23 September, 2020

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Democratic Governance At A Crossroads: The Enemy To Be Defeated Is Within

By W A Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Inclusive democracy through representative government

Democracy, as against monarchy or authoritarian rule, has been hailed as the best form of government due to a number of reasons. It permits citizens’ voice in government, allows people to have choice over right to life, career, faith, or property, creates an environment conducive for intellectual pursuit, helps prospering creativity in members and promotes peaceful cohabitation among diverse social, ethnic and religious groups.

In the older form of democracies that existed in ancient Greece or ancient India around 5th century BCE, these goals were sought to be realised through direct participation of all citizens in society. Yet, one problem with these democracies was that they were not true democracies in today’s context. That was because a large segment in society such as slaves, women or low-caste people was not recognised as legitimate members who could participate in the democratic rule. Hence, they could be termed exclusive direct democracies.

In today’s context, democracies should be inclusive allowing all citizens, irrespective of faith, ethnicity or class, to participate in the governing process. But it would pose a problem because of the sheer largeness of societies not only in terms of number or territory but also diversity and complexity they have gained. As a result, direct democracy was succeeded by a new form of democracy known as ‘representative democracy’. In this form, citizens are to rule themselves through representatives elected by them for a given period. These representatives who are simply agents of the citizens are required to perform their duty as per the wishes of their principals, the citizens. This model will, therefore, not succeed if these representatives are not bound by a governance code, known as democratic governance.

Governance is how one relates to one’s stakeholders

Governance is simply the way an individual, an organisation, a company or a government relates himself or itself to those who are interested in his or its affairs, known as stakeholders. They can be of two types: those who stand to benefit or those who are destined to lose as a result of the behaviour of the entity concerned. Governance requires the entity to have an appropriate balance between the gains and the losses. This could be done by incorporating an ethical or moral code to governance.

The most famous of such codes today relate to the need for ensuring sustainability, preserving environment and protecting minority shareholders in a company or in the case of a government, protecting and ameliorating minority ethnic or religious groups.

Today, the demand of societies has been that their elected representatives should adopt good governance practices. However, in reality, two developments have shaken the very foundation of the democratic governance today. One relates to the emergence of evidence that elected representatives have deviated from good governance practices. The other is that citizens, in their present organisational capacity, have failed to keep an effective check on such deviations. Hence, democratic governance is at a crossroads today and if corrective action is not taken, it will meet with a natural death.

Sovereignty is in people

The elected representatives who are simply agents are required to use the society’s scarce resources for the maximum gain of their principals, namely, the citizens. Unlike a monarchy or an authoritarian rule, the masters of a democracy are the citizens in whom, it is claimed, sovereignty of the state is vested. Since people working together have a better and sounder collective intelligence, again a claim made from a principle known as synergy, such a system should naturally bring prosperity to a nation and help it climb to heights which it has not yet reached. This is the promise of democratic governance.

Weaknesses of governance

But, some economists do not think so. They have found weaknesses in representative democracy systems leading to a misuse and a waste of a nation’s wealth at two levels. One is at the level of the bureaucracy. The other is at the level of elected political rulers.

Kautilyan prescription

Economists had for long known that the allocation of funds by governments to undertake public expenditure programs could involve excesses, wastages and misuses.

In early to mid-20th century, Ludwig von Mises and Gordon Tullock wrote on the bureaucracy and its inherent tendency to misuse the public funds. However, it was in 1971 that a formal economic theory of bureaucracy was developed by the American economist William A. Niskanen in a path-breaking publication titled ‘Bureaucracy and Representative Government’. Before he wrote this book, Niskanen had served as an Assistant Director at the US Budget Management Office and it was widely believed that his experience at the budget office helped him to formalise his theory.

Bureaus versus the Public

According to Niskanen, in a representative democracy, the public elect their rulers, commonly known as the government, and empower them to tax people in order to carry out public expenditure programs that produce public outputs. Producing a thousand graduates or treating ten thousand patients are two examples of such public outputs. The principle set by the public in this regard is that the government should maintain efficiency at all times in accomplishing this delegated function to avoid misuse or waste of the scarce wealth of the public.

In other words, the government should tax the public at a minimum level and produce the public outputs at the maximum level. To complete these public expenditure programs, the government is organised in the form of separate bureaus such as ministries, departments, universities and hospitals. The aggregation of these bureaus and the public officials working in those bureaus forms the bureaucracy of a country.

Niskanen says that, if the objective of the public and the objective of the bureaucrats are the same, then there is no problem about maintaining efficiency in producing public outputs. But, as it is, the objective of the bureaucrats is to maximise their own personal welfare such as the salaries and other fringe benefits known as perquisites or perks. Bureaus, in order to boost their public powers, may expand their work programs and the number of officials working in a particular bureau. Hence, this objective of bureaus directly conflicts with the objective of the public who want to keep these expenses at a minimum level.

As a result, a long negotiation takes place and at the end, all bureaus over-inflate their budgets requiring the government to impose more taxes and make more borrowings to produce a given amount of public outputs. Niskanen’s observation on the behaviour of the bureaus to over-inflate the budgets for personal gains is typical of public services in both developing and developed countries.

Political leadership is no different

The public’s relationship with the political leadership is no different from its above noted relationship with the bureaus.

In a representative democracy, political leaders are expected to provide the maximum benefit to the public by incurring the minimum costs. This is exactly what they promise the public when they woo their votes at elections. At that point, the objective of the public and the objective of the political leaders are identical with each other. However, after the elections and once the political leaders are voted to power, there is a clearly visible divergence between the objectives of the two parties. Though, in a representative democracy, the people are said to be the masters and technically in a position to change the political leaderships at the elections, this does not happen because the political leaders are capable of changing the public opinions in favour of them again by using the taxpayers’ money. How does this happen?

Economists, Martin C. McGuire of the University of California at Irvine and Mancur Olson, Jr. of the University of Maryland have explained the reasons for this unhealthy development in an article titled ‘The Economics of Autocracy and the Majority Rule: The Invisible Hand and Use of Force’ published in the Journal of Economic Literature in its issue in March, 1996.

Bandit rulers are also public good providers

McGuire and Olson have started their article by analysing the objective and the mindset of a leader of a roving group of bandits. If the bandits do not contribute to produce economic outputs in regions they squander, pretty soon they will find themselves in a situation where they cannot conduct thefts anymore because the region would be without economic outputs to take away by force. Hence, it pays the bandit leader to acquire a territory, produce minimum public goods so that people could continue to produce economic outputs and, at the end, rob a major part of their output.

McGuire and Olson say that the roving bandit leader who has now settled in the territory as its ruler makes the people within the territory more productive by ‘by providing a peaceful order and other public goods’. Why should he do so? Because, according to the two economists, it helps him to ‘obtain more resources for his own purposes than from roving banditry’. The people within the territory are also better off in a way because they have now more public goods to consume. But, in the long run, since a greater part of their output is robbed by the bandit ruler, they are not incentivised to improve the productivity and make the increase in the output a sustainable one.

Since the bandit ruler can control the amount of output which he can take away from people at his will, he is incentivised to provide a minimum amount of public goods. McGuire and Olson say that this is an ‘invisible hand’ which makes him a public good providing king.

Democratic rulers too have the same incentive

Democratic rulers are elected by the public, but, during the election as well as after the election, they are invariably surrounded by special interest groups that seek special favours. Hence, it is necessary for the elected ruler to give out ‘pork barrel projects’, a term coined from the US mid country politicians coming up with projects to woo farmers’ votes and therefore now applicable to any public expenditure program that benefits a given group or people in a locality and not a nation as a whole. This is the fundamental golden rule which the elected ruler has to observe if he is to ensure his survival in politics and return to power in a future election. To produce pork barrel projects, he needs funds and those funds are raised through taxation if explicit taxes are imposed or through inflation, if printed moneys are used.

