By November 2, 20180 CommentsReport

Sri Lanka’s MPs for SALE – Can be purchased by the Highest Bidder (Currently offered US$2.8 million and a ministerial portfolio by Rajapakshe)

Latest Offer – UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara revealed today that he was offered US$2.8 million and a ministerial portfolio to join the government.

* According to SLPP sources parliament will meet, as declared by President Maitrhipala  Sirisena, only on November 16. This gives Sirisena and his newly appointed Prime Minister Rajapaksa time to ‘BUY’ MPs from the UNF.

* So far, FIVE United National Party (UNP) MPs  have joined (or Purchased?): Wijedasa Rajapakshe, Wasantha Senanayake, Dunesh Gankanda, Ananda Aluthgamage and Vadivel Suresh.

* The Muslim parties are presently with the UNP-led UNF, but they could switch at any time, even at the last moment as they did before the January 2015 Presidential election.

* The Indian Origin Tamil parties are currently with the UNF but could change over time (as per the instructions of the Indian Government) they have done in the past.

* TNA a party of Sri Lankan Tamils of the Northern and Eastern Provinces, it will not join any government but will support that government which promises to meet their constitutional and political demands.

* The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a radical left party of the South, will also not join any government. Both the TNA and JVP would, however, support or oppose the UNP-led UNF or the Rajapaksa coalition depending on the issue.

Sri Lanka’s parliament is like a veritable auction house where elected MPs can be purchased by the highest bidder

When President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe on 26th October 2018, and prorogued Parliament until 16th November, he injected new meaning to Sri Lanka Tourist Development Authority’s global sales pitch, ‘a land like no other.’ Indeed, in what land other than Lanka would a sitting Prime Minister be sacked without his knowledge in the late evening of a Friday with the cover of the impending weekend, followed by a gazette notification, also issued to confirm the sacking? For me, as a non-constitutional expert, the President’s Friday evening political stunt appears illegal and unconstitutional.

Since the 19th amendment to the constitution was introduced in 2015 with the blessings of both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, the idea was to curb the unmitigated power of the executive presidency to remove the Prime Minister arbitrarily. Under its provisions, the Prime Minister will cease to be in office only due to death, resignation, or by losing his position as a Member of Parliament. Alternatively, this can also happen if the government itself lost the confidence of Parliament if it was defeated at the introduction of the annual budget or in a vote of no confidence (Articles 46: 2 and 48). But none of these have happened. Though the President has the power to appoint a new Prime Minister, it can only be done if the incumbent has lost power in one of these three ways.

Continue reading ‘Sri Lanka’s parliament is like a veritable auction house where elected MPs can be purchased by the highest bidder’ »

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