Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge, who ruled Sri Lanka for 11 years, has lashed out at what she sees as the naked demonstration of the abuse of power, the shameless indulgence in corruption and nepotism, the violation of human rights and the rule of law in Sri Lanka today.
Speaking at a crisis period when the cold war between the Government and the Judiciary has reached volatile proportions, Ms. Kumaratunge said the right to freedom was composed of the right to think freely, to talk and express one’s thoughts freely, to practise one’s beliefs -- religious or political-freely, to have free access to justice and the law.
Addressing a United Nations Day celebration at S. Thomas’ College in Mt. Lavinia, Ms. Kumaratunge said she was deeply disturbed to find that a considerable number of people spoke about their rights, while refusing steadfastly to accept that the others had rights too.
Ms. Kumaratunge, whose father S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike founded the ruling SLFP and whose family dominated the party for half a century, said a massive change had taken place over the past several years, in the values that had underpinned the greatness and the nobility of people. One single word had replaced all this – profit. Material wealth, monetary considerations, seemed to outweigh all humane values. Political power was an important component of the equation of profit making as it conferred the authority to make money, no matter how and by what means.
Ms. Kumaratunge said she believed the sudden and accelerated onslaught of the free-market economy, the capitalist system dumped upon the existing ancient, rural and feudal socio-economic, cultural structures, sent shock waves which could not be absorbed soon enough by the existing systems. The traditional societies where caring for each other among equals as well as between the elites and those who served them was burst asunder, without a credible, acceptable set of social practices to replace it.
By way of a solution Ms. Kumaratunge called on religious leaders and educational institutions to mould the minds and thereby the lives of young people. It was important to teach them languages, Maths, Science and Technology, History, Geography and so on. It was equally important to teach them the value of freedom and human rights and inculcate respect for the rights of others to cherish and respect difference and diversity. In a direct reference to the present government, Ms. Kumaratunga said the absolute powers bestowed on the Executive Presidency and the abrogation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution had compounded the situation.
Observers and analysts say at least 90 per cent of the SLFPers are what they are or where they are today because of the break they got and the support they received from the Bandaranaike family. What has happened to them today?
Pot calling kettle black ! Recommended reading - " Chaura Rejina " by Victor Ivan.
senarath Wednesday, 17 October 2012 02:59 PM
Yes had she abolished executive presidency as she promised no need to cry out now.
Ayesha Arambepola Wednesday, 17 October 2012 04:04 PM
She has no right to talk about corruption. She is corrupted to the core. Read the book Queen Of Deceipt by Victor Ivon to know to what extent she was corrupted when she was the President.
Vimal Wednesday, 17 October 2012 04:47 PM
SWRD made it possible so that any person can come contest the election this is the case of all the problems. Most of the people who ended up contesting were the lazy people working in the public sector.. This is why this country has ended up like this.. allowing useless fellows, thiefs and uneducated morons to contest and them giving them honorary doctorates.. absolute foolishness!
Vimal Wednesday, 17 October 2012 04:50 PM
This is your fault you never did anything to stop the curruption at the time.. and everyone knows you were not an example to others on this matter.
agasthi Wednesday, 17 October 2012 05:42 PM
What made you chose the current president over more senior members of the SLFP????A political favouration I believe.
P.L.J.B.Palipana Wednesday, 17 October 2012 02:10 AM
EXACTLY SAID MADAM!!!
Fusion Wednesday, 17 October 2012 06:52 AM
With all due respect Ma'am, its easy to say those thing when you are not in power. The Bandaranaike family, especially S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is the root cause of the problems in SL. Remember the "Sinhala only" act? Things like abuse of power, corruption, nepotism, human rights violations were there a lot during you & your glorious Bandaranaike family rule as well. You are incensed because it was the President Rajapaksa that removed the 2-term limit and not you!
Cobra Wednesday, 17 October 2012 02:27 AM
She's lost her memory too!!!!!!!
Anura Wednesday, 17 October 2012 06:52 AM
Haha.. LOL. Nice speech at a school. Lunacy is the word madam.
Piranha Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:53 AM
CB may have abused her powers when she was the president but what we see now with Rajapaksa is unprecedented corruption, nepotism and a staedy mach towards authoritarian family rule. CB was correct in pointing this out.
Sin and Hope Wednesday, 17 October 2012 06:58 AM
Dear Madam, Just what exactly did you do when you were in power? Please explain on this site if you have the guts and the honesty.
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