17 January, 2021

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Financial Reports Of All Political Parties To Be Published By Election Commission

Financial reports, Constitutions and manifestos of all the political parties in Sri Lanka will be published in the Elections Commission’s website in the coming weeks, Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya said today in Negombo.

Deshapriya

Delivering a speech at an event organized by Center for Monitoring Elections Violence (CMEV) on elections campaign finance, Deshapriya said all the political parties have already been informed about the Commission’s decision and they have been asked to send their feedback within a period of one week.

The financial reports of political parties that will be published are only till the last financial year which ended on March 31, 2018. As Deshapriya stated, not all the parties have disclosed all the expenses.

“Financial management is very important in a country like Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan voters are simply selling their votes. In the recent past, one vote was sold for Rs.5000. According to the current situation, if you have a lot of money, winning a Local Government Election is not a big deal,” he said.

Deshapriya emphasized that people should be demanding that political parties disclose their source of funding and mandatorily submit these reports. Tansparency in political party funding should be the first step in the direction of major electoral reforms, he opined.

Sri Lanka was a very early signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) of 2003 – which came into force in 2005 – which compels State Parties to consider the adoption of legislative and administrative measures to enhance transparency in the funding of election candidates and political parties. In the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, Sri Lanka in Article 156A(c)3 enshrined the need to adopt measures to implement the UNCAC and other International Conventions relating to the prevention of corruption.

The New Delhi Declaration on Political Finance Regulations in South Asia, made on December 16, 2015 has also laid out the principles and practices to be considered in introducing political finance regulations, both during elections and otherwise. So far, Sri Lanka has no restrictions whatsoever on the amount of contributions that may be made to parties or candidates, nor with respect to spending. No measures have been taken thus far to seriously consider rules for transparency in such matters.

The Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law No.1 of 1975(6) makes it mandatory for candidates nominated for elections to make declarations of assets and liabilities. However, it is only within three months of obtaining nominations that a candidate is obligated to submit their declaration of assets and liabilities.

For the first time, five Parliamentarians from multiple political parties on Thursday (28) released details of their Asset declarations to the public. The five MPs include Tharaka Balasuriya, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, M.A. Sumanthiran, Vidura Wickramanayaka, and State Minister Eran Wickremaratne. (By Keshali Silva)

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    Financial Reports of all Political Parties, and Declarations of Assets and Liabilities of candidates for ALL elective offices, need to be published.
    Only then, corruption will be eliminated.

    • 7
      0

      Who checks the correction of declaration of assets? Is there any mechanism? Will it be published for the public to know? what about the assets of the immediate family members like wife children and siblings like that of Mahinda Rajapakse?

      • 3
        0

        Nice shirt!

        Now the EC is into it! Taken up acting …………. giving poor ol’ Ranjan Ramanayake a run for his money.

        Lanka is a nation of actors …………. watched by religious-opium stupefied moviegoers

        You ain’t seen nothing yet! …….. let me finish my acting-classes

      • 0
        0

        K.Anaga,
        In India, possession of “wealth without means” is a crime.
        This is verified by even provincial governments.
        A former Chief Minister and her Deputy went to prison for such offence.

        • 0
          0

          Justice!
          In Srilanka AMAZING WEALTH WITHOUT PROPER MEANS IS NORMAL FOR MP’S. Their actions in this regard are only questioned but nothing more.

    • 3
      0

      Who is going to bother about Reports of all political parties? Even the Presidents do not bother about what is written in constitution or law.

    • 4
      0

      Declaration of assets includes accumulations, transfers , expenditure for the past 10 years to be declared. Then only the declaration be valid.
      We know how the CROOKED Parliamentarians functions.
      Hope it will not be ” An Eye Wash” to all concerned.
      The Crooks will be One Step ahead in hiding their LOOT.
      MOST OF THEM ARE THIEVES AND LIARS. How embarrassing to know how we feel about our so called Rulers of our nation.

    • 1
      0

      Good Idea!

  • 0
    2

    Elections commission must be entrusted with a power & authority to have political parties & candidates in a kind of grip that minimizes expenditure in publicity & minimize giving unlikely promises to the public.

    It must be able to drag party leaders & candidates who utter in irresponsible manner to media to expose & be taken for the task of proving the possibility/reliability of such claims.

    Steps must be taken to divert all the contributions for political parties & candidates through elections commission & demand to present an election budget @ party level & individual candidate level.

    It must maintain files containing Biodata of all the contenders & make available when a qualified citizen request them.

    It must be able to stop arousing racism, caste system or any other unethical matters on election stage.

  • 1
    1

    Financial Reports of Lankan Parties do not mean a thing.
    And that by the ‘neutral’ Lankan Election Commission?

  • 1
    3

    Elections Commissioner should appear in white or multi-color; strictly not in single color.

