New laws to tackle crime: Champika

Published : 9:05 am  August 21, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera
The new UNP-led government would give priority to introduce legislation strengthening financial crimes and similar other crime busting and to give more legal teeth to the Bribery Commission as existing laws were not sufficient to deal with financial mismanagement, embezzling, corruption and fraud, former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.

Addressing the media after a successful election campaign that brought the UNP-led rainbow coalition – the UNFGG – to power,  Mr. Ranawaka said there was a huge challenge before the new government as the confidence and expectation reposed on the new government by over 5 million voters were immense.

“The people expect the government to continue the investigations by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), the Police, the CID and the Bribery Commission on corruption, money laundering, misuse of state assets, ethanol and drug peddling in a more vigorous footing and bring perpetrators to book as early as possible. But the current laws and the judicial system are not strong enough to successfully tackle those crimes and convict and punish those charged. That is why we need new legislation to strengthen the relevant law enforcement institutions and the judicial system to address this problem sooner than later,” Mr. Ranawaka stressed.
Only 52 of the 1,700 complaints have been probed by the FCID. The CID, the Police department and the Bribery Commission have received 7,000 complaints collectively and the existing law cannot probe all these complaints and frame charges speedily. But people want the government to probe and frame charges against all perpetrators as early as possible.   

He said the new government also committed to enact electoral reforms that will do away with much criticized Preferential Voting system through the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and reform Parliamentary tradition to suit the present day needs of the country.  
Commenting on the new government’s policy, Mr. Ranawaka said the government expected the collective participation of all Parliamentarians belonging to all political parties for nation building in consensual governance and added it would be a multi-party rule under mutual understanding and cooperation.

“We must forget our political differences and ideologies for the next five years to implement consensual governance with the participation of all law makers. This means all Parliamentarians become stake holders of national development and conflict resolution on an experimental basis. At the elections we all can contest each other on their respective policies and programmes but in a more civilized and lawful manner as we have put an end to election related violence, misuse of state property for electioneering and over the board election propaganda that consumes huge amount of money,” he emphasized.

Mr. Ranawaka said the people must trust in the government as not a single member of the government want to take any decision that would affect in slightest way the national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country. The JHU will keep a watchful eye on the TNA and the LTTE sympathizers in the north and abroad and added it was a great relief that the people in the North had given an unforgettable reply to ex-LTTE cadres who attempted to enter Parliament through electoral process.

The people in the north who know them better have given the mandate to the TNA who represents reformed and democratized voter population in the North. If one analyzes the election results it was clear that only the UNP has got the opportunity represent voters in 22 district in Parliament. The TNA must direct its attention to resolve issues affecting the Tamil people in the North in a positive dialogue with the government refraining from confrontational tactics.  

Responding to a journalist, Mr. Ranawaka who is also the General Secretary of the JHU said he was satisfied with the election results of the JHU.

The people expect the government to continue the investigations by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), the Police, the CID and the Bribery Commission on corruption

“We in the JHU look forward to re-activate and further strengthen the JHU to a vibrant political force in the country and become a watchdog for good governance, good political culture and fair play in all government endeavours,” Mr. Ranawaka added.
In response to another question, he said the UPFA was in a huge miscalculation on election results thinking that it would draw the 5.8 million votes it received at the Presidential poll and the UNP could not get the 6.2 million polled by President Maithripala Sirisena contesting under the Swan symbol.

What happened ultimately was the UPFA received nearly 4.75 million votes securing only 95 seats as opposed to 144 seats it won in 2010 while the UNP polled approximately 5.1 million votes to win 106 seats – an increase of more than double the votes and Parliamentary seats it won in 2010.

Mr. Ranawaka expressed his gratitude to President Maithripala sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Police chief N.K.Illangakone and Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya for their contribution to conduct a free and fair election with the least number of election related violence.

Mr. Ranawaka also thanked senior politicians like Dr. Rajitha Senaratne for their efforts to bring the UNP to power and the huge contribution made to make the free and fair election a reality.
Five other JHU members who contested the poll under the Elephant symbol thanked voters, election chief, the police and Prime Minister for the good job done and vowed that the JHU will carry forward its accepted policy of serving the people in a more strong and robust manner.