Towards a Government without Political Parties; Key to a new home grown political culture in Sri Lanka Part 11
Posted on July 29th, 2018

Dr Sudath Gunasekara  (SLAS Class 1) Retired Permanent  Secretary to Prime  Minister Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike

(Continued from 29.7.2018)

 Proposed model of Government

1 A Permanent Supreme National State Advisory Council (Uttariitara Jatika Rajya Anusasaka Mand as follows.

1The Mahanayaka Theros of Malwatta, Asgiriya, Amarapura and Ramanna Nikaya            4

Nayaka Thera of Kotte, Ruhunu, Rangiri, Dambulu, Uva Wanavasi Sects                             4

11Two eminent scholarly monks nominated by the 7 Mahanayaka Theras                           2

111 The three Religious leaders of Catholic, Hindu and Islam                                                  3

1V President Uttara Mantrana Sabha                                                                                           1

V Speaker Jatika Rajya Sabha                                                                                                         1

V1 Attorney General                                                                                                                       1

V11 Head of the Public Service (Secretary to the Treasury)*                                                   1

Total                                                                17

Except those under 11 all others will be ex-officio.

This Council will restore the traditional power of the Sangha in the Sri Lankan State.

*(The Secretary to the Treasury like in the Civil Service days should be the most senior and competent Public Servant from the Sri Lanka State Administrative Service. SLSAS should also be fully upgraded and reorganized to the level of the Premier Public Service and the steel frame of the machinery of the State)

The S N A C will be a non-political Supreme National Advisory Council that stands above all state institutions and individuals in the country by tradition and convention in time to come. It is an independent National Institution set up by Law/convention primarily to advise the State and to protect and safeguard national interest of the country and welfare of its people. It is expected that this Council will act as the guardian god to protect this country and the nation and the wellbeing of its subjects. This Council is to be formally appointed by the Head of the State, the Lakisuru/President of the Republic. The need for such a nonpolitical Supreme Council is stressed in the light of discriminations made by all politicians against the Sinhala nation since 1948 by going after minority votes. This type of mechanism is the need of the day as we have learnt enough lessons for the past 70 years by leaving everything in the hands of the politicians. All politicians right from the President downwards to the village council level should be stripped off of their excessive powers and make them true servants of the people

The functions of this council are enumerated under sec 5 in the Siya Panatha (see part 11 of the Mahanuwara Charter 2018.

Permanent National Planning Council ( Nitya Jatika Salesum Mandalayak)

It is also proposed that we also set up a Permanent National Planning Council consisting of 10 or 15 eminent persons in fields like Economics, Management, Administration, Finance, Agriculture, Environment, Industries, Medicine, Engineering, Technology, Education, Trade and Commerce, History and Culture of this country etc, to prepare the overall National Plan so that politicians will have only to implement national policies after they get elected. This Council will operate directly under the Head of the State.

Every plan prepared by this Council has to be formally approved by the legislature and the President of the Republic in consultation with the Supreme National Advisory Council

Structure of the State

1 A Strong Central Government   with an Executive President (to be called Lakisuru/Janapathi)

1 The President shall be elected by all the people in the country

The President of the Republic of Sinhale shall be elected by all the people. He will be the Head of the State, the Government and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces

The Selection and election of the President

It is proposed that THREE names of outstanding personalities be nominated as candidates by the Supreme National Advisory council to the Election Commission so that people also could have a wide choice. Selection could be made on public nomination or application by a candidate

After nomination is made and the approval of the Supreme Advisory Council, the Election Commission will arrange for three Public debates for the candidates over the TV to enable the people to select the best person. The aggregate of all votes received by a candidate should exceed 50 percent of the valid votes poled for him to be declared elected as the President. If no one gets 50 % then the third will be eliminated   and        a              second election be held to elect the President.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Persons nominated for the post of President should be of unblemished character, over 40 years of age and who have rendered a distinguished service to the country in any field like Law, Politics, Administration, Academia, Science, Finance, Agriculture, Technology and Industry, Trade and Commerce  and Culture or any other professional field. He should be a proven National Figure acceptable to all at Home.

