19 July, 2024

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AKD’s NPP Must Win, But Where Is His Agenda & Platform?

By Asoka Seneviratne

Asoka Seneviratne

Sri Lankans are finally ready to bid farewell to the three major parties. They are fed up with the old guard who have been cris crossing parties like leaches to remain in power, and eventually led our beloved homeland to financial ruin. It is widely believed and hoped that AKD will be elected to be our next President. I personally hope he will. Not so much know their agenda and policies but there is no other option.

But like thousands more, I am confused why Anura Kumara Dissanayake has not revealed his platform. Sri Lankans are screaming for a wholesale system change. They expect AKD and his team to deliver.

People are not expecting a change of face, but a change of the political structure that will create proper checks and balances, ensure independence of our criminal justice system, restore the rule of law and more.  With this in mind, here are my questions for AKD and his team

Anura Kumara Dissanayake | Photo Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi

What are your legislative priorities, how do you plan to create independence of the police and the judiciary  from the government, what will be number of ministers in your administration, what criterion will be used when electing ministers, what will be the oversight process for these ministers to hold them accountable, what will be your process when appointing heads of government agencies and corporation, how do you plan to have oversight over these appointees, how do you plan to address corruption, what will be your plan to attract investment both local and  international,

How do you plan to manage local government accountable and efficient, how do you plan to grow our economy, how do you plan  appoint judges, how do you plan isolate the judiciary, legislative branch  and the executive from each other, what will be your policies to address unemployment problem, how do you plan to address the issue of higher education, what options will you give those hundreds of thousands of smart kids coming out of A levels who fails to enter universities, will you allow foreign universities in Sri Lanka?.

And most importantly, how do you plan to recover the loot from the previous leaders of all parties? Will you be passing legislation to bring the culprits to justice even if you have to enact legislation with retroactive effect, will you use such loot to pay off our debts?

Do you plan to introduce a fresh and smart constitution that provides proper checks and balances and accountability, how will such a constitution enable the Rule of Law with absolutely no interference from other branches of government?

In such a constitution, will the Attorney General be a pawn of the leadership or truly work for the people to treat all law breakers with equal standards no matter who, will your administration have police minister appointed by leadership  and if so how can the police function without interference from the leadership, what mechanisms are there to ensure this most important issue plaguing SL for decades, restoring law enforcement without fear or favor.

How will you ensure that Peoples bank and Bank of Ceylon don’t become personal cash pot for the benefit of leadership and their stooges knowing that billions have been lent with no collateral, will AKD and Co do away with so many layers of local government with overlapping duties and some of them have become hatcheries of corruption to benefit the local elected leaders.

Will an AKD government enshrine in our constitution that the date for general and presidential elections are fixed to a date on calendar and not at the calling of the leadership?

Another crucial question. Where does NPP get funding? They must be. But will AKD resort to the same old by rewarding the money men by leaps and bounds when in power. All over the world big money plays a role in elections. They expect hefty returns. Will AKD and Co explain this aspect in the name of transparency?

The list can go on and on.

While I am no fan of JRJ, before he came to power in 1977, he spelled out a large number of details of his platform long before elections such as a wholesale change of constitution, creation of free trade zones, floating the rupee, allowing imports, creating a market economy etc. While many of his policies and the constitution planted the seeds of corruption and decay of our democracy, he did put his agenda forward well in time.

Those Sri Lankans who don’t eat grass are not expecting a change of faces. They are expecting wholesale structural changes aimed at wiping out our corruption, enabling equal justice under the law, create transparency and hold leaders accountable.

If these vitals are fixed, economic prosperity will follow naturally, and decent foreign investment will follow. Lankans are smart and hardworking people. They just need a fair chance and the governments have failed in providing these.

First, large foreign corporations must see that we have solid democracy, not a banana republic type where leaders use the police to beat up and intimidate their own people for simply protesting injustice and sky-high cost of living. And postponing elections for fear of losing and continue to trick people into lies and deception.

