Memorandum of understanding
Posted on December 4th, 2014

Nalin de Silva

The memorandum of understanding has been signed between the UNP and some insignificant parties and individuals who are supposed to be members of insignificant organizations, in front of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera whose organization consisting of academic trade unionists and left out leftists who are in search of a platform to mark their presence to the people through media politics. If not for media politics nobody would have heard of these organizations.

MoU is nothing but a document that declares that a UNP government would be formed with the assistance of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera and Chandrika Kumaratunga who do not have a mass base at present. It is not known whether Maithripala Sirisena signed as an individual or as the so called secretary of the SLFP. Incidentally according to John Amaratunga the MoU was signed at Victoria Park revealing his colonial way of thinking long after the park was named Viharamahadevi Park. Perhaps John Amaratunga does not recognize Viharamahadevi and her son who were able to unify the country more than two thousand years ago. John Amaratunga is the Chief Opposition whip of the present parliament whom the UNP would appoint as the Chief Government whip if and when Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes the Prime Minister after the 8th of January 2015.

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Ranil Wickremesinghe
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Chandrika Kumaratunga

As far as the UNP, its lawyers are concerned Sarath Silva is still the chief justice of the country while Mohan Peiris is the de facto CJ. Similarly they must be thinking that Maithripala Sirisena is the secretary of the SLFP while Anura Priyadarshana Yapa is the de facto secretary of the party. However, unfortunately for the UNP, the agent of the Western powers in the country, the removals and appointments have been made according to the constitution of the SLFP. Thus Maithripala Sirisena does not represent the SLFP or even the faction (one or two former SLFPers) that went with him to the opposition. Chandrika Kumaratunga similarly does not represent the SLFP. She and Maithripala Sirisena failed to bring the thirty MPs from the SLFP thus giving their first “broken province” to Ranil Wickremesinghe.

No common opposition

The TNA, JVP and JHU have not signed the main MoU thus indicating that there is no common opposition though there may be a so called common candidate. Maithripala Sirisena does not represent a common opposition, and as it is he represents at least four oppositions most probably with four programs. The main MoU that has been signed is also not very clear as far as the positions of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the UNP are concerned.

The JHU and the TNA will sign pacts or MoU s with Maithripala Sirisena who does not represent a mass base as a member of a party. The JHU and the TNA are trying to deceive the people but finally together with Chandrika they will all agree with the UNP on the program that will be finally adopted. It is because the UNP is the only party among the groupings that have some mass base though less than 40% of the vote, and also due to the fact it gets the blessings of the Western powers.

It would be interesting to analyze the contents of the MoUs that Maithripala Sirisena would sign with the JHU and the TNA separately though it would be only an academic exercise. What would be carried out is the program of the West through the UNP and Maithripala Sirisena whatever the leaders of these parties and Chandrika Kumaratunga may be dreaming of. This may not be even the main MoU signed by Maithripala Sirisena with the UNP and Chandrika Kumaratunga as an individual.

Contrary to what some have to say the article 37(1), gives the power to the executive president to appoint the prime minister to perform the duties of the President. Also the president can appoint any person whom in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of the Parliament. The relevant articles are reproduced below. The program of the West depends on these two articles.

43. (3) The President shall appoint as Prime Minster the Member of Parliament who in his opinions is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.

37. (1) If the President is of the opinion that by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause he will be unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office he may appoint the Prime Minister to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period, and may also appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister during such period:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the President may appoint the Speaker to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period.

Curtail public service

Under 43 (3) it is not necessary to have a vote in the parliament to elect a prime minister and according to 37(1) the president if he is unable to function in the post of president for some reason which is not specified he can appoint the prime minister to perform the duties of the President. It is clear that the understanding according to the main MoU and probably the other MoUs to be signed to have the present Parliament for two more years until the constitution is amended and to have Parliamentary elections with the amended constitution under a different voting system. However it is clear that at least for two years nothing will happen to the executive powers of the president though they will be carried out by the prime minister appointed for the purpose.

