youthful Parliamentarian, whose looks are deceiving, from the Colombo District, has allegedly engaged himself in the villainous drug business, according to the information reportedly revealed by Wele Suda, a well known international drug smuggler, who has been arrested and deported from Pakistan to Sri Lanka recently.
This, no doubt, is the first time where a Member of Parliament has been directly linked and named in this manner. Wele Suda has further disclosed that a former IGP who had been subsequently appointed to the post of Secretary, Ministry of Internal Security, who is believed to have left the country after the election results were announced and formation of the new government, had also been associated with and were in the payroll of Wele Suda in this illicit activity.
If this was the factual situation tht the previous government kept a blind eye, the question that arises is whether we now need to establish good governance by all standards, namely, political, economical, social and cultural development of the country, as a priority matter, at the earliest.
This is good enough proof that our country has been plagued by corruption, absence of the rule of law, heavy politicisation of all government institutions, including the judicial system, police and the entire political machinery.
The newly elected government, therefore, is now tasked with the responsibility to create essential conditions, a governing system to achieve self-reliance, sustainable development, social justice and the ideal functioning of a democratic government which could operate with efficiency and effectiveness while ensuring the following features:
Accountability Both financial and political
Transparency Both financial and political
Easy access to information
Popular participation in decision making and implementation
Efficient and effective delivery system of services and goods: and
Enforcement of the rule of law
In my view, there should be no debate for this purpose and in order to take the country forward Sri Lanka needs good governance to improve its poor economic, social and political conditions and to provide a suitable environment to the private sector development and employment generation without going to fill the Public Sector, which is already too big.
It must be understood that sound fiscal, monitory and trade policies will ensure and create positive environment to private sector development as well.
The ideal governing system we look forward, being a democratic country, could be that which works best to achieve self-reliance, sustainable development, social justice, rule of law, which operates most efficiently within a democratic framework. It is essentially, the true test of good governance the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights, civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
It has also been observed that we need strong political leadership with commitment to fight against deep rooted corruption, non-accountability, non transparency and inefficiency. This is imperative for establishing good governance and sustainable development.
Being a developing country, having obtained financial assistance from the World Bank, IMF and other donor agencies, due to poor governance, we are now confronted with numerous problems that we need to address without delay.
It has also been reported that funds have been misused and due to corruption and fraud, the government had incurred massive losses causing a severe burden on the economy and the general public, purely due to bad governance.
However, the paradigm shift towards good governance and restoration of the rule of law needs to pick up more speed to establish Sri Lanka as a globally competitive nation. It has been 65 years since independence.
The biggest challenge we have seems to be developing a model Public Service that suits the aspirations of the general public in order to take the country forward, which will ensure transparency, efficient bureaucratic structure, minus corruption, fraud as was so rampant in the past.
In addition, politicisation, favouritism, nepotism and corrupt practices in recruitment, which is also a major obstacle to good governance.
It must be placed on record that the then UNP government under the late President Premadasa, the then Cabinet of Ministers approved the policy that recruitment should be done only on merit and introduced Public Administration Circular No. 15 of 1990 for the Public Sector and all other Corporations and other government-owned business ventures. This Circular has not been repealed so far.
This is the only way how the country could be strengthened. This will ensure economic growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation, which should be the only aim of a democratically elected government.
It is, therefore, the responsibility of the new government to enquire as to why this circular was not made applicable for filling the vacancies during the last government, in the past in the public sector. This is a blatant violation of rules and regulations and a glaring instance of bad governance.
It is also an injustice caused to the deserving youth and steps should be taken to enforce this circular without fail by the new administration at the earliest.
It is certainly a pro-people approach to strengthen the public service and the new President will be able to earn the respect of the masses even more if this is re-introduced for the benefit of the deserving youth. This is no doubt another pre requisite for good governance in our country.
Good governance is a pre-requisite for sustained development.
In addition, it has also become a significant pillar in the consideration of the State’s ability to confirm the universally acceptable demarcation standards.
Good governance means an efficient, open, accountable and audited Public Service which has the bureaucratic competence to help design and implement appropriate public policies and at the same time an independent judicial system to up hold the law.
Good governance is a system of governance that is able to unambiguously identify the basic values of the society, where the values are economical, political and socio-cultural issues including human rights, and pursue these values through an accountable and honest administration.
In addition, it has also become a significant pillar in the consideration of the State’s ability to confirm the universally acceptable demarcation standards
I must conclude by saying that the institutional quality improvements through good governance implies effective judiciary, or legislative mechanisms, the rule of law, political transparency and stability, civic liberties and rights, freedom of media etc.
This is the only way in which the country could be strengthened. This will ensure economic growth, employment generation and poverty alleviation, which should be the only aim of a democratically elected government.