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Pancha Maha Balavegaya on the Streets - Editorial

20 August 2012 08:58 pm - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who leads the National Movement for Social Justice, has again called for the immediate abolition of the executive presidency saying it is the only way to save Sri Lanka from a calamity. The prelate told a news conference the Rule of Law had broken down, corruption was rampant, accountability and transparency were not on any account books, while party politics was criminalised. He expressed shock that ruling party politicians accused of indulging in corrupt deals or even in the rape of underage girls were getting away by making the outrageous claim that they could not remember whether they did so.

He said while the executive presidency had been vested with virtually absolute power, parliament was irrelevant with a two-thirds majority, making it act like a lap dog. For a vibrant and accountable democracy, parliament needs to act like a watch dog and exercise strict control over public funds, but that is not happening.
The Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter the Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera also spoke out recently in a sign that Buddhist prelates are getting involved courageously in the campaign to restore democracy and the people’s sovereignty. He said the Pancha Maha Balawegaya, which played a leading role in the 1956 social revolution of the then Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, was now on the streets. The balawegaya comprised the sangha, veda, guru, govi and kamkaru. We see today that the goviya is in a mud hole of bankruptcy with his paddy and other crops destroyed by the drought. The kamkaru or the workers are also struggling because the cost of living is soaring far beyond what they are earning and salary increases are only promises. The wedas, mainly the doctors, are also campaigning for reasonable pay increases, while the country’s health sector is being controlled to a large degree by powerful transnational drug companies. As for the guru or the teachers, university professionals have been on strike for the past six weeks, with teacher unions alleging that moves are being made to sabotage the free education system.

Corruption and other vices have led to a widening of the gap between the rich and the poor, with the economy known to be on the brink of collapse though the Central Bank and the Treasury are boasting about high growth rates.

 The latest scandal was in the Securities and Exchange Commission, where its chairman Thilak Karunaratne – a highly–qualified management professional resigned because a powerful political mafia was not allowing him to probe alleged insider trading. With two SEC chairpersons having resigned within a year, confidence in the stock exchange has hit its lowest levels amid allegations that unscrupulous officials were gambling with billions of rupees from the Employee’s Provident Fund.
All these and other factors go to underline the Nayaka Thera’s demand that the executive presidency be abolished, and be abolished now.
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  Comments - 6

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  • Bennet Tuesday, 21 August 2012 01:50 PM

    are you sure? where is the "country" when people are starving? and when legal system has collapsed? when rapists, child abusers, heroin dealers, prostitutes, extortionsists are reigning? when the educated are going abroad for good? wake up Senavi! but you'll have no choice but to wait & see..... sorry mate!

    wanni Tuesday, 21 August 2012 01:51 PM

    FUTA launched their strike aiming immediate pay hike. They did not fight for Pancha maha balavegaya. 1956 "Guru"s were poor teachers in rural villages. Now FUTA is changing their tune and seek public support for their isolated protests. Yes it is very true that every body needs a good governce without corruption. Reasonable salary and living standards for all. "Govi"s are facing serious drout. They are cryiong for ther lives. These university DONS should have fouht for a national policy which should sollve the problems in all balavegas. They should luanch anti corruption campaigns .Then masses will not isolate them.The Individual protests & pay hikes and will deteriate the economy as well as peace of the country.

    Rathurala Tuesday, 21 August 2012 02:23 PM

    Somehow, bringing up these pancha maha balavegaya at this juncture seems a bit of a mis-step in the fight against corruption and abuse of power. The clergy were by and large in support of the massive human rights violations when the war was on. They paved the way for the subsequent deterioration of the rule of the law by their silence or support of the regime's crimes. Now, it's time the whole country reaped what was sown.

    senavi Tuesday, 21 August 2012 12:57 AM

    but all these forces are agitating for their own demands and not for the sake of country

    Independent Observer Tuesday, 21 August 2012 07:22 PM

    We must noit miss the point . What is urgently neccssary is to abolish the Executive Presidency, with the unlimited powers that have been bestowed on it ..
    To add insult to injury the incumbant presedent could contest to become the president as many times as he wishes, althoughly previously he could become the president only twice and no more !

    Sri Radharakshitha Tuesday, 21 August 2012 06:16 AM

    Refering to the FUTA member strike here is not appropriate since their sabotaging the university system for their selfish needs not for a national cause.


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