MR: Hold fresh polls to elect new government once new constitution is promulgatedJanuary 18, 2016, 7:18 am
‘Divide constitution making process into segments’
Once the new Constitution is passed into law, it may be appropriate to hold parliamentary polls to elect a new government under the new Constitution, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said in a special statement on the constitution making process.
The former President has called for splitting the constitution making process into with each designated under Article 120(a) simply as "a Bill for the amendment of the constitution" so that the constitutional jurisdiction of the Supreme Court remains intact, and members of the public will be able to invoke the SC to satisfy themselves that no provisions have been introduced which affect the unitary character of the state. "People have suspicions that provisions inimical to the unitary character of the Sri Lankan state may find their way into the new Constitution if it is passed as a single document."
Rajapaksa has said that other constitutional amendments should not be mixed up with the abolition of the executive presidency and electoral reforms.
The devolution of power in the new Constitution should not exceed the provisions of the 13th Amendment that have been implemented at present, the former President has said, stressing that here should also be no merging of provinces. The police and land powers accorded to the Provincial Councils through the 13th Amendment need to be re-examined, argues. "Indian Supreme Court affirmed that the central government could acquire any land in any state for any purpose of the central government without the concurrence of the state government. But, Appendix II of the Ninth Schedule of our Constitution says that the government of Sri Lanka has to ‘consult’ the provincial council to utilise land within that province for a purpose of the government."
The country will be plunged into chaos if police powers are granted to the provincial councils, Rajapaksa says, noting that what is in practice in India is not suitable for a country which is smaller than its states. That is why successive governments have not done so, he maintains.
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