Columnists Feature Latest Rajan Philips Sri Lanka

Constitution – Sri Lanka Guardian

by Rajan Philips

On Friday, the current Parliament and the Government showed themselves to be absolutely helpful beneficiaries of the Supreme Courtroom's judgment, which, opposite to the President's opposition to Parliament, was unconstitutional. Only 28 MPs from the UNF government appeared when Parliament convened as a constitutional meeting after more than a yr, hearing the proposals for a brand new structure drafted by specialists from their prime minister's panel. In complete, there were 56 members on the meeting, and UPFA (17), TNA (9) and JVP (2) shaped 28 other parliamentarians to attend the exhibition. 19 new members of the Board of Directors withdrew when the process continued. It’s a complete of 75 MPs, just one third of 225 Members of Parliament, a venture that requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament. It’s earlier than the referendum. Poor presence is a sign that the federal government's MPs aren’t enthusiastic concerning the Prime Minister's important challenge, and that the heads of presidency have been even more pathetic about drawing their MPs.

is exchanging robust allegations and counterclaims amongst leaders, the restored PM, the brand new and previous Opposition Leader, and the JVP chief. The unimaginable Mr Wickremesinghe was a seemingly rescuing exhibition of a statesman – leaving it to the collective knowledge of the constitutional convention (escaping two-thirds of the time) to debate and determine on the proposal of the specialists. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has all the time been improvised, simply claimed that Parliament didn’t have the facility to make a structure. He has no power over him till the elections are held and he becomes a winner.

TNA Director R. Sampanthan was his regular self, eloquent and expressive, however his particular place on the brand new constitution deserved a more complete home than what his buddies of the federal government had managed to repair. JVP's Anura Kumara Dissanayake took a swipe to each the federal government and the official opposition, accusing the government and the prime minister of the delay within the reform process. Those who are conversant in the 1972 and 1978 Constitution remind us that each moved steadily underneath the direct control of two exceptionally robust personalities, Colv's R de Silva and JR Jayewardenen.

The JVP leader much more legitimately assumed the position of Mahinda Rajapaksa as a lie in the structure, that the former president is unprecedented and irresponsible in the south. Mahinda Rajapaksa has made more political statements a number of weeks after her unfounded and brief-lived life, which led to December, as she has ever completed for many years in her political career. These statements have two recurring themes. One is now a broken report that Sri Lankan has been denied a democratic right to vote despite all his loyal efforts to carry elections for his purposes. The other is brazenly communal communication, in truth, large, the structure that the JVP chief acquired in Parliament.

The abstinence of democracy has no penalties for the general public, although there are still some distant misconceptions even by a few of the nice Previous Fellows, who ought to know their previous and current historical past, that even the constitutional timetable for the elections is undemocratic and it ought to be potential to dismantle the constituency or social gathering lists instantly in the nationwide election immediately elected President elected parliamentarians. Suffice it to say that till the 20th century Sri Lanka was the only country by which the president had the arbitrary and absolute energy to dismantle the elected physique. Not anymore.

Another arrest, communal therapeutic massage, is more insidious and is supposed to unleash southern voters. These two are interconnected, which reveals the duality of Rajapaks about democracy and his communal massage. The question is whether or not Ranil Wickremesinghe has succeeded in calling Rajapaksan bluff, or does he intend to sleep in a constitutional lure that Rajapaksa has already set for him. Wickremesinghe started the constitutional reform process with great confidence and raised even greater expectations when he delivered the Sujata Jayawardena memorial in 2015. In these columns I referred to as it "the boundary of the next constitutional journey". Three years later, disappointment has given rise to expectations and nobody aside from the Prime Minister is guilty of the present state of the constitutional file.


Tuesday January 8 was the merciless killing of the 10th anniversary of Lasantha Wickrematunga. Among the many memorials of Keith Noyahr, there was a flood that was very shifting and at the similar time exacting, breaking his journalistic silence for the primary time, based on his horrifying experience of kidnapping and attack eight months earlier than the homicide of Wickrematunga. Mr Noyahr's contribution and outcomes from others isolated and revealed less than a handful of unfortunate attempts to take the crass political meter out of the painful particular person and household tragedy and nonetheless resolved the murderous attack on the media freedom of the nation. Formally, the homicide of Lasantha Wickrematunga remains unresolved. Unofficially, no one believes in a proper denial of participation, because everyone is aware of there isn’t any need for refusal if there isn’t a actual participation.

Two days afterward Thursday, there was an fascinating protest in front of the media factors, which apparently was supported by the constitutional coup that Mr Sirise was fairly uncomfortable with this country. These sales retailers took fierce exceptions to the demonstrations and shouted that their media freedom of expression was in peril. Nothing like that! – Though the media's counter-protests found a shocking ally in the same political parties and individuals who participated in the constitutional coup, the identical forces that had handed not solely journalists but others whose "attitude" was incompatible with the powers of the rulers earlier than January 2015. It was shocking that Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the media to protest towards the freedom of the media

The irony of Rajapaks, who defends media freedom on the anniversary of Lasantha, Wickrematunga wouldn’t have misplaced even amongst its media supporters. Rajapaksa, who was President of Sri Lanka, had not lost the group of Rajapaksa (RSF), one of many world's largest predators of freedom of the press. When Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in as prime minister on October 26, RWB saw a danger that Sri Lanka would fall back in the previous method. It is true that the Rajapaksa supporters started to type state media establishments, Rupavahin and the lake house, they usually have been quickly conquered. (19659003) The physical confiscation of state media for forty-four years after the Lake Home guide was nationalized by legislative order, displaying how far the country has moved to a stability of power between state establishments and private storage websites for personal energy. In 1974, the state nationalized the country's largest media company with a highly controversial however regular legislative course of. In 2018, personal political villains and their journalists took the mass media as a menace of violence.

After nationalizing 1974, the state virtually monopolized media possession and became both the primary proprietor of the media and the regulatory authority. The winds of privatization since 1977 have utterly changed ownership patterns in several media. When there are vital footprints in every state within the media – television, radio and printing – it isn’t the most important of them anyplace. Wily Rajapaksas discovered a profitable various to coping with a hostile information group.

As an alternative of working without borders with Media Possession Monitor, there are over 100 printed (diary and weekly) media information, 20 TV channels and 50 radio stations. In every of them, over 75% of the market (audience or readership) is within the palms of about 4 organizations. Excluding the state, every media organization with a big market attack is family-owned.

This degree of ownership and market composition in the media in the nation is hardly conducive to the dissemination of democratic information and opinion, despite the fact that the printed journal has a longtime tradition of journalism based mostly on unbiased information reporting and opinion-forming.

Three organizations that have been topic to democratic protesters on Thursday, specifically the Capital Maharaja Group (Sirasa), Asia Broadcasting Corporation (Hiru) and the Power Home (Derena) are the highest three operators of television and radio operators representing 60% of the viewers from each media.

Their output to shoppers is entitled to precise their opinion even in the form of protests, as long as they’re peaceful and organized. An audience that was not disturbed by personal television and radio but was deepened by more socially distributed social media. After October 26th, democracy in Sri Lanka could not have been higher off.