Taxing people is to take away their wealth by force.

To use this force as well as to create a peaceful environment, democratic rulers are given power to exercise violence on their subjects. According to economist, Jack Hirshleifer of the University of California at Los Angeles, anyone who has this power will use it to satisfy his own self-interest if that power is not controlled by various checks and balances. But the ground realities show that even when such checks and balances have been imposed, they are not that effective because the political leaders of representative democracies have learned to outsmart the framers of laws. This they do by a number of ways. They could always use their majority power in the legislatures to push through their schemes. If some of the legislators dissent, experience shows that the political leaders could use either the coercive powers they enjoy to subdue dissenters or give out pork barrel projects to silence them. But, this is done at the expense of the tax payers.

Hence, the democratic rulers who have the certainty of returning to power in future elections will provide certain public goods to keep the electorate happy, but use a major part of the tax money for their own purposes and for providing benefits to the special interest groups that support them. When there are public protests against their misusing the nation’s wealth for private and family purposes, they resort to the use of force to suppress such protests. Sri Lanka’s present state of affairs provides ample evidence for this.

The root cause: The Principal-Agent Problem

The root cause for both bureaucrats and political leaders in representative democracies to satisfy their personal benefits as against working for realising the objectives of the people has been identified by economists as the Principal-Agent Problem or PAP. The people are principals in both cases and bureaucrats and political leaders are agents who are required to work for the attainment of the wishes of the people.

Hence, PAP is simply the existence of conflicting objectives between the principal and the agent whom he hires. The principal wants to gain the best for himself and that is why he pays the agent to do the job. But the agent, acting in his own interest may do things which are injurious to the principal. Thus, the bureaucrats hired by the government on behalf of the people or the politicians elected by the people will not satisfy the needs of their respective principals, but try to satisfy their own desires which are different from those of the principals.

The people expect the political leaders to tame the bureaucrats and that is why they elect a government to power. However, this does not happen because there is incentive for both bureaucrats and political leaders to collude together to inflate the public expenditure programs. The checks which the people have introduced to eliminate such occurrences are therefore conveniently twisted by the two parties to their advantage. The end result is the waste, misuse and misappropriation of nation’s wealth by both the bureaucrats and political leaders. The people have to bear the burden by way of either higher taxation or higher inflation. In many countries, both bureaucrats and political leaders are insulated from the twin burdens by extending generous tax exemptions like duty free imports and tax free allowances and paying salaries which are adjusted upward automatically along with the increases in the cost of living, a system known as indexing wages.

The way out for the public

McGuire and Olson have pointed that limiting the term of a US President to two four-year terms has effectively taken out the incentive for him to offer ‘pork barrel projects’ and use his powers to serve his own personal interests. But, this is not the case with US Senators and Congressmen who have the chance of getting re-elected again and again. In their case, it is difficult to prevent special interest groups from surrounding them for various economic favours which are granted at the expense of the public. In the absence of an effective checks and balances system, political leaders who have the chance of getting re-elected will definitely make use of their power to advance their personal causes.

In many developing countries, political leaders are elected for life, that is, at each subsequent election, they get re-elected to office by popular vote. This system has the same features as the old monarchies in which the monarch will hold absolute powers over his subjects till his death. When one realises that he has uncontrolled absolute powers over his lifetime, it is difficult for him not to abuse or misuse his powers, especially the power to extract economic benefits for his personal use.

The recent history is abundant with instances where long-serving political leaders misuse nation’s wealth for the advancement of one’s family or one’s closest allies. When they become institutionalised, the way to remove them is only through a violent public uprising involving loss of life and property. It is therefore absolutely important to restrict the term of political leaders to a given period, if countries are interested in avoiding misuse or abuse of economic powers by their leaders.

The enemy is within and not out

Two Harvard political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, in their 2018 book titled ‘How Democracies Die’ have identified that the enemy of democracy comes from within and not from out. Today, democratic governance is at a crossroads because the enemies are within the system. The citizens cannot control them because they are irrationally and emotionally attached to those enemies. The citizens are therefore myopic and the enemies of democratic governance are bent on using their myopia to their best advantage. To resolve the problem, societies should strive to build empowered citizens who will be able to look beyond what they see right now.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 12
    10

    Democracy dosen’t work in developing Asian countries like Sri Lanka.
    If China followed democracy China will never ever have developed rapidly.

    Now China is in a position to open the door to Democracy but the only hindarance is it will also open the door to Western influnce led by USA which is hellbent on destroying ambitious nations like China
    so that the West could dominate the world.

    And keep on treating Asia , South America amd Africa as their servants.

    All Sri Lankans Pl give the middle finger to USA and support the government.

    • 22
      4

      You may be Right regarding China, but never Forget that there are over 40% of chinese in the volksrepublic China live under poverty. That rates are comparable to the numbers in india – which is over 80%.
      I think we Need some sort of social democractic governance of Germany and Singapore nature. Full Democracies such as what we find in UK would not work for SRILANKA whose majority of People are far behind the Level regarding their political literacy. Just Talking those 69 lacks of People for a Survey, as to why they voted for GOTA irrespective records of multiple high crimes that he has to have committed during his brother s term ?
      Over 80% would not be able to give you a constructive answer – THEIR ANSWERS would be, those who go after” sadu sadu” if even a heaps of garbage would have been wrapped up by a sivuru. People are very naive and gullible for some reaons. They dont consider high values by going or studying the issues properly. The reason has been, that the press within the COUNTRY is highly corrupted and no second to drug mafia gangs.
      jUST imagine, the way those NAGAYA to have brought on a PITTHALA PAHANA to most respectable Kelaniya TEMPLE – went viral and People thought it was a truth. The reason had been the CHIEF incument Monk with a PROFESSOR title endorsed it loudly as he could. He even today, does not have the guts to hold a speech on the truthful ness of his PUBLIC Statements. This is so called our MONKHOOD that is no second to drug or media mafia.
      If this would have been in Germany or Singapore, the Monk would have been arrested, before CHAMPIKA ranawaka or anyone else, since he played with the Sentiments of the innocient Buddhist adherents.

      • 8
        3

        Well said Kamal A gunaratne

    • 14
      4

      It has never ended well for any nation taken over by Fascism… high time the country and the world unite against this Rajapaksa fascist cancer in our country…

    • 16
      1

      There is nothing wrong with democracy. We just didn’t have the right leader who could have taken the country forward with democratic values. All our leaders manipulated the masses for votes, and used democracy & religion to achieve their personal agendas. Leaders with third-world mentality is the issue here.

      • 0
        0

        in most democracies if a leader kept on losing he would have been kicked out of the leadership.A major party like the UNP did not do that.it shows that there is no internal democracy within the party with the members not allowed to vote for their leader.So actually sri lanka is not a democratic state.Also people do not choose the candidate,the all parties just puts out whoever they want based on nepotism or connections to friends and family.Is this truly a democracy?The problem is not in democracy and we don’t need to become like china to develop,we need true democracy.If in this country their was true democracy and people’s wishes came first then there would have been less than 100 MP’s and they too would have been vetted by a people’s committee to assess their suitability to represent us.without the proper leadership team we cannot develop.Just having a good cricket captain won’t do.We have to have a good team.We also need quality not quantity.Our MP’s are of poor quality.98 out of 225 don’t have their ord levels.If they excelled in something else even okay,but most of these unqualified would have got the job through nepotism and influence of their parents ,uncles ,aunts,friends etc.

        don’t blame democracy.Blame our form of democracy.People have to fine tune it.

