By Jayashika Padmasiri
The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday presented four principles around which the new electoral system should be based and charged that whoever was against implementing the 20th Amendment was a traitor to the country.
JHU Provincial Councillor Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe addressing a press conference pointed out that if anybody was calling for Parliament to be dissolved, then that person was the real enemy of the country and they were trying to sabotage the implementation of 20A.
“The four principles are that the new electoral system should be based on cancelling the preferential voting system, appointing a representative for each electorate, being fair to minority communities and political parties, and when conducting delimitation there shouldn’t be a division amongst ethnicities. It is sad that the people who so energetically worked towards getting the 19th Amendment implemented are not interested in ensuring that 20A is implemented. For example, Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera, civil organisations and the Puravasi Balaya, why are they silent today regarding 20A?” Warnasinghe questioned.
Commenting further, he accused political parties such as the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) of deliberately working against 20A and against the implementation of a new electoral system as it would be disadvantageous to their parties.
“It is pretty clear to us that the SLMC is trying to sabotage the implementation of 20 A. Perhaps the United National Party (UNP) could be behind it and is backing them, he charged, adding that even the radical revolutionary parties were not supporting these constitutional and political changes.
“We request the President not to dissolve Parliament and to pass 20A and implement it, so that the next general election could be held under a new electoral system. 19A will only become complete if 20A is implemented. Politically the country could become unstable if 20A is not implemented,” he said.
The JHU also said that if that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) or any other party tried to hold celebrations in the north on 19 May by hiding behind a façade of humanity while celebrating the LTTE, the party could not support it, adding that such people should be dealt with by the law.
“It is fine to commemorate by the dead lighting lamps on this day, but not to commemorate the LTTE. They should also light lamps for the Army, because it is the Army that saved them,” he added.
Ranawaka says electoral reforms will be finalised on Wednesday
By Chamodi Gunawardana
Newly-appointed Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Electoral Reforms yesterday revealed that they would finalise the reforms on next Wednesday after analysing them.
Committee member and Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka told the Daily FT that the Committee on Electoral Reforms is still analysing all the proposals handed over to them by major and minority parties to draft the 20th Amendment.
“We held our first committee meeting on Thursday and discussed all proposals given by various parties. However, we want to find out the best proposals on electoral reform for the 20A,” Ranawaka said.
Commenting further, he stated that they would meet President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on next Monday to discuss more about these reforms.
“We will seek advice and ideas from President Sirisena and Prime Minister to draft the reforms and we have also informed all parties to hand over their proposals soon as possible. However, we will not take a long time to draft the 20A and it will be presented in parliament soon,” Ranawaka explained.
JHU opposes Ranil’s decision to seek Commonwealth counsel
The JHU yesterday expressed its displeasure over Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s intention of seeking advice from the Commonwealth regarding former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s interim order, while charging that the PM was undermining the legal system of Sri Lanka.
JHU politician Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe addressing a press conference yesterday said that if Wickremesinghe were to go to the Commonwealth regarding Rajapaksa’s issue, Wickremesinghe would be challenging the Supreme Court (SC) decision.
“If Wickremesinghe goes to the Commonwealth, he will be giving the impression that he does not agree with the SC decision, which would undermine our legal system. He will be questioning the independence and sovereignty of the Sri Lankan judicial system. If there is something wrong with the SC judgment, then PM should discuss it within the country and solve it by bringing a motion, for example, instead of going to the Commonwealth. Therefore, we are against that move,” Warnasinghe said.