Only a Sinhalese Buddhist shall be nominated for this position. That was the inalienable tradition that has come down the ages. The Election will be conducted by the Election Commission and upon election the Lakisuru shall take a public oath at the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Senkadagala Nuwara in front of the Supreme National Advisory Council affirming that he will protect the country and its people and the Sambuddha Sasana as it was done in the past and promises to make the country a peaceful, prosperous and righteous land for the good of all he subjects of this Republic.

His term of office shall be 5 years. He should not run for office for more than two consecutive terms unless the whole country wants him back.

The President will not hold any portfolio but he will preside over the Amatya Mandalaya (Cabinet)

Prime Minister ( Agramatya)

An Electoral College consisting of the 18 Chairmen of the 18 Executive Committees as stated below will elect the most suitable person among them as the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister should be appointed from the Pahala Mantrana Sabhava.  He shall be formally appointed as the Prime Minister by the President of the Republic thereafter, with the concurrence of the Supreme National Advisory Council. The Prime Minister shall be in charge of the subjects of National Security, External Affairs, National Planning, Plan implementation and Buddha Sasana

The Jatika Rajya Sabha (JRS)

(Jatika Rajya Sabha (Parliament) shall consists of The President, Pahala Mantrana Sabha (PMS) and  Uttara Mantrana Sabha (UMS)

Rajya Sabha consisting of the two Houses shall be the supreme Legislative body in the country. Its legislative power is in-alienable.

The Pahala Mantraan Sabhava (PMS)

It will have 152 Members (140 elected to represent the 28 Districts at 5 Members per District and another 12 nominated to represent unrepresented sections of the society Eg, professionals and underprivileged sections  of the Society. The 28 Districts are to be set up under the Tun Rata Sabha system as given below.

The 12 nominated members will be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister with the concurrence of the Supreme National Advisory Council.

The Jatika Rajya Sabha will get the Jatika Rajya Sabha Nayaka and Niyogya nayaka (Speaker or Chairman and the Deputy Speaker /Niyogya sabhapathi) elected at its first meeting

When two members get elected as the Speaker and Deputy the balance 150 will form in to 15 Executive Committees. Each Committee will then elect one member as its Chairman and another as Deputy Chairman.

Where a Committee is unable to elect its Chairman and the vice Chairman the President, in consultation with the Speaker of the House will nominate Members from among the members of the Committees to be Chairman and his Deputy.

Uttara Mantarana Sabha,UMS (Senate)

There shall be a Senate of 36 members; 28 elected representing the 28 districts, and 8 nominated to represent eminent persons who have rendered a distinguished service to the nation in different fields such as Politics, Administration, Finance, Science, Education, Arts and Literature, Business & Commerce and Agriculture or any other field. Ethnicity and defeated candidates at elections should never be considered for these appointments. UMS will also have 3 Executive committees a with 3 Chairmen elected by them.

The 28 Senators shall be elected by each District at the General Election conducted for the election of Rajya Sabha and Rata Sabha Members by introducing a separate ballet paper giving three names for each District to be elected as Senators for the people to have a wider choice

The nomination for the Senate should be for the whole District and not for an electorate as in the case of a JRS or Rata Sabha (RS) Member. The one who gets the highest number of votes will be declared the Senator for that District as there is only one place for a District in the senate. If he resigns or dies the second candidate will succeed as the UMSember

Qualifications for one to be nominated and the process of selection and election will be the same as for a Member of the Jatika Rajya Sabha or Rata Sabha, the only exception is that they should be men and women of higher attainments than the others and shall be over 35 years of age.

At the first meeting of the new Jatika Rajya Sabha it will elect the Sabhanayaka (Speaker), the Deputy, the Committees and the Chairmen of Committees after the conclusion of the General Election. Thereafter the Members of the Rajya Sabha will form in to the 15 Executive Committees and each Committee will elect its Chairman.

The UMS will also elect the Chairmen of the UMS and set up the Committees and elect their Chairmen  at its first meeting

The President will then formally appoint the Chairmen of Executive Committees of the Jatika Raj Sabha and the UMM as Ministers.  The Committee Chairmen will thereafter elect one from among them as the Prime Minister.  The President then will formally appoint the Prime Minister and other Committee Chairmen as Ministers. Three Ministers including the Minister of Justice should be from the UMS.  No Minister or Deputy shall be removed by the President unless that Committee makes a request in writing from the President for reasons such as misconduct, insolvency, failure to perform his duties due to illness, misbehavior, breach of trust or finding guilty by a court of law etc.

