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SRI LANKA: People’s Uprising for System Change

By Basil Fernando April and May 2022 will be remembered as the most important months in the post-independence era. During this short period the much hoped for people’s awakening expressed itself powerfully. People who wielded authority failed to see the writing on the wall although the wall was just next to the Presidential Secretariat and […]

SRI LANKA: The changing meanings of system change

By Basil Fernando One of the most popular phrases that is being talked about in Sri Lanka is the need for a system change. Often in media interviews, various people are asked about what they mean by a system change. Varying answers are given by persons depending on their ideologies, perspectives and above all, on […]

SRI LANKA: The absence of the will to do justice

By Basil Fernando Within a few days after the Rambukkana Police shooting, a large body of information has become available to the public about this incident. The attempt by the Government and also a section of the Police to give their own version about the incident has revealed a very routine pattern that exists in […]

SRI LANKA: A simple way out of the constitutional trap

By Basil Fernando Two crises overlap in Sri Lanka. One is the economic crisis which preoccupies everyone at the moment. However, in seeking a solution to the economic crisis, another crisis stands against any real solution. That is the constitutional crisis. However, this aspect has not received very much attention during the discussions which are […]

SRI LANKA: Can Sri Lanka rise from its constitutional limbo?

Can Sri Lanka rise from its constitutional limbo? When Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe accepted to take over as the Head of the Central Bank, in one of his early statements, he said that he would be able to do the expected job if there is no interference from outside. The demand for non-interference is today one […]

SRI LANKA: Suspend PTA immediately – UN Experts tells GOSL

By Basil Fernando  The Sri Lankan delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) suffered a great setback when its promise to amend the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act, No. 48 of 1979 as amended (PTA) was responded to by the 16 UN special experts calling on the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) […]

SRI LANKA: What Is The Greater Wrong – Contempt Of Court Or Illegal Detention?

By Basil Fernando In two occasions, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) held in two separate cases decided by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court related to contempt of court that the punishment imposed by the Court amounted to disproportionate punishment and that such punishment amounted to illegal detention. The UNHRC held that on both […]

SRI LANKA: Making a Constitution for a traumatised nation

By Basil Fernando Sri Lanka, as it faces the worst crises in terms of the economy, the society, culture and the legal and moral norms on which the society exists, is today a highly traumatised nation. All the norms of a civilised society are in the worst crisis that Sri Lanka has experienced in recent […]

SRI LANKA: Participatory Constitution-making – The essentials

By Basil Fernando Today, there is a consensus that Sri Lanka has entered into a period of crisis that is worse than it has ever faced in recent history. It is also agreed among most of the people who are highly knowledgeable in the field of economics and financing that this crisis will last for […]

SRI LANKA: Who should be in the constitutional convention?

The making of a new Constitution through a constitutional convention is now being discussed in the community. This is against the privately-drafted Constitution through a group of lawyers which the Government intends to introduce in early 2022. The difference between such a Constitution and one that is made with the participation of many groups and […]

SRI LANKA: Legal arguments against the proposal to present the draft Constitution

The basic legal argument against the proposal to present the draft Constitution is as follows; The proposal is based on a false premise as it denies the process of the making of the Constitution whereas it must provide everyone and every group of people the right of participation as it is a Constitution of the […]

SRI LANKA: Fake constitutions create irrational societies

By Basil Fernando A fake Constitution alters the rules of logic that are the basic foundations of a good constitution. The change of logic leads to irrationality. The spread of irrationality into public institutions creates rotten systems within such public institutions. Where the public institutions go rotten, every aspect of social life comes into severe […]

SRI LANKA: A Man Borrows Two Papayas To Feed His Starving Children

By Basil Fernando A man of about 50 years, walks to a vegetable shop in Savithripura, Anuradhapura, and in front of a few others who also have come to buy some vegetables, he asked the small shop owner whether he could borrow two raw papaya fruits from the shop owner’s garden, in order to feed […]

WORLD: Desmond Tutu: The man who revived the moral universe

Article | World | 29-12-2021

By Basil Fernando Archbishop Desmond Tutu who passed away this week will be counted among the great human beings who have contributed on the one hand for the great political transformation of his own country, and a person who has revolutionized the idea of achieving equality even under the most difficult circumstances. His great achievement […]

SRI LANKA: A People’s Constitution; The Need To Think Outside The Box

By Basil Fernando The discussion on the making of a new constitution through an intensely participatory process, as against underhand methods, is now on. These are a few thoughts as a response to some questions that are being discussed. In dealing with the problem of the 1978 Constitution, we are in fact confronted with the […]

SRI LANKA: Beware: The Third Readymade Constitution is Coming Soon

Professor G.L. Peiris has announced that the drafting process of the Constitution is over and that the text is ready. He said that it was to be presented to the Parliament in January next year. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in a televised speech, referred to the Constitution being drafted within the course of next year. This […]

SRI LANKA: CPC Amendment Bill Will Undermine The Role, Function & The Independence Of Judiciary

By Basil Fernando There are many objections that can be taken against the proposed Code of Criminal Procedure Bill on the basis of the unconstitutionality of many of the provisions of the Bill. Some of these objections are as follow; The essence and core of the Bill is to dispense with the requirements of the […]

SRI LANKA: The proposed amendment to CPC will create serious problems for administration of justice

By Basil Fernando The proposed Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979 will open up a Pandora’s box of serious abuses. In essence what the Bill proposes is to allow Magistrates to dispense with the personal attendance in court of a suspect or accused. […]

SRI LANKA: THAT NONSENSE CALLED CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Basil Fernando A guy enters into two prisons with a gang of his friends. In one of the prisons he threatens a group of prisoners undergoing trial by placing his pistol on the forehead of one. He tells them what they should do about their case. Inside another prison he wants his friends and himself […]

SRI LANKA: Women take humans rights to the mainstream

By Basil Fernando Human rights have now become very much an integral part of public discussions in almost all public media. At one time, it remained an interest confined to a few groups and persons who were either advocates of human rights or those who attacked the very notion of human rights as part of […]