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Editorial - As I am their leader, I follow them

12 July 2012 06:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Whether political leaders and others acknowledge it or not, the most devastating or self-destructive crisis confronting them is selfishness, greed and the multitude of vices flowing from them. These include the desire for personal gain or glory, power, prestige and popularity, though camouflaged by hypocrisy and deception compounded by self-righteousness.

Religions identify these as the root of evil and injustice. Political and other leaders profess to follow one or more of these religions, they preach pious or puritanical platitudes, but they seldom practise what they preach. Most of them have not entered into the experience of liberative spirituality where we are gradually liberated from our slavery to selfishness or self-centredness, and we become other-centred. This inner liberation enables us to unconditionally love, help and serve others without expecting anything in return and for the common good of all. Political leaders then become servant leaders instead of trying to become lords or masters and exploit people. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “Because I am the leader of the people I follow them.”

We are supposed to be a Democratic Socialist Republic. During the past few weeks our editorials have shown how democracy has become just a slogan with the absolute powers of the executive presidency, the two thirds majority in parliament and the draconian 18th Amendment turning a democracy into a virtual dictatorship.



Are we socialist? Since 1977 when Sri Lanka swallowed wholesale the globalised capitalist market economic policy, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened to monstrous proportions. About 85% of the country’s wealth and resources are controlled by about 15% of the population comprising the rich and ruling elite and criminal leaders also. It is this multi-millionaire minority that invested as much as 85 million US dollars in secret Swiss bank accounts last year while millions of people are struggling for survival with the cost of living soaring.

While the abolition of the executive presidency, the implementation of the Freedom of Information Bill and other measures are needed urgently to restore democracy and the rule of law, the Government also needs to take effective action to bring about a more equitable distribution of the country’s wealth and resources. This must begin with political leaders agreeing or being forced to take a drastic cut in the pay, privileges and perks they now enjoy with extravagant glee. Urgent steps are also needed to curb corruption and fraud through which top politicians, officials and business magnates plunder the resources of the country.
Religious leaders must raise a prophetic voice and tell the political leaders that they must repent and enter into a simple and humble lifestyle as an example to the people. The globalised capitalist market economy is dying or dead as seen in the West. If austerity and socialism are the answer, then it must begin with political and other leaders.
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  Comments - 1

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  • Hamlet Friday, 13 July 2012 06:51 AM

    Love the Phrase -'privileges and perks they now enjoy with extravagant glee."


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