27 April, 2018

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For Heaven’s Sake, Mr Speaker, Tighten The Rules Of The House

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

You and I are very familiar with dogs’ fighting and biting each other. What happened in Parliament yesterday (10/01/18) was a similar mindless and juvenile militancy. I am scared to look at Al Jazeera tonight as they are bound to give clips of our Parliamentarians’ performance. When these things go global, Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans will be looked down upon everywhere they go. There is a fellow jogger belonging to the Albanian community here in Melbourne. He is a frequent Al Jazeera watcher and he has been in the habit of pointing out to me anything that is specially said of Sri Lanka. I dread to see the bloke today and hence I shifted my jogging ground temporarily.

This is our predicament! A country where Bana is dished out every day via radio and TV channels, where the church bells ring for the faithful, and where mosques relay, regardless of sound pollution, the word of the prophet.

Religion has not touched the collective psyche of Sri Lankans; so has free education; so has the heritage of an impressive civilisation. It is just a dog-eating dog culture that has permeated our society  from the top echelons of political behaviour. Sixty per cent of our MPs are without O’levels, whereas sixty per cent of Indian MPs are graduates. With the replacement of the system of electorally-sourced and electorally accountable representatives by a party hierarchy nominated system of picking candidates for a party list to be presented as a fiat accompli to hapless electors the worsening culture has worsened beyond measure.

Creepy fellows crept into Parliament. Drug magnates, womanisers, rapists and jewellery snatchers even got Ministerial portfolios under the previous government. An alleged drug magnet was appointed ‘Supervising MP’ in the Defence Ministry! Fortunately he has since been convicted for murder and is awaiting the hangman’s noose! One former Minister who is a notorious liquor dealer and who hasn’t got beyond  year nine at school is reported to have been one of the attackers last evening.

Many of these fellows are alleged criminals at-large with cases in court before them. Why their cases are not disposed of and why they not converted to jailbirds, we can only ask the President and the Prime Minister. We have been asking and we can only ask. In a sense, the government deserved this. We had a President of whom former Chief Justice says he regrets he did not convict for misappropriating Tsunami funds. We have had officials, once upon a time, in charge of security who have been charged with wheeler-dealing in MiG purchases and murdering dissentients. They are going about trying to woo our monks in order that they can soon take over political leadership.

One thing I cannot understand is why the Speaker has not issued instructions that in the event of his suspending Parliament or postponing same, the broadcasting facilities should be jammed. Had this been done, the Opposition will not keep screaming and dramatising in the well of Parliament.They want the whole country to see and that is their motivation. Cut off that chance of broadcasting, and protestors like this will be defused. Other strict house rules should be made legal and enforced to discourage such happenings again. For instance, any MP violating the symbol of the house, which is the mace, should be automatically punishable by suspension for one year. CCTV facilities would make it easy to ascertain who and who are responsible for violations. Likewise, no banners etc should be allowed into the House. In this particular instance, the JO men and women came in readiness with banners to disrupt proceedings. Similar tightening can be done in other relevant areas. For heavens’s sake, Mr Speaker do tighten the rules of the House as far as is possible and seek agreement  beforehand, from all party leaders for the new rules.

We can go a far way towards a sane Parliament then.

*The writer can be contacted at sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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Latest comments

