1. Rule Based Governance
The establishment of democracy will not be complete until we do away with the executive presidency and move into Parliamentary system – where the executive authority is vested in the Cabinet led by the Prime Minister and answerable to the Parliament, the supreme body in a representative democracy. The Prime Minister can hold office only so long as he can command the confidence of Parliament. It should be enshrined in the Constitution that there should not be more than 25 members of the Cabinet and a maximum of 25 Parliamentary Secretaries.
The establishment of a second chamber or a Senate is encouraged. The Senate should act as a house of scrutiny. However, the Senators should be representatives of each Province and it will have a total of 30 Senators.
A government of ours will provide a reference to one of the Parliamentary Investigatory committees (Electoral Matters Committee) to investigate into the appropriateness of the Multi-Member Proportional Electoral System (MMP system).
All political donations over and above a certain limit should be declared with donor details by each individual parliamentarian or candidate/campaign director to the Election Commissioner’s office within one week of receiving the donation.
A government of ours will ensure the responsibilities allocated for each level of government is appropriate. Eventually, responsibilities of each level of government will be codified in the Constitution. A body which will be temporarily named as Council of Governing Entities of Sri Lanka (COGESL) needs to be enshrined in the Constitution for the National Government and Provincial Councils to work together.
Democracy, accountability and popular participation will be the foundations on which we built our polices on. In this light it is crucial to have bipartisan parliamentary committees to investigate issues that matter to all Sri Lankans. These committees will be required to report on their findings and their recommendations will be presented to Parliament.
An Independent Budget Office (IBO) will be established in the Parliament. One of the roles of IBO will be to assess funding commitments of political parties in the lead up to an election and publicize a report for the public to know which commitments are deliverable and which are not.
Provincial Council Governors will have a fixed term and no person affiliated with a political party in the past ten years will be appointed as a Governor.
It would be important to set up a Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal (PRT) to review salaries, allowances and other perks currently enjoyed by members of Parliament, including Ministers and the Prime Minister.
A Public Service Recruitment Commission will be established to undertake all public-sector recruitment in conjunction with all departments and public institutions.
To ensure good governance, a separate parliamentary service model such as a Parliamentary Corporate Body (PCB) will be established. The Parliament should be the controller and determiner of its own funding through the above body and thus would be initiating its own money bills through its presiding officers.
Judicial appointments, their tenure and remuneration will be handled independently of the executive governments.
It is important to review the role of Provincial Councils (PC), on the one hand to cut any waste occurring and on the other to provide more responsibilities to justify their existence.
The official working language of each Provincial Council should be determined solely by that Council.
The local police dealing with local crime should be the responsibility of the Provincial Council, while the national police should focus on tasks such as border protection, drug-related issues, international criminal activities and terrorism etc.
The Provincial Councils should have the necessary powers to negotiate with foreign entities to attract investment within the investment policy frameworks and rules set out by the national government.
At Local Councils, a participatory budgeting model requires that citizens meet in popular assemblies throughout the council jurisdiction to deliberate on how the Council budget should be spent.
Restoration of the rule of law is imperative for the implementation of progressive policies. A few Initiatives proposed are making the interference of police matters by politicians a criminal offense, establishing an Independent Police Monitor (IPM) to investigate the corruption in the police and setting up of an independent Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) for undertaking prosecution on behalf of the police and the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).
It is vital to address widespread corrupt practices that are prevailing in Sri Lanka. It can only be done through establishing an Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC). IBAC will have more powers than any anti-corruption body currently operating, and it will continue to operate combating corrupt activities on an ongoing basis.