The country is fucked. I’m joining the JVP.
Sri Lanka has a constitution. It’s not fantastic but it’s functional. It’s certainly better than Emergency Law tyranny. The Emergency Laws should not be approved by Parliament. The CFA should be respected or thrown away, not ignored like cowards. For any of these things to happen the government of Mahinda Rajapakse must be weakened and fall. Sri Lanka is not land and it is certainly not the feudal domain of the Rajapakse family. We are a nation of honor, of laws, and a Constitution. We must return to our Constitution. We must have integrity in this time of strife. I am really pissed off at the government, but for the first time in a long time I have hope. Mahinda has crossed the line by deporting Tamils from Colombo. His government is on the backfoot, and it needs to be kept on the backfoot. That is why I’m joining the JVP.
Here is the Constitution’s Greatest Hits, of sorts. Apparently we have rights. Who knew. Sri Lanka has been under Emergency Law for what feels like my entire lifespan. The Emergency Law is approved by Parliament every few months without much opposition. It should be opposed. As Benjamin Franklin said – “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. We deserve both Liberty and Safety. We should read the Bob Marley sticker on the back of the Trishaw. We need to stand up for our rights, we need to demand a return to the Constitution. It’s better than this shit.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
10. Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
Freedom from torture.
11. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Right to equality.
12. (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.
(2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds:
Freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention and punishment, and prohibition of retroactive penal legislation.
13. (1) No person shall be arrested except according to procedure established by law. Any person arrested shall be informed of the reason for his arrest.
(2) Every person held in custody, detained or otherwise deprived of personal liberty shall be brought before the judge of the nearest competent court according to procedure established by law, and shall not be further held in custody, detained or deprived of personal liberty except upon and in terms of the order of such judge made in accordance with procedure established by law.
(3) Any person charged with an offence shall be entitled to be heard, in person or by an attorney-at-law, at a fair trial by a competent court.
(4) No person shall be punished with death or imprisonment except by order of a competent court, made in accordance with procedure established by law. The arrest, holding in custody, detention or other deprivation of personal liberty of a person, pending investigation or trial, shall not constitute punishment.
(5) Every person shall be presumed innocent until he is proved guilty:
Freedom of Speech, assembly, association, movement, &c.
14. (1) Every citizen is entitled to –
(a) the freedom of speech and expression including publication;
(b) the freedom of peaceful assembly;
(c) the freedom of association;
(d) the freedom to form and join a trade union;
(e) the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice or teaching;
(f) the freedom by himself or in association with others to enjoy and promote his own culture and to use his own language;
(g) the freedom to engage by himself or in association with others in any lawful occupation, profession, trade, business or enterprise;
(h) the freedom of movement and of choosing his residence within Sri Lanka; and
(i) the freedom to return to Sri Lanka.
Source: The Sri Lankan Constitution
The government has no right to deport our citizens. The government has no right to silence and jail journalists. The government has no right to support the Karuna paramilitary which abducts our children. We have rights, and we have to stand up for them. I refuse to let my nation be defined by the LTTE. We must stop reacting to them and begin acting, positively. We need to return to decency, democracy, and law. We must return to our Constitution.