28 September, 2020

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Elections Commission Member Challenges Dissolution Of Parliament In Supreme Court

In an unprecedented move, a member of Sri Lanka’s independent Elections Commission has challenged President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of Parliament in the Supreme Court.
Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, a member of the three man Commission chaired by Mahinda Deshapriya filed a fundamental rights petition in the country’s highest court claiming that the sacking of Parliament was illegal – and that this was the view of all three members of the Commission.

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

His petition joins at least 11 others filed at Supreme Court on Monday morning, the moment the courts opened for work after the Friday midnight dissolution.

Dr Hoole’s petition cites the two other members of the Elections Commission – Deshapriya and Nalin Abeysekera – a former Legal Draftsman, the Attorney General and the Secretary to the President Udaya Seneviratne.

His petition is filed under Article 17 of the Constitution read with Article 127.

On Saturday when the Commission met for the first time after the President’s illegal sacking, Hoole flatly refused to sign the order directing Commissioner General of Elections to begin preliminary administrative work on holding the polls.

Sources said Hoole declined to sign stating that since the dissolution of Parliament was illegal and unconstitutional, there were no seats vacant for the Commission to hold an election to fill.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    52

    Dear Professor Hoole,

    Your commission’s duty is to conduct the elections.

    Where were you when the Yahapalanaya government postponed the Local Government Elections and Provintial Government Elections ?

    • 13
      1

      Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole,

      RE: Elections Commission Member Challenges Dissolution Of Parliament In Supreme Court

      Thanks. The Elections commission must follow the constitution, correctly interpreted, not based on somebody’s person’s self-interest.

    • 5
      5

      Sunil,

      I see quite a few laudatory, some perhaps only sycophantic, responses to Jeevan’s expressed resistance. I think he, in his personal capacity, has possibly every right to do that and whether he is right or not is possibly a politico-legal decision, well beyond his or of many others views expressed here.
      .
      My concern is that, perhaps not many may be aware, Jeevan has some serious axe to grind that may have played a role in his action here.
      .
      When MR needed to show internationals that he had Tamil support from exceptional academics in particular, Jeevan was one quickly enticed with the promise of a plumb position in the North. Jeevan rushed back, and extended his support to MR (e.g. perhaps the near singular Tamil support MR received for Oxford speech) and even promoted Douglas at that time, despite knowing the evil he was. But, true to MR’s well known “condom practice,” Jeevan found himself orphaned once MR’s needs were met. Jeevan was quite explicit on this recently talking about the red carpet welcome he had anticipated and how MR cheated him out. Jeevan has also relentlessly whined about the Elections commission ($15 driver allowance he needed, $100 nightly batta he would like to receive, the lack of clarity of authority among Elections Commission, etc) despite the fact that the appointment was a temporary one MR arranged feeling some sympathy for Jeevan who had remained unemployed for an extended period.
      .
      How much of axe-grinding that prompted Jeevan’s resistance here is of course a judgement call! However, intent is quite critical in assessing how good or bad a deed is.

    • 1
      2

      It was the UNP that was blaming the SLFP for delaying election s claiming boldly that they are ever ready for elections.
      Now that the elections are called they run to the supreme court to annul elections, which amply reveals who really had the election phobia!

  • 23
    2

    Oh, what that this mean?
    Actually, it should be the EC Head who should seek a clarification from the Supreme Court. Where is he? If he has averted his “responsibility” that means either his palms are greased or, he is intimidated by the Executive!

    • 3
      1

      Champa ( man or woman or both?)

      He He He

      Prof Hoole has got back bone but you were hiding under bed when LTTE was at its peak then ran away to London .

      Coward stop barking if you have guts come here and do the followings:

      1. Go infront of Col.Karuna who is walking freely in Colombo and say few words.
      2. Go infront of your Sinhala parliment and start fast to death.

      Coward if you can not do this stop vomiting .

      All the Sinhalease are cowards it was proved during IPKF occuption tomorrow if Chinese troops will land here these guys will go and hide under bed.

      Let us dance for free kasippu.

      jayawewa

      • 1
        1

        cholan
        You are talking about yourself. I never ran away from LTTE. It was you who did.
        I don’t have to start a fast unto death in front of the Parliament.
        My pen is mightier than any other type of protests.

        • 0
          1

          Champa (man or woman or both )

          Cowards always lie .
          You are now a democrate why not start fast to death for the sake of restoring democracy?
          Scared?
          Do you know Theleepan went on fast to death and gave his life against IPKF occuption ?
          Pity Sinhalease are so afraid ….even buddhist ayotullahs during IPKF occuption all were hiding under bed like you.
          During US occuption in Vietnam 100s of buddhists monks went on self immolation as a protest.
          Do you think any Sinhalese read your words even if they can understand english ?

