Yes Sir, yes Sir but no three bags full Sir - EDITORIAL

15 July 2020 12:06 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Since Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as the President in November 2019, we often hear most of the Ministers giving credit to the President for whatever the new project they start.   
They say it was initiated with the blessings, or under the instructions of the President. These could be matters relating to road development, the environment, the wildlife, economic policy or even cultural and religious activities.

   
Even after parliament was dissolved and parties are campaigning for the General elections on August 5, at political rallies we hear most ministers and other ruling party politicians saying they are planning to do this or that project under the guidance of the President or the Prime Minister. It is unfortunate that Sri Lanka does not appear to have ruling party politicians who could think creatively and act with imagination and enterprise on their own. Most of these politicians are not creative or innovative and are not humble enough to get the advice of expertise of the subjects concern. Most of them act like mere cronies, lackeys or sometimes as goons.   


The root cause appears to be education. An important issue that needs a wide discussion is the education level of most of our politicians.   
According to a report presented by former Peradeniya University Prof. M.O.A. de Zoysa, the last parliament was disgraceful because there were more than 90 MPs who had not even passed their GCE Ordinary Level examination. Of the 225 members there were only 25 graduates. With a population of about 22 million and 90 percent literacy rate, Sri Lanka deserves to have a much more educated parliament.   
In our parliament and even in the Cabinet, Ministers of State or Deputy Ministers, the education level appears to be much lower than in most Asian countries. 

 
In Singapore for instance with a population of over five million, there are 22 ministers and as many as 20 of them have post-graduate degrees. In India, there are 26 Cabinet Ministers and 49 State Ministers. A majority of them have  university degrees in law. In the United Kingdom most of the politicians there have graduated from Oxford or Cambridge or other widely respected universities.  
In Sri Lanka, the education level of most members is revealed by the way they behave and the language they use. In the former Parliament, there were MPs who threw chairs and books at opponents and even used foul language that is normally heard among underworld gangs. One MP went to the level of throwing chilli powder at opponents and when questioned later he responded saying that he did so to protect democracy. What else can we expect from a politician who knows little about democracy, lest about how it originated, parliamentary ethics, values and its overall vision?  


 Now that the Parliamentary election is round the corner, a reflection on the history of our parliament and the qualities of some leaders we had would be a good lesson for those who are campaigning to become members. To mention a few, we could name D. S. Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, Dr. N. M. Perera, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, Dr. S. A. Wickremesinghe, J. R. Jayewardene, Lalith Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and Lakshman Kadirgamar.   
Whatever the party, race or religion, it is the responsibility of the citizens to elect members who are educated, creative, enterprising, sincere, honest, hard-working MPs, selfless and sacrificial.  
We need politicians who are educated, brave and bold enough to advise or guide even the President or the Prime Minister without just being sycophant or stooges or little more than to say ‘Yes Sir, yes Sir’ without having three bags full of knowledge to show the sir.  

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  Comments - 14

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  • Asoka Goonawarden Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:34 AM

    Yes sir, Yes sir three bags full theory is very detrimental to a country like Sri-Lanka, This is not the democratic way we are used to , but authoritative form which is not very suitable. In the 21st century Global vision is the way to go , not Nationalism to achieve the expected results . I strongly suggest educated politicians to read or listen to ProF: Yual Novah Harrai of the how the world will shape up in the 21st century even after Covid 19 which will come to stay. till a vaccine is found

    Anoosh Wednesday, 15 July 2020 09:47 AM

    What was expressed 100% correct.

    Ravi Sene Wednesday, 15 July 2020 12:32 PM

    True, those who vote to select them must be educated.

    citizen Wednesday, 15 July 2020 11:03 AM

    Your editorial has said a mouthful and this reminds me in the good old days every morning the police staff attached were called in the morning for a briefing and once the OIC had spoken all the staff would stand to attention and say YES SIR, YES SIR, VERY WeLL SIR this is the same mentality as the in the past

    N V Jen Wednesday, 15 July 2020 12:34 PM

    True, but sadly our people elect crooks only most of the times

    Asokan Pasupathy Wednesday, 15 July 2020 01:54 PM

    Even Prof G L Peiris says blessings from the president. Then how much you expect from uneducated MPs

    Asoka Seneviratne Wednesday, 15 July 2020 03:20 PM

    Excellent comment And also, I hear that PM or President instructs Ministers or higher authorities to do certain things? This may mean those people do not know how to work with their responsibilities ? If so they should be sacked ? But then who are to be appointed ? None? It goes ?

    Bhatiya Siriwardena Thursday, 16 July 2020 07:52 AM

    Exactly. The problem lies with the quality of politicians at local government level for they are the people who go on for contesting for the parliament.

    MERENNA JAYARATNA Thursday, 16 July 2020 03:41 PM

    The problem is with the political parties who nominate these gangsters and sadly, the voters who elect these fools to the parliament. At least ,this occasion let us resolved that we shall not vote for those who possess shady characters with alleged criminal records.

    Voter Thursday, 16 July 2020 05:07 PM

    THE QUALITY OF CANDIDATES NOMINATED TO CONTEST THE ELECTIONS IS A REFLECTION OF THE CALIBER OF THE PARTY LEADERS. IF THE LEADER IS A THUG YOU CANT EXPECT THE CANDIDATE TO BE DECENT.

    Jayantha de silva Friday, 17 July 2020 07:50 AM

    Exactly,fully agreed .

    Tungsan Yu Friday, 17 July 2020 09:14 AM

    If DS passed on the party leadership to the correct person instead of resorting to nepotism things might be different now.

    Nihal Kiriella Friday, 17 July 2020 10:15 AM

    I believe that there must be a regulation that the candidates proposed to be nominated by the parties who not graduates or men/, women held positions in the rank of Commissioned Officer or Gazetted Officer or Corporate officer or man with proven business acumen required to follow a 3 year University level course which has a practical relevance to governance and Economics Management Sociology General Principles of law particularly Criminal and relevant Civil law Value systems relevant to Buddhist Hindu Christian Islam etc No independent candidacy be accommodated as we need to corporate cohesive thinking Education in cross sectional cultures and values will helpful for cross cultural understanding

    Gamini Jayasuriya Saturday, 18 July 2020 05:07 PM

    Politicians of yesteryear were people of substance. Educated and from decent backgrounds. They spent their own resources to serve others. Today, the uneducated, uncultured, come into politics to serve themselves. This is a result of the present Proportional Representation System. Secondly, the disintegration of human values. Thirdly, our foolish, gullible voters.


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