Forthcoming local government polls could spell disaster for the President and the country
Let us begin a new era in our history; let us hold the local government elections without the political parties contesting each other. Should we not try out the method of electing our local government representatives in their individual capacities?
Would that not contribute towards ending the wretched confrontational politics which is a curse that has overtaken our country? Did we not have such a system under the Donoughmore Constitution? It is reported that elections would be held to more than 330 local bodies and over five t
housand would be elected.
The fact that elections would be held only next year gives us time to think about this issue afresh for though it is a Local Government election it is of national significance and I am of the view that there is time to reconsider the Law relating to the Election which can be revised in the national interest.
"We must support candidates who stand for a change of the political culture of this country. We must endorse those mentioned above, and others who share our values and ensure that, starting with our local bodies and Parliament, Members who are worthy of being the representatives of the people of the most literate country in South Asia, are elected to Parliament in particular."
Our two main political parties have come together for the first time in our post independence history, this is indeed a major achievement for them both and we the people need to ensure that this beginning is taken forward in the national interest. The two main political parties and the smaller parties who have the country’s interest at heart must work out a new Constitution to consolidate political cooperation perhaps on the lines of the Donoughmore Constitution, disband political parties and NG constituencies –at Local Government level for a start.-
We are sick and tired of old style politics and old style politicians. We need new ideas, and new men to lead this country into the modern world. We really need modern people.
In 1994 when we voted for Mrs. Kumaratunge we expected the new generation to be different from the eras of SWRD, Jayewardene, Mrs. Bandaranaike and Premadasa, but nothing has changed.
Whilst it does appear that there is very little the ordinary citizen could do to change things. The new social media could perhaps effect the change, there seems to be a faint ray of hope.
There are also a few politicians who appear to value self respect and seek to change things; among them I would identify DEW Gunasekera, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Lakshman Kiriella, Rajitha Senaratne, Karu Jayasuriya, Sajith Premadasa, Navin Dissanayake, Anura Yapa Abeywardena, Eran Wickremaratne, the new JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Ruwan Wijewardene, Wasantha Senanayake, Kabir Hashim, Sujeewa Senasingha and Harsha De Silva, Ananda Sangaree, Sritharan, (there may be others too); we most sincerely hope that they can set in motion the change we seek and need. Making the laws for a country at any level is the most important vocation for any human being.
Plato, stated that only the most educated elite—the wise men and women of any society, should make the laws and rule. Sadly for us in our imperfect Democracies or “Ill-liberal Democracies”, as Fareed Zakaria has stated, only the dregs of society, pursuing crude power to rule over their fellow men, seeking power for powers sake, are in politics.
This is why I agree with those who have been writing to newspapers including distinguished Ex-Civil Servants such as Eric J De Silva, Somapala Gunadeera and DB Wijekoon amongst others, demanding an end to confrontational politics and the establishment of a new political culture in our country. We must support candidates who stand for a change of the political culture of this country. We must endorse those mentioned above, and others who share our values and ensure that, starting with our local bodies and Parliament, Members who are worthy of being the representatives of the people of the most literate country in South Asia, are elected to Parliament in particular.
The two main political parties are both pledged to furthering a multi ethnic, multi-cultural, democratic political system. They both profess to pursuing ‘Free Market’ economic policies; their foreign policies are to an extent somewhat identical; their Social policies are the same; the approach to the ‘national problem’ is also identical----- devolution of power (there may be differences regarding the extent of ‘devolution’—but they have both accepted that ‘managed Devolution’ is the answer and that we need to unite our people and give the Minorities a place at the Centre to have a say in deciding on National Policy.
WE NEED TO USHER IN THE AGE OF COOPERATION AND LEAVE BEHIND US THE AGE OF CONFRONTATION.
Yes, an unprecedented opportunity has come our way --- let us make use of it;
Before I conclude I must place on record my disappointment at a statement made by President Sirisena- Why has the President unnecessarily struck his neck out by stating that he would lead the SLFP campaign at the forthcoming Local Government elections ---- what if the SLFP loses? Should he not have stayed out as he is the President of our Country?-His being head of the SLFP is secondary to his being our President. Yes he is the President of our country and all our people, the UNPers, the SLFPers, the JVPers the Sinhalese, the Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays and all others; his being President of the SLFP is not even secondary, so he should step out of this election campaign and be the President of Sri Lanka and of all Sri Lankans and maintain his dignity. If this forthcoming local government elections were contested by the two principal parties this will most definitely be the beginning of the end of this political marriage, which was consummated on the 8th of January this year. If the elections to local bodies were held on the basis suggested in this article, (Which many in this country endorse and would be proved if the President holds a Referendum and consults the people, who would confirm this) it would secure him the everlasting gratitude of the people for initiating a change in the political culture of our country and also saving our country from chaos and disaster.