University professors and lecturers say they appreciate the government’s efforts to lay the foundations for a common law in the country, based on a concept that has not been implemented in any other country before.

The Presidential Task Force for “One Country, One Law” sought the views of the university community at the BMICH premises today (19) and these views were expressed during the consultations.

Deans, Doctors, Professors and Scholars representing 18 Universities including Colombo, Ruhuna, Jayawardenapura, Jaffna, South Eastern, Peradeniya, Kelaniya, Rajarata and Wayamba were present.

Members of university community express views before “One Country, One Law” Task Force

  • Praise the efforts made to establish a common law in the country
  • Full support of the Faculty of Law at Colombo University to make the programme a success
  • Undergraduates express views with keenness before the Task Force

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa established the Task Force with a mandate to submit a concept paper on the implementation of the concept “One Country, One Law” in Sri Lanka, taking into account the views and opinions of various factions on the implementation of the concept and after studying it.

Many ideas and suggestions were made by the university community in this regard and Task Force Chairman Rajakeeya Panditha Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that this moment can be identified as a vital moment in the series of consultations held by the Task Force.

We inherited a sovereign country that respected its fertile soil, civilization and culture. The Thera said that the country which was snatched away from us by the imperialists should be reclaimed by everyone in unison.

The Thera said that the Task Force was moving ahead as a new approach to identifying and resolving the issues at the grassroot level and added that writing down good intentions in books was not enough since sacrifices have to be made to make them victorious. The Thera also said that regardless of the defeat of terrorism, we still have a responsibility to defeat the idea of separatism. He emphasized that his team was ready to work hard with scholars and intellectuals in this regard.

The inclusion of nativeness in foreign law should be recognized as a national interest. Prof. Wasantha Seneviratne of the Colombo Law Faculty said that if there are any anomalies in the laws that are unfair to one community or a limited number of people, those laws should be removed immediately. The Constitution is not a magic document. Basic legal concepts are contained therein. Understanding that concept, it is necessary to build a country which governs under single rule of law, she said.

The existence of different ethnic groups, cultures and languages is valuable as well as it is a strength for the country. She emphasized the need for everyone’s fullest commitment to social justice and equality that would not hurt any community, and said that the Faculty of Law at the University of Colombo would extend its fullest support to achieve the objectives of the “One Country, One Law” concept.

University students also showed a keen interest to express their views before the Task Force. They pointed out that the laws also need to be updated in accordance with the changing world, and said they expected that this Task Force would propose the necessary mechanism in this regard.

The students pointed out that inadequate legal literacy was a problem in the journey towards “One Country, One Law” concept and requested it to be rectified through a national education policy.

Dr. Samath Dharmaratne, Director of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Senior Lecturer Gayathri Wijesundera, Faculty of Sociology, University of Ruhuna, Dr. J.M.S.B. Jayasundara, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management Faculty, Rajarata University, Prof. M.A.M. Fowsar, Professor in Political Science Dept. of Political Science, South Eastern University, Senior Lecturer at the Wayamba University Asanka Pallegedara, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Vavuniya Gayan Bandara, Lecturer Salika Farooq, Dean of Law Faculty, University of Colombo, Sampath Punchihewa, Prof. Nirmal Dewasiri of University of Colombo, Professor Surveswaran, Senior Lecturer Haleem Ali Baker, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Jaffna Saranya Samithambi, Professor H.M. Nawarathna Banda of University of Kelaniya expressed their views and some doctors, professors and students expressed their views using Zoom.

The Presidential Task Force for ‘One Country, One Law’ is obtaining views and suggestions covering various provinces of Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, various organizations and their representatives who have called the Task Force and allocated time slots visited the office at the BMICH to express their views.

Members of the Task Force Prof. Shanthi Nandana Wijesinghe, Senior Lecturer Sumedha Weerawardena, Attorneys at Law Sanjaya Marambe, Eranda Navaratne, Pani Wewala, Dr. Sujeewa Panditharatne, Azeez Nizardeen, Attorney-at-Law Iresh Seneviratne and the  Secretary to the Task Force Ms. Jeevanthie Senanayake were also present.