Prominent personalities on Prof. Hoole’s controversial statement | Sunday Observer

Prominent personalities on Prof. Hoole’s controversial statement

14 June, 2020

A controversial statement by Prof. S.Ratnajeevan. H. Hoole, a member of the Election Commission, in an interview with a TV station in Tamil, has sparked a major debate among the people.

The Sunday Observer sought views on his comments from prominent personalities in the Tamil community.

Former Minister Douglas Devananda said that Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole has been a controversial character from the beginning. His latest controversial statement in a TV interview is not a new thing.

“I have all the evidence to show that he made this comment despite his subsequent negation,” former Devananda said.

“He had acted as a controversial character wherever he had worked. He creates disputes in society,” he said.

Douglas Devananda

“As a member of the Election Commission, he cannot express his opinion on political parties. We have no idea why and how he was appointed to this position. However, he has violated ethical norms and responsibilities. I have evidence of his controversial statement and will submit it to the authorities at the correct time,” he said.

Former UPFA parliamentarian Angajan Ramanathan said,“Prof. Hoole’s statement has damaged the reputation of the governing party. It is obvious that Hoole is working on a hidden agenda,” he said.

Ramanathan said, “Prof. Hoole is saying one thing in English and another thing in Tamil. People who can understand Tamil can come to a conclusion of what he is telling and what he wanted to tell. Prof. Hoole’s interview in Tamil was completely biased. He is attacking two political parties. He is labelling one party as corrupt. His statement seems peculiar as a member of the Election Commission.

Now he is denying his statement which he said in Tamil. This is wrong.

Whatever he says now cannot justify his action and correct his previous biased statement.”

Angajan Ramanathan

Prof. Hoole’s action and statements show that he is in favour of one political party. He is not qualified to be an independent member of the Election Commission. In his Tamil version, he said that people should not vote for the SLPP supporting media. It is obvious that nobody is going to vote for a media institution,” he said.

Former Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Ragavan said that Prof. Hoole said what he is being accused of in his interview. Hoole’s statement is wrong and he should apologise, express regret or resign from his position as a member of the Election Commission for violating ethical norms and everything else the Commission stands for, he said.

Suren Ragavan

“Elections are held to establish democracy in a country and voting is a democratic right of the people. The Election Commission should act independently.

The Election Commission or any of their three members cannot act or express any views on who or which party should be elected by the people at an election. But in this case, Hoole has exceeded his limit of responsibilities, Ragavan said.

“Some legal experts said that according to the 19th Amendment, Prof. Hoole cannot be removed from his post. It would be more suitable for him to resign from his position as a member of the Election Commission,” he said.

However, former UNF parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan denied the allegation that Hoole has violated norms of his office.

Mano Ganeshan

“In his interview, Prof. Hoole directly or indirectly did not mention that people should not vote for the SLPP. He said that people should not cast their vote for the candidates who are corrupt. This what many organisations and the Election Commission request the public. We cannot say his statement to the TV interview was biased. He only mentioned in one place that a private print media is supporting the Government. The Government is exaggerating his statement.

There is an independent Election Commission and not an Election Department. But the Government is still not ready to accept the independent commission,” he said.

Northern Province Council former Opposition Leader S. Thavarasa said that Prof. Hoole’s action is completely biased.

S. Thavarasa

“It is a different matter if Prof. Hoole is saying it directly or indirectly, but what he has said is biased and as a member of the Election Commission, he cannot reveal his political biases. He is asking the people not to vote for a particular party. His action and statements seemed controversial from the beginning. By damaging political parties, he has violated the ethics of the Election Commission,” he said.

Senior lecturer and veteran political analyst S. A. Jothilingam said that Prof. Hoole has deeply and strongly involved in the western liberal democratic ideology. He may have different opinions and views about the governing party. As a person, he has all the right to express his views, but as a member of the Election Commission, he cannot make statements to favour a political party, he said.

S. A. Jothilingam

“According to the 19th Amendment, only the Constitutional Council has the right to take action against Hoole,” he said

Prof. Hoole recently making a statement to the media clarified that he didn’t attack any political party and what he wanted to say is people should not cast their vote for corrupt candidates. Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya, queried by the Sunday Observer, said he will reserve his comments until he listens to Prof. Hoole’s full interview.