Written by Lahiru Fernando
29 Sep, 2016 | 3:29 pm
The Friday Forum has called on the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to address several areas of concern, through the new constitution.
The Friday Forum has issued a media release, through which the forum has called on the Steering Committee of the Constitutional Assembly to repeal article 16 of the 1978 constitution which prevents judicial review of laws that came into existence before 1978 even if they violate constitutional guarantees on fundamental rights, including equality and nondiscrimination.
According to the forum, many of these laws are discriminatory of women and other social groups and include laws relating to land and criminal law.
The media release also points out the existence of “personal laws” that are applicable in Sri Lanka such as the Kandyan Law and Tesawalamai Law which are not based on religion
The forum elaborates that socio-economic rights are not given the same status as civil and political rights as they are considered to be issues of social welfare policy decided at the discretion of the state.
Recognition of socio-economic rights in the new constitution, according to the Friday Forum is one way of ensuring budget scrutiny and accountability in the use of national resources in the public interest, instead of fiscal profligacy and waste of public funds.
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