Feb 18, 2017

Mahinda’s civic rights cancelled? Featured

Based on allegations levelled against former President, Kurunegala district MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the government is planning to take measures to cancel his civic rights, it is reliably learnt.

Several ministers representing the government had made the request to cancel the former President’s civic rights based on the allegations he is facing. During a meeting with President Sirisena, several civil society representatives too had requested the President to cancel the civic rights of Rajapaksa.

Pointing out the discrepancies in investigations especially concerning the bank accounts of the Rajapaksa family, they had requested the President to streamline and expedite the investigations.
Accordingly, preliminary measures in this regard is currently being conducted under the purview of a senior Minister.

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Namal Suspicious:

Meanwhile, Speaking to media on 13 February subsequent to being summoned to the FCID, MP, Namal Rajapaksa alleged that he was being questioned on baseless issues targeting his father.
He accused the authorities of questioning him without notifying him of the allegations levelled against him or who had lodged a complaint.

He further expressed suspicion whether a sinister plan was being carried out in order to trap his father.

Presidential Commission:
However, according to political sources, it is inevitable that the blame for misdeeds committed during the previous regime, will eventually fall on the former President.

With the aim of cancelling the civic rights of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a special Presidential Commission is to be appointed shortly to look into the possibility of charging Rajapaksa based on the provisions of clause 81(1) of the constitution on allegations of misuse of power, corruption, fraud, violation of the constitution and misconduct.

While the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry of the National Council of State No. 7 of 1978  will be appointed, a Supreme Court Judge will be appointed to head this commission.

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MP status cancelled:

Based on the recommendations of the commission, an MP’s civic rights can be suspended for a period not exceeding seven years.

While the MP status would thus be cancelled, public political activities would also be banned.

Accordingly, he could be denied his voting rights as well.

However, these recommendations can only be implemented after it receives cabinet approval and the Prime Minister presents it to the Speaker and passed in parliament by a 2/3rd majority.

According to the Constitution, this move cannot be contested in Court.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike:

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According to the Constitution, based on the recommendations of a single person committee Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s civic rights were cancelled on October 16, 1980 for seven years.

She was stripped of her civic rights based on the single allegation of overestimating the price of Bandaranaike property that was acquired by the United Front government.

However, it was later proved that this allegation was false.

Similarly, former Army Commander and 2010 Presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka was jailed and stripped off his civic rights being charged under clause  89(ඈ) of the Constitution, during the Rajapaksa regime.