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NewsSri Lanka’s Democracy in Peril – Weliamuna

Sri Lanka’s Democracy in Peril – Weliamuna

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‘Rule of Law, means everything is done according to law, is our constitution followed, no. why even the 13th amendment of the constitution is not followed, what about 17th amendment when it was in force. How many times, the executive betrayed the constitution by not appointing members to constitutional council?’

 “We in Sri Lanka in a deep crisis right now, all the institutions which has to look after democracy, are now collapsed. It started in 1972 and since then with the introduction of 1978 constitution, it became worse with regard the intuitions. Then introduced the 17th amendment to the constitution to remove political interference by the Executive and the politicians, formulated key independent commissions like Police, Public Service & Judiciary etc, thereby giving certain independence to democracy. But in 2010, the 18th amendment adopted by this government paved the way to abolish the 17th amendment and gave power to appoint all political henchmen to key posts in state institutions.” said The Senior Constitutional & Human Rights Lawyer, Mr.J.C.Weliamuna at the seminar held recently at Jayawardena Centre,Colombo.

“Recently state appointed 23,000 graduates bypassing all public service requirements needed. The circular no.15 of 1990 completely abandoned now. The application form issued, contains a requirement to furnish how the applicant worked for the governing party during elections, thus giving a bad precedence for governance. Yet another 25,000 have to be appointed this way”.

‘Even the Attorney General withdrew several indictments filed in High Courts of the state party supporters as well for opposition crossovers to the government. Even the crossovers of members of parliament are not valid according to the constitution, yet it is happening’.

‘The parliament has no financial control over the public finances. Though there are two parliamentary committees for C.O.P.E. & C.O.P.A., however both committees are headed by Ministers but not the opposition members as such in other countries. The Finance Minister and the President should not be the same, what happens then is no transparency in finance controls of the parliament, with that any scrutiny of public money is questionable. Can there be democracy like that? Even the Auditor General is not authorized to audit some government expenditure, certified by the Finance Minister & President.

‘Rule of Law, means everything is done according to law, is our constitution followed, no. why even the 13th amendment of the constitution is not followed, what about 17th amendment when it was in force. How many times, the executive betrayed the constitution by not appointing members to constitutional council?’

‘Abductions, White van culture, it is a grave crime against humanity & democracy. Yet it is happening, for the last 6 months ending 26th March 2012, there had been 56 abductions.

‘In the case of journalists, how many were abducted and killed. Or if found and next living in exile. Threats to journalists still continues, Media organizations like MTV attacked, Lasantha Wickramatunga Editor, ”Leader”, killed, Udayan in Jaffna in the high security zone ,attacked, but nobody brought before law’.

‘State Media ITN in particular, initiated malicious campaign against human rights defenders, Nimalka, Sunila, Parkyasothi,& Sunanda for being to Geneva UNHRC recent sessions. Even though I did not go to Geneva, I was not spared’.

‘The seriousness of government accountability is adverse. Nobody even cabinet ministers do not know what is happening. Accountability applies to human rights as well to legal system of the country. There is a myth re’ human rights that are the myth of domestic matter, but other countries have legitimate right to inquire into international accountability. That is part of rule of law’.‘world changed due to determined few, we have to go in the correct direction. Present crisis can only be prevented by gaining a comprehensive social transformation’.

Finally he concluded by reminding the famous words of South African hero ‘The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed’.

Dr.Nimal Ranjith Devasiri, Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne also spoke at the seminar.
– Sri Lanka Gaurdian

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