28 September, 2020

Blog

Are We An Independent Commission?

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Preamble

I refer to  the article carried in the Island today, 26 April, 2020. This response was sent to the Island as Right of Reply but is published elsewhere when the editor Prabath Sahabandu failed to respond to many messages. The article is rewritten for Colombo Telegraph.

The Island says I am under criticism for saying “that it was only the President who could avert a constitutional crisis by seeking the Supreme Court’s opinion with regard to holding an election in a situation where the spread of the Coronavirus disease had not been brought under control.” That was a unanimous Commission decision to postpone the poll date. That only the President can seek an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court is from our Constitution (Article 129(1)) – not from me.  

Onus of Averting a Constitutional Crisis

Regarding avoiding a constitutional crisis, it is unfair to put the onus on the Commission. Given the COVID-19 crisis, we cannot hold elections in time for Parliament to meet on 2 June as required. We cannot fulfil an impossible job. But the President can cancel his own order of 2 March as provided in Article 18 of the Interpretation Ordinance that would restore the status quo ante. All that flowed from it – the dismissal of Parliament and the nominations – will be null. Alternatively, the President can recall Parliament temporarily under Article 70(7). Parliament can fix all the ongoing illegalities (particularly the curfew and funds being drawn without the authorization of Parliament). I prefer this because the first option can become a precedent for future Presidents to cancel polls without good cause upon realizing their party is going to lose.

Irresponsible Writers: Three Equal Members

Further, we have no Chief of the Election Commission as in the Island. All three of us are Members, but Mr. Deshapriya is additionally Chairman. Although he has a second vote when there is a tie, that has not happened so far and is very difficult to happen with only three members. It can happen only when one Member, other than the Chairman, abstains and there is a 1-1 vote. At that point, the Chairman will have a second tie-breaking vote. We, therefore, effectively have only one vote each. Lazy references to the Chief of the Commission as well as Head of the Commission, or even Election Commissioner (an all-powerful post now no longer in existence evoking imagery of an Elections Czar) in newspapers hurt the independence of the Commission and show the caliber of research by media. A lot worse are references in newspapers to the effect that “The Ball is now in the Election Chief’s Court.”  These give impressions that we, the other two members, are impuissant with no part in decisions.

Perhaps it is easier to target and single me out for the decision to postpone elections. A Hiru program on 20 April night with the Chairman participating referred to my dual citizenship and my being motivated by my Tamil ethnicity. When asked about my dual citizenship, the Chairman could have said there is no legal impediment to my being on the Commission. But he was silent and thereby gave the impression that my appointment is illegal. The Chairman, at one time owed allegiance to the JVP, which then was committed to the violent overthrow of our elected government. At that last Commission meeting on that same 20 April morning said he is loyal only to one country and has not sworn allegiance to other countries. I do not know if he was sniping at me, or Gotabaya and Basil Rajapakse. He has promised to apologize at the next meeting, but the damage is already done. I swore to uphold the laws and constitution of the US. I have nothing to be ashamed of. 

So,  in theory we are all three equals, with equal decision-making powers as Mr. Deshapriya himself has recently begun to articulate (NewsFirst, 24 April evening news-bulletin). Yet, he takes one-man decisions and then offers empty platitudes like this. As the presidential election began, he openly said at a Commission meeting that he conducted the Local Government election, but this will be done by the Commission. Then he proceeded in the old style – independently giving “Commission orders,” for example against ITN and cancelling the observer status given by the Commission to CaFFE.

Prof. G.L. Peiris on the Nineteenth Amendment

The 19th amendment (the part about the EC) was a great initiative. However, the last parliament of 225 MPs goofed by putting in a quorum of three with a Commission membership of three. That means if one of us falls ill, is kidnapped, or is otherwise deterred from attending, no election can be held. Adding to our woes, Prof. GL Peiris has crossed lines in The Island (2 March, 2020), saying there is a saboteur in the Commission who by not attending Commission meetings can disrupt the election. This is a reference to the quorum of three with a membership of three which he uses to denigrate the Nineteenth Amendment. In my mind, the amendment is one of the best things to come from the last Parliament where all MPs (save one nay and a handful of abstentions) worked together to pass this amendment.

However, when all three Commission members have an excellent attendance record at formal Commission meetings, I see Prof. Peiris’ comment as unworthy of a man of his intellect and an affront to the Commission’s independence . It is an improper attempt to bully us into doing what he wants – to hold elections on April 25, as in the presidential proclamation of 2 March, the same day Peiris issued his saboteur comment. So far, I have heard no one questioning his unprincipled behaviour.