  • 4
    0

    This is not what people want. It must be mandatory for all the candidates nominated by the political parties and similarly the Independent candidates to file a properly sworn in “Declaration of Assets and Liabilities” as at date of the nomination paper. In case of the Political Party nominees, that declaration must also be certified by the Secretary of the party nominating the candidates. If this properly made “Declaration” is not submitted with the Nomination Paper, his/her candidacy must immediately be “REJECTE” by the Election Commission official who receives the nomination papers. In going a step further, that “Declaration of Assets & Liabilities” must be made available for the PEOPLE , before the actual election date. After the elections, every candidate who have won, must be made legally required to file an “Update” of that declaration with the Speaker of the Legislature and such document must become a “Public Document”. “NGO” – “March 12th” What do you say to this proposal? All “Political Parties” – Do you want to include this “Proposal” in your next “Manifesto”? “NIO” (National Intellectuals Organization) Would you undertake to make this DEMAND from the political parties affiliated to your organization.? This is the FIRST STEP to make the “POLITICS” a “NOT FOR BUSINESS AND PROFIT” profession.

  • 1
    1

    So Macko reckons the going rate this year is LKR 5000 a Vote…..WOW.’
    That is a heck of lot of Moolay for our Dalits, if they have even 2or 3 Kids of Voting age.

    4.1 % of our Inhabitants are under the” World Class” Poverty Line.
    5 Million families are malnourished according to the UN.
    So 20,000 Bux is nearly 5 days living expenses for each..

    But if we are to believe Dr Ranil’s UNP Economics Whizz Kids ,our Inhabitants are the richest in our neck of the woods.
    And Dr ranil is even going to Didgitize the Schooling. with all High Shcool Kids carrying Lap Tops to help them and their Moms & Dads do EFTs…..
    And it is Dr Ranil’s latest promise –

    What we need is to know how much Wealth those Politikkas have accumulated ,and not their Parties.
    We know JVP hasn’t much Dosh because its Leader Kumara took only a lousy 25 Lakhs from Dr Ranil to sell the Souls of the JVP who have departed including their Leader Wijeweera, who got the “exit papers” from the same Dr Ranil’s then UNP Government.
    We also know Billions of the Bond Scam Money ended up in the UNP Party Coffers.

    We, including our Dalit brethren know that UNP minsters in the current Government collected LKR 34 Million upwards each from free Yahapalana Car Permits..
    That alone is a pretty handsome figure in their “Asset Report to register” , That is if they declare it.

    That is what our Inhabitants want to know before they tick the Box, and not not how much in Srikotha or or even Carlton Walauwa…

    BTW have our Inhabitants got that Free WiFi ?..
    Has JVP Kumara fronted up for a Debate with UNP dissident ,Dr Wije to refute that LKR 25 Lakhs Allegation?…

  • 1
    0

    Nimal good one Bro. Love it. Up to now I see two types of commentaries from readers. One is fact and real. The other as usual in their own world either in apparent DENIAL or pretending to be ignorant. The fact of the matter is every candidate should declare assets and then explain discrepancies between last and current declaration, if it unreasonable. Also yearly Tax returns should be produced. Even for jobs and visas tax returns are requested from public for verification. There is nothing unusual about it. Trump refused but now he will be forced by congress to declare. In India it is mandatory but it has not made much of an impact in preventing corruption, only because public do not care about it when voting. But this information can be used by any activist to file complain under RTI in a public court requesting the individual for explanation. Recent declaration for upcoming elections show each individual is worth millions and millions of $ . In Lanka ???? I was wondering will there be a day like what we see today in US, a congressional hearing to investigate any individual including the president in public ??? Not the bull shit commissions scam, which loot more from ignorant public where reports end in garbage or in dusted shelves for future referrals.

  • 0
    0

    A good move by the EC but is it compulsory & enforced by law or just plain hype?

    As in all democratic countries, a political party contesting an election should publish it’s manifesto with the necessary statistics & sources of funding, etc. to prove that their vision for the future of the country is possible & achievable, not wishful thinking. Also, each party should disclose their funding & all private donors named, the wealth of candidates nominated by each party disclosed (which should be endorsed by the Inland Revenue after investigations into the candidate’s income in preceding 5 years at least) & the election expenses of each candidate capped. The election expenses are monitored & have to be submitted to the EC after the election & available for public scrutiny. Recently, in UK, a Conservative MP & his campaign team was charged in court for not disclosing some of the hotel expenses of his campaign team which would have exceeded the expense threshold, had they been disclosed. Of course, expenses are easy to fiddle, particularly, in SL but such regulations ensure a level playing field for all election candidates & the public have an idea of each political parties’ vision for the future for which they have made a commitment to the people.

    The average voter in SL is driven by blind party loyalty, charismatic leadership (irrespective of known corruption & abuse of power allegations), racist agenda or anticipated personal benefits, therefore, none of the above would make an impact but, at least, it is hoped that such regulations would reduce the possibility of yobs & thugs abusing Parliamentary privileges for personal gain.

  • 1
    0

    The money spent for elections by the big parties is mostly from ‘undeclarable’ wealth.

  • 0
    0

    Daydreaming is very intoxicating. More intoxicating than a double distilled Mendis Special or Negombo Kattu Kambi. This piece of news makes me so.

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