Constitution through a referendum Will the people win?
By Ananda Ariyarathne
"If all the citizens with voting rights have been made aware and therefore there is no room for misunderstandings or misconceptions. That way, the opinions have not been led, making them adulterated than genuine and pure. As all those voters can vote with a supreme sense of responsibility it shall be a truly unbiased outcome.
The known fact that a 'Referendum' is a tool for political expression sought for a specific confirmation of opinion on an extremely important matter, makes it more important. Can there be any other more democratic measure than a "referendum" to prove to the world, about the genuineness of the aspirations linked to the features which would constitute the intended Constitution?"
In whatever manner the efforts are made to look decent and good in the eyes of the people, the promoters of the "new concept" for the Constitution must understand that the "damage" was done when the whole process gave the impression that there are several undercurrents flowing through with some trying to rush matters through. It looked obvious that there seem to have been so many cooks, very active behind the scene, casting doubts about the genuineness of the whole process. They gave the indications that it has been inching towards an inevitable "constitutional soup". While some of the "constitutional cooks", who could not hide their "die-hard secessionist aspirations" showed their hand, that aspects was further confirmed by the well known "fire breathing self proclaimed champions" of the unsuspecting Tamil people. In addition, there have been some "constitutional cooks" who have been busy in preparing the soup might have sincerely thought that there was a very convenient opportunity brewing up in their favour, to solemnise all the self inflicting victims of an abnormal justification of homosexuality, through camouflaged terminology, showed their aspirations openly.
It is really amusing to note that the screams to trim the powers of Executive Presidency have quietly given way to ensure the erosion of the powers of the central government in the federal system planned by them.
The unitary state is an essential requirement for a land like Sri Lanka as it is the only way to ensure the best opportunities for the people, regardless of their ethnicities found anywhere in the country. The fact that almost 29 per cent of the Tamil population is quite comfortable already among the "monstrous Sinhalese" now shall not be logically possible after such an embarrassing change, wedging feelings of suspicion between the people of the two main communities. That in turn will cause the possibilities for friction which can come out of an eventual imposition of a system like what has been shown. That will be the eventual development, as the political destination determined by some eccentric politicians who cannot understand the pulse of the people.
The magnitude of the drug menace that has been gaining almost freely under the innocent looking camouflage provided under the "fishing in the troubled waters" aimed at the Southern regions may bring in huge revenues to the "Northern State" while destroying the society there calling for Police action. In the meantime, Northern State will be a haven for such criminals. Will not such a situation create friction? It will be a never ending series of incidents straining relations and at the end, what would we have got in trying to solve problems?
The best and the most realistic solution should have been to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all the citizens.
Significance of the features
Although it is very much shrouded, except for some aspects that have come out into the open, which too looked mostly unintentionally, there seems to be a variety of exposures which came to the attention of general public, but only in bits and pieces. By the indications which are now visible, some of those may be justifiably linked to an issue like "Power sharing" taking the shape of "self rule" and the other features fall into a lower category as components taking the shapes of facilitating factors under the same category.
The main issue before the people was the need to get rid of the Executive Presidency. While the signals on that are very feeble now and there are more powerful signals now about 'self rule' kept on surfacing within Sri Lanka and in the international scene, in very aggressive ways up to very recent times, till the American people got themselves a new president.
The newly elected American President was openly critical about the role played by the leadership of the USA and the removal of those officials who were busy trying to blame the Sri Lankan Government for war crimes, atrocities and genocide in the effort to blackguard the government here to prop up the Tamil separatist elements who were busy in trying to prepare the Tamil mindset here. The ultimate aim was to prepare a positive background to promote a "self rule", as the first step towards a separate State to be carved out here.
However, this made the fire breathing Tamil politicos to contribute more towards the disruption to efforts on reconciliation which became a status that had a direct effect on international pressure through Geneva to compel the government to push for a new Constitution governed by stipulations made by the authorities there. It is a known fact that it had reached even the European Union, which has been engaged in an arm-twisting exercise for a long time now. That way, the proposed Constitution is more an artificial burden on Sri Lanka and her people. It has been the main reason for the amusing behaviour of Constitution promoters who preferred the awareness of the citizens to be kept at a very low level.
The efforts to insert a silly feature to give respectability to grant rights to homosexuals raises the question of the genuineness of the intentions of the new Constitution promoters. Medically and psychologically, the human behaviour of homosexual tendencies have been identified as abnormal and here, our great thinkers are trying to give respectability to such a malign aspect that will destroy the healthy minds as well as the future of a the very nation we are trying to serve. The concern is whether all the citizens got adequate awareness of its pros and cons.
It became evident that the whole process had been to satisfy international promoters of Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka. All the features and trimmings came into the picture of the new Constitution came that way only.
Citizens are expected to vote in a referendum and the brains behind it are concerned more about the strategies to win only. Not to win ethically. Rather than singing "Yes Sir..Yes Sir Three bags full" they should guide the President and the Prime Minister when they see pitfalls.
What is good for India bad for Lanka?
Although it is declared that Sri Lanka will not be divided under the new Constitution, have those responsible people ever shown any Constitutional checks and controls like the Indian Constitution has done?
Can it be true, if it is suggested that the Constitution makers were unaware that there were movements and a lot of agitation in Tamil Nadu to fight for 'self rule' to become an independent nation and the fact that even a person like Mahathma Gandhi who is considered even now as the pioneer in non-violent agitation, did not support the idea and a leader like Jawaharlal Nehru went further and the result was the Constitution (16th Amendment) Act 1963? Below is an excerpt from the Act.
It is proposed to give effect to these recommendations by amending clauses (2), (3) and (4) of article 19 for enabling the State to make any law imposing reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the rights conferred by sub-clauses (a), (b) and (c) of clause (1) of that Article in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. It is also proposed to amend Articles 84 and 173 and forms of oath in the Third Schedule to the Constitution so as to provide that every candidate for the membership of Parliament or State Legislature, Union and State Ministers, Members of Parliament and State Legislatures, Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India should take an oath to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.
It is a clear indication of sincerity in Tamil Nadu politicians wanted separation, Indian Prime Minister prevented such a disaster from happening to achieve a better future for all the Indians regardless their ethnicities.
Mahathma Gandhi was not a racist who wished to discriminate Tamils of Tamil Nadu. What he said and promoted was the need to stay together. Now, the people of Tamil Nadu do not regret that as they had a better opportunity to be prosperous. Imagine the Tamil leaders who were from the same land where the great Tamil civilization started and flourished.
If Sri Lanka is divided, there will be more problems than solutions. The so-called constitutional experts have conveniently forgotten the unnecessary friction that would arise. They either do not have the courage or simply do not have the capacity to visualize better opportunities for the Tamil people if they stay together.
Voters in a referendum should weigh the pros and cons before casting their votes.
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