Approving the 20th A by a two-thirds majority is not a real victory for the government but a 'Pyrrhic Victory'

By Chandrapradeep

(Lanka-e-News - 26.Oct.2020, 6.20AM) The Sri Lankan government has passed the second reading of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution by a two-thirds majority yesterday 22nd creating a constitutional dictatorship, despite the fact that the entire world is battling the Covid epidemic and the epidemic was raging in the Sri Lankan capital. The bill received 156 votes in favor and 65 votes against. During the committee stage, the opposition requested a vote on the clause on dual citizenship. There were 157 votes in favor of the clause and 64 against it. All Ceylon Peoples Congress Digamadulla District MP S.M.M. Musharraf was the first to vote against and later voted inn favour of the dual citizenship.

The government won the 20th Amendment by two-thirds, but did great damage to the fact that it was a government dominated by the Sinhala majority.  That is for nothing but the procuring of seven Muslim MPs from the opposition Muslim Congress and the All Ceylon Peoples Congress to make a two-third majority. Ishaq Rahuman, M. Rahim, Ahmed Nasir, Mohammad Harris, Faisal Cassim, Arvind Kumar, and M.S. Tawfiq are the seven MPs.

Diana Gamage, National List MP of the opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya, also voted in favor of the government. Accordingly, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya lost eight of its members. Former President Maithripala Sirisena, who introduced the 19th Amendment, was not present during the voting. Wijedasa Rajapakse, who raised his voice against the 20th Amendment, reaffirmed that he was a real 'Deeldasa' and voted in favor.

Increasinng the judges by illegal means..

The opposition objected for an illegal clause that was brought to the committee stage which was not in the original draft and in the amendments presented to the Supreme Court. That was about the increasing of judges to the Supreme Court and to the court of appeal. Accordingly, the number of judges in the Supreme Court would be 17 with the Chief Justice and the number of judges in the Court of Appeal would be 20. Rauf Hakeem, a former justice minister, said although he agree in principle to increase the number of judges, to lessen the congestion of lawsuits in the courts but Increasing the judges giving full powers to the President to appoint judges would be detrimental to the judicial process. On the other hand, Hakeem objected for not presenting it to the Supreme Court, for not debating but tabeling only in the committee stage. Chief Opposition whip Kiriella also protested but amid all protests it was passed. 

Now the government led by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa cannot say we dont have legislations to solve the problems of the country. All powers are available now. Accordingly, the debt burden of the country must be resolved now. Jobs must be provided.The country must be developed. If necessary, even retired US President Barack Obama can be summoned and make him the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka because even dual citizens can now be elected to
Parliament.

This is a Pyrrhic victory..

However, although the government thinks that being a dictator is an advantage or a victory; political commentators see this as a 'Pyrrhic victory’. A Pyrrhic victory 'is a victory that inflict devastating damage on the winner or a victory that is detrimental to the long-term success.

All parties supported and passed the 19th Amendment, but the 20th Amendment was passed not with the consent of such parties, but procuring parliament members for money. This is how Mahinda Rajapaksa passed the 18th amendment. But that did not prolong his victory. It was very short. The opposition arose from within. The same thing has happened with Gotabhaya's 20. 

Many Christian forces opposed Gotabayas’ 20th amennndment. Two-thirds of the Buddhist sect opposed it. The trade unions too opposed. Although not openly stated, many foreign states were nnot inn favour. This was discussed between the ambassadors in Colombo. Even sections of the population that supported the government opposed it. The government disappointed the extremist Sinhala Buddhists who were with them by taking the support of the Muslims MP’s who voted in favour of the the 20th Amendment. In future, these forces will only unite against the government and not weaken. Gotabhaya has provenn for some time that he is not manipulating his powers properly. He confirms this by saying that his oral word is a circular. Accordingly, there is no doubt that he will use these powers in the future without any hesitation. What happens is that the opposing forces become even stronger because of this 20th amendmet.

What Mahinda did with 18, Gotabhaya is doing with the 20.

Accordingly, what seems to be a victory today is not a real victory but a 'Pyrrhic victory' for sure.

Chandrapradeep

Translated by Robinhood

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by     (2020-10-26 00:55:18)

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