Monk, murder suspect, mistress in Sri Lanka’s new parliament

images (3)ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s new parliament will have a motely collection that will include a monk, a murder suspect, a mistress and even a couple of MPs who once shared the same wife.

  •  The lone Buddhist monk in the new parliament will be Athuraliye Rathana who is piggy-backing on an elephant to re-enter the House this time through the backdoor known as the National List. The honourable venerable MP’s National Heritage Party has a legacy of going to pieces before and after every vote.
  • Former UPFA deputy minister Prmalal Jayaratne is in remand custody after being arrested on a murder charge, but he secured the highest number of preferential votes in the Ratnapura district. 
  • His election underscores how undesirables are desirable to a UPFA constituency which in 1997 gave Mahinda Ratnatillake the highest number of votes after he became the main suspect in the murder of MP Nalanda Ellawela. 
  • There are only a dozen or so women in the new parliament, but the TNA is expected to nominate two women from their national list which could increase female representation in the 225-member assebly. 
  • There are four sets of brothers from the same party — Ranjith and Wasantha Aluvihare, Navin and Mayantha Dissanayake from the UNP and and Mahindananda and Ananda Aluthgamage and Mahinda and Chamal Rajapakse from the UPFA. 
  • Arjuna and Prasanna Ranatunga are from rival parties and both could ensure that irrespective of which side does well, the family interests are well take care of. 
  • There are two sets of father-son duos. Mahinda and Namal Rajapakse of the UPFA and Rajitha and Chatura Senaratne from the UNP.
  • There is a mistress whose trapeze-artiste-cum-politician master failed to return to the new parliament from the national list of the UPFA leaving her sulking in the hallowed halls of parliament.
  • Daya and Anoma Gamage will be the only husband-and-wife couple without counting elderly actress Geetha Kumarasinghe who has given up the casting couch to lounge in parliament where she has at least one ex-senior minister admirer. 
  • Legal advise prevented mentioning the names of two young MPs who once shared the same wife. 
  • There is also at least one MP from the south who once publicly declared that he had been sexually assaulted by a senior, but refused to press charges, probably hoping to keep the issue dangling.