Sri Lanka is at a vital crossroad right now. It is a do or die situation. Do we continue the status quo and let the country be continued to be robbed to bankruptcy or do we change course totally and get onto a whole new track?

The young team of AKD is not tested in running a nation. But they have been in the forefront of highlighting corruption, violations of rule of law by politicos, mismanagement of governments etc. both in and out of the parliament. They deserve a chance. To some extent they have earned it too.

AKD and the team needs to now stop talking about all evil by all three parties and start opening up about their solutions.

So let us hope that AKD will soon release their platform in detail and it is a good one, not just a list of promises not to be kept.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    … why Anura Kumara Dissanayake has not revealed his platform … ?
    I can give you one reason. Those who are loyal believe that revealing the platform will cost NPP the election!
    Isn’t that fishy!
    .
    Asoka Seneviratne has asked all the right questions, except one. Should I spell it out. Or, can our readers read my mind!
    .

  • 10
    2

    An intelligent writer will not frame questions without bothering to study the numerous public platforms (which include YouTube and social media) on which the NPP has spelt out much of their policies, perspectives and attitudes over the preceding years. There are some aspects of economic policy that will not be revealed in detail, as other opportunistic remnants of the parasitic political class can pounce on them and pretend that they are their policies as well. However, it is important to note that the NPP has a vast reservoir of intellectuals and academics as well as grassroots level activists and operatives who can and will commit themselves with vigour, to rebuilding the failed and bankrupt nation, at the earliest opportunity.

    • 7
      2

      “NPP has vast reservoirs of academics and intellectuals as well as grassroots level activists”
      It may be true within Sinhalese community but I don’t think they have at least the minimum level of the same within Tamil speaking people (Tamils, Muslims, Indian Origin Tamils). It is not sufficient to have enough academics, intellectuals and grassroot level activists but they should have the knowledge and skills to understand the need for the country and people living in all parts of the country. There are so many academics and intellectuals involved with the racism and Buddhist Fundamentalism. JVP insurgency failed because they only focused on Sinhalese. LTTEs insurgency failed because they focused only on Tamils. Gotas’, Rajapaksas, UNPs, SLFPs failed because of their focus on Buddhist Fundamentalism. So, NPP has an opportunity to make the chances of the attitude change of the People. I don’t know how far the academics and intellectuals have done enough in this process to educate the grass root level activists. Still some of the leaders of the JVP proudly say that it is JVP who was responsible for finishing the war against LTTE. It could be interpreted as it is the JVP who killed over 100000 Tamils.

      • 3
        3

        “JVP insurgency failed because they only focused on Sinhalese. LTTEs insurgency failed because they focused only on Tamils.” As simple as that!
        Not because of the stupidity of the leadership?
        Sorry, some believe that the LTTE was led by a genius.

        • 2
          1

          “Not because of the stupidity of the leadership?”
          Yes because of stupidity of SWRD and his Wife led by a Tamil Genius called ……..

          • 1
            3

            That escape attempt will not make your pathetic utterance any less stupid.

    • 5
      0

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      UK will be holding elections on 6th July & all serious political parties have published their manifestos. Their objectives & strategy are costed & sources of funding revealed for public scrutiny & the voters can make an educated decision. However, some of the objectives may be hazy & the costing dodgy. Accordingly, the Tories argue that Labour cannot fulfil its promises without increasing taxes & every household will be paying an average of £2000 more, despite Labour’s pledge not to increase taxes. I am a Labour supporter & this is of concern to me, therefore, I am weighing my options. Sinhala Man believes I am simple minded, which may be correct, but for likes of me, & I am sure I am not alone, the manifesto is the accepted pledge of a political party on which we can make a choice. I have been asking the same questions as Mr. Seneviratne, so why not put our minds to rest?
      Cont

      • 7
        0

        Cont.
        GR also had his circle of intellectuals & professionals but they only led him up the garden path. The old guard JVP is unwanted baggage for NPP & that worries me, as well as, a bunch of 20 or more groups whose expected contribution is yet unknown but the rhetoric of the women’s front, to go by, has no substance. If that applies to the rest of the coalition, then they are just another bunch of opportunists. In fact, in my thinking, the NPP capitalised on the Aragalaya & the JVP is piggy backing on the NPP. Would anyone give a monkey’s if JVP contested on their own? Would it be the same for NPP if there is a credible alternative?

