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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time for Democratisation of the State and National Reconciliation – PRC Report

( Senior lawyer Lal Wijenayke chaired  the committee)

The finalized Public Representations Committee report on public submissions to the Constitution submitted to the Prime Minister on 31st May 2016. The report is comprehensive and has 222 pages. It has been released to public in all three offcial languages of Sri Lanka.The full report is attached at the end of this news item.

“”We have done our best to reach a wide section of the people within the given time frame. We have gone out of the way to get the views of religious leaders, leaders of political parties, independent commissions, professional organizations, etc. within the
available time frame.

Our sittings were held in public and all those who appeared before us were allowed to express their views freely and openly. On a study of the representations made by the people it is seen that a considerable representation of people throughout Sri Lanka are for:

1. Democratisation of the State, by establishing the Rule of Law, broadening Fundamental Human Rights through a comprehensive Bill of Rights and strengthening independent commissions.
2. Democratisation of the polity by strengthening institutions for people’s active participation in governance and political life by devolving power to the provincial and local government level and by incorporating citizens’ political activity at the village or town level into the State structure.
3. National reconciliation as an urgent task. There were divergent views as to how it could be achieved. Among these, one view was that constitutional reform should focus on meaningful devolution of power as a means of resolving the longstanding political issue of the minorities.
4. The establishment of a public service that is closer to the people, fair, nonpolitical, independent, professional and dedicated to serve the people.

It was also a common view of the people who came before us, that the time is opportune for democratisation of the State and national reconciliation that it should be done immediately and if it fails at this moment, the country will not get such an opportunity again.”

Read the full report as a PDF: PRC Report English Final

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements iii
Preface v
1. Introduction 1
2. Preamble to the Constitution 8
3. National Flag, National Anthem& Citizenship 12
3.1National Flag 12
3.2 National Anthem 13
3.3 Citizenship 14
4. Religion 16
5. Nature of the State 20
6. Basic Structure of the Constitution 26
7. Forms and Tiers of Government 32
7.1 Forms of Government 32
7.2 Vice/Deputy President or Deputy Prime Minister 35
7.3 Cabinet 36
7.4 Tiers of Government 38
8. Power Sharing 41
9. Devolution 47
9.1 Unit of Devolution 47
9.2 Scope of Devolution 53
10. Local Government 69
11. Directive Principles of State Policies and Fundamental Duties 82
12. Fundamental Rights 91
13. Language Rights 129
14. The Judiciary 133
14.1 Court Structure 134
14.2 Constitutional Court/Constitutional Bench of the
Supreme Court 136
14.3 Judicial Review 139
14.4 Independence of the Judiciary 140
14.5 Judicial Commission for the Superior Courts 147
14.6 Judicial Service Commission 151
14.7 Human Rights Commission 152
14.8 Ombudsperson 154
14.9 Access to Justice 155
14.10 The Laws Delays 157
15. Electoral System and Process 158
16. Public Service, Public Finance and Audit 176
17. Public Security and Human Security 187
18. Constitutional Council and Independent Commissions 191
18.1 Constitutional Council 191
18.2 Independent Commissions 192
19. Land, Environment and Development 195
20. Affirmative Action and Reconciliation 204
21. Commission on Anti-Discrimination 206
22. Public Service Grievance Commission 208
Annex A Members Appointed to the Public Representations
Committee on Constitutional Reform 210
Annex B List of Subjects 211
Annex C Members who Participated in the Deliberations of the
Preparation of the Report of Public Representations
Committee on Constitutional Reform 212
Annex D Attendance of the Members – District Sittings of the Public
Representations Committee on Constitutional Reform 213
Annex E Staff Members at Visumpaya 220
Annex F List of UNV ‘V-Force’ Volunteers 221
Annex G Provisional List of Public Submissions 222


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