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THE SRI LANKAN NATION
WE THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA BEING
RESOLVED IN THE EXERCISE OF OUR FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE AS A NATION TO
GIVE US TO OURSELVES A CONSTITUTION WHICH WILL DECLARE SRI LANKA FREE SOVEREIGN
AND INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC PLEDGED TO REALIZE THE OBJECTIVES OF A SOCIALIST
DEMOCRACY INCLUDING THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF ALL CITIZENS AND
WHICH WILL BECOME THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW F SRI LANKA DERIVING ITS POWER AND
AUTHORITY SOLELY FROM THE PEOPLE DON THIS THE TENTH DAY OF THE WAXING MOON IN
THE MONTH OF WESAK IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN OF THE
BUDDHIST ERA THAT IS MONDAY THE TWENTY SECOND DAY OF MAY ONE THOUSAND NINE
HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TWO ACTING THROUGH THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHED BY
US HEREBY ADOPT ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines the word Nation as “Large number of people of mainly common descent,
language, history etc,” The OED defines descent as “lineage, transmission of
(qualities, property, privileges), by inheritance. Now,
going by the above definition, does the said “people of Sri Lanka” when
taken as a group (obviously consists of a large number of people) have a common
descent, language and history?
preamble of the 1972 constitution of Sri Lanka states “ WE THE PEOPLE
OF SRI LANKA’, it refers to the sum total of
several communities mainly the Sinhala community, the Tamil community, the
Muslim religious community and several other smaller communities.
is obvious that the Sinhala community, the Tamil community and the Muslim
community do not share a common descent or a language or a history. The Sinhala
community and the Tamil community have their own unique descent, language and
history. These two communities have nothing in
common as far as the history, the language, the culture and the identity
is concerned. The Muslim community shares only the religion of Islam as their
common entity among them but again consists of several sects with serious
either the definition of the OED is wrong or the word ‘Nation’ stated does
not convey any meaning within the 1972 constitution of Sri Lanka. This fact has
been enhanced by the fact that thereafter, no provision in the constitution
contains the word ‘Nation’.
definition of the word ‘Nation’ cannot be wrong because that definition has
been accepted by various nations long before the creation of the OED. For e.g.
the word ‘Jathiya’ in Sinhala language convey exactly the same above
meaning. The Sinhalese consider themselves as a nation not only on the basis of
having a common decent, language and a history but also by having a country of
their own. Sinhalese in general are unaware that they do not have state of their
own at present because it comes within the sphere of law but are fully aware
that they had a fully established state prior to the year 1505 A.D.
Therefore, the question arises as to what happened to that official
Sinhala Nation & the State?
1978 CONSTITUTION - PREAMBLE
PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA having, by their mandate freely expressed and granted on the
sixth day of the waxing moon in the month of Adhi Nikini in the year two
thousand five hundred and twenty one of the Buddhist era (being Thursday the
twenty-first day of the month of July in the year one thousand nine hundred and
seventy seven), entrusted to and empowered their Representatives elected on that
day to draft, adopt and operate a new Republican Constitution in order to
achieve the goals of the DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC, and having solemnly
resolved by the grant of such Mandate and the confidence reposed in their and
Representatives who were elected by the overwhelming majority, to constitute SRI
LANKA into a DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC, whilst ratifying the immutable
republican principles of the REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, and assuring to all
peoples FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE. FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS and the
INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY as the intangible heritage that guarantees the
dignity and the well-being of succeeding generations of the People of SRI LANKA
and of all the People of the World, who came to share with those generations the
effort of working for the creations and presentation of a JUST AND FREE SOCIETY:
WE THE FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE OF THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA, in pursuance of such mandate, humbly acknowledging our obligations to our people and gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain and preserve their rights and privileges so that Dignity and Freedom of the Individual may be assured, JUST, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC and cultural order attained, the Unity of the Country restored, and Concord established with other Nations, do hereby adopt and enact
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA
1972 constitution was repealed in 1978 and a new constitution came into force on
31st August 1978. The 1978 constitution named as ‘The Constitution
of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka’.
It has removed the word ‘ Nation’ from its preamble.
is once again clear evidence that no such thing as a Sri Lankan nation exists.
Therefore, the following words used -Sri Lankika, Sri Lankeya, in general are meaningless
(due to not having any substance). Therefore, such usage does not contribute to
enhance the rights of any community. This illusive concept continues to maintain
the Ceylonese concept by another name.
CEYLON (CONSTITUTION) ORDER IN COUNCIL - CHAPTER 379
the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 15th day of May, 1946
THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL
the Orders in Council set out in the First Schedule to this Order provision is
made for the constitution of a State Council for the Island of Ceylon:
in the years 1944 and 1945 a Commission was appointed by His Majesty's
Government under the chairmanship of the Right Honourable Herwald, Baron
Soulbury, O.B.E., M.C., to visit the Island of Ceylon in order to examine and
discuss proposals for constitutional reform, and the said Commission duly
visited the Island and made a report to His Majesty’s Government:
And whereas a Statement of Policy on Constitutional Reform in Ceylon was
presented to Parliament by His Majesty's Government in the month of October,
paragraph 10 of the said Statement of Policy contained the following decision:
Majesty's Government are in sympathy with the desire of the people of Ceylon to
advance towards Dominion status and they are anxious to co-operate with them to
that end. With this in mind, His Majesty's Government have reached the
conclusion that a Constitution on the general lines proposed by the Soulbury
Commission (which also conforms in broad out line, save as regards the Second
Chamber, with the Constitutional scheme put forward by the Ceylon Ministers
themselves) will provide a workable basis for constitutional progress in Ceylon.
of the working of Parliamentary institutions in the British Commonwealth has
shown that advance to Dominion status has been effected by modification of
existing constitutions and by the establishment of conventions which have grown
up in actual practice.
such as the Statute of Westminster has been the recognition of constitutional
advances already achieved rather than the instrument by which they were secured.
It is therefore the hope of His Majesty's Government that the new constitution
will be accepted by the people of Ceylon with a determination so to work it that
in a comparatively short space of time such Dominion status will be evolved. The
actual length of time occupied by this evolutionary process must depend upon the
experience gained under the new constitution by the people of Ceylon "
Analysis to be continued >>
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