Questioning the Integrity of Nominees to the Constitutional Council
Posted on May 28th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

If some thought it was wrong to have one man with Executive Powers to rule Sri Lanka what is their opinion when many with dubious track records are to be given the mandate to decide for the country? The Constitutional Council is said to be empowered with appointing the members to the Independent Commissions – Chief Justice, Judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, Attorney General and other key appointments. The Executive President is elected by the People of Sri Lanka. While some of the MPs nominated are questioned the members currently nominated as civil society is being seriously questioned in view of their track record of not serving the interests of the country but the interests of their pay masters which conflicts with national interests in particular the sovereignty and integrity of the unitary nature of Sri Lanka.

The composition of the Constitutional Council includes 3 permanent positions

  1. The Speaker
  2. The Prime Minister
  3. The Opposition Leader

4 Ministers nominated from Parliament elected for a term. As per media reports of the current nominated lists we seriously have to question the integrity of these:

  1. Sambanthan:
  • Belongs to the TNA which was set up by the LTTE in 2001 immediately after 9/11 when US declared war on terror fearing LTTE may be targeted and the best option was to secure itself politically.
  • The links to TNA and banned pro-LTTE fronts remain uninvestigated
  • TNA leaders are on record for seeking self-determination & separatism as given in their election manifestos – TNA announced that the LTTE was the ‘sole Tamil National Entity’ in 2001.
  • They have been sponsored and regularly speak at pro-LTTE events abroad.
  • TNA Parliamentarians paying homage to dead LTTE suicide cadres – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/sri-lanka-accountability-investigate-ltte-tna-nexus#sthash.6uYislYR.dpuf
  • Their role in Parliament is questioned by the public who have been repeatedly requesting an impartial investigation to TNA members links to terrorism and in the absence of such no TNA leader should hold any position in decision making roles relevant to the country.

Wijedasa Rajapakse :

  • Present Justice Minister claims Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Buddhist Nation which has seriously affected a lot of Sinhalese who are very hurt in view of over 74% of the population being Sinhalese and from whom MPs emerge into power!
  • He was both MP & Bar Association President & appeared for the greatest corporate swindler because of whom over 20 people have committed suicide because their life savings was lost! It was a direct conflict of interest for him to be taking a salary from the public and appearing as legal counsel in private for a man who had swindled the public.
  • Stood silent as MP & Bar Association President when irregularities in the Law College exam led to an unusually high number of a minority group secured top spots in the exam and did not request an investigation which many believe was due to not wanting to upset his vote base! Such actions are conflict of interest and raises question about his integrity in functioning in a Council as important as the Constitutional Council which is tasked to appoint key positions that affects the entire country.

Being nominated into the category of the 3 civil society are:

Radhika Coomaraswamy:

  • Does she represent civil society to be suddenly nominated for the Constitutional Council given that she has been overseas working for her employer the UN and not serving the interest of Sri Lanka
  • Radhika Coomarswamy, Under-Secretary General for Children in Armed Conflict involved in scandal involving
  • Mismanaging finances of ICES – International Centre for Ethnic Affairs,
  • Playing politics with opposition by carrying on its Board Bradmon Weerakoon political advisor and Secretary to the head of the UNP, Ranil Wickremasinghe
  • Conflict of interest playing dual role as Under-Secretary General and Board Member of ICES after assuring the UN she had given up positions in Sri Lanka.
  • Behind the scene manipulations to use World Bank funds to set up an office in Sri Lanka with Gareth Evans. Both Radhika and Gareth were on the Advisory Board of the Global Centre to incorporate R2P (Responsibility to Protect) without the consent of the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration with which the ICES had a MOU
  • Re-instating Dr. Rama Mani, former Executive Director of ICES-C after she was dismissed for lack of transparency and accountability according to the Peace Secretariat

Reference:

A T Ariyaratne (now 81)

