22 September, 2020

Blog

Leader Of The TNA Should Be The Leader Of The Opposition

By Lal Wijenayake

Lal Wijenayake

Lal Wijenayake

The appointment of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament has emerged as a contentious issue. There is no provision in the constitution or in any other law setting out the procedure for the appointment of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. The appointment of the Leader of the Opposition in the British Parliament is done in accordance with the British Parliamentary conventions. We are guided by the conventions of the British Parliament in matters relating to Parliamentary procedure where specific provisions are not provided for in our law. In the British Parliament the Leader of the Opposition is appointed by the Speaker and it is the prerogative of the Speaker to appoint the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of Opposition is appointed by the Speaker following the Parliamentary convention that the Leader of the Opposition has to be the leader of the largest single party in the opposition. Therefore, in the present situation the Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as the leader of the largest party in the opposition has to be appointed as the Leader of the Opposition.

A section of the SLFP cannot claim the office of the Leader of the Opposition as the SLFP has officially decided to be a part of the government.

Sampanthan - Mahinda - Colombo TelegraphThe Leader of the Opposition is only next in importance in Parliament to the Speaker and the Prime Minister, because an opposition in Parliament is an integral part of the democratic parliamentary process. The attempt to have the opposition under the government by the appointment of a member of the SLFP as Leader of the Opposition is a threat to a proper functioning of Parliament under the democratic system.

Therefore the Speaker as the custodian of the rights and privileges of the members of Parliament and in fact responsible for democratic functioning of Parliament should act in accordance with the conventions under the democratic system of government.

The leading authority on Parliamentary practice Eskine May in “Parliamentary Procedure and Practice” has laid down the convention that has to be followed in the appointment of the Leader of Opposition.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    13

    Mr Wijeyanayake
    What you say may be applicable in the British Isle and its colonies, like autralia, canada and new zealand. Remember it is Srilanka an independent republic, here our system holds, which is Non Sinhala Budhist Cannot hold an office like Leader of thr opposition. Get that into your thick head. I am sure Karu Jeyasuria as a true sinhala. budhist will appoint the nominee of the great Mahinda.
    Mahinda jeyawewa

    • 4
      2

      Go on and try tilting the windmill of progress change social justice and democracy and in that proces you will eventually become invisible and vanish into thin air and get lost.

    • 3
      1

      You clearly belong to the racist minority.

      • 0
        0

        Lankan politics, journalist and democracy.

        In practice Democracy means the governing politicians calling their opponents terrorist and creating `secret police` to harass the public and kill them too as at SL.

    • 2
      0

      Shouldn’t guys like “proudman” be euthenised in the interests of human progress? Or, perhaps, we should castrate him and his Rajapaksas so that they don’t breed any more racists.

  • 12
    0

    appointing leader of TNA as leader of opposition is a good start for the process of reconciliation.

    • 0
      0

      There have been articles asking when a Minority Person could be the leader of this country. Now, for the second time we have a Tamil Leader of the Opposition. It’s probably going to be a tiny opposition, with almost two thirds ranged against them.

      I have heard hot heads, carefully making veiled comments about how “the Tamils are going to get this important position again”. I’ve usually managed to silence them. There are some very decent people in the TNA, but, alas, the Sinhalese have been conditioned to think in terms of stereotypes. I’m glad we have taken this little step forward. Please, everybody who prays for reconcilliation, let’s tone down our own rhetoric. There will be attempts to stoke the fires of communalism; tread carefully TNA, but may you succeed in helping us all by being a vigilant opposition.

  • 0
    0

    Lal Wijenayaka,

    Democracy in practice at England is different to the books you have been reading from reference libraries.
    Democracy is not the Quran, Gita ,Bible or Sangha. It is passion that has always ruled the world not logic.
    When Elizabethan England needed pirates to protect the Empire she was able to produce enough pirates to meet the situation and glorified them. In every period England was able to fight the right war, against the right enemy, with the right ally, on the right side, at the right time, and call it by a wrong name. England did not do it by logic, did they? They did it by their tentacles.

