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ARTICLE | Opinion and Fact: Fact or Fiction?

August 2, 2017

Dinushika Dissanayake, Executive Director, Law & Society Trust

“The overwhelming response from all parts of the Country to the Public Representations Committee for Constitutional Reform is in-itself a confirmation that the people of Sri Lanka demand a progressive, inclusive and living Constitution that protects and promotes their rights. In fact, the 1978 Constitution itself has caused rifts among ethnic and religious minorities due to its majoritarian bent and sparse bill of rights as well as its centralization of power in an executive President and a central executive. The subsequent amendments such as the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in fact were responses to these overwhelming failures. Therefore when the Venerable Thera refers to a new Constitution ‘creating unnecessary rifts among our Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim brethren’, in fact the rifts began in the late 1940s with the disenfranchisement legislation. The need of the hour is clearly nothing more and nothing less than an inclusive Constitution, geared to protect the citizens, minorities and majority, from the tyranny of the state, and not necessarily only from each other.”

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