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Threats emerged within National Government

6 October 2015 06:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Why is a National Government needed? An average view of the General Public is that a National Government is better than a weak Government formed by a single party which has only a thin majority in Parliament.  A National Government would be stronger and more capable of tackling national issues effectively than that of the Government based on a single party, and in that context, National Government is the need of the hour.

In addition to the plus factors and benefits of National Government above referred to the intention of weakening of power of the Rajapakse group and strengthening and consolidating of power of the Maithripala group within the SLFP are also considered vital factors which led to the formation of a National Government.
 

"To replace Jumbo-Cabinet and unbearable number of ministerial positions of  the MR regime, with a small and economical Cabinet and with a sustainable  number of ministerial positions based on actual necessity and  affordability of the nation."



However it has been observed that it was not an easy task to achieve the above expectations due to certain threats that emerged within itself. Those threats are categorized for easy reference of the readers as follows:-
(a) Threats that emerged from the formation of structure, 
(b) Threats that emerged from operational mechanism, and
(c) Threats that emerged from the General Public.
An attempt has been made in this article to analyze in detail the true nature of above threats and to determine their impact on National Government.

A National Government has been formed by the President in terms of power vested in him in Articles 42(3), 42(4) and 43(1) of Chapter VIII of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Article 42(3) of Chapter VIII provides that the President shall be the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers. Article 42(4) of the same chapter provides that the President shall appoint as Prime Minister the member of Parliament who in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of the Parliament. Articles 43(1) has provided that President shall in consultation with Prime Minister where he considers such consultation is necessary determine the number of ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers. Article 46 (1) (a) provides ministers of the Cabinet of Ministers shall not exceed thirty. Article 46(1)(b) provides Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall not in the aggregate exceed forty. Article 46(4) provides, in the event of formation of a national government the number of ministers in the Cabinet of Ministers, number of Ministers who are not members of the Cabinet of Ministers and number of Deputy Ministers should be determined by the Parliament.

In terms of above provisions, President has discretion to form a Cabinet Ministers based on his own opinion. I wish to highlight phrase in Article 42(4)   “in his opinion” and phrase “when he considers such consultation is necessary” in Article 43(1). These phrases provide discretionary power over President in the event of appointment of Prime Minister and determine of number of Ministers in the Cabinet, subject to the limit given in 46(1)(a) and 46(1)(b) where the number of Cabinet Ministers is limited to thirty and the number of Non-Cabinet Ministers is limited to forty respectively. The total number of ministerial positions (Cabinet Ministers plus non Cabinet Ministers) in a single party-based Government should not exceed seventy. Accordingly, a total number of ministerial positions (Cabinet Ministers plus non Cabinet Ministers) has shot up to unbearable number in National Government.

Based on pledges given by promoters of Yahapalanaya at the last Presidential Election and General Elections, and what exactly people expected from a National Government could be enlisted in a nutshell as follows:-
(a) To replace Jumbo-Cabinet and unbearable number of ministerial positions of the MR regime, with a small and economical Cabinet and with sustainable number of ministerial positions based on actual necessity and affordability of the nation.

(b) To replace corrupt politicians who held ministerial positions in the MR regime with decent and efficient politicians.

(c) To punish corrupt politicians of the MR regime who have committed frauds, crimes, plundering of public funds etc., and recover the public funds so misappropriated without any reservation or delay.

(d) Above all, people expected that National Government was better than a weak Government formed by a single party which has only a thin majority. The people are also of view that National Government would be stronger and more capable to tackle national issues effectively than that of a Government based on a single party.

People who voted for UPFA led by MR and his followers at the general election never endorsed National Government concept. In fact there was nothing mentioned in the election manifestos of the UPFA with regard to formation of a National Government. In contrary to this situation, the President was able to push the SLFP representatives in Parliament to form a National Government with the UNP and its allies. 

President has appointed en-block almost all corrupt politicians of Rajapakse Regime as Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers contrary to the pledges given by the President himself at the elections that he would eradicate the MR regime and its corrupt politicians most of them were charged with alleged financial frauds, plundering of public funds, bribery, 
corruptions etc. 

Based on their statements made from time to time in Parliamentary debates and disclosures made by them occasionally before the general public, it is observed that politicians who hold ministerial positions from MR group in the National Government haven’t given up their allegiance to MR culture. 

Formation of Cabinet of Ministers in this manner has caused a split between two major parties within the Cabinet although it is not clearly visible at this stage. Of course there is clearly visible split between two major parties within Parliament.  We can’t expect unity within Cabinet whilst there is clear cut split within Parliament. When there is a split, there is no unity. When there is no dedication for unity it is not possible to upheld cohesion and collective responsibility which is sine-quo-non in the Cabinet. In that context, sole objective of National Government wouldn’t be achieved.  

Unless appropriate measures are taken to counter threats triggered at the National Government effectively, gradual decay of it would be inevitable and revitalization of the Rajapakse Culture would also be ineradicable. Tangible actions which would be capable to convince general public effectively that National Government is much better and effective than that of the former regime could be considered extremely important at this juncture in order to counter above threats that emerged in National Government. Let us hope for the best.

The writer is a BA Spl University of Ceylon 1967 MBA - SJU, Retired Executive Director – HRM & HRD-BOI, HRM Consultant on Fiscal Reform Programme-ADB Inland Revenue Department 2005, Management Consultant since 2006 up to date MIDAS Group (Multi National FDI Project) and Lecturer in HRM and HRD – American College of Higher Studies. (2002/2003)
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  Comments - 1

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  • Nodder Wednesday, 07 October 2015 04:07 PM

    Cause is the delay in investigations, taking them like MR to courts, punishing them and putting corrupt men in prison to isolate from the good people.


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