera (JP) evaluates three of the more likely candidates at the next Presidential Election in Sri Lanka (SL).  However, I have some concerns relative to the criteria he uses to evaluate the prospective candidates.  It is a common practice in Problem Solving, to use the same criteria to all alternatives and score them to choose the best solution.  However, JP who claims to be a lawyer by training, appears to use several sets of criteria /attributes to evaluate three prospective Presidential Candidates

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Sri Lanka’s President-to-be: Evaluating the Evaluations

Rajeewa Jayaweera,  from Island,  9  September 2019 where the title is “Hobson’s choice with Presidential Candidates”

Two recent articles published in The Island were eye-openers. The first was titled ‘Presidential Elections and the Peoples Options’ by a group of eminent persons collectively known as ‘Friday Forum.’ The other was titled ‘Milinda reminds seven cold economic truths as politicians go into overdrive with promises’ by former politician and minister Milinda Moragoda.

Goonesekere; Jayaratne; and Moragoda

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The Political Paths We Sri Lankans Face

“Friday Forum” in Resurrected Form  Savitri Goonesekere, Chandra Jayaratne et al in Island, 3 September 2019, Presidential Elections And The Peoples’ Options”

In a few months’ time this country will once again make decisions on the political leadership that will guide the destinies of the nation. This is a pivotal point in regard to the direction and manner in which our country will develop in the near future.

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Ceylon-to-Lanka: Constitutional Dispensations, 1948-2019

Sarath Amunugama, in “the Sam Wijesinha Memorial Oration” at the SLFI on Friday, 30 August 2019 –A Talk entitled “Parliament and President”

I am deeply honoured by the invitation extended to me by Rajiva Wijesinha and Nigel Hatch to deliver the Sam Wijesinha Memorial Oration, which seeks to commemorate the late Sam Wijesinha, who was a personal friend of mine. I selected the topic “Parliament and the President” because it deals with two main aspects of the life of Sam Wijesinha (SW). Not only was he intimately connected with Parliament having served there as Deputy Clerk and ultimately Clerk and Secretary General but he was also close to several Presidents who sought his advice on many matters not exclusively in the area of parliamentary practice. He also had the distinction of serving as the first Ombudsman where he received public complaints from Parliament and provided redress expeditiously and in a humane manner.

 Sam Wijesinha

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The Presidency Stakes: Assessing Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Sunday Island, 18 August 2019, where the title reads “The Gotabaya Rajapaksa quandary”

On August 11, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) or Pohottuwa held its inaugural convention at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Former President and current Leader of Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR), who minutes earlier had been declared leader of the SLPP formally announced its Presidential candidate. As expected, it was MR’s younger brother, a former soldier and onetime Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR). Amidst thunderous applause and fireworks, GR declared, “I love my country, I am proud of my country.” Outlining his vision for the country, he pledged; “I will not allow anyone to interfere with the sovereignty of Sri Lanka” and “I will protect you and your children.”

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India’s Kashmir Action: Severe Implications for Sri Lankan Tamils

 PK Balachandran, of BD News, in Island, 13 August 2019, “Kashmir episode further dims chances of devolution of power to Sri Lankan Tamils

What is happening in India now in regard to federalism and devolution of power to Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir (J and K) region could further dim prospects of Sri Lankan Tamils’ getting power devolution beyond what they have been given de facto under the 13th Amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution.

Through a Presidential Order on August 5, the Indian central government headed by strongman Narendra Modi, nullified Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution which had given J and K State a large degree of autonomy. The Presidential Order also divided the State of J and K into two Union territories with very much less autonomy.

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Horrendous Constitutional Weaknesses via the 13th Amendment framed by India

C. A. Chandraprema, in Island, 22 July 2019, where the title is “13A: SL never got what India has: Four decades of constitutional folly and failure – 2

“Upon the making of a proclamation under the Public Security Ordinance or the law for the time being in force relating to public security, bringing the provisions of such Ordinance or law into operation on the ground that the maintenance of essential supplies and services is, threatened or that the security of Sri Lanka is threatened by war or external aggression or armed rebellion, the President may give directions to any Governor as to the manner in which the executive power exercisable by the Governor is to be exercised …”

President J. R. Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi after signing the Indo-Lanka Accord, which paved the way for the provincial council system

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