25 November, 2020

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225 MPs Now Have To Answer My Questions

By Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera

(Personal address deleted)

25 December, 2012

 

Mr. Chamal J. Rajapaksa,

Hon. Speaker of the Parliament,

Office of the Speaker of Parliament,

Parliamentary Complex,

Sri Jayawardnepura.

 

Hon Speaker,

Regarding Declaration of Assets & Liabilities –  Members of Parliament

First and foremost, I wish to convey my appreciation to all 117 Members of Parliament who wittingly or unwittingly placed their signatures to the petition calling for the impeachment of the Chief Justice, Dr. Ms. Shirani Bandaranayake, wherein they have raised the issue of annual “Declaration of Assets and Liabilities” which is also equally applicable to all 225 Members of Parliament. They therefore now have to answer my questions, on their own declarations of assets and liabilities as Members of Parliament since May 2010.

The law says, any and all Members of Parliament who have not declared assets and liabilities can not function, sit in parliamentary sessions and vote. They could also be prosecuted against, for violation of law, in any Magistrate’s Court. I do therefore appreciate your statements made on the strict adherence to Constitutional requirements in parliamentary conduct by all Members and would stress, it is your obligation and responsibility to ensure that only Members who have submitted their annual declarations on assets and liabilities to you, who would participate in the day to day functioning of parliament.

For your easy reference, let me refer to sections of the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act No. 74 of 1988, that is relevant and which applies to Members of Parliament and to your office as Speaker of Parliament.

Section 2 (1) (a) very clearly says that provisions of this law shall apply to all “Members of Parliament”.  It then says, under Section 3 (1) that assets and liabilities of the MP, his or her Spouse’s and that of the children should be declared. All candidates for LG, Provincial, Parliamentary and Presidential elections, are expected to hand over the declarations at the time of nominations, to the Commissioner of Elections and where such compliance have not been made, if elected, Members (of parliament) should hand over their declaration of assets and liabilities to the Speaker of Parliament under Section 4.(b).

The amended Section 3 also states, “….a person  to whom this law applies referred to in paragraph (dc) of sub section (1) of Section 2 shall be deemed to have complied with the provisions of this sub section if he makes a declaration of his assets and liabilities as at the date of nomination as a candidate for election under any of the Acts referred to in that paragraph on the date of such nomination or before he functions, or sits, or votes….” in parliament, as relevant to this letter. This essentially means, all Members have to submit their first declaration on assets and liabilities, latest at the time of their swearing in as members of parliament, to be sworn in as a MP. Thereafter they have to continue declaring their assets and liabilities annually, before every 31st day of March, every year.

“Assets and liabilities” have been defined under Section 12 of this law as, “assets and liabilities in and outside Sri Lanka, and includes movable and immovable property”.

This law also says, under Section 9 (1) that any person who fails to declare assets and liabilities without reasonable cause, makes false statement or contravenes any provision of this law, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction after trial before a Magistrate be liable to a fine not more than one thousand rupees or imprisonment of either description not more than a year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

The legal right for any citizen to access such information as declared in a statement of assets and liabilities submitted to the relevant authority, is given in Section 5(2)(3) as. “Any person shall on payment of a prescribed fee to the appropriate authority, have the right to call for and refer to any declaration of assets and liabilities and on payment of a further fee to be prescribed, shall have the right to obtain that declaration.”

On that provision, as the appropriate authority in the parliament, I wish to first have your early answers to the questions below.

  1. Have all those 117 MPs who signed the petition handed over to you on 01 November, 2012 to impeach CJ Bandaranayake, declared their assets and liabilities on or before they were sworn in parliament as Members, after the parliamentary elections held in April, 2010 and if all have not, how many of them have done so ? Can you please provide the 02 name lists of those who have declared and those who have not ?
  2. How many out of the 11 (eleven) Members who sat as the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to investigate the impeachment motion, have declared their assets and liabilities and if any have not, who are they ?
  3. How many Members of Parliament from the 225 sworn in, have handed over their declaration of assets and liabilities annually, as required by law and can you please provide the 02 name lists of those who have done so and those who have not ?
  4. Will you as Speaker ensure that it would be only Members who have declared their assets and liabilities according to law, who would be allowed to debate the impeachment report handed over to you on 08 December, 2012 ?
  5. What is the prescribed fee to obtain a copy of a declaration of assets and liabilities of a MP and to whom should that fee be paid to ?

I wish I could have made this request more brief for your convenience, but, as I intend to make this available in the public domain, I believe all relevant details as regards declaration of assets and liabilities needs to be included for the benefit of those who wish to have them.

Shall expect an early response from you to all my above queries.