    Here is a classic example at a London borough. After decades when the Tories and Lib’s jointly took over the rule of the borough they appointed opposition Labour councillor as Mayor of the borough not once but 3 times (he is a gay boy). This borough has produced many ministers at Westminster which it neighbours.

    I have never been able to discover anything logical in English behaviour or in their national history, the historical growth of the uncatalogued constitution. The very strength of the British consists in the English lack of cerebration, in their total inability to see the other man’s point of view……

    English think with their healthy skins but not their minds – remember Bill Forbes song Accha England and the recent shooting of 40 Brits at Tunisia.

    How can we remedy the situation?? The critical mind is too thin and cold, thinking itself will help little and reason will be a small avail; only the spirit of reasonableness, a sort of warm glowing, emotional and intuitive thinking, joined with compassion, will insure us against a reversion to our ancestral type. Only the development of our life to bring it into harmony with our instincts can save us. I consider the education of our senses and our emotions rather more important than the education of ideas.

  • 1
    3

    How about giving him Federal solution too.

    • 1
      1

      Jim,

      Be rest assured a form of federal solution will be given; you will come to terms with it I am sure.

  • 0
    0

    There are many arguments for and against it. There are lot of talk of right and wrong. But what Tamils’ side has to think is whether it is good or bad.

    American Congress has opposition too. Because of the Senate’s Filibustering draw back, practically all law are passed inside the closed door negotiations. Particularly, Americans hate if the Congress votes on party line. But that is not the British parliamentary systems. Party line voting is the norm there. Unlike American system, there is a duty attached to opposition party to keep government on check by meaningful actions.

    The New Royals government is no different than the Old Royal government. Same members, same mentality, same old object…In duping the public and the International community, it is the exact replica of the Old Royals. The classic example is Mangala was speaking last week to foreign diplomats that the current cabinet is the smallest in the world. It is not just simply a lie he made knowingly how the cabinet will look like, but the 19th amendment was passed to create a false image of good government look and get rid of the IC investigation call. It is the same Mangala is being blamed for paying money to LTTE. Ranil is blaming LTTE as took the money and defeated him. But he has appointed the same Mangala as his FM. What would be the reason for giving FM to Mangala? Because of his proven record of duping the LTTE! Now, his courageous lying and cheating can be used to do the same thing to UNHRC and IC.

    When Amirthalingam became opposition party leader, the 6th amendment was introduced to shut him up from talking of freedom. . Sinhala parties had the 2/3. Proportional representation was introduced. It was a fruitless time. It was the time Vaddukkoddai Convention went watered out. This time, after Sampanthar gets the opposition Leadership, UNHRC resolution and International Inquiry will be gone. TNA is facing its end. New laws will be passed to control the influence of Tamils in the elections.

    During the war time Old Royals duped the IC. After the war they showed the true nature of the Sinhala Intellectualism (or in the liturgical sense the Modayaism). Before the election, the New Royals duped the IC. Now they are starting to show their chameleon green. Getting into this is absolutely wrong for TNA.

    TNA has prime an object. That is liberating the Tamils. If TNA wants to honestly honor this obligation, it has to be primarily a Tamil party. If it is going to be a Tamil party and not Lankave party, it has no business in a Sinhala Royal Government. (The opposition is part and parcel of the democratic government; Period). Further, from the Sinhala Intellectuals side, their argument going to be is, oppositions is taking care of the Tamils, so the Appe Anduawa has to take care of the Sinhala Intellectuals. This is exactly TNA defeating its objects. Sampanthar was called Vellala King by the CT’s commentators. After he enjoys the opposition leader perks, Sampanthar will be sued falsely for stealing state money. We know after 10 billion swindling of government money, Mahendran was the only one investigated by New Roaysl.

    The history of oppositions for 55 years goes like this: Sirima destroyed Dudley. JR destroyed Sirima. Premadasa destroyed JR. Then tigers came in. After the history continued; Old King destroyed Chandrika, Ranil took the hands of IC to destroy Old King. So by opposing the New Royals, TNA is seeking its destruction. This is not for what theTNA was sent to parliament.

