Plus - Letter to the editor

Party leaders, try to set a trend for clean elections

This is an open letter to our Party leaders. The personal observations that follow may seem naive and optimistic, but please think about them, even if you do not have the courage to publicly agree or implement the suggestions, although you have the power to do so.

Try to set a trend, even at this late stage, for cleaner, properly conducted elections. Only when elections are conducted openly and fairly will the country be in a position to develop its potential.

Let the Inland Revenue check on the monies spent on posters, cutouts

This is a democracy. You have a responsibility to present clean choices to the voters. They should not feel compelled to resort to undemocratic methods to get the government the country needs.

Let us not forget that political chicanery resulted in two Sinhala insurrections and one long Tamil war waged against the country. This is a sincere attempt to understand the causes in the interests of prevention.

Please advise the Elections Commissioner that talking about rules and election cut-outs and posters may not help- the candidates and their Party leaders understand the rules and laws.

Ask Inland Revenue to tax all printers who produced election posters; tax the candidates on the income and monies they receive, and tax the donors who calculate returns on investing in a candidate. Equally, the Central Bank should monitor big inflows to “recipients” not connected to the sender. We can only assume that a lot of black money has come into the “open” because of the posters.

If you, the party leaders, have any political authority, decency or honesty, you will reject support from law breakers. I believe the candidature can also be withdrawn.

The poorer “manape” crowd will support this. The party will not suffer if the law breakers and thugs are thrown out, unless, of course, they end up with fewer candidates than there are seats available, in which case – good riddance.

Withdraw the whip from those who misuse state resources or who may do so if and when they come into Parliament. Tell voters not to vote for candidates with outsize posters, especially posters so huge that the ordinary citizen can see only the shoes or boots of the candidate – the shoes they will be forced to lick at some time or other. Some leaders recently condemned elections violence, but said noting about withdrawing the whip.

Withdraw the party whip from all who terrorise the Police and the authorities. Withdraw the whip from anyone directly or indirectly involved in post-election violence.

Advise the public to turn off the TV when excessive election propaganda is broadcast. The advertisers will then pull their ads and some of the state channels will lose significant income,we hope.

Tell your speakers not to shout and be abusive at political meetings and rallies, unless course they are short of good arguments.

Professor A. P. R. Aluwihare, Kandy

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