12 August, 2022


National List: A Rejected Concept By The Lawmakers

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Outcry of many concerned citizens against appointment of those who had lost the trust and confidence of the people at the General Election through the National List, drove me to do a little bit of research on the introduction of the National List MP to the Parliament, through the 14th Amendment in 1988.

I found the research findings are truly interesting. The observations (reproduced below) made on the so-called “National List Issue” by some MPs when this Amendment was debated in the Parliament on 04th May 1988, would be an eye opener to the entire electorate. The time-tested arguments made against the introduction of the National List, clearly confirm that the people of this country has been effectively conned by the respective Political party leaderships.

The plain truth is that sovereign power of electing representatives to the Parliament vested in the people (Article 4 (c) have been openly abused by the respective political parties, including the JVP, to bring back those who have been rejected by the people through the back door.

R PremadasaR Premadasa, Prime Minister: “… Names presented by the Parties would be published in the gazette, immediately after the acceptance of the Nominations for the Election. Therefore, there would be an advance notice to the people about those who would be elected through the national list …”

Dinesh Gunawardana MP: “…The situation is very grave and unfortunate. The main political parties would abuse the ‘National List’ concept to introduce fraudsters to Parliament who cannot win people’s mandate to enter Parliament… ”

Richard Pathirana, MP: “… The National List concept would allow rejected candidates to enter Parliament. This power is given to the Party Secretary. This damages the sovereignty of the people”(who enjoy the legislative power which they exercise through the elected representatives to the Parliament – Article 4 (a)].

Anil Munasinghe, MP: “… The people to be nominated for the 29 seats were to be nominated together with other names for the General Election, but now you have added that once the 196 names are declared elected the party secretary can nominate, for that number of seats that you are entitled to, from the list of 29, which you have sent or from those who have already been nominated. We are against the principle, the second part being added, because you are bringing in people who are defeated in the General Election through the back door into Parliament…. If they are good they would not have been defeated. Surely it is a bad principle to bring a person who has been defeated…”

There is no ambiguity in the whole process. The bottom-line is that the Prime Minister, R Premadasa, who introduced bill to the Parliament had hoodwinked the entire house to enact the 14th amendment to the Constitution. After the Supreme Determination on the 14th Amendment was sent to the Speaker the Prime Minister Mr Premadasa, assured that Names of these party nominees would be made known beforehand and their names published in the Gazette immediately after the closing of nominations. And the Prime Minister said that the voters would know the identity of the candidates of the different parties who are to be elected as national list members.

But what the electorate is forced to experience after the 14th Amendment made law is completely the opposite. The political parties are permitted to disregard the names published by the gazette and instead party leadership is allowed to nominate the National list MPs, according its whims and fancies, with a scan respect to the sovereign rights of the people.


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Latest comments

  • 2

    national list should be scrapped and the parliament reduced to 196.

  • 0

    Breaking News

    UNP had nominated defeated candidate from Puttalam District,no.10 UNP, Mohomed Hanifa Mohomed Naviv in the National List. (todays Lankadeepa-online main story)

    Hows that PM Ranil ?

    If so why didn’t you nominate Rosy from National List ?

    Ranil should explain this to public

  • 0

    same old crapy hipocracy…..this is not good governess…….this is a load of crap…!!!

  • 5

    Excited not to have Tissa Vitharana, DEW Gunasekera, Rajiva Wijesinghe, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Sri Ranga, Tirren Alles and Tissa Attanayake in the new parliament. Thanks Mr. President.

  • 0

    I have a suspicion is that these MPs were really rejected by people. If it is so in some cases I determine it as real ignorance of people to vote correct people

  • 0

    In turbulent times, leaders make tough choices with courage and conviction,in order to maintain a stable government in a representative democracy Others cannot cope with the complexity and uncertainty. They remain indecisive, and their rivals gain the upper hand.
    Head of State Have to be ready to disregard every traditional concepts when circumstances dictated, as Machiavelli, argued that a head of state had to “imitate both the fox and the lion”. take difficult decisions or ethical trade- offs, and for the shake of practical effectiveness and greater good of the majority community. PRINCE be a perfect template and become more relevant now than it ever has been.

  • 3

    Yes, the National List must be published before voters go to the poll. They should be exemplary citizens who can provide value to parliamentary debates.

    The problem for Sri Lanka is that it is very difficult for a decent person to win an election. For one thing, one must have huge amounts of money to mount and win an election campaign. Often, the money spent on an election campaign by contestants is stolen money. And such money is spent with the expectation to make more when elected. It is an investment, albeit a criminal one. This is why politicians are able to come forward again and again. It is also why respectable people find it difficult to contest an election and even more difficult to win.

    The types that manage to get huge number of preferential votes and win an election are often scoundrels. How can this be explained? For instance how does a person like Wimal Weerawansa managed to get so many preferences? Or Premalal Jayaratna, a person remanded on a murder charge, receiving the highest number of preferences in Ratnapura!

    This is a great subject for study: Why do people vote for the scum of the earth? Do people really favour such criminals?

    In Sri Lanka, an individual’s morality, or even observable behaviour, is not an issue for about 50% of the electorate. Provided, of course, the person can display “power”, has some charisma, ingratiate himself to those whose circumstances are less than his, give a show of being at one’s own level in society, superficially subscribes to the same “values” (or the lack of it). That is how degenerates rise up in politics.

    This is also why the Sri Lankan parliament does not have an educated, decent set of law makers. They wouldn’t get elected. The scum of the earth will always beat them at the polls. In this regard it is not a bad idea, in a society where democracy is still in the formative stage, to bring in people of standing into the parliament through a National List.

    And, of course, the National List must be published before voters go to the poll.

  • 0

    While you are bagging UNP and UPFA please spare a thought for our true democrats TNA. Yes the Tamil National Alliance. After shenanigans during the preferential vote counting process in Jaffna the supporters of the disgruntled section who lost our due to the shenanigans is slowly spilling the beans as to what transpired during the counting process. And the TNA leadership along with its diaspora backers are trying hard to cover up by dangling the National List carrot. Watch this space over the next few days and more will come to the fore.

    Agree with those who fed up with the sham good governance fad being propagated by all parties. Sobitha Thero needs people of better caliber if he intends to achieve his GG goals because at the moment it is all lip service. From the Tamil end to Sinhala end we have plenty of backdoor reps entering the parliament because there is a backdoor.

  • 0

    Nagananda Kodituwakku –Thank you for this research paper. Crooks with their talent to cheat the People’s Sovereignty do all what they can to circumvent all rules. They disregard the constitution to manipulate their ideals, according to their ‘whims and fancies’ disregard their country please their henchmen they are the patriots! Very much disappointed with this so called ‘Good governance ‘team of men. Even before the parliament has been convened it seems the good governance would be a story of yesterday.
    Hope President and PM use their brains, if the have one! Sad; same old story. Chandrica Kumaratunga said this; Crooks come to parliament to make all their wealth. Was she a crook? She cheated the people during her election and pretended “that she was the peace angel”! Was She at the end? Glad She jointly managed to remove the menacing Mahinda out of office, one good thing she has done.
    Would the so called leaders of various party up hold the egalitarian rule and reject the rejected candidates by the people on their National list?

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