Recent Comments

Report on constitution proposals tabled

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday tabled an experts’ report on the proposals to draft Sri Lanka’s new Constitution at the Constitutional Assembly sitting held in Parliament.

The move enables a discussion in the Constitutional Assembly, which in turn could help authorities present a draft of the Constitution in Parliament in the coming months, according to legislators.

Once debated in Parliament, the draft would have to be passed by a two-thirds majority in the House, and later endorsed by citizens in an island-wide referendum.

Political solution

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main political grouping of minority Tamils of the north and east, has been at the forefront of a campaign for a new constitution that its legislators, say, could pave way for a political solution to Sri Lanka’s national question.

Pointing to the government’s pledge to enact a new Constitution which, among other things, promises to devolve more powers to all provinces, including in the north and east, the TNA has underscored the need to expedite the process.

However, as the government stepped into the fifth and final year of its term this week, that too after a political crisis that left the country without a legitimate government for nearly two months, the national political terrain remains fragile. With few signs of the power struggle between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe having been resolved, and the resistance to some proposals from sections in the south and north, enacting a new Constitution appears a challenging task.

Apart from its delayed process of drafting the Constitution, the government came under sharp attack on Thursday on the accountability front, when TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran accused it of being “complicit” with the former Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in “covering up” crimes.

War crimes

He raised the issue in Parliament in the context of slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunge’s 10th anniversary observed recently.

While perpetrators had not been brought to justice in the high-profile case, investigators were yet to begin probing even one of the several killings of Tamil journalists in the last decade, he noted.

Pressing for international investigations into war crimes, he said that if politicians in the south had no fear, then they would be willing to face any tribunal.

Since the war was waged by the Sri Lankan armed forces against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an arm of the Sri Lankan state must not investigate the crimes, he argued, underscoring the need for a “neutral umpire”.

Courtesy – The Hindu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>