1 October, 2020

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Assets And Liabilities: To Political Parties

By Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera

This is a follow up on my previous letter to the Speaker of Parliament on Assets and Liabilities. While the Speaker is held responsible for declaration of Assets and Liabilities of MPs, political parties can not evade responsibility in ensuring their party MPs adhering to the law of the land that goes beyond the law.

31 December, 2012

To

Secretary General / General Secretary,

The UPFA, UNP, ITAK and DNA,

represented in parliament.

Dear Secretary General/General Secretary,

Regarding Declaration of Assets & Liabilities – Members of Parliament

I honestly believe you are aware by now of the letter I have already addressed to the Hon. Speaker of parliament on the above subject on 25 December 2012, requesting his assistance in obtaining information on declaration of assets and liabilities by MPs on the legal provision in Sub Section 5(2)(3) of the relevant Act. I am annexing a copy of same herewith, for your convenience.

While awaiting a reply from the Hon. Speaker to that said letter, I thought it is relevant and important that I address this to you, on the same issue, as you may as a political party decide to participate in the debate on the impeachment motion report by the PSC against the Chief Justice, handed over to the Speaker that raised the issue of declaration of assets and liabilities as a serious charge against her in her conduct as the Chief Justice.

It is not for me to tell you that the “Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act No. 74 of 1988” is equally applicable to all 225 Members of Parliament in the same way as it does to the Hon. Chief Justice and to all other public officers, mentioned under Section 2.(b) of the above named Act. I would say, it goes beyond that legal provision as a moral and a political obligation as well, for all elected politicians as Members of Parliament to strictly abide by the law.

The social reason and necessity for such an Act to be adopted as law, is plain and clear in a democratic system of representative governance. The society needs checks and balances  to ensure and guarantee that public officials in State institutes and elected representatives in any Legislature do not take to corruption and fraud. As political parties that vie for political power at every elections, you are morally and ethically bound to adhere and abide by this Act, each time you promise good governance, accountability and transparency at every elections, win or loose.

Beyond the responsibility and duty of the Speaker in ensuring the adherence to this law, political party leaderships too have a serious role, an unmistakable binding to the voter, to honour this law to the very letter. No parliament is “Supreme”, if its MPs don’t abide by the law that ensures accountability and transparency to the extent that the citizenry could agree the elected representatives are not into corruption and fraud. If MPs don’t prove to the public that they do respect the law in declaring their assets and liabilities, this parliament would not be “Supreme” in any way, though written on paper.

Therefore I hold the leadership of the political party as wholly responsible in the implementation of the “Declaration of Assets and Liabilities (Amendment) Act No. 74 of 1988” as a law of this land. I hold the Secretary General/General Secretary of the party responsible as the authorised legal entity in the party who signs nominations under the Elections Law, in ensuring candidates nominated by you to the Elections Commissioner, submit their required declaration of assets and liabilities when handing over nominations. Where that responsibility has not been properly carried out, which is almost all the time, I hold you responsible in ensuring your elected party Members, submit their declarations before swearing in as a Member of Parliament. This I say, is a responsibility you can not ignore, forget or evade, even if the accusation against the CJ for improper declaration of assets and liabilities is not on the table for debate and discussion, the media says has been fixed for a two day debate in parliament on 10 and 11 January, 2013.

This being a law that under Section 9 (1) makes 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, imprisonment of either description or both such fine and imprisonment, I wish to stress, citizens of this country have the right to ask you, as to who in your party has violated this Act and then, you are politically obliged to answer that question without restrictions.

On that political and legal understanding, I believe you would answer my questions below.

  1. Have all MPs elected from your political party to parliament, handed over their assets and liabilities declarations years up to 2011 March 31 and 2012 March 31 and if not, can you please provide the names of those who have not ?
  2. If some have not, why have you not taken any disciplinary action against them for such violation of law ?
  3. Have your party as one registered under the Elections Commissioner’s (EC) Department, submitted assets and liabilities declarations of all office bearers to the election commissioner as per Section 2(da) of the said Act and if so, can you please make them available to the public, without further delay ?

Shall expect an early and a complete answer, from you.

Thanking you in advance,

Yours most sincerely

 

Kusal Perera

Journalist

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    IF FOUND GUILTY, SHOOT TO KILL.

    WASTE OF TIME FINING AND IMPRISONING.

  • 0
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    Commissioner General of Elections must suspend the registration of such political parties, while Secretary General of the Parliament is seeking instructions of AG.