Commission’s Dependence on Politicians

Another aspect of the Commission’s lack of independence, besides kowtowing to politicians, is that we are weakened by the Amendment’s stipulation that we depend on politicians for financial provisions. Our financial provisions should be overseen by a body with some integrity, like the Constitutional Council, but the last cabinet was careless in making the necessary provisions for us. Accordingly, we must ask politicians for ‘favours’ like living quarters, higher transport allowance, etc.. A car was provided only to the Chairman. As a result, the Chairman attends most discussions at non-formal meetings alone. Hence, agreements he comes to at these meetings do not necessarily have the required consent of the other two members, and often we are unaware of them – unless he segments the meeting to meet with us before deciding. Is that not why Mr. Ali Sabry’s threats to Muslims on video, a grievous election offence, have not been put to the police? In that video he says unless Muslims vote for his boss they would be thrashed. Our inaction is because we cannot ask the SLPP politicians for resources after acting against their Counsel.

With a travel allowance for the Members, we often do not have the money except for the regular meetings at the Commission premises. As a result, our executive staff serving under us have chauffeured cars provided but we do not.

Vanishing Financial Provision after Critical Article

Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I cannot use public transport as I usually do because of the risk of infection as well as lack of bus-service from Jaffna. Thus, for recent meetings I have been forced to persuade one of our executive staff members to come to Colombo from Jaffna in his official car so I can ride with him, although he does not need to come. It is a hardship on him and a waste of his time.  It also compromises our relationship. As one of three people running the Commission, I am unable to be an example in conserving resources.

I am told there is no financial provision for me to use a Commission car as I already have a travel allowance. I have asked for that allowance to be cancelled and for me to be provided with a car, like executive staff under the Commission. But that, I am told, is not possible because Parliament sets the rules. In these circumstances, even for meetings on Commission premises, I do not have enough money in my allowance to cover my driving from Jaffna. Even if I did, I cannot be alert at meetings after that long drive. To use a Commission driver, I am told I must also pay his salary  and his subsistence allowances. However, my staff who get an official car also get a driver. I am told in writing that I cannot be given a driver because drivers do not want to drive the long distance from Jaffna to Colombo and back. Where in government service can a driver refuse to drive a member of a Commission?

It is funny that the Commission’s executive staff finds financial provisions for driving us within Colombo but not from Jaffna. When I need transport within Colombo to the bus station after a Commission meeting, I cannot ask for a vehicle from our transport division, but my Secretary or the Chairman’s Coordinator can.  

After the Presidential election, I raised the issue of whether polls were free. Immediately after that article, I was waiting in Colombo for my office car to take me to a meeting at the Commission as I usually do. It did not come. Then the Assistant Commissioner in charge of transport wrote to me saying, citing the Commission’s and the Commissioner General’s instructions, there are no provisions for me to be provided transport even within Colombo. But there was no Commission decision like that, although the Commission had operated for four years on a decision to provide us with transport within Colombo. No action was taken because, I believe, the Assistant Commission was acting on instructions.

Gagged at Press Conference

So, are we independent? I cannot even speak at a Commission press conference where the Chairman does not tell us what he will discuss. We two members sit on either side and I often fall asleep because my translation is inaudible when I sit next to the Chairman. After the Chairman had spoken for over an hour on Nov. 11, 2019 (I think), I wanted to express my views advocating electronic voting when postal voting was discussed. While I was speaking, my microphone was snatched by the Chairman from me in front of national TV channels and cameras. Although I have been teaching MS-level courses on Information Technology covering Internet Banking at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, I was insulted as having no election experience compared to Chairman Deshapriya’s 32 years, and he apologized for me on some unrelated thing. On which I owed no apology That was my  last attempt at speaking at a press conference – watch from 1 hour 12 minutes, which will tell you how independent we are. After damaging me, he praised me as he always does! 

Truth a Vanishing Commodity

At present the Commission scene is bad. I realize and am sure that we have not always been told the truth. I suspect that to be the case in many other instances too. Even the minutes on how we arrived at the President’s birthday, 20 June, for elections are posing difficulties.

We had gazetted 25 April as the date of poll as in the President’s Gazette of Proclamation in keeping with Section 24(1) (a) and (c) of the Parliamentary Elections Act. We did not finish our work in publishing the names of candidates and the location of the polling stations as in Sections 24(1) (b) and (d) because we intended postponing polls because the 25 April date was impossible. Although no time limit was in the Act, the ruling party was insisting we do this. Mr. Nalin Abeyesekere (the third Member) also felt it was necessary. 

