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Submissions to Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms

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1. Manifestoes of Political Parties and/or Candidates of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

All registered political parties and/or candidates contesting any Presidential and Parliamentary elections be compulsorily required to submit to the Election Commission, along with the nomination papers, a formal document setting out their respective party or personal manifesto, clearly articulating their intentions, plans and commitments to be promoted, planned and implemented following successful election. Along with the manifesto, the candidates be required to provide associated, estimated incremental cash flow and funds flow statements, indicating clearly the proposed incremental spends consequent to the implementation of the proposals in the manifesto, including therein separately classified both spends of a revenue and capital nature, including specifically the proposed increases in state employment opportunities, salaries, pensions, benefits, subsidies, giveaways, transfers, maintenance, upgrading and reconstructions, new development and new infrastructure spends, etc.; further clearly indicating the method of raising required necessary and supportive revenue, income, grants/aid and loans, in financing and fund the incremental spends promoted, planned and committed to by the candidates; with the estimates provided being duly cross referred with clear notes supporting the assumptions and basis estimation and computations.

The Election Commission be required to place in a publicly accessible domain, within one week of the acceptance of nominations for any Presidential or Parliamentary elections, the manifesto and accompanying documentation submitted by all registered political parties and/or candidates contesting any Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

Where any candidate fails to provide such a manifesto and associated estimates the Election Commission be duly empowered to reject such nomination applications.

It is to be further stipulated that the failure to abide by the above requirement and/or knowingly and or willfully making submissions or statements which tantamount to a misrepresentation of fact and or including any inaccurate or illogical estimation in the manifesto; and/or making any promises, pronouncements or publishing any campaign statements or promotional leaflets, etc., either directly or indirectly or via accredited agents, which promises, pronouncements or distributing campaign statements which falls outside of or exceeds or are contrary to the promises, pronouncements or campaign statements submitted by way of the above stated manifesto and associated documentation, are deemed to be acts contrary to the acceptable conduct of a nominee or candidate and all such miscreant candidates be deemed to have committed an election offense, and be punishable by a duly constituted court of law in Sri Lanka and upon such conviction being affirmed, such candidate is ipso facto deemed to have vacated the elected office.

2. Affidavits to be Submitted by Candidates Seeking to Contest any Presidential or Parliamentary Elections

All candidates contesting any Presidential and Parliamentary elections be compulsorily required to submit with the nomination papers a declaration by way of a sworn affidavit setting that he/she is a ” fit and proper person”;and

In support of such justification, table in an annex personal details, attainments, both academically and professionally, track record of achievements, leadership experiences in public life, and a record of public services; and further affirm that

*such nominee is not subject to at present, nor will be subject to following such election, to any disqualification in terms of any written law to contest as a candidate or hold such office after election; and

*such nominee is not subject to at present, nor will be subject to following such election to any further disqualifications on account of any conflicts of interest, and/or being in or holding any position or office in any institution or in a contractual relationship with the State or any other institution or corporate body or being engaged with related party commitment, all of which may be in conflict with the role and responsibility to be assumed post election; and

*such nominee is not nor will be subject to upon fresh appointment/election, to any forms of conflicts of interest or related party transactions on account of any close members of the family (including the spouse, children, mother, father, father-in-law, mother-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law and step children or any institution controlled or influenced by them); and

*such nominee shall agree to avoid all such situations of personal interest or related party transactions or any such situations of potential conflicts of interest or related party transactions, or be in a situation where any such personal interest might appear to conflict with the position of responsibility or be perceived as having given preference to personal or family interests so long as he holds such elected office; and

*such nominee has not been alleged to have engaged directly or indirectly, in any acts of abuse, manipulation or unlawful dealings or in any acts contravening the statue law of the State , and

* such nominee has not been alleged to have engaged directly or indirectly, in any acts of violating the provisions of the Public Property Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Act and Bribery Act; and

*such nominee has not been alleged to have engaged directly or indirectly, in any acts that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community: and

*such nominee has not been alleged to have engaged directly or indirectly in any acts deemed to be acts of dishonesty or other immorality that is determined by a court to be present in the commission of a criminal offense: and

*such nominee possesses academic or professional qualifications or effective experience befitting the holding of such office; and

*such nominee is a citizen of Sri Lankan domiciled in Sri Lanka; and

*such nominee is not over 70 years of age as at the date of seeking nominations; and