          Keep on hiding in London and vomit racism,dont publish your photo there are 100 thousand of Tamils in London.

          Let us dance for free liquor.

          Jayawewa .

        • 2
          1

          Chimpa: I never ran away from LTTE.

          TFN: Yes, we all know. You were hiding in your brothel in Panadura servicing Karuna amman.

  • 4
    2

    It is a good idea to have elections.

    However the hard truth is that the appointment of Prime Minister Ranil W in early 2015 should have been challenged, but was not. One cannot be partial like this, ignore one instance of unconstitutionality and highlight the next instance. Since no-one challenged the first appointment of PM , precedent has not been set. The practice of choosing the PM according to what the President thinks could not be challeged in either case.

    Those who side with the President on this matter only have to wait for the SC ruling.

  • 26
    0

    Hat Off to Professor Hoole! You are a real son of the soil and real man with a backbone. Two Dictators are trying to take the law on to themselves, and it’s honest and honourable people like you resist it on behalf of the country and the people. Let it be the President or the man the on the street, all are equal in front of the law, and not above it. Now, it’s of the learned and hounourable judges of the apex court to save the country and people from these calamity.

    • 1
      0

      This is good presuming the judiciary is independent and the sitting judges cannot be bribed or intimidated.

      Knowing Sri Lanka that does not sound right even as a joke.

      • 0
        0

        Yes, When the judgement comes in favor of your opinion the judiciary is independent and not otherwise.
        What hypocrisy! If you have no faith in the judiciary you should refrain from seeking a ruling it in the first place.

    • 0
      0

      Fighting for Democracy not for PM appointment.

  • 5
    20

    Once he submitted this application what ever service he does inside the EC is biased. So, he should quit EC. IF not he should be removed. Definitely he is a western agent.

  • 2
    3

    62 lakhs are repenting they voted for yahapalanaya. Elections are necessary to see the people’s current view. Those who are about to lose their positions and perks are losing their heads and saying confusing things.

  • 5
    4

    Very good. Ratnajeevan may be right sometime. May not be some time. But “Thamizhan Endu Sollada, Thali Niminthu Nillada”. (Declare it that you are Tamil. Hold your head straight up. ) Rapist army don’t intimidate you!

    • 5
      1

      Mallaiyuran,
      .
      I have seen you often make reasonable, if not good comments. However I regret to express my disappointment here. Everyone has the right to hold their heads high, and that is not an advantage of one race or another. I believe introducing such a race-defined sentiment in public, common discourse would hurt more than help any intended cause.
      .
      The quote, I believe from Bharathi, has its place and time. It is essentially a cheerleading chant meant for energizing a unifying Tamil collective initiative among themselves, rather than to differentiate and chest-beat “we are better than the other!” No different than a collective school-team cheer in appropriate place and circumstances.
      .
      Perhaps I am wrong and you are correct.

      • 2
        4

        Kumar,
        If it is your intellect, etiquette and finesses equating Malaysia and Singapore what could I do now after having already asked for Singapore-Malaysia relationship?
        Or if you are in the process of exploring a membership in the Admirable Miracle of Asia Sinhala Intellectuals club of Wildlife Sanctuary SinhaLE Lankawe, where is the deter of my comment is being sightable to you? Go ahead; you will be in good hands. Well wishes!

        P.S: On November 11, 2014 this appeared in CT.
        First they came for Indian Coolies; I did not speak out,
        Because I am not a coolie.
        Then they came for North-east Kallathonies, I did not speak out,
        Because I am not a Kallathoni.
        Then they came for the Kaaththankudy Kalu thambiya, I did not speak out,
        Because I am not a Kalu Thambiya.
        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
        -a poem by a Sinhala Buddhist double crossed by Sinhala intellectuals.

      • 5
        0

        Kumar R: please can you give us a couple of examples of reasonable / good comments from Mallayuran (affectionately refferred to as Mallung by SJ)? And while you are at it, what do you think of Jeevan’s action? Despite our reservations about his description of Katubedda damsels, shouldn’t we say the man has done well on this particular occasion?

