Colombo, Constitutional Reform, Politics and Governance, Post-War

Outrageous process and substance: The proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution

Rohan Edrisinha lectures at the Law Faculty, University of Colombo and is also a Director at the Centre for Policy Alternatives. In this succinct interview conducted by Vikalpa today, Rohan flags serious concerns over the government’s proposed 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Salient points made by Rohan are,

  • Significant problems with the process through which the Amendment was introduced – it was rushed, not consultative and couched in secrecy. Few outside government even had access to the proposed Amendment before it was sent to the Supreme Court.
  • The Amendment goes against the promises in the President’s own Mahinda Chintanaya in 2005 and 2010.
  • Completely undermines the 17th Amendment, with severe implications for, inter alia, the conduct of democratic elections.
  • Cumulative effect of the proposal totally undermines the depoliticisation of democratic institutions.
  • Hopes the Supreme Court will say  a referendum is needed before such a fundamental change to the Constitution is introduced.

In Strange proposals and broken promises: Constitutional reform in Sri Lanka, Rohan speaks more broadly on the significant challenges facing democracy and constitutional reform in post-war Sri Lanka.