3 March, 2024

Blog

A Letter To Anura Kumara Dissanayake – Spell Out Your Agenda

By Asoka Seneviratne

Asoka Seneviratne

Today, Sri Lankans are totally fed up with both political parties. Millions of Lankans have finally realized that together the two major parties ran our country to ground while protecting each other when laws were broken, and corruption was evident.

Thank to the contribution of the social media, an angry public who were deprived of the very basic necessities of life rallied together and managed to chase away a president who mismanaged the country, a historic first in our beloved island.

Two of his catastrophic decisions were giving a tax to the tune of around Rs 600 billion without figuring out how to pay for it (now RW has made the people pay for it with increased taxes) and later opting to go for organic fertilizer during a global pandemic thereby ruining the only healthy sector of our economy which was agriculture. Had Gota not been given the huge tax cut he might have had the money to buy chemical fertilizer.

Cudos to Gota, he ran away without using the police to stay in power. He realized he was most unpopular, and he quit unlike some who want to remain in power behind police line.

It is obvious that the pendulum has shifted big. Both major parties (or three parties, if UNP is still a recognized party since they have no elected MPs in parliament) realize that their hypocrisy is no longer a secret. Thanks mostly to social media, millions have politically matured.

It is extremely likely that Anura Kumara Dissanayake‘s (AKD) Jathika Jana Bala Wegaya  will muster the largest number of votes in the upcoming elections or to that matter AKD might well be our next President. Why not? What other option do people really have?

Why not give a chance to the JJBV (JVP) and see?

Personally, for me, I really like to see AKD become our next President. More importantly, I would like to see AKD restore the Rule of Law so that those who violated our laws for decades can be brought to justice.

This is paramount

See how millions are elated to see Minister Keheliya being arrested! Imagine the joy of the nation if dozens of law breakers are arrested. People are hoping AKD will keep his promises.

Rule of Law is a Pre-Requisite, if we are to progress as a nation. Only the poor and the less privileged have been in jail so far!!!!!  Amazing but true!

I am no political guru.  Far from it, but it will help AKD big if he and his party start spelling out their economic and social agenda in detail. Yes, the public needs to be educated about the abuses and failures of past governments but by now millions of then know all that.

So the time has come for AKD to open up to the public their agenda in detail. What will their policies and programs? What will be their legislative agenda? What will be the priorities in their legislative agenda?

As a nation, we are fiscally bankrupt. We cannot pay our massive debt to the point that we have put a halt to debt service. Raising taxes and such band aids will not get us out of the hole.

We need to grow our economy. For that we need investments. Lots of them. Investments come only from two sources: public and private. Private investments come from local and foreign countries. Public investment comes from the government, but the government is broke.

So how does AKD plan to get investment? With the history of JVP as a red Marxist oriented party, they are likely to have a tough time to convince overseas companies to invest in Sri Lanka. Granted that recently they renamed the party and that was a smart move. But basically, the older generations remember them as the red JVP.

Like I said, my fervent hope is that AKD becomes our next leader. He earned it too by screaming in the parliament about misdeeds by various governments. In most times, AKD, his small group, Ranjan and General Fonseka have been the lonely voices exposing on behalf of the people. Ranjan has been silenced.

So, in the coming weeks and months, AKD and team should start talking about their agenda in detail. Enough of talking about the wrongs.

Dear Mr. Dissanayake, millions of Lankans are behind you and your party. They see you as our Moses!

But start opening up about how you plan to get investments, how you plan to turn unprofitable government owned business profitable, how you plan to restore Rule of Law, how you plan to address the drug menace, how you plan to reduce the mammoth expenditure of maintaining various ministries, perks, luxury living of former presidents, their spouses and the rest of unaffordable ugly expenses. (Note that millions of Lankans live in abject poverty).

How do you plan to get rid of useless and corrupt local councils, how you plan to fix the Tamil issues, what will be the constitution of your cabinet, how many ministers, how you plan to appoint judges, senior civil servants, chairman of incorporation etc.

How do you plan to create “TRANSPARENCY” in your government?

It all boils down to a smartly drafted constitution which should be your priority but with the full participation of our academia and the public.

Do not get rid of the Executive Presidency. Many highly advanced nations have executive Presidents but there is plenty of oversight over his or her power.

Make sure there is sufficient oversight over the executive Presidency by creating “Separation of Powers” and smart “checks and balances” This calls for abolishing the ill-conceived system of appointing ministers from the legislature. That clearly violates “separation of powers”.

And finally get rid of your Marxist stamp. Marxism is long dead. A free market system with correct legislation and oversights has proven to be the most effective engine of growth. Just look at the west and even the emerging Asian powers.

