Liberate legal hegemony with one country, one law – Groundviews


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has embarked on a new adventure to marginalize minority communities in post-colonial Sri Lanka.

The decision to establish the presidential task force depends on the general presidential powers of President Rajapaksa, who appointed a 13-member task force headed by the right-wing Buddhist monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, known for his anti-Muslim stance and instigation. recent anti-Muslim riots. The Working Group has a key role to play in establishing the One Country, One Law concept and in preparing a bill.

Bend to the Sinhala electorate

One Country One Law was an election slogan for President Rajapaksa in 2019 when he was elected president with overwhelming support from the country’s Buddhist majority.

In fact, the objective of harmonizing the laws in the country is to stipulate legal hegemony and to mix the political with the legal. Sri Lanka is a majority country deeply rooted in the religious-nationalist Sinhala-Buddhist narrative since its independence in 1947. Different laws and policies have succeeded in fostering the marginalization and normalization of Sinhala prioritization and hegemony. One could remember the Sinhala law only and the law on the prevention of terrorism. The slow aggressiveness towards The otherresulted in the legalized harmonization of the majority. One country, one law concept is an echo resembling the past. The absence of Tamil representation in the Tasking the Force while having Muslim scholars reveals a common tactic: outsmarting one minority against the other while simply applying the symbolism for the hegemony of majority power.

In this context, Rodney Coates writing: “Through the transfer of military and / or industrial instruments, the imperial elite also promotes ideologies of its own racial superiority. Ideologies of racial superiority also include the uplifting of a chosen indigenous elite at the expense of other indigenous groups. It is important to remember that racial hegemonic structures are only defined by the specific colonial situation. As the exploitative relationship develops, so does the establishment of racial hegemony imposed by a military and / or administrative control center.

Post-colonialism created a situation where the external colonizer was replaced by an internal colonizer. In addition, Mr. Sornarajah makes a important intervention when he writes: “Ethnic minorities do not appreciate that the benefits of resource exploitation are aspired by elite groups in power when they are not only denied the resource benefits of their own lands, but must bear the environmental costs. . However, these groups which resist cannot do so by virtue of a right of secession which is denied to them by the dominant ideas of international law. The struggle in the field of the recognition of the right to secession and the right to resist the domination of elites and majority groups within states is a struggle between the neo-conservative ideology which sees in the recognition of individual rights the solution to ethnic and minority problems. groups which seek to have the right to secession recognized as a right of sanction against flagrant abuses by a state.

Align with international standards or create hegemony?

The Sri Lankan government has used the United Nations and international standards to justify why it must amend and even abolish the laws. In fact, they are not wrong. In 2017, the Sri Lankan government appeared before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which issued its concluding observations, according to who: (…) 13. The Committee draws attention to the links between articles 1 and 2 of the Convention and Sustainable Development Goal 5, target 5.1 to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations (A / 57/38, para. 275) and 2011 (CEDAW / C / LKA / CO / 7, para. 17) and further recommends that the State party accelerate its reform process. legislative, in the participation of women and ensure, within a specific time frame, to revise and repeal all discriminatory laws that violate fundamental rights, in particular the following:

(a) Repeal the discriminatory provisions of the Spatial Planning Ordinance in matters of inheritance, inheritance and common property; and,

(b) Amend all personal laws, including Muslim, Kandyan and Tesawalamai personal laws, remove discriminatory provisions regulating ownership, inheritance, transfer and alienation of land and property, as well as provisions regulating legal capacity, marriage, divorce and custody of children. (…) ”

International legal commitment is a fig leaf. It enables and encourages the ruling elite to master and respond to the needs of its electoral base. Interestingly, this is happening at a time when the government is at odds with the international human rights mechanism. But what is more frustrating is the fact that the United Nations has not taken into account the multiple discourses on human rights in the country. Family laws cannot be one-sided and universal, but rather the United Nations creates an enabling environment for a country with a long history of unilateral intervention through law. It’s a form of imperialism which is not “(…) a historicalphenomenon that can be completed somewhere in the past. Rather, imperialism consists of a multiple set of asymmetric arrangements and forms of conditional integration that have spanned time and space, and across many scales and sites of governance. from international to national and local; from public to private; from the ideological to the material; from human to non-human, and beyond. These restrictive and harmful forms of scheduling make and remake our environment well ourselves on a daily basis. “

The international human rights mechanism offers assistance in building legal hegemony as it becomes evident that the UN is itself a hegemonic institution, forcing the universal doctrine of human rights.

This process of political marginalization of minorities is accompanied by a legal hegemony of the majority. The erosion of diversity in a multicultural postcolonial country is not only disturbing, it further frustrates any reconciliation effort and ignores the fact that laws, especially family laws, must be diverse to represent multifaceted nature. from the country. Amendment is one aspect, but the creation of an ethnicized hegemony of power is another.

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