Tagged: Human Rights


19th amendment only half way measure to abolish executive presidency in Sri Lanka

A key amendment adopted by Sri Lankan parliament last week is only a halfway measure towards abolishing executive presidency as only 60 to 65 per cent of powers of the top post have been reduced, according to an architect of the legislation. 

“The government itself has gone public saying that it could not go the full distance,” Jayampathi Wickramaratna, a constitutional lawyer who was involved in drafting the 19A, said. 


Post 19A Political Scenario: Parliamentary elections and after

There was a struggle against the model of 19A first presented by Ranil Wickremesinghe, but there was no struggle against 19A as such—by which I mean the idea that the executive presidency required downward readjustment. The UNP-CBK-TNA-JVP Quartet had envisaged decapitation of the Executive presidency while the masses, the SLFP-UPFA and JHU envisaged trimming; downward revision.Thus, there was no struggle against 19A; there was a struggle over 19A; its scale and scope.


President vows to extend hand of friendship to all

President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that unity of all communities was the only way for a better future. He also stressed the need to strengthen the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).


Addressing the SLFP May Day rally at Hyde Park, the President said he used his powers only for the good of the people and promised to do anything for the future of the country.


He said that he would ensure the fundamental rights and human rights in the country at a level that no foreign agency could lay any blame.


“I will show a better human rights situation within a year and will not allow the international community to accuse Sri Lanka of violating human rights,” President Sirisena said.


19A Minus: A Middle Path

There were four main winners in the battle over 19th Amendemnt. Of them, the second biggest winner was President Sirisena who was able to retain much of his power while balancing adroitly between the two contending components of his power base: his ally the UNP and his party the SLFP. The biggest winner however, was not President Sirisena. It was a dead man, President Junius Richard Jayewardene. His 1978 Constitution proved so robust a structure, that it successfully resisted the joint attempt of his distant nephew Ranil Wickremesinghe and his old rival Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga to upend its center-piece, the executive presidency.