  • The Island editorial of 30 September 2004 titled Go to Jaffna, Mr. Ariyaratne” found fault with A T Ariyaratne for not going to Jaffna to tell LTTE to stop its carnage instead of staging protests for peace implying that the objectives of these demonstrations were to pull wool over the eyes of the public who opposed the ISGA. The editor bluntly asks Does the Sarvodaya leader Mr. A.T. Ariyaratne along with other peace activists want the government to commence negotiations with the LTTE on the terms demanded by the terrorists? This is in accordance with the call of many foreign NGOs and the ‘international community’.” (should such a man be included into the Constitutional Council?) http://www.island.lk/2004/09/30/editorial.html
  • Findings of the Fraud: The Public Commission’s Report on NGO Commission of Inquiry 1990
  • There had been a large amount of complaints against Sarvodaya’s conduct. The Commission requested A T Ariyaratne to appear in person to evidence which his lawyer objected and eventually evidence was given via affidavit. The reason for this is that he had obligations to the international organizations. Why was Sarvodaya shy to disclose its activities publicly?
  • The Commission investigations also revealed that other organizations working with Sarvodaya were though supposedly ‘independent’ were however linked – Sarvodaya had in fact mislead the Commission that these entities were ‘independent’.
  • The Commission also discovered the ‘enormous power’ wielded by his wife & children.
  • Sarvodaya also did not supply the Commission with documents requested – auditors statements, vehicles owned by Sarvodaya, list of duty free articles bought by Ariyaratne, land, buildings owned by Sarvodaya, final accounts of projects!
  • Examples of wrongdoings by Sarvodaya highlighted by the Commission included:
  • Sarvodaya Shramadana International’ registered in Netherlands as  Stichting Sarvodaya Shramadana International” under one Van der Werf de Wilde. This Sarvodaya International had received millions from various foreign organizations and individuals as well as from Sri Lanka. There was two-way traffic of money. Monies sent to Sarvodaya International had been diverted to Sarvodaya Sri Lanka, and monies sent to Sarvodaya Sri Lanka had been diverted to Sarvodaya International. This arrangement” the Commission noted had enabled Ariyaratne to divert foreign donations to this unit and operate it at his discretion”. Donation of Rs.3m from a Japanese organization for rehabilitation of families due to ethnic violence diverted for other purposes than what was intended but Ariyaratne had made a statement that ‘rehabilitation grant fully utilized’ which was not true.
  • The Commission had also requested Sarvodaya to provide details of purchases of land/buildings/houses in Sri Lanka what was stated in the questionnaire was only to the value of Rs.12m but audited balance sheets later examined gave value of Rs.65million.
  • The Commission also discovered discrepancies in the vehicles Sarvodaya owned as donations.
  • The Sarvodaya Press – Vishvalekha Press had discrepancies as well.
  • The Commission also noted that foreign donations received by Sarvodaya for rehabilitation work in the Northern and Eastern provinces had not been classified as to type of activities or projects
  • USAID funds to Sarvodaya by its Regional Auditors/Singapore revealed that Sarvodaya did not represent fairly the receipt and payments under grants with USAID/Sri Lanka.
  • Commission found 49 financial irregularities which included misappropriation of cash, shortage of cash, fraud, failure to account for loan recovery, failure to account for money, false debtors, improper payments, falsification of accounts, expenditure not supported y documents, unauthorized advances, shortage of goods sent for relief work, misappropriation of relief goods, unaccounted assets, unauthorized expenditure – all amounting to millions.
  • These are just a handful of the findings of the Commission, but reading this should Parliament select such a person to sit on the Constitutional Council to decide on important positions relevant for Sri Lanka?

For more details of the wrongdoings of NGOs and Sarvodaya please read Susantha Goonatilake : Recolonisation: Foreign Funded NGOs in Sri Lanka (2006 Sage).

Of the 3 permanent titles to the Constitutional Council, the present PM is also questioned.