Your opponents will try to causticize you and your party with the past deeds of the 80’s. Be ready for it.

They will play to the sections of our country who still eat grass.

With the Best of Luck to you and your party, for the sake of our beloved mother land!!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 4
    2

    This is a summary of what AKD has already stated. Maybe they need to be in a written “manifesto.” But manifestorial promises have been shown to be quite useless for country governing, and have been only used only to garner votes before politicians did as the pleased e.g. placing workers hard-earned money on alternate monetary schemes for quick profits that never came about. The NPP is intelligent enough to have a rolling and evolving set of policies that will suit the financial need per fiscal quarter.

    1. How to get investments:

    IMF and other financial bodies are fine with unproductive country like ours placing their investments onto Small and Medium Enterprise. That’s why they agreed to give us 4 billion (in tranches) instead of 40 billion and more of which they usually give to more advanced countries. It will be a relief to them when we will tax our US$ Lankan billionaires hugely to free out the trapped money – they can be reduced to millionaires instead of billionaires (and still be very rich). Economic wheels will move very efficiently then.

    • 4
      1

      2. How to turn unprofitable government owned business to profitability: Once the money amassed by Lankan US$ billionaires are returned to the people (by force, cohesion, or by the volitional laying-down of amassed wealth the defeated parties), plenty of funds will be available for restructuring of governmental owned business and for job-training.

      3. Restoration of Rule of Law and addressing the drug menace: With the abundance of money available, Policing Systems and CID Operations will tackle these menaces with much efficiency.

      4. How to reduce the mammoth expenditure of maintaining various ministries, perks, luxury living of former presidents, their spouses and the rest of unaffordable ugly expenses: They will be given an honorable retirement package in line with country financial availability. They will be allowed to keep their ancestral properties. But they can also migrate if they wish, and given honorable exile packages.

      5. To get rid of useless and corrupt local councils: Via enhanced Police and CID operations and via restructured local councils and efficient job-training facilities.

      6. Fixing the Tamil issue: Tamils will work with Sinhalese very easily when there the economic disparities are far reduced.

      • 4
        1

        7. Constitution of the cabinet (ministers, judges, senior civil servants, chairman of incorporation etc.): Highly qualified Lankans of high intelligence that belong to, and/or pledge allegiance the NPP, and possess much patriotism will be selected by well-structured and developed NPP-advisorial board.

        • 5
          0

          Ramona,
          Thank you very much for this. I was looking for it.
          To my knowledge. The money is stolen and it takes decades to recover it from offshore accounts.

          And first thing, how are they going to bring in more dollars than what is flowing into the country now?
          It is the most important of all other critical points which should be very clear to the nation. Gota and his followers ended up nothing though they grabed power promising sky high promises, They failed to even solve the cooking gas problem, remember?
          :
          If the existing law and order is not amended accordingly within a few months, it will take decades to punish the real criminals.
          :
          “More alarming was the place given to the Sinhalese Buddhist monks and how they got away with the most dangerous cancer of the nation, namely their aggressive involvement in the active politics of the country. Their intrusiveness into politics should be avoided by every means.
          .
          How do they implement secularism on top of Sinhalese-Buddhist hegemony?

        • 2
          0

          India has invited AKD and Sri Lanka delegation for a visit to India today.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeVlMTolQ90

          Whoever the next rulers are, Sri Lanka must not violate IMF recommendations for a better future.

            • 2
              0

              SM, Douglas and all others, should discuss the points below
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7oBRs9r_40

              • 2
                1

                Dear LM: I saw this video earlier with strained patience and listened to it to the end. I would ask you to give a single link to this “Valan Kade Gon Vassa” refrained from attacking AKD. Is he a “Lawyer?”.

                Now, yesterday, he filed a motion in the SC seeking to veto the decision of the Election Commission’s decision to register NPP.

                For how long NPP was in the election field? What was he doing all this while? From this alone, you can judge who this “Lawyer?” is. Apart from that just count the number of litigations he has successfully concluded. None. In one case he escaped punishment from the Courts by tendering an apology in open courts. In another instance, he was debarred from functioning as a Lawyer for two years.

                To discuss the POINTS raised by him – My foot. It is a waste of time.

              • 2
                0

                Dear LM: You are invited to read the 417 comments on this video.

                Now all these PINGUTHRAYS have got frightened and have deployed an army of paid media, both print and social to sling mud at NPP.

                You are capable of understanding the introductory comments referring to “Soviet Communism” which has no relevance to JVP or NPP. That very clearly shows the bankruptcy of logical presentation.

