- With all this chaos around us, my mind goes back to the late Dudley Senanayake
- Dr Colvin R de Silva, a constitutional wizard and a lawyer warned President Jayewardene, about bringing in the Executive Presidency
This remark was made recently by a Colombo wit at a recent function. The political uncertainty caused by the constitutional coup together with the disgraceful behaviour of lawmakers recently, has brought about gloom and a sense of doom. Non recognition of the illegal Government internationally,which is clearly against the Constitution has led to unprecedented tourist cancellations, stalling of aid, downgrading in the Fitch ratings and pull back of investment. How can those responsible for ruining our economy by playing ducks and drakes with our coffers with their rampant corruption, blatant show of extravagance, using public funds even for family memorials, now state that they and only they can manage the country and bring in good governance which they failed to do during their long tenure of office? White vans, disappearances and murders were a trade mark of their time, in steering the ship of state. When the underprivileged are only able to buy chilly powder in minute quantities, they waste kilos of it by throwing it at opponents in Parliament, and at the Speaker who stood his ground admirably and courageously, in spite of disrespect, threats, intimidation and disgraceful show of thuggery. There is no doubt that we have become a pariah state once again. The main speakers for the chief culprits in this ongoing catastrophic drama, are two who were not even elected by the people and failed to win their seats. Another who I expected better things from, is reported to have stated that they will take umbrage against those Governments who have brought a travel ban on Sri Lanka. Does he seriously think that the Governments of those democracies will care a hoot about these threats ?
Warnings of Dudley and Colvin
With all this chaos around us, my mind goes back to the late Dudley Senanayake who stating his reasons for opposing the executive Presidency, many decades ago said ‘ The Presidential system would be disastrous…It would create a tradition of Caesarism. It would concentrate power in a leader and undermine Parliament and the structures of political parties’ Another great politician of the past,. Dr Colvin R de Silva, much respected like the late Dudley as a man, a politician, a constitutional wizard and a lawyer told the late President Jayewardene, when he warned him about bringing in the Executive Presidency and the dire consequences of the wrong man in the role. We have seen this happen now and the words of these past two politicians, one from the right, one from the left, both gentlemen to their fingertips, having had the privilege of their upbringing and education, have come true. Political decisions which affect the country as a whole, should never be based on personal vendetta’s. Men in high office must think beyond their own agendas and put the country first. They must also watch their words, think, get the words sorted out in their brains before they speak. In an media interview Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated thus’ ‘ I was recently given a copy of a report published by an intergovernmental organization called the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. The member states of this organisation include Germany,Australia,Canada, Switzerland. Also India and Japan. According to that report,there are only two countries that require a two thirds majority to dissolve Parliament.-Kosovo and Lithuania. However even in those countries, the head of state can dissolve Parliament if a no-confidence motion against the Government is adopted or if the statement of Government policy is rejected.’ Sumit Bisarya from the Institute has issued a denial. He says, “I Saw this in a Sri Lankan paper citing our work. This reference is completely out of context and I would like to add that there’s nothing in this primer or any of our resources, justifying discretionary, extra constitutional dissolution of Parliament.”Another individual, Milinda Rajapakse, said to speak for one of the Rajapakse brothers, had stated thus ‘Thrilled to hear Shahidul my friend, well known human rights fighter and artist had been released from the jail’ Shahidul from Bangladesh commented in reply ‘ Have we met before? Sad to see #couplk mar the democratic systems long upheld in Sri Lanka” Both these quotes speak for themselves.
- The political uncertainty has brought about gloom
- White vans, disappearances and murders were a trade mark of their time, in steering the ship of state
- The Presidential system would be disastrous
- Men in high office must think beyond their own agendas and put the country first
- We UNPers voted for Sirisena wholeheartedly, because our Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe requested us to do so
I admire the courage and the principles of the two young men who recently refused to accept an award from two so called Ministers of the unconstitutional cabinet. It is also heartening to find that the judiciary has acted independently and for our ever vigilant, brave civil society, who are standing up for Democracy, for what is right and not who is right. We UNPers voted for and supported President Sirisena wholeheartedly, at the Presidential election, because our Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe requested us to do so. Many of us had not even heard of him. I had seen him just once when as the then Minister of Health he attended an event at the De Soysa Hospital which was built and donated to the nation by my great-grandfather, the late Charles Henry de Soysa. Later on, long after the elections, when some UNPers criticised him, they were asked to refrain from doing so by our Leader. He supported him to the hilt and all along as Prime Minister worked for the unity in the Government. Despite differences of upbringing and education, he stood by him, never hit back when he was hit and just turned the other cheek.
I admire the courage and the principles of the two young men who recently refused to accept an award from two so called Ministers of the unconstitutional cabinet
His is an example for young politicians that one should never rant, rave and insult people, but keep one’s cool through all situations that one encounters in life. We are not Gods and have failings, but these in Ranil’s case are mere human frailties. He may not pat you on the back with a ready smile, but one can be quite sure, that he will never stab you in the back as many have done to him. In many such cases he has forgiven, forgotten and some have even been rewarded with.
I have always had deep faith which has helped me through the storms in my own life, and I know that God Almighty will help us through and find a solution for this calamity which hit us like a bolt from the blue. For over one month the country has been in a state of limbo and surely those who are responsible for this situation must realize this. Or is to them something which they do fail to comprehend through sheer ignorance?