    • 9
      4

      Wimply Kid
      I had a hearty laugh about your last line.
      You are asking people to support an American who secured nominations through fake documents submitted by his lawyer Ali Sabry.
      You are telling people to support an American who tried to sign the MCC Agreement the moment he was elected, shamelessly betraying Sinhalese Buddhists who chose him as an alternative to the slave government. Fortunately, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet took measures to stall President’s treachery to sign the MCC (temporarily, though).
      Even the US Embassy issued a statement prior to the election that the MCC Compact Agreement should receive public support.
      The President has already shown his true colours with his move to sign MCC. He is more American than Sri Lankan.

      • 5
        1

        Dear Champa,
        .
        I greatly value your courage and consistency. I always find you very honest in your observations.
        .
        Our perspectives are often different, but in this case, they coincide. However, the elections are now over, and I feel that we have to make the best of the deal that we’ve been given.
        .
        I hope that you will continue to comment boldly on all matters that concern us. When the issues are clear, I think that we must express what we feel.

      • 1
        1

        OK Champa
        We will get back Ranil and the UNP
        They will take on USA

      • 1
        1

        Champa,

        Champa,
        At least Mr G has a brother to give him advise.
        It demonstrates that The President and Prime minister are working hand in glove
        with a good undestanding about the political environment.

        This was lacking in the previous government.

        If the people reject US interference in Sri Lankan affairs the govenment will have to take that into account.

    • 6
      1

      Even though majority of the Chinese are Buddhists, Buddhism has no place in the politics of China. China was not a developed country until it opened its economy to the Global market. It is the market economy that gave the opportunity to develop. You can ask all the Srilankans to give the middle finger to USA but Gota or Ranil can’t do that because their family are still Americans. Chinese Prime minister don’t go to Mahanayake’s to get everything done.

  • 13
    1

    Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
    ශ්‍රී ලංකා ප්‍රජාතාන්ත්‍රික සමාජවාදී ජනරජය
    ..
    Our political structure is Democratic
    ..
    Our economic structure is socialist
    ..
    We reject monarch and embrace the power of people. Hence we are a republic.
    ..
    Srilankans were and are only used to monarch.
    ..
    This new found freedom, since 1948, haven’t been exercised properly due to lack of education.
    ..
    We are too greedy and scared to embrace unity. Hence, uniformity is the only way to many.
    ..
    Democracy doesn’t promote, the attitude of supremacy. It promotes to find a common goal and become one community.
    ..
    What kind of leaders we require?
    ..
    (“tenfold virtue of the ruler”) is one the Buddhist dhamma
    ..
    1. Charity
    2. Morality
    3. Be generous and selfless
    4. Honesty
    5. Gentleness
    6. Self control
    7. Non anger
    8. Non violence
    9. Patience and kindness
    10. Collaboration

    • 5
      4

      Easier said than done
      people need results not Bana

      • 3
        0

        Follow the bana and change your immediate environment. You will definitely see the results

    • 12
      1

      We need a leader who can see the real grievances of the people.

      1) A leader of the nation should not allow any henchman to take revenge on anyone
      2) Leader should keep the law above anything else, be the crime doer, his brother, nephew or anyone else, should not be allowed to escape from the law. If Champika Rankawak to be arrested, why Gonthadipila and Wimala buruwansa with long records of crime allegations and investigations, be allowed to be scot free ?
      Why namala Rajakashe and yoshitha rajaakshes and Shiranthi rajaakshe with mountains of charges be allowed to stay scot free ?
      3) If the self accident maker, the victimized young man of RANAKAWA’s accident to be served with justice

      – why on earth, Lasatha wirkamathunga –
      Ekanaligoda, Thajudeen and other 11 boys murder cases be not served with the same spoon in terms of the justice…. why why why ?

      UNHRC should take all these as real cases, once they will call for interviews in next March. We as real srilankens, sinhalayas will also be there to stand againt Rajaakshes terror …. and reveal the world that we the nation deserve to be a world free from Rajapkashes.

      • 2
        1

        Mr. Simon d/silva,
        People gave over 4 years to bring the criminals who killed Lasantha, Eknaligdda, and Thajudin to books. They don’t give you an indefinite time period because in a country, they have a lot of other businesses too.
        According to books, all those criminals were with the Yahapalana regime while pointing the finger at the wrong persons(s). People realized this without any doubt due to the way the Central Bank was robbed not just once but twice.
        Now there is new evidence emerging, that Ranawaka is allegedly behind Ekanali’s disappearance. IGP Pujit was apparently behind Ranawaka’s release from the hit and run case. It was five-time PM RanilW who said in Parliament that Sarath Fonseka was Lasantha’s killer.
        Therefore, now people have given a chance to another government to prove who did exactly what with regard to those crimes.
        Shall we help the investigators and the judiciary, and then, see the outcome before jumping the gun?

        • 4
          2

          You and I are well Aware of the fact how MAD Sirisena stood by HORU/Killers/Bond scammers/property Robbers/CSN channel Robbers/AND all various Kind of high criminals ? RW had no power over PRESIDENT who handled his executive powers protecting the goons on and on, but mad SIRISENA painted it as if he cant do anything but RW. Is that Situation today ?
          Not even MIRISKUDU throwers, Parliam,ent demolishers were evident to entire world, but Nothingworked against them. Even the Police officers being killed while being in duties in midnight, upon the request made by BALLIGE putha Rajakashe, PENISLESS SIRISENA did Nothing, but protected. If my Family one would have been killed that way, I would have bomed down RAJAAKSHES and SIRISENA at once. I would never want to live further. So would the victimized Family of Ekanaligoda, Thadjudeen and Lasanath each think today. But this is the hell called srilanka, thought landscape wise Beautiful, but People are so stupid as westerners loudly repea …. almost everyone is clear, that RAJAKSHES LOOTED the state, but very same stupid folks betrayed us the over 6, 0 Mios …. i think Sinhala folks have this stupid gene in them… no hope About a better future for this Country. I am ashamed to be a sinhalaya… that is why i dont use it today…. but “international srilanken”.

          • 1
            0

            Again to Simon,
            Who chose Maitreepala Sirisena to be the common candidate in 2015? You and your colleagues! Is that correct?
            The West praised and blessed the guy; Pirith water was sprinkled on his head and all over his body by none other than the chieftain of the Yahapalana bandwagon Venerable Madolwave Shobita Thera.
            He acted very well and fooled all of you; he addressed RanilW as Sir and ChandrikaB as Madam, and fooled them too. Following the sheep theory, the majority Sri Lankans believed RanilW, ChandrikaB, since this duo believed unconditionally their new found soul MSirisena.
            I still remember at an international gathering, the prime minister of Canada, the young Justin Trudeau came to him with a smile and introduced himself to the new president of SL while shaking his hand. Everybody thought everything was hunky dory!
            Don’t you think that MSirisena took all of you for a good ride.
            What are you all (with the West and diaspora Tamils) upto now?Any new ideas on the horizon?
            Just like the 7 million voters who voted Gotabaya Rajpaksa to power, I too would like to give GR a chance (I mean his first term). I am sure even the Swiss seem to be of the same idea after they found out that somebody had taken them too for a good ride along with a fake abduction drama. It reminds me that there are more than one living Sirisena in Sri Lanka!
            Good luck my friend!