                Thank you for giving that link and sharing it with the readers who otherwise would have missed it.

                • 2
                  0

                  Thank you. But I usually don’t read the biased comments that are added to YouTube videos. I only pay attention if the points raised by the good videos are plausible. That’s my nature. Thanks for calling me “PINGUTHTHARAYA”. I have not been that sort, but more of pinguththaryas are confined to our hell created by medamulana thirisannu.
                  I’m just following the facts. That is how we are made. I don’t act like you and SM are blind devotees. I’m sorry, you were so good with facts before. Anyways, since your behave like a headless chicken, I have to keep away from your thought. However, now you are also infected and have fallen to the level of “Kadamandiya people”. Oh my! get well soon.

                  • 1
                    0

                    Dear LM: Why do you want to put on that cap “PINGUTHARAYA”? It was not meant for you. That cap is for all the ROUGES who plundered the country’s wealth. I know you don’t belong there.

                    Those FACTS are all wrong. Do you find “Communism” and “Leninism” anywhere? The whole world has changed in politics, economics, and social spheres. So, it is a futile attempt to swing a brush haphazardly and paint any political outfit with bygone archaic and dogmatic views.

                    Please don’t disgrace my Kadamandiya people. They are no more SLAVES and have devolved to be FREE thinkers and enlightened on political issues. A question: How can a headless chicken behave? It is DEAD. I am not.

                    • 2
                      0

                      Dear Douglas,
                      “All those facts are wrong. Can you find “communism” and “Leninism” anywhere?”

                      Really?
                      .
                      Does Democracy Work in Folks Republic of China Today? Some kind of dictatorships are mixed in their political process. is not obvious ? Germany has SPD politician led govt. It is more social democatic than their rivals but almost like equal by their performances.
                      .
                      Those fleeing China as refugees or otherwise exposing it to the world. I have met young people from China who set foot in Europe and refuse to return to China. Significant numbers indeed.
                      .
                      What works in Cuba? Isn’t that communism? What about your brothers and sisters in North-Korea ? I know you or the like would be mourning funerals to the same manner they were upto… however…. should that be the way ?
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTKopeQhiDo
                      .
                      What is working in some Latin American countries?

                      You and your KADAMANDIYA people – I enjoyed your thoughts before you became infected with NAAISM or JVPIISM. Now I think you are a brainwashed person. Your empathy is no longer visible in your person.

                      This is how homo sapiens act from time to time. I have to think like that and make up my mind. I am struggling to get caught the MEDAMULANA beasts by hook or by crook.

  • 6
    4

    The JVP has on numerous occasions spelt out their policies and have been working hard at the grassroots level to wean the herds away from their oppressors who they had been looking up to. So, there is no further need for Anura Kumara Dissanayake to spell out anything. The people have two choices: Keep the lowly scum of the two major groups in power, or join and support the revolutionary refreshing stance of the NPP and contribute towards a better future for our children’s future generations.

    • 6
      2

      Dear Lasantha Pethiyagoda,
      I believe you to be more trustworthy than any of JVP.
      For my sake kindly refresh the policies of JVP in a nutshell.
      Let me see if I get a chance for me to join the national stream of politics.

  • 3
    6

    NPP’s website mentions that they will soon publicise their policies. So it’s a matter of time. Have the other parties and/or contestants published their’s? Let’s not subject them to undue pressures.

  • 2
    3

    Not wanting to appear being beside the point, but still wanting to draw attention to:
    Cudos to Gota, he ran away without using the police to stay in power.
    How sure are you that Gota is not regretting that today!!
    .
    like to see AKD restore the Rule of Law so that those who violated our laws for decades can be brought to justice.
    – Restoring the Rule of Law, and bringing those who had violated it in the past to justice are two different things.
    .
    it will help AKD big if he and his party start spelling out their economic and social agenda in detail.
    Too much to ask for.
    They certainly would have an agenda. But, expecting them to reveal it … ? No good. Particularly, the Social agenda.
    .
    I have to agree.
    as a Marxist oriented party, they are likely to have a tough time to convince overseas companies to invest in Sri Lanka.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Ramona and everybody who made valide comments…

    I guess among other things, i am hoping that AKD will detail then following. I want him to be the next leader but it will surely help the masses if concrete details are laid out. I.e

    1. What are the priorituies of their legislative agenda? Will they introduce bills especially designed at bringing those who robbed from the people to justice speedily?

    2. How do they create separation of powers whereby the executive branch cannot interfere into law enforcement and the judicial branch.

