8 August, 2022


Symbolic But Significant 

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

The dreadful attacks of Easter Sunday, 21 April have cast a heavy gloom on our nation. The media have been inundated with narratives, interpretations and speculations.

In this situation, an important issue has not invited attention. I refer to the NCM (no confidence motion) against the Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. If I have got it right, the PM who also heads the UNP, has allowed Members of his Party although a partner in Government, to exercise a “Conscious Vote”. This is a symbolic but significant departure from conventional practice.

This needs to be coupled with a Secret Ballot for very obvious reasons. Naturally, the “Party Whip” should remain suspended. It is challenged as being contrary to convention in the House of Commons, the “Westminster Model that we purport to follow. Here it is said, allows a secret ballot solely in the election of the Speaker. If so, we should depart from this particular practice, there being very cogent reasons for doing so. There is little doubt that this would be endorsed by MP’s, if not unanimously but would command a large majority of Parliament. The exercise of the Party Whip” is another inherited concept.

The need to improve the quality of MP‘s is widely and frequently aired. Present practices, prevent this. Nomination of candidates remains the prerogative of the Party leadership. The criteria considered in the process has little to do with competence, integrity and Education, but much to do with support (financial and otherwise) but provide necessary support for Party misdemeanors and expediency. The suggestion that the educational level should receive priority (in a House with a majority of whom has not acquired even the barest basic education), and consequently, now has a huge content of ‘educationally challenged’ members. But it is only a partial remedy to disqualify the unworthy. We have had examples of those with little formal education, who have been spectacular successes and an equal content of people with stellar academic records, who have proved to be little more than nincompoops.

Considering the present procedures for candidate selection, it is patently unfair to hold the voters as responsible for the degradation of quality material. They are presented with candidates lacking in the most basic competence for good judgment or sense, befitting their roles as “voices for the people”. The voters are often in the predicament of selecting the “least worse”. Hardly the intents of “Democracy” which they are pledged to serve. 

Thus does even the smallest moves towards establishing the freedom of choice, ignite hope. Let us wait and see how this glimmer of hope works out.


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  • 9

    With this “No Confidence” motion brought into Parliament by PHU Leader Gammanpila on behalf of the JO , on the Minister Rishad Barduideen has COMPLETELY mislead the public attention away from the Easter Sunday “Massacre” of innocent civilians who attended their religious prayers. The Law Enforcement Agencies have and still rounding up the culprits. But what has been done to bring the “Political Culprits” who must be held “Responsible” and “Accountable” for their “BLATANT FAILURES” in not acting in a “TIMELY MANNER” to “AVOID” the disaster? Hasn’t that been now completely “SHIFTED” to single out one individual in the Cabinet and paved the way for the “REAL POLITICAL CULPRITS” to escape? Can the President, as the Minister of Security and Law & Order be excused for not “KNOWING” the “Prior Knowledge” of the impending attack by saying that he knew about it only from the “Face Book”? Can the PM be excused by telling us that he was NOT INVITED to the Security Council meetings? Can the Cabinet be excused from the “Collective Responsibility” of not knowing it, while at least one of them had been “WARNED” by his own father not to attend the church on that fateful day? Let this particular Minister be “INVESTIGATED” by the Law Enforcement for his involvements with the so far known culprits and associated organizations, as applicable to ordinary citizens. But how do we bring the “Real Culprits”, who had all the “KNOWLEDGE” and the “OPPORTUNITIES” to “AVOID” this disaster to “ACCOUNT” for their “NEGLIGENCE” and “FAILURES” by the “INNOCENT VICTIMS”? N.B: My comment will continue..

