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Change of Constitution was advocated by Ranil's own coterie.

A.A.M.NIZAM MATARA

On the instigation and compulsion of the terrorists and the alien NGOs the government is making relentless efforts to bring piecemeal changes to the constitution to gratify their vulgar wishes and strengthen the terrorists in their march to Eelam. Minister Peiris who is suffering from a chronic political amnesia of not remembering what he advocated when he was in the PA has taken the lead in imploring for these changes. Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe and his colleagues intensely defended it when this absurd constitution was forced upon the people without their consent, and with scant respect for democracy and constitutional principles.

Mr. Ranil's mentor forcing the present constitution on this nation declared that he has ascended to the post of omnipotent President and other than changing a man to woman and a woman to man he is empowered by the Constitution to do whatever he desires to do. Contrary to this bravado the constitution was amended sixteen times within its first ten years. The Constitution consists of 117 pages, but the amendments run to 102 pages, nearly 87 percent of the main document. This shows that the document has lost its original aim and purpose and need to be completely discarded. This constitution was formulated to suit the whims and fancies of J.R.Jayawardene and with the change of personalities it lost its vigor and purpose.

Eminent politicians like Dr. N.M.Perera vehemently cautioned about the dangers this constitution could bring forth. Criticising the manner in which the Constitution was rushed through the Parliament Dr. N.M said a Constitution which is reported to have been incubating in his (J.R's) mind for 11 years cannot carry the label of urgency. He said constitutional amendments are potent not for a year or two but for all time, and no country with a written Constitution enables amendments to be carried through in the headlong manner as it has been done, and most constitutional amendments take years to fructify and some countries provide even for a referendum before such an amendment is made effective

Mr. S.B.Dissanayake who was a leading critic of the present constitution, addressing the SLFP Nuwara Eliya district seminar on 8th August 2001, (almost one year ago), said that every political party had accepted the need to change the present constitution. Even the UNP which fathered the present constitution contributed to this view. Late Mr. Jayewardene had created this monstrous constitution to perpetuate himself in power without leaving room for any change. Therefore there was an urgent need to change the present constitution. He was critical of the preferential votes system which deprives some electorates the possibility of electing their own members.

When the 17th amendment to the constitution was introduced last year TULF condemning piecemeal amendments declared that the TULF cannot with justification partake in piecemeal constitutional reform. TULF General Secretary Mr. R.Sambanthan said such piecemeal constitutional reform is akin to attempts to refurbish a house, which is engulfed by the flames of a major fire, and urged the need for a complete change to the constitution.

Even the Deputy leader of the UNP Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, in an interview on Sirasa TV on Thursday 12th July last year admitted the present constitution was not suitable and 99% of the people want a change of Constitution. Except Dr. N.M, the above referenced personalities who have criticised the present constitution and urged for a complete change are not in the PA's or JVP's fold but with the government and are strong buddies of Ranil. If Mr. Wickremasinghe is genuinely interested in the welfare of the country and good governance let him initiate action to change the Constitution completely as prudently proposed by the President.

 


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