The Constitution in Article 70(5)(a) required the new Parliament to meet within 3 months of dissolution – that is by 2 June. To make this possible, the Chairman wanted to gazette 30 May as the date of election and to also meet at the same time the need for us to fix a date as in Section 24(1)(c)  in the Parliamentary Elections Act. He wanted to then add in the same gazette that the poll would not be conducted on that date. It was rejected by the other two members as an absurdity to say the election would be on 30 May but will not be conducted on 30 May. 

Moreover, I had once before been misled over the appointment of the Commissioner General. The Chairman wanted a temporary appointment. When I asked what would happen when we advertise and find a permanent person, he said the temporary person could be reverted. Later  when we wanted to advertise for a permanent appointment, he claimed that the temporary person could not be reverted to his old lower position. When we insisted on advertising, many things happened which I will not go into but the temporary person became permanent.

As a result I felt if we gazette 30 May with the qualifier that no election would be held, a court decision possibly would force us to go to the polls on 30 May.

After this rejection of 30 May, we spoke of Sept. 2 (five years after the last Parliament sat) and Aug. 17 (five years after the last parliament was elected). We agreed to one of these long dates. However, after all meetings were over in the evening the Chairman insisted on a rationale “in case someone goes to court.” We agreed.  He told us that since we were going to gazette the names of candidates and parties as in Section 24(1)(b) and situation of polling stations in the different districts under Section 24(1)(d) which we were yet to do, and the President was demanding we do, we must relate it to these gazettes.

Then he pulled a fast one. He said we need to give seven weeks for polls from this gazette. I should have known better but trusted his experience of 32 years. Claiming that the curfew will be lifted on 27 April and we must wait 3-5 days before concluding that COVID was in control, he worked out the gazette to be on 2 May and 49 days from then to June 20. We two other members did not know that 20 June was the President’s birthday. Make what you will of the arbitrary 3-5 days to judge that COVID-19 was easing.

Then we got down to drafting the gazette. Mr Abeyesekere was shown the draft and he assumed that it was as agreed. It fell on me to read the Tamil version carefully. It gave the poll date as 30 May. I showed it to Mr. Mohammed (former Commissioner General now acting as a consultant) and Mr. Abeyesekere. The gazette was redone with the correct date.

The essence of all this was stated as above in the draft minutes that came to me on 25 April in the night. As I read them and checked the statutes, I realized that the 49 days is not from after the gazette by us under section 24. Rather, it is under Section 10(2)(b) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, five to seven weeks after the President’s Gazette of Proclamation which was on 2 March. I felt misled again.

Conclusion

The Commission, Editors and journalists, Prof. Peiris, and our MPs, all need to get our act together if we want a truly independent Commission under which Sri Lanka can get the full benefits of the Nineteenth Amendment. Chairman Deshapriya has much soul-searching to do.

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Latest comments

  • 28
    6

    Island was an honourable newspaper edited by Mr. Vijitha Yapa when late Upali Wijewardena was alive. After he died, it was taken over by his father-in-law late Seevali Ratwatte, removed Mr. Yapa put his catchers and turned it into a racist one. Since the Island newspaper has been spitting out racist venom. I am not surprised that they had not given prominence to your letter which was a reply to an unfounded attack on your integrity. Not only you but several Tamils have told me that Island never publish even letters to the editor which challenge the racist misinformation churned out by them.

    • 21
      0

      if I am honest, as a person with a healthy mind, cant myself tolerate the maco’s behaviour to media time to time.He must not give such interviews to anyone even if he would feel that would be necessary without agreeing within that commission. That is a greater violation as a state official.
      He should rather be able to control his mouth. But he has always been holding unnecessary interveiws with any media institution. If any state official would agree with public discussions unnecessarily, the quality and the credibility of their services become questionable to everyone with some sanity. but in the same time, the kind of unforgivable acts are in higher demand in Srilanken society led by Rajapakshes supporters. That is the greater difference between former govt and the current one. This should be becoming clear to the nation, and media should reveal this even clearer to the nation, if the society should be rebuilt for a better future.
      So as a result, they themselves cut their neck regarding earning some respect about their state services.
      People today are caught by all various uncertainities regarding corona threat. specailly in this context, these officials should rethink before making any wrong doings. Besides, people are not that stupid as appeared to be. They are now set to rethink than before.

      tobe continued.

    • 17
      2

      Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

      “Not only you but several Tamils have told me that Island never publish even letters to the editor which challenge the racist misinformation churned out by them.”

      Whom do you think vetting all readers’ letters, the recycle king Shamindra Ferdinando?

      • 9
        3

        NV, this Shamindra Ferdinando is an inborn racist. He often uses the word “Sources said” to come out with his lies. He is competing with another racist liar Chandraprema to lick the boots of Rajapkses.

        • 9
          1

          They dont care about the people so long 10% aka BP Basil et al would provide them with the funds.

