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President of Professional Associations refuses to quit after being voted out


"Members also see him as a “Christian fundamentalist” who has ganged up with the foreign-funded NGOs to attack the nation. He is known to be close to the anti-national NGOs like the self-appointed National Peace Council and the pro-Tamil Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA) which is headed by a Tamil."
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(July 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Elmore Perera, the President of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka, (OPA), who has openly declared that he goes down on his knees and speaks to God daily before transmitting the messages to the OPA, is refusing to resign even after he was defeated in a no-confidence motion passed by 46 to one at a special general meeting held on Friday July 4.

The OPA is the premier inter-disciplinary body of professionals formed in 1974 for the specific purpose of projecting the considered views of the professionals on matters of national and professional interest.

Incidentally, Perera is the President of the Citizen's Committee for Good Governance. The Supreme Court has also suspended him from practicing as a lawyer after finding him guilty of contempt of court. But he did not inform the OPA of this ruling by the Supreme Court and had carried on as if nothing had happened. OPA members have accused him of playing political games of his own contrary to the principles of the OPA.

He has even moved to impeach the President, Mahinda Rajapakse, without the consent of the OPA. A press release signed by six past presidents said: "This proposal has been signed by only one member whereas it should have had at least 10 signatures to be considered at all." The past presidents who signed it are: Dr. Nath Amarakone, Dr. Joel Fernando, Parakrama Karunaratne, H. H. Subasinghe, Eng. D. L. Taldena, Methsiri Cooray, G. A. Hidelaratchi and Ms. K. S. Peiris:

Accusing Perera of taking an extremely biased stance on national issues these signatories also state: "Mr. Elmore Perera has also issued a number of press releases that are of political nature purporting to impress upon'- the public that these were the views of the OPA. In fact, we state that these were his personal views but he has, used the office of the President of the OPA to gain publicity to these statements. None of these statements have been sanctioned or approved by the Executive Council. This conduct also violates the OPA constitution and has affected the credibility of the OPA and its member associations who have raised considerable objections to these statements.

Members also see him as a “Christian fundamentalist” who has ganged up with the foreign-funded NGOs to attack the nation. He is known to be close to the anti-national NGOs like the self-appointed National Peace Council and the pro-Tamil Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA) which is headed by a Tamil.

The General Forum that voted him out discussed the following motion:

“We, the under signed being members of the General Forum of the Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka, do hereby give notice and notice is hereby given in terms of Article 10.3(a) of the Constitution of the said Organisation, to discuss the following acts of the President Mr. Elmore Perera,

1. Issuing press statements or making statements to the press in violation of Article 8.1 (c) of the Constitution;

2. Abusing the powers vested in the President by taking up a proposal by one person contrary to article 6.3(e) of the OPA constitution requesting the political parties to impeach H.E the President of the country. This proposal was contrary and in violation of Chapter 2 of the OPA constitution as it was outside the objectives of the OPA.

3. Failing to hold meetings of the General Forum as required by the General Forum.

4. Failing to inform the members and member associations, specially the member associations of which Mr. Elmore Perera is a member, that he has been suspended from practicing as an Attorney-at-Law by the Supreme Court."

It was not the intention of the signatories to the above resolution to make these issues public but to resolve them within the portals of the OPA. Even when the -news items referred to appeared they were not contradicted publicly but raised at the relevant meetings within the OPA. Unfortunately, due to the distorted and unwarranted publicity that has been given to the above resolution it has now become necessary to enlighten the public to the real issues involved.”

Perera remains defiant. He told a website: “I’m in the OPA and I’m the president.” Perera maintained that there was no provision in the OPA constitution to remove an individual. There was provision to only remove an association. He also said a pro-government group within the OPA was trying to oust him because he had taken a strong stand against the president’s failure to implement the 17th amendment to the constitution.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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