Thanking you,

Yours most sincerely,

 

Kusal Perera

Journalist

C.c – to all media institutes and organisations

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    My understanding about your activism was as someone who was keenly aware that this is the fundamental issue you fight against (the ruling class – politicians, officials and businesses amassing power and wealth while depriving common people)

    And you knew this would be a long fight, and being around for over 25 years fighting you are not naive enough to expect any acceptable response to a simple letter like this, as much as you are not expecting to find out anything you didn’t know (that the current lot has been plundering common people’s wealth at even more innovative ways than their predecessors).

    What are your next steps?

    To me, your current focus is somewhat similar to calls by some calling CJ to go “after setting standards” (as if this regime, opposition, officials and the corrupt businesses will maintain any standards) and pales in comparison with your efforts joining free Trade Zone workers and others calling for action. Are you not expecting too much from this whole lot?

    • 0
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      Well, this would not compromise with other initiatives. Would it ?
      This seems to have made more people realise that the regime is plundering and can not meet this challenge. See the enthusiasm this has created.
      This regime has to be challenged in many fronts and through many moves. Mr. Kusal Perera seems to be working in many fronts. Not only with the trade unions that you think he has been working. I feel this adds to what his earlier article argued. Another forum for the middle class to rally round. Now the professionals and the middle class should start demanding the MPs declare their assets and liabilities, without waiting for Mr. Kusal to fight alone.
      Lets give this a stronger and a louder voice !
      Amarnath

  • 0
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    Mr. Kusal Perera, We Sri Lankans should be proud to see people like you have the guts to take up such a noble position. You should follow through and ensure that legal action of some kind is taken if they do not provide this information. Further the information provided should be public knowledge and if any citizen finds out that the persons declaring the information has not provided the correct information then as the Power lies in the hands of the people, legal action should be taken. WEll done Sir.

  • 0
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    Further to my previous comments and suggestion on the matters of politicians assets, liabilities and perks. I wish to add the following in the light of the subsequent comments and suggestions. The verifications should not only be done for these psychosocipaths of varying degrees but also of their nearest of family members and so-called kith and kin and confidants as well.

    Further the searches should be done with every possible combination of spellings of their names. As I have recently come across at Vic titles office a guy who owes me some court ordered money obtained from me on a dud cheque when he was in a bankrupted has been operating under 4 to 5 names with one letter being different in his name as well as reversing his own first and/or surname and had given many false and misleading information’s Re his assets, liabilities and income etc to a court registrar at an oral examination.

    The courts would not take action on these false declarations and wanted me to report it to the Vic police. I did not as my very adverse experiences with the Vic police here has been racist, class and profession, and mate protection over my past quarter century and more here with no action being taken by the legal ombudsman, lawyers professional standards, police ethical standards or office of police integrity and mum is word to all correspondences after a while the same goes for many ombudsmen and all parliamentarians here as well. As they are there primarily to protect the establishment and uphold the status-quo as psychiatric couch and relief valve for the victims who are more and more victimised through greater spin, deceit, frustrations and disappointments as more time, money and energy mostly wasted on futile costs for fairness and justice.

    Through this experience of ours in SL and Australia something more lasting and durable should emerge to hold these psychosocipaths of varying degrees more responsible, accountable and punishable through the establishment a very transparent and accountable permanent body. Even if that fails in time yet another should replace it and keep the “permanent revolution” on their honesty, integrity, ability and familial connection claims to the political pie that Leon Trotsky wanted to in the political arena for which he was hunted and killed in South America. Human nature has not changed in the past 100 odd thousand years and as much as there is greater scope for big brother interventions there as much scope to expose the big brothers who are continuously deceiving and cheating the masses through religion, politics and even pseudo-science as well.

  • 0
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    Oh Boy!

    Poor Lankan inhabitants thougt it is all Hunky Dory Down Under.

    • 0
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      KAS,

      Democracy and its state of governance in the different countries and states; the degrees of Separation of powers, the Adversarial legal System etc are all matters of relative states of degrees with nothing being absolute anywhere on this planet.

      If you are not being casual or flippant to only point score and are serious then you may send me your e-mail address to mcspencer44@yahoo.com.au so that I may give you more information and a better balanced pix of the background and well spring of my past 26 odd years of abode in Australia from which I made the above remarks and am able to contribute to these discussions.

  • 0
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    DR m c Spencer, Leon Trotsky became anti-soviet during his SECRET mission in South America. Trotsky Not only against USSR system of Socilaism ,its people and same time opposed soviet system have been denied established after 1917 October Revoluation.
    Soviet system of Human Rights are superior than Western vaules of democracy!
    First time in history accpect by Soviets Union, have been Fair and Justice are pillar of Soviets’s necessity and freedom and equal basis on free from exploation of man by man.