  • 0
    0

    Parliment being elected representatives of the people are also answerable to the people. If answers are not forthcoming the legal remedy will have to be applied.

  • 0
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    In my opinion any member of Parliament who has not submitted the assets and liabilities as at 31 March 2012 must be brought to courts for having sitting in that assembly and participating in the governance of the country “illegally”. He/she must be issued with an interim order to prevent and or taking part in the Parliamentary sessions.

    After all we see today that the courts have declared “Public” to be supreme and that “supreme” has the authority to petition the very courts and ask for an interim order to suspend such defaulters membership in the ” Parliament of the People”.

    Hope Mr Kusal Perera will take the lead.

  • 0
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    Thank you Mr.Kusal Perera for your voising for us Sri Lankans.

    Yes Assets and Liabilities report of all MP’s a must. And in future they should be verified by COPE or a reputed Audit firm and published in Parliament Web including their ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS.

    When Gen.Sarath Fonseka say that he saw a house been built by housing minister Wimal weerawanse where ONE of the FOUR guard rooms is bigger than Gen.SF’s house….and social affrairs minister Mervin Silva says that he will not only buy a Lamborgini for his son, but he will also buy one for himself……and Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne stay for 3 months both in Singapore and at John’s hopkins Hospital USA, while Duminda Silva in Singapore Hospital for over a year, and most of the Ministers Children study in some of the most expensive Universities Both in US and England with the exception of famous leftist Languages minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara who’s four children, all studied in some of the most expensive US Private Universities…..and the opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe earning Rs. 83 Million pay are all questionable.

    Here’s what Google say about Language Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkarsa.
    ————————————————————————-
    Vasudeva calls for tax hikes
    Published : 12:01 am October 10, 2012 | 184 views | No comments so far | | E-mail to friend
    The Rajapaksa administration is presently struggling with no revenue says Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara, suggesting that the quickest way to find money is to impose more taxes.
    Nanayakkara emphasises that “those who can pay should be asked to pay more taxes”. The Minister also stresses on the importance of taxing black money in order to find immediate funds to ease the present financial crisis of the Government.
    Despite being known as a strong trade union activist, Nanayakkara asserts he is now compelled to play a more balanced role due to his responsibilities as a Cabinet Minister.
    Following are the excerpts from an interview:

    Q: People in this country are suffering enough; why are you suggesting more taxes?
    A: The taxes I suggested are on the big businessmen who are making bigger money.
    Q: But ultimately all such taxes will be transferred to the people?
    A: Ultimately anything will be transferred to the people. Ultimately the burden on the rich will be the burden on the poor. In any society there are two layers that exist; one under the other. Therefore, the operation of a tax will be of no lesser consequence, but will immediately give revenue to the Government. In immediate terms it would be pocketed out by the rich people. But in the long term all burdens will ultimately be on the people until and unless you start appropriating capital.
    Q: Do you think it is possible to implement your recommendations in order to find quick money to ease the Government’s revenue crisis?
    A: If I am the Government, I will implement each and every suggestion I made.
    Q: You are part of the Government.
    A: Yes I am part of the Government; therefore I urge they be implemented.

    THE REST IN THE FOLLOWING WEB:
    http://www.ft.lk/2012/10/10/vasudeva-calls-for-tax-hikes/

    Also please go to ASK.COM and type VASU DEVA NANAYAKKARA

    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2012
    Vasudeva Nanayakkara undressed himself: prevents UNDP funds for Judges Annual Conference 2012

    This is the Sri Lanka’s most leftist Language minister Vasi Drva (Sri Lanka’s Fidel Castro) said when interviewed….while his four children studied in the most expensive Universities in USA.

    THEREFORE WE AS CITIZENS WANT TO KNOW THE PARLIAMENTARIANS PAYROLL AND OTHER PERKS
    BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT ASK FOR THE NEXT IMF US $ ONE BILLION LOAN.

  • 0
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    This is very good initiation and well done Mr. Kusal. This must be make aware of the public to rally round them to make legal implication to expose it.

  • 0
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    IF THE SPEAKER DOES NOT RESPOND TO THE COURTS DO YOU EXPECT HIM TO RESPOND TO YOU. YOU ARE JUST A JOURNALIST.

    • 0
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      Politicians including Speaker are more scared for Journalists than Courts.

      That’s why they kill more Journalists and reporters.

      F.Y.I.

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