Saturday 23 May 2020

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

23 May  2020

Has the Lankan Parliament been buried or cremated?

[One of the issues in contention in current public debates is the legal effect of a dissolution of Parliament. Those who support the President’s position argue, among other things, that the effect of dissolution on a Parliament is the same as death in a natural person. Just as much as a dead person cannot be brought back to life, they argue, a dissolved Parliament cannot be recalled. In meeting this argument, opponents of the President’s position argue that the appropriate metaphor to illustrate the constitutional provisions on this issue is not death but tranquilisation. Dissolution has the effect of tranquilising an existing Parliament until such time as a new Parliament is brought to life through an election. Presumably, the old Parliament only dies when the results of the election are declared, or when the new Parliament formally meets for the first time. Whatever the literary merits of the metaphor, this is the obviously correct way to view the constitutional framework.] Ground Views article ‘DEAD OR TRANQUILISED? THE RECALL OF DISSOLVED PARLIAMENTSby Dr Asanga Welikala

To my mind the dissolved parliament does die and if recalled in the same form – it needs to be taken as having been buried and not cremated. If a new form happens – then it needs to be taken as having been  cremated. The intent of the President was to cremate and not to bury – as were his orders in the case of Coronavirus  victims. Both are allegedly due to preventing infections from dead bodies. Hence the President is confirming consistency which strongly indicates  belief that he is right.

He may of course seem wrong to legal experts. But their contribution is limited by articles 3 & 4 of the Sri Lankan Constitution which provides as follows:

[3. In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise

4.(b) the executive power of the People, including the defence of Sri Lanka, shall be exercised by the President of the Republic elected by the People]

Article 3 requires the President to ensure that the exercise of Executive power to not damage the Sovereignty of the People. To the extent the sovereignty of the Muslim community was so damaged,  the Sovereignty of the President was confirmed to have been weakened. One who is truly sovereign would not damage the sovereignty of another. The test is the freedom to exercise fundamental rights.

I have no knowledge of Dr  Asanga Welikala educating the public about what was right or wrong in the case of cremation. Nor do I have any knowledge of this legal academic raising the issue of Buddhism foremost article and its projected structure and position in the Sri Lankan Constitution -  especially vis-à-vis global applications of legal principles which are gobbledygook to the common Sri Lankan. Most Sri Lankans would have understood the cremation issue better than the constitutional problem of recalling parliament. Intellectually speaking Dr Asanga Welikala could be right. But in democracy, belief ranks about the intellect.  A decision based on true belief would always be right intellectually for that place at that time.

Until proven otherwise the current president is taken to represent the belief of the People. Prescriptive rights override lawful purchase rights for the reason of true belief.  One who has the real experience knows that truth urges a person who has contributed to truth  to act when the law needs it on behalf of all law abiding people. Unless one is acting out of such an urge – the intellectual balance is for other purposes – including towards academic grades.

I have been regularly sharing my analyses from a lay person’s belief – with Mr M A Sumanthiran, Dr Asanga Welikala,  Dr Suren Fernando and  Dr Kumaravadivel Guruparan – by including them in my list of academic group. Thus far none of them have shown interest in what I had to say. But as per my experience – to the extent I communicate with belief in my position vis-à-vis theirs  to the in our common society – I am empowered by Natural Forces to work the system at that level. Even if I give up – the system of Nature / Truth takes over and delivers as it did at the University of NSW also. Where personal results become stronger than common ownership – Natural Forces ‘let it be’. One driven by positive natural forces is empowered by Dharma. Those who remained silent about the damage to fundamental rights of minorities in Sri Lanka do not have a legitimate voice to access the powers of Dharma.

The power of ownership / belief is exponential. In intellectual power is relative.

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