eople had a raw deal always compared to what politicians had won for themselves after independence. Prior to 1970s, parliamentarians spent time in the Parliament Library in order to equip themselves with the knowledge and necessary skills because such knowledge was vital to be skilful debaters, negotiators and to perform their varying roles as efficient politicians. After 70s, everything has changed. How? They have created a social order where legislators and even average citizens give precedence to the science that deal only with earnings – material gains.
Owing to this, if we do not act wisely, we will be failing in our duty towards our generations to come! Don’t you think time is right to consider the establishment of a new polity – a creative act of a kind? An evolution but not a revolution! Political, social, administrative, industrial, technological, moral, philosophical, economical etc. Shouldn’t we now begin to change for the better to yield greater advantages, benefits and better results for all those down the line? “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” Mathew 7;12
Most of our politicians at present do not represent their constituents with dedication, honesty and the love for the people. Their ability to oversee the executive as law makers and as peoples’ representatives have been far below expectations. Their integrity is questionable. They are only interested in making money, promote lawlessness, nepotism, communalism, violence, hatred, greed, abuse of power and other acts leading to deterioration of law and order. All these have affected all of us whether we were Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. Aren’t we all a combination of matter and of mind. Aren’t we all the same? Human beings. When it comes to politics, politicians have created all these differences among us. Shouldn’t we now unite for a common goal?
The Opposition in Parliament seem to be determined to achieve their personal goals. How about those in the Government? Aren’t they all doing the same thing for their own benefit? If so, do they only want to further their selfish interests at a cost to the people? Sri Lankan, CTB, Petroleum and other state owned establishments, boards and corporations are heavily in debt and mismanaged too. The number of Cabinet, state and deputy ministers has also increased. Every successive government in the last few decades failed to introduce effective policies to minimise overheads, losses and corruption in order to take the country forward. Haven’t they created serious issues of governance?
Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Finance has openly accepted the country is bankrupt. If so, how can they refurbish their offices, rent out buildings at exorbitant rates, purchase luxury vehicles spending billions?
A parliamentarian has imported a duty free brand new Range Rover Sports vehicle having paid Rs. 1750 only as a Customs Declaration Fee to the government. This alone has caused the government a loss around 40 million. Do they prefer to exempt 225 MPs from duty and other taxes for their luxury vehicles and apply VAT to average citizens?
"Most of our politicians at present do not represent their constituents with dedication, honesty and the love for the people"
Aren’t these good enough reasons why a group of intellectuals should come forward collectively and contribute enormously to shield common interest and shared goals of the citizens? Haven’t we seen instances where the public resorts to all types of coercive behaviour such as violence, killings, demonstrations, extortion, strikes, larceny etc.
Shouldn’t the rulers therefore think of establishing justice far and wide and simultaneously to go beyond personalities as promised? Shouldn’t they restore law and order? Are they dragging their feet? Shouldn’t we now think that as citizen all persons have the undeniable responsibility and moral duty, both individually and collectively to change the pertinent circumstances in to just ones by collective action? As citizens we must make our own informed opinions and stand by them because our politicians have robbed billions and billions of peoples’ money and opportunities with the connivance of the bureaucracy. Global Financial Integrity (GFI) Economist based in Washington had said “unless these changes happen – and fast – the world’s poorest countries will continue to lose huge amounts of funds that could have been used for much needed development to pull people out of poverty”.
UN Human Rights Expert Juan E. Mendez slammed Sri Lankan authorities and pointed out that necessary reforms in the legal framework, police, the Attorney-General’s Department and the judiciary have not been considered seven years after ending the war. He had added failure to do so would affect us adversely. How about restoring good governance?
Did we mostly elect “political men” to represent us in Parliament in recent times? Being “political men”, haven’t they proved already that they cannot serve the Nation but themselves? Did Aristotle mean they are “political animals” because they forget that children were watching them in the galleries? They lack moral restraints. Could we think of a group of better men – a combination of “cultured men”, “well-behaved men”, “economic men”, “educated men, “planning men”, “moral men”, “religious men” etc. to take the controls? Could we request “intellectuals” to come forward to avert the collapse of Parliament?
Successive governments have failed to guarantee civil liberties, fundamental rights and numerous other political goods to the citizens due to bribery, tax evasion, cronyism, embezzlement, and the like. Did these eventually deprive the citizen of their inalienable right to development of an individual in education, employment and so on? Shouldn’t the political culture be changed to lay the foundation to produce virtuous, dignified and a law abiding citizens?
"Our politicians seem to be lacking generosity, understanding, compassion and humility. We could see greed, avariciousness, hatred etc. in contemporary politicians"
Our politicians seem to be lacking generosity, understanding, compassion and humility. We could see greed, avariciousness, hatred etc. in contemporary politicians. In the absence of positive traits, could they promote both material and spiritual improvements except destruction and decay? I truly believe, with due respect to other religions, we should emulate our ancient kings who blended successfully material and spiritual progress through Buddhist principles. Man-made massive reservoirs and dagabas are monuments to prove their success. The Bible says “when the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan”. Why should we groan endlessly?