            • 0
              0

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            • 1
              0

              Hence from now on, only UNP leaders need to answer every question , it seem no difference the aligations they made against Rajapakshes is any from what Bush and click did to Sadam Hussain and family and ofcause the total distruction of Iraq.
              Now Late come English boy Tony is suddenly full of regrets for being party to the buffoon and liar Bush, who no heaven will ever forgive to what he did to the humble poor people of Iraq.
              The UNP clowns
              Could not even prove an atom of any allegation they made.
              Is it not time to turn the table ?
              Let them now give us online every
              Cent they took as loan and received as grants , let them show us the farmers etc who benefited from the grants .
              Muslims should start thinking .did any of your past government’s Muslim Politician protect you from.any racial attacks? And what have they or UNP done for the common Muslim Man ?except their own families , friends and flock?
              UNP is a dead party They never ever did anythimg worthwhile to.the common man ever .Its time Sajith comes up.with a new political party with members who are not crooks.
              He can not fix UNP it’s dead
              Either Sajith start a new party or best retire like Imtiaz instead of being stuck in a sinking ship

      • 5
        0

        It’s our fault for sending the corrupt politicians to represent us.
        ..
        We stupidly believe what our favourite politicians say.
        ..
        Most don’t have a clue about the practicality and legality of what is said.
        ..
        Most importantly do we have reliable people in the parliament?

  • 11
    0

    Democracy permits citizens’ voice in government is just a cliché. The voice is deaden when racist undertones and racial supremacy take over governance. Sri Lanka is the perfect example.

    • 8
      4

      My dear Thappu,

      Tamil and Muslim politicians are also responsible for this pathetic situation
      I mean you cannot blame the Sinhala politicians only for

      Racist undertones and racial suprimacy

      This is a feeling everybody has inside themselves which is toxic to progress and
      co-exisitance.

      Looking within us and taking away this cancer is the way forward.

      Even in a family if Father or Mother or any one else is dominating not compromising
      very rigid no consultation with the family it will be a broken family before long.

      • 7
        1

        Dear Wimply, Governance has always been in the hands of Sinhalese, never in the hands of Tamils or Muslims. You are muddling the spirit of my argument.

        • 2
          6

          Thappu
          Oh yeah, I mean we saw how good tamils governed the north when they got power through the ltte right? or how the muslim ministers tried to make the east an arab land and got in bed with suicide bombers.

  • 5
    0

    As we saw from this November election Big Brother Mahinda has always helped his brothers. Now Gota has assumed the power with his team to a new path. Your article is insightful and I thank you. Now, it has taken a turn down elitist lane and become a country led by a small dominant class comprised of powerful members who exert total control over the general population — an oligarchy. We have to give him a chance to reflect and take progressive steps under Rule of Law.

  • 3
    6

    “Taxing people is to take away their wealth by force.””
    .
    Coming from an ‘Economist” attached to the Central Bank!
    .
    Would Dr Wijewardane propose his alternative for the benefit of CT readers.

    Soma

    • 4
      1

      Soma
      Taxing is not all that bad
      if it is managed well
      And it is based on social justice and equity.
      If people vote for a government that has Tax in the manifesto.
      We cannot say that the government is taking away wealth by force.

    • 5
      2

      soma

      “Coming from an ‘Economist” attached to the Central Bank!
      Would Dr Wijewardane propose his alternative for the benefit of CT readers.”

      You seems to be a fan of Tax and Spend regime.
      Well before you Tax whomsoever you want to Tax, they need to produce income and wealth. With the kind of Tax regimes you have in mind definitely will cripple all kind of entrepreneurial culture, curtail all innovations, hard word, ….. create a negative business environment.

      Do you want those who work harder and smarter to work even harder and smarter than before so that they could retain the same amount of net income they earned before. The state could waste the additional tax earned from higher taxes, allow creative accountants to account creatively allow Tax evasion, Tax avoidance, Tax planning, Money Laundering, ….. so that crooks, accountants, politicians, state functionaries could earn additional untaxed income, …..

      On the other hand additional taxes could create windfall income for the crooked clan that you approve of, and as long as you are allowed to pick a crumb or two which may make you satisfied, ultimately you could self congratulate for your own Economics of Taxation and feel good about your financial advice to your country.

      You always have Clan’s well being at heart.
      What a loyal b***s carrier you are.

      • 2
        3

        NV
        Politicians mismanaging the tax revenue is one thing. A blanket statement like “Taxing people is to take away their wealth by force.” is quie another. To assert that way is childish to say the least. I also understand there can be gross injustice in RELATIVE taxation levels. That again does not rule out the necessity for collecting revenue.
        My problem is this IQ 79 allocated to me by Amarasiri aiya. From the day a top central bank economist came out with this statement I am burning mid night oil in trying to understand how a government is going to provide services like education, health, infrastructure development and maintainence etc.
        Hence my plea for his alternative way of finding money. Being a too small fellow to deserve his attention can YOU help me please? Another similar problem always baffles me. When our politicians promise the farmers a good price for paddy and promise consumers a low price for rice how are they going to do it Native?

        Soma

        • 2
          0

          soma

          “Another similar problem always baffles me. When our politicians promise the farmers a good price for paddy and promise consumers a low price for rice how are they going to do it Native?”

          Good question.
          You know the politicians who are experts on squaring the circle. They have managed these questions for the past 50 years.
          They import free rice from moon and eight measures would do.
          Never mind keep voting for the same crooks.

    • 2
      0

      SOMA you are no better to that ultra racists MAHINDA PALA aka Egle eye – the refugee from DOWN under. You the kind of people are no better to the street dogs live up on the heaps of excreta on the roads sides. I think our people should no longer learn to improve their political awarness not being caught by Rajaakshe mafia men. As was the case with gadafi families, lanken poor people are caught by rajaakshe mantra. They make every effor tto escape from their court cases while the blind and deaf people ….. let it go….. this was the case in hitler led germany those days. Broadcasts misled the nation on and on. North koreans are misled today to the same levels but ours is even going beyong….. putting safron wrapped mudalallis in the front, rajakashes abuse the nation to the core again. Today, those hamauduruhoras… are speechless. and they dont care either when people face unbearable price hikes in daily needs.
      Some poor people in some parts fo the country are beyond the poverty levels, but Rajakashes abuse state funds for his priviledges. As no other leaders, he takes helicopters to his travels. Ranil wikramasinghe has never done so. Public perception was made in favour of them for their come back.. people are hoodwinked as no times inthe past.

      • 0
        0

        Babalawathie, let us discuss Economics for a change.

        Soma

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 9
    1

    If we need to go forward with the developing countries, the clergy should stay away from the state. State should be separated from the religion. They are the biggest obstacle for our economic development. Lee Kwan Yew did that from the beginning.

  • 0
    3

    I don’t know if the Western theories directly apply to Lanakwe like developing countries. In the West 60- 70% are graduates. Lanakwe IQ is 79. These analyses are good only to improve analytical experience and understand how the general mechanism works. But these have to reworked heavily to apply to Developing Countries.

    Developing countries have a problem of how to stop the ruling team destroying democracy. Developed nation need how to recognize the good- bad politicians and improve or reduce their power. In US, there is less chance the democracy is being destroyed. The power balancing system among Supreme Court, President and Congress is acceptably good. But there is no elasticity, when a good congress come in or a good president come in. Balancing (reducing) the power is only possible but boosting is not possible, when needed. This is one of the reason that there is no good healthcare system in US. Clinton backed off. Obama could not a good work.

    • 0
      0

      Mally…

      Good One..

      I am glad you at least compare US with Uncle Sam, unlike most of your mates who use the Republic of Bokkasa in the Jungles of Africa.

