Category Archives: power sharing

KM de Silva’s Biographical Routes to the Recent Past

Sri Lanka: The Recent Past by Kingsley M. de Silva is now on the bookshelves in Sri Lanka.

The doyen among the contemporary historians of the island has deplye personal biographical expirences and his considerable reserch material to pen biographical tales that can illuminate our history, Editor, Thuppahi

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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.



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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Turmoil in the North Too? Jeyaraj Clarifies

D. B.S. Jeyaraj, in Daily Mirror,  27 October 2018



Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Wigneswaran  has announced the launch of a new political formation known as the “Thamizh Makkal Koottani” meaning Tamil People’s Alliance (TPA). The retired Supreme Court judge who was until a few days ago the Northern Province Chief Minister has split from the “Thamizh Thesiya Koottamaippu” or the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and declared his intent to form the TPA which is expected to electorally-target the TNA. Some may even argue that the raison d’etre for the ‘new’ TPA is the objective of politically undermining the ‘old’ TNA.
The Tamil National Alliance is the premier political configuration of Sri Lankan Tamils. The chief constituent of the TNA is the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) referred to in English as the Federal Party (FP). The TNA contests under the House symbol of the ITAK in elections. C.V. Wigneswaran  contested the Northern Provincial Council elections in September 2013 as the chief ministerial candidate of the TNA. He contested as the ITAK candidate in the Jaffna District with the backing of other TNA constituents at that time, namely the TELO, PLOTE, TULF and EPRLF.

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Sivatheeban charged as an LTTE Killer in Germany

ONE: News Item in Derana, 4 August 2o18, taken from Associated Press. …. entitled ”

German authorities have arrested a Sri Lankan man suspected of involvement in killing captured government soldiers as a member of the Tamil Tigers rebel group a decade ago. Federal prosecutors said a judge ordered Thursday the 36-year-old, identified only as Sivatheeban B. because of German privacy rules, detained pending a potential indictment.

ri Lankan-born German man Yogendran G. (C), seen on January 18, 2016 in Hamburg, raised more than 81,000 euros ($88,000) for combat and terrorist activities ©Christian Charisius (Pool/AFP/File) 

Pic in Derana

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Taraki’s Strategic Assessments, 2004-05: Some Selections

ONE: “LTTE develops asymmetric deterrence to stall foreign intervention,” 22 May 2004, in ….AND Daily Mirror, 22 May 2004

The LTTE’s scenario planning for negotiating the Internal Self Governing Authority (ISGA) with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) would necessarily include, among other things, some clearly thought out exit strategies if talks were to drag on aimlessly beyond ‘a reasonable period of time’. This is only natural because President Kumaratunga’s chief coalition partner, the JVP, went on record this week that it does not agree with the basis on which she has agreed to restart and take forward the talks with the LTTE. (Wimal Weerawansa’s interview with The Island on Monday and Somawansa’s meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday). Continue reading

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Anagarika Dharmapala in Ceylon and the World: Missing Dimensions highlighted by Kemper

Sasanka Perera, in The Island, 8 August 2018, where the title is “Rescuing Dharmapala from the ‘Nation’,” …. with emphasis via highlighting in this version being an imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi

I was intrigued to see the worlds of knowledge of the past that were opened up when reading Steven Kemper’s 2015 book, ‘Rescued from the Nation: Anagarika Dharmapala and the Buddhist World’ published by the University of Chicago Press. Growing up Sinhala Buddhist in Sri Lanka, Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) would easily be one of the most important historical characters from the recent past, we had become familiar with early in our lives. This was certainly so for my generation. As we know from that experience, Dharmapala was closely and intimately linked to the country’s Buddhist revivalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Precisely due to this reason, he was the most iconic culture hero of the Sinhala Buddhists in the modern period.

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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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