Scrap the National List – Huge Fraud on the Sri Lankan Electorate
Posted on April 5th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

If democracy is to be about giving the right for eligible voters to exercise their rights by voting for people of their choice, that right cannot be taken away through a dubiously contrived method to bring in people through the back door and to present them strategic high profile portfolios without them having the People’s mandate.

Sri Lanka’s Parliament which comprises 225 members 196 are directly elected from 24 districts while 29 are unelected people entering Parliament on the National List – in other words the back door. What claimed to be a means to enable professionals, academics and eminent persons to enter Parliament has ended up with people representing fundamentalist Christian religious cults supporting foreign-backed agendas entering through the backdoor and gaining strategic positions both in the legislature and the Cabinet. Instead any people with outstanding academic and professional talent should have been co-opted into committees and other decision making bodies instead of making them MPs.

The fundamental nature of a functioning Parliament is to enable the will of the people to prevail and elections become a regular feature for voters to exercise their right to change, replace, oust people they believe are best to lead the nation and voice their concerns. It is an affront to the voters when people sneak their way into legislature through the backdoor.

This is the shameless political reality in Sri Lanka all designed to subvert the democratic rights of the people by allowing some people to buy their way into Parliament by funding the leaders and their political parties. In no other country which boasts of a robust democratic parliamentary system is this subversive mechanism allowed to prevail. People without a mandate should never be given high profiles. Only those who have been elected by the people have the right to govern the people. No one can argue against this very simple logic.

National List MPs have included

  • M Abraham Sumanthiran (TNA)
  • Eran Wickremaratne (UNP)
  • Rajiva Wijesinghe (UPFA)
  • G L Pieris (UPFA)
  • Tissa Attanayake (UNP)
  • Joseph Michael Perera (UNP)
  • Harsha de Silva (UNP)
  • Anoma Gamage (UNP)
  • Hasan Ali (UNP)
  • DEW Gunasekera (UPFA)
  • Tissa Vitharne (UPFA)
  • A H M Azwer (UPFA)
  • Malini Fonseka (UPFA)
  • Anura Kumara Dissanayake (JVP)
  • John Amaratunga (UNP)
  • Rajitha Senaratne
  • Sarath Amunugama
  • Even Mervyn Silva was one time a national list nominee

The names are indicative of the power they yield without the people’s mandate this questions their right to pretend they are elected by the people and push their personal ideologies or those they are funded to promote through the legislative apparatus of Sri Lanka. Thus, what needs to be reiterated is that the present parliamentary system of governance came as a result of foreign occupation and colonial rule after which independence was given to locally cloned figures readily agreeable to continue the policies they left behind and betray the sovereign rights of the indigenous people.

What is often forgotten by local leaders is the fact that before arrival of the foreign occupiers the country was ruled by over 180 Sinhala Buddhist kings as well as South Indian rulers all of whom ruled the country following Sri Lanka’s ( then Known as ‘ Sinhale’ ) royalty chosen religion – Buddhism. The Dasa Raja Dhamma principles of compassionate governance was what these pre-colonial rulers all followed inclusive of King Elara (venerated by Tamils).

The foreign occupiers that landed realized that one factor came between their plan to conquer and possess the land– the Sinhalese Buddhists. The aims and objectives of all occupiers and invaders was to repress Buddhism, divide the Sinhalese and break up the sense of ownership right that defended their nation.

The British had no option but to not only recognize Buddhism as state religion and agree to continue its status even after the nation was ceded to the British after signing the Kandyan Convention in 1815 (Article 5). However, the British did their utmost to undermine the local people’s loyalty to Buddhism, through dividing locals and other means to distance people’s allegiance to Buddhism and their natural ability to defend the nation. Upon independence when the Constitutions were been drawn the place of Buddhism was kept through clauses ‘Buddhism the religion of the majority of the people, shall be inviolable and shall be given its rightful place, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster Buddhism, its rites, Ministers, and its places of worship while assuring to all religions the rights granted by basic Resolution 5 (4) – 1972 Constitution.

http://republicat40.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Buddhism-And-The-Constitution.pdf

If the Constitutions of Islamic and Christian countries can give pride of place to Islam and Christianity why cannot Buddhists do the same in a country that has been built on an unique Buddhist civilization ?

