Manthri.lk, Sri Lanka’s pioneering provider of parliamentary monitoring services, launched the rankings for the 8th Parliament of Sri Lanka on the 21st of July at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute Auditorium. Manthri.lk is a trilingual web platform that monitors parliamentary activity in addition to providing analysis on key parliamentary topics. The website was presented with its new features and functions, which included;
- Rankings of MPs based on subject, time period, and activity
- Improved comparison of the performance between MPs
- Regular updates on parliamentary activity such as order papers, Bills and written questions
- Video footage from parliamentary sessions
Out of the leading MPs in parliamentary participation, Bandula Gunawardhane (SLFP), Sunil Hadunetti (JVP), Buddhika Pathirana (UNP) and M.A Sumanthiran (TNA) spoke at a panel discussion, commenting on both the importance of parliamentary participation and how to improve parliamentary practices in Sri Lanka.
The development of Manthri.lk has been possible through the research and utilisation of the Manthri.lk data set, comprising of over 35,000 Hansard records. The Manthri.lk system classifies contributions using a variety of metrics, including the method of contribution (e.g. written questions, Bill debate participation) and topic (a list of 15 e.g. Health, Rights and Representation, Education). This is then put through a scoring system, which equally rewards all MPs for contributions made, without making a value judgement on content. This system also captures and penalises disruptive contributions, making sure that those who are procedurally out of order are not credited for their disruptions.
Manthri.lk has been showcased to parliamentarians, journalists and members of civil society. It has also provided invaluable input into political debate, by being the first tool to allow the quick recall of parliamentary contributions, filtered by MP and topic. It was the Gold Winner of the BestWeb.lk Non-Profit 2014 award.
Mantri.lk was originally launched in August 2013 by Verité Research Pvt. Ltd, a Colombo think-tank, in conjunction with web development partners Saberion Pvt. Ltd.