          I really dont know why the stupid men fall that deep not being able to fulfil their duties taking the side of the very public.

    • 8
      2

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaasrlpGL-I

      Gota and Mahinda should go back to their cages leaving respectful leaders to the job.
      :
      They make every effort misleading the nation – by spreading blatant lies.
      :
      Sirisena BP also reacted going by same path, but Mr Wickramasinghe and all those stood against anti-democracy made SIRISENA knelt down before SC.
      :
      In the days to come – Nandasena BP and his brother barbarian Mahinda will have to hide their tails behind their rear legs.
      :

    • 6
      4

      Island has often published Hoole despite content. This is among the few exceptions.
      It publishes a wider variety of views than the Daily Mirror on some major issues.
      No newspaper editor likes to be challenged. That is media privilege.

      • 4
        2

        SJ.
        The Island had a split personality for many years. The Sunday Island under Manik De Silva was fairly balanced with contributors from Kumar David to the odious Chandraprema. The daily Island was and is pretty racist .

        • 1
          0

          OC
          I would partly agree with your view of SI. Sunday papers perhaps cater to a more serious readership.
          Even then, the Island published several articles by Hoole. This particular item confronted the editor, and not many editors are accommodating of criticism.
          *
          A Tamil weekly to which I contributed a regular column for years once deleted a whole paragraph because I said something critical of the media. I refused to write the next coulmn until the omitted text was published. They did, rather grudgingly, and my column was promptly moved from the editorial page to another section of the paper.
          It is not just the editor. There are minions that assert their little bit of power in petty fashion.
          That is media for us.

  • 10
    2

    Poor Ratnajeevan Hoole,
    .
    I think I must write something
    after reading this lamentation, but I don’t know how to. Already, after seeing the first words, shorn of honoroficses, I fear that readers will assume that some obscure racist has decided to be insulting and patronising towards this heroic man. Already sounding satiric? No. I have been following his travails closely for five or six years. Fortunately, just an hour ago, I read about a man in Germany – another great human being who will also be forgotten after he has given his all for humanity. I mean it. Please read about Christian Drosten, who also is hated by some, although I know that most readers of Colombo Telegraph have begun to revere Ratnajeevan, at least for now.
    .
    This may be an awkward way in which to write, but if I don’t follow my impulses I fear that nothing will get written. So, read about Christian Drosten:
    .
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/26/virologist-christian-drosten-germany-coronavirus-expert-interview
    .
    We human beings have advanced so much (now that is sarcastic!) that prophets are without honour anywhere among us – it seems to me. There are no comments to be seen as I submit this. tbc

    • 8
      2

      Continuing:
      .
      When the comments come in, I’m sure that they will be a mixed lot
      . Some will indeed shower praise on Ratnajeevan, the way I heard MaKo do a couple of days ago, saying that he greatly honours Hoole, who is the only Sri Lankan with a DSc qualification. Not accurate, I’m sure – there must be one or two others, although I don’t know who.
      .
      It is now the following morning – past 10.00 am and no comments on yet. That is no problem; CT and us are on the same side, desperately trying to keep certain decencies alive. Last “night”, well 4.00 am, I had decided to cut off the first part of this comment and submit, so as to put this on as “Reply”, to have some sequence. I have now accessed the two links provided by Prof. Hoole, to the Island article and the video from 1 hour 12 minutes until almost the end. Deshapriya’s “experience” is on display all right, but since he had chosen to go back to the Presidential Election, how come we cannot hold him responsible for his failure to check on Gota’s citizenship?
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/was-the-presidential-election-free-and-fair-when-colombo-returning-officer-called-sajith-premadasa-the-son-of-a-donkey-asks-prof-hoole/
      .
      tbc

    • 8
      0

      Thank you Sinhala man.
      They have made it compulsary to wear mask whenever we go to buy our daily needs. Until today, it was like not a must but holding social distancing (not 1 meter but 2 meters in every markets or anywhere where you are are shown.
      :
      My question arises as to why incumbent govt of SL has not yet let the experts being interviewed regarding the CORONA crisis – but always what is being seen is that men from GMOA instead behave as if they are the experts to make public statemetns. All in all, the govt run by brother duo seem to be lacking the basics of the basics not being able to recognize the need of the hour. Yesterday alone the number of the infected rose up to 550 or so, but not yet even 20000 of tests are completed. That poor country NEPAL have completed over 50 000 of tests, with not a single death being reported in that country.

      Our people should have been studying the STUPIDITY of BPs before them being elected. Then we could achieve lot more in terms of containment of COVID virus in the island.
      :
      Navy’s number rose up, just because they increased the number of tests… that alone proves to any one, if they increased the number of tests a day, they could find lot more patients. Meaning… the govt has failed to done the due though they are on their self-glorifications by misleading the very same gallery on and on.

