Govt to go with ‘Ekeeya Rajya’ In both Sinhala, English versions of constitutional proposals

The Government is proposing that the Sinhala phrase ‘Ekeeya Rajya’ be used in both the Sinhala and English drafts of the proposed Constitutional changes to describe the nature of the Sri Lankan State.

This is because of the growing storm threatening to overwhelm Constitutional reforms due to protests by extremist groups about the description of the nature of the State of Sri Lanka.

According to reliable sources, legal and Constitutional experts have pointed out to the Prime Minister and several other stalwarts in the Government that this could be the best solution at the moment as the use of the term ‘unitary’ to describe the State may lead to separation as observed in the cases of Scotland and Catalonia in recent times.

The term Unitary will be replaced by the Sinhala phrase ‘Ekeeya Rajya’.

Sri Lankan law requires the Supreme Court to interpret the Sinhala version as the correct one in case there is a different interpretation in the words in the other official languages.

The Constitution experts of the Government have been studying the matter in-depth ever since Catalonia voted in favour of the referendum to be independent from Spain.

“They pointed out that the terminology of the word ‘unitary’ has changed internationally over the years and could lead to a volatile situation in the future. Thus, they were of the opinion that the best would be to use ‘Ekeeya Rajya’ in the English draft as well as the Sinhala word puts more weight on the terminology in describing the State as an indivisible one. In addition, it also ensures the sovereignty of the land and the territorial integrity,” highly placed government sources added.

As of now there is no mention of what words will be used in the Tamil draft.

Meanwhile, a three-day debate will be held in Parliament on the steering committee interim report presented to the Constitutional Assembly on 30, 31 October and 1 November.

The Prime Minister has directed relevant authorities to seek public opinion including that of the Maha Sangha, the Catholic Bishop Conference and the Archishop, other religious leaders, political and civil groups at the end of three-day debate.

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