26 September, 2020

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The National List Fraud

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

An in-depth investigation conducted into the National List provision (Article 99A) introduced to the Constitution on 04th May 1988, reveals that there had been an instance of abuse of people’s Executive and Legislative power in unimaginable scale by the then government headed by the President JR Jayewardene.

The then Prime Minster, R Premadasa, who had introduced this bill in Parliament had stated that the 14th Amendment was the result of the deliberations of the Select Committee on Franchise and Elections, which had the approval of all members of the Select committee. Referring to the 14th amendment agreed by all parties the Prime Minister had stated that it was a product of constructive and collective thinking on the part of a broad segment of political opinion.

Yet, in the statement made in the Parliament the Prime Minister had conceded the presence of two bills on the 14th amendment in circulation amongst the members, one agreed by all party select committed and the other bill, which permitted party secretaries to nominate defeated candidate to enter the Parliament through the National List.

SB DissanayakeIt is thought provoking to note that the Prime Minister who presented the bill only relied on the bill approved by the all-party select committed. In fact, referring to the ‘National List’ MPs, the Prime Minister had informed the house that. “… Names of the Party nominees are known beforehand and that the voter are aware of the identity of the candidates of the different Parties who are to be elected as National Members…”

Having managed to discover the bill the Prime Minister supported at the Parliament, which was approved by all party select committee, I can now reveal with confidence that it contain no provision whatsoever for the defeated candidates to enter Parliament through the back door, through the National List.

Who had inserted this clause to the 14th Amendment and got it ratified by the speaker who had no power to ratify a bill containing any provision that would takes away sovereign powers of the citizens (enshrined in Article 3 of the Constitution). The law on this point is absolutely clear. Sri Lanka is a representative democracy and in a situation of this nature there shall be a referendum held to obtain people’s mandate to that effect, the result of which should have been ratified by the President and not by the Speaker to make it law of the land.

The million-dollar question is who is responsible for this gross abuse of people’s executive and legislative power and what are remedies available to the people now to rectify this gross violation of their sovereign rights by the very same people elected to office on trust?

People who voted for President Sirisena had a faith in him that he would put the failed administration back track; guide the vessel ‘Mother Lanka’ in the right direction. This hope however just faded away within a matter of few months.

And this backdrop there is a huge responsibility vests on the concerned citizens to raised their voice against the lawlessness administration that blatantly abuse people sovereign rights. As the former Auditor General, Sarath Mayadunne, elected as a MP, through the National List but resigned has correctly said it is sad but true that the majority of the people of this country are still not concerned about the abuses takes place in unimaginable scale. Their unthinkable tolerance of robbing the wealth of mother Lanka by politico cheats with a scant respect to the Rule of Law is the undeniable truth for falling apart of this island nation.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    If the approved version by the Parliament in 1988 is not the one which is inserted in the 14th Amendment, it is extremely a serious situation. Mr. Kodituwakku still has to prove it conclusively, in my opinion. Bon courage!

    Even otherwise, the appointment of defeated candidates to Parliament through the National List defies the common sense of democracy. Even if it is in the constitution, it could have been easily avoided following basic democratic principles. The UPFA, UNFGG, JVP and the TNA are all culpable of this violation against democracy. Most heinous is the appointment of some of the defeated candidates into the Cabinet by President Sirisena, of course with the approval of Prime Minister Wickremasighe.

    People can make mistakes. (1) If that is the case, all these parties and leaders should now withdraw those members from Parliament. (2) If there is any shame on the part of these appointed MPs, it is high time that they themselves resign from Parliament and the Cabinet. 3) The people and the civil society organizations should agitate until they are withdrawn or they themselves resign.

    • 1
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      When a majority of voters think that honest candidates with principles like Sarath Mayadune do not deserve their vote,why bother about constititutinal provisions or democratic principles? That is Yahapalanaya logic.

  • 0
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    Mr.Kodituwakku standing on a technical point will not save the country. JVP MP did not resign on this issue. If the courts find any fault in the ratification of the 14th amendment, it may not declare it is void, but may direct the parliament fix it. There are 200 buffaloes have been herd into ruling national government to raise their tails on emergency circumstances like this. So, this is going to be a mountain size stomach paining to bear a mouse.

    The Sinhala Intellectual constitution does not translate peoples’ (rather Sinhala people’) wish into the administrative rules of the country. Sinhala Intellectual Constitutional position of the defeated MP is not a defeated Candidate by People. If this petty quarrel goes to court, courts may have to take their freedom to decide if a nominated MP is how bellows in preference to all elected MPs from that district. That is a moderate analysis the Court has to perform to decide who are the ones defeated. A sincere party may place a minority candidate in an area where racial minded majority prevails and if he or she is defeated, the party likes to bring him/her to establish a “civilized philosophical point”. Court may have to find the genuinity of the party to decide what is the purpose of sending a candidate who could not go by the rules of the election, irrelevant of whether it itself is fallow or not.