  • 11
    5

    Dr. Rajan Hoole must be a pain for Deshapriya We need people like hin in EC to keep the child ion pins and to lean towards any party. There are too many advisors for Gota and confusing his brain. He will listen to his SLPP leader Otherwise there is a cold war between SLPP president and President A panel consisting of Medical. Legal and Security personnel should advise EC in fixing the date for the lection As things are happening I am of the view the will be no Elections for six or more months. So what is the solution to run the government and spend money>

  • 7
    5

    “It can happen only when one Member, other than the Chairman, abstains and there is a 1-1 vote. At that point, the Chairman will have a second tie-breaking vote. We, therefore, effectively have only one vote each.”
    The logic escapes me.
    If the Chairman has a second tie-breaking vote how can it be all having a vote each?
    The second vote comes in when it matters most, except where the other two members are together.
    *
    “A car was provided only to the Chairman. As a result, the Chairman attends most discussions at non-formal meetings alone.”
    Does it mean that if a car was not provided the he alone would not have attended discussions at non-formal meetings? He could use his own, or a hired vehicle; or the powers that be could provide transport.
    *
    How will experience in IT be election experience?
    However, to insult a fellow member in the said manner is in bad taste.
    *
    All appointments to government commissions are political.

  • 11
    17

    Prof. Hoole is turning out to be more than a little nutty. Unfortunately, this happens to many highly educated people. “Are we an independent commission ? ” he asks? From frequent public pronouncements on politics to quite clear antipathy to the current regime , Dr. Hoole himself is the biggest threat to the commission’s independence. Quite a contrast to the third commission member, who is only seen but not heard. My sympathies to the Chairman, who must have his hands full dealing with grandstanding Professors.
    I still admire Dr. Hoole for his outspoken views and refusal to bow down to bullies, but the EC is not the place to do it.

    • 8
      2

      Old Codger,

      wait and see, BPs would get caught once again in next days. Anyone with some sanity would be aware that there will be no way out without reconvening the parliament.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cUURdV_Ooo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12D5j_dsf_c

      Who do they think we are – are all that belonging to that 69 lacks who ate ratathanaklola bringing back them to loot the nation.

    • 8
      6

      “My sympathies to the Chairman, who must have his hands full dealing with grandstanding professors”. The Chairman is in this sorry plight because of his actions in trying to curry favour to Rajapakse gang, probably expecting something in return. He tried to be a one man show and due to the stand taken by Prof Hoole, he has been reduced to this state. Instead of complementing the right stand taken, how can one in his normal senses say that he is a threat to the commission’s independence, probably not knowing the meaning of the word independence. On whom or what agenda is he dependent on, rather than upholding the integrity. It is the Chairman who is a threat to independence to the commission when he starts to dance to the tune of Rajapakses. Do you want an honourable person to keep quiet and let the rogues do what they want to do, and only be seen and not heard and get the label of a good boy. From the video, I felt that Prof. Hoole was a soft spoken person. If the Chairman told that to me, I would have told him emphatically “Please stop shouting at me. If you think that I am a mere push over, you are sadly mistaken. Just because you have a hidden agenda to please some people, I am sorry I cannot dance to your tune”. This would have floored the Chairman from ever raising his head again. Find out how I controlled Sinhala racists in UK in 2013, with my firm and fair actions to show them where to get off.

      • 4
        2

        Dr. Gnana,
        Maybe I was a bit harsh with Dr. Hoole. But that was for his own good. I agree with most of what he writes in this forum. We all know that he doesn’t like the racist Pohottuwa set . BUT he is a member of an independent commission and must leave his politics at home. Imagine the Chief Justice writing political articles in the Press? How can the Commission be seen to be independent when one member openly trashes one political party? Now, you and I are allowed to do that, but like the CJ, Dr.Hoole shouldn’t. If he does, the govt. can credibly claim that the EC is biased. Is that so difficult to understand, Dr. Gnana?

        • 6
          2

          OC
          People are too used to an “Are you with me or not?’ attitude, and pounce on any criticism of anyone, whose words please them.
          Critical thinking is not a luxury that formal education comes with.

