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SRI LANKA

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THE SRI LANKAN NATION

 
 
THE 1972 CONSTITUTION
The preamble of the Constitution of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) adopted on 22nd May 1972 states: -

 

SVASTI

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.

The 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?

When 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.

It 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 differences.     

Therefore, 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’.

The 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?  

 

THE 1978 CONSTITUTION - PREAMBLE

SVASTI

The 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

this

 

Constitution

 

as the

 

SUPREME LAW

 

of the

 

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

The 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.

That 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

                     

PREAMBLE

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 15th day of May, 1946

 

Present: THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL

 

Whereas by 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:

 

And whereas 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, 1945:

 

And whereas paragraph 10 of the said Statement of Policy contained the following decision:

 

"His 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.

 

"Experience 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.

 

"Legislation 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 "

 

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