Ranil Wickremasinghe:

  • The issue with Ranil Wickremasinghe that the general public faces is where his allegiance really lies – is it to maintain the unitary nature of Sri Lanka or to abide by the dictates of the West. This is clearly revealed in the Wikileaks cable of US Ambassador Ashley Wills dated May 29, 2003 states that Since coming to power in late 2001, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy closer to the U.S. Wickremesinghe’s pro-U.S. views have been long-standing and are in part a function of family connections.”
  • Much to the anger of the public he signed a cease fire agreement with the LTTE demarcating state territory to LTTE terrorists and gave open access to LTTE which facilitated LTTE’s ability to re-group and re-arm and prepare for another deadly onslaught.
  • Leanings to the West and corporatization of Sri Lanka is among the many fears the public has about Ranil and throughout the present 6 months as PM having ignored calls to investigate and remove a non-citizen from the position of the head of Central Bank to a host of other decision making blunders have all raised the people’s confidence in his leadership abilities – he has proved once again unfit to lead the nation by his own mismanagement.Many believing another chance after 2002 debacle would have made him learn from mistakes have now discovered nothing has changed.

Thus, these nominations are being challenged from the position of the need to select nominees who love this nation, values its history, desires to preserve that history and will ensure it is not divided/separated or given to foreign hands.

To have a Council made up of the above draws serious reservations of where the country will end up if these persons are selected and tasked to select people for key positions such as Chief Justice etc. If their ideology and leanings as per the foreign funds received makes them function in direct conflict to what the majority of the nation expect of them, the nation is heading for bigger trouble.

Therefore, only those that love this nation and believes in a unitary undivided nation should be selected as civil society and with elections round the corner the public should not vote for any politician that crosses over, who has criminal records, who are opportunists and will do anything for money for these are the people who have in the past led the country astray.

Shenali D Waduge

18 Responses to “Questioning the Integrity of Nominees to the Constitutional Council”

  1. Christie Says:

    The constitutional changes started with the quarter Indian.

  2. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    This is yahapalanaya in action
    The three accused who were charged with the killing of a mother and her daughter at Kotakethana in July 2012 were acquitted by Colombo High Court Judge Devika Livers De Tennakoon today. Judge Tennakoon released the three suspects Namal Chaminda Silva, Sisira Priyankara alias Mithila and Lokugam Hewage Nushara and acquitted them on all charges over the killing of U.D. Premawathie (63) and her daughter H.G. Pushpakumari (32) in Kotakethana. The Judge observed that the evidence of the first prosecution witness Siripala was hard to believe and the evidence of the police witness were also unbelievable. It was observed that the charges against the suspects were not proven beyond doubt and acquitted the accused from the case

    On the other hand, the opposition politicians who are been accused of misusing ministerial vehicles or for some trivial offenses are been kept in jail. The whole judiciary is now got corrupted beyond repair. Now with new constitutional council with some dubious characters in it this problem can get even worst. God Help Sri Lanka.

  3. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    President Maithripala Sirisena during a sudden visit to Jaffna yesterday assured that a special court would be established to hear the abduction, rape and killing of Sivaloganathan Vithiya, a student at Pungudutivu Maha Vidyalayam on May 13. Meanwhile in Sinhala area the three accused who were charged with the killing of a mother and her daughter at Kotakethana in July 2012 were acquitted by Colombo High Court Judge Devika Livers De Tennakoon today.

    This is Sirisena’s YAHAPALANAY

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Amazing how Sri Lanka Lawyers selectively doles out Justice !
    What goes on now in Lanka reminds us of a mix of the Spanish Inquisition plus Colonial type justice plus a Circus clown show.
    Don’t these attributes show the personalities of the top 3 Failed Trio ?

  5. cwije Says:

    ‘I Can’t Remember’ Radhika To Be In Constitutional Council?
    May 29, 2015 | Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,News,STORIES | Posted by: COLOMBO_TELEGRAPH
    Share

    There is consternation among certain sections of Colombo’s political circles over rumours that the former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (2006-2012) Radhika Coomaraswamy is to be appointed to the Constitutional Council of Sri Lanka.

    The Constitutional Council is a feature of the structure of governance produced by the recently enacted 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
    Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

    Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy

    Coomaraswamy stirred much controversy towards the end of her tenure as the Chairperson of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Council over an unpublished report on human rights violations that were widely condemned. The said report was commissioned during the time she sat on the Council. The report, put together by T. Suntheralingam, a retired judge, who acted as the Special Rapporteur of an inquiry into high profile violations including the killing of five students in Trincomalee in January 2006.

