The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) called for the complete discarding of the Second Republican Constitution of 1978, which came to being under then President J.R. Jayewardene.
Director of Policy and Programmes at the AHRC and the Asian Legal Resource Centre and Right Livelihood Award/Alternative Nobel Prize Winner, Basil Fernando said that the question is whether the Government intends to create a new Constitution, or whether it will amend the 1978 Constitution.
Former Supreme Court Judge and incumbent Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C. V. Wigneswaran stated that the constitutional crisis of Sri Lanka was the product of engaging in tomfoolery with the Constitution, he noted, querying, “Which part of the 1978 ‘tomfoolery’ is therefore to be retained.
“The 1978 Constitution was not based on the Gaullist model of the French Constitution. The late Dr. Colvin R. de Silva stated that this Constitution was not based on any great tradition, but was very similar to the one that was created by former President of the Central African Republic, Jean-Bédel Bokassa. Jayewardene crowned himself President in 1978, although he was only elected to be the Prime Minister,” he said. He further pointed out that an amendment would only mean the creation of a Constitution that is a logical contradiction, and would result in more confusion. “When something is discarded as nonsense, it should be discarded in its entirety,” he added. “Partial displacement of nonsense amounts to the creation of another form of nonsense.”