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New Constitution - SL moving towards federal system: Wimalarathana Thera

24 October 2017 09:13 pm - 20     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The country will get stuck in a federal system if the new Constitution is implemented, Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara Chief Incumbent the Ven. Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera told a news briefing today.

He said the Government could surreptitiously enact the new Constitution which would harm the entire country.

“The attempts to reveal the true nature of the situation that would prevail if the new Constitution was passed, are not indications of attempting to go against the Government,” the prelate said. “It is an attempt to educate the public. Some elements say the Maha Sangha are creating a fear psychosis among the people to fulfil the aspirations of a third party, which is not true.”

The prelate said if the new Constitution was implemented the Provincial Councils would have the authority to take their own decisions, including changing the Poya holidays based on the majority population.

“A Provincial Council may even change the national policy according to its needs,” he said and added that a close examination of the new constitutional proposals clearly revealed that some proposals were helpful for future peaceful co-existence of all citizens, but the rest were directly supportive of separatist objectives.

“The proposals include the diluting of the powers of Parliament, taking away the powers vested in the Executive President to monitor the Provincial Councils through the Governors appointed by the President, to establish a constitutional court that will usurp the existing powers of the Supreme Court to make rulings on the constitutionality of legislation pertaining to key areas such as land matters, to recognise the Northern and Eastern Provinces as one unit through the Constitution itself, eliminate the powers vested with the Central Government to intervene in any provincial issues that have national implications by removing the concurrent list and remove the prevailing provisions for the Government or the Parliament to frame national policies on any subject,” the Thera said.

He said the alternate proposals contained in the main document hide the real intention with regard to certain key proposals by the use of words that gave different and conflicting meanings in the three versions of Sinhala, Tamil, and English.

“The proposals do not use the term federal directly, it is subtly introduced by the use of words that have different meanings in the three languages. Similarly, the foremost status accorded to Buddhism has been diluted by the introduction of alternative amendments to Article 9 of the Constitution, which have surprised and grieved us immensely. The Maha Sangha are of the view that a new Constitution is not the need of the hour. We stress that even any amendment to the Constitution at this point should be restricted only to those pertaining to bring in amendments to the electoral system. We earnestly request President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Government to stop all attempts at introducing a new Constitution,” the prelate said. "We urge members of the Maha Sangha and all religious leaders of other faiths to come forward without further delay to educate the public and their elected representatives regarding this national crisis situation that is developing, so that all patriotic forces will unite and join hands to reject the proposals for a new constitution that is uncalled for at this juncture.” (Chaturanga Pradeep)

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  Comments - 20

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  • ceylon Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:22 PM

    its good.lanka allready in federal system with nine governments with nine cabinets plus central government. via DM Android App

    malik Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:45 AM

    Just Funny to hear these Jokers, The same who in the Late 80's Condemned this current constitution for having 13th A given by India, And Now they are very happy with it.

    dulan Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:40 AM

    What on earth is wrong with a Federal system,Banda founder of SLFP advocated this 1930's. India has it so has Canada etc etc

    Jaliya Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:51 AM

    What's wrong with it ? EVERYTHING that's whats wrong. SLK doesn't need a federal system, in other words the country is too small to have multiple individual governments. They create trade conflicts (Look at India) travel/transport restrictions (Look at Canad and the US) and other complications even in approval of manufacturing plants when the plant is located in jurisdiction of one government and the corporate office is located elsewhere.. Once created cannot reverse the damages. This is another way of expanding the government when it is necessary to cut the size of this government and increase the production....... In case if you don't understand Governments are a known obstacle to production and growth.

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:36 AM

    Jaliya - absolute nonsense... their is none of those restrictions that u r talking between US

    KABOOS Wednesday, 25 October 2017 08:47 AM

    China being biggest Buddhist country in their recent convention not a single Buddhist clergy was invited .

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:21 AM

    What is wrong with federal system? Many countries practice that including small countries such as Switzerland and are doing extremely well. Federalism is allowing people of each area to look after their development, finances, culture, civil law and order, education so that it is fine tuned towards their goals. Each area in turn will be competing with each other in those fields ultimately benefitting the country

    Sharon Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:42 AM

    Sir/Madam, does Switzerland also have an ethnic group which was/is struggling to separate the country/state?

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:27 AM

    If we are going to be in the mind set of "threat" and "separation" then their will be no solution or progress nor true reconciliation. We cannot be primitive anymore, it has cost this country too many lives.

    Sharon Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:41 AM

    There are so many things that has to be done within the current constitution. Your decision is right Ven. Sir.

    Lord Wolfstein Wednesday, 25 October 2017 09:48 AM

    For a modern democracy, Federalism is the best system, especially when different ethnic communities are living in different federal states or provinces. Even the Sinhalese from the south, the west or the highlands look back on a different cultural past and have different interests. A constitutional republic also means that the country is united and indivisible. An article could be included in the constitution, which allows the central government to assume the power of government in a province which wishes to declare itself independent, as is the case in Spain.

    Mihindu Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:09 AM

    Poya day is a holiday. So many holidays in Sri Lanka. But Japan is a Buddhist country and no holidays there, like in Sri Lanka. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera wants to develop this country by decentralizing power to take quick decisions to other provinces or to keep all provinces under Colombo like slaves under Mahinda or Gotabaya.

    De Silva Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:21 AM

    Like the politicians Sanga is also divided. Why not conrest under different sects ?

    Ceylon philosopher Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:29 AM

    Jaffna was an educational and administrative power house in the past. The past haunts those who are against the federal system.

    Hautaum Wednesday, 25 October 2017 10:50 AM

    Deep burden in Buddhist philosophy and wanted to enjoying all powers with in certain community have the mindset of arbitrary,bureaucracy and Imperial power.

    sanjaya Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:02 AM

    Hamuduruwane , Please find a new solution. don't try to upset progress of the country. Dont tell lies. We are also Buddhists. I was in the military and went lot of hardships ,including our families not like you.

    bandara Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:05 AM

    these monks did not utter a word when of their fellow monks went on a rampage at Mt.Laivinia behaving like a thug.Not a waod restraining BBS- a disgrace to BuddhismBut they are vociferous about Constitution making

    MP Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:07 AM

    As you read this comments column, it looks as if there are so many rulers in this country showing different paths/ways and opinion to rule the country.

    suresh Wednesday, 25 October 2017 11:44 AM

    I think it might be a last chance for us to solve the problem.If we fail, the international community might find a solution for the problem.

    Nostradamus Wednesday, 25 October 2017 01:33 PM

    Just study Switzerland. Smaller then SL and with 4 official languages. Federal system and doing very well. It is every year successively rated as the best country in the world to live in. via DM Android App


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