  • 6
    5

    Prof! You are one of the few who has a DSc. So! Don’t be a cry baby. You know very well that you were not allowed to function as the Jaffna University VC by that megalomaniac who labelled himself as “Thalaiver”, akin “Fuhrer” of Hitlerian Germany. Still you don’t have the freedom to talk about it even in CT. The concerns regarding your ethnicity and citizenship are nothing to me as I do not believe in discriminating along those lines. However, the suspicion implied that you are working on an agenda inimical to Sri Lanka concerns me. My suspicions aroused gets further accentuated when you raise matters which are not relevant to your duties as one of the Commissioners and imputing them to be a hindrance for the independence of the Commission. I have already commented that what kind of SOB of advisors that the President has to simply say to reconvene Parliament after the elections on whatever date held because moment the President issues a gazette reconvening the Parliament after 3 month deadline he has violated the Constitution. My humble advise to Prof is that more you talk more you give out material that can be used against you.

    • 6
      2

      Good Sense

      “You are one of the few who has a DSc.”

      Not true.
      Between 1979 and 2011 the University of Colombo has awarded 34 DSc to various people including academics.

      On 06 September 2009 the University honoured itself by awarding a DSc to Gotabaya Rajapaksa and a LLD to his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      • 1
        3

        Yes! Native Vedda, You are right. I meant not the set of HONORARY DSC or LLD by the Universities of Sri Lanka but one’s that award it for hard but original work done. We are not talking about such HONORARY FOOLS OR SYCOPHANTS who lick any part of the anatomy of anyone, especially those who are in power. Here is a guy we sometimes look for who has the guts dot every i and cross every t. When he too goes berserk to the extent of questioning his integrity where do we stand?

        • 7
          2

          Good Sense

          “We are not talking about such HONORARY FOOLS OR SYCOPHANTS who lick any part of the anatomy of anyone, especially those who are in power.”

          Dr Laksiri Fernando was the one who proposed the DSc for Gota in 2009.
          Would you put Dr Fernando also in that category?

          • 1
            2

            If you know that a particular Academic proposed somebody in “real power” at that time for an Honorary DSc, it is reasonable on my part to assume that you know the reason for it. That answer will enable you to answer the question you pose to me. Usually politicos are awarded an Honorary LLD for whatever politicking. Now if the Defense Secretary, in the process of winning the war spearheaded some practical research that ultimately helped in winning the war then there is some semblance of a justification in proposing an Honorary DSc. Just because you successfully managed the war effort? Honorary LLD is possible and Definitely not a DSc.

            • 3
              1

              Good Sense

              “Now if the Defense Secretary, in the process of winning the war spearheaded some practical research that ultimately helped in winning the war then there is some semblance of a justification in proposing an Honorary DSc.”

              None of that happened.
              The entire war after 2005 was designed, prepared (including training intelligence gathering), financed, conducted, ….. and won by Hindians though for political reasons Mahinda/Gota were assigned the victory to themselves. On the other hand Mahinda/Gota said (2009) without Hindians they could not have won the war.

              If anything Vai Ko (V Gopalasamy Tamil Nadu Politician) should have been bestowed with a LLD for helping Hindia defeat LTTE in 2009.

  • 8
    14

    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole,
    /
    With all due respect I frankly think you are acting like a woman in a “Sunday Pola”.
    By trying to be overly official you are neglecting some obvious things.
    /
    # the world and society is not digital. It’s analog. Experience in living and working in Peradeniya University and events you faced there should have taught you that lesson.
    /
    # covid 19 is here to stay. It will not go away in few months. Possibly not in few years. It’s the new norm.
    /
    # As far as election is concerned it’s everyone’s duty to work something out to get it done. Not to postpone it to the oblivion. May be by stages. May be by areas. We should work out a workable plan.
    /
    # You being a dual citizen shouldn’t be a issue here. It’s your democratic right. What is more important is that your decision to come back and serve the country.

    • 9
      2

      What cant that APAWAITHRA WANNIHAMY resign from her minister position ?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VfWvXKYvY4
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nngOveWd68I
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awmqz3jnvYw

      Sri Lanka
      Coronavirus Cases:
      557
      Deaths:
      7
      Recovered:
      126

      Democracy has turned out to be DEMOCRAZY under BP Rjapakshes

      With funds being received to the govt these days, it is believed even 50 000 /family can be feasible.
      :
      But BPs dont care about it at all, people should come forward and go on protest for their demands.
      :
      Basil BP Rajapskshe should be crucified : Else, the people would have to starve

  • 10
    1

    The following conclusions are obvious Mahinda Deshapriya is a partisan hack who should have been replaced but now it is too late. The government is staffed/infested by partsan politically appointed hacks loyal to the Rajapukshes The previous government suffered immense hardship when it tried to implement its programs thanks to the continuos sabotage inflicted by these moles. Most of them are also unqualified and incompetent at doing a proper job. The UNP regime refused to get rid of these scoundrels partly due to the stubborn refusal to budge by the then PM. Even his second in command then, the moronic Sajith also articulated similar sentiments of keeping all the Rajapukse political appointments intact. Denial of official vehicles to the most deserving and honest officers and individuals working for the government was a common occurance. Undermining funding was another way of sabotage put up by these moles. It is well known that the media institutions of the Island, Hiru, and Derana are useless mouth pices of the Rajapukses. They should have been closed down and their licenses cancelled. G.L. Peiris is not even worth being called a professor anymore. His record speaks for itself. All the Rajapukshe appointed moles are also infected with another common trait. It is racism.

