18 May, 2024

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Did Faulty Constitution Bring Misery? – Undermining The State Is The Game

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

A phony independence celebration rally was just concluded in Sri Lanka, where millions suffer and hundreds die daily due to betrayals of oligarchs led by SWRDB, Sirima, JRJ, Chandrika, Ranil and kleptocrats led by Mahinda and Gotabaya and intermittent governments lead by two commoners, Premadasa and Sirisena. Unfortunately, latter two were continuously disrupted by oligarchs and kleptocrats. However, none of them were interested in developing the State. Oligarchs were primarily absorbed in how to dilute the powers of State and to ensure that their presumptuous elite club members will be the rulers forever, they loved the royal traditions adopted by monarchies. Ranil’s independence celebration of 2023 is somewhat akin to JRJ’s “king’s procession” (Raja Perahara) and the nation-address made from Paththirippuwa in Kandy in 1977. They are very much in line with the aspirations and grandiose expected by oligarchy. On the other hand the kleptocrats mainly from Rajapaksa family were preoccupied in looting the assets of the state, entire family and their cohorts were corrupt to the core, the meaning of the government for them was confined to the schemes of enriching themselves secretly outside the rule of law, through kickbacks, bribes and special favors from lobbyists and business corporations  or else they were engaged in directing state funds such as tsunami funds to themselves and their associates. The third group consists of Premadasa, an unwelcome offshoot of oligarchy and Sirisena another useless, incompetent twig of kleptocracy were preoccupied in how to survive the dirty political games played by oligarchs and kleptocrats. The survival of these two commoners was not tenable as they were fighting against a highly corrupt, nimble, well financed and above all highly fiendish juggernaut commanded by oligarchs and kleptocrats in the country. 

It is obvious now that oligarchs and kleptocrats have followed the principle of “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”. For instance, it was Ranil who arranged safe exits for Mahinda and Gotabaya in 2015 and 2022 and they in return installed unelected and nationally rejected Ranil as the Executive President with the help of fatally flawed constitution that protects the interests of oligarchs and kleptocrats. For seventy-five years handful of men and women of these two demonic clubs have gorged themselves on superfluities while the starving multitude lacks necessities to survive, and for instance they were bold enough to spend over Rs. 14 million on mobile lavatories for the convenience of handful of participants in an extravagant event organized for “so-called” independence day that lasted 3 hours while many hundreds continue to die due to lack of medicine and hospital care for kidney deceases, cancer, and heart failures. The latest report of UNICEF on Sri Lankan situation published two days before the “so-called” Independence Day says:

UNICEF has said seven million people in Sri Lanka are in need of humanitarian assistance due to the economic crisis. In its Sri Lanka Humanitarian Situation Report, issued on 02 February, the UN agency said essential services for children such as health, nutrition, and education have been severely impacted by shortages of medicine, food insecurity, lack of fuel and long power cuts.”

The citizenry knows well that current oligarchy leader Ranil and kleptocracy leader Mahinda and their cohorts are fully responsible for the dire economic situation in the country today. 

It must be emphasized, that oligarchs and kleptocrats have never respected the State of Sri Lanka especially those driven by personal and family ambitions, hence they developed sophisticated laws to dilute the power of state and erase the difference between State and Government for instances naming “state officials” as “government officials” and introducing laws for the civil service (state officials) to follow political masters and their directives.

The masses are so gullible even today under the influence of political affiliations led by divisive political doctrines, they continue to accept whatever legislation adopted by oligarchs and kleptocrats in the den of thieves and criminals known as parliament of Sri Lanka. Oligarchs and kleptocrats elsewhere have used tactics of tiring citizens and instilling fear, specifically fear of death and hunger as an antidote to eliminate mass resistance for their oppressive regimes. These abhorrent methods were used by men like Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines, Suharto of Indonesia, Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc) of Haiti, and Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. The economic policies and oppressive actions adopted by SWRDB, JRJ, Sirima, Chandrika, Ranil and Rajapaksas carry similar hallmark. They have clearly mastered similar techniques of keeping the masses under slavery and subservient stage while they and handful of their cronies gorged themselves with luxuries. Alleged Batalanda torture chambers , arbitrary arrests under PTA and well coordinated attacks on men and women participating in “Aragalaya” form part and parcel of oppressive tactics that Ranil and Rajapaksas are known for. Besides, these dirty politicians know starving poverty-stricken Sri Lankan majority will have no time to read, analyze and understand the intentions of the bills and legislatures rubber stamped in the legislature. Hence, it appears that political conspiracy is underway to deny availability of essential food, medicine and energy products claiming there is no foreign exchange. 

Unfortunately, for the people there is no solace in the judiciary system either, it is inept and appears to act always according to the dictums of flawed constitution (tailor-made to fit the needs of oligarchy and kleptocracy) sanctioned by the legislature. If attorney general and other so-called independent commissions act as lapdogs of the government leaders, the masses are in trouble for sure. Throughout last seven decades, oligarchs and kleptocrats accepted as a given, that the country’s geopolitical orientation (Indians, Chinese, Japanese and few western countries would love to keep Sri Lanka under their domain of influence) trumped concerns about its domestic abuses, including authoritarianism, human-rights violations, and grand corruption. Hence to ensure regime (both oligarchy and kleptocracy) stability and allegiance, the above countries often channeled development aid to oligarchs and kleptocrats under the auspices of bilateral agreements and through international financial institutions such as the IMF, the World Bank. However, it seems none of these countries really care about ordinary Sri Lankans, if they did then they should have questioned accountability of the temporarily elected governments. According to auditor general’s reports there exist glaring discrepancies between actual project expenditures and the total development funds given to the government under various agreements, yet the foreign governments have conveniently ignored the matter. Bilateral arrangements especially with India and China are somewhat murky, Rajapaksas and Ranil have been always secretive about these agreements, hence it is reasonable to suspect massive sums obtained through graft and kickbacks may have pass through Indian and Chinese banks, energy firms and other infrastructure development companies. 