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    The mighty Tamil leader had stopped from 1983 the parliamentary rowdies of SWRDs, JRs, Old Royals and the New Royals celebrating their annual festival called Pogroms on the roads of Tamil neighborhoods. Then they celebrated it in 2008 & 2009 on vast spaces of Kudumpi Malai and Wanni, on about 200,000 Tamil poor people life, with the help of 32 nations. But even that was stopped after that, by the IC. The festivity deprived, the so called “lawless rowdy lawmakers” went inside the parliament to discuss something called “Central Bank Looting”. It was they started to celebrate how they had been celebrating these annual pogrom festivals. Looting, murdering, arson, raping………. These angels, whom Buddha should never had allowed to step on the street of a civilized world’s soil, but had appointed to guard his doctrines, has no way to be fixed, unless China expedite buying the lands quickly and bring its communism to pass its own Tiananmen Square justice over these. Now the mighty Tamil leader confined the pogroms to be inside the parliaments from where the Lankawe political leaders has been organizing to advance their looting murders and rapes.
    It the British government should be sued for knowingly enslaving Tamils on vain state locked into the hands these animals. It is to this spice, which British local administrators kept out of all legally functioning workplaces, British Government handed over the power, hoping to control the Trinco Harbor. This is the crowd was agitated to agile state , by another equally qualified and certified group called Colombo Media by staging a drama of that two Tamils had robbed the Central Bank. When they went inside with poisoned opium fed by Colombo Media, they naturally let the world see it nakedly.
    It is out of this magic hat, the magician Sampanthar is saying bringing out his magic called Secret Solution and he wants the Tamils to believe and wait.

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    Shanal: I nearly missed your reply to my comment. Where are you living or have you ever seen and observed the voter behavior both during and after elections? If you did, you wouldn’t have raised the question: “Voters are dependent of the politicians for what reasons”?. I too agree on one thing with you, i.e. the Parliamentarians need not necessarily have a “Degree”; but they necessarily do need the “WISDOM” (GAANA). They are the Legislators of the country and need to posses the “Know How” to assess and make correct decisions and choices. You would agree, therefore, they need some educational standard and more importantly a good sense of understanding and judgement. I wish, the type of voter you described is available in Sri Lanka; but not so Shanal. If that “Ideal” voter, profiled by you is living in Sri Lanka, you wan’t find the present Legislature filled with “Hooligans”, “Criminals”; “Rapists”; “Robbers”; “Thugs”; “Drug Barons” etc. among whom are some of the “Academics” too. You had a “Demonstration” of that type on Jan. 10th in the Parliament, with even the PM’s participation. So don’t you think that something is terribly wrong with the voter, that needs to be addressed? In my opinion, let that root cause be corrected first by way of assisting the voter to SEE; OBSERVE; and MAKE CHOICES.

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      Douglas,

      The “WISDOM” does not come from a Degree paper. “WISDOM” can be achieved by even a village Gama Raala if he is prudent enough. A politicians does not need to understand every nut and bolt of a governing system in order to operate it. He has learnt officials and civil servants under him to deal with bureaucracies and technicalities. He only has to supervise the process according to his government’s overall goals and objectives while keeping the public relations in check.

      Of course there is an educational requirement. I believe that every MP of Sri Lanka can read and write and understand what his voters need. I don’t believe that mentally handicapped persons are present in the parliament. There can be no restrictions placed on who people can choose for the parliament, as the ultimate requirement for the selection to the parliament is the people’s vote. However, education qualifications are a plus point among other various qualifications a politician should have. It should not become the prime qualification over the others.

      The hooligans, criminals, rapists, robbers, thugs, drug lords etc., are part of the society and we need to reason why they are chosen over the other so called educated people. May be the problem lay with educated people themselves. I do not promote the criminal elements in the society here. But, there is a serious fault in how we conduct elections and I don’t think that people should be blamed for that.

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    “For Heaven’s Sake, Mr Speaker, Tighten The Rules Of The House”
    The are there. The Speaker must administer them even-handedly.
    How come the minority parties are not in the melee? Food for thought Al Jazeera!

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    Shenal: Thanks. Both of us agree on many things as indicated in your reply. You say: “May be the problem lay with the educated people themselves”. Yes to an extent; because these very many “educated” people are confined to their “Academic Achievements” rather than being alongside “Practical” , but more so acting as “Yes Sir” men and women. We saw this “Yes Sir”; “yes Sir, it wan’t happen”; “Yes Sir, I will get the file”; “Yes Sir, Nileme will not be arrested”. This conversation was between the Highest in the Police Force and a Minister handling Law & Order. Both of them are “Educated” and the problem, as you said: “problem with educated people themselves”. You also say: “But, there is a serious fault in how we conduct elections and I don’t think people should be blamed for that” Can you please elaborate a little more on that? Is it the “System” or the “Way” the political parties and candidates carry on the campaign or both to dupe the voter? Worth and relevant to dis cuss that aspect too.