  • 24
    22

    This Hoole joke is getting a bit out of hand!
    =
    Firstly, in the photo linked to the article, anyone who knows the ABC of body language would note that with his shoulders contracted and belly forward), Hoole is trying his hard to pick a quarrel. If you look at the bopdy language of Deshapriya and the other guy, you’d note that they are adopting a defensive posture, especially the third guy. This picture alone shows that Hoole should be dealt with sternly, to put an end to his silly (and dangerous) antics.
    =
    There is one clear, neat answer to the problems the man is keeping crowing about. BLOODY RESIGN.
    But he doesn’t want to do that because he enjoys the official cars and accommodation in Colombo too much.
    =
    This man’s dishonest bluff should be called. He is no democrat or honest human being, but a man whose head has got swollen due to the position he stole through the 19A amendment.
    He certainly is no patriot.
    =
    Kick him out and throw the book at him. We’ve had enough.

    • 1
      2

      Dear Helios,
      .
      You are entitled to dislike Hoole
      – because of your interpretation of the “body language” that he displays in this much-displayed photograph. Other photographs show him to be quite black!
      .
      It is rather more likely that you resent Hoole’s insistence on showing up the corruption and manipulations by Gota – who is your hero.
      .
      Hoole doesn’t like his “other President”, either.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/observations-on-the-us-elections/
      .
      And see what he did when he was sent to observe the Presidential Election in the Maldives.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maldivian-parliamentary-elections-2019-where-a-happy-result-can-be-predicted/
      .
      Search there for the report by Hoole and Raskia Peiris embedded there.
      .
      He certainly is independent!
      .
      Incidentally, Covid-19 seems to be making heavy inroads into the “tiny” population of the Maldives.
      .
      https://raajje.mv/en
      .
      Old Codger can say that Hoole is grandstanding, but please don’t make up false stories about his doing it for any perks. He’s told enough about his transportation woes. As for accommodation, I’ve reported a few months ago how I walked round the block where both Deshapriya and he are billeted in a four unit block in Glen Arber Place, Colombo 3 or 4, which has been marked for demolition.
      .

  • 13
    17

    S. C. Pasqual

    “Not to postpone it to the oblivion. “

    Well said.
    It is National Hangman Gota’s job to postpone it to oblivion, make it a thing of the past.
    However he desperately needs a 2/3 now preferably on 17 November 2019 the day after the presidential elections. Therefore he will work hard to get the 2/3 as soon as the Ranavirus could deliver it to him.

    His intentions are well known.
    However what is in it for you?

    • 8
      2

      We all articulated it that Gota would FIT to be hang man no means to be the president. But punnaku drinkers and thanakola eaters voted for him.
      :
      Now he has proved it as no other. I v been thinking of sending him a pacifier next days, because he reactions are beyond bearing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaasrlpGL-I

      :
      Now we feel, that stupid SIRISENA is not stupid as Rajapakshes.
      :
      They did not go for more tests, becasue if truths would reveal, the resistance to cancell elections would have grown… – now the public should see it right – that the leaders in power are hearted enough.
      .

  • 12
    3

    Dear Professor Hoole,
    The treatment you received from the Island and Mahinda Desapiriya clearly proves that again and again there is no right to speak truth in this Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist Nation. What a turn around of a JVP insurgent to a Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist. Even the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists consider Premadasa as a Buddhist Sinhala but American citizens Gota and Basil as Sinhala Buddhists of Srilanka. It is true that a majority of Sinhala are cheated by Mahinda Family, but they were kept under dark by Mahinda family with their anti minority, anti western propaganda. So , I beg all the Tamil and Muslims to give up all their jobs such as governors, GAs, MPs, Judges etc.

    • 2
      3

      A correction;
      Even the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists consider Premadasa as a non-Buddhist Sinhala of Srilanka but American citizens Gota and Basil as Sinhala Buddhists of Srilanka.

  • 10
    2

    Tying up major events with Birthdays of those in Political Power has now turned out to be a culture of its own in Srilanka.

    President Premadasa had his Gam-Udawa event commencing 23rd June.; His Birthday!
    Now June 20th has been fixed for the General Elections; President GoRa s Birthday!

