By W. Vishnu Gupta –
Judging by the political games played by Ranil, Mahinda, Karu and President Maithripla since October 26th, it is obvious that oligarchies lead by Ranil and Mahinda have hijacked the sovereignty of Sri Lanka from the people. In addition to stealing our national wealth, assets and birth rights they have been acting as sovereigns under the cover of distorted democracy in the country. Alleged invitations extended by (Ranil and Karu) to international community and consultations with the foreign representatives clearly indicate that there were eleventh-hour attempts to protect sovereign status assumed by the sacked Prime Minister. RW’s claim to sovereign status has been challenged by MR. It is not surprising for the oligarchs to operate above the law; usually they make sure law of the land is altered and twisted to protect longevity of their grip on power. Contrary to the claims made by the cohorts of oligarchs, it must be obvious to the people of Sri Lanka that the 18th and 19th amendments to the constitution of the land have been introduced to ensure the “assumed sovereign” status of MR and RW.
Pawns and Sri Lankan version of democracy
Karu and Maithripala are the pawns in this political game played by RW and MR in order to achieve their personal goals, as expected it can be either “by hook or by crook”. Sri Lankan vile politicians supporting these two camps must be a story of international intrigue, romances, corruption, graft, and political assassinations. It is not obvious to the majority of voters as this game is played behind the scene and the use of cleverly planned diversionary tactics. Main diversion is activated on the rabble by burdening them with a carefully implemented survival game. Rabble is preoccupied in the survival game and also they have been advised to be patient by their religious leaders; instances such as where estate workers have to beg the oligarchs to get an unbelievable pitiful daily wage of Rs.1,000, Malnutrition reported in villages, child committing suicide in Kilinochchi for not having a school uniform. The misery imposed on the citizens through the survival game continues to grow. In contrast, core group and henchmen linked to oligarchy; about 7% of the population, are confronted with the dilemma of choosing luxuries of European, American or Japanese origin to maintain their hedonistic life styles at home and abroad. Sri Lankan version of democracy is a story of two groups mainly consists of atheistic-materialistic families playing a psychological warfare to decide which group would win ultimate control of the wealth, natural resources, national assets and man-power of the entire nation. This story has not change since the demise of Hon. DS Senanayake.
This psychological war game has reached the final stage but it will not be over very soon. Both oligarchs have tyrannical ambitions; consequently the nation has brought to somewhat standstill position by the duplicity nature of the constitution of the land. Attention of the highest court of the land is now drawn to settle the bickering of two oligarchs. Incomplete amendments have been drafted and implemented by these two groups to deny the people the opportunity to enjoy real democracy; “Rule by the people” not by two individuals acting as “sovereigns”. Sovereignty of a nation based on true democratic principle belongs to the people. The solution is to end this foul game that oligarchs have been playing at the expense of future of the children. These two totalitarian-minded groups have imposed their ideas on rest of citizens through various instruments including multi interpretations of the constitution, religious institutions, fake commissions, civic groups, NGO’s, media circuses and unwanted international community involvement. Evolving story since October 26th is sensational and shocking, but it is of no value to the people of Sri Lanka. Suffering and denial of a decent life for the Sri Lankans will continue irrespective of the final winner.
The Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero
(A true patriot who lived up to the word)
The present political and social uncertainties were created by the oligarchs driven by hedonism. The Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero witnessed the excesses of oligarchs and an agonized over it. Some may say today “Ane haamuduruwane oba hitiyaanam apita mehema wenne naha”.
It appears that the objective of the 19th amendment to the constitution was not to strengthen “Democracy” in Sri Lanka but to configure a mechanism to confer unofficial “sovereign” status to RW. Moreover, RW and the gang responsible unseating MR lied to the people about good-governance with unwitting consent of MS.
The 19th amendment was not what The Most Venerable Thero demanded from MS and RW. Venerable Thero’s solution had two sides; it was intended to free the people from the grips of oligarchies controlling the government during last seven decades. It is like; two sides of the same coin; on one side of the coin to ensure the end of Executive Presidency and on the other side is the implementation of the electoral reforms to prevent thieves, murderers, rapists, narcotic/ethanol dealers and illiterates entering the parliament. The “Coin of Solution” is useless if one side is missing. Venerable Thero pleaded with RW and MS to implement this comprehensive solution; however he was duped to concur with the 19th amendment by the good-governance sham leaders without electoral reforms. RW was and is the major obstacle to electoral reforms. He has derived much needed support from chauvinist political parties and JVP to delay and derail any reforms on the electoral/election activity front. MR is not deferent, he too knows very well that the implementation of electoral reforms will be detrimental to “assumed sovereign” status and existence of his cohorts. Neither, MR nor RW wants to dig their own graves.
The people should question the rationale behind the transfer of executive powers of the president to the parliament filled with contemptible politicians lead by another vile man or a vile woman assuming an “unofficial sovereign” status? Fortunately, flaws in the 19th amendment and incompatible cultural and social objectives pursued by RW and MS have finally spared the blessed nation falling into an abyss. Irony is, even the National Movement for Social Justice and similar civic groups also have forgotten the noble goals of Venenerable Sobitha Thero.
General Election in January 2019
According to Prof. M.O.A de Zoysa, former chancellor of the University of Peradeniya, Ninety four MPs have not passed their GEC (O/L) examination while there were only 25 graduates among the 225 legislators in the Sri Lankan Parliament that was dissolved on November 9th 2018. Just like Mafia bosses, oligarchs are very comfortable and secure among illiterate support gangs. These 200 semi-literate and immature pretentious Pukka Sahibs including the speaker have been able to mock democracy in Sri Lanka with the blessings of an oligarchy system controlling the government of Sri Lanka.