If the citizens want to rescue themselves from unending economic despair experienced since independence, they must recognize that “State” is not the same thing as “Government” and stop paying homage to kleptocracy and oligarchy. The governments are temporary holders of state and appointed by the citizens for directing state power. Though it has no physical manifestation, the state is superior to government because, it is a legal concept that defines the structure of power. On the other hand, the governments are shaped often by deeply held ideological beliefs, greed, and chauvinism driven by strong personal ambitions. It is obvious, judging by performance of all failed governments since1956, that Sri Lankan governments have been shaped by greed and chauvinism driven by strong family ambitions and intra relationships of few selected politicians such as SWRDB, JRJ, Sirima, Chandrika, Mahinda, Gota, and Ranil. More importantly, it should not be forgotten that sovereignty is also a legal concept and directly link to the State and the sovereign power rests with the people and not with the president, legislators, or the judiciary.

Sovereignty is the right to have absolute and unlimited power either legal or political, within the territory of a state.” And hence Legislators, President and members in Judiciary branch should not be exempted or shown leniency when applying rule of law of the state. 

Likewise, it is mind-boggling to see a man nationally rejected and electorally defeated is occupying the executive presidency of state, because if the sovereign power rests with the people, the people themselves should have chosen the president electorally. The bourgeois of legal, intelligentsia, other professionals and media mafia have always been very noncommittal in challenging the validity of the appointment of Ranil as they are shamefully scared to challenge the constitution of Sri Lanka due to fear of antagonizing some invisible power. What is the validity of this invisible power? All constitutional matters can be challenged through private litigation and criminal prosecution or by private interest standing when a law or government action (such as clauses that permit unelected and national rejected bystander is qualified to replace the nationally elected president) has or will have an impact on the litigants, in this case on Sri Lankans and hence the State and Sovereignty. 

Finally, it must be said that Sri Lanka is a failed and bankrupt state as the oligarchs and kleptocrats have undermined the State with the help of a tailor-made constitutional document that legalize abusive conduct of the rulers and provide cover and foster mismanagement and breed grand corruption. The constitution developed by Sirima’s leftist sidekick Colvin R de Silva and the subsequent 1978 constitution developed by JRJ’s brother Hector were meant to weaken the powers of State that belongs to the people. Ensuing amendment brought by Mahinda, Ranil and Gota were never challenged by the opposition or any other significant citizenry vigorously as they have become victims of the political trickery fuelled by ill gotten wealth distributed by Rajapasas and Ranil. Also, these ill conceived venal legal texts have weakened functioning of independent state institutions such as auditor general, attorney general, elections commission, police commission, central bank, human rights commission and above all security forces of the state. Despite the shenanigans of oligarchs and kleptocrats, the concocted constitutions drafted by Colvin R and Hector J in 1970’s and subsequent amendments adopted in the parliaments are fatally flawed, and it appears they have undermined the State and hence the sovereign power that rests with the people.  

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Did Faulty Constitution Bring Misery? – Undermining The State Is The Game

    All Pohotuwa and the present Prime minister spoke about the Bond scam during election time and named involved people alleged links to the misappropriation funds what action they took for breaching the code of conduct. If no action an apparent Undermining the State Is the Game

  • 6
    0

    RBH59
    The faulty constitution guards the culprits, citizens are helpless. Another recent incident speaks volumes, Ranil directed state officials to allocate 30 acres of land next to a Dairy Factory in Ambewela last month. This dairy factory is owned by one his business buddies a known tycoon in the country. The land belongs to the STATE not to the temporarily elected government, hence Ranil or the government cannot assign the title of the land arbitrarily to anybody. Clearly this is an abuse of power. Only our former kings had the authority to act like this. No body including AG protested against this type of abusive actions of president and other politicians. Citizens are naïve and helpless, how about this same man gives 500 acres surrounding Trincomalee to Adani of India.

    • 3
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      vipuli

      President will tell that people of the country cannot tell anything what he does he is not elected not by the people I came from the majority of parliamentary votes they have to answer he will get away from all trouble like the easter bomb and Bond scam he has already a exit to get rid of all faults, This man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity

  • 3
    0

    Did Faulty Constitution Bring Misery?
    Certainly. The constitution has been amended from the time of Mrs B’s ‘Socialist Republic of SL’ to JR’s creation of the Executive Presidency, & all the amendments thereafter, has been all about the welfare of the politicians, not the citizens. We have an all powerful but ‘not fit for purpose’ Presidency, which the country can’t afford, duplicated by a PM. The President can do no wrong, is wise & righteous, therefore, is above the law, but in practice, introduced thuggery, massive corruption, nepotism, cronyism & the creation of oligarchy. Now, there is no middle class in SL, it is ‘haves’ & the ‘have nots’. The rich got richer (if have the right connections) & the poor, destitute. An unelected President (who lost his own seat) gratefully keeps those responsible for the destruction & plunder of the country, safe & reminds the citizens of the Military might, Police & the biased Judiciary if stepping out of line. What more is needed to confirm the misery of people brought about by the current constitution?

  • 4
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    Raj-UK

    “….biased Judiciary if stepping out of line”- you are correct. The constitution which was designed to weakened the state and hence deny our birth-rights by a selected few is flawed, it has brought every state institution under the control of those who have committed grand theft and criminal acts. Those who wield power in Sri Lanka today should be in jail and not occupying the seat of power.

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