27 July 2019
Sri Lankan Daily Mirror reports that ‘Introducing a motion in parliament, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan yesterday called for the Constitution introduced in 1978 to be abolished and a new one brought in…….. Moving an adjournment motion, he said the new Constitution should be brought in with the agreement of all communities, while upholding their rights.
He said former Presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena had promised to introduce a new Constitution but failed to keep their pledges.’
Is this true or false? Mr Sampanthan’s proposal is as false as the promises made by the Presidents of Sri Lanka. Agreement with all communities is just a dream. It is impossible to reconcile with the ‘rights’ of all communities with the dream. Rights have to be earned through sacrifice. When Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa took-over the position of Opposition Leadership – Mr Sampathan meekly took his position as a junior Opposition member. He did not uphold his ‘rights’ on the basis that the President and the Opposition Leader cannot be from the same party. None of them have the right to act as individuals. They are backed by not only current voters but more importantly by those who gave us the institutional structure through their own sacrifices. Their values to uphold which they forewent their earned benefits is the truth that projects our true constitution. Some of them could be Colonial leaders. But truth does not distinguish between countries. Even now – when we learn from other nationalities – we eliminate country barriers and move towards being global.
An Opposition has the duty to do 50% of the current work to earn equal status. Under Mr Rajapaksa’s leadership in Opposition – every Opposition member has to express through Mr Rajapaksa or limit one’s suggestions to issues that affect individuals and small groups. They do not have the right to ‘show’ at national leadership level. Mr Sampanthan ought to have made this move when he was Leader of the Opposition. Since he did not, one is entitled to conclude that he actually does not ‘believe’ that this is the ultimate reality. One who has actually worked at the level of Prime Minister and sacrificed more becomes entitled to that Equal Leadership position. Such a person would have that ‘vision’ in her/his mind. What happens on the outside would not affect this vision. That vision being a projection of our truth would naturally connect us to others who have invested in that pathway. These may be Sinhalese in the case of Tamil leaders. That happens through the system of Truth. That is soul power of governance.
That system manifested the 1983 civil riots by producing Mr Jayawardene’s heirs in the Tamil community as well as Sinhalese community. Both communities produced armed militants of similar nature. When they are not controlled – they bring about serious divisions ultimately between individuals. To my mind, 1978 Constitution resulted in the 1983 violence which seriously demoted the status of the Sri Lankan Government. A true government would take responsibility – wherever the problem originated. Otherwise it is not Sri Lankan Government.
The constitution of a nation needs to be its scripture. It must naturally confirm the fundamental values that each Sri Lankan would feel in her/his environment. It must therefore not damage true values that a citizen – including one without any knowledge of law.
Buddhism foremost article becomes meaningless because the second part – referring to articles 10 and 14 (1)(e ) cannot be upheld once Buddhism is given ‘foremost’ place. Likewise the impunity protection to an Executive President. Only a governor has impunity entitlement.
Whether we recognize it or not – our truth adds itself to all manifestations that we contribute to. Hence they say that we get the government we deserve. The wise do not say that we get the government we like.
If Mr Sampanthan is connected to the pain and suffering that the Tamil community has gone through – including due to armed militants – he would ensure that the Constitution is self balancing in terms religions. Mr Sampanthan ought to propose the rewording of article 9 to bring out the commitment of the average Buddhist without knowledge of law. Tamil and Muslim leaders who contribute to at least 50% of National values – will find the way out of this imbalance.