    3. Will they introduce a new constitution ? If so at minimum what are the key components of the new constitution?

    4. What legislative or other action will they take to drive direct foreign investment to SL speedily?

    5. What will be the process they will adopt to ensure the judges, senior government officials, corporation chairmen etc.? The goal is to ensure transparency and avoid favoritism. For example in the USA all such appointments are subject to open public hearings by a senate sub committee followed by vote by the full senate. The questioning is tough and include all questions pertaining to the persons integrity, qualifications and and historically questionable actions all on live TV publicized public hearing. This ensures then highest quality and qualified people get the top jobs, not a favorite of the party leader or somebody’s uncle and brother in law.

    6. How to they plan to address and non productive government corporation and institutions to money making and non corrupt institutions.

    People are going to vote for AKD expecting wholesale changes in our political culture. It is best the AKD and his team start working on details now and spell it out to the public.

  • 2
    0

    It is great that if the people have truly realised that the two main political institutions from few rich families destroyed the country’s economy and peace through racism and religious fundamentalism. However, the challenges or barriers for a new political institution or leader like JVP or AKD are huge because all the institutions such as military, police, judiciary and the people are used to the existing system and their believes are corrupted and it is very difficult to change. For example, governments spend most of its finance and human resources in the security system. Further, over 95% of its human resources are from one community.

  • 4
    0

    For me AKD’s principals are already fracturing, Recently he paid a visit to the Mahanayakas. Why? He shouldn’t need their approval but it looks like he thinks he does, to keep the Buddhist vote. That’s politics.
    I hope he has all Buddhist monks registered and thereby controlled. Any one of them taking part in politics should be disrobed immediately. The ancient kings used to cleanse the Sangha from time to time when it had become corrupt. There’s no reason why today’s rulers cannot do the same.

    • 1
      0

      Paul,

      the place – North Kaluthara. At sea side, on a stone rock – a monk was on a photo shooting session comparably similarly to female and male models do the job. tHOSE LAITY men were like thugs. There were camera holders and others that were seen as their crew.
      This was my last vacation mid NOV to begining December 2023. I was innerly rebel like and questioned the monk, he told me, ” ane mahaththayo, apita dollar ona – sir, we also like earn some dollars”:
      .
      As long as they don’t remove it from the constitution, various Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalists will not take it seriously.

      Those sloth-like high chapter monks should act finally and bring harsher laws to ” monk hood and temple living” by warning GHANASARA or the kind of ballige puthas be totally banned from lanken sangahood.

      No doubt, in the days to come, we will hear that women are being raped by TEMPLE living monks in public placess with laity men and women holding torches to them….. saying ” SADU SADU ” louder than one can hear. That has worsened to that far… as of today.

      There are more Sinhala Buddhist radicals than what appears on the TV screen. In some areas today, laymen hold their BANA sessios “sermons” challenging that they are better than “shaved-headed hypocrites.” (THATTA UNCLES).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEhrPULazVg

  • 4
    0

    AKD stands above all most all current politicians. He speaks well & no doubt, sincere. His hands are not soiled (yet), therefore, deserves the benefit of the doubt. I am not sure how many delusional opportunists will throw in their hats for the Presidential stakes but as the only serious other contender, I have no faith in Premadasa jnr. He is distancing from his crude old man, portraying himself as sophisticated with international exposure & education but his family legacy is clear when he opens his mouth in Sinhala. The fire of his old man’s gutter mouth maybe toned down but he is still riding on his old man’s wave with nothing to call his own contribution in all his time in politics.

    However, when its come to forming a govt., the NPP, in my thinking, is a pickle of 22 or more of all sorts, who, coming to a consensus for the greater good, is a lot to expect. I have always wanted to know the NPP recovery plans for the economy & their expected sources of funding but it seems they are not prepared to divulge that information, nor, disclose their key members who will be steering the country to prosperity. With old JVP baggage, trade unionists, a bhikku front etc. in the coalition, I have my concerns.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Raj-UK,
      I had long gone past this article and comments. Today, I had a glance to see if anything new by way of comments has shown up.
      I was attracted to yours.
      … He (AKD) speaks well & no doubt, sincere.
      Please help me how to judge sincerity of a hardened politician.
      … His hands are not soiled (yet).
      The ‘yet’ speaks loud and clear.
      … he (Premadasa jnr.) is riding on his old man’s wave with nothing to call his own.
      I wouldn’t contradict you, even if you bribe me!
      .
      Someone has to be voted President.
      I am happy that AKD is in contention.
      I lose nothing!

      • 1
        0

        Nathan
        Compared to other sinhala speaking politicians, AKD is soft spoken & I attribute that to his sincerity. So far, his hands are clean & considering the rest of the contenders who have nothing to prove their integrity, AKD deserves the benefit of the doubt. Among this lot, I think AKD stands out as the better person but as a party, I have my doubts if the NPP are capable of turning around the country.

