1. CRITICAL TIMING AND BENEFITS
At a time when the timing is critical to conform to the requirements prescribed in the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka as far as the holding of elections is concerned at different levels and also due to the rapid changing of scenarios and loyalties, with the need to conform to Party manifestos and rules by Parliamentarians and Party members, it is vital that options are considered for the good of the country, rather than for individual benefit either while being or aspiring to be a desirable Parliamentarian or just as a concerned, law abiding, unselfish citizen of the country.
Among the primary concerns should be that the solutions should be incident and violence free, at least costs, transparent and free of environmental pollution. Furthermore, while the voters should be guided they should not be enticed in any way or form.
A secondary concern should be, especially at least on sensitive issues, the Parliamentarians should be permitted to cast their vote by secret ballot and counting as well be done electronically. This method of conscience voting was proposed in the early 2000 with a pilot project tried at student union elections. If the voting population of all countries, vote through “secret ballot” why should not the Parliamentarians also made to conform to the same with the facilities now available for same.
However, to implement the above, there would have to be Constitutional amendments either through an appropriate majority in Parliament or by a Referendum or by both. The Referendum should be drafted in a manner that is as simple as possible to enable those with lower intelligence not to be misled.
The ideal solution for the purpose of elections would be firstly to seek views whether the Executive Presidency should be abolished or not. If it is to be abolished, whether provisions should be made for limited powers which the Parliament could decide subsequently within limits and may be allowed to change if and when necessary. Thereafter, when the above amendments are effective, the Parliament should elect by secret ballot initially, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker. This to be followed by electing through secret ballot, the President with very limited powers and the Prime Minister. This would of course as a side benefit and reduce the cost of campaigning for a Presidential election.
5. DEMOCRACY, TRANSPERENCY, COORDINATION AND COST EFFCTIVENESS
To strengthen the democratic and transparent process, as an immediate function of the new Parliament the structure and the respective subjects of the “downsized” Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy / State Ministers perhaps as in the table below, various committees should be decided. While primarily the curtailment of the number of Cabinet Ministers is for the better coordination of the subjects with the deputy Ministers, the disparities on emoluments and responsibilities between Ministers and deputy ministers could be minimized through efficient support staff systems and infrastructure facilities, lest it becomes a major issue.
On a personal note, about a year ago a very senior Religious dignitary inquired from me why I do not now write to the media as before! My response was that it is now very complicated, confusing, sensitive and that the articles are probably hardly read and has very little affect! But due to his encouragement I have attempted to comply by not making my identity too obvious!
7. PROPOSAL FOR 25 PORTFOLIO-CABINET OF MINISTERS
SUGGESTED CABINET MINISTRIES (25)
SUGGESTED DEPUTY / STATE MINISTRIES (60)
2 Foreign Affairs.
(i) Foreign Affairs
3 National Unity.
(i) National Unity & Integration
4 Good Governance.
(i) Good Governance (ii) Fraud & Corruption investigations
5. Public Administration & Home Affairs. (i) Public Administration (ii) Home Affairs,
6. National Planning, Finance, External Resources and Economic Affairs.
(i) National Planning (ii) Finance (iii) External Resources (iv) Economic Affairs
7. Regional Development, Basin Development, Local Government and Poverty Alleviation.
(i) Regional & Basin Development (ii) Local Government (iii) Poverty Alleviation
8. Public Security, Law & Order.
(i) Public Security, (ii) Law and Order
9. Parliamentary Affairs, Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
(i) Parliamentary Affairs (ii) Justice (iii) Constitutional Affairs
10. Environment & Infrastructure Development.
(i) Environment development (ii) Infrastructure Development
(i) Highways (ii) Railways (ii) Airport & Aviation (iii) Sea Ports & Waterways
12. Urban Development, Housing & Construction, Disaster Management, Reconstruction & Rehabilitation.
(i) Urban development (ii) Housing & Construction (iii) Disaster Management (iv) Reconstruction & Rehabilitation
13. Power & Energy.
(i) Power & Energy (ii) Renewable & Alternate Energy
14. Information, Media & Communication.
(i) Information & IT Development (ii) Media & Communication
15. Natural Resources, Earth Sciences, Industries, Science & Technology.
(i) Natural Resources & Earth Sciences (ii) Industries, (iii) Science & Technology
16. Land, Forestry, Wild Life, Territorial Waters & Extended Economic Zone.
(i) Land (ii) Forestry & Wild life (iii) Territorial Waters (iii) Extended Economic Zone
17. Irrigation, Water Supply, Water Management & Drainage.
(i) Irrigation & Water Management (ii) Water Supply & Drainage
18. Food, Agriculture, Plantations, Livestock & Fisheries.
(i) Food (ii) Agriculture & Plantations (iii) Livestock & Fisheries
19. Trade, Commerce, Consumer Affairs & Co-operatives.
(i) Trade, Commerce & Cooperatives (ii) Consumer Affairs
20. Education & Human Resource Development.
(i) General Edu (ii) Higher Edu (iii) Technical Edu & Vocational Training (iv) Professional Edu
(i) Health (ii) Indigenous Medicine
22. Human Resource Planning & Environment.
(i) Human Resources Planning (ii) Environmental Planning
23. Heritage, Religion, Culture & Tourism.
(i) Culture & Heritage (ii) Religious Affairs Buddhist, Hindu, Christian & Muslim) (iii) Tourism
24. Children, Women, Elders, Disabled, Family, Welfare & Social services.
(i) Family, Children & Women’s Affairs (ii) Elders & Disabled, (iii) Welfare & Social Services
25. Youth Affairs & Sports
(i) Youth & Skills development (ii) Sports