      Anyway the latest I heard is that the UNP Speaker, Uncle Karu attended a Bodhi Pooja to bring Blessings on the ex UNP Powerful Minister Pa Cha Ranawaka who is in remand.
      And may be hoping the Blessings will get Him off the Hook.

      Wonder whether the Speaker of Uncle Sam’s the Upper House which I believe is controlled by the Equivalent of the UNP there will hold a Bodhi Pooja to help their President Mr Trump.
      Sorry I mean a Full Mass , because they don’t have any Bodhi Poojas there I guess.

      Poor Mr Trump has done nothing which even resembles Criminal.
      Has he Mally?..

      Mr Trump hasn’t even called a Cop over the phone about a Parking Ticket. let alone calling the Police Chief after a Hit and Run by his Official Vehicle.

      He just called a mate from the Wifey’s side who I believe happened to be from Ukraine..

  • 13
    2

    A load of irrelevant theories.

    SL is a dictatorship under military rule with no functioning parliament since November 16.

  • 13
    0

    The author in this article has built an easy-to-read essay on how autocracies or de-facto kings rule the emotionally and irrationally loyal hordes and drink their blood systematically while keeping them alive to serve their own needs. However, the following excerpt, surreptitiously included, can now be interpreted as an incitement to an act of sedition or treason if a witch-hunt is proposed:

    ” The recent history is abundant with instances where long-serving political leaders misuse a nation’s wealth for the advancement of one’s family or one’s closest allies. When they become institutionalised, the way to remove them is only through a violent public uprising involving loss of life and property.”

    • 1
      0

      Lasantha,
      You are absolutely correct. However, revenge against free-thinkers like WAW or you will have to wait till the end of the parliamentary election. The current round is against politicians who could stand to prevent GoRa/MaRa getting 2/3. I’m not sure whether MY 3 still asking for 2/3 majority for this Gvt!

    • 1
      1

      A response to, Prof Lasantha Pethiyagoda (LP) / December 23, 2019, to Dr. W.A Wijewardena’s (WAW) Democratic Governance At A Crossroads: The Enemy To Be Defeated Is Within”.

      “However, the following excerpt, surreptitiously included, can now be interpreted as an incitement to an act of sedition or treason if a witch-hunt is proposed:”
      Are academics or the learned even in many fields are not immune to their genes, epigenetics, memes and epimematics when we are all nature’s robots of various degrees of complexities and sophistication and metamorphosis right through life to death? Is not the above a statement of WAW a historical fact when LP is interpreting it in keeping with his and other like-minded peoples’ historical prejudices, stupidities, ignorance and misinformation to suit their own metamorphatic state of personal development and evolution that keep changing from birth to death? even if it be in keeping with the proclivity of the majority when quite often in the history of humankind the majority has almost always been wrong for even centuries and millennia like the “flat earth” and the “geocentric view” of the universe?

      Is it only the primary enemy to be defeated within but the other secondary enemies of regional and global politics for the safety, security and the one-upmanship of the rising regional and global superpowers as well? Further, it is not merely inadequacies of the manmade structures and institutions but they as much to do with the substance of the humans that live and operate within them not being as all falsely assumed to be equal in their emotional, mental and spiritual meaning the their inner central core proclivities even though they may in their basic human needs. Like nature should not changes be made annual and there be a permanent ongoing revolution akin to Leon Trotsky’s?

      • 1
        0

        M. Spencer,
        How did you learn evolution? Cannot be from Lamarck’s books b’cos they are not available in SL (Your English is also pretty raw – metmorphatic?). Certainly not from Darwin’s books b’cos his theory does not contain this kind of nonsense. So, what made you angry to stutter like parrot trying to imitate the keeper’s language? Is it the prediction about impending danger coming to free thinkers from GoRa’s bipolar brain which certainly is a product of a minor genetic defect probably caused by an epigenetic factor during the time in the womb as in the case of Zika?

        • 1
          0

          D P

          I don’t need to waste my time with a shameless; dishonorable and cowardly ignoramus like you without you’re disclosing anything about you or the mucky idiotic background, roots or other antecedents. I have always been an open book on Facebook all my life. You are not a fit person to even drink or eat from a pigsty or the piss or poo of even others who like you hide been fake and fraudulent lunatic initials and pseudonyms being stuck in the prehistoric past without keeping up with advances of knowledge and being incapable of critical thinking or using the scientific methods of deduction s and inductions. Your arrogance and hubris arising from your ignorant and misinformed brain that is worse than your Gotler doesn’t deserve anything more.

          You too are a like-minded low order and the simple-minded robot that should be in the scrap heap junkyard and not try fool others who are far better-educated super-superiors to you base instincts low-level thoughts and feelings by betraying yourself as one created in the same mold of Hitler and Gotler and all you riffraff will go in a similar way to the Germans at the end of the 2nd world war. I have responded only for the sake of the other discerning readers and not such dim-witted scalawags’ like you.

        • 1
          0

          Response to an Ignoramus calling himself D P in response to the above prior response in the Colombo telegraph website.

          D P

          I don’t need to waste my time with a shameless; dishonorable and cowardly ignoramus like you without you’re disclosing anything about you or the mucky idiotic background, roots or other antecedents. I have always been an open book on Facebook all my life. You are not a fit person to even drink or eat from a pigsty or the piss or poo of even others who like you hide been fake and fraudulent lunatic initials and pseudonyms being stuck in the prehistoric past without keeping up with advances of knowledge and being incapable of critical thinking or using the scientific methods of deduction s and inductions. Your arrogance and hubris arising from your ignorant and misinformed brain that is worse than your Gotler doesn’t deserve anything more.

          You too are a like-minded low order and the simple-minded robot that should be in the scrap heap junkyard and not try fool others who are far better-educated super-superiors to you base instincts low-level thoughts and feelings by betraying yourself as one created in the same mold of Hitler and Gotler and all you riffraff will go in a similar way to the Germans at the end of the 2nd world war. I have responded only for the sake of the other discerning readers and not such dim-witted scalawags’ like you.

    • 1
      1

      Mr. Pethiyagoda, instead of applauding WAW, in different words,
      threatens him. He encourages State actors to take action against
      poor WAW for sedition/treason. What a pity! The world mourns
      poor Galileo since then. Socrates too.

      R. Varathan

    • 1
      0

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      “When they become institutionalised, the way to remove them is only through a violent public uprising involving loss of life and property.”

      Why do you find this particular sentence being an incitement to an act of sedition or treason? Wonder why you have not protested when the windbag Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa wanted to seek public support and force democratically elected Wickremesinghe out of Temple Trees or the coup launched by Hopper Sirisena and Mahinda in October 2018.

      Treason works only one way does it?

  • 6
    0

    Dr Wijewardena,
    .
    You are an economist, and most highly educated people end up knowing only their subject, and claiming that their particular discipline is the only one that matters.
    .
    It is good to see you telling the country that the county many, but that without morality – commitment, honesty etc – the best laid plans of finance people will go astray. Thanks for the wonderful work that you continue to do. It is appreciated by many, but the key people in the Establishment are insufficently educated to understand what you are saying.

    • 8
      0

      Dear Sinhala man,

      as you know I respect you as a brave and free senior writer on CT.