    That report was never made public by the Human Rights Commission or the then Government. It finally entered the public domain when Colombo Telegraph published it in January 2014.

    The controversy over the report stemmed from Coomaraswamy’s statements to Colombo Telegraph at the time the website published the report. She insisted in the first instance that the report had not been finalised. She said that neither she nor Dr Deepika Udagama (also a member of the Council) had seen a finalised report before they left the Council. She said “Neither she nor I can remember the contents and if it had been finalized we would surely have remembered.”

    However, after we published the story quoting an investigator who insisted that the report had been finalised PRIOR to Dr Coomaraswamy’s departure to the UN, she changed her position, Coomaraswamy was forced to acknowledge that she was aware that the report had been finalised and that she had even received it and ordered it to be published. She said however that she didn’t have the time to read the report.

    These circumstances indicate irresponsibility or incompetence or both on her part considering the enormity of the allegations and as importantly the seriousness of the findings. The report revealed the involvement of security forces in the said violations. Had the findings been published or been discussed it would have in the very least put pressure on the security forces to be more disciplined in the execution of operations against the LTTE, human rights activists who wish to remain anonymous say.

    Strangely, Sri Lanka’s articulate human rights advocates as well as INGOs which profess a keen interest in rights issues never thought fit to question Coomaraswamy over this glaring act of negligence. As strange is the fact that this lobby did not take up the report when Colombo Telegraph finally published it in January 2014, giving rise to the view that they would sideline an important discussion and with it sweep aside notions of justice, truth and retribution rather than cause embarrassment to Coomaraswamy.

    Incidentally Dr Coomaraswamy was appointed to the Human Rights Commission when Ranil Wickremesinghe became Prime Minister in 2001.

    Related posts;

  6. Jayantha Says:

    NeelaMahaYoda,

    The three accused who were charged with the killing of a mother and her daughter at Kotakethana in July 2012 were acquitted due to lack of evidence. So?

    JP / USA

  7. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    So,Jayantha bottom line is that we got a police which cannot give protection to the people from drug peddlers.

    The accusers were local drug peddlers and reason for murder supposed to be in revenge for being witness to a case in which these drug peddlers were involved. Now the whole police force is demoralised due to activities of drug peddlers linked to local politicians. Instead police is busy in arresting politicians

    Of course, situation in North is entirely different, Sirisena even has no hesitation in influencing the judiciary to establish special court to hear the abduction, rape and killing of Sivaloganathan Vithiya.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    That is not all. Other DRUGGIES like Dumb-inda Silva has been appointed SLFP organizer for somewhere near Kollonnawa.

    FAMOUS NIMAL LANZA has been appointed the SLFP organizer for WATTALA.

    This is a DRUG DEALERS’ govt.

    The EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATIVE, JUDICIAL, MEDIA branches of govt. are ALL corrupt and TRAITORS. Everything has to be OVERHAULED. Elections CANNOT do it.

    Who can we TRUST to do this overhaul?

    The RANAVIRUs who sacrificed their life and limb to save SL.

    When I brought this up about a year ago MOST people were against it. Now one by one they see the REALITY.

    Who the hell says DEMOCRACY can solve all MAJOR problems of SL? This is a system introduced by the COLONIAL BRITS to us. We had BETTER governance by kings before that.

    We need democracy in the long run but in the short run to OVERHAUL the system, we need a MILITARY TAKEOVER.

    Now who is with me?

  9. Charles Says:

    Sirisena appointed

  10. Charles Says:

    sirisena establishes special court to try the rapist in Jaffna, but Ranils FCID cannot investigate in to the Kotakethana murder. Ranils FCID investigates Basil Rajapakse, Mrs.Wimal Weerawansa etc. This is a shame Sirissena’s Jaffna act is not so much the case of the rape but assuring the Tamil Vote to set up his UNP Government.

    If this government of Ranil continues Sri Lanka will be sealed as a failed state. There is no democracy, or freedom. Justice, Executive, and Legislataure all in one is Ranil Wickramasinghe. A Wickramasinghe who has no confidence of the people. A Ranil Wicramasinghe rejected by the people 29 times. A Ranil Wicramasinghe who does not respect the Parliament. A Ranil Wickramasinghe obsessed with the idea of elimination of Rajapakses. A Ranil Wickramasinghe now Dictator with sirisena as a puppet.

