Tinkering of Constitution and the future of Sri Lanka

| by Dr. Edward Perera

( April 17, 2012, Berlin, Sri Lanka Guardian) Constitutional reform has become a continuously chanted “Mantra” in the sense that the present regime under President Mahinda Rajapakse is drifting towards a black hole in the political arena in Sri Lanka.
Major Western countries like Australia, Great Britain, Canada and USA haven’t change their respective constitutions since the introduction of their legislature and these countries hardly had any problems in the process of smooth functioning of their political systems. 
Pic by Indika Handuwala.
Nobody knows how to break the vicious circle of “either your wife has to die or you will have to die depending on your act” (Gedara Giyoth Ambu Nasee- Maga Hitiyoth thoo Nasee) dilemma. Rajapakse government shows a certain inclination towards implementing 13th Amendment when it comes to a deal of international nature while it tries to hide something from masses.
If the GoSL does listen to India and her Western allies, then Mahinda Rajapakse will have to keep his promise to find a solution that goes beyond 13th Amendment, in other words 13 plus. Some say that it is a racket of Mahinda Rajapakse to cheat India and West but the question is how long he can do this. Others say that the President has no right to implement this without getting the consent of people in Sri Lanka through a referendum. 
A referendum aimed at this purpose could bring only further disasters to Mahinda Rajapakse government as the majority including Sinhalese Buddhists, Sinhalese Catholics and Muslims in South would never welcome the idea of giving Land and Police powers to Tamils living in Northern and Eastern Provinces. On the other hand, it shows the contradictory nature of Tamil hypocrisy as this particular amendment could “solve” the problem of Tamils in the North and in the East. What about the large Tamil population living in South? What would the Tamils in Plantation sector say about this reform? Should it be necessarily a geo-political solution? Can the central government discriminate plantation Tamils if they too ask for the same privilege one day?
Of course, the Church, the government of India and other allies are extremely keen on the implementation of 13th Amendment. The reason is obvious. It can lay the foundation for a Tamil Christian state in the north in future.
When the GoSL appointed the LLRC, the whole world was against it on the grounds that they have no confidence in the steps taken by the GoSL. Now the same crowd tries to pressurize the GoSL to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. One particular clause in the LLRC recommendation restricts the traditional rights of Buddhists based on the submissions made by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith and by pro Christian Buddhist clergy who adopt the ludicrous notion of “Multi-faith” stance for Sri Lanka.
Due to the fact that the present leadership has no backbone to say that Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist country and all the other religious denominations can live harmoniously with the majority Buddhists as did in the past, the ideas come from all directions for a multi-religious and multi-ethnic open society. Idea is not bad but the question is whether it is practical in the context of overwhelming Buddhist majority in that country. Why this calamity only in the post independence period?
Only in the beginning of post independence period, our rulers were capable of maintain good relations with our close neighbors but since 1977 Sri Lanka under J.R.Jayawardene took a deviated course which caused immense tension between Sri Lanka and India. R. Premadasa continued that biased foreign policy making the situation worse. Chandrika B.Kumaratunge could enjoy certain tranquility in this regard thanks for her parents’ non-aligned policy.
Being the President of Sri Lanka-Palestinian Friendship Association, Mahinda Rajapakse had no option other than becoming a close friend of Islamic countries. While appreciating military assistance what we obtained from Pakistan, we should not forget that the GoSL was committed to maintain her good relationship with our closest neighbor India. Any country which shows greater degree of sympathy for the Islamic cause will become a target of allied nations like Christian West, US and Israel. Ironically, we could win the war with the support of some Islamic countries but we cannot safeguard the victory with the support from the same group of countries.
The coercive diplomacy of Sri Lanka towards West has opened new avenues for various elements to attack the GoSL. The vast majority of Sri Lanka believes that the West and India are against Sri Lanka. But the truth is that these countries are now working according to their joint agenda to overthrow Mahinda Rajapakse’s regime. Even though the First Lady is Catholic, she is helpless against the Catholic Church, which supports Tamil Diaspora to establish a separate state for Sri Lankan Tamils in this tiny island. West and the Church will go ahead as they consider Mahinda Rajapakse government as an anti-west regime but not Sri Lanka as an enemy country. Perhaps, the Church may have long-term plans to destroy Sinhala-Buddhist culture in order to establish their religious order in Sri Lanka.
Whatever the agenda of West, US and the Church is, the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) cannot be in power any longer only by exploiting the sentiments of Sri Lankan people. Government’s main propaganda is aimed at pointing the finger to these West allies as it is the most credulous and easiest way to win the sympathy of the masses, in other words the potential voters.
It is unfortunate that the government cannot see the things beyond politics and most of the so-called politicians do not know what politics does mean. As a result, the corruptions have become a part and parcel of present governance in Sri Lanka. Unless we learn a lesson before we try to teach a lesson to other nations, not only how to survive but also to establish law & order, the democratic traditions and free judiciary and above everything the protection of freedom of expression, the country would makes her way down the hill.
Let’s start now onwards to build up a new social order free from political corruptions and violence against humanity. Only through this collective effort, we can repulse all kind of allegations against our great nation. Once we set an example for good governance the external and the domestic hostility will also come to a standstill.

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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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