4 July, 2020

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August Election Must Be Utilized To Consolidate January 8th Gains: Friday Forum

“The country cannot afford to see the rolling back of those fragile democratic gains made by the people on January 08th. The forthcoming General Election must be utilized to consolidate those gains. We are hopeful that all political parties are committed to ensure that goal.” says the Friday Forum.

Dr.Deepika Udagama

Dr.Deepika Udagama

Issuing a statement today, the Friday Forum has called upon all political party leaders and selectors to ensure that they observe the March 12th declaration that was signed by all political parties when nominating candidates for the forthcoming General Election.

“We urge political parties to nominate only those who have not abused authority of office through corruption, nepotism, the use of intimidation and other forms of violence against the people; have not undermined the rule of law; and those who have not incited ethnic or religious hatred or violence. The country would be served well only by candidates who can serve the people with a democratic ethic that includes a deep respect for the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society.” the Friday Forum said.

“We urge the voting public to reject parties that nominate candidates who have abused authority of office, have abused the rule of law and norms of democracy, have incited ethnic and/or religious hatred in order to gain electoral popularity, or have endorsed political violence overtly or tacitly.” they further said.

We publish below the statement in full;

General Election, 2015—An Urgent Call to Political Parties and Voters

The Friday Forum is an informal group of concerned citizens pledged to uphold norms of democracy, good governance, the rule of law, human rights, media freedom and tolerance in our pluralist society.

On 8th January 2015, we witnessed a major turning point in the recent political history of our country. The majority of voters cast their ballot in rejection of the prevalent political culture that was widely acknowledged to be undemocratic, corrupt and violent. The political change opened up hitherto restricted political spaces for free debate and dialogue enabling the enjoyment of free expression and association without fear of political reprisals. The enjoyment of the right to personal liberty and security has been palpably strengthened. Similarly, there is greater freedom from ethno-religious extremism emanating from various sources. We are heartened to witness and experience the beginnings of a new political culture, though certainly not perfect, that places a premium on democratic norms and practices.

The country cannot afford to see the rolling back of those fragile democratic gains made by the people on January 08th. The forthcoming General Election must be utilized to consolidate those gains. We are hopeful that all political parties are committed to ensure that goal. The Friday Forum calls upon all political party leaders and selectors to ensure that they observe the March 12th declaration that was signed by all political parties when nominating candidates for the forthcoming General Election. We urge political parties to nominate only those who have not abused authority of office through corruption, nepotism, the use of intimidation and other forms of violence against the people; have not undermined the rule of law; and those who have not incited ethnic or religious hatred or violence. The country would be served well only by candidates who can serve the people with a democratic ethic that includes a deep respect for the pluralistic character of Sri Lankan society.

We urge the voting public to reject parties that nominate candidates who have abused authority of office, have abused the rule of law and norms of democracy, have incited ethnic and/or religious hatred in order to gain electoral popularity, or have endorsed political violence overtly or tacitly.

Dr. Deepika Udagama Mr. Ahilan Kadirgamar Ms. Shanthi Dias

On behalf of The Friday Forum

Dr. Deepika Udagama, Mr. Ahilan Kadirgamar, Ms. Shanthi Dias, Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Dr. G. Usvatte-Aratchi, Mr. Faiz-ur. Rahman, Ms. Manouri Muttetuwegama, Mr. Javid Yusuf, Mr. Ananda Galappatti, Mr. Saliya Peiris, Dr. A.C.Viswalingam, Professor Ranjini Obeyesekere, Mr. Priyantha Gamage, Ms. Damaris Wickremasekera, Prof. Arjuna Aluwihare, Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, Prof. Camena Guneratne, Rt. Rev. Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Mr. D. Wijayanandana, Mr. Danesh Casie Chetty, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    If Mahinda contests, as indications are so at the moment, it is the rural voter who will be the deciding factor. Such statements by the Friday Forum and other organisations having the same views should arrange Sinhala and Tamil versions of them to be available.

    • 5
      2

      Dr.Deepika Udagama

      RE: August Election Must Be Utilized To Consolidate January 8th Gains: Friday Forum

      The August election should be used to clean up the Mahinda Rajapaksa and Cronies Goma, cow dung from the pristine Milk of the Nation.

      The President must, take a firm decision and say, we will not put cow dung, goma, into the milk and spoil it.

      He Needs to be a leader and statesman, That is why 6.200.000 voters voted for him.

      Mr. President, Just Do It! Dump MaRa and his cronies.

