Tuesday 14 August 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

14 August 2018

Government killing the Jaffna Brain?

The  real power of the Common Jaffna Tamil was the her/his above average brainpower. Just this morning, our son called from the airport – to seek my husband’s assistance in resolving a mathematical problem for his daughter. That is the vertical network of our Jaffna hierarchy. It was therefore appalling to learn that the Governor who is required to reflect the Truth of the People of the area Governed by him is sowing the seeds of personal interpretation of the Constitution as if the Jaffna Common person would not know the difference. The persons in that audience may not have recognize the problem. But I do and I am Jaffna. Below is the offensive expression:
[Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray today suggested that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) ministers should resign so as to resolve the issue, which has arisen from the change in its ministerial composition.
He said the composition had changed in the wake of the Appeal Court reinstating B. Deniswaran as a NPC minister.
"With the reinstatement, the number of ministers had increased to six. This has prevented the council from taking decisions or enacting laws. The best solution available to resolve this matter is for the ministers to resign and a new set of ministers appointed. According to clause 154 (E) of the Constitution, the Chief Minister is empowered to appoint ministers. I, as governor, have no authority to appoint or remove ministers. Therefore, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran should resolve this matter without further delay," the Governor said during a visit to the Advanced Technological Institute in Jaffna.] – Daily Mirror article - 'To resolve ministerial dilemma: Better for NPC ministers to resign'
Article 154E of the Sri Lankan Constitution states:
[A Provincial Council shall, unless sooner dissolved, continue for a period of five years from the date appointed for its first meeting and the expiration of the said period of five years shall operate as a dissolution of the Council.]
The Article that renders the authority to appoint ministers states as follows:

[154F. (5) The Governor shall, on the advice of the Chief Minister, appoint from among the members of the Provincial Council constituted for that Province, the other Ministers.]
The statements by the Governor at an educational institution are clearly in breach of the above provisions of the Constitution. The Governor has to act as per the advice of the Chief Minister.

Article 154F in fact protects the Chief Minister as follows:
(1) There shall be a Board of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head and not more than four other Ministers to aid and advise the Governor of a Province in the exercise of his functions. The Governor shall, in the exercise of his functions, act in accordance with such advice, except in so far as he is by or under the Constitution required to exercise his functions or any of them in his discretion.
 (2) If any question arises whether any matter is or is not a matter as respects which the Governor is by or under this Constitution required to act in his discretion, the decision of the Governor in his discretion shall be final and the validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question in any Court on the ground that he ought or ought not have acted on his discretion. The exercise of the Governor’s discretion shall be on the President’s directions.
(3) The question whether any, and if so what, advice was tendered by the Ministers to the Governor shall not be, inquired into in any Court.
Where the law is silent, Discretionary powers could be used. As per 154F (2).
If Mr Cooray executed the decision to terminate – as per his discretionary powers – but did so without specific directions from the President – then he has clearly acted in breach of the Constitution and implicated the President also.
Mr Reginald Cooray is unfit to be the Governor of Jaffna and therefore Northern Province. The President owes the People of Northern Province an apology for failing to discipline his Governor before the matter went to Court. It was a clear case of negligence of DUTY that Sri Lanka cannot afford at current times.

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