    Well now the cat is out of the bag; Young Mahinda Deshapriya, one-time JVP supporter has carved out his future for the foreseeable future; After retirement though.

  • 5
    3

    There are several crises other than COVID 19 Constitutional crisis, Economic Crisis. Fodd Crisis, Mobility crisis, Educational crisis, and more than everything Political crisis linked with a state Management EC crisis. There are no honest leaders with clear thinking to resolve these crises The country will take years to recover from these crises. The President’s stubbornness is escalating these ctisises because he never mixed with the masses and understood their problems. He spent 12 years in the US having high-level life. Now he and his other brother are back to ruin the country

  • 3
    0

    Was there any INDEPENDENT commission in Lanka ever ???????

  • 6
    0

    Social values in Sri Lanka are dropping to lower depths as professional integrity is challenged by the very bureaucracy that is expected to uphold it. The author should resign from his position on the cusp of an election and throw the whole lot in disarray.

  • 4
    0

    Are We An Independent Commission?

    The obvious answer is “no”.

    The Constitutional council and 19A had failed to produce an independent commission.

    Shall we start with the blame game?

    Who is to be blamed?

    Mr Abeysekara,the third member of the commission seems to be an innocent observer watching everything with a detachment but keeping quite .

    He could have played the role of a mediator to bring the warring parties to resolve the issues.

    I do not think that Mr. Deshapriya is biased. However, he enjoyed being in the limelight and tried to monopolize credit for whatever is done.

    The issues almost look ridiculously childish and could have been avoided with little patience.

    Nevertheless, it was not to be. It looked as if washing dirty linen in public.

    All three members failed to exhibit managerial skills especially working as a team and as a consequent become a laughing stock of the entire nation and failed to live up to the expectation of the civil society who were instrumental in creating independent commissions as a panacea for Good governance.

  • 0
    4

    Never ever trust TAMILS. Indian Proverb “If you see TAMIL and COBRA kill TAMIL first” How can Election Commission Independent?

    • 2
      0

      Really, N. Perera?
      .
      Could you please explain your comment on this other article?
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ratnajeevan-hoole-a-legend-of-our-times/
      .

      Please try to be consistent in what you say.
      .
      I’d like other readers also to compare the Gravatars; they are the same to my eye.
      .
      Please let me know if there seems to be something wrong with my eyes, of with the mind that interprets the data presented by my senses.

  • 2
    0

    From kota

    It is really worrying and no less frightening to see the most important institution in a democracy such as the Election commission mal functioning as at the present moment.

    Recent utterence of the chairperson seems to indicate an an attempt hobble Professor Hoole, who performs his duty, without doubt , as an honourable and competent man.

    The chairman’s reference to Dr Hoole’s Dual-citizenship, ( no bar ) without any reference to the current President, who shares the same status is a joke.
    The chairman, after much deliberation decided to hold the general elections on the
    20th of June .which date happens to be the Presidents birthday.
    It is apparent other 2 members were not privy to this decision at that time it was decided upon.

    The draft of the Gazzete was made accordingly and given to the members for their perusal. Only Dr Hoole detected the change from the 20th June to the 30th of April. A typographical error is unacceptable as there is a change of date as well as the month.
    All 3 members have equal status in the commission with Devapura being it’s chairman.

    The chairman without any private agenda, is obliged to work with the other two members as an Independent body and leave it to the electorate to decide on who should represent them as their representatives in Parliament.

    No words are adequate to give credit to Dr Hoole who deserves the highest praise for carrying out his duties against all the odds he is faced with.

  • 0
    0

    It is really worrying and no less frightening to see the most important institution in a democracy such as the Election commission mal functioning as at the present moment.

    Recent utterence of the chairperson seems to indicate an an attempt hobble Professor Hoole, who performs his duty, without doubt , as an honourable and competent man.

    The chairman’s reference to Dr Hoole’s Dual-citizenship, ( no bar ) without any reference to the current President, who shares the same status is a joke.
    The chairman, after much deliberation decided to hold the general elections on the
    20th of June .which date happens to be the Presidents birthday.
    It is apparent other 2 members were not privy to this decision at that time it was decided upon.

    The draft of the Gazzete was made accordingly and given to the members for their perusal. Only Dr Hoole detected the change from the 20th June to the 30th of April. A typographical error is unacceptable as there is a change of date as well as the month.
    All 3 members have equal status in the commission with Devapura being it’s chairman.

    The chairman without any private agenda, is obliged to work with the other two members as an Independent body and leave it to the electorate to decide on who should represent them as their representatives in Parliament.

    No words are adequate to give credit to Dr Hoole who deserves the highest praise for carrying out his duties against all the odds he is faced with.

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