      Remember, Mara MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa and theit activities… 7,000 complaints…

    • 2
      11

      These Friday jokers like to state the obvious to get a little publicity for themselves!

      Why not talk about real issues like corruption at the Central Bank or Ranil Wickramasinghe’s crony Arjuan Mahendran?

      Silly statement.. way to go friday fools!

      • 9
        2

        Arvind

        “Why not talk about real issues like corruption at the Central Bank or Ranil Wickramasinghe’s crony Arjuan Mahendran?”

        and Basil, Gota, MR, Namal, ….. white van, war crimes, crimes against humanity, nepotism, Tsunami theft, Rambukwella, bribing VP, ballot rigging, …..

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out], Deepika..?

      • 1
        2

        True Arvind.
        Friday fools are Ranil Wickramasinghe supporters and his Colombo 3 and 7 cronies and turns a blind eye to Mahendran’s financial crime.

  • 17
    3

    A good move by the Friday forum,but as an average citizen im disgusted with the politics here (its more like reading a novel with loads of backroom deals)

    Whom can we trust? MY3 showed his true colors as a boneless fellow and Ranil being the selfish rascal he is didnt take action against MR and gang for his own political gains

    MR is very greedy for power and wants to come back to loot more

    Who can the average citizen trust? looks like Lanka is beyond hope and is a cursed land where Good Governance is only a pipe dream

    • 8
      0

      What a travesty is unfolding before the eyes of everyone!

      Step1 – Powers of the Executive President transferred to the Prime Minister on January 8.

      Step2 – Plans are afoot to make the powerless former President, custodian of Prime Ministerial powers on August 17.

      Where power lies, MR will lie there!

  • 7
    3

    Hello Deepika, Your doctorrate aside how does one consolidate the January 8th gains??????? WITH ANOTHER BOND SCAM AND EXTENTION OF THE POLITICAL FCID.

    Friday Forum need not prepare any statements in Sinhala/Tamil as the RURAL FOLKS OF SRI LANKA ARE POLITICAL ANIMALS AND THE FF CAN LEARN A THING OR TO FROM THEM. MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE HAVE DECIDED. FF CAN ADDRESS THE SOPHISTICATED COLOMBIANS TO IMPRESS UPON THEM BUT THE AVERAGE BUSINESSMAN TOO HAVE DECIDED AS WELL.
    FF HAS LOST TOUCH WITH THE ORDINARY MASSES OF THE COUNTRY. SO IS RANIL, BBK, MANGALA AND TEAM.

    I have lost faith in the aloofness and the light lips of the Friday Forum who are decorated with qualifications and behave like blinkered Horses and Mares.

    My3 himself has shown that he was clueless of the Bond Scam and never even called for the COPE report AND was not aware of the formation of the FCID untill it was brought to his notice.
    Where was his 20A ?????????????

    Behind Sirisena’s bacl Ranil, Mangala, CBK, Rajitha are running riot with their own riot acts. I THINK ITS TIME THE FRIDAY FORUM TOO JOINED THEM TO CONSOLIDATE THE JANUARY 8TH.

    REGRET TO STATE, I THE PUBLIC HAS LOST COMPLETE FAITH IN OUR COUNTRIES INTELLECTUALS AKA THE ” FRIDAY FORUM.”
    They appear to look another bunch of talking shop Yahapalanaya group.

    • 5
      1

      !!! I have lost faith in the Friday Forum.
      ??? You cannot lose something you never had, can you.

  • 4
    4

    If MARA given nomination from SLFP..then that’s the end of that party. .

    • 4
      3

      mj

      “If MARA given nomination from SLFP..then that’s the end of that party. .”

      Does this island deserve SLFP?

  • 3
    0

    The March 12th declaration quoted, if implemented, will make a majority of present politicians unfit/unqualified to contest the August 17th election.
    Who is to decide the suitability of would-be candidates in terms of this declaration?
    Ultimately, it is the voters who have to decide, but will they be subjected to illegal inducements as has happened hitherto?
    The Elections Commissioner is reported to be insisting on Assets Declarations by all candidates – these will identify (if the declarations are factual)- those who have amassed wealth beyond their means.
    Why not make all these declarations available to all voters?
    Those who object, will automatically come under suspicion.
    In some western countries, most candidates declare their assets publicly, and in addition, their state of health.
    Indian politicians have been voluntarily declaring assets for many years.

    • 3
      0

      P.S
      One candidate voluntarily declaring assets publicly will compel others to follow suit, lest those who refuse come under suspicion as having ‘black money’.
      Who will “bell the cat”?
      A really patriotic candidate must do this.

  • 6
    2

    I hope the campaign for clean and competent candidates led by Rev Sobitha would make a difference. If so candidates who would be not given nominations would include MR, as MS once said he saw MR committing murder with his own hands.

    Hopefully March 12th declaration would succeed in at least giving us a better parliament.

    But I regret that the March 12th campaign does not include persons who have incited ethnic or religious hatred or violence, where as Friday Forum deals with this subject.
    Thank you Friday Forum for including this aspect and as other commentators had pointed out we need translations in all languages and distributed Island wide. We also need to give it to the party heads to nominate good candidates.

    • 5
      2

      I agree with Maali
      If the statement by the Friday Forum be given publicity, it would be really good. This must reach the party leadership immediately.

      What about asking one of the media institution to give publicity. Some channels are doing a great service by taking on national issues like drugs, but can they be persuaded to take good governance as a theme.

      Next alternative is a pamphlet and a poster campaign which would require intensive work and funds

      Wishing success to the Friday Forum

  • 8
    1

    Aiyyo Sirisena You Stupid Caunt! Dont think about a party Think about the country. You meditate and talk bull S. If you have given nominations to THUG THIEF RAJAPASSA then we have no respect for you! Hope you are in aware with that.

  • 2
    7

    Friday Forum is dreaming. They fear Mahinda will put right everything that had gone wrong. With the election of broad minded national leader Mahinda Friday Forum will not have any work to do in Sri Lanka.

    They are worried about Mahinda ascending from his unexpected defeat on 8/1. It was a conspiratorial defeat for him.

    Mahinda will use the outcome of his victory in August to make Sri Lanka a towering democracy the world has not seen.

    Women will be empowered under far reaching Mahinda. He has proved this during his Presidency. He empowered Mrs Shenuka Seniviratne, Pavithra Devi Wanniarachchi etc., in an unprecedented scale.

  • 2
    1

    Dear Mr Maithripala Sirisena,
    We want you to come to public and mention again hat you havent given nomination to rajavassa so that you can stop this turmoil.

  • 0
    0

    What about the 8th Jan ?, the only tangible difference is noticed when pumping fuel in our vehicles. The interest concession on Pawned Gold was a 24 krt lie! I have a recording of a people’s Bank staff saying this is total BS as they have not got any clear circular, I redeemed my pawned jewelry,paying full interest, the jewelry pawned to educate my child. What about Weliamuna report ? As usual UNP and Ranil have failed, This election please do not talk of corrupt MR and his clan. As MS says, with 7000 cases against MR he has come back to haunt you. His stooges in prison are still making interest and profits.Say no more. People think carefully when you go to vote, You have many a choice.Task is to send in many other party members to the parliament to keep a proper check and balance,on both these Blue and Green thieves.

  • 0
    0

    Fine.
    But does all these lofty ideals of the Friday Forum reach the rural voter?

  • 0
    0

    Let’s all not get too frustrated. All what we gained on January 8th is our freedom to think speak ou R mind and associate with right thinking people, all that was denied brutally for the last ten years. We didn’t expect Srisena who was on the same stable only a month before to become archangel Gabriel.
    Therefore let’s not build our hopes too much. All what we want as Deepika says, consolidate on the freedom gained and not let the rogues creep back in while we build a new government on the 17th to take forward a cleaner rule.
    Don’t expect Ranil or CBK to produce a totally new approach because they cannot think out of the box. I have better hope with the new look JVP!

  • 0
    0

    The March 12 declaration should be upheld by all political parties. It is time to keep off thugs, rogues, criminals and hooligans away from politics!
    There should be popular agitation for same and that should have been a continuous process since March 12, which unfortunately hasn’t happened!

    Sengodan. M

  • 0
    0

    What about UNP-Ranil was involved Central Bank scandal of Bond transaction.

    Plundering public funds by CB Governor and UNP-Rani.W.. .

    Are support for UNP Parliamentary candidate of Ranil Wickrakasinghe?

    This hipcoracy of Friday Forum appeal to public!

    This high time to intellectual has reassess their path of democracy.

  • 3
    0

    If we make Ranil President , Ravi Karunayake Prime Minister and arjun Mahendran Finance minister, Mangala the minister of education & Information and maybe Udugame life time constitutional minister ( PhD in Human rights ) we can consolidate the gains of 8 January

  • 0
    0

    The March 12 declaration is found here:

    http://www.paffrel.com/press_release-4a—PR.html

  • 0
    0

    The March 12th declaration is entitled “Criteria with proposals for consideration by political parties in giving nominations to their members”

    I would want all parties to give these ‘proposals’ ‘due consideration’, however signing this declaration would unfairly favour some candidates over others, even candidates who are not breaking any laws, or accusations are not proven. How is the political party to make such a judgement without the matter being proven in a court of law?

    “3.1.3 Should not be a person who is engaging or had engaged in the past in trades
    such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, casinos and prostitution that are detrimental to
    the wellbeing of the country.

    3.1.4 Should not be a person who is engaging or had engaged in trade which destroys the ecological life support system that causes destruction to the environment.

    3.1.5 Should not be a person who has abused political power”

    Secondary requirments:

    3.2.4 Exclusion of the members from the clergy

    The House Of Lords in the United Kingdom, for example, consists of

    “The Lords Spiritual … 26 bishops in the established Church of England”

    Again

    3.3 Criteria for selection of candidates for parliamentary election

    3.3.1 Passing G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination or equivalent, and having
    professional skills or being a certificate holder from a recognized political
    academy.

    3.3.2 Knowledge, understanding and creativity required for active participation in law making and policy formulating.

    You must realize in so called “advanced democracies” , such an arbitrary set of rules that is not the law of the land would have been ruled as simply unconstitutional.

    Guidlines – OK, to force these through as rules that political parties must abide by or face consequences is to distort the democratic process, in my opinion.

    When the Friday Forum shows preference for one party or one coalition over another it makes itself a political instrument.

    Finally, we have this accusation:

    “2.4 Citizens’ disregard for their responsibility to elect proper candidates
    The political culture has deteriorated due to nepotism, money power and the qualified have been sidestepped by the unqualified. Citizens have failed to elect individuals with vision, mission and principles and instead used the vote to fulfil their personal aspirations.”

    So it is the citizens fault? I thought all along this was a democracy?

    “used the vote to fulfil their personal aspirations?” to this I plead guilty.

  • 1
    0

    If you happen to be western world and Universities there are hundred thousands of PhD holders having human rights theses had been awards.

    But look at their societies that US, EU UK and Japan millions of youth are unemployed & under employed; and aging people has to wait for 70 years get their pensions.

    NOT single theses has address those current social problems.
    Not a single elites has been that address or redress undermine social security of human rights in so-called RICH WORLD.

    How is that human rights and democracy work ongoing Western World democracy?

    The advance of knowledge means that providing intellectual leadership in political, economic, & human rights issues not by academically only is not sufficient .The rights and justice of human are an issues a cornucopia of commonsense humane advice which combined with analytical insight and far wiser than orthodox thinkers.

    Reason seek truth wherever it may found, but Friday forum elites are far from that insight, which I have noted.

    Udgaman has lost intellectual clarity and ability to create conceptually innovation of human rights of broad range of historical learning from complex sources around the political world.

  • 1
    0

    It is true that majority of voters are from rural areas and this is
    the place where communal songs are played and people brainwashed to
    grab votes.They always vote for a celebrity of some kind,whether its in the South or North,irrespective of what he or she has done in the past nor worried about the consequences but get carried away with brain washing and howling at the political meetings. If the President has an ounce of patriotism, love for the people and his country, he should deny nominations to those who ruined the country and undesirables and save the poor rural masses from exploitation due to their ignorance of not knowing how to select the right candidate. The president, who is for good governance, also has a rural background,
    should not look at the majority view only, when giving nominations,he also should weigh in opinions expressed by organizations like Friday forum and other similar not for profit,high level organizations and digest what the intellectuals have to say in leading newspapers and
    act wisely.

  • 0
    0

    To consolidate the victory on 08th January. That means to consolidate the UNP victory. Dr. Udagama, you have turned a blind eye towards what has happened after January 08th victory. The starving old UNP fellows got into power in a hurry. For example, all boards of managements of government institutions were requested to step down and those UNP fellows were appointed. Take an example from your own University council members. Hardcore UNP’ers including Selvi Thiruchandran, a gender bias female from Ranil’s clan. Do you expect justice from these people? They will be worse than Rajapakse and SB clan because they did not have anything to eat since 1994 and waiting for an opportunity.

  • 0
    0

    If the voters use the Friday Forum’s Filter then we will have a new set of those crooks who had not held powers of government yet. May be FF wants to spread the govt wealth (Debt) (Actually Foreign Aid and Loans) around. I wonder whether only Octogenarian, crooked mentally or otherwise to be made eligible to contest. Time to give them a chance too to make some dough in their sunset years.

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