        • 4
          0

          Milkman,
          .
          As for Jeevan’s action, I suppose you missed my point that even what turns out to be a good deed may well be tainted, perhaps quite seriously, if the intent and motivation was avenging MR for his personal betrayal, and not necessarily driven by convictions of rights and wrongs. Thus, my caution that it would be wise to not take the goodness of the deed at its face value, but instead balance it with the possibility, or more accurately in this case the probability, of less virtuous compulsions behind Jeevan’s action.
          .
          Indeed, I have several good reasons to be skeptical, but it would suffice to quote Sinhala_Man’s repeated observations in these columns that Jeevan’s actions are often nothing more than that of an over grown schoolboy (pushing 70!). If you like more specific, possibly more damning reasons behind my skepticism, I will be happy to oblige. In deference to Jeevan, I refrain from detailing that unsolicited.
          .
          I had often thought I was beating a dead horse in the Katubedda damsel issue – good to see that is not the case.
          .
          As for my assessing some of Malaiyuran’s comments as perhaps reasonable or good while SJ thinks it is laughable mallung, the only observation I’d like to make is that Jeevan has long been convinced, perhaps even now, that SJ and I are one and the same!

          • 3
            0

            Kumarar
            Yes — I didn’t see your earlier comment. I think yours is a rather harsh interpretation. A more generous explanation is he is doing what comes to him naturally, i.e. going to courts (over promotion, appointment, whatever). But in this case, I think his action is worth applauding, because we are short of Sri Lankans who can stand up and speak truth to power.
            By the way, I know you and SJ are not the same.

            • 0
              0

              Milkman,
              .
              I agree on both counts: that we need ‘Sri Lankans who can stand up and speak truth to power” and that Jeevan stood up. My point, however, is whether Jeevan’s act resulted from his virtuous commitments to rights and wrongs, or whether the personal need to avenge MR contributed, and if so, how much. That makes a big difference in assessing the merits of Jeevan’s act.
              .
              That is exactly why I stated it is a judgement call!

  • 2
    0

    Elections are necessary, but that is every 5 years and not according to the whims and fancies of a mentally deranged president. IN the Supreme Court M.A.Sumanthiran appearing for the TNA has posed the question can a president dissolve parliament because he cannot stomach the face of the Prime Minister. The President is a nitwit and an illiterate person. Now Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts are deserting Sirisena’s SLFP and joining the SLPP. Thus they have double-crossed Sirisena. They waited for the dissolution of parliament to jump ship. Poor Sirisena is now seen without his clothes.

  • 3
    1

    What is constitutional or not is not the problem here. The common sri lankans of all ethinicity voted for a just and corrupt free democratic nation to be born again.They let us down very badly. The only thing the politicians are worried is about themselves, their families and how to continue in power. As a nation we should find a way to get rid of all these rascals.

    • 0
      0

      Over promised and under delivered.

  • 0
    0

    Whether the election fair or not, Once some one from the election commission questions the decision, that official is definitely baised to conduct a fair election. HE should step aside instead of intervening in the election process. If he does not at least the govt should involve in it to remove himfromthere. Appoint some one unbiased. IF you are going to stay there you will be doing something unfiar to the voters.

  • 1
    1

    The News coming out is that the decision will not be given out by SC today. The case is adjourned to tomorrow to allow AG has more time. News suggests that there is good chance it will be delivered tomorrow.

    Tell the moon to vacate the sky in time, in the morning. Ask the sun to come and wait above the roof for us until have our dresses changed. Inform the grazers to meet us on the road tomorrow, instead in the field. Arrange it the birds to sing their Geetam of Freedom to us in the Court.

    The child is stretching his hand hoping to pick up the candy on the table. The pregnant woman is toiling with pain hoping her child will care her one day. The lame man is teetering in the street hoping to feel better and make his money for his life.
    Tamils are at crossroad to think and decide to partner or to part with the partners of the journey in searching for the water to 70 years of thirst.

  • 8
    0

    Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, you are an inspiration to every person holding public office for public good but habitually fail to respect the rule of law and the Constitution

  • 8
    0

    It is a highly commendably courageous act.

    • 0
      0

      Is this from real SJ? Hope nobody has stolen SJ’s avatar.

      • 0
        0

        kz
        From each according to his/her standards.

  • 0
    0

    The American Midterm Elections saw the Democrats taking hold of the House of Representatives. This means that they will have great voting/vetoing power in the chamber, overriding and/or reducing Republican President Trump’s policies concerning health care, taxation and immigration. Trump yet retains the executive power. Although Republican, he is thoroughly socialist in many issues and has given due diligence to his constituents. The economy is booming and from updated airports to nutritious school lunches, many things in the US have balanced out for the better of the nation. The congress, in true constitutional fashion will learn to compromise and work with the Republican President, and democracy would have been served yet again.

