21 September, 2020

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Timely Assets Declaration By All Candidates Must Be Made Compulsory: Friday Forum

The Friday Forum has called for reform of National List mechanism in a future 20th amendment or new constitution.

“The Friday Forum notes with concern the public perception that parties have used the National List mechanism in a way that appears contrary to its intent. They have put forward privileged individuals with poor track-records in relation to governance or public conduct, and especially candidates who did not receive sufficient votes from their electorate. That parties have not taken cognizance of these facts reveals a style of internal governance that fails abysmally to follow the norms and standards of democratic practice that seemed to be the pledge of those in government from 2015. We call for reform of this mechanism in a future 20th amendment or new constitution.” the citizen’s group said in a statement.

“We strongly urge that in the new constitutional amendments and electoral reforms, the timely declaration of assets by all candidates be made compulsory and provision be made that those found guilty of election law violations or cross-over, post-election, will lose their parliamentary seats.” they said.

We publish below the statement in full;

Post Election Comments

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere

The Friday Forum appreciates the efforts of all state officials, especially the Elections Commissioner and his staff, the Police and the Media, towards the impartial conduct of the recent General Elections in a free and fair manner. It is widely acknowledged to be significantly violence-free, with only a few instances of abuse of state resources and violation of guidelines issued by the Elections Commissioner.

We recognize the positive role of a majority of political parties and candidates in observing the election laws and guidelines with regard to cut-outs, posters and inducements to voters. While we commend those who submitted their asset declarations in a timely manner, we call for the declaration of sources and election spending from political parties and elected candidates, as a continuation of this transparency.

The maintaining of the highest standards in the impartial conduct of the elections by the rank and file of the public service, has given much hope that Sri Lankans can discharge their duties honorably, without fear or favour, especially given the right leadership. It is our hope that all those elected or appointed to the legislature will also follow this example and maintain integrity and a code of conduct that will strengthen the declared political culture of good governance. We hope too that all state officials and citizens display impartiality and fairness in their dealings with those in the legislature, rather than being motivated by patronage or self preservation.

While we respect the earlier decision of the Elections Commissioner to halt the questioning and investigations into financial misappropriation of public funds and other offences by those standing for election, we trust that notwithstanding the formation of a National government, the inquiries re-commence, and those found guilty be dealt with by law, even if they are in the legislature.

The Friday Forum notes with concern the public perception that parties have used the National List mechanism in a way that appears contrary to its intent. They have put forward privileged individuals with poor track-records in relation to governance or public conduct, and especially candidates who did not receive sufficient votes from their electorate. That parties have not taken cognizance of these facts reveals a style of internal governance that fails abysmally to follow the norms and standards of democratic practice that seemed to be the pledge of those in government from 2015. We call for reform of this mechanism in a future 20th amendment or new constitution.

We strongly urge that in the new constitutional amendments and electoral reforms, the timely declaration of assets by all candidates be made compulsory and provision be made that those found guilty of election law violations or cross-over, post-election, will lose their parliamentary seats.

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Dr. G. Usvatte-Aratchi,

On behalf of Friday Forum:

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Dr. G. Usvatte-Aratchi, Dr. Gameela Samarasinghe, Dr. A. C. Visvalingam, Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Ms. Selvy Thiruchandran, Prof. Arjuna Aluwihare, Mr. Dhammapala Wijayanandana, Prof. Camena Guneratne, Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda, Mr. S.C.C.Elankovan, Ms.Damaris Wickremesekera, Mr. Pulasthi Hewamanna, Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris, Dr. Deepika Udagama, Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Mr. Priyantha Gamage, Mr. Ananda Galappatti, Ms. Shanthi Dias, Mr. Ahilan Kadirgamar, Mr. Danesh Casie Chetty, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne

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Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    Then how will Sirisena and his cronies get rich?

    Madam, there will be no declaration of assets. Guaranteed!

    • 2
      0

      Prof. Savitri Goonesekere,

      RE: Timely Assets Declaration By All Candidates Must Be Made Compulsory: Friday Forum

      “The Friday Forum has called for reform of National List mechanism in a future 20th amendment or new constitution.”

      Thank you. Excellent idea.

      Yes. This asset declaration should be included in the 20th Amendment.

      Declare When You Contest

      Declare, at the end of every after being elected as an

      1. MP

      2. Cabinet Minister.

      3. Prime Minister

      4. President,

      Ask to make it Compulsory for

      1. The Senior officers of Customs,

      2 The police

      3. The armed Forces.

      The Corruption index will be expected to go down.

  • 2
    0

    Timely Assets Declaration By All Candidates Must Be Made Compulsory:

    Law makers are the top class thieves and criminals.

    So, they make laws and implement laws to make their life easy.

    Dumb sri lankans vote them.

    There are many more so-called educated and scholars who support these top class law breakers.

  • 2
    0

    It is my opinion that no change will take place about Legislators Assets declarations, by this Govt. as long as MS still hold the SI matter in his favour until the next term – which he will be prompted to contest by “interested” politicians. How MS used the National List is an indication in support of my opinion.

  • 2
    0

    Declaration of Assets? Timely? Any time soon? Pigs will fly first?

  • 1
    0

    What is the point in making asset declaration compulsory? The politicians will just find some way round it. I recall Mrs B transferring her land and property into her relatives’ names before the 50 acre limit, that she introduced, came into force. These rules of transparency and accountability are just window dressing as there is no sincerity behind them. What is needed is not more rules but sincere politicians – unfortunately there aren’t any left.

  • 2
    0

    Good for the Friday Forum.

    Next election, we the people set the manifestos, and ask the parties to follow it or we will not vote for them.

    I propose entire Friday Forum for the national list, they are the intellectuals of the day,

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