    TNA wanted the New King win the election, instead of the Old King. That is how the IOSL’s report was delayed. Now the TNA wants the opposition leadership. That is going to be the end of IC investigation. By accepting the opposition leadership, TNA is giving this fraudulent New Royals a legitimacy of democratic government. But in Lankave, not just the Royal Governments even opposition knows who they are. When Ranil was in the opposition, Ranil argued that parliament had all authority to impeach a Chief Justice and he further said IC should keep its distance instead of dictating the Parliament. TNA was the only one opposed the parliamentary dismissal of Shiranee. Latter when Ranil took the power, he dismissed two Chief Justices, to make puppet Chief Justice. What these incidents are saying is Lankave does not know what is the job of a opposition party and TNA was able to do the opposition party’s job even when Sampanthar was not crowned as opposition leader. So now, what is TNA is seeking additional by demanding the opposition leadership?

    TNA has faced, on the hand of west and UNHRC, the fate of Hakeem’s SLMC and the fate of Ananthasangari’s TULF at the same time. TNA’s fate was predicted in advance for overly bending to IC when they had achieved zero only from the Royal government

  • 3
    0

    I agree.

    To send it to a vote is to democratically hijack the Opposition Leaders Position.

    To the SLFP, you can’t have the cake and eat it. or can it ?

    The TNA has the most number of seats next and it’s leader should be the Leader of the opposition.

    Had the JVP got more seats than the TNA, then AKD would have been the Leader of the Opposition. Now that would have been very fine.

  • 3
    0

    The UPFA members who do not support the government will need to form a new front in opposition, if it wants to have one of theirs as Opposition Leader. It will mean breaking away from the SLFP! They cannot have their cake and eat it! Nor can they make an omlette without breaking the eggs!(Sorry to mix metaphors!)

  • 1
    2

    Lal,

    A few matters to be clarified.

    According to Eskine May,What is the convention that has to be followed in the appointment of the leader of opposition?

    Is it true that the Leader of Opposition is the Prime Minister in waiting!

    Is it not much more proper for all the members of the opposition to decide on the Leader of opposition rather than the Speaker!

    Is it not the TNA being a regional party interested only in the welfare of a community rather than the nation, automatically disqualify TNA from being entitled for the post of Leader of opposition?

    • 0
      0

      The Leader of the Opposition. In the TNA as a regional is to now, not only represent the community it represents, but to also has represent the interests of the larger community in the rest of the country then you will be able to appreciate the possible trajectory of that evolutionary process be for the future of the country.

    • 1
      0

      The Leader of the Opposition. of the TNA as a regional party has to now, not only represent the minority community he represents, but to also represent the interests of the majority community settled in that region.
      What that would entail for the future trajectory for the development of that evolutionary process is going to be for entire the country can only be guessed by a pragmatic mind and now which is biased.

  • 4
    0

    Opposition leader Post is not a matter of concern. But the safety and security for Tamils, their heritage and their belongings, free from oppression and humiliation free from being accused of terrorism free from scapegoating as terrorists in Sri Lanka and elsewhere are the main concerns and priority for Tamils. Respect them as humans and as a nation.

  • 6
    0

    Mr.Sampanthan is more suitable than anyone else in our parliament.

    He is educated than Buruwansa and Walgama
    He is well cultured than Buruwansa and Walgama
    He is well mannered than Buruwansa and Walgama
    He is well experienced as a politician and MP than Buruwansa and Walgama
    He is clean and not corrupted.

    Congratulations!

  • 1
    0

    Another step taken towards Yahapalanaya.Highly appreciate the stance taken by the Speaker to appoint a Seasoned and matured Politician of his caliber.All Sri Lankans should embrace His appointment in this juncture to create a Peaceful Country with out creating Hatred and enmity among the various communities living in this Country from time immemorial.

  • 0
    2

    Lal Wijenayaka is Trotskyist turn politician ,who has no knowledge of democracy ,he think minority is democracy .
    Majority he did not count as democracy.
    Speaker is UNP politician , his all decision base on UNP-RW’s directives.
    TNA Sampathan is become an opposition leader in the Parliament, we have lost norms and principle of democracy.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.