    Enter Sri Lanka: Money of the struggling Lanka Masses was spent on Midterm elections so that their representation could have been balanced out in Parliament. Did the midterm elections where the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) scored the highest votes, obtain any higher voting/vetoing rights in the Sri Lankan parliament? Did the SLPP take over the house? No, the parity of voting solidly remained with the United National Party (UNP) who were hardly voted in nationally by the people. Indeed it has been proved time and time again that it is there to serve Western capital and not the capital of the hard working Masses of our land.

    These midterm elections should have put things in better democratic perspective, but it did not. It was away from the democratic principle the country should be governed by. The newly-fangled articles of the Sri Lankan constitution drawn up by the UNP, is therefore illegitimate. It is deeply flawed. Dissolution of the parliament was the best solution out of this conundrum. President Sirisena did the needful.

  • 4
    0

    Kettle calling pot black???
    Where were you when “other elections” were postponed??? Sleeping???

    Is this just because you are against a certain group?

  • 1
    1

    We as Sri Lankans valuing democracy and fair play commend Prof Hoole for his initiative in this action

  • 4
    1

    Dear professor Hoole,

    We salute you for your fearless stand on the constitution and for upholding its tenets. Your service will go down in history as memorable. Well done. The country owes you.

  • 4
    5

    Oh dear, Hoole may be educated but complete illiterate when it come to decency. Independent Commissions come under the institutions that comes under certain laws and Hoole thinks otherwise.
    He should have resigned from the EC to challenge the presidential orders.[edited out]

  • 1
    0

    The dr Hoole has different view on Sovereignty of the people are closed to stop voting by people of Sri Lankan advocated by separatism of Tamil chauvinist ideology.
    His intention were surrounded by dark clouds anti-democracy mode of UNP -politics. Needless to say by politics of Neo Liberalism order view by dr Hoole has no relationship with emerging Capitalism in Island. While dr Hoole has forget to read that John Lock, Hobson and Montesquieu are principle teachers of sovereignty of capitalist democracy . My issues not that he want be obstruction of election by dr Hoole is against right exercise sovereignty -power of majority people of Island. Why is such man has been appoiamnet to member of Election Commission?

    Further beyond that dr Hoole go against WIIL and aspiration of people, while requesting from Court of law an appealed to Supreme Court scrap incoming election ? Hoole lost all confidence of sovereignty of people that revealed that mindset for Tamil separatism !

    This is tragedy of People’s Sovereignty in that view of Hoole not believed ballot oriented democracy ,may be democracy of sovereignty he want by “rule of Gun”.

    I read your views are not secular on democracy ,but you are closed to political separatism that ideology identity by anti- establishment of which is People’s democracy of an Island.
    Your as citizen has been omitted that People of Ceylon and Sri lanakn was eligible to elected their represtattives of members in colonial Chamber since 1931. At that time we were under the ruthless of British Colonialism was suppressed majority people an Island by White Rule of that House of Windsor in London base Westminster form of “democracy”

  • 3
    2

    In Sinhala we have a saying ‘ballage wede booruwa karanna giya wage’ (it is like donkey tried to do the job of the dog). Please give us your Job Description as a member of the Election Commission so that we can know whether you have the authority to do this. If not, you should have resigned from the post before taking this action.

  • 1
    1

    There is nothing wrong in in Prof. Hoole going to court. it is his right.
    But it brings the issue of collective responsibility of the Elections Commission in to question.
    By him going alone, implies that the other two commissioners are of a different opinion and that Prof. Hoole has given his personal opinion priority over the collective responsibility of the commission. Therefore his impartiality comes in to question and he should refrain from further participation of responsibilities of the EC.

  • 1
    0

    Did Hool fool us? Did he voice his dismay at postponement of PC elections?

  • 0
    0

    Holding elections alone will not contribute to democracy .It should be done in the correct spirit. When Prime Minister Sirima B met Chairman Mao Tse Tung during an official visit to China, she wanted a clarification from Chairman Mao. ” Comrade, US and British imperialists blame you for dictatorial rule .They say that you don’t have elections regularly. Is it true?”. Chairman Mao nonchalantly replied: “Why not? I do have it regularly. In fact I had one this morning too.” (Chinese pronounce letter R with L sound.) So Mrs.B was satisfied that her non aligned colleague was not at fault.

  • 0
    0

    Where are the stone age minded Buddhist Ayotullahs ?
    Probably they cant understand constitution.
    Hope modays will not allow Asgiriya,Malwatha Ayotullahs to take the power like Iran.
    But these Ayotullahs love to bless rapists,murderers, kudu mudalalies
    Cheers

  • 0
    0

    Is what we see now our rule of law and Democracy , or the rule of the outside Super powers?

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