Towards a Government without Political Parties; Key to a new home grown political culture in Sri Lanka Part 111
Posted on August 1st, 2018

Dr Sudath Gunasekara

(continued from 30.July 2018    )

Election of Members to Jatika Rajya Sabha, Rata Sabhas, Disa Sabhas, Upa Disa Sabha, Grama Sabhas. (The present Palath Sabha and Pradesiya Sabha system will be scrapped with this reorganization)

This will be done on an electoral basis as decided by the Election Commissioner General who will also function as the Chairman of the National Election Commission.

Qualifications to be a politician

The selection as well as election of persons under this system will depend solely on the overall qualities of candidates such as education, character and proven capacity for social service, ability and commitment to serve the people.

Selection and Election of Members to the Jatika Rajya Sabha and other Sabhas

Candidates at different levels shall be first selected by the respective Councils on public consensus by Nomination by voters or by application, from among qualified and distinguished persons permanently resident within such electorates. (They also can hold a primary election to selectees). They will be elected on a non-party basis as there will be no parties in this system, on the first past post basis on and electoral basis thereafter. The simple criterion for in details)

Since Elections to JRS, UMM and Rata Sabha are conducted at District level for the purpose of electing them, the District Council will submit two separate lists

One list for the 3 names for each electorate, for the JRS and Rata Sabhas candidates from among  whom the voters of the respective electorate will elect two for the JRS and the other for the Rata Sabha.

The other list of 3 names for the UMM for the whole Disava so that voters will have a wider choice.

Only persons with permanent residence within the electorate/District as the case shall be qualified to be nominated for any given electorate.

In the case of the UMM list the one who gets the highest number of votes get elected

At the conclusion of the Election the Commissioner of Election will announce the list of Jatika Rajya Sabha, UMM and Rata Sabha Members accordingly.

The timing of elections should be logically arranged in a sequential manner to ensure there is no disruption of public life in the country and smooth governance is maintained

Peripheral Government

Grama Sabha

At this level there will be two Sabhas one of elected members and the other of Officials.

The first called the Grama Sabha will function as an Administrative and executive body at Gramaseva level public officials. They will be in charge of the Execution of Central Government policies and coordination of village level departmental activities. The Gampathi will preside over this meeting The Chairman of the Gamsabha will also be an ex-officio member of the Grama Sabha

The elected body will be formed and function on the old Gamsabha model. Village level development activities like roads, water supply and public amenities deciding on petty disputes at village level under the M/Justice. The present Sama Mandala can continue as they are or merged with tis Sabha syste.

.*Referring to Sinhalese Village Council system even J. F. Dixon, one of the most renowned British Civil Servants, GA of CP in his Annual Administrative Report of 1872 has described the Village Council system that was there before 1815 in this country as ‘a remarkable system of self-government which under native rule was so strikingly developed in the Village Communities of the East’ He said so after reintroducing the system in the Central Province, they abolished in the wake of 1818 Independent Struggle.

At the Korale level also we can have the old type of Gamsabha and the Chairmen of these Sabhas should be made ex-officio members of the Upadisa Sabhas

I strongly recommend we should revive and re-establish this system at the grass root level as early as possible as a mechanism to effectively deal with village level problems. (Setting up of people’s committees consisting of 5 village elders including the village monk, GS, village School master and three other elders is suggested to deal with petty village disputes to promote harmony and  peace at each village level. I have experimented this system very successfully in 1966-1971 at Uda Dumbara when I was DRO and it proved a wonderful success in solving village level problems with no cost to poor villagers and also saving their time and money, to engage in their day to day work without resorting to cumbersome litigations)

2 Upa Disa Sabbha  – Divisional Secretary’s level (Administrative & Executive body )

3 Disa Sabha  –          District Level (Administrative & Executive body )

4 Rata Sabha              Regional level (an elected body)

5 Jatika Rajya Sabha  (JRS) National level ( elected body)

Nagara Sabha (Town Councils) and Mahanagara Sabha  (Municipal Councils) as local Government for urban centers.

The present system of TCC (Nagara Sabha) and MCC (Mahanagara Sabha)  will continue with suitable representations in the District and Rata Sabhas.

Election of Members of Disa Sabha (District Councils), Upadisa Sabha (Divisional Councils) Grama Sabha  to be conducted as follows.

We start here with the Grama Sabha

Grama Sabha at GS Divisions Level

There will be a Gam Sabha for each GS Division consisting all above 18 years in the village who are qualified for membership and it will function as a voluntary association of the village like a Grama Sanwardhana Samitiya. A Gam sabha   will have an elected Council of 15 members elected by the residents of the Gramaseva Division. An elected Member will function as Chairman and the Gam Sabha and the Grama Niladhari as the Secretary

The Gam Sabha will be elected for a period of five years by the voters of the Grama Seva Division at a Gam Sabha meeting summoned and presided over by the GS. At this meeting members will elect their Office bearers. The Village Monk, the Grama Seva Niladhari and the Village School Master will function in an advisory capacity.

The outgoing Grama Sabha at its last meeting at the expiry of its term of office   should select the list of candidates for the next council and submit to the Gam Sabha for the next election by general consensus.

At the conclusion of the election the Council at its first meeting presided over by the GS   they will elect the Chairmen of Committees and then elect one of them as the President/ Chairman of the Sabha.

The GS system has to be fully reorganized and re-structured   (including the scheme of recruitment, educational qualifications and salaries etc) to meet the demands of this new situation

The Chairman of the Gam Sabha will represent the Gam Sabah at the  Upa Disa Sabha

Upa Disa Sabha

Upa Disa Sabha will consist of all Chairmen of VCC and divisional Heads  of all government departments The Divisional Secretary will preside over the these committees.  The Chairman will represent it at the District council

Disa Sabham

Disa Level/District level. The main functions of the Disa Sabha will be execution, coordination and supervision of Govt work at the District level. If necessary you can have subcommittees at this level. Head of the public Service at that level that is the District will preside over these meetings and the Divisional Secretaries at Upa Disa Sabhas will preside.

 

 

 

Rata Sabhas

The Chairmen of the nine (9) Disa Sabhas in each Disava (District) will also represent their Districts at the Rata ex-officio, in addition to the 40, elected at the General election. In addition to this the representatives of the Mahanagara and Nagara Sabha will also represent their Sabhas in the respective Rata Sabhas

This scheme is expected to drastically reduce the number of parasitic politicians, excess public servants and enormous public expenditure and improve coordination and efficiency of delivery of services to people. The Government Officials like the Disapathi, Upa Disapathi and Gampathi will represent the interest of the Central Government and the elected will represent the people’s interest at these respective levels. Both will work together to deliver the services to the people but at the same time each will   act as a device of check and balance on the other to ensure the best service to the people.

(Details of powers and functions of each of these Sabhas, their officials, inter Sabha relations etc have to be worked out in detail as the above is only an outline of the proposal)

(I request you to read this along with my note on the Sinhalaye Avadi Sabha Concept)

Elections to all Positions at all levels except for the post of President of the Republic shall be conducted as follows according to a fixed time schedule to avoid overlapping and smooth operation of the Sabhas.

Day one

Gam Sabha, TCC and MCC

Day Two

Upadisa Sabha within one week after the day one

Day Three

Disa Sabha, within one week after the day Two

The election process described here will have no opposing propaganda meetings, no posters and cut outs or banners, no murders, no public demonstrations, no wastage of time, no disruption of public Services or any other Service and the cost will also  be minimum, perhaps the country want even feel that there is an election. However after selection the selected candidates can have a maximum of 3 joint meetings to enable the electors to have the best choice. There will also be no soliciting, back biting, bribing and infighting and above all politics in this country will, once and for all, cease to be a plundering business and get transformed in to a sacred mission  of service to man, I hope.

Finally, I appeal you all Patriotic people to go back to the following traditional Geopolitical system to achieve our targets of building a stable, strong, peaceful and prosperous country.

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