This will remove the arbitrary powers of the President in appointing and removing Ministers and Deputies at his will to suit his private agenda like a despot, as it is done today and make the process more democratic and also allow the Ministers to work independently as representatives of the people, answerable to them instead of the President. Under the present system not only the Ministers and Deputies but all MPP and even the organizers have become virtual hostages in the hands of the President or Party Leader. So much so it has boiled down to a one man show- a virtual dictatorship. The proposed arrangement is expected to restore democracy and Yahapalanaya in its true sense once again in this country unlike today.

Terms of office of Jatika Rajya Sabha shall be 5 years starting on 15th of May immediately following the General Election that should be conducted in the first week of May.

The Amatya Mandalaya (Cabinet)

There shall be an Amatya Mandalaya of 19 (18 Ministers and the President of the Republic), 15 from the JRS and 3 from the Uttara Mantri Mandalaya. The UMM will also have three Executive Committees with three chairmen who will be appointed as Ministers. All the Chairmen of the Committees will function as the Cabinet presided over by the President but the President shall not hold any Ministry. Of the 18 Ministers three shall be selected from the Uttara Mantri Mandalaya and one of them shall be the Minister of Justice. The 15 Committees will be named on a functional basis like Agriculture, Industries, Finance & Public Administration & Home Affairs, Justice, Health and social Service, Education, Lands and Irrigation, Trade and commerce, Public Works, Cultural Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, Shipping and Aviation, Telecommunications, Information & Media etc. Only functionally related subjects should be allocated to each ministry.

Machinery of Governance

The present system of Government departments, corporations and statutory bodies will continue to function after scrapping all superficial and redundant ones to maintain economy of governance. Subjects like Law and order, National Security and defense, Foreign Affairs, External trade, Fiscal and Monetary policy, National Planning and all other National level policies like Agriculture, Industries, Health and EducationA covering the whole Island shall be handled by the Central Government.


Sovereignty of the people will rest with the people and it will be exercised by The President, Rajya Sabha and the Judiciary, and by the People at a referendum. The legislative powers of the Rajya Sabha shall be in-alienable

Government will execute its policies and Programmes at different levels through central government Departments, Disa Lekam Karyala (District Secretariats), Upadisapathi Karyala (Divisional Secretariats) and Gampati Karyala  and Rata Sabhas, Disa Sabhas, Upadisa Sabhas and Gam Sabha and Nagara Sabhas  at each level as people’s Councils dealing with Governance.

The Central government Officials at each level will function as the ex-officio Chairmen of the District and Divisional and Grama level Government institutions. For example the District Secretary of a District will be the Chairman of the Disa Sabha. Same principle will apply at Divisional level where the Divisional Secretary will preside over Upa Disa Sabha meetings, ending up with the Gampathi who will preside over the Gam Sabha at the village level. This of cause will be different from the elected Gamsabha where a elected Gamsabha member elected as Chairman will preside.

The Head of the District Secretariat should be named as District Secretary and Disapathi and he should be concurrently designated as Additional Secretary for all central Government Ministries. The term Government Agent should be removed from the vocabulary as they no longer perform their functions as an agent of a colonial Government. Similarly the designation of the GS should also be changed as Gampathi/Grama Lekam, so that there will be a meaningful and functional correlation between the three levels.

All these Government Institutions and Councils must be administered by professional Public Servants recruited through open competitive examinations where meritocracy shall be the hallmark.

When District and Divisional Sabhas are presided over by State officials as the agent of the central Government the quality as well as the efficiency of delivery of services and good governance will also increase as the decisions at these meeting will be more objective and not be politically biased, as it always happen when these meetings are presided over by politicians. This will also lead to better democracy. This arrangement will enhance the sovereignty of the people while at the same time strengthening independence and quality and efficiency of delivery of services by State officers at the same time.

(To be continued)

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