Thursday 20 December 2018

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
20 December 2018

How the Sri Lankan National (Ethnic) Problem Resolved Itself

I have learnt through my own deepest experiences that nothing that we do with belief is wasted. Many leaders including Tamil Politicians are looking to leaders of majority race to solve the National Problem. But today I realised that it solved itself and through Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s greed.
It has been reported by the Daily Financial Times that Mr Sampanthan – the Tamil leader of the Opposition ‘was adamant that appointing a member of the United People›s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as the Opposition Leader while its leader Maithripala Sirisena is the Executive, Head of Government, and Head of Cabinet, is incompatible, and such matters must be sorted out through a Parliament Select Committee.’

As per my belief – UPFA, like the UN is an umbrella and does not have sovereignty on its own. It is a coalition of sovereign parties. Likewise TNA. The way a voter is considered Sovereign – it is the political party that is Sovereign. Hence in this instance only SLFP cannot be in Government as well as Opposition. If say EPDP leaves UPFA, Mr Devananda is eligible for the position of Leader of Opposition provided EPDP has the second highest seats and EPDP is not part of the government.

It’s the same principle as dual citizenship. Our then  Deputy Prime Minister Mr Barnaby Joyce and eight others were declared to be ineligible to be in Parliament due to Dual Citizenship. In the case of Mr Joyce BBC reported as follows:

[The seven-judge bench deliberated for two weeks before ruling that five politicians were ineligible as a "subject or citizen of a foreign power", under to the constitution's section 44(i).]

As per this section:
[Any person who -
(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power:
shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.]

But Mr Joyce came back to parliament after stepping down, renouncing his New Zealand  citizenship and then successfully winning the seat in a by-election.  
Therefore those members of SLFP who joined the SLPP without waiting for the Supreme Court ruling  have the option of coming back in, through by-elections. This includes Mr Mahinda Rajapksa who seemed to passionately want elections.

To me this is truly secondary to the major discovery that so far as TNA gets 3rd highest numbers in Parliament and the President is of the same party as the one that achieves second  highest numbers – TNA leader would always be the Leader of the Opposition under the current constitution! When I realised this when discussing with my husband, I said eureka !

If the Prime Minister was also from SLFP – then UNP leader becomes the Leader of the Opposition. But where the Prime Minister and the President are of different  Political Parties  (NOT Alliances) no one from the party of the President could hold the position of Leader of Opposition even though they have the second highest number of seats.

So what do we Tamils work for? If the President is from UNP – then influence Tamils in electorates  where they are in minority must vote for SLFP – so TNA becomes Leader of Opposition. If the President is from SLFP – then those Tamils must be encouraged to vote for UNP. In the meantime, TNA needs to strongly oppose any changes to these relevant Articles of the Constitution:
[30. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
42. (1) There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers charged with the direction and control of the Government of the Republic. (2) The Cabinet of Ministers shall be collectively responsible and answerable to Parliament. (3) The President shall be a member of the Cabinet of Ministers and shall be the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers.]

As Mr Sampanthan highlighted in his own way –  these Executive powers protect the Sovereignty of the Parliament. The expressions of those Executive powers have to be based on particular belief. The form of that belief differs from one independent party to another – as in religions. Hence the natural expulsion. All other parties including those in an alliance are 'foreign parties' to the party concerned - just as UK is foreign to Australia for the purpose of Dual Citizenship section 44 (1) of the Australian Constitution.

True belief never fails.  

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