Sri Lanka must respect Constitutional procedures: ICJ
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) today called upon the Government of Sri Lanka to abide by the Constitution and its international obligations in peacefully resolving the current political crisis, and for all political leaders to commit to respect for human rights and the rule of law.
To this end, President Maithripala Sirisena should reconvene Parliament to end the constitutional crisis in line with the rule of law and democratic norms, the international rights group said.
The ICJ urged the Government to deliver on its commitment to the transitional justice process, including by holding those responsible for human rights violations and abuses accountable, and complying with the obligations set out in United Nations Human Rights Council Resolutions 30/1 and 34/1.
“It is with grave concern that the ICJ has observed the unfolding of events in Sri Lanka since the evening of October 26, 2018.”
Following the withdrawal of the United People’s Freedom Alliance from the National Unity Government, President Maithripala Sirisena, in an unexpected move, appointed Former President and Member of Parliament Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“These actions have transpired in disregard of safeguards set out in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which limit the power of the President to remove the Prime Minister at will.”
“The Amendment spells out specific instances during which the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka ceases to hold office under the law,” the statement said.
“The ICJ is concerned at the President’s move to prorogue Parliament until 16 November in what appears to be an effort to avoid parliamentary scrutiny of his actions. The move has exacerbated political tensions.”
The ICJ stressed that the removal of the Prime Minister in violation of the law or constitutional provisions would constitute a violation of Sri Lanka’s commitments to the international community, set out in UN Human Rights Council resolutions in 2015 and 2017, to strengthen good governance and protect democratic institutions.
President M.Sirisena postponed the parliament enabling to give enough time for Rajapkse group to negotiate deals with UNP MPs as they have no the majority.
So already Mr.M.Sirisena has done a big irreversible damage to the democracy to country.
The appointment of Mahinda Rajapakse as the PM is illegal. MR has completed two terms as the president so he can’t be again the president according to the Constitution. But in a case of death of the president M.Sirisena or replacing him as a result of impeachment, prime minister has to be the president which can’t be according to the Constitution.
I am sure MR did not walk in to this position with his eyed closed. If he had the courage and the intelligence to defeat the LTTE I am sure he will know how to deal with this. IT is amazing how all the RW supporters were carrying on about how MR and his family stole during there tenure but are willing to get RW back even after the greatest robbery in SL with the Central Bank affair. All Yahaplanaya did in the time they were in power was blame MR and his people, Make allegations but was not able to imprison even one person. It also stupid if RW did not know that what MY3 did to MR he will do to him as well. Have you not heard that when you sleep with dogs you smell like a dog. Good riddance. We do not need a PM who says how high when the white people ask him to jump. The problem with yahaplanaya was that MY3 was RW’s Puppet and RW was the puppet of the western world. It seems the west is very worried about the change of PM but none of them came to our aid when we were being terrorized by LTTE. it issimilar to looking for war crimes at the end of the war but never ever mentioning human rights violations when that animal Prabhakaran was snatching young kids and sending them to war.
MPs started debsting the constitution in the wake of the prospect of rewrting the Constitution or a part of it follwing the last presidential and the general election. The Yahapalanaya was constituted follwing the elections when neither the UNP nor the SLFP had an outright majority. Sirisena faction of the SLFP shared the government with Ranil with it the constitution was amended to shred some of the presidential powers to strengthen the PMs role in the government. Outcome of this was the nominations to the cabinet that. The result of this exercise is history and in its wake the government was preoccupied with the Constitutio and other crooked deals with disastrous consequences which was reflected in the elections in 2017.
The government violated the constitution by not holding provincial elections thagt was put on hold indeinitely. Had the trend continued the fate of the general elections were at stake undermining the very deomoractic process that those defending the constitution and democracy.
The people were concious of the fact however no one was prepared to mobilise the people becuase of the uncertain prospect of uncertainity. The UNP lost popular support further the police nor the defence services failed to support his cause which left tanil in a limbo
The National Government by UNP and former Sirisena faction of the SLFP collapsed when the Sirisena faction walked out of the National Government.
Following the collapse of the National Government, the President shall appoint Prime Minister the Member of Parliament, who, in the President’s opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.
The words to note are ‘command the confidence of Parliament’ and not a ‘majority in Parliament’.
The President erred in believing that MR ‘commands the confidence of Parliament’.
MR erred in accepting the offer to become Prime Minister. A similar political error occurred when MR called for early Presidential Elections in Nov 2014 which resulted in the loss on 08 Jan 2015.
The UNP, who are now the saviours of democracy, will emerge winners from this episode.
The UNP will gain Government and will push RW-SP combine at the next Parliamentary Elections.
The SLFP does not have a firm candidate for the next Presidential Election; however, they are now obliged to field Sirisena; in this case, RW will easily win the Presidential elections with part Sinhala Buddhist support and 100% minority support.