23 April, 2024

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Corruption & Lack Of Common-Sense; Presidential Brutalities 

By Sunil J. Wimalawansa

Prof Sunil J. Wimalawansa

Part 31: Sri Lanka—Changing Pillows to Cure HeadachesCorruption & Lack of Common-Sense—Presidential Brutalities 

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This article discusses why Sri Lanka needs a complete System Change and a new Constitution. Achieving this goal requires most voters to understand what went wrong, the current situation, and what needs to change (cause and effect). With such understanding, it is not that challenging to bring most Sri Lankans under one umbrella—one theme. Preparing the nation for such a common cause needs effort, dedication, and perseverance.

It is no surprise that many current parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and the unelected president, will obstruct such changes to the corrupted System (which disadvantages them) and thus want to maintain the status quo.  Therefore, the changes must come from educating the public and their efforts at the grassroots level. Once the populous united for a common goal through education and easily understandable documentation of what is meant by the System Change that is crucial for Sri Lanka, it would become easier to achieve the goal. It is entirely within reach of Sri Lankan voters. 

Inefficient—selfish governance and bad policies

The country has no consistent policies or law rules; these have not been implemented. Examples include food security, clean water, drainage system, education, healthcare, agriculture, sovereignty, energy sufficiency, and the economy. Lack of these increased insecurities: jeopardises sustainable development, peace, and the welfare of people. The lack of longer-term policies and planning combined with the greed of selfish politicians and businesspeople led to the current chaos in the country. Consequently, living in Sri Lanka has become intolerable.

Besides, under the current bankruptcy status, the tight monetary policies that are yet to come will make the suffering significantly worse. Despite all these, the current approaches taken by the government are unwise, ridiculous, and blatantly foolish.  

Are they taxing the poor for the perks and foreign travel of ministers?

A good example is the government opted for mandatory registering and imposing completely unnecessary and bigoted tax based on the square footage of these families (small vendors) who sell food and other material by the side of the road to make an honest and basic living. How can the government be stupider than that? In “early 2022,” the Sri Lankan president/ the government promised it would not raise any taxes.

However, now the government is increasing all taxes but not taking action to reduce costs. The unwise and inefficient government has taken no initiatives to reduce government spending, massive ministerial wastage, cut down the 1.6 million bloated government servants, especially the military, curtail non-essential projects, or minimise corruption. Despite these blatant violations of inaction, it has started to tax the poor, and the inane executives made that a priority. These low-income families are just making ends meet (in fact, while helping travellers) to supply some food for their children. These executive actions are inhumane and disgusting.

Why is the executive branch so sluggish about taking the right actions?

If the executives had any commonsense, they should have reversed the 2019 disastrous tax cut and stopped the nonsense of taxing roadside home-sellers. Instead, they are happy to impose taxes on middle-class and low-income families. Despite the worsening situation, the government has taken no policy decisions or tangible action on a non-political basis to care for the impoverished and the vulnerable. Is this failed democratic system the Sri Lankans want or deserve?  

Recently, the unelected, unscrupulous president and the failed selfish cabinet ministers have taken away the freedom of speech, free expression, peaceful assembly, and associations from the public.Chairperson of the independent Human Rights (HR) Commission of Sri Lanka, Justice Rohini Marasinghe, on 28th of October 2022, declared that the use of the 1984 Police Ordinance of 1865 (amended in 1984) by the minster for law and order (and the Police/IGP) and the unelected president were unconstitutional. These include abuse of the prevention of terrorism act (PTA) and emergency declarations by the president via the secretary of defence and the IGP, and taking away the rights of the people, including free speech, peaceful gatherings, and protesting. Major violation of human rights and civil rights by the president of Sri Lanka.

The use of the PTA to dismantle Aragalaya

President made a mockery out of The Aragalaya by “infiltrating” and arresting (illegally)those who took part—i.e., peaceful protesters. The HR Commission decreased that such abuse of power by the (president and the police minister), the government must stop immediately. The IGP took recent unilateral actions to satisfy and please the ruling party and protect ‘one’ person in the country while harming thousands of innocent citizens. The current unelected president has already failed: it is not too far from the day he leaves office.  Despite the militarisation of the country and converting into a failed police state/government, he will not have a place to hide in Sri Lanka. 

This is not the justice the populous are looking for. The IGP and other culprits breaking the laws, including the police minister, must be made accountable via a court of law in due course. Those illegal actions, inappropriate arrests, and remanding of innocent people without trials have harmed thousands of innocents. Brutal actions, taken under the deception of the PTA, are done to dismantle The Aragalaya and prevent protests in Sri Lanka.  

It seems the administration does not want to understand that because the government has failed to deliver what society expect As for the published reports, the country has turned into a military state run by the police and the army, managed by an unelected president who seems manipulated by an unelected (back-door appointed) ex-minster.  

President—Government’s brutality—state-sponsored terrorism against the people

The government’s failure (president, prime minister, and some ministers), the wretched and harmful actions taken by senior police chiefs against unarmed civilians, and the violations of civil and human rights are vivid. The president and those culprits must be made accountable for these brutalities and crimes against humanity: there is no time limit for doing so. All these brutalities were instigated and continued to protect the unelected president and keep him in power. He has neither a public mandate to govern as a president nor the right to represent the parliament, especially as a person who failed to get elected in the 2019 general elections.  

Not only did people never elect him, but they also rejected him at the general election. The time will come soon to end his brutalities and lifelong failed carrier politician—not qualified to do any paid job). He has had multiple opportunities as the prime minister, but each time he failed in his duties to the country and failed to deliver to the public. He also failed to honour the aspirations, demands, and future of the younger people in Sri Lanka: instead, he disrespected and arrested them.  

President is not above the laws of the country

As a politician, the current president seems to be living in a bubble protected by the over-blown military: have lost his mind that people—the public—have the right to peaceful protests. He is not above the law: currently hiding behind the parliament and smoke-screen of the constitution. For his acts against humanity and multiple violations, in due course, he should be punished via the Court of law, like other criminals.  

Besides, he violated laws and the constitution: blocking citizens’ freedom and inappropriately using the PTS and other junk laws: once he leaves his office, there is no reason to prevent him from being prosecuted.  Besides, his inhumane acts (including the Batalanda massacre under his watch as then prime minister) have brought international condemnation and disputation and made it harder for Sri Lanka to solve the financial crisis (deliberate acts against humanity). 

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    We certainly need a complete change but I doubt if the current set of average voters are ready for that change. It would be up to the next generation to think broadly & demand the change, as happening now in Iran. While millions are destitute, the fact that there are a minority of idle rich kids flaunting the ill gotten wealth of their parents, SL is still a paradise to a privileged few to whom money is in abundance & restrictions or shortages do not apply. There is so much black money, scam investments openly rake in billions as investors are unlikely to report the fraud. The current set of politicians are responsible for this pathetic situation & are probably behind the scams as well.

    The Iranian students, particularly, the females, continue their demand for a regime change despite the threat of harsh imprisonment & even death. Aragalaya should be inspired by these events. As for RW, what a despicable character he has turned out to be. These politicians, including academics like GL, have no shame. How they can show their face in public or even their own families, friends (if they have any) & relatives, is beyond me.

  • 6
    1

    “As a politician, the current president seems to be living in a bubble protected by the over-blown military: have lost his mind that people—the public—have the right to peaceful protests.”

    Yes, the public have the right to peace protests. Similarly, the Presidents have the executive power which is above the law. According to our constitution you have no right to raise questions even if he murder his wife. He was brought to the power by former President, not by the people. What is the point if he doesn’t use that executive power? It is the suicidal power given by the people themselves. The people were happy when the former President used against Tamils and Muslims. So, is it wrong now?

  • 3
    1

    It’s evident that Ranil is trying to continue working with the Mahinda group until his presidency. But, the majority of the public and other parties are opposed because this combination of two cheaters with different views cannot be trusted based on their previous records. The country cannot be governed by police protection and the Prevention of Terrorism Act violates the basic human right of protesting.

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