Referendum In The Offing?

There have been talks that the Government is to hold a referendum to extend the life of the current parliament for another six years after the next Presidential Election. Several Tamil politicians said that a referendum to decide the extension of the current parliament would not be acceptable but there need to be a general election. They also debated whether they need a referendum to address the Tamil national issue, especially in terms of power devolution.

Meantime, the Government responded that the question of the referendum to extend the life of the current parliament does not arise as the President has not yet even declared a date for the Presidential Election.

‘Those Talks May Be Rumours’ TNA MP Suresh Premachandran

There has not been any official statement as to whether the Government would actually hold a referendum to extend the life of the parliament.

Those talks may be rumours. If they make such a decision officially, then the TNA will take its stand.

When it comes to Tamil national issue, Tamil people should take a decision if there is going to be a referendum on the matter. The majority of the country is Sinhalese and holding a referendum on Tamil national issue in the entire country will not serve the purpose.

If at all they are going to hold a referendum to address the Tamil people’s issue, it has to be the Tamils who take the decision and therefore referendum should be held in the North and East only.

Democracy is a broad term and people can decide whether they need a federal system or any other system.




‘Referendum Is Not A Solution For The Tamil Nation Issue’
Leader of the Democratic People’s Congress MP Prabha Ganesan

Referendum is not a good idea both in terms of deciding to extend the term of the parliament and addressing the Tamil national issue. We need to first hold the Presidential Election and then have the parliament election. By April 2016 the term of the current parliament ends.

In my point of view, we need to hold an election, so that people can decide liberally on who they would appoint to the seat and who they would reject. The public have the choice of the selection.

Besides, there will be legal issues as some parliament seats in Colombo, Badulla and Jaffna were reduced and Anuradhapura, Nuwara Eliya, Gampaha and Moneragala were increased.

With reference to Tamil national issue, the TNA should make their demands now ahead of the Presidential Election and I am sure they can find solutions to those issues if they make their demands. Referendum is not a solution for the Tamil nation’s issue as well.




‘Question Of A Referendum Does Not Arise’’
Minister Keheliya Rambukwella

Nobody knows when will be the Presidential Election. It is not yet officially declared. Then a question of a referendum does not arise. These questions are all on assumptions.

The President after four years in his term has the right to call for a Presidential Election. The President first needs to make the declaration. I think people have become too much enthusiastic.

As far as the Tamil national issue is concerned, the 13th Amendment is in place and the Government has categorically said that police powers would not be devolved to the provinces. For the TNA or Tamil national issue there is no need for a referendum.

The 13th Amendment is in force but police powers will not be given – these are the matters that can be argued.




‘The Government And TNA Should Have Proper Dialogue’
DPF Leader Mano Ganesan

 I will not agree with the Government if they decide to hold a referendum to extend the life of the parliament.

Referendums are meant for national issues on which the Government is duty bound to consult people to take a decision. Holding a referendum to extend the life of the parliament instead of an election is against democracy.

Referendums can be held to consult people on matters related to national security and integrity.

When Britain held the referendum to decide whether Scotland should be part of the England that was clearly on the ground of the national interest whereas extending the life of the parliament is not so. The Government should go for a parliament election.

When it comes to Tamil national issue the government and TNA should have a proper dialogue and put forward their ideas and go for a referendum with that matter to seek the public opinion.




‘For People To Give Their Verdict, There Should Be An Election’
SLMC General Secretary Hasan Ali 

I do not think that the President will go to that extent to hold a referendum to extend the life of the parliament. If such an announcement is being made, it is necessary that the President respond to such statements and clear the matters – else there is a possibility that it might affect the voter base ahead of the Presidential Election. It is necessary to hold a general election to let the people make their choices about whom to be appointed to the parliament and who they want to reject. There may be some parliamentarians who they do not like and there may be new people who may want to contest the election to get into the parliament. Their supporters may also be disappointed at the idea of a referendum instead of a general election and may work against the President in the upcoming election. For the people to give their verdict there should be an election.

With reference to the Tamil national issue, we do not need a referendum. The North and East election reflect people’s view. People have spoken in favour of the devolution of power and the SLMC also has been of the same view.


4 Comments for “Referendum In The Offing?”

  1. Sathees

    First of all, I am a Tamil, I am for Tamil.

    I do not want TNA to talk to Gov. as TNA do not represent me. I have rejected TNA as TNA’s priorities do not warrant a betterment of Tamil as a whole, they fight for power for a small group of Tamils (many are not living in Sri Lanka).

    TN fishermen destroy our resources, TNA is mum here!
    TNA is selling war crimes for power.
    They are on collision course with Gov. That’s not what Tamils need now.

    I have my uncontested respect for Justice Vigneswaren, but I think he is on the wrong side or listing to wrong advice. He could have turned the table on his own by working closely with MR. Tamils could have gained much of such a alliance. That’s a missed opportunity.

    Other than that, of Sampanthan and Co, You can’t teach new trick to an old dog. They got to sit back and do an self analysis of their actions. Tamil’s need young dynamic leaders.

    As for what Tamils need is viable economy that grows at above average annual rate. Farmers need irrigation system, Fisher folks need a better fishing environment.

    MR should be the choice in the next presidential election. He will do much better for Tamils than any Tamil leaders in line now. Tamils of North and East should be provided more information so that they can see for them selfs about TNA’s agenda.

  2. daggy

    Need to have a parlimentary election to clean up the Law & Order & corruption situation in the Country.
    Mahinda Mama, the Country needs a decarnonising and a Service in your 03rd term.
    Xi Jing Ping may not tolerate corruption in SL. he is also involved in a clean up of China. Its time you took cue before you are forced.
    China investments need to bear fruits under your watch.

    There is nothing call a free lunch.

    Let get armed with the WHIP on your 03rd term. If you can not give it to one of your brothers who is capable of it.

  3. Dr M.L.Najimudeen

    Some of the present members of parliament will never return to parliament again. Therefore all the parliamentarians want a referendum irrespective of their parties. a Hence a referendum is possible

  4. sangaralingham

    not a democratic approach. citizens must have a choice every 4 to 5 years to elect their own choice of candidates during peace time

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