    • 0
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      Your minor contestable points are noted but you are missing the big pix as any organisation or institution be it in the political, business or so-called religious realm or for that matter in any realm goes through 3 phases from its inception of birth to growth, development and decay. They all start with apparently noble visions, aims and goals but due to our inherent human nature being what it is in time and after a while of holding on to and practising sometimes with honesty and sincerity they lose sight of their beginnings and ideals and gradually if not radically change for their own sake and their kith and kin and ideological benefactors to self benefits and self perpetuation as its observable all around us that accounts for the thousands of schisms and new movements.

      There is an extreme example of one such group somewhere in Japan called the “Shoka Ghakees” who have changed Gautama Buddha’s Buddhism on its head to say the desire is the cause of most if not all ills so get into parliament and fulfil them as I saw it on a TV documentary very long ago. Srilankan Buddhism too from the president to the Ord man on the street is very similar to them without their transparency and honesty and that is why we all need a “Permanent Revolution” within our selves and all are man made institutions. Whether leon Trotsky said it or not does not matter here or anywhere for that matter.

  • 0
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    In a related matter to subject of this article. I received the following from a friend from SL. Would someone please confirm and or verify if the following is correct as regards to the salaries, amoluments, perks etc for the poolicoes there.

    “Politics is not a SERVICE anymore but a PROFESSION!!! An Important Issue! Salary & Govt. Concessions for a Member of Parliament (MP)

    Monthly Salary : Rs. 120,000/-

    Expense for Constitution per month : Rs. 10,000/-

    Office expenditure per month : Rs. 14,000/-

    Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : Rs. 48,000/- (eg. For a visit from Nuwara eliya & return : 600 km)

    Daily DA TA during parliament meets : Rs. 500/day

    Charge for 1 class (A/C) in Train : Free (For any number of times)
    (All over sri lanka )

    Charge for Business Class in Flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)

    Rent for MP hostel at almost colombo : Free.

    Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units.

    Local phone call charge : Free up to 170,000 calls..

    TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : Rs.3,200,000/- [i.e. 2.66 Lakh A Month]
    TOTAL expense for 5 years : Rs. 16,000,000/- For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
    Rs. 8,544,000,000/- (Nearly 855 crores)
    AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES…..
    This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities………
    855 crores could make their lives livable!!
    Think of the great democracy we have… & FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO ALL REAL CITIZENS OF SRI LANKA
    I know hitting the Delete button is easier…but….try to press the Fwd button & make people aware!

    As clarity and diagnosing the malady is the first step to reform and citizen revolution!!

    • 0
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      M.C.Spencer,

      Thank you for the information.

      I just felt faintish just looking at the figurs…….

      Myt God…..This is more than WHAT A FIRST WORLD COUNTRY PAY FOR THEIR MINISTERS AND MP’S.

      WHERE THE HELL…..AND WHO THE HELL… APPROVED THIS MUCH OF PAY AND PERKS….

      WHAT WE SRI LANKANS SHOULD DO IS TO PLEASE SENT THIS EMAIL TO ALL GOVERNMNETS IN THE WORLD…..INCLUDING THE WORLD BANK, IMF, COMMONWEALTH UNION,UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK AND ALL OTHER MONEY LENDERS WHO SRI LANKA GOVT. BORROW MONEY……..AND INFORM THEM….NOT TO LEND ANY MORE MONEY TO SRI LANKA UNTIL THE “PARLIAMENT PIN PADI THIEVES REDUCE ALL THEIR PAYROLL PAYROLL AND PERKS”

      I kindly request all the Country loving patriots to inform all the foreign governments and lenders to “IMMEDIATELY STOP LENDING OR ALLOWED TO BORROW ANY MONEY UNTIL THEY REDUCE THEIR EXORBITANT PAY”

      This is really exploiting and stealing from poor Sri Lankan people like us…… We have to inform this to UN Human Rights Council.

      Therefore M.C.Spencer….or anybody else who have access to double check this PARLIAMENT PAYROLL INFORMATION AND PLEASE CONFIRM THESE FIGURS…….SO I will email this to world Bank, UN and IMF Myself.

      O my God…..this is absurd…..and the real stealing of our money by Parliament thieves.

      Also Colombo Telegraph…if you can please check on this and confirm if the figurs are correct…….so I can email to foreign Missions.

