Time to introduce “Recall of MPs Act”  It is with great interest that I read the article titled “The citizens right to recall their elected representative is a way out of today’s constitutional impasse and the way forward” by Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan and S. C. C. Elankovan which appeared in the “Opinion” page of the [...]


Letters to the Editor


Time to introduce “Recall of MPs Act” 

It is with great interest that I read the article titled “The citizens right to recall their elected representative is a way out of today’s constitutional impasse and the way forward” by Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan and S. C. C. Elankovan which appeared in the “Opinion” page of the “Island” newspaper on May 16.

This is exactly what the young people of our country are demanding: that the sovereign people of our country should have the right to recall their elected representatives when they have acted against their interests, mismanaged and brought the country to a state of economic collapse due to rampant corruption and nepotism.

Therefore, the provisions of the 19th Amendment where checks and balances were provided, should be re-enacted as the 21st Amendment with some modifications and changes made where needed.

As suggested by the authors of this valuable article, the citizens’ right to recall their representatives can also be incorporated in this enactment

I wholeheartedly agree with the authors’ view that in Sri Lanka, with a politically educated population of about 22 million and high literacy levels, the “right to recall” principle could be introduced without much difficulty. It would also help to enhance the calibre of the Sri Lankan members of Parliament and ensure they are more mindful of their parliamentary duties, as they would be conscious that they could be recalled once this piece of legislation comes into our statute books.

The article points out that India has the provision at the local and municipal level in a number of states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Punjab. The United Kingdom passed the “Recall of MPs Act” in March 2016. Other countries like US, Germany, Ecuador, Japan, Canada etc. have this provision at the local government and municipal level.

Thus, it is of vital importance to introduce a clause in the proposed 21st Amendment to our constitution by granting power to the citizens to recall their elected representatives to ensure accountability. It will be of immense value as a solution for today’s constitutional impasse!

Over to you drafters as this is the best time to bring this legislation to our statute books.

My hearty congratulations to the Aragalaya citizens movement for their pioneering effort.

Indrakumar Wijayatilake  Via email

Way to boost  people’s confidence to send more funds

According to the newspapers several organisations are collecting funds to help Sri Lanka overcome the current economic crisis it is facing. I believe the Central Bank of Sri Lanka about one month ago requested  Sri Lankan expats living abroad to send dollars to designated bank accounts or to their close relatives.

The Sunday Times also carried an article mentioning a Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) Relief Fund with two bank accounts

I have no doubt that these collections are honest and above board.

However it would be helpful if accounts are published monthly or regularly, especially the funds collected by the Central Bank so that the public would be able to inspect these figures. Publishing of such figures would inspire confidence in the process of collection and promote more contributions.

 Dr. V.P.H. Rajapakse  Via email

A heartfelt thank you to our neighbours

All of our people in this little country of ours thank all our neighbouring countries immensely for redeeming our country from its terrible plight.

The relentless hours of agony in every household have been agonising, especially the situation of patients in need.

We thank our neighbouring countries who so unselfishly have extended a helping hand to us.

S. Bandara  Kandy

Will this terrible violence be a lesson for the future?

The attack on peaceful protesters at Galle Face and (right) a scene of arson and destruction from the violence that erupted islandwide following the attack

I listened to a speech in Parliament recently by an MP from the Ampara area. It was about the damage done to his house. I wondered how he narrated the story without crying, as it would have brought tears to anybody who is sensitive of someone’s suffering. It was so sad.

But when we think about all the similar incidents that took place, one could ask, would it have happened if those representatives of the people had been sympathetic to the needs and feelings of their constituents rather than blindly following and safeguarding their political leaders and their families. Although it is a terrible way to learn a lesson, in the future, people’s representatives of all levels should keep in mind that their prime concern is the people, not their own political parties or leaders.

K. Siriweera

I hope justice will be meted out fair and square

The recent attack on the peaceful demonstraters at the Galle Face Green was a foolish, ill-conceived and iniquitous act – an attempt to disperse and terminate the activities of this mass dissent. The dissent was proving to be a dangerous threat and a gross nuisance to the Government.

I am ashamed that behind this, is presumed, to be our former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is hard to believe that a seasoned politician, a shrewd and crafty manipulator would have had a hand in this act that caused a spate of deadly violence. The aftermath may have got out of control as it nearly did, resulting in a massive loss to life and property and plunging the country into total chaos.

The late Justice M.D.H. Fernando clearly stated that the danger in stifling of peaceful expression and legitimate dissent will definitely result in a catastrophic explosion of violence. Perhaps Mahinda Rajapaksa may not have had the opportunity to acquaint himself with Justice Fernando’s remarks, though he himself is a lawyer.

What is done cannot be undone, the country has lost lives and property, justice must be done and those responsible must be brought before the law and punished, irrespective of their status.

Constitutionally we are one country, one law –  the judicial norm when punishing those who break the law. I hope justice will be meted out fair and square. Let not the contrary take place as it happens in the case of highly favoured individuals who think they are above the law.

 Brian Hingert  Makola

The clarion call

Expressways for generations to pay
Cricket stadiums for animals to play
Lotus Tower with income far away
Dividends stashed in lands across the bay.

Fonseka won the ‘unwinnable’ war
Alas! The honour arrogated by the Rajapaksa duo
World’s best commander that valiant war hero
Treated soon as their worst foe

Taste of perks and greed for power
And not the will to serve the poor
Perpetuation of dynasty the sole endeavour
Many ugly ruses tried even in the last hour

“Ape Hamuduruwane’ the mantra chanted even in sleep
Fondling babies for popularity cheap
Into your past you’ve got to peep
What you sow, you necessarily reap

Reverend prelates advice rejected with disdain
No matter what, the aim is to remain
Nearing the end is a ruthless domain
MR’s fame hath gone down the drain

Mahinda Sulaga is now a tornado
Lashing back leaving no dynastic shadow
Protesting youth call one sibling a crow
When tragedy strikes, power vanishes through a window

Seven is lucky, double seven otherwise
Twice president and premier thrice
Isn’t that ample to be content and rejoice
Retire with grace, there’s no other choice

‘Lame duck’ with no governance skill
Nor a ‘mahadena mutta’ doing stupid things at will
We longed for a clever leader not a soldier with military drill
All your promises you’ve failed to fulfil

Your blunders are many to recall
Try not to escape by passing the ball
Sure and certain the writing is on the wall
‘Go Home Gota’ is the clarion call.

S.A.  Morawaka

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