- Ehalapola signed the Convention to hand over the country to colonial power
- The British violated the Convention by letting down the Chieftains
- Dr. Ambedkar who wrote Indian Constitution, is still in power with 101 Amendments
- India and the USA changed and adapted themselves to new challenges with Amendments
- India has the longest Constitution with 444 Articles and 118 Amendments, whereas Monaco has the shortest with 77 Articles
Fall of “Sinhala Rule” and the Consequences
2358 years of the Sri Lankan Kings that rule fell on March 2, 1815 due to the coup of the Chieftains headed by “Ehalapola” who signed the disputed historic and decisive Convention to hand over the country and powers of governance to the colonial power despite the silent protest of the common man. Robert “Brownrigg” and “Ehalapola” were the first signitories of the agreement/convention in which the main clause amongst others was to give foremost position to Buddhism and to protect “Sasana” Buddha, Dhamma, and Sanga.
Before the ink dried on the agreement, the British violated the Convention by letting down the Chieftains who expected to be rulers, and contravention of the contents of the agreement which are still in force under international law akin to the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987!
Some concerns on the Executive presidency and centralized powers now in a compromised situation out of necessity to keep the provinces together tied in a “strong string” without separating from the Central Government
Architects of Indian and USA Constitutions and applicability
The architect of the Indian Constitution is “Dr Ambedkar” who pioneered the process which is still in power with only 101 Amendments when George Washington and Benjamin Franklin too forwarded the preparation of the Constitution by “James Medison” the chief architect who pioneered for the people which is in force with only 33 Amendments.
They took great pains in the drafting of the great living documents amended from time to time according to the needs of the day but never wanted to explore new constitutions which are complicated and lead to unnecessary divisions and bloodshed they have averted permanently with a static and stable constitution mechanism. Changes of Constitution seldom take place in the world unless there are newly born states mainly to avoid unnecessary complications and divisions. Both great nations changed and adapted themselves to new challenges with Amendments which are most practical and sensible. Then what/why is our mighty hurry to change the Constitution to commit suicide? Is it Geneva, NGOs Regime Change forces diaspora or any other evil anti Sri Lankan forces? Therefore we do not want to get into further tragedies and let us live with the known devil!
Constitution is a set of fundamental principles constituting the supreme law of a state from which all other laws derive. India has the longest Constitution with 444 Articles and 118 Amendments whereas Monaco has the shortest with 77 Articles. The Sri Lankan Constitution of 1978 consists of 179 Articles and 19 Amendments with Article one (1) declaring that it is the free Sovereign Independent Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka which is declared as a Unitary State (Article 2) transformed to be a Federal State by the 13th Amendment by changing the “basic structure” and outlook of the constitution without constitutional due process.
The Unicameral “Soulbury” Constriction came to force on February 4, 1948 was abolished and the new Republican Constitution was introduced in 1972 with a peaceful constitutional revolution and a Constitutional Assembly which was replaced by the current 1978 “JR Constitution” which is a mixture of Executive Presidency and Parliamentary model running smoothly with some concerns on the Executive presidency and centralized powers now in a compromised situation out of necessity to keep the provinces together tied in a “strong string” without separating from the Central Government with the power of Presidential powers.
Armed struggles of disappointed youth as a result of denial of franchise
The fourth Amendment of 1982 extended the life of the Parliament until August 4, 1989 subject to a referendum, which brought disastrous effects which led to two JVP insurrections and emergence of LTTE due to denial of democratic institutions and periodic elections the citizens were used to.
Two (bloody) JVP insurrections cost the nation the lives of over 60,000 youth and destruction of property and retardation of the economic growth by decades. The LTTE struggle continued for 30 years with deaths from the forces and those who took to arms until “MR” was able to win the unwinnable war against the most ruthless terror organizations in the world. It is a sorry state that we have not learnt from the history and mistakes made by blocking the democratic process (by JR) of exercising franchise periodically.
The hurriedly passed Ad Hoc 19th Amendment blocked elections for four and half years and the postponement of elections continually nearly three years took the country towards a volcano in brewing with no signs of any elections until the end of the period of the governance.
Changes of Constitution seldom take place in the world unless there are newly born states mainly to avoid unnecessary complications and divisions
Who wants the new Constitution in the making?
The country is not in a good shape and in financial and political crisis, admitted all who blamed the previous regime the SLFP and JO are parties to. There are open and closed differences and infighting in the unholy union of the SLFP and the UNP (which leads to a dictatorial one party system against democracy with weak and racist opposition confined to N/E) traditional enemies for decades joined together for perks,( ex 3.1 billion for vehicles alone to all!) privileges, facilities, power and fear of being run over by charismatic MR who is still popular but continually attacked by the enemies who ousted him from power and blocked to contest by the 19th Amendment especially, enacted aiming at him and to block him and the family clan claiming to block further family rule.
Time has come for the qualified youth to take over the reins of the governance and oppose proposed draconian and dangerous constitutional changes which will lead to bloodshed again proposed by dirty politicians
The joint Geneva resolution is a sell-out of the nation promising a new Constitution and giving away the forces responsible for freeing the nation from terror engulfed for thirty years mainly beneficial to the citizens of the North and East who lived in fear terror groups. Opposition leader is the leader of the TNA demanding a de facto federal state supported by the JVP (one time nationalistic party opposed vigorously to the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987) some minority parties NGOs/INGOs, and brainwashed part of international community backed by the diaspora still active on internal/international issues. The common man is sandwiched with many issues including cost of living, under or unemployment and various threats and Constitution which are least important to them.
It is time for the Nation to be united today by shedding all differences as Sri Lankans for a better day for the future generation. The statements by clergy, intellectuals, writers, artistes and working class, against the proposed “IRSC” are very encouraging (despite the press conferences of INGOs and NGOs depending on dollars) and in the right direction.
Time has come for the professionally qualified young and the citizens to take over the reins of the governance and oppose proposed draconian and dangerous constitutional changes which will lead to bloodshed again proposed by dirty politicians who miserably failed and destroyed our loving and beautiful Granary of the East to be great again.
(The writer could be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)