A public lecture by Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne PC, MP, on ‘Constitutional Reforms in Sri Lanka; Problems and Prospects’ was conducted by the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka on 18 August at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies in Colombo.
The Management Club – Kalutara and the Sri Lanka German Friendship Society joined hands with the United Nations Association of Sri Lanka in synergy, as Sponsorship Partners of this event which was attended well by members of the Diplomatic Corps, Senior Lawyers, Government and Public Sector officials, Directors/CEOs and Senior Managers from the Private Sector, Law Students, Intellectuals, Entrepreneurs, Professionals and the General Public.
Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne spoke on the First Constitution of Ceylon – The Soulbury Constitution, the 13th Amendment which gave rise to the Provisional Councils, its advantages disadvantages and the safeguards that need to be taken to ensure that the powers vested in the Provincial Councils through the devolution of power, are not abused.
The flaws in the 13th Amendment in relation to Provincial Councils need to be looked at critically in order to ensure that the Provincial Councils work efficiently, he said.
He emphasised that what the majority of the people want a unitary state and he elaborated on this. Further, he also mentioned that the non-addressing of the issues of the Tamil people had pushed them to advocate for a separate or federal state.
Speaking on the 19th Amendment, he said that it encompasses some very important aspects such as the independent Commissions, etc., which are essential for good governance. He also stressed that supremacy of the constitution was an essential factor and he elaborated on this subject.
With regard to the new electoral system, he said that what we need is an electoral system that ensures justifiable representation. Commenting on the proportional representation system, he said that several aspects are under discussion to ensure a good system of electoral representation of the people in parliament.
To one of the questions raised by the audience, Dr. Jayampathy responded that the Constitution cannot solve problems. He said that it is a Legal Base which provides a basis for a better society.
Dr. Jayampathy also gave vital examples related to the Problems and Prospects on the Constitutional Reforms in Sri Lanka.
The Management Club conducts, facilitates and provide sponsorship in its Public Lecture Series – ‘The Way Forward’ in the form of evening presentations, on topics of current importance and interest as a part of its education and knowledge development programme, aimed at sharing and developing best practices.