Sri Lanka political situation: Let us ask ourselves some questions
All types of people have suddenly become constitutional experts, legal pundits, democratic veterans, angels of law & order but let us stop & first ask ourselves some questions & see how best we can find the answers
What type of democracy prevails in Sri Lanka? Is the head of State – the President, the Prime Minister or the Speaker?
In 2015 January did Sri Lanka have a Presidential Election or a Parliamentary Election?
If Presidential, then have the people voted for a President or a Prime Minister?
If people voted for a President in January 2015 how did the President appoint a Prime Minister? Was there provision in the constitution for him to do so?
Was the sitting PM removed before appointing Ranil as Prime Minister & gazetted too? If not is this appointment legally valid?
Is it constitutionally possible to appoint Ranil as PM in January 2015 (note only the 18th amendment to the constitution applied at this stage)
Ranil had only 46MPs in Parliament in January 2015, on what legal & constitutional basis was he made the Prime Minister?
What is the legal & constitutional provision of a National Government mentioned in the 19a and the National Unity Government that comprises the parties led by UNP?
If there is a National Government why did only UNP & SLFP sign a 2 year MOU? What was the position of this national government & 2 year MOU when that term expired in August 2017? Did the national government legally stand?
Can only the SLFP & UNP sign a 2 year MOU because both of them did not contest independently but through alliances, why was an MOU not signed with all alliance heads?
Everyone speaking of following the democratic process were silent in April 2015 – when Parliament was supposed to be dissolved & elections held which did not happen? Can someone explain how this did not fit into the democratic process violation?
The President is elected by the People directly – how democratic was it to help draft 19a that transferred the power given to the People and hand it to Parliament which reduced the President’s term to 5 years and reduced his ability to dissolve Parliament
Isn’t 19a deciding on a reduced Presidential term of office a violation of Article 3 of the Constitution that gives inalienable sovereign rights to the People? If People elect the President the People should also decide if there is to be a change of years in office not the Parliament.
How legal is it to also allow Parliament to decide how many times a President can contest? Shouldn’t that too be the decision of the People? A contestant has a right to contest & the People have the right to reject or elect that contestant. Isn’t that true democracy?
The National Government was only mentioned for the 100 day program such a set up was not in the election manifestos of the UNP or SLFP in August 2015 – on what basis was this National Government continued – there was no national crisis? (even during the military operation the Opposition did not wish to support the ruling government by forming a national government)
What has this National Government done in the ‘National Interest’ of the country?
How legal & constitutional is it to allow defeated candidates to enter through the National List? Where are all the proponents of democracy opposing this?
Why are those speaking of MP ‘buy-overs’ & corruption now silent in 2014-2015 when MPs of the Rajapakse govt crossed over to topple him & 26MPs were enticed from the SLFP in March 2015 to form a 77 member government?
The President is elected by the People – the Prime Minister is not, why has the 19a limited scope for the President (powers given to him by the People) to remove the Prime Minister as could be done previously?
Why are all those preaching democratic process now silent when the assurances made to the people was a 25member cabinet which rose to 30 and then by April 2015 ended up with 45 cabinet Ministers, 55 non-cabinet & deputy ministers. Why this selective democracy outcries?
What legal right does the Parliament have to pass 19a that usurps the executive powers given directly by the People to the Executive President & transfer those powers to a Prime Minister not elected directly by the People?
On 26 October 2018, the President decided to remove Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister & hand over the Premiership to Mahinda Rajapakse. What is the unconstitutionality in this? Please quote necessary clauses from the constitution for violations.
The appointment of new Prime Minister was made after all the SLFP MPs in the National Unity Government exited thus making null & void the unity government as the MOU was signed between only these 2 parties. What is illegal or unconstitutional in this?
Whereas the sitting PM was not removed before appointing a PM in January 2015, not only the sitting PM was removed but a gazette notification of the said removal & another gazette notification of the PM appointment was made in October 2018. Where is the unconstitutionality if any?
There have been plenty of governments that have run as minority governments and 113MPs is not necessary to run the government.
Where does it say that the President can only appoint as PM the person who has the most MPs in Parliament?