      ALSO Mr. KUSAL PERERA should request Speaker to publish ALL PARLIAMENT MP’S EDUCATION QUALIFICATIONS AND PERSONAL DATA PROFILE INFORMATION…SUCH AS THEIR BASIC EDUCATION SCHOOLS AND INSTITTUTES THEY STUDIED AND OTHER EXPRIENCES IN THE “PARLIAMENT WEBSITE”

      M.C. Spencer Please confirm your figurs….so I will myself.

      This is also in excess to their Cereal, Corn Flakes and milk, pan cakes and syrrup , cakes, Milk, Eggs, Bacon and Cheese, Jams and Jelly and the Pork chops Breakfast and lunch buffet.

      Thank You.

      • 0
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        Sri Lanka’s new Mahinda Chintana Constitution:

        “By the Crooks….For the Crooks….on the instructions of the Crooks..
        ….to screw the country and it’s people by those crooks”

        JAYAWEVA.

      • 0
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        Yes Jayantha,

        I will get back to the person who sent this email to help further if he could and would though he should by annexing your comments as well.

        • 0
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          Thank you.

  • 0
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    m c spencer,
    In addition,all MPs who have ‘served’ 5 years, get a lifelong pension which is increased yearly with Cost of Living increases.
    Even the Private Secretaries,Coordinating Secretaries & others who “assist” MPs receive a pension after 5 years.
    Most MPs have named wives,daughters & close relations as “private Secretaries”. They do nothing and get a salary monthly, AND a pension.

    Parliament has its own Pensions Department.
    Details of same, are difficult to obtain.
    It is not mentioned separately in the Annual Budget.

    Public Officers have to serve 40 years to receive a full pension, which is only 70% of the last salary drawn.No CoL increases for them.

    • 0
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      The 4th estate CT, Kusal and all those of us interested in the best relatively available truth, fairness and justice should fund and prepare a summarised ready-reconer in the form of a ironically so-called “cheat sheet” and make it available to all the dumb Sinhala Buddhist masses both in the villages and urban areas before another election, to be able to work up from grass roots for change in the regime with a more independent block, of would be representatives who should state in their manifesto as to how they would improve or matters on the system of governance, their perks, assets, liabilities, accountability and transparency etc.. and willingly allow them to be hauled up before the courts or the International Criminal Court for criminal breach of promise should they not live up to it. It would be a hard road like for Imran Khan in Pakistan but may be one other way to effect change in the relative long run provided the white vans don’t get them BFO.

      • 0
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        I think we have to get rid of the 225 Parliament members and…..reduce it to 100.

        2)Divide Sri Lanka into Four or Five major provinces….giving them State or Provincial powers to run and administer on their own.

        3)Setup a “Federal Budget and Finance Planning Committee” comprising highly qualified professionals who will look into all aspects of current and future infrastructure, economic, industry and service sector development projects according to the needs and priorities and also availability of both natural resources, manpower and environment taken into consideration.

        4)Allocation of Budgets and Forecasts on return on investments to be analysed on quarterly basis.

        5) Also centralised communication with Provincial Heads, easy assess and availability of data through computer network, and constant support-both financial and technical- given to Private sector and enterpreneurship and skill developments for self employment ect.

        6)Introduction a simple Tax code….with incentives given to start up, export markets and innovative oriented business enterpreneurs….etc..etc…

        7) Less political and more individual talents to utilese for manpower requirements and resource developments etc…

        • 0
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          Jayantha,I totally agree with you.Brilliant.The problem is brilliant proposals will not be looked into by this regime because they do not have the intellectual capacity and also won’t allow others with brains also to do the job.This is a reactive regime.They react to problems on a daily basis,not planning ahead. Many intellectuals would have left them long ago fed up except for some arse lickers who want something out of them.

          So Jayantha,your proposals will be like pearls in front of swine.

  • 0
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    The Chief Justice is appointed for life. People can never remove her/him for any reason. As for MPs, they are elected not for life but for just six years. Also people can reject them at the next election. Should we put both these dignitaries in the same basket and weigh them up in the same scale? I do not think so.

    All judges judge cases for peoples. And Chief Justice is the ultimate judge and oversee all of judges to be impartial. So, people expect the character of the Chief Justice to be exemplary. That is why people call Chief Judges ‘nadukara hamuduruwo’.

    But the CJ is no God. He/she is also a human being and can become corrupt. Yet the CJ must have dignity. That’s why our constitution need one third of all MPs to sign to bring about an impeachment to remove the CJ.

    On the other hand, if we allow Chief Justice to do all the bad things that MPs do, then people should be allowed to jeer and boo the CJ and other judges when they leave court rooms or when they don’t like their judgements just like they often do to MPs. But that is not the case, is it?

    For one thing Judges cannot have both ways.

