Category Archives: electoral structures

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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The Lines of Fire within Mark Field’s Paternalist Message

Michael Roberts, courtesy of The Daily Mirror and Colombo Telegraph

Mark Field’s visit to Sri Lanka is very, very significant. His pronouncements are threaded by the paternalistic air of an Etonian schoolmaster pontificating to students. That should not be allowed to mask the Sword of Damocles that is above the Sri Lankan body via the UNHCR as the instrument of the Western international community.

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Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s Message for Reconciliation and Oneness

Kamanthi Wickramsingha in Q and A, in Daily Mirror, 14 March 2018, where the title runs Peace and unity should be in everyone’s heart”

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, the maverick of Sinhala cinema and theatre, has attempted to portray the reality of the state in every production. From Hansa Vilak tBawa Duka, Bawa Karma and stage plays such as Eka Adipathi, Dhawala Beeshana and Makarakshaya [he has] addressed issues from the 1980s riots to the dogma of Buddhism in Sri Lanka to other issues of national and political importance. “If the perpetrators of previous riots and crimes were identified and punished, what happened in Digana would have never happened,” said Bandaranayake in a candid interview with the Daily Mirror. He recently directed ‘Paradise in Tears’ a documentary film which portrays the historical evolution of the ethnic crisis in the country through its various phases. During the interview, Bandaranayake expressed his concerns over the manner in which the country’s rulers have treated people and how they have suffered as a result of ethnic violence, the role of artistes and how people should respond during incidents such as what happened in Kandy.   

  • There is no punishment for perpetrators
  • People should refrain from promoting separatist agendas
  • Violence should never be in the vocabulary of artistes
  • Reconciliation shouldn’t be on billboards   

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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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Vorsicht! Looking for a Hitler in Sri Lanka Today

Tisaranee Gunasekara, in Sunday Observer, 12 August 2018, where the title is “On Doctors and Kings. An authoritarian wind is sweeping across Sri Lanka”

The current yearning for the heavy hand of a strong leader is in tune with the Zeitgeist. Across the globe, people, disillusioned with democracy, are opening their ears to the siren song of authoritarianism. As Barrack Obama pointed out in his Mandela Centenary Lecture, “We now stand at a crossroads – a moment in time at which two very different versions of humanity’s future compete for the hearts and minds of citizens around the world.”

In Sri Lanka, the less immoderate, less illiberal government is in a state of semi-paralysis. The extremist and anti-democratic opposition is surging ahead. The myth that democracy is part of ‘The Problem’ (or even ‘The Problem’) rather than the least bad form of governance is ascendant. If democracy is the problem, then the solution, by definition has to be anti-democratic. This is the dangerous place to which Sri Lanka is careening. Continue reading

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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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The Demons within the Proposed New Constitution: A Trojan Horse?

CA Chandraprema, in The Island, 25 July 2018, where the title is“The nature of the State and the Presidency” … with emphasis added by The Editor, Thuppahi

The new draft constitution prepared by a panel of experts, for the consideration of the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly is now out. The panel of experts who prepared this draft comprised the following: Prof. Suri Ratnapala, N. Selvakkumaran, Prof. Navaratna Bandara, Asoka Gunawardena, Suren Fernando and Niran Anketell. Proposed Article 1 of the draft constitution describes the Sri Lankan state as follows: “Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a free, sovereign and independent Republic which is an aekiya rajyaya/ orumiththa nadu, consisting of the institutions of the Centre and of the Provinces which shall exercise power as laid down in the Constitution. In this Article aekiya rajyaya // orumiththa nadu means a State which is undivided and indivisible, and in which the power to amend the Constitution, or to repeal and replace the Constitution, shall remain with the Legislature and the People of Sri Lanka as provided in this Constitution.”

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