Responding to the press release issued by the Secretary General of the Liberal Party, Kamal Nissanka, Prof. Rajiva Wijesingha says “the Secretary General has no powers to make such rulings.” He has written to the Elections Commissioner as well as to the Liberal Party Secretary General. We publish below the two letters in full;
Letter to Commissioner of Elections
I have had a letter from the General Secretary of the Liberal Party claiming to declare that I have ceased to be a member of the Party. There is no basis for this decision at all, and the Secretary General has no powers to make such rulings.
I have replied as in the attached. I should also note that he casts doubt on my position as Leader of the Party, on the grounds that the meeting of the Committee that took place immediately after the National Congress last December was invalid. This again is a nonsensical position, since the first Committee meeting always takes place after the Congress. The Leader has been elected on that occasion ever since we changed the constitution to have the Leader elected by the Committee.
Unfortunately the General Secretary did not produce typed minutes of that meeting at the next Committee meeting in January. He has since refused to give us copies of what I believe was a hand-written document he read out, which recorded what had occurred.
I should note that he did give me a letter in January making it clear that I was the Leader of the Party. A copy of this is enclosed. However a couple of months later he decided otherwise.
I would be grateful if, in view of his arbitrary and almost lunatic behavior, you do not take cognizance of communications from him, but instead await a formal decision from the Committee as to the status of party officials.
Letter to Secretary General of the Liberal Party
Thanks for your letter dated July 15th, which I received yesterday by Registered Post. I am bemused by the contents, and the constant shifts in your position. It is also totally unacceptable that you should interpret Section 21 of the Liberal Party Constitution as allowing you to do whatever you want. All it says is that the Secretary General ‘shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Liberal Party.
The Secretary General shall be responsible for the office and staff of the party’. I cannot understand how you interpret that to mean you can declare that I have ceased to be a member of the Liberal Party by Operation of Law.
The Minutes of the last meeting, which you yourself drafted, though deeply flawed, do not at any stage indicate that the Party wanted lists of its own to be put in for the current election. They indicate that you had followed up on the party decision for an alliance with the UPFA by writing to the President. In accordance with the reply received, three members, including yourself and the Deputy Secretary General, had sent in applications for nomination for the coming election.
You and the DSG indicated that you no longer wished to be considered but it was noted that ‘committee did not want to sabotage if any member of the party further negotiate with President regarding nominations’.
Your draft claims I volunteered (in fact I checked if I had a mandate from the committee) ‘to discuss with President Maithripala Sirisena regarding a national list seat nomination and a district nomination for Kurunagala’.
Despite this you arbitrarily decided to put forward four lists and only informed the committee subsequent to nominations having closed. Having done this without authority from the committee, you purport to dismiss me from the party on the grounds that my National List nomination, made in accordance with our requests and the MoU that you signed, ‘causes much political hardships to the candidates of the Liberal Party’.
This is an illogical position. Under the circumstances I continue to see myself as a Member of the Liberal Party, and will act as such.
I note that the meeting of the National Committee scheduled for August 19th at the previous meeting has been suddenly cancelled by you. This has happened with regard to previous meetings this year. This time, after I was invited, you sent a note indicating that I was not welcome, and therefore did not inform me of the cancellation.