An article by Stephen B Young which appeared in the Bangkok Post on the dasa rajadhama is relevant to the current attempts to change 1/3 of Sri Lanka’s Constitution.

http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=52,12253,0,0,1,0#.VRwuPJg25kQ

‘designing a new constitution merely to stop self-serving and corrupt wrongs and excesses of arbitrary power is to look backward and not forward’ he says propagating a good constitution to be designed architecturally and not as an interior design. In so far as architecture is concerned Stephen Young’s recommendation is to take inspiration from the timeless principles of harmony.

In so far as inspiration of principles of harmony both Thailand and Sri Lanka need not go behind Western borrowed methods and remain under their perpetual tutelage of visiting envoys, experts and busy body’s. These tutors love to offer slogan names meant to deceive locals. Good governance slogan have taken the voters for a good ride of late.  Thus a time tested successful governance prevailed in Sri Lanka following the principles of Buddhism compassionate rule which treated humans and all other sentient beings with respect based on the Buddhist concept of reverence for all forms of life.

Therefore, using Buddhist principles in governance is nothing anyone can oppose. It is therefore important that the leaders of the nation must remain guided and influenced by the principles of Buddhism in keeping with the inviolable status afforded to Buddhism which cannot be kept on par with other religions. This is so because Buddhism does not treat others inequally, while the two Abrahamic religions only give place to their own religions first while funding programs to convert adherents of non-Abrahamic religions. Buddhists have no such sinister designs.

The Sinhala rulers held the country together upholding a moral and spiritual force and the society rapidly degraded following the arrival of colonial rulers that began introducing elements meant to divide and create conflict among the masses at different levels.

The President in keeping with the history and heritage of the country is bound to uphold the customs and traditions of our Buddhist Kings that ruled Sri Lanka for more than 2300 years.

Nevertheless, Article 33 of the proposed draft 19th amendment to the Constitution which deals with the duties, powers and functions of the President constitute nothing but a contrived and disguised attempt to stalemate the applicability of Article 9 which vests on the State a huge responsibility to give foremost place to Buddhism in line with a long standing historical tradition since the time of the arrival of Arahant Mahinda during the reign of King Devampiyatissa. and foster Buddhism.

Giving Buddhism foremost place in this Buddhist land is a basic feature of our Constitution. It is fundamental to its fabric. It cannot be taken away by the fiat of a ruler or even the Parliament. The soul of this country collapses the moment Buddhism is removed from its embrace. This is what foreign funded entities through their local stooges are attempting to do by hijacking legislative powers.

Representatives of 70% of the country i.e. Sinhala Buddhists, have nowhere else to go and accordingly it is they who have made the supreme sacrifice in defending the land against foreign invaders and even their local agents e.g. lascoreens, sepoys. Unlike the adherents of the Abrahamic religions and their places of worship which are funded from overseas, Buddhists have no such external sources of funds. Allegiance to religions foreign to Sri Lanka diminishes the allegiance of their adherents to the nation through subtle ways except a handful able to understand and make the informed choice of putting country first.

The present composition of a very questionable unelected government takes us to the status quo in Vietnam in 1950s and early 1960s wherein Ngo DInh Diem a Catholic was placed as leader by foreign hands and mass murder of Buddhists took place. Similarly, in South Korea despite majority remaining Buddhists all the high positions in government have been taken by the Christians through Western influence.

In the Cabinet of Ministers of former President of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak ( a Pastor ) who ruled South Korea from 2008 – 2013, twelve of his Cabinet Ministers out of 13, were Christians and only one was Buddhist.

The same has now happened in Sri Lanka as the composition of the current government clearly reveals. Moreover with the high numbers of national list MPs in control especially people aligned to Evangelical and Assembly of God movements it is their aim and objective to subtly destroy Buddhism, uproot its historical place and replace it with Christian influence while harvesting flocks of foot soldiers. The cunning methodology being adopted is to get Islam’s violent adherents to be outsourced the task of denying Buddhists their heritage and slowly chase them from historical religions sites/areas while Western Christian nations have ample time to use technology and weaponry when required.

