Our congratulations go first to our new President Maitripala Sirisena and next to the people of our country who have taken the first step to restore real Democracy and the Rule of Law; and in the process to restore the dignity of the country, within the next one hundred days.
Whilst on the subject of ‘Dignity’ I need to also commend President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the dignified manner in which he has left office, emulating perhaps the late Prime Minister Dahanayake who after he was defeated in 1960, took a bus (not a Taxi as someone has stated) to Galle from outside of Temple trees; yes our country does have honourable people.
Our gratitude is also due in full measure to MR for finally ending the war which no President before him could do. We should also place on record that it had been former President Chandrika Kumaratunge and her one time rival Ranil Wickremesinghe, who are said to have brought Maitripala Sirisena out of the SLFP to contest. They are also said to have brought diverse groups together to support President Sirisena; let us hope they can restore the 2/3 majority in Parliament to have the absolutely necessary amendments to the Constitution, which they have promised to have adopted within the next one hundred days, such as repealing the 18th Amendment and re introducing the 17th Amendment, we hope they would also remove the total immunity which Presidents enjoy and their right to dissolve Parliament and also to decide on dates of elections.
The term of Parliament and of the President must be set out in the Constitution itself and the President’s term should be restricted to two terms only. On the subject of the Parliament, this government must do away with the so-called High Posts Committee which is really a joke – the Committee must function like the US Senate Committee where the ‘Aspirants’ are examined to check on their suitability for the job they seek to be appointed to. We need also to have a Parliamentary Research Service as they have in the US Congress, to improve the quality of Parliamentary Debates. Another important matter is the need to change the Electoral System; we must adopt the Mixed system as recommended by the Dinesh Gunawardena Committee of Parliament. We must do away with the District as the electorate, it breeds corruption. We must do away with this electoral system before the next General Election; we, the so-called sovereign people, must also have the Right to Information, this must be enshrined as a Fundamental Right in the Constitution to enable us to curb corruption and have tranparency in government. Whilst on the subject of ‘Corruption’ let us hope that the new government will reform the over one hundred and fifty State enterprises which are not only running at a loss but are also said to be corrupt. Let us for a start, at least give them ‘Trust’ status and require them to retain professional Management companies to manage these enterprises.
To another important matter, President Sirisena has mentioned in his Manifesto and also in his acceptance speech that he would change our foreign policy and reform the management of our foreign relations and our Foreign Service. Our Foreign Policy needs to address the new world situation; we need to be friendly with all countries particularly with those of the West, for obvious reasons; yes we need to have a balanced Foreign policy.
I do hope that the new government will also spare a thought for the hundreds of widows in the North, whose husbands were forced by the LTTE fight for them and the hundreds of children and the orphans of this war; we MUST reach out to them for we, as a predominantly Buddhist country, should live up to the tenants of our religion in this Maitri era. The minorities must be accommodated in the Central government too for then, they would most definitely feel that this is also their country as much as it is ours.
To conclude, the diversity of the various groups that supported President Sirisena presents an unparrelled management challenge to the President, we wish him the best. Meanwhile the election results have indicated a most dangerous divide; the Tamil voters in the Northern Province and of the Hill country together with the predominantly Muslim vote of the Eastern Province, appears to have tipped the scales in favour of President Sirisena at the election; yes this brings into focus a most dangerous divide and presents a most serious problem. We must also at the same time ban hate speech and all ethnic and religious based political organizations, this would no doubt be resisted but it is in the national interest to do so.
Whilst on the subject of ‘Corruption’ let us hope that the new government will reform the over one hundred and fifty State enterprises which are not only running at a loss but are also said to be corrupt.
Comments - 1
ahmed Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:29 AM
real lankan spirit well done sir keep it up
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