    Here, Kusal is telling us that only MPs who filled their tax forms properly should sign impeachment of the CJ improper tax filling has been a charge against her. However illogical, I do not deny for a moment that Kusal has a valid point. We must make use of this opportunity to press them.

    But my argument Kusal is is: 1)Are you telling us that there are no honest MPs means, the CJ’s deliberate tax avoidance should be overlooked and allowed her to continue judging us? 2)No MP can sign the impeachment means there will be no impeachment against the CJ! 3) What if someone argue on the same basis when his/her tax case come up in front of this CJ? 4) Instead of hearing the case concerned will not every judge have to prove themselves above board before judging others thereafter?

    Now that CJ is found guilty for three serious charges what about hundreds of cases she may have judged in similar scenarios.

    • 0
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      Villager or peasant or who ever it is,
      Please don’t try to hide your stupidity by trying to squeeze your racial bias for a Sinhala racist, dictatorial regime into irrelevant questions framed to clean the Rajapaksas.
      01. Kusal Perera is not talking of who is clean and who is not clean MP. He is asking information, any citizen has a right to ask by law. IF they don’t give, then they are crooks and cheaters.
      02. IF they are crooks and cheaters who refuse to give information on their assets and liabilities as law, then they have no right to be in parliament, so how to sign an impeachment ?
      03. Who told you that CJ has been proved on 3 charges ? Minister Anura Yapa ? Wimal Weerawansa ? Or Rajitha Senaratne ?
      Don’t jump to conclusion. There was no proper investigation. No witnesses. No chance to present answers.
      Where is your village ? Rathugala or Bintenna ? May be or otherwise you should better understand democracy !
      Amarnath

    • 0
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      Villager,I notice that many times you come out with this argument that the CJ has been appointed for life and that the president and MP’s only for 6 years and so the parliamentarians can plunder the country but the CJ should not.What difference does it make you village arsehole for how many years you are appointed,plunder is plunder.Are you saying that parliamentarians can plunder the country for 6 years and after their thirst has been quenched another set of thirsty motherfuckers can come after 6 years and start to suck the blood out of the people?Isn’t that what has happened after independence up to now and we are still a developing country while singapore,HK,korea,taiwan and malaysia who were worse than us before independence have all become developed countries.

      The same standards should be applied to parliamentarians and the CJ. If they are so interested in her assets and bank statements,they too should show the people all their assets and bank statements.

      Imagine the CEO of a company asking all the employees to work honestly ,while he himself is dishonest for all to see.Won’t he become a laughingstock in the organisation.So you village motherfucker,go back to the village where you country bumpkins all belong,because things like good governance and its implications are too hard for simpletons to understand.We all have roots in the village.My dad also was a villager who used to trek 20 miles every day without proper footwear to school,and slept on a mat,but later came to colombo and worked his way up to the high position in a large bank.The difference between a villager like you and him is he shed the village mentality while you goats proudly retain it thinking it some great qualification.

  • 0
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    These ministers are assets to the Executive and liabilities to the people, the tax payers.

    Minister Dr.Mervin Silva once said that he could buy a “Lamborghini” for his son. No one questioned from where he got money.

    All MPs including Hon. Speaker are crooks. Irrespective of party, these crooks find a way to cheat people.

    • 0
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      KAPPAN FROM TRADERS AND EVEN PAVEMENT HAWKERS OF KIRIBATHGODA!!!!!!!

  • 0
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    Hello!! Do you think these parliamentarians are honest to declare their assets? In fact, you will find that they do not own anything that is to be declared. DON’T forget, these are vicious CROOKS who suck the blood of the common people. So the declaration of assets should be extended to their relatives and all friends, then you will see.

  • 0
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    BY THE WAY JUSTICE MINISTER HAS SHIFTED FROM “CARNIVAL ICE CREAM PARLOUR “TO HIS NEW RESIDENCE IN ALFRED PLACE. HOW MUCH DID HE PAY AND FROM WHERE DID HE GET THE MONEY?

  • 0
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    SSSHHHH!!!!!!!!!!PAYMENT FOR THE “CHARADE” IN EASTERN PROVINCE ELECTIONS.
    APENG API VENUVATA!!!!1

  • 0
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    This is not the first time that this information has been asked for by individuals, Associations (eg the OPA, Cimogg etc) and been ignored totally by the Parliamentary Spooker (sic). I speak too from bitter experience. To expect any reply from the Diyawanna Madhouse is highly optimistic. Poor Kusal, although to be highly commended, will experience the same silence. Also, literacy is not a requirement to be an MP or Speaker. Therefore, “Can’t read : Can’t reply”!

  • 0
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    This is one thing the bastards will not provide, however much you try

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