02 December 2020
Executive Power Over Buddhists Only
Recent communications with leading members of the Tamil Diaspora surfaced that in terms of Belief we are a diverse community – sometimes intolerant of opposition. When such intolerance is stronger than acceptance that it is an alternate view – we become separated from others. This often happens when we show more independence than we actually feel.
Through the 2020 Parliamentary Elections Tamils as a Community confirmed yet again that we are the real Opposition when the official leaders divide on the basis of religion.
In his Colombo Telegraph article headed ‘UNHRC Sessions In March 2021: Duty To Ensure Accountability & Justice’ Mr Thambu Kanagasabai – former Law lecturer at University of Colombo highlights this separation as follows:
[President ‘s speech on 18th November 2019 at the Ruwanwelisaya Buddhist Temple in Anuradapura has sealed the fate of Tamils lock, stock and barrel without any room for reconciliation, accountability and justice. As he stated, he has reinforced his power and position as a President by his Sinhala Buddhist people to serve the interests of the Sinhala Buddhists as a Sinhala Buddhist President while deserting and allowing the Tamils and Muslims to live as citizens outside the mainstream and distinctively with their own identities. The President has thus entrenched the polarization and unofficial division of country based on religion, race and language.]
But as a law expert Mr Thambu Kanagasabai has the opportunity to derive power from Article 9 of the Constitution which requires the Government to treat Non-Buddhists as Equals and Buddhists as relatives. Article 9 states:
[9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]
The current President who committed himself to Buddha Sasana has left the other half of Article 9 vacant. Hence he disqualifies himself from holding any Executive position over non-Buddhists. Article 9 is Relative and Articles 10 and 14(1)(e) confirm Governing Power. They provide as follows:
[10. Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
14. (1) Every citizen is entitled to – (e) the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;]
Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976 is in harmony with the above articles. If non-Buddhists on their own maintain their independence from Buddhists, without interference, the above articles are taken as having been respected in practice. These two articles are needed to confirm Sri Lanka's Sovereign Structure. They balance the Relativity confirmed by Buddhism Foremost clause which confirms also that Buddhists need Executive power to achieve the fullness of belief. One who believes has the authority to make laws. One who is yet to believe needs to relate to the power of the believer as a Senior in a vertical structure. Once the whole group believes – the group becomes Equal to the other groups.
Power between relatives is shared through vertical structure monitored through laws implemented with the authority of Executive Power. Where the law distinguishes on religious basis, and the law confirms relativity, it confirms the entitlement to Executive power over the group. Where no such requirement is provided for – those groups are entitled to self-governance
In the way of Truth, a member of such a group is entitled to practice her/his belief either by her/himself or in association with others and the Government has no Executive authority over them.
What happens when an Executive power is applied to a believer? Universal power comes to protect such a person’s rights. When we swear – we invoke those powers and if we lie under oath – we earn the punishment of that power that we claim to believe in. When a believer curses - that Universal power is invoked to damage the structures of one who had/has earned the curse.
Coronavirus is such a power which had to happen to balance the Cosmos. Every Sovereign entity is that Cosmos in her/his home environment.