  11. ranjit Says:

    The whole set up was planned and executed by Indian parasites and the western Mafia and if we do not stop these leeches,parasites from further destroying our Motherland then useless living in this country anymore.

    Sira was a traitor once and he will be same for another five years supporting UNP and the LTTE Diaspora to be in power. Sira is working as per the wishes of the western Mafia and the NO# 1 traitor to this land Ranil the pimp. He will not change his colors.S.L.F.P.er’s should not follow this traitor at all.MR must form a new party like Chandrika the witch did in the past and go for the election and win somehow to take this country forward. What ever we think or do not agree these Jarapalanaya Govt will do because they are pressured to do it by the western Govts and Indians. Their plan is to break the country and they can do it only thru MY3 and Ranil not with anyone. We have to force this Govt out soon if not there will be bloodshed again same like in 1983-2009. Be brave Sinhalese to save our Motherland and push these evil illegal Govt out.

  12. Dilrook Says:

    If these people get into the constitutional council it will seal the fate of the nation in a bad way. Sambanthan and Radhika are highly dangerous Tamil racists. They should not be in the council. Wijedasa, Ranil and Ariyarathna are well known Tamil appeasers who have displyed acute anti-Sinhala sentiments.

    These five vile elements will only come up with what is detrimental to the nation and natives in favour of Tamils. Jayampathy Wickramaratne is another who should be kept out of this. They are trying to reignite war by depriving natives their due share of political power.

    Treason laws are rarely used in the country due to Indian and US pressures. The danger is it makes them bolder.

  13. Sirih Says:

    Two words described all of these, “Foreign Stooges”

  14. Independent Says:

    1. Beetle Leaf is exactly all the excellences and honourable of the rightful government including honourable Duminda Silva and Mervyn Silva. I don’t know whether previous Kudu PM will be the PM again. Most likely. If they can kick out MS and with new Presidential elections MR will join in too.

    2. Elephant too is exactly the same.

    How will the people vote ? It will be very similar to previous elections. If there is a 10% shift Beetles will win, otherwise Elephant will win. Beetles will sing the same song. Elephant will be without the support of JHU and JVP but Ponseka will be with the Elephant.

    Under this circumstances I will predict there will be a hung parliament only 5% shift. MS will side UNP and JHU will eventually cross over to UNP and possibly with JVP seats Elephant will be ruling again.

    Alternative 2 is worse. Ma-Hinda contesting separately with few other old buddys. Elephant willthen rule without JVP or JHU. Then Elaam will be guaranteed.

    You decide.

    To me this is a lost case for Sinhala Buddhists either way. Elephant is useless, so are the Silvas & CO. Good for Lorenzo and Ben. Surely they will prefer alternative 2 because Ealaam is guaranteed.

  15. Kumari Says:

    What I cannot understand is My3 was elected president and Ranil hijacks the country on behalf of our enemies? Isn’t there any recourse to us?

    As Lorenzo suggested, the final outcome could be a Military takeover, but I am worried that even that could have dirty hands of the enemies of India (RAW), US and the west. See what happened in Egypt, when the peoples’ choice is not to the liking of Obama, new laws created to put Morsi and his supporters behind bars.

    I am getting very worried for our future.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    New illegal govt attitude seems to be :

    “To hell with you all and your Socialism and your religions. We are going for Capitalism, Fascism & a Fed State for
    Tamils ?”

    Do please correct me if I am wrong in this assumption.

  17. nilwala Says:

    Fran Diaz – you are absolutely right! What I too cannot understand is why our elected representatives are doing nothing except express weak protests at what is going on with the overt flouting of the Constitution ny the President no less, the illegal financial frauds and the disgraceful appeasement of enemies who for decades worked for separatism and covertly supported the war.

  18. Wickrama Says:

    A.T. ARIYARATNE ??

    So sad to see my favourite Chemistry teacher at Nalanda during 1960s gone completely BONKERS !!

    Perhaps the age-ing process has totally mucked up his brain !!

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