        • 0
          0

          “AKD is soft spoken & I attribute that to his sincerity.”
          I am afraid that by using this criterion you will fall for any smooth talking second-hand car salesman.

    • 3
      0

      “the NPP, in my thinking, is a pickle of 22 or more of all sorts, “
      Have we not be having pickles for government in 1956, 1965, 1970 and ever since 1994, some with green label, some blue and this is red.
      I think that there is a little more consensus in this pickle than in most others.

      • 0
        0

        SJ
        As you say, coalitions have not lasted long in SL & with 23 different parties, some who can even be called radicals (trade unionists, hardcore old JVPs), obviously, with each having their own agenda, I have my doubts if they are any better in reaching a consensus without intimidation for the greater good. In fact, the bhikku front seems contradictory to me when AKD, if I am not mistaken, has stated that he is against Buddhist monks actively participating in politics or, maybe, I have got the message wrong.
        Even outside politics, very often, it is difficult to agree when passions are high, therefore, 23 parties coming to an agreement without concessions, in my thinking, will be impossible in practice.

        • 0
          1

          “coalitions have not lasted long in SL”
          Check it out.
          The SLFP-Left alliance was quite durable but for a decade or so after 1975.
          The UNP-CWC alliance held well.
          Some are better than what have been where you are.
          *
          Is it not healthy for a democracy to have many parties?
          How can a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee be a democracy?
          One party states are more honest in the matter.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Raj,
      Hope all is well with you. I was wondering why I haven’t seen your comments lately. We have a lot in common in that regard, Janata Vimukthi Peramuna avoids our common questions. They were not clear to us from the JVP campaigners either. Thatta mamala are seen flocking with them on the stage and outside. So, they are no different to MEDAMULANISM politicians, that misled the very same audience for voter harvests.

      What do you think of AKD’s ups and downs just because Indians cherry-picked them for an invitation to India?

      Why on earth did AKD keep talking about Indianization that it will never happen under one of their governments?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj818b_IKlg&t=1322s
      Now the grassroot level of JVPrs are UPSIDE down… or not ?

      • 1
        0

        LM
        I am very well thank you.
        Seems, maybe, you & Nathan & a few others, share my concerns & we appear to be ‘wet blankets’ with our questions about the NPP. I have lost faith in all the mainstream parties but since the NPP appears to be the current darling among average voters, I am curious as to how they differ when it comes to governing a country that is in dire straits. Voters had the same blind faith in MR & GR but we seem to have not learnt from past mistakes & rush to assumptions. I can’t understand the passion with which some supporters are defending the NPP & even becoming personal instead of a rational exchange of opinions. All I am asking are simple questions as to how they intend to raise funds to govern the country & who the key people involved in the governance. Now even serious contributors to CT appear to have the same thoughts.
        I am not a socialist but I support Labour in UK as I have an idea how they will govern if in power because their policies, strategy & spending is in the public domain, so are the key people involved. If the NPP consists of ‘intellectuals’ & academics, what is the problem in divulging the details? Promises & intentions may be good but achieving the intended result is another matter without a clear strategy.

  • 0
    0

    Raj-UK & Nathan: Your concerns are valid and acceptable. I too had these concerns and got those cleared as well as studied the internal and outward organizational structure and respective code of conduct that has been incorporated. On the other hand, I made a comparative study of the rest of the political parties that have run this country’s governance and got utterly disgusted with their performance. So the only choice (for better or worse) was NPP an organization that is within the umbrella of the JVP, but aloof from JVP’s hard-line theories about political, economic, and social disciplines, some of which relative to “Political Reforms”; “People’s Representatives; “Sri Lanka Nation”; ” A Proud and Independent Country; “National Security” and “Judiciary” outlined in a Policy Statement titled “Rapid Response To Overcome Current Challenges” in pages 20, 21, 22 & 23.

    All the above execution of policies needs Determination, Resolve, and most importantly Discipline and Commitment with NO Personal Ambitions. This, I am sure, is where JVP will have a commanding goal and control in the administration by NPP. That is a big hope I have.

    As you, Nathan say: NOTHING TO LOSE. We have lost everything and it is an attempt to REGAIN and RECOVER.

    • 1
      0

      Douglas,
      My, ‘I lose nothing!’, is a personal reflection.
      You and others have a decision to make for yourselves!
      NPP may have no voice when JVP gets its long awaited opportunity.
      Don’t tell me that I didn’t caution you!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.