Doesn’t the constitution say that the President can appoint as PM the person HE FEELS has the most confidence in Parliament?
Can the President remove the Prime Minister? Doesn’t 48(1) give 3 opportunities to dissolve cabinet including sacking the PM & under other reasons” 47 (2)
Isn’t Sri Lanka’s Executive Head & 1st citizen, the President? Yes
Isn’t the President the Head of the Government? Yes
Isn’t the President the Head of the Cabinet? Yes – 42(3)
If the President has all these powers why can’t he change the Prime Minister who is not elected by the People?
If anyone feels that any constitutional provisions have been violated why are they not going to Supreme Court to get a determination? Making the Speaker hysterical & a laughing stock is not the solution.
What are the provisions available for the President to dissolve Parliament?
Is the sovereignty in the hands of the People or Parliament? Certainly People
If the sovereignty of the people is being violated, can the President use his executive powers & take action under Article 62
Has the 19a tried to usurp the powers of the People and give it to Parliament?
How come all those crusading against illegalities & demanding democratic process was silent regarding the unceremonious removal of Chief Justice Mohan Peiris. He was simply not allowed into his chambers. His term is included in Wikipedia as the 43rd ‘defacto Chief Justice’ how morally & legally right is this?
How legal is the FCID & all other corruption units set up directly under the supervision of the PM?
How legal & ethical was it to appoint a finance minister in 2015 who was facing a case for money laundering?
How legal was it to transfer the Central Bank, Exchange & Securities Commission & Statistics directly under the PM? Was this not to facilitate the Central Bank Bond Scam?
Is it also legal for a foreigner to be appointed as Governor of the Central Bank & was this person not responsible for the Bond Scam & will that foreign citizenship factor affect legal action to be taken for the economic chaos that has arise as a result?
All those crying foul & issuing statements on upholding democracy were not to be seen or heard when the Ranil Wickremasinghe government did not hold a single election from August 2015 to February 2018 – why?
How legal has it been to ask people to come to give statements & then order their arrests & refusal for bail? How legal was it to even open magistrates office late in the hours to imprison people arrested?
How legal are the investments, land sales, national asset sales taken arbitrarily via bills that have been passed ad hoc & by a Speaker who has shown his open bias?
How legal has been the reparations bill compensating LTTE when LTTE remains banned in Sri Lanka still.
What is the legality in co-sponsoring the Geneva Resolution which is arguably legally questionable too given that all UNHRC Resolutions & Investigation stemmed from a personal report commissioned by the UNSG which did not have the mandate of the UN General Assembly or the UN Security Council?
How legal is it to shelve the COPE report & BOND COMMISSION report which should be released to the public
Answering some of these questions will help any to understand the precarious situation the Ranil-led government has put the country in. Allowing unnecessary foreign meddling into the internal affairs of a sovereign country, opening internal systems for foreign perusal & adjustments which no government is bound to do, which has only compromised our internal security systems & exposed our weak points for them to manipulate at will.
None of these countries are concerned about democracy – they probably don’t even understand the word leave alone wanting to abide by it. They preach to us about human rights & rule of law & then sell arms for profit which are devastating Yemen & leaving these innocent people in starvation & hunger. Countries who can do this have no moral right to be coming preaching to us or any other country.
Sovereignty is in the hands of the People & it is the People of Sri Lanka who must decide not foreign nations or the UN and it is time people elected by the People stop going crying to foreign countries for help, it only shows they are incapable of leading without being spoon-fed by them on how to rule according to their agendas & dictates.
An important lesson for all is NOT TO BELIEVE the campaigns & pseudo experts now emerging to make a big noise & tell you that what is happening in Sri Lanka is unconstitutional.
You decide if anything is unconstitutional not because others says so but because you search & find answers to questions which help you decide whether it is unconstitutional or not.
Therefore, please go through these questions & seek the answers yourself & you come to your own conclusions….
All the time look at the larger picture… always think and ask yourself whether a Govt’s decision is affecting the national security, the safety of the people & their future … this should always be in the back of your mind.
Whoever governs – we must have a safe country to live in & that land must belong to all of us.
Shenali D Waduge 209 Viewers