The plan is clear. If and when Maithripala Sirisena wins he will appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime minster without consulting the Parliament under 43(3) as the former could say in his opinion the latter commands the confidence of the opposition. Having appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe to carry out the duties of the president (some who are not clear in conceptual thinking may call him the executive prime minster though there is no such position defined in the constitution) Maithripala Sirisena will declare that for some reason he is unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office and appoint the new prime minster Ranil Wickremesinghe to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the post of President. Then Ranil Wickremesinghe will carry out the program of the West.

The UNP which under instructions from the West wanted to curtail the public service and sacked thousands of government employees in July 1980 when they wanted a salary increase of Rs. 300 per month will never increase the salaries of the latter.

The good governance and the rest are mere rhetoric as there is no good governance in the UNP itself. Democracy or whatever should start at home, and by now Tissa Attanayake could have given Maithripala Sirisena some lessons on good governance in the UNP. In any event the ordinary people are satisfied with the governance of the government and the present state of democracy in the country.

It is some UNPers in the city and the towns and some pundits together with Ven. Sobhitha Thera who talk of good governance and democracy as if they enjoyed them under the UNP governments. The main MoU talks of law and order, and are they going to say that under the UNP and the SLFP of Chandrika Kumaratunga they had law and order in the country. It is not necessary to give the long list of examples for bad governance in their regimes, not to mention the explosion of bombs by the LTTE killing of innocent people (perhaps it was the order of the day) and the acts of underworld godfathers such as Sunil who was given a Presidential pardon, if I may use the term very much liked by Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Maithripala Sirisena would be the nominal executive president of a regime that has Ranil Wickremesinghe functioning as the President. The West may be thinking of buying some SLFP MPs to obtain the two third majority in the parliament but they are only day dreaming.

Chandrika Kumaratunga claims that she could not obtain the two third majority during the time she was the President to abolish executive presidency. If it is true it implies that the UNP was not in favour of abolishing the executive presidency from 1994 to 2005. During this period there was a time from 2002 to 2004 when Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe governed the country jointly without attempting to amend the constitution and abolish the executive presidency. Instead they jointly signed a ceasefire agreement with Prabhakaran contrary to the wish of the great majority of the people. Chandrika Kumaratunga cannot claim that she was not a party to the ceasefire agreement mentioning that it was signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and not by her. However under the constitution (Article 33) only the president can declare war or peace and Ranil Wickremesinghe who had not been given powers under 37(1) did not have the authority to sign a ceasefire agreement with Prabhakaran.

However, Chandrika Kumaratunga who as the president could have annulled the agreement did not do so as it was against the wish of the West communicated through Norway. That was the understanding between Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe and the present main MoU is about the same understanding that would help Tamil racism through TNA and the dispersed Tamils in the West, and not about the rhetoric mentioned therein.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/memorandum-understanding#sthash.t7t2y68n.dpuf

2 Responses to “Memorandum of understanding”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Nalin,

    You wrote ” If and when Maithripala Sirisena wins he will appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime minster without consulting the Parliament under 43(3) as the former could say in his opinion the latter commands the confidence of the opposition.”

    Just saying “he commands the confidence of Parliament” is ONE THING, demonstrating it is NECESSARY.

    The traditional method of demonstrating the confidence of the Parliament is to PUT IT TO A VOTE and getting at least a SIMPLE MAJORITY.

    That has been, and will continue to be, the Rules of Procedure of Sri Lanka’s Parliament.

    There is NO WAY that Palwatte Gamaralage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena can REPEAL the Executive Presidency without a 2/3 majority vote in Parliament, and there is NO WAY he can appoint an “Executive Prime MInister” without at least a SIMPLE MAJORITY in a VOTE in the Parliament!

    BOTH of the above actions would be ILLEGAL under the Constitution of Sri Lanka!

  2. AnuD Says:

    MoU is nothing but a document that declares

    Yes, for people without conscience, it is nothing but a document.

    I see the so much of injustice going in sri lanka by the politicians to stay in power and to gather humongous personal wealth for them. Their relatives and henchmen are supporting it.

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