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      Douglas,

      The problem with some educated people are that they have lost the initiative. They succumb do the mental limitations and stuck in a limbo of their own creation. This is not an unique issue only to the educated people. Others also show this kind of symptoms when the grow old.

      The fault with the electoral system is our old proportional system. That system demanded richer candidates with lot of manpower at their disposal. This effectively phased out village level leaders and paved the way for “Mudalali” funded local gangsters to come in to the foray. The criminal elements we see in the parliament are the pinnacle of this corrupted system.

      In one way we cannot even blame this criminals in the parliament as they do what they do is to survive the election cycles occuring every 5 years. For an election they need millions of rupees of money each time. They haven’t inherited any landholdings from their parents as the yester years, so they have to earn this money one way or the another with in this 5 years. No money means no competitions in the elections which could lead to low vote yield. Which could lead to losing an election campaign.

      However, their are exceptions such as Mr. Ranjan Ramanayake. If one can promote himself over in the media continuously for the 5 year term in the Parliament he can have a free publicity for his election campaign. This is what the tactic used by Mervyn Silva and Champika Ranawaka among others.

  • 0
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    I say SHYMAN can’t the classic text book case look after this problem too, Why blame the speaker when text book pair is running the country. You have put your head in a noose,and tightening the rules is not gonna help it.

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    Another week of revelations. Some revelations! As if we already didn’t know, the government is hell bent on obfuscating the Bond scam. The ‘opposition’ have the bit between their teeth but do not know how to go about blowing the lid off the whole shebang. The odds are that this one like many many others will fizzle out and the rogues will live to scam another day. The League of Gentleman will fete Rambling Ranil as a ‘fine’ fellow – a man who looked after his own.

    As for Karu – nice fellow, good politician, but piss-poor-speaker. To allow, once again, the chaos on the floor of the house, takes a special kind of incompetence. Our detractors have another pile of dung to throw at us.

  • 0
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    Dear Shaymon and Readers,

    Read this from the State Council Days:
    Do you know that John Kotalawala , later Sir John assaulted Philip, when the latter was having tea after a debate in the House. Why? Because Philip told him on the floor of the House that JK’s comforts were at the expense of poor ill-treated laborers. JL had insinuated that he worked for it, and he was fortunate that he got his fortune owing to the merits of his Kotalawala parents.Then Phillip had told Kotalawala that money came from the Estate of Kotalawala’s murdered uncle ( one Attygalle) and that John Kotalawala was in that position of Minister not because of any intellectual capacity he had , but because Mr D.S. Senanayake used his cunning ways and manipulated to get him the position.
    Another time , since D.S. Senanayake who was not very fluent in English to understand the bills tabled etc.
    , spoke broken English, had the habit of getting Sir John to intervene or answer questions spontaneously like a Vachalaya. When Mr SWRD Bandaranaike was once questioning Mr D.S.Senanayake on an important matter, Sir John Lionel K. got up to answer, according to Elmo Gooneratne of Lake House. Then Mr Bandaranaike had said, ” Lionel, you Middle School drop out , you don’t have the intellectual capacity consider such an important subject,just sit without making a fool of yourself. That statement was really meant for Mr DSS since his game of putting forward Lionel Kotalawala was well known.
    When Dudley S. Senanayake and Keerthiratne in 1936 contested Dodangaslanda, Sir John had got his thugs to stop Keerthiratne’s supportrs distributing pamphlets. K’s father was rich and got them distributed by helicopter.
    Thugs are always born thugs. Just because of family connections and money they became heroes. Didn’t Sir John and Sir Oliver steal Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange? We must have a hall of DEFAME for them…history is erased or painted as Prof. K.M.de Silva still does.

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