  • 10

    continued…. The next “TRICK” played by the Government in relation to this “Easter Sunday” massacre” is the appointment of a “Select Committee” of the Parliament to “examine” how and why the Law Enforcement “Failed” to avoid it. Just see how “DEVIOUS” this trick is. Already a “Presidential Commission” has been appointed and an “Interim Report” has been submitted, in terms of which the AG has in writing instructed the Actg.IGP to institute “Disciplinary” action against three DIGs. including the Chief of Intelligence unit. Are the PEOPLE of this country to “BUY” all this crap? Surely, not only they, but also the so called “Journalists” (reputed?). The other day, I was watching a TV show called “Pathikada” conducted by a “Journalist?” Bandula Jayasekera.- the host. The “Guest” was another “Journalist?” named Ferdinandus from Island paper. Both of them saw to it to give all the “Credit” to the “No Confidence” motion against the Minister Bathuideen and “CONDEMNED” the “No Confidence” motion brought by the JVP against the Government. See how they have “VIEWED” the whole affair. They would be having an axe to grind with JVP. So do I; but that does and should not “deter” or “cruel” to give credit where it deserves. In this whole calamity, thee are two parties to be found fault with, (1) the actual culprits who CARRIED OUT the massacre and (2) the POLITICAL AUTHORITY- (the Government) who failed to AVOID and PROTECT the innocent victims. Shouldn’t those be the PRIORITIES of the people? YSE, it is. But where are those “PRIORITIES” being “HIJACKED” and used as “HIGH JINKS” by both the Political vagabonds and the so called “Reputed” (my foot) “MEDIA”? Isn’t this “DRAMA” another “HIGH JINK” during the time of a national calamity? What are “WE” and “WHERE” are we heading?

    • 3

      Douglas – a superb analysis of this farce. This red herring.

  • 4

    Minister Rishard Bathiudeen has forcefully elbowed his way far too long. The day of reckoning has arrived.
    An example: Misuse of List MPs.
    The former VC of South Eastern University of SL Dr S M M Ismail was under investigation by UGC SL for financial mismanagement. He resigned but one day Rishard Bathiudeen escorted into parliament new list MP, Seeni M M Ismail.
    To do this, Rishard got another of his list MP to resign.
    Rishard let his community down here.
    The NCM shows how unpopular Rishard is. It must be pointed out that the MPs behind NCM are bloody corrupt. Gamanpilla? Huh….huh

  • 1

    What is needed at present, with the candidates is if they win the District. Candidates have to win the district and not the electorate. So, they go for minority votes. It is not like earlier, Muslims candidates representing even the Sinhala voters. I heard most hilarious things during the local elections. In sinhala buddhist terms, Prominent leaders are very greedy for power and to promote their family of family friends, so, they all will be for some time to come will be Gal Perathayas and/or Mala Perethayas. I think, where about of JRJ is not possible to find. He is that Deep.
    Rishad Bathiuddin, Hisbullah and Azath Salley all worked with Saudi Arabian Money. So, they rewarded every helpful person with good money and they would never go against them. I heard even the killing of the Two police officers in the East was some kind coup by the same people. so, it is foreign ISIS. They were also trying to being the way LTTE did. for some reason, they pulled a Fast trick.

  • 0

    The country must have permanent members to attended Updated Security continues Council Must Reflect Changing Global Reality not on invitation basis Nobody trusts anyone in authority today, Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. The permanent members are linked to past meeting and can feed ideas, Not blame game like I was not invited. Security is your understanding of reality. Security is when nothing can happened to you everything is settled

  • 0

    Although Muslims give various definition on Jihadist & Sword verses in Koran. It is Terrorism. Spread of Islamic doctrine by force.Democracy may be used to win support & fame among followers. But terrorists are terrorists .Rigorous rehabilitation May change but might not. As such placing six put deep on earth is the only solution I suppose. Position hold is Immaterial. National security & security of general public matter most. That was why capital punishment there in our law books in every country. Otherwise terrorist will use capital punishment against general public for their gains. We experienced it with LTTE dominated period in north & east even in other places as well. Who ever it is no matter capital punishment in legal process or Carolingian court process is the only solution I suppose. Terrorism for political matter or religion matter should be dealt with terrorism. . That is how Jews manage to live in middle east surrounded by Arabs Historical traditional enemies of theirs..

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