Category Archives: legal issues

Sam Samarasinghe’s Postscript to the Raging Debate in Colombo Telegraph on His Previous Essay

 Sam Samarasinghe aka Stanley WR de Samarasinghe, with this NOTE in Colombo Telegraph: Some of you may have read my article titled “A Way Out of the Crisis to Save Sri Lanka’s Democracy” that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph on December 7th. It elicited a fairly significant response. The format of Colombo Telegraph allows for dialogue and discussion of a topic. Making use of that I prepared a response partly to answer some issues and questions that some of the correspondents raised. Colombo Telegraph has published my response. …. A Response presented here with highlighting emphases imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

I am thankful to all those who contributed to the dialogue following my article published in the Colombo Telegraph on December 07. I will not attempt to respond to individual comments. But taken in its totality the discussion raises some important issues relating to governance in Sri Lanka in the context of the present crisis.

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Sunil Vijayapala’s Terse Comments on the Crisis in Lanka & the Samarasinghe Article

Sunil Vijayapala, in Email Memo to The Editor, Thuppahi …. partly a response to the article which SWR de Samarasinghe presented in three outlets including Thuppahi

A= There is no solution other than going for a general election, which might materialise.

B = Tourism is not a solid dependable income, it depends on so many factors – a single bomb going off in Colombo is all that takes to reverse the flow.  Besides it’s all cheap shit arriving here – lower end tourists – hardly a good investment.

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The Grim Prospects Sri Lanka Faces Today

SWR de  “Sam” Samarasinghe, Island, 3 December 2018, where the title reads  The Crisis in Governance: Likely Economic Consequences and the End Game” ….. Also presented in Colombo Telegraph, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-crisis-in-governance-likely-economic-consequences-the-end-game/

The crisis of governance that Sri Lanka is currently facing is unprecedented in post-war Sri Lankan politics. Two individuals claiming to be prime minister and one major party boycotting parliament illustrate the point. There is no need to recount in detail the events of the past five weeks that are publicly known. The purpose of this article is to note some of the serious implications of this crisis for the economy of the country and to stress the importance of resolving the crisis in a manner that would reverse these adverse trends.

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Victor Ivan’s Contentions on the Present Crisis: Two Essays

 ONE: “The present crisis is likely to end up in a serious disaster,” in

Of the Executive Presidents who ruled the country prior to Maithripala Sirisena, J.R. Jayewardene and Mahinda Rajapaksa can be described as those who mostly and increasingly exhibited the majesty and the prowess of the post. Both had adequate powers to do so. In fact, J.R. Jayewardene boasted that the only thing he could not do was to make a man a woman and vice versa.

 President Maithripala Sirisena is not equipped with powers to do what  he is doing at the moment

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A Merry-Go-Round in Sri Lanka …. No Blood

Michael Patrick O’Leary, in Private Eye, where the title is “A Letter from Colombo: Blood Bath in Sri Lanka- not Many Dead”

There is much talk of the second coming of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. It seems that he may have come prematurely, without the potency he had presumed. He says he is prime minister of Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the UNP (United National Party), says he is prime minister. There have been ugly scenes in parliament as ugly politicians punch each other and throw things about, including a bible (or possibly Erskine May).

 

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Internal Contradictions in the Present Constitution demand Flexible Adjustments towards a living-workable constitution

D. Laksiri Mendis, in Island, 26 November 2018, where the chosen title is “Is the dissolution of parliament legal and legitimate?”

After much consideration, I decided to write this article on the above subject as I have had long years of experience in Constitutional Law, Legislative Drafting and Statutory Interpretation in many parts of the world. At present, I conduct lectures on Legislative Drafting and Statutory Interpretation at the Sri Lanka Law College and draft legislation for various international organizations and statutory boards in Sri Lanka and abroad on a regular basis.

BACKGROUND

 

1. Since attaining Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka had three Constitutions, namely, Soulbury Constitution 1946, First Republican Constitution 1972 and Second Republican Constitution 1978. All three Constitutions differed very much from one another.

 

2. Soulbury Constitution adopted the Westminster model of Government and His Majesty King George VI of Great Britain was retained as Head of State. Late Sir Ivor Jennings, who drafted the Soulbury Constitution for Ceylon, incorporated section 29(2) from the Irish Constitution to protect minorities. In the Privy Council Lord Pearce held in Queen vs Liyanage (1965) that the Criminal Law (Special Provisions) Act 1962 ultra vires the Constitution, as the Soulbury Constitution has recognized the doctrine of separation of powers. This case is cited in many Commonwealth countries for constitutional interpretation. Continue reading

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Rich Veins of Legal Insight in Social Media Readings of the Sri Lankan Constitution?

An Editorial Comment

While many of us are aware of the widespread interaction on social media, the degree of political insight embedded within the multitude of exchanges is both unknown and questionable..The political mess in Sri Lanka and the intriguing debate on the existing constitutional provisions has thrown up conflicting interpretations from legal experts and political scientists from every which way. From my sceptical stance on this set of issues, I have spotted some intelligent comments within my web site; but not collected them.  Ratnawalli, whose essay on the topic seems to have been exorcized and blocked  by a number of Editors of the  main-line press in Lanka as well as  the web-engines  Colombo Telegraph, has collected a number of pertinent comments -arising from the the interpretation ‘voiced’ by Suri Ratnapala — a Professor of Law whose credentials ensured publication — in Colombo Telegraph. I have over-ridden the title she suggested, viz: “Sri Lankans take to social media to interpret their Constitution as ‘experts’ trip over 19A” …….. Thuppahi-Man…. adding his own emphasis by colour as well as a different title … and cartoon!

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