18 April, 2024


By The Numbers

By Mano Ratwatte 

Mano Ratwatte

Sri Lanka underwent a Cabinet reshuffle. Without a doubt, this will lead to dynamic growth hitherto unseen since the peaceful revolution of 2015.  By 2019 Sri Lanka will be in a position to offer aid to Singapore and India; the economy will grow at a fantastic rate from now onwards and corruption will be non-existent in the near future. For those who like contrasting numbers here are some factoids(only for those who like numbers)

US population is 325.7 Million. Its Federal Government Cabinet consists of the Vice President and  The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General. (US government website).   In the Cabinet, members do not serve to influence legislative policy to the degree found in a Westminster system; however, each member wields significant influence in matters relating to their executive department. Legislative tasks are the responsibility of the Congress and Senate(many sources).

US is unique in the sense it has delegated a lot of power to the 50 States. Governors are elected and so are the State Legislators. Governors have executive power like Chief Ministers in Sri Lanka and India.  But they have very clearly demarcated and defined powers and limitations.  It is truly a more autonomous system than what is found in Sri Lanka or India for that matter.  

Elections for Governors is democratic. They too follow the Federal government protocols by conducting primaries for each party where a secret ballot by registered Democrats and registered Republicans are held before the state election. These primaries then decide who will represent their party as the candidate for Governor. It is far more democratic (but require a lot of money dumped by special interest groups) than a Party head picking a nominee.

The constitutional and statutory duties of the Governor include: Signing or vetoing bills passed by the Legislature. Serving as commander-in-chief of the state’s military forces(the National Guard). Convening special sessions of the Legislature for specific purposes.   The Governor heads the government’s executive branch in each state or territory and, depending on the individual jurisdiction, may have considerable control over government budgeting, the power of appointment of many officials (including many judges), and a considerable role in legislation.

India’s population is 1.324 Billion.

Under Modi, it has 27 Central Government Cabinet Ministers and the Prime Minister who also has many portfolios and also holds portfolios otherwise not assigned to a minister. It has 11 State Ministers with “independent Charge” which I presume means they report directly to the PM and have sole responsibility for a portfolio/s.  India then also has 37 other State Ministers. I am not sure what their responsibilities are; perhaps regional political considerations and things like scheduled castes(an India census criteria) are used to give out those?  Interestingly there is both a Cabinet Minister and a State minister for Tribal affairs. What are the specific roles of a State minister in contrast to that of a Cabinet minister both in India and Sri Lanka?

Pakistan with a population of 193 Million has approximately 30 Federal Government Cabinet ministers and 18 State ministers.

Bangladesh has a population of 163 Million. The Cabinet is the collective decision-making body of the entire government under the Office of the Prime Minister, composed of the Prime Minister and some 33 Cabinet Ministers, 18 State Ministers and 2 Deputy Ministers(WIKI)

I just wish I were a cabinet minister in Sri Lanka; my measly Teacher’s  pension does not allow me to get that BMW X-5; and I cannot become a Walter White from “Breaking Bad”.

Just some numbers y’all; as Mel Blanc used to say “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks”

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Mr. Ratwatte,
    I found this interesting:
    “They too follow the Federal government protocols by conducting primaries for each party where a secret ballot by registered Democrats and registered Republicans are held before the state election. “
    What if one is neither a Democrat or a Republican but still wants to become Governor? Isn’t this rather an anti-Democratic practice , like in the Soviet Union, where all candidates were Communists?

    • 2

      Sir, actually you raise a good point. But you CAN be on the ballot as an independent if you get a certain number of signatures(petition) to be on the ballot in each state for Presidential elections. Or just declare your candidacy by filling some paperwork if running for Governor. Some states have forms you need to fill to run as an independent quite easily. Running as an independent for the Presidency is a bit different as you can see. I have copied and pasted the following for your perusal.

      There are three basic methods by which an individual may become a candidate for president of the United States.

      An individual can seek the nomination of a political party. Presidential nominees are selected by delegates at national nominating conventions. Individual states conduct caucuses or primary elections to determine which delegates will be sent to the national convention.[1]
      An individual can run as an independent. Independent presidential candidates typically must petition each state to have their names printed on the general election ballot.[1]
      An individual can run as a write-in candidate. In 2016, 33 states required a write-in candidate to file some paperwork in advance of the election. In nine states, write-in voting for presidential candidates was not permitted. The remaining states did not require write-in candidates to file paperwork in advance of the election.[1]

  • 0

    Old Codger if any individual/party has enough numbers they can register as a new party like Green party and so on.Also there is always a provision to stand as an independent and there are few who have been elected as governor/congress/senate.I believe the former minnesota governor was an independent

  • 4

    How about the President, PM, 250 MPs, over 300 provincial councillors, 8000 local councillors, and 1.3 public servants but they don’t want to say public servants for they think it’s below their status instead they say with respect Rajaya niladari. All are free loaders, and sucking the blood of the poor people. If all of them honestly work for the poor people, SL would have been a paradise for all but sadly all are real blood sucking no good God forsaken leeches and parasites living out of the migre in put of the poor people. .

  • 4

    I calculated for One Canadian Province which is the seven times the size of Srilanka. That province has only 87 ministers. so in comparison to Sri lanka, that province should have should have 1575 federal politicians. think about if the numfer of politicians for sri lanka is 9500. think the seven times that number of politicians. IT is simply a joke. They all are naked including the president and the PM.

  • 5

    Mano, like you, I am thinking that the ‘scientifically selected’ (whatever that means) newly appointed 18 Ministers will take SL forward towards a fairer society but when it happens, I am sure pigs will be flying too. The ever expanding number of Ministers, deputy Ministers, Subject Ministers (whoever they are), Governors, Provincial Councillors, etc. is only a burden on the tax payers but with a rich society who are privileged to own Bentleys, Ferraris, Teslas, Porsches & Lamborghinis, it’s only poor sods like me who have to worry about surviving the rest of our days in reasonable comfort. As for the BMW X5, the privilege is only for yobs. Dream on mate.

  • 3

    The Sri Lankan constitution, it seems, has been modified intentionally, over a period of time to weaken the rights of the citizens to make the parliament an organised criminal syndicate. The politicians then take turns to usurp the wealth of the citizens playing see saw, using these laws to protect themselves, by engaging the forces, police and the moda sanga. Nowadays the stage is set for the President, Ministers, Deputies, to usurp as much as possible from the treasury and do the vanishing trick. People cannot catch them because police will protect the rouges from being harmed. Several trillions of the public funds of the treasury is already pocketed by the former regime. Now it is time for the present lot to usurp as much as possible before the economic collapse by-the-numbers.

  • 2

    I mean….there are a lot of necessary add on’s in the US-congress too. However, their salaries are not quite the same as the 255 in the Sri Lankan congress, and they don’t get the same status as the main 15 in the US. Governors, state-reps, don’t have senator status. Actually there are “There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives (from Walberg.house.gov, on how congress works).
    Fellow India must be having a million and a half political parasites working over and underground for the political 27+37

  • 0

    Ramona before we point fingers at others. In U.S there is provision if minimum number of citizens sign a petition any government official can be scrutinized, If you read the news papers you will see in U.S and U.K quite a few leaders have been questioned and few even resigned due to inappropriate personal expenditure/spending while on service.To my knowledge, the numbers of elected individuals in India has pretty much stayed the same( though the population has been grown).There is no country in the world has had such an exponential increase like in Lankawe. And we all know who is the master behind this creation of bogus titles.MR is the one who bribed MP,s with positions to break away parties so that nepotism and family rule could continue without any hindrance.After all this trick is not new where minorities were bribed with ministerial positions since the independence, and MR just took that to a different level by expanding the cabinet it self to hundreds if not thousand. Long Live Lankawe.

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