    Electing the candidates defeated by the people to parliament is accepted by the constitution, but it is argued it is preventing appointing a defeated one, where the party is given a chance to nominate and accommodate some MPs for its comfort. Electing the defeated is the parliamentary version of Badiyudeen’s G.C.E (A/L) standardization. The Badiyudeen’s standardization recruited the exam failed candidates to university while denying the entry to passed candidates. This is how the Sinhala Constitution is sucking the blood out of the Tamil Party Candidates to save the Sinhala party candidates in the North – East, who always loose. This is to complement the DS’s Indian Pakistani citizenship acts.

    Ranil is the one who pledged not to nominate defeated candidates like Rosy S. to MP post. It is the UNP constitution. The constitution was created to suppress Tamils. So in all area the faults and frauds are accepted by the constitution. There was no consensus about it in the past within UNP about the defeated candidates going for parliament. No party was required to follow it.

    The new Royal Government, which is called as two party National goverment is formed to produce another Sinhala Intellectual (or rather Modaya) constitution (or an [or many] amendment[s]). The 200 member parliamentarians are going to put a funniest constitution that is not seen anywhere in the world. That is a soap opera to enjoy for the dinner time in the future for, at least, next two years. (Now the one going on the TV screen is how to cheat the UNHRC with an Internal Inquiry on the report OISL produced. That one is running with hurray full of many Topsy-Turvy thrillers)

    Defeated candidate fiasco is not the only fallow in the constitution. 19th Amendment itself is a dupe amendment to cheat the International Community. It is made to believe the IC that sanity has returned to Sinhala Intellectuals. (The doctors served on metal ward describe stories of patients who all of a sudden start to act like normal only to get out of the hospital, but many times fail to hold on that acting until discharged procedurally and return back to the bed with a sand end.) 6th Amendment is one violated the freedom of expression and it is not agreement with the main body. 13A is fraudulently and with ill will designed to fool politically inexperienced Rajiv Gandhi. 18A though repealed by the green dressed Dr.Jekyll this morning, it was the one made by the blue dressed Mr.Hyde last night. .. the story goes on.. and …on

  • 2
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    Excellent Naga.

    The people of this country are being misled.Defeated candidates have no moral status to sit in Parliament,and thereby demean Parliament!

  • 0
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    Plato

    “Defeated candidates have no moral status to sit in Parliament,and thereby demean Parliament!”

    This parliament or the previous ones never commanded moral high ground. Sri Lankan parliament initiated and passed several ACTs that have been irrational, inhuman, racists, basically outcomes of stupid decisions by stupid and immoral politicians.

    You can count on many, for example 1948 Citizenship Act, Sinhala only Language Act, 1972 & 1978 Constitutions, PTA, state institutions run by by stupid and corrupt officials, war criminals holding top posts in the governments and institutions since 5th April 1971, ……

    The problem is the people do not seem to be bothered about morally bankrupt governments, probably the people don’t seem know what is best for them.

    Take it easy.

  • 0
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    “THE PROBLEM IS THE PEOPLE DO NOT SEEM TO BE BOTHERED ABOUT MORALLY BANKRUPT GOVERNMENTS; PROBABLY THE PEOPLE DON’T SEEM KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM.”

  • 1
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    Let us look at the 14 A certified on 24 May 1988 for clarification on this issue.

    This amendment was brought in after the passage of 13 A and deals with a number of matters of national importance such as how the proportional system actually works.

    This amendment further determined the number of members elected according to the Proportional Representation to be 198 with additional 29 members under national list and hence the total number of members of parliament will be 215.

    Up to the enactment of 14 A, the members of parliament were selected by the party secretaries after the election. The voters have no role in it
    .
    The 14A brought in the preference voting- three preferences to each voter for the first time.

    This means that there could not be any defeated candidate up to the enactment of 14 A.

    Now let us look at how the national list of members is nominated by the party secretaries.

    This is described in the Para 99A introduced by the 14 A. The relevant section is given below

    “Every recognized political party or independent group contesting a general election shall submit to the commissioner of elections within the nomination period specified for such election a list of persons qualified to be elected as members of parliament from which it may nominate persons to fill the seats, if any, which such party or group will be entitled to”

    Again once the elections are over, the relevant section is again

    “Where a recognized political party or independent group is entitled to a seat under apportionment referred above , the Commissioner of elections shall by notice require the secretary of such recognized party or group leader of such independent group to nominate within one week of such notice, persons qualified to be elected as Members of parliament (being persons whose names are included in the list submitted to the Commissioner of Elections under this article or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district by such party or group at that election ) to fill such seats and shall declare elected as members of parliament , the persons so nominated.”

    The controversial section I had given in bold letters. This is from the 14 a actually passed in Parliament.

  • 0
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    The Judiciary has no power to withhold the documents which ought to have been in public domain in the first place. The Judiciary is clearly acting beyond their Powers and thereby violating people’s rights. I wonder if this government is going to be worse than the previous regime or is it the flop-side of the same.

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