What is the significance of the Right to information being an integral part of fundamental rights?

Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and a member of the Right to Information Commission, speaks about the significance of the Right to information as an integral part of fundamental rights. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

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Way out from the Current Political, Economic and Social Crisis through the constitution and electoral Reforms  

CMEV Conducted a half-day program to discuss the Way out of the current political, economic and social crisis through the constitution and electoral reforms on 31st May 2020 at Hotel Janaki, Colombo. The program consisted of 3 Panel Discussions with distinguished experts in the field. 

The 1st-panel held on the topic of “Where does Sri Lanka lie at the present politically, socially and economically.” The panel consisted of Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, CPA, Prof. Camena Gunaratna, Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, OUSL and Dr Pradeep Peiris, Department of Political Science and Public Policy, University of Colombo. The discussion was moderated by Mr. D.M.Dissanayake AAL. 

The 2nd-panel discussion was about the 21st Amendment to the constitution as a solution for the present political crisis. The panel was chaired by Ms. Chathurika Akurugoda AAL, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and  Mr. Luwie Ganeshathasan AAL.

The 3rd-panel discussion was conducted on ” People’s mandate to recall their elected representatives – Constitution Vs. Public Demand”. Mr. H.R.P Peiris, Additional Commissioner (NEC), Mr. Jayantha Dehiattage AAL and Mr. Sudarashana Gunawardana were members of the expert panel and Mr. D.M. Dissanayake AAL moderated the discussion. 

More than 40 Civil society leaders, activists and youths participated in the program. 

CMEV’s Statement on Current Crisis Situation in Sri Lanka

May 25, 2022.

CMEV’s Statement on Current Crisis Situation in Sri Lanka

CMEV expresses its deep concern about the rapid deterioration of democrasscy and the rule of law in the country. Following the devastating violence in many parts of the country on May 09, 2022, CMEV has reports that the police investigations and arrests of perpetrators are taking place under political influence. It has been reported to CMEV that some of the suspects were arrested without clear evidence of their connections to the violence. In one case, a 16 years old boy sitting for the O/L examination had been arrested and only granted bail on the afternoon of Monday, May 23, just for being in a photograph of a large crowd gathered in the Eravur area. 

CMEV has also observed the reluctance of police to arrest people who initiated violence at the ‘Maina Go Gama’ and ‘Gota Go Gama’ on May 9, 2022, even though video and other evidence is available. It was reported to CMEV that the Attorney General’s Department had obtained an order suspending the foreign travel of Fr. Jeewantha Peiris and many others, who have lodged complainants and been eyewitnesses of the ‘Gota Go Gama’ attack. They all are active supporters of non-partisan peoples’ struggles. 

CMEV urges all law implementing agencies to act independently and accountably to ensure law and order and the rule of law in society. CMEV was shocked to learn that 182 OICs out of 184 appointed during the period from 01.01.2011 to 03.11.2021 do not possess the required qualification for the post according to the letter dated 06.12.2021 by the Mr C.D. Wickramaratne, IGP. This is now available online. The political bias of OICs toward ruling party politicians in the area is well-known. CMEV urges the Police Commission and the Ministry of Public Security to rectify the situation immediately. CMEV also reiterates the need for disciplinary action against officers who have allegedly responded illegally against public protests, violating the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and to the freedom of expression. 

CMEV believes that the present political crisis will not be resolved unless the public gets an opportunity to elect a new government. The majority of the current members of parliament have lost the public’s trust. As the President has no constitutional power to dissolve parliament till February 20, 2023, CMEV urges MPs of all parties to respect the values of representative democracy by passing a motion to request the Executive President to dissolve the parliament and move to a general election at the earliest.  This would enable constituents to elect representatives who have their trust and confidence, to handle the present crisis. 

CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and nonpartisan organization to monitor the incidence of election-related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up of CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu – Co – Convenor

Mr. Lasantha De Silva – Co-Convenor,

Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana – Co-Convenor

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Download Statement in Sinhala

Download Statement in Tamil

What was the reason behind the unsustainability of the 1972 first republic constitution?

Dr. Vishaka Sooriyabandara, Head, Department of Political Science, Sri Jayewardenepura, speaks about the term “What was the reason behind the unsustainability of the 1972 first republic constitution?”. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in English, Tamil

What did we get from the 1978 Constitution?

Mr Saliya Pieris, President’s Counsel, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka speaks about some fundamental features of the 1978 Constitution. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in Sinhala and English

Why are Provincial Council Elections important?

Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of People’s Action for Free & Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Speaks about the “Why are Provincial Council Elections important?”. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

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Senior Director for Elections and Civil Society Development Visit to CMEV

Mr.Telibert Laoc, Senior Director for Elections and Civil Society Development, NDI, Asia met Dr.Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of CPA and Co-convenor of CMEV, and CMEV staff on March 22, 2022, to discuss current electoral developments in Sri Lanka and possible future collaborations. Laoc has been a long-time friend of campaigners of democracy in Sri Lanka. 

What was the impact of Senanayake- Chelvanayakam Pact 1965 on constitutional reform process?

Prof. Balasundarampillai, Former Vice Chancellor University of Jaffna Speaks about the “What was the impact of Senanayake- Chelvanayakam Pact 1965 on constitutional reform process?”. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

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Did the Provincial Council System change Sri Lankan Governance System?

Dr. Nawarathna Bandara,Former Head, Department of Political Science, University of Peradeniya Speaks about the “Did the Provincial Council System change Sri Lankan Government System?”. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in TamilEnglish