      But I though sometimes commend on the articles being written by the current writer, to be honest, I dont respect him the way, he was not bold enough to reveal the high corruption in CENTRAL BANK prior to 2015. People are fed with the same news, that CENTRAL bank was robbed by GOOD GOVERNANCE govt, but president sirisena once made public statements, that the bond scam scandal during MAFIA BOSS led groups were 100 times more. However, SIRASA TV went on painting the picture as it was started by RW-MS govt. That is a blatant lie. And we have prima facie evidence to believe it, because SIRISENA later kept all the P-commission reports without revealing to the press. Remember ?
      Srilanken society is so primtive, anything would go viral and peoples perceptions woul dnot change even if the facts are before them. Just imagine, that Kelaniya wiharaya, RELICS saga – whereby a normal reptile to have brought a “piththal pahanak made in PILIMATHALAWA AREA” – was given a publicity by the CHIEF incumbent of the temple – Prof. Monk…. … people took it as serious and …. lacks or voters voted for GOTLER believing the lies.
      And not long ago, so called, Prof. Keerthi Disanayaka, misled even RAJAKASHE and other families, saying that WALAMPURI could bring some fortune…… people are so supertious and would believe anything any everything if they would want to get free… there are also some native medical practitioners (alternative healers), that would do anything to promote THEIR KIND OF misleading information. In srilanka the culture has become that powerful and that was the reason why that one of the great programme that SLTV telecasted got blocked.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Desperate Sinhalaya,
        .
        You may have noticed that this author actually gives his e-mail address at the end of each of his articles.
        .
        I did contact him that way and he has actually visited my home. I think that he does all that he dares. Aren’t there aspects of the “Bond Scam” that are still unclear to most of us? I suggest that you write to him. I know little of Economics myself, and learn a good deal from these articles.
        .
        He strikes me as a really conscientious and decent human being. I could say more, but why not find out from him yourself?
        .
        I greatly appreciate the attitudes that you yourself display in your comments.

  • 7
    3

    Good Governance Democracy, the Yahapalanaya which was hoisted on our inhabitants with all the Bells and Whistles,did a fab job for Dr Ranil and his 113 with each pocketing up to a cool LKR 34 Mil each just in Car Permits.

    Add the Salaries and the other Perks plus the LKR 100 thou extra a month special Allowance to sit in the CA would have made them a another Mint over the five years.

    Even if they get dragged over the coals around Sinhala New Year , and forced in to premature retirement, the Pension itself alone will ensure them to have comfortable 5 Star living for the rest of their Democratic Lives.
    That is how good our Lankan version of this Democracy is..

    But the The ROI for the inhabitants is appalling..
    Samurdhi Payment is only LKR 3500 a Month.
    And, apparently 10 % of the inhabitants are on the Samurdhi List.

    In contrast the ex Yahapalana President who proudly used to say he has always battled for the Samurdhi Class has settled in a Government Supplied Retirement Home, which is worth LKR 8000 Million on Paget Road Cinnamon Gardens.
    Compliments of the Yahapalana Tax Payers.
    =
    Wonder where this Enemy is?..

    • 1
      0

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      Gota/Mahinda want to bribe Rs 2 Million each to the 14021 Grama Niladharies before the Parliamentary elections are held. I wonder who is in charge of this bribe, steal and waste scheme? Did Gota himself come up with this scheme? By the way where is Basil?

  • 1
    1

    WAW,
    I do agree with your (counter intuitive) point but the causes are much more complex than your simple model suggests (I said counter intuitive b’cos the general belief is that threats against democracy come from without). But, the assumption that the public is mostly innocent and the majority of faults lies among politicians & bureaucracy is fundamentally wrong. For example, the trio of economists who won the Nobel Prize for economics this year (2019) have, after decades of micro-research, shown that one of the main reason for failure of public projects is lack of factual data to support policies & implementation. Of course, there are many other causes which requires much more space for me to discus about. Wrong ideologies such as Marxism is another such cause; xenophobia is another; and so on.

    However, at the most fundamental level, it is the human nature itself that constantly threats not just democracy but also all higher level social norms & ethics. That is b’cos the instinctive urge of selfishness (to acquire wealth, power, sexual partners, etc) stand counter to higher social values which has to be learned and & practiced against the will, more often than not. This means that democracy is in constant struggle for survival against the instinctive desires of the very people it must serve. I know that WAW understand my point very well b’cos I saw him pointing to the same fact in his column about retired HSBC chairmen.

    • 0
      0

      Who the f*** are you clutching at straws?

    • 0
      0

      Hi, so-called ashamed D P,

      You the pretentious undercooked great English writer who calls himself D P who is also ashamed of his own name to own up to whatever s*** he fingers and not writes these days as many of us do. I do observe that without responding my critique of your arrogant, foolish, derogatory and hubris filled comments to me, you are now trying to write to redeem yourself and in the process muddying yourself further by displaying greater ignorance and lack of knowledge of the English language and the subject matter with hardly any original thought and only borrowed and stolen repeats from others where a parrot may do better than you.

      Further, your two writing pieces of the 23rd of Dec have 3 and 15 critical spelling and punctuation errors and 2 & 5 advanced proper language use errors. The piece on the 24th of Dec has 5 critical spelling and punctuation errors and 3 advanced proper language use errors. Please try to do more reading of the learned to improve and self-develop yourself without boring us of your borrowed and stolen crap.

  • 9
    0

    Lets face it, what we have is a dictator in the south American model. Wife and son in the states, dictator has dual nationality in the event masses want to put him to the stake. Corruption in the courts/police all civil servants, the so called ranaviru etc…Chaos theory, and milk the country dry.
    Immaturity in dealing with foreign powers, thugishness in dealing with opponents. distraction of the problems by creating supporting actors and action- Dr.Shafi case, you cannot be punished twice for the same crime-double jepordy. Mass jailing of opponnets. police running away. Rule of law only for the favorites. White van abductions by the gots forces. – riots and insurgencies will follow, gots does not have a plan, he is just a racist who won.

  • 2
    0

    Of course, though Lankans scapegoat foreigners for their self created dysfunction and ill will, the truth is ,the enemy has always been with in, and there is no need for any outsiders to screw us. Today Saudi sentenced five to death and three to jail for Khashoggi,s murder. Initially for weeks they too denied of any involvement, and when it became obvious and irrefutable, they had to find scapegoats to punish. The whole court proceeding was conducted in secrecy and the crown prince,s top personal advisers was found innocent. who is currently sanctioned by US for his direct involvement. The consul general who was imprisoned up to now, to take the heat off was found innocent and released.Guys sound familiar.EASTER. So bottom line ,order was given by Prince and executed by his top adviser. When story became public and irrefutable the consular General took the blame with the assurance, he will be released soon (Hema/Daya not so lucky) and now these scapegoats are giving their lives for the crime and their families will be well rewarded with blood money. This is what is known as Low and Odor.

    • 0
      0

      Chiv, we never imagined that the “Respectable World” we knew as kids would ever get this bad, did we?
      .
      Poor scapegoats – I hadn’t read of them, but thenI’m not going after that story, to find out how we’ve degenerated. It’s depressing!

  • 0
    0

    Closed cases are coming out that means failure of interligent defeceint in capabalities these are attractive to foreign media collection for making subjects put things under surveillance United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.When you dig a grave for your enymy dig two, one for you and enemy.

  • 0
    0

    Jehan in blinkers………….with a distorted mind.
    This is what 6.9m people wanted. Out up or shut up.

    • 1
      0

      Thondamany

      “This is what 6.9m people wanted. Out up or shut up.”

      What did the rest of the people (21.5 -6.9) 14.6 Million want.
      Just because 6.9 voted for one person, a racist “strong man” and his b***s carriers do not possess the right to shut others up.

      You appear not only a racist, and a fascist but also an ignorant bigot.

