Friday, November 16, 2018 02:09:04 AM

Questions of Freedom: Problems in Sri Lanka’s Constitution, Laws and Institutions

By Ravi Ratnasabapathy - Mon Nov 05, 6:43 am

Featured image courtesy Hemmathagama.lk

“Commander in chief of the army, navy and militia, with the power of making treaties and of granting pardons, and to be vested with an authority to put a negative upon all laws… is in reality to be a KING” (An Old Whig,1787)

Citizens of Sri Lanka should heed this warning to the framers of the US constitution.

The Sri Lankan Presidency was, until recently, a fixed executive, not dependent or answerable to parliament and not removable except for limited reasons. Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. With the power to appoint higher officials, Supreme Court judges, the Police Commissioner, Elections Commissioner it was, essentially an elected monarch.

Did Sri Lanka throw off the British crown only to replace it with local one barely half a century later?…

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