[BBS head with his bodyguards; Face book photo]
Introducing a constitutional draft for the country, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) said Sri Lanka should be renamed ‘Sinhale’, with Sinhalese Buddhists being recognized as the historical and ational race of the country.
The BBS acknowledged that the country had only one race (the Sinhalese), linguistically the Sinhala language, the Tamil language and the indigenous tongue of the Veddahs existed alongside the religious groups – Sinhala Buddhists, Sinhala Hindus, Sinhala Catholics, Sinhala Christians and Sinhala Muslims.
‘While the freedom to follow one’s religion of choice remained, the propagation of religions, other than Buddhism, using foreign or government funds, will be forbidden. Vesak Poya Day will be made the National Day. Learning of Sinhala, Tamil and English will be made compulsory for all.’
‘The State’s spiritual leader will be the ‘Sangharaja Mahanayake Thera’, and he will appoint a 50-person Supreme State Advisory Council, upon whose advice the National People’s Representatives’ Council will suggest how to rule the country. The Supreme State Advisory Council will appoint a Cabinet of 10 Senior Ministers to advice and assist the Sangharaja Mahanayake Thera.’
‘With regard to the Executive, the Prime Minister will be the Head of State. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet (30 persons, including Ministers in charge of provincial development), will rule the country and the public service. The Prime Minister will be the person, who obtains the most support from the National People’s Representatives’ Council’s Higher People’s Representatives’ Board (100 persons from political parties, appointed based on votes received, so that all trade knowledge and skills, minorities, advices of various political parties and trade unions are represented) and Lower People’s Representatives’ Board (200 persons appointed through a general election). A Deputy Prime Minister will also be appointed.’
The Executive Presidency should be abolished within the next six years, the BBS said.
The powers pertaining to the Legislature will be with the National People’s Representatives’ Council. The existing election system will be changed. Devolution of power should take place at an administrative level. The Provincial Councils mechanism should be scrapped. Independent commissions should be established to safeguard the public service, foreign affairs, the police, the service monitoring good governance, judicial service and election service.
The general election will consist of the local government election and National People’s Representatives’ Council election. The contestant, who obtains the most number of votes from a particular electorate will be the head of the provincial unit (Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman or Municipal Commissioner) and also the people’s representative for the National People’s Representatives’ Council.
“It is essential that candidates at elections at all levels possess a basic degree or a similar accepted educational or employment qualification. Cabinet appointees have to possess a masters or a doctoral degree. Political parties with a religious or ethnic base promoting separatism will be banned along with organizations and movements attempting to form zones in the country based on ethnic and religious foundations. In all electoral nomination lists, 50% of youth (below 40 years of age) should be represented.
The positions of representatives of the National People’s Representatives’ Council will be employed full time and should be paid high salaries to prevent corruption and fraud. Having functions and events and engaging in self-promotional propaganda activities, using public money meant for development activities, is forbidden.
The legal system in the country needs to be completely overhauled, with a common law abolishing all religious and personal legal systems.
Finally, all citizens regardless of the position they occupy are equal before the law and will not be afforded special privileges, Chief Executive Officer of the BBS, Dr. Dilanthe Withanage, added.
BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody