It is high time that people’s representatives rethink possible ways to rebuild the country for peace and happiness
- Political rivalry should be followed on principles
- They forget they represent the people
- The country belongs to all the people of the country
As one of the senior citizens of the country, I feel that in the contemporary political climate we are all suffering because of losing sight of the basic requirements of fundamental rights and values in a democratic society.
In such a society the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary play very important roles. Ours has been following the Parliamentary system of administration since 1947, but in 1977 the Presidential form of government was introduced. This was alien to our way of living.
Highly educated and decent Parliamentarians were elected to represent the people then. There was healthy Opposition in Parliament from various political parties then.
But at present, we have as Members of Parliament a majority of monolingual and educationally poor representatives, who rule the ruse.
Most of them have pseudo-patriotism and allegedly their main aim was to earn a quick buck in easy ways.
They forget that they represent the gullible poor people and find an easy way to become rich by hook or crook.
The first thing the Government in office should do is to abolish the Presidential form of Government through a referendum.
Secondly, legislation should be brought to the effect that the minimum educational qualification for a candidate at elections should be GCE Advanced Level and they must be screened by the political parties concerned before being allowed to contest.
Thirdly, preferably avoid coalition Governments and Cabinet of Ministers should be restricted to 25.
Junior Ministers could be assigned to a maximum of 60 in number and the State Minister status should be abolished.
Fourthly, the government in office should get advice of the Opposition on matters of national importance.
Political rivalry should be followed on principles and not descending to rowdyism.
Fifthly, Separation of powers should be strictly followed and the Judiciary should function independently.
What we need (Subhead)
Let me deviate for a moment to recall the reality of our people.
It is true the majority of the citizens who call themselves as Sinhalese number nearly 70 % of the total population.
Except for a misguided minority among them, almost all of them are kind, compassionate and peaceful people.
They are guided mostly by their respective religions. Theravada Buddhism and the ten precepts are universally accepted as a philosophy. Therefore, the Sinhalese as an ethnic group and Buddhism as a religion should naturally get primacy in our country.
But this primacy should not be interpreted as the only religion or only race in the country, because for several centuries other races and religions existed in the country. Such people in all count to 30 % in the country. They are all Lankans.
"With the now concluded gruesome devastation of lives and properties, it is high time that the politicians rethink of what possible ways we can rebuild the country for peace and happiness for all people in the country"
Therefore, they are all human beings with equal rights and equal in citizenship. The country belongs to all the people of the country. Rule of Law is for everyone.
Among the minorities, the major community is the Tamil Community.
However the hastened and ill-advised legislation called Sinhala Only, disunited the people.
But the genesis of alienation started with the Pan-Sinhala Government, prior to the Soulbury Constitution, the Tamils felt suspicious of the majority community.
What followed is part of the political history of the country.
In 2009 the gruesome war between the Government forces and disillusioned and disgruntled militants came to an end.
The Tamil militants in a way, got their inspiration for militancy inspired from the South by the then 1971 JVP insurrection.
Tamil politicians, particularly from the North realized belatedly that they couldn’t have their ideal separate Government and the only way to live in peace would be to give up militancy.
But the Governments did not pay sufficient attention to the day to day problems of the Tamil people, as they were preoccupied with the struggle for power among the majority community.
With the now concluded gruesome devastation of lives and properties, it is high time that the politicians rethought of what possible ways we can rebuild the country for peace and happiness for all people in the country.
Let’s pray to the Almighty of each religion that Sri Lanka regains its splendour as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.