These MPs who have been elected to make laws on behalf of the people must first understand the meaning of democracy, nation’s constitution and sovereignty and at least should have learnt how to conduct themselves with dignity from their teachers or parents. The unbridled corruption and hedonistic behavior of these MPs since 1953 have turned Sri Lanka in to a “Beggars Nation”. At the end of WWII Sri Lanka was among the richest countries in Asia; other two being Japan and Malaysia. Conspiracies of oligarchies have ruined the economic fabric and our nation. That is the bitter truth. Moreover, this was the main reason why Venerable Sobitha Thero demanded the electoral reforms from RW and MS.
The President MS in a message to the nation on November 11th, 2018 stated “it was unfortunate to note that some MPs had put a price on their value when the two main political camps were attempting to show the majority in parliament”.
This is not a new phenomenon in Sri Lankan Parliament; these conceited Pukka Sahibs have defiled democracy of our nation many times. Let’s not forget that the alleged very first auction of putting a price on their blockheads took place on December 3rd 1964 with the defection of Fourteen MP’s from the SLFP (Govt of Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike) to the UNP. It was lead by Charles Percival de Silva representing Minneriya electorate.
The second reason for dissolution of the parliament, according to the President MS was “the ‘amazing behavior’ of the Speaker. Initially, he agreed to accept Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister and several days later, he said he recognizes Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister. In the meantime, some MPs said a tense situation was possible on the day the parliament was scheduled to reconvene. Therefore, I decided to dissolve parliament so that the people of Sri Lanka can reelect a new set of MPs who are clean and genuine,”
It is a very rationale and appropriate conclusion, the speaker’s behavior is not acceptable to the people of Sri Lanka either, but what else to be expected from a semi-literate individual appointed to be the speaker to safeguard oligarchs and distorted democracy. Given the number of such people in the parliament, the probability is very high that a similar semi-literate will always occupy the speaker’s chair in Sri Lanka.
However the President is wrong to assume that “the people of Sri Lanka can re-elect a new set of MPs who are clean and genuine”. President MS has conveniently forgotten the demand made by the Venerable Sobhitha Thero on electoral reforms. Without electoral/election reforms there will never be “Clean and Genuine” MPs in the parliament. Distorted democracy and Oligarchs controlling the party politics in Sri Lanka will never allow literate and intelligentsia to enter the parliament. President MS and RW are not genuine either; both of them had the opportunity in 2015 to clean the slate but they ignored it for obvious personal reasons.
If they were genuine and practicing Buddhists as claimed in 2015 and promises made to Venerable Sobhitha Thero were true, both of them had the ideal chance to select a group of literate, honest, qualified and patriotic candidates in the general election. Instead of honoring the promises made to the Venerable Sobhitha Thero, they opted to select, approve, sign, seal and field a group of alleged criminals, thieves, ethanol dealers, drug dealers, murderers, sex-maniacs and semi-literate candidates in 2015.
People by this time should have realized the mistake of electing criminals and thugs to enter the parliament to sustain oligarchies. Today they are reaping the benefits of what they have sown in August 2015 by participating in the biggest political trickery performed to oust one oligarchy and replace it with another oligarchy. Obviously, There was no other choice. Sadly the same slate of candidates will be thrust upon the voters by MS, RW and MR in the forthcoming election and once again 200 or more semi-literate crooks and hedonists will occupy the seats in the Sri Lanka parliament. “Thrust upon the voters” is the foundation of DISTORTED DEMOCRACY.
How to overcome the present impasse
(Food not Constitutional circuses)
Implementation of a comprehensive solution proposed by The Venerable Sobitha Thero would have saved our country and the people from misery. The country does not need a brand new constitution; no country on earth possesses a perfect constitution. People should not be the victim of a ploy proposed by RW. Citizens (not Sinhalese, not Tamils and not Muslims) did not demand at any time a new constitution; they are right now paying dearly for the fraud committed through the 19th amendment developed haphazardly by a selected few RW friends. Electoral/Election reforms plus removal of executive presidency must be developed simultaneously and those amendments must be implemented simultaneously and not sequentially.
With regard to electoral reforms:
1. The most suitable method for parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka should be a mixed method system. It is a combination of the FIRST PAST THE POST (or single member plurality) voting system and the PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION system. Very simple to understand.
2. The size of the present parliament should be affordable and be maintained at 225 and limited to two types of members i.e. 160 MPs for first-past the post representation for each electorate. There are already demarcated 160 Polling divisions in the country; PR representation at district level should be limited to 65
3. 65 PR MP seats at the district level should be based on a formula agreeable to the people.
4. There should not be any National list MPs, These National List MPs have become part of the obstacle to get rid of the Oligarchies.
5. Election expenditure control laws must be enacted as an integral part of electoral reforms.
The above proposed system will pave the way to stop semi-literate and alleged criminals getting into the parliament and making havoc in the nation. It is believed, this is the only way to wrest sovereignty away from the oligarchy and give it back to the people.
A country with a literacy rate of 92%, (the highest in South Asia) should not have any difficulty in electing highly literate, qualified, honest and law abiding group of sons and daughters as the members of the parliament to decide the destiny and play a pivotal role in developing a robust economy, sustaining cultural/social/religious practices, security and harmonious existence.
