Sri Lanka in civilizational crisis amid constitutional violations: Uyangoda
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s constitution has been violated plunging the country into a political crisis two weeks ago and more violations are on the way, a top political scientist and constitutional expert has warned.
"I believe the country is not just in a political crisis, but is fast moving towards a crisis in civilization," Emeritus Professor at Colombo University Jayadeva Uyangoda said.
"What did citizens see on October 26? A portion of the political class who have pledged to uphold the country’s highest law, the constitution, breaking it without thought,"
President Maithripala Sirisena ousted his coalition ally Ranil Wickremesinghe from the Prime Minister post, and planted ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Premier, in a controversial move which as been described as a coup by critics.
Speaking at the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero Memorial Lecture, Uyangoda said that the ministers taking up new offices now should amend their oaths.
"They should say something new like, ‘I take oaths to break the constitution and use political power illegally and immorally for personal benefit’," Uyangoda said.
"The political darkness is rapidly approaching us again," he said.
He said a politician who came into power with popular vote to reform the system is now authoring the new darkness.
"The political class now considers political corruption as a key and legitimate part of establishing and ousting governments."
A number of legislators crossed over to take positions in Rajapaksa’s new cabinet.
Allegations have been levelled that this is being done for huge sums of money.
"Political corruption is now being linked to democracy," Uyangoda said.
"Politicans are attempting to create a new philosophy that although corruption can survive without democracy, democracy cannot surive without political corruption," he said.
He said that so-called law experts are attempting to deceive the public by saying the recent unconstitutional act is constitutional.
"We’re now in a post-democratic era where the consittuion has been violated," Uyangoda said.
"We haven’t understood the implications yet."
"When there is public fallout with political violence, extreme violations of human rights and bloodbaths, we will get a new understanding of political uncertainty," he said.
Uyangoda was also critical of the coalition government which was in power from 2015 to October 26, 2018.
He said the duty of the coalition government was to rebuild public trust in government, after it had broken earlier.
"From mid-2015 to October 26, the government had given little effort to rebuilding public trust."
"Even the coalition government leaders engaged in economic corruption, making it a part of politics," he said. (Colombo/Nov11/2018)