Constitution is not bad, man is vile, Sri Lanka counsel quotes Ambedkar

ECONOMYNEXT – A senior counsel challenging a contested dissolution of parliament by President Maithripala Sirisena quoted jurist B R Ambedkar, who was a key architect of the Indian constitution who warned that there will be attempts to mis-use it in the future.

Kanag-Ivaran President Counsel recalled the Ambedkar’s words "….if things go wrong under the new Constitution the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile."

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has reversed the dissolution until the completion of the hearing which is now on its fourth day.

Sri Lanka was plunged into a political crisis on October 26, after President Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister in a disputed move.

After Rajapaksa was unable to muster a parliamentary majority, President Sirisena dissolved parliament despite an amendment to the constitution which barred him from dissolving it until the lapse of 4.5 years.

Respondents had argued that there were flaws in the constitutional amendment or conflicts with other provisions.

Intervening petitioners said that Sri Lanka does not have a Westminister system and therefore a Prime Minister need not have a majority.

There were also debates on the Sinhala and English translations of the 19th amendment.

Counsel noted that the Tamil and English versions had no ambiguity.

Attorney General appearing for the President had argued that courts had no jurisdiction over the dissolution.






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