Nomenclatures of secularism, multiculturalism, pluralism, peaceful coexistence, multi-faith are all bogus slogans currently in vogue to allow Abrahamic religions to dictate agenda with a view to driving away Buddhism and Hinduism from the public place, while Buddhists and Hindus are subtly indoctrinated to give up their traditional heritage areas/sites etc as goodwill gestures and reconciliation. Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka must accept the challenge of exposing the bogey of reconciliation promoted by the colonial west who have yet to tender an apology for their crimes during 500 years of colonial rule and adequate compensation for their destruction of the Buddhist heritage and Kandyan peasantry.

http://republicat40.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Buddhism-And-The-Constitution.pdf

Those that are picked under the National List have been people who are funded and are guided by foreign factors out to remove the place of Buddhism subtly. These dangers cannot be ignored any more. The religious and sacred sites of Buddhists are now being challenged, places that were wholly Buddhist are now claimed as ‘common multi – cultural ’ religious  sites without a whimper of protest from mainstream Buddhist monks and Buddhist lay organisations. Soon if not kept alert even the sacred Temple of the Tooth and Buddhist holy city of Anuradhapura may end up being declared multicultural sites.This is the bleak prospect facing the Buddhists of Sri Lanka.

The national list representatives have not lived up to what the voters expect of them. If they are aiming to change the fabric of the nation and replace it with what suits foreign agendas it is time the voters demanded that the national list be abolished in toto.

The fundamental exercise of voting and electing leaders is breached in allowing a set of people to creep in through the back door via the national list for which the general mass of people have no say at all in their election. This makes a travesty of the universal franchise of the voters of Sri Lanka.

Any reform of the Constitution must include a review of the feasibility of maintaining the National List given the abuses that have taken place in the not too distant past. One candidate who was rejected by the people at the General Election i.e. Mervyn Silva, was allowed entry into the Parliament through the National list by the fiat of the then President.

It is time that we discard this undemocratic feature from the system of  Parliamentary representation.

Shenali D Waduge

8 Responses to “Scrap the National List – Huge Fraud on the Sri Lankan Electorate”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    AGREE.

    Only useless politicians come to parliament through the national list. SCRAP IT.

  2. Christie Says:

    Namaste: I hate when people write about the Sinhala Buddhists, what about the Sinhala Muslims and Sinhala Christians. They are also victims of Indian Imperialism and Colonialism. If we have to have any Electoral reforms we should go back to what we had before 1977. Jai Hind

  3. Independent Says:

    “The religious and sacred sites of Buddhists are now being challenged, places that were wholly Buddhist are now claimed as ‘common multi – cultural ’ religious sites without a whimper of protest from mainstream Buddhist monks and Buddhist lay organisations.” – Shenali Waduge

    This is the truth. Behind this truth is the true fact that a large percentage of these sites have been captured during the time of previous president, mostly after defeating LTTE. People have forgotten that or conveniently forget and still promote the culprits.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    what about Sinhala Saivar ???

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    19 amendment will be DEFEATED.

    That will be a HUGE BLOW to the UNP.

    Sirisena should stop behaving like Sirisangabo.

    Did you notice how My3 whacked the UNP?

    1. UNP wanted to halt the port city project. My3 restarted it.
    2. UNP wanted to have a special relationship ONLY with Endia. My3 added China and Pakistan to it.
    3. UNP wants Run-nil to remain PM but My3 has plans to make CBK the PM.
    4. UNP wanted to stop ministries to SLFP but My3 gave them ministries.

    My3 and UNP are at loggerheads!!!

    UNP will try to kill My3 and become president IF 19 amendment FAILS.

  6. AnuD Says:

    Govt can achieve the same needs without the national lists too.

    It appears they want to increase MP seats 250 because of the simple reason that UNP does not become the govt even without their big vote bank they get every time.

    As they are not abolishing the provincial councils they should reduce the duplication of services by politicians. Now,there are state ministers, deputy ministers, cabinet ministers and provincial ministers. It is simply Arndi hathdenage kandaheliya.

    Even one of the members of the 19th amendment drafting committee is Sumanthiran. I don’t think they will write anything supporting sinhala People.

  7. AnuD Says:

    cut down the number of parliamentary seats to a very low number and hand over the selelcting national list MPs completely to president and not to the parties.

  8. AnuD Says:

    What are the specific expertise of these national List MPs ?

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