*further that such nominee has not been found by any court of law, regulatory or supervisory authority, professional association, Commission of Inquiry, tribunal or other body established by law in Sri Lanka or abroad, to the effect that such person has committed or has been connected with the commission of, any act which involves fraud, deceit, dishonesty, improper conduct or non-compliances with provisions of any statute or rules, regulations, directions, codes of conduct and ethics, or determinations issued there under; and

*such nominee has not been convicted by any Court in Sri Lanka or abroad in respect of an offence involving criminal activity; and

*such nominee has not been found guilty of an offence of moral turpitude involving conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals; and

*such nominee has not been declared insolvent or declared bankrupt in Sri Lanka or abroad: and

*such nominee has not failed to satisfy any judgment or order of any Court whether in Sri Lanka or abroad, or to repay a debt: and

*such nominee has not been declared by a Court of competent jurisdiction in Sri Lanka or abroad, to be of unsound mind.

 

 

Chandra Jayaratne



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Opinion

Nelum Kuluna poses danger to aircraft

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The top of Nelum Kuluna (Lotus Tower) stands 350 above sea level in the heart of Colombo City, as the air navigators of old would say, sticking out like a ’sore thumb’. It has to be lit up in accordance with the Aircraft Obstacle Lighting recommendations contained in Annex 14 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Convention originally signed by Ceylon in 1944.

A free-standing tower of that height is required by international law to be lit up not only at night with red lights, but also with high visibility white strobe lights during the day.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be on always during the day. The authorities concerned must realise that the strobe lighting during the day is not for beauty but for air safety, especially these days, when the air quality and visibility are low during the day.

Have those in charge of the tower been briefed properly on the legal requirement and the use of proper lighting? In case of an accident, this certainly will have implications on insurance claims.

I wonder whether the ‘Regulator’, Civil Aviation Authority Sri Lanka would like to comment.

If not rectified, it will be just a matter of time an aircraft will be impaled by the Nelum Kuluna.

I M Nervy (Aviator)

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Opinion

Simple questions to Sirisena and Gotabaya

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If Sirisena had not been informed of the plans to explode bombs on 21st of April 2019, as he has claimed, shouldn’t he have taken immediate action to call for explanation from Nilantha Jayawardena, then head of State Intelligent Service (SIS), who had been notified several times about the impending attack by the Indian intelligence.

Sirisena and Jayawardena should be prosecuted for allowing a mass murder to take place. Further Sirisena should be made to explain his famous uttering, “I will reveal everything, if somebody tries to implicate me”.

Why did Gotabaya, who announced his candidature for presidency almost immediately after the Easter Sunday attack and promised to punish those who were involved in it, pay no attention to Nilantha Jayawardena’s failure in taking necessary action with regard to information he received, instead he was given a promotion?

President Ranil Wickremesinghe at a meeting with USAID Administrator Samantha Power on September 11, 2022 had said that Scotland Yard had been requested to review the reports and reach a final conclusion on claims that there was a hidden hand behind the bombings.

We do not need Scotland Yard, just get an honest set of Sri Lankan police officers to question Nilantha, Sirisena and Gotabaya to find the “hidden hand behind the bombings”

B Perera

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Opinion

Open letter to Sirisena

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Y you were in Singapore when the Easter Sunday attacks took place. You claimed that you had not been informed of the intelligence received by your intelligence officers. However, the Supreme Court has ordered you to pay Rs 100M as compensation to the victims of the terror attacks. The reasons for the decision are stated in the judgement.

Acting on a claim that there was a conspiracy to assassinate you and former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya you caused the interdiction and arrest of DIG Nalaka Silva, who was held in custody without bail for a long time.

In his testimony to the Presidential Commission  of Inquiry, Silva said that he had been interdicted while plans were in place to arrest Zaharan.

Due to the arrest of DIG Silva, Zaharan escaped arrest. Silva was never charged. Zaharan continued with his plans and the rest is history.

After the SC order you have been claiming that you have no money to pay the Rs 100M as compensation. You are asking for public help to pay compensation to Easter carnage victims. You even accepted some money collected by a person called Sudaththa Tilakasiri, who begged from people.

You have said publicly that you submitted your asset declarations. I suggest that you sell all your assets declared in the declarations before asking for funds from the public.

Hemal Perera

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