        There seems to be a lot of excitement about AKD’s political meeting in London. How many votes is he expecting from the SL diaspora? Wouldn’t it have been more cost effective if he reached out to the diaspora by social media? Then there is the AKD’s ‘battle bus’, a photo of a pink double decker bus with AKD’s face going around in social media. If its true, I wonder whose bright idea it was. Certainly Londoners would be confused thinking who AKD is & if ‘compass’ a new party contesting in UK elections. If this is how the NPP is spending party funds, I am not sure how efficiently they will spend public money.

        • 1
          1

          PART TWO
          .
          However,
          I don’t know what is happening in any of your fashionable countries. My good-hearted, Labour-supporting, brother-in-law lived in Harrow until he died three months ago; his intelligent Conservative-voting wife heard Harini in London, sent me that notification, a month ago, about AKD’s scheduled meeting in her ගම, Harrow, but came the meeting in Slough, and she said that she’s holidaying in Poland. This is why I was hoping that Raj-UK would take Nathan’s advice about going to Slough.
          .
          My youngest sister in North Carolina doesn’t consider it worth her while to acknowledge even my existence, as nimal fernando well knows, but at least I talk to Ameer Ali in Perth, but get no response from either of my sisters in Sydney or Brisbane, “leelagemalli” no longer sends me chocolates from – well, some place in this universe which I’m not allowed to identify; no wonder the people of Bandarawela say that I’m a villager who doesn’t even know English, whilst “leelagemalli” swears that I don’t know Sinhala.
          .
          What a life!
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

          • 2
            0

            SM

            It’s a dog’s life (& I don’t mean the pampered life of a pooch in a wealthy household) for many in SL, thanks to corrupt leaders like the Rajapakses, Bandaranayakas, Sirisena, Premadasa, as well as, autocratic JR & laissez-faire RW, whose loyalty to his cronies was greater than his pledge of allegiance to SL. Then there was not fit for purpose DB Wije., all living (or lived) the good life at the tax payer’s expense. The SL voter had no choice but to vote for yobs & the riffraff. However, the aragalaya indicated that the people had enough & it was the NPP who was quick to hijack the aragalaya concept but the alarming fact is that the JVP, with it’s old guard, is piggy backing on the NPP.

            I have better things to do than attending a political meeting on a saturday afternoon. I can’t understand AKD’s reason to canvass in London when he could have got a larger audience with a TV broadcast from SL, which would have been cost effective in my thinking. In fact, a political manifesto would provide the voters a clear idea of NPP objectives, which, those interested can read at leisure, as would your sister currently holidaying in Poland.

          • 1
            0

            Hello SM,
            As the French say C’est la Vie.
            Best regards

            • 1
              0

              Thanks.
              .
              “French to me is unknowe” – as Chaucer would have said.
              .
              About ten days ago, I tried to indicate my sketchy familiarity even with Old English, but I think that it was edited out.
              .
              But here’s something that I came across that will fascinate you for 62 minutes:
              .
              David Crystal (now 82) talking academic stuff exactly a year ago:
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLs0jJymO0A – Let’s Talk, How English Conversation Works with David Crystal
              .
              I have listened to only half of it; wonderful stuff. A real academic doesn’t talk down to us.
              .
              I’m focussing on the political stuff just now. It’s going to be to be quite tense up to nomination day. After that yada yada up to the 5th of October, when AKD is likely to be elected with at least 55% – could be more is what I’m now forecasting. Ranil will be obliterated; Sajith Premadasa is not going to be any match for Anura.
              .
              I’m watching the developments in the UK with plenty of interest. You can hardly be happy with the progress of Farage.
              .
              Regards,
              .
              Panini

          • 1
            3

            SM,
            “but get no response from either of my sisters in Sydney or Brisbane, “
            Ah well, I wouldn’t blame them. That’s one good reason to be anonymous. That way your relatives wouldn’t have to be embarrassed at the stuff you write.

        • 1
          0

          Hello Raj-UK,
          “GR also had his circle of intellectuals & professionals but they only led him up the garden path”. What sort of “Intellectual” decides to convert a country to 100% Organic instantly? The Government had no US$ to buy Fertiliser and thought that they had the solution with China’s help in providing “Shiploads” of Organic Seaweed. And the Government even paid for it even after their own Scientists rejected it.
          Please provide the names of these Intellectuals and Professionals that were advising GR, so that people will know who to blame for the countries Bankruptcy.
          Best regards

          • 1
            2

            LS,
            “Please provide the names of these Intellectuals and Professionals”
            Are you serious?
            If you are, just have a look at the meeting in Nugegoda earlier today.
            https://youtu.be/b5YawU0cCmI?si=aS037IlIarW6cqbV

          • 3
            0

            LankaScot: There was a decision by the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka naming those guilty of bringing the financial crisis. Those found guilty of violating Article 12(1) of the Constitution were: Gotabaya Rajapakse, Mahinda Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse, (The President, Ex-President, and Minister of Finance respectively) Ajith Nivard Cabral, and Prof. Lakshman (Both Governors of the Central Bank) S.R. Attygalla -the Secretary to the Treasury, P.B.Jayasundara, the Secretary to the President and all members of the Monetary Board. In all 13 were found guilty.

            All of them could be charged in a Court of Law at any time. But I have advocated that the Parliament by a Resolution must decide to withdraw all their Civic Rights for LIFE and CONFISCATE their wealth because that amounts to a CRIME against Humanity – the People of Sri Lanka. This is a proposal to a New
            Government. The present Government will never move in that direction.

          • 1
            0

            Dear LS,
            .
            As I read urs I was driving from Hannover to Kiel yesterday.
            .
            “What sort of “Intellectual” decides to convert a country to 100% Organic instantly?”.
            .
            Unfortunately srilankens feel 😕 intellectual just being accessed to Internet.
            .
            Fact is not even a law professor [Prof GLP] got educated at Oxford could set examples. 🙄.This is the mirror image of lanken scholars.

          • 0
            0

            LankaScot

            It is difficult to define an ‘intellectual’ in SL with so many having Doctorates but GR’s circle of advisors were known as ‘Viyathmaga’ & if my understanding of the Sinhala language is correct, it roughly translate to ‘path of the intelligant’. I am unable name them, not being familiar with political cronies by name but a trade unionist medical doctor whose expertise extended to agriculture as well & female ‘wonder woman’ doctor who was appointed a governor while she conducted her private practice before she started & finished her official duties while juggling family life at the same time, comes to mind. Then there were the usual saffron brigade but with so many of them, my tiny brain is unable register all the names.

      • 0
        1

        Dear Raj-UK,
        .
        PART ONE

        .
        As you well know, there is no place where perfect elections are held. Here are 5 minutes after which I have been assured I will know all about your system, although not the result:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giaEF6hnT6M
        .
        So, you are a Labour supporter, but obviously not in Islington North!
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf4FXTllR9A
        .
        That is only 3 minutes.
        .
        Let’s first see how Macron fares on the 30th of June, then the results of what you have done whilst Biden is celebrating 248 years after his Independence from your new country, before poor brown fellows like me do our best on the 5th of October. Ranil is not allowing me to be sure that we can have our say – ever again, or at least until 2048, when he will be 99!

    • 4
      1

      LP
      I worry when there is a crowd of ‘intellectuals’ in any political organization.

    • 3
      0

      Dear Lasantha

      I am not a highly intelligent person so forgive my ignorance.

      SL has 22 million people. How many of them have the access, ability or the time to read all these articles on line, social media etc.? Besides many of these various comments may not be the official position of the NPP.

      This is why it is accepted universal practice to publish the party’s agenda, policy statement and as Brits call it the manifesto. That is the official set of policies and programs of any party. So those who don’t eat grass can make an educated vote.

      My simple questions was why NPP has not released their manifesto yet? In London AKD was asked about this and he agreed and replied ” we are making it as we speak”

      I want NPP to come to power. I also want to see them throwing a whole bunch of crooked politicians in jail for life. I want them to recover the loot. I want them to clean up the police, public services , justice system, local governments and and grow the economy. I want them to pay off our debt.

      But NPP needs to spell how they are going to achieve this in detail in the form of a manifesto.

      Time has come for NPP to stop talking all the evil of the past and publish their plan of action. Millions know who did what to our country.

      As you know, talk is cheap !

      • 0
        1

        “My simple questions was why NPP has not released their manifesto yet?”
        Has any other?
        They will all, in good time when dates are fixed.

  • 3
    5

    Mr Asoka Seneviratne.
    .
    We will now have the task of separating you from Prof. Asoka.S. Seneviratne, who has written this:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/npp-the-unrivalled-choice-in-sri-lanka-politics/
    .
    If you were to go there, you will see that I have twice given you this link:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/rws-economic-transformation-bill-npps-systemic-transformation/
    .
    මාලිමාවේ LONDON ජනහමුව | Public Meeting in LONDON | மக்கள் சந்திப்பு | AKD | NPP Srilanka | June 15 – 3 hours 41 minutes
    .
    At two points in Anura’s speech he said that there was a need to publish their proposals; that’s what you call a manifesto, isn’t it?
    .
    Many are so bothered about that, and a new constitution, but nobody seems really bothered about the delimitation of the island for purposes of elections.
    .
    At this moment, I’m at this point on planet Earth: 6.844544, 80.975173,
    .
    https://www.mpclg.gov.lk/web/images/wardmaps/badulla/15_Badulla_BandarawelaPS.pdf
    .
    It is within the Bandarawela Municipal Council:
    .
    https://www.mpclg.gov.lk/web/images/wardmaps/badulla/02_Badulla_BandarawelaMC.pdf
    .
    Ward 1, Grama Sevaka Division 67G.
    .
    I will shortly go into the Bandarawela Town. Ward 6/65G.
    .
    There are two roads into the town; whichever road I take, I have to go across the Haputale Pradeshiya Sabha:
    .
    https://www.mpclg.gov.lk/web/images/wardmaps/badulla/17_Badulla_HaputhalePS.pdf
    .
    Ward 1, GSD 64A. Fortunately, I have neve been asked for my passprt.

  • 3
    3

    If they reveal everything they will be nude and all will be seen. Nothing interesting
    thereafter to look forward to.

    • 1
      2

      Good to be your age, at least on public platforms.

    • 2
      0

      KV
      So you never take a second look at a nude?
      How dull can one be!

  • 3
    0

    Srilanka police and the army will guarantee a safe election and election Result .
    NPP has repeated time and again along with the JVP that This is a Class
    Struggle . If it is a class struggle , does the class they pride themselves for being
    with has the resources to run the country ? Who is that they are planning to tax ,
    the haves or both the haves and have nots ? What is your welfare plans ? I tasted
    two of the font line JVP / NPP guys’ utter disregards when I contacted them and
    that I believe is a fair enough pre curser for what is in store with power in their
    hands .

    • 1
      0

      whywhy, this disregard is the reason why NPP needs to unify with other mature leaders of this nation who are not robbers, so that most people will have confidence as they were aware of the deeds of the JVP in 1971 and 1989. Their current policies need to be different from then.

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