The Youth Commission report says that “The existing institutions have been so eroded and reduced to atrophy either by politicians or institutional paralysis that youth do not perceive them as performing any necessary or significant function in society. Consequently, the ideologies which capture their interests and imagination often have a predominant element of anti-institutional bias.” It had added that “Youth grievances and representations are not accorded any substantial place in these institutions which have not effectively developed systems ensuring some degree of sensitivity to the changing nuances and priorities of youthful aspirations”.
he report had further pointed out that owing to these reasons “there is naturally youth alienation from the institutional structures, which sustain the very foundation of our society”.
The Commission in their report therefore had made certain useful suggestions to identify necessary reforms for the purpose of building up public trust and confidence and re-defining of mechanisms and structures aimed at giving youth perceptions and grievances as well as their attitudes a central place in our body politic.
In 2001, having considered numerous shortcomings, the Parliament unanimously enacted a major piece of legislation, i.e. the 17th Amendment in order to promote good governance and established the Constitutional Council, which had however been non-operational since 2005.
The former regime thereafter took steps to repeal the17th Amendment and introduced the 18th Amendment in 2010. It was in order to allow the Executive President to contest more than two terms and to repeal the Constitutional Council.
"Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore introduced a zero tolerance policy towards corruption and established competent institutions to achieve sustainable development and economic growth.Could we do that?"
Remember the 48th National Chapter of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) was established by both the Government and Opposition members in 2004, which is affiliated to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
GOPAC is an organisation working together to combat corruption, strengthen good governance and uphold rule of law. GOPAC had also been dormant since 2005?
Our elected representatives attend GOPAC seminars and conferences overseas regularly to discuss ways and means of eradicating corruption.
The present leaders, prior to both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections, promised to stop corruption, waste, misuse and abuse of power in order to give a better deal to the common man.
Could they now go back on their words saying that “they have inherited an empty treasury pillaged by Rajapaksas”?
Why did Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne fly to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, when the mission statement of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine says that their objective is to improve the health services to reduce inequalities?
The new Government accordingly has made repetitive blunders.
Shouldn’t they learn from the senseless slip-ups so far? the Finance Ministry has endlessly done so to embarrass the President and the Prime Minster. There are several other ministers too, who have tarnished the image and brought disrepute to the Government.
Shouldn’t the President and the PM take serious note in their own interest?
"Why did Minister of Health Dr.Rajitha Senaratne fly to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore when the mission statement of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine says that their objective is to improve the health services to reduce inequalities?"
The Joint Opposition is currently making good use of these weaknesses of ministers and other problems. There appears to be a long delay in taking legal action against corrupt politicos too. It has also been reported that a few Cabinet Ministers and a handful of bureaucrats are trying to sabotage the National Audit Bill. Various other cases pending in courts are getting dragged on indefinitely. If the government means business, they should fulfil their promises.
The PM, who is an experienced past master, a renowned strategist, must therefore think what happens, when waves against the Government is used for the benefit of the Opposition?
PM has so far taken great pains in Parliament to change the present system in the interests of the country and people. The Prime Minister should take all necessary steps in order to keep the public well informed of the good work they have done. He should be well aware of what is happening behind his back inside Parliament.
There are undercurrents working against the reforms introduced by him in Parliament. Naturally, they do not like change!
The youth had also made representations against political interferences, the erosion of standards in Parliament and political appointments in the public sector.
The Commission had recommended provisions be introduced to stop crossovers.
The Supreme Court ruling given in 2006 during former CJ Sarath Silva had opened flood gates. The ruling given in favour of Amir Ali against the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) had caused grave and damaging aftermaths for all the political parties, big or small.
"The Joint Opposition is currently making good use of these weaknesses of ministers and other problems. There appears to be a long delay in taking legal action against corrupt politicos too. It has also been reported that a few Cabinet Ministers and a handful of bureaucrats are trying to sabotage the National Audit Bill."
Wasn’t it funny that this had paved the way for turncoats in the Opposition to hold Cabinet portfolios?
These defectors have caused a mockery of our Constitution and the political system.
Do you know what happened in the Supreme Court when Lalith Atulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake expulsion cases were taken up in 1993?
The Supreme Court held the position that the Constitution ensured the Fundamental Rights of an elected representative and hence before expelling an MP from the party, they should hold a proper inquiry and one of the Judges, held the view that there needs to be “overwhelming reasons” and that the expulsion should be for the “public good”.
Don’t we therefore need meticulous statesmen now with altruistic benevolence to manage a culturally assorted nation with professionalism?
Shouldn’t our political leaders be adequately armed with administrative knowledge, ability and a strong ethical and legal framework with adequate checks and balances of human frailties of greed and other imperfections in order for us to transform the dreams and aspirations of the youth in this country?
The former President Rajapaksa said that they had a saloon door and elected representatives were free to join or leave the Government as they wish? Accordingly, we had a jumbo Cabinet, the largest in the whole world!
Turncoats accordingly failed to give validity and strength to the will of the people. They thereafter looked after themselves and kept busy amassing wealth for their kith and kin. Haven’t they destroyed this country politically, culturally, socially, economically and most importantly by creating a culture of impunity?
"Wasn’t it funny that this had paved the way for turncoats in the Opposition to hold Cabinet portfolios? ..a mockery of our Constitution ..."
Let me point out that garbage collection in many parts of the Island had been a perennial problem which had affected the country men for several decades. There had been no satisfactory solution found despite the fact that there had been howls of protests from people who had to live close to garbage dumps.
We have elected representatives in thousands for decades and they have done nothing acceptable to sort out the garbage issue for long years. My simple argument is that in the past they could not resolve the garbage issue and many more. Could the new government resolve all these? Yes. Only way - (knowing the public sector too well)
The PM must not accept ‘NO’ for an answer being the CEO.
Our youth had made strong representations to the Youth Commission that crossovers should be stopped and the standard of Parliament should be upgraded for the benefit of the people. Shouldn’t we consider it as our foremost duty at this juncture?
Harsha de Silva, MP, slammed Parliament as a ‘den of thieves’ during a debate in the previous Parliament and castigated the ministers for not setting a good example.
He was brimming with passion and anger and spoke both in Sinhala and English and accused that the Parliamentarians did not perform their Parliamentary duties. He went on to say that “I am sorry to be standing here as a Member of Parliament. I am disgusted because there is so much corruption in this institution”.
Do you think the new government is also unable to replace kleptocracy?
Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore introduced a zero tolerance policy towards corruption and established competent institutions to achieve sustainable development and economic growth.
Could we do that?
JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath accepted truthfully and with honesty that the vehicle, which met with an accident was driven by him. Another similar episode is now in courts. The Minister who is a good governance campaigner, according to Police had not driven the vehicle.
Gilbert Holland in a poem had said: “Men whom the lust of office does not kill; the spoils of office cannot buy; who possess opinions and will; who have honour; Men who will not lie;”
Thank god we need such men in abundance in Parliament!
To be continued ...