Posted on June 2nd, 2014

Niranjan de Silva Deva Aditya

Sri Lankan born Niranjan de Silva Deva Aditya has made history again by going against the trend and increasing his share of the vote in the European Parliament election held last Sunday through out Europe when the 500 million people of the European Union went to the polls to elect Members to the European Parliament.


Hailing from an old political family in Sri Lanka where his maternal Grandfather was UNP Senator Dr M G Perera of the 1948 independence Senate and paternally descended from Thakura the slayer of Mitta who put his nephew Bhuvenika Bahu the VI on the throne of Yahppauwa in 1236 as described in the Mahavanse and later Chevalier Jusey de Silva, Sir Charles de Soysa and David de Silva of Henley House Cinnamon Gardens, de Silva Deva Aditya who himself was made a Chevalier by the Pope in 2012 and Sri Lankan Abimani by the Buddhist clergy in 2009, first made political history when he became the first non white to be elected as a Conservative MP to the post war British House of Commons in 1992 representing the 72,000 people of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth.

He made history again by being the first non white Asian and Sri Lankan born member to be appointed to the government of then Prime Minister John Major as PPS to the Scottish Office. Astonishingly 5 years previously he had already made history by being appointed the first non white Deputy Lieutenant for Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenancy for Greater London, representing Her Majesty The Queen on public occasions.

In 1999 he secured his first election victory to the European Parliament becoming the first Asian born person to be elected to that body which makes laws for the 500 million people of the European Union now composed of 28 Member States; and which represents the Federal Parliament of the European Union. He was then elected by  the 8 million people of the South East Region of England which includes Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Sussex. This region, usually called the Home Counties is the richest part of England and of the European Union.

He repeated his electoral success again by being re-elected in 2004 and then again in 2009 and stood for the Presidency of the European Parliament in 2012 where he came second beating the Liberal Party candidate into third place.

Last Sunday he was re-elected  again for the fourth consecutive time  with an increased share of the vote of 724,560 votes and being placed no 2 on the list while his Party in other regions of the country suffered a massive defeat at the hands of the newly formed United Kingdom Independent Party which came first with the Conservative Party nationally trailing third behind the Labour Party which came second.

The sudden rise of UKIP with the Labour Party coming second has caused a crisis in the Conservative Party led by David Cameron. This new Party which secured 23 MEPs to the European Parliament wiped out the Liberal Party which returned only 1 MEP, down from 13 in the previous Parliament  and reduced the Conservative Party representation from 28 MEPs to 18 MEPs, thus reducing its influence in the 730 Member European Parliament.

The reason for UKIPs popularity is self evident. They campaigned on the argument that the European Parliament was now too powerful, that with over 75% of the legislation that effects a British person now being made in Brussels by the European Parliament and Council, it was time to leave the EU altogether and return all the powers back to the |British Parliament in London, which has in recent years become a toothless tiger doing only 25% of the legislation and in most cases relating only to Health Education Media Sports Arts and the UK Budget, with all other legislative powers dealing with Trade, Internal Markets, Consumer Affairs, Foreign Policy, Environment, Agriculture, Fisheries, being done in the European Parliament and Council.

The argument was cogently made that even on immigration, the UK Parliament had no power to control who could come and live in Britain because EU laws nullified British laws. UKIP argued that even in the United States, the Federal Parliament of the US Congress and Senate in Washington had less power over a US State such as California, and in India, the Union Parliament in Delhi had less power over an Indian State such as Tamil Nadu than the European Parliament now has over the United Kingdom.

This sudden realisation that Britain was no longer a self governing country but an appendage of a larger Union of 28 States resonated with millions of British people who deserted their life long adherences to the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Parties because these parties had misled the public and voted for the UK Independence Party echoing Sri Lankan politics of the 1930’s when Sri Lankan political Parties were agitating for independence from colonial  rule from Britain.

Today a similar mood prevails in the UK and throughout Europe, where in France, Greece, Denmark the people of these Member States have voted in large numbers to leave the EU and to diminish the centralised power and control coming from the EU capital Brussels.  In this context Niranjan Deva Aditya takes up his new mandate at a time of the greatest turbulence in the 60 year old European Union’s history; and where some commentators’ are predicting that with David Cameron now promising the British people an “IN” or “OUT” Referendum in 2017 this European Parliament in which Niranjan Deva Aditya now sits with his remaining British colleagues may be the last Parliament of the EU where the UK is represented.

Having being elected first to the British Parliament and then four times to the European Parliament Niranjan who has served the British people as their elected representative for over 25 years and has faithfully protected Sri Lanka’s national interest irrespective of local Party politics during that time,  can be called one of the greatest Parliamentarians in modern history.   He has a very interesting story to tell; spanning a career where he worked with Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and now David Cameron in the UK and Presidents Jayewardene, Premadasa, Wijetunga Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and HE President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka and other European and world leaders.

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