Monday 9 November 2020


Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

08 November  2020




Power of Invisible Vote

The voting system is known as the Universal Franchise. Any Sovereign Power is Universal. In religion this is recognized as Soul power. We often are indifferent to exercising this power. Often when we are denied our right to govern ourselves through this natural power we start looking for ways to show this power. Once we realise this power and live by it – we keep voting continuously. There is a continuous flow of Energy from us to the person or group we voted for and v.v.

When we try our best to work a system and fail and submit our work to the source of our belief, our contribution gets raised to the soul level. Then the value  

The 2020 American recorded a high level of voter participation which is reported to be 66.4% - 72.1% compared to 59.2% in 2016. This to my mind is because Americans have lost confidence in their own sovereignty as a nation. To my mind, the pandemic which is also driven by independent sovereign power is the major reason.

During this election period, Americans of Sri Lankan origin (mostly Tamils) also split into two and communicated through email. The mail originated in Australia. I stepped in due to the ugly language used in relation to this highest level activity. Towards the end there were requests from some to take them off the list. I responded as follows:

[Once you step out on to the public road you are driven by your environment. The common law and culture help you prevent accidents and other unpleasant experiences. If you fear that unpleasantness stay at home. The moment you came into public area in communication – you cannot control others’ behaviour. By avoiding the unpleasant you are also missing out on the experience which is always positive when you take it through your sovereign powers/truth. Snakes don’t harm you unless you harm them. Likewise public communications. ]

In the midst of this, I was directed by one of the participants to a report that related to Tamil People’s power. The report, headed ‘Tamil Diplomat Don’t make politics out of the release of Tamil Political Prisoners, says Wigneswaran, MP - Tamil Diplomat’ presents the following:

[Former Governor of NP and MP, Suren Ragavan had raised a question with the Minister of Justice as to what is the Government position regarding the Tamil Political Prisoners. Justice Wigneswaran had said so while commenting on the question of Suren Ragavan. I welcome the request of the former Governor of the North, Suren Ragavan. Suren Ragavan is a person who is maintaining close contacts with Rajapakse family. He is not a person elected by the people. But he has been seated in the Parliament.

What he is saying may be the request of the Government. There is a chance that the Government is of the view that they should release the Tamil Political Prisoners and win the hearts of the Tamil people, he had said.]

As per my knowledge, Dr Suren Raghavan entered Parliament through the National List of the SLPP – the ruling party. To me this is the Sri Lankan parallel of Electoral College system and the parallel of Preference vote distribution through which Mr Wigneswaran entered National Parliament. Mr Wigneswaran entered though another part without his party winning in any single division. The law recognizes District based voting as follows:

Article 99 (5) of the Constitution states as follows:

(5) The recognized political party or independent group which polls the highest number of votes in any electoral district shall be entitled to have the candidate nominated by it, who has secured the highest number of preferences, declared elected.

Article 99(7) requires the calculation of the ‘block’ of votes (resulting number)which entitle a party to one seat:

(7) The relevant number of votes shall be divided by the number of members to be elected for that electoral district reduced by one, if the number resulting from such division is an integer, that integer, or if that number is an integer and fraction, the integer immediately higher to that integer and fraction is hereinafter referred to as the “resulting number.

Article 99(8) requires proportional sharing as follows using the ‘block’/‘resulting number’

[8) The number of votes polled by each recognized political party and independent group (other than those parties or groups disqualified under paragraph (6) of this Article) beginning with the party or group which polled the highest number of votes shall then be divided by the resulting number and the returning officer shall declare elected from each such party or group, in accordance with the preferences secured by each of the candidates nominated by such party or group (the candidate securing the highest number of preferences being declared elected first, the candidate securing the next highest number of preferences being declared elected next and so on) such number of candidates (excluding the candidate declared elected under paragraph (5) of this Article) as is equivalent to the whole number resulting from the division by the resulting number of the votes polled by such party or group. The remainder of the votes, if any, after such division, shall be dealt with if necessary, under paragraph (9) of this Article.

When the individual within a party is chosen by the party that is like is an internal selection that confirms the binding force within the party. But as per the above, the Jayawardene government that provided for this actually disintegrated that structure and allowed the voters to choose the person. But that ‘popular vote’ was limited to their preference within a party. The actual choice of representing through an individual at national level was taken away from the voter through the 14th Amendment in May 1988 through which Divisions have been replaced by Districts sharing proportionately as per the constitutional provisions.

The effect of this is the blocking of the passage of belief based energy from voter to the candidate. Instead, it is ‘taken’ by the party which loses control over that vote which is pooled at district level towards proportional allocation.

Interestingly the President has retained the simple popular vote system to maintain the personal connection with the voter. Article 94(2) provides as follows:

[94 (2) The candidate, if any, who receives more than one-half of the valid votes cast shall be declared elected as President.]

Interestingly Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa polled 59.09% and his Opposition Mr Sajith Premadasa polled 23.90% in the 2020 Parliamentary elections. In the 2019 Presidential elections  Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa polled 52.25% of the popular vote against the same Opposition Mr Sajith Premadasa who polled 41.99%.

The drastic drop for Mr Premadasa happened due to the system’s plenary powers. Under proportional distribution one needs belief in the structure. That structure in turn will support the believer which then facilitates the leader to quietly govern rather than actively execute.

Mr Wigneswaran became the beneficiary of this institutional vote due to his Judicial title through which voters expressed their belief in institutionalised education.  If Mr Wigneswaran had been elected by the belief of individual voters developed by living locally through common cultures – like Mrs Sashikala Raviraj was identified as winner in Chavakachcheri division, it is highly unlikely that he would have entered national parliament as confirmed by his party failing to come first in any division – especially the Jaffna division.

Between Dr Raghavan and Mr Wigneswaran, Dr Raghavan has demonstrated deeper commitment to institutionalised government administration than Mr Wigneswaran did as Chief Minister.

I believe that structures developed by our elders come alive through true believers. Those who are detached from outcomes and do their duty as per the current structures will be blessed and joined by those elders’ soul power. That is how the Universal Franchise works.

The home-circle of a voter where the voter governs her/himself is that voter’s electorate. To the extent the elected leader believes in that voter the achievements of the voter would feel like that of the leader and v.v. Those who lack this natural power need to use the law.

To the extent Dr Ragavan feels for the Tamil Political Prisoners as well as the SLPP – this natural sharing would bond the two ethnicities. He does not need special connection with the Rajapaksa family to do this. Mr Wigneswaran needs to be objective about this issue and he would be if he truly cares about Jaffna folks.


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