  • 0
    1

    Heading is good. Essay is good and but the data presented is irrelevant to Lankawe. Still if this essay had appeared about 60- 70 years ago, it would be highly relevant to Ceylon too. Now Ceylon is only Lankawe, which had prepared the land, cut and ploughed, but waiting to Buddha to come back, land so the whole Sinhala Buddhists will attain Nirvana on that day.

    Essay mainly implies that Lankawe only problem is mismanagement of economy. But the reality is, mismanagement of the racial relationship had created Lankawe as a waste land of Law & Order, economy, culture, social well beings, international relations, and internal and external securities.

    It is said 800,000 cases are in pending in Lankawe. The largest section, the war crime related are not even recognized by Appe Aanduwa as pending. This culture started from Aanduwa’s sponsoring annual pogroms and saving the thugs, systematically. Last three governments have head of War Criminals, accused in UNHRC’s reports. But the Aanduwa is arresting Champika only for an accident which is already settled with compensation. So the people related to these 800,000 cases are going to lose hope in governments and will be building a life with crime. They prefer governments which are convenient to loot, rob, rape, kill……in that circumstances, race or religion is not that important, in time passes.

    There seems to a misunderstanding stemming in Sinhala Intellectuals’ circle that Singapore lacked law order while building its fortunes. They think Lee used sheer brutal army to get everybody to work for government and that is how the economy improved. There is confusion in their mind between Singapore and Stalin era Soviet Russia. Lee crushed opposition and enforced Law and order brutally. But the country was still in the democratic path. In contrast, Mahinda Chitanta, Yahapalanaya and Gota Chitanta governments’ economic policies were camouflaged their secret intention of consolidation Rapist Army Victory over Tamils into a political victory. This started from Don Stephen, deporting Tamils workers, right after freedom. Is it real economic policy?

    • 0
      1

      Mally,

      You should read your Vellala ex CM Wigneswran’s posts more often and get some fresh thoughts and new thinking in to you..

      According to Wiggy , Lankawe was already in the hands of Thamil Buddhists..
      .Fascinating Stuff.
      I always thought Buddha is a Greek Mixed with Himalayan , Afghan stock who were the brains in that Era, where they even had Tertiary Educational Institutes in places Lumbini..

      Doesn’t matter.
      I am no Wiggy, And didn’t even go to a proper school like your Royal mates.

      Mally, you got to get rid of this Ranawiru Hunting Mind Set which your mates Mangala Samare , Dr Rajitha and Pa Cah Ramapaka have implanted in you.

      You got to go for the Bigger Deal like what Wiggy is doing now.

      Rajapaksas are about to lease another 5 Blocks in the Mannar Basin to TOTAL..or the highest Bidder.
      Although Hybrids are the in thing now , still they need the Gas to cook Dosai in Hindia.

      Just imagine the volume of Natural Gas which your TNA Blokes can pump in to Hindian Households. from Mannar.

      That is if Sampathar , Wigneswaran ,Sivajilingam , Ponnabalam and Abraham can get their hands on a Federal Homeland in the North..

      I hope you get the point.
      I always like to help my mates to think out of the box and focus on the Big Picture.

      Wish you a Merry XMas and a Happy and Prosperous to you and your Family.
      BTW ….
      Do you have Xmas Lunch or Dinner?..

      • 1
        0

        KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

        “Although Hybrids are the in thing now , still they need the Gas to cook Dosai in Hindia.”

        Fracking is the in thing or is it?
        Maybe the highly scientifically advanced Karaka Sangah Sabas at Malwatta and Assgiria chapters could recommend Fracking under Puncha Easwarams (Naguleswaram – North, Ketheeswaram – North West, Koneswaram – North East, Munneswaram – West, and Tondeswaram (Tenavaram) – South) …. Nallur …

        Grow Up.

  • 12
    0

    I see a lot of hope in the future for Sri Lanka under The Rajapakshe brothers .

    Like it or not..Sri lankans have become very undisciplined people lately.
    Unfortunate.
    I believe all the politicians must come together and agree for an Autocracy at least for 10 years period it should be agreed on a legal binding that the next election should be held after 10 years from.2020 and on the results of that election the Parliment will be reversed to democrasy.
    Why not ? The did rule for that long and created enough mess in the country.
    Give this man the opportunity to put things rights .not even a month and astonishing results .
    The minorities must support the present government.
    And I personally can vouche all the lies that was spread against the present President and especially againg Ali Sabry was the worst crime we have been doing.
    Ali Sabry is 100% sincere .
    Do not believe what you hear , go meet the man and have a discussion and then you will.know the truth .
    Same with The President.
    Sri Lanka needs a iron fist for next 10.years and it has got it.
    With The President we will make it.
    Mr.Sajith is a wonderful human being, but he needs to either join the government or wait 10 years .
    I assure you.
    Brace country men and after 10 years the future generations will appreciate it a lot.
    Even if we hold displeasure against our opposite camp , let us be not prejudice and call a spade a spade .

    • 7
      0

      Fahim Knight.

      I don’t think you will get many XMas wishes from the Democrats here..

      But I wish you Compliments of the Season and Good Health, Happiness and Peace in particular in the coming Year , where ever you are..

      Thank you for your brave and sincere comments which are right on the Money…

      • 4
        1

        Thank you Sumanaseka. Wish you the same , guess you should know my unbias approach to any article I comment by now?.

        Few important factors ,
        We as a people need to change our age old culture of a very ugly attitude and that is not accepting our faults and accepting reality, today at Arpico a cashier nearly ripped me off for Rs.35.00 and refused to accept it as her fault and even worse she was rude and reprimanding me for her mistake.
        We need to also understand people learn through mistakes and change , and slinging mud and spreading lies against people we dislike not just politicians , even simple men like you and me is what has ruined this nation
        Democracy was always my top agenda , but I have to now eat my own words.
        Our people were never ever matured enough to understand and value Democracy.democracy can follow once the nation is developed and people learn decipline and to respect Each other
        So far I am.extremely happy with the change.
        But I am yet waiting for two main pledges The President made, our Blue Economy and garbage / waste management.
        And ofcause also to introduce new regulations on our sand and Quarry mining and regulate imports to make sure Sri lanka will not con6inue to be a dump yard for useless crap.
        Let us wait and hope
        Two great words!

        • 2
          0

          Mr Fahim Knights experience at Arpico is Interesting .

          I don’t know why those over fed Dudes in Ties and Tight Shirts. and the Chicks with Sarees wrapped around their fat waist lines are watching over the Skin and Bone Tamil Girls who are ringing , sorry scanning the Cash Registers. at Arpico store in Wellala Gardens.?..’

          That to me is the best example of the division of the Nation between the Haves and the Havenots in Lankawe.

          To digress a bit how much do those skinny Girls take home in comparison to the over fed Staff.

          Go up a bit further up and it must be getting bigger.
          Do they disclose how much the Directors draw at the AGM of Arpico?..

          Wonder whether those Cashier girls and their families vote for the TNA ?.,

          Because the TNA seems to be cocksure that they can get enough votes to double their number of seats at the next Election , according to their young anointed new Leader Abraham.

          With the SLMC , Bathudeen and Co they can easily get 40 Seats. And Dr Ranil will be home and hosed again as the next PM.

          Will those Cashier girls put on some weight if Dr Ranil runs the Yahapalanya for another five years?

          Will the TNA look after those Cashier girls the same way they want to look after the Girls and boys in Jaffna when they get their Federal Homeland from Dr Ranil, with their 40 seats in Kotte?..

          • 1
            0

            KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

            Is it a mere coincidence that both you and Gota are going Ga Ga at the same time?

          • 5
            0

            The whole problem is ,to be honest and candid , there seem to be an attitude issue in Sri Lanka since of late and also a superiority complex with some.( not all , but quite a large number)
            Well the saying goes , either humble yourself or life will do it for you.

            Most of the sales personnel and business owners behave as if they are doing a favour to the Customer.
            Honestly our customer services sucks .
            They should bring down some Filipinos just to train our sales people, so they will understand what is customer services and to let them know Customer is king , no.mater what race , religion or social status. Cargils was the only super market that use to wc you with our beautiful blessing and unique greeting Ayubowan .not anymore and the Security officers are handful to handle everywhere , some thi nk they are Rambos and some do not want to get alittle sun burnt to handle the parking .
            Things must change and must be done not just in government sectors, also in private and even in tiny shops .people need to be trained how to respect every customer , it’s getting bad by the day and now am wishing every minute some smart young guys( join together from.all races & religions ) will come up.with an App.. like in Singapore where you do not have to hassle in traffic waste your energy, time and fuel , and have everything delivered to your door step ( halal to non halal. To pork , to groceries to veges and cooked food with PHI quality assurance)
            Sick of the damn attitude we need to put up even after having to drive long distance sometimes and having to pay our blood money only to be treated like some begger at their doorstep .

          • 2
            0

            KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

            “To digress a bit how much do those skinny Girls take home in comparison to the over fed Staff.”

            Come on be serious, when have you ever stuck to the topic and responded directly to the comments or subject? Your digression is well known and similar to crab walk, sideways.

            “Do they disclose how much the Directors draw at the AGM of Arpico?..”

            Will the clan disclose what they illegally made in unearned income from various other sources between 2005 and 2015, and how much they planned to make in the next five years, that is of course Gota is agreeable to a presidential elections in 2024/2025?

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    I meant to say unp had in past ruled straight over 10 years and only messed the entire nation up , including the constitution.
    Let’s give our votes to pohottua this time.

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      Fahim,

      It made my day..

      I gave two like as well..

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        Truth is bitter like good medicine .

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    Dr. Wijewardane: In your presentation, under caption “Weakness of Governance” , you have identified waste of Nations at two levels: – (1) “Level of bureaucracy” 92) Level of elected political rulers. Did you or not visit the Section 32(1) of our Constitution, under subject “Immunity of President”. This clause was used by no lesser “Authority” of the PEOPLE, than the Attorney General who is entrusted with the prosecution and recovery of such “Waste” and “Fraud” of public funds, in the recent case that came up in courts filed against the then Defence Secretary, who was a “Bureaucrat” and presently the President. Then again a similar case came up against a present Minister, who was charged for “misuse’ of public funds to settle his personal telephone bills, in that the case was “withdrawn” because the proper procedure has not been followed in prosecuting him. How do you “Account” for these lapses in the Constitution itself and the procedural lapses committed by the “Authorities” ? There are many such cases in the past as well as at present. In the face of these “Obstacles” how do you propose to establish “Democracy” and “Peoples'” authority in this country. You might have a “Grand Plan” for what we need to do.

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      There you see it! Douglas asks such “serious questions” and gets no responses.
      .
      How symptomatic of the country!

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    Read the heading First; then look at the picture CT has put for that. Then can somebody, please point out to me where the enemy needs to be defeated for economic development is sitting? Is that the one at far back?

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    This article shows all the features of the failed post colonial education. During the 2500 years, educated had written 1000s, if not 100s, of books. we neglected the content of all those books and, some times, ago, we were praising every thing wrote by Europeans. Now, suddenly, we praise the writings of just 300 years old culture, So, Sinhale very much a defeated nations. Even the so-called educated or the Viyathun mislead those below them.
    It is true, that career politicians has ruined the country. So, the rulers are extremely (Gotabhaya Rajapakse is not a career politician). The only objectives of those career politicians even this time is to escape from corruption charges filed in the Law Courts.
    Democracy as GREEKS defined is the governance as wished by the people for people. At present democracy CHEAT THE PEOPLE AND WORK FOR THE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. The Parliament and it’s 225 are well known to cheat and there after rob the nation. After that 70%of the majority and Hindus are Lost. Others are working for the western agenda which promotes Military and Trade agendas. Fortunately dome unknown power saved Sri Lanka this time.
    We do not need to go to Europe or America to look for Democracy. Read about Rajjandu systems that existed in Sinhale, India and China. It is true, there were king who eliminated even infant children because they were contenders to the throne (that happens now too ?) and some times children eliminated the father who was the king rob the Throne. In all these countries, there were kings who when some natural disaster happened became worried about WHAT HE DID WRONG IN ORDER TO HIS SUBJECTS LIKE THAT.
    How many such Buddhist Leaders we had recently.

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    There are two points worth mentioning here. As others have noted, democracy and economic development are two different things. The best example being China (absence of any democracy, unparalleled economic growth). The second question is, if democracy is not necessary for economic development, then what is the objective of the democratic government? I think if you are a Sampanthan or a Wigneswaran, the answer is clear. Use democracy to trick the other side into giving more and more concessions, until finally you get the grand concession, a separate state.This is how VP played consecutive Sri Lankan governments for decades. So clearly, democracy can be used for shallow purposes. What about the greater good? Yes, democracy can help to fight corruption, but only if existing institutions are already strong. For example, if the judiciary is independent and if politicians cannot elect relatives to the government. The issue with developing countries is that these fundamental institutions are so weak, because everyone is looking out for his own interest only. You can bribe the judge, policeman, etc, as they fear no reprisal. On the other hand, this is not a cultural issue, but also an economic one. There is a strong income equality, high poverty rate, etc. The point I am making here is we should strengthen the economy before talking about democracy and human rights. Morality will not feed poor people.

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      Anik Pooton

      Brilliant
      Thanks for keeping it brief.

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    My sincerest request to Dear ,M/S President and Prime
    Minister Of Sri Lanka is not to follow in the foorsteps of Previous government and instead adopt the way of The Noble Budhha and practice maithree and do not let those around you once again use you and your family to gain political revenge on their behalf and again tarnish your family image.
    Please let go and permit a form of amnesty, move on and establish proper law and order and after that is done you are free to punish those who break that law , that is what LKY successfully did with Singapore I was told * ( I hope am right )
    There are more important matters in hand than go hunting against your opponents
    Hoping for a happy and peaceful and prosperous 2020

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    It’s good to read another interesting article from Mr W, typically well informed and well written. The scenarios set out are not unfamiliar; we have witnessed them at first hand. And the reasons for a deficit of governance is easy to comprehend. Gone are the days when those seeking public office were motivated by altruistic impulse and a genuine desire to serve. Politics is now a business and lucrative, to boot. The pay is excellent, allowances and fringe benefits are generous and other rewards are limited only by individual capacity to exploit them. Some years ago I read an article where Udaya Gamanpilla was quoted as saying that only a small minority – like professionals and the urban middle classes –were concerned with issues of transparency and good governance. Politicians can afford to turn a cynical blind eye to them, given their small numbers and little political clout. Widespread corruption among politicians – and just as damaging – widespread belief they are all corrupt – have made the public cynical. ‘What’s the use, they are all rogues?’ the reasoning now goes, ‘let’s elect someone who can at least get the job done’. For politicians, governance (we should really be talking of GOOD governance) is not of concern. There is an ethical aspect to good governance and a measure of moral consideration involved. We cannot expect politicians to bring these about through self regulation. Our best hope lies, among others, in a system of robust checks and balances, independent commissions, a free and unfettered judiciary and an independent public service. But the signs are not encouraging.. There is much talk of repealing 19A and other parts of the Constitution. As my old aunt would say, ‘Coming colour no good’.

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