The Chairman Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya‘s concocted plan with the Samagi Jana Balawegaya to help contest the upcoming General Elections has now raised serious concerns and in fact jeopardizes the democratic voting privileges of voters, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.
Multiple groups are now considering to file cases against the Samagi Jana Balawegaya and its candidates’ legitimacy in contesting the General Elections in the Appeal Court and the District Court after the General Elections are concluded, Colombo Telegraph learns.
Meanwhile the current Colombo District United National Party candidate Oshala Herath claims that the upcoming General Elections scheduled to be held on the 5th of August 2020 will be one of the most corrupt elections ever to be held in Sri Lanka.
Reiterating this fact, the UNP candidate Herath who spoke to Colombo Telegraph also submitted four voice recordings proving that Chairman of EC Mahinda Deshapriya is in fact the most corrupt official in his capacity to ever conduct a General Election in Sri Lanka.
The four voice recordings are testimony that the Chairman of EC Deshapriya is of the knowledge that the candidature of the UNP breakaway faction headed by former MP Sajith Premadasa contesting under the Samagi Jana Balawegaya is illegal and is in direct violation of the constitution that governs the Parliamentary Elections Act.
These voice recordings are all pertaining to the petition filed in the Supreme Court by UNP Candidate Oshala Herath against the UNP breakaway group from contesting the General Elections under the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) party.
The voice recordings clearly hears the EC Chairman Deshapriya stating that irregularities in handling this process were committed by the Elections Commission, how documents were illegally back dated, influencing the Petitioner to suppress information from the Supreme Court and leaking of information to both petitioner and respondents.
Speaking further to Colombo Telegraph, the UNP candidate Oshala Herath stated “The Chairman EC Mahinda Deshapriya knew that the other respondents contesting the General Elections were in violation of their own Party’s constitution. Their constitution states that no one could be made a member if they are currently a member of another political party, no new member could hold office in the first three months of joining the party, the appointment of a Chairman and Secretary was done by a committee that had no authority to do so and that any amendments made to their party’s constitution needs to be filed with the Elections Commission within 30 days. Chairman EC Deshapriya was well aware of all of these flaws (Listen to Audios 1 & 4 below). He in fact got down former MP Sujeewa Senasinghe and PC Lawyer Farman Cassim to meet me in his office at the Election Commission. The meeting went on for over two and a half hours and I have that entire recording too. It was all planned by Deshapriya. He then instructed them to take me to meet Sajith Premadasa and settle this matter before it could reach the Supreme Court. As the Chairman of Election Commission he should have been independent and not interfered in such a manner. After all, my business dealings with him were to seek information, as I informed him that I was going to file a petition in the Supreme Court. Later the Chairman of EC Mahinda Deshapriya even informed me as to what ploy and strategy the respondents’ legal team was going to use. He also requested me to suppress evidence and not submit phone recordings. Listen to the audio tapes. It is all there and crystal clear”.
In one recording Mahinda Deshapriya himself informs Oshala Herath that the respondents’ legal team is going to fabricate a story in courts, stating that the Samagi Jana Balawegaya Party had in fact submitted the letter to the Elections Commission, but that the letter has now been misplaced. This is pertaining to the letter that was supposed to be filed by the SJB within 30 days of making any changes to their party’s constitution. (Listen to Audio 2)
Political Activists now believe and suspect that the Chairman Deshapriya’s permitting Sajith Premadasa and his UNP breakaway team contesting the upcoming General Election is in fact a ploy to provide leverage to the Sri Lanka Podujana Pakshaya (SLPP).
It is reliably learnt that they too would be taking this matter up in Courts after the General Elections is concluded.
A political activist speaking to Colombo Telegraph said “We saw this happen in 2015 with Geetha Kumarasinghe too. The EC accepted her nomination papers even though she was a citizen of another country and held dual citizenship. She was subsequently stripped of her parliamentary seat despite being elected by her voters”.
“What assurance would voters of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya have that something similar could take place after the elections are over? It could easily be proven that Sajith Premadasa and his breakaway UNP team contested this General Election in an illegal manner. Is that why the leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe is so calm about this entire affair? Is that why former Minister Mangala Samaraweera also changed his mind in contesting with Sajith Premadasa’s group at the last minute and suddenly went into retirement?” the Political Activist went on to state.
Meanwhile former Minister and UNP candidate for Colombo Ravi Karunanayake also confidently stated in a recent interview that those that broke away from the party would soon find themselves out of politics. He appeared very confident when saying it.
“If after a General Election in a particular district, the Courts hold that the nomination paper of a particular party should have been rejected, then the result in that district should be re-calculated without taking the votes received by that party into consideration and a revised result announced,” a President Counsel and a constitutional expert explaining the legal aspects of this situation told Colombo Telegraph.
Earlier on the 9th of June 2020, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka had not granted leave to proceed to a writ application filed by UNP Candidate Oshala Herath.
“The Supreme Court probably saved the day for SJB contestants to contest,” a legal expert said.
Speaking to Colombo Telegraph, UNP candidate Herath said “The dismissal of the filed petition and writ application did not permit us to present our findings. Had these voice recordings being produced perhaps the three judge bench’s decision may have been different. Hopefully after this expose, even the judicial system may perhaps have to rethink their current due process of how filed petitions are dismissed. This clearly exposes a loophole in the legal system”.
The petition filed by Oshala Herath had named Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, the members of the Elections Commission – President’s Counsel Nalin Abeysekara, Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Saman Sri Ratnayake Commissioner General of the Elections Commission. Leader of the SJB Sajith Premadasa, SJB General Secretary Ranjith Maddu Mabandara, Chairman of Our National Front party Senaka de Silva and Secretary Diana Gamage as respondents. (By Manishka Unantenne)