The 19Th Amendment to the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka : is It a Mockery to the Concept of Democracy ?
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Any country in formalizing their constitution which is the supreme law of the country, follows some fundamental legal doctrines like democracy, good governance, check and balance of powers as well the concept of separation of powers. The existing constitution of Sri Lanka is introduced in 1978 and even before it passes twenty years of its existence, it has been introduced 19 amendments to it. These amendments have made crucial changes to the structure of the constitution.The 19th amendment is composed with a wide discretionary power towards the prime minister"s office in an implied manner. The 19th amendment states that the public has the right to access information but there was no transparency on the nominations of the constitutional council. If the 19th amendment was composed for the national interest then why does it need to undermine the rule of law? Is it a mockery to the concept of democracy? The latest amendment shows a clear difference between the powers of the president and a conquest of the powers of the judiciary and the legislature. The objective of this study is to identify whether the 19th amendment has truly limited the excessive powers granted to the executive president and how the amendment lays the fundamental grounds to ensure the concept of democracy and the concept of good governance. The selected methodology for the study is a library research where constitution and the 19th amendment are been used as the primary data and the existing literatures are been used as the secondary source. Nonetheless, it has been foreseen and understood that although there is a limitation to the powers of the executive presidency in Sri Lanka through the 19th amendment, it does not protect the fundamental democratic features and it does not ensure the separation of powers and good governance as promised by the present government. Therefore in order to ensure the transparency and the accountability within the government as well to the people, powers exercised by the executive president must be reduced and further the judiciary and the legislature has to be endowed.
- Law