Sri Lanka’s “One Country, One Law” Explained

Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse has appointed a 14-member “One Country, One Law” task force headed by Bodu Bala Sena leader Gnanasara. In an October gazette, the President declared that as “no citizen should be discriminated against in the eyes of the law” he was establishing a task force “to study the concept of a common law”.

The task force which was reconstituted in early November, consists of academics and lawyers belonging to the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. The task force that will prepare the draft of the proposed law, has wide powers to study various acts and amendments already prepared by the justice ministry. The team will submit its own amendments and proposals to the ministry and present a final report by February 28, 2022.

Establishing the ‘One Country, One Law’ was one of the main promises and slogans of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa during the 2019 national elections.

The campaign for a common law gained importance after the 2019 Easter suicide attack in which over 270 people, including 11 Indians, were killed and over 500 injured. Nine suicide bombers, belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat, linked to ISIS, carried out a series of blasts at three churches and luxury hotels.

The investigation into the dastardly bombings revealed that local Muslims had aided and abetted the National Thawheed Jamaat terrorists for years. The revelations created a furore across the country and demands were made to amend Muslim personal laws, regulate Madrasas, and also review of Shariah law that aid separtism.

The appointment of the Presidential task force comes months after a Cabinet decision to amend the country’s Muslim personal laws, ban Hijab in public and regulate Madrasas. The proposed common law will override the existing laws such as the Kandyan Law and Thesawalamai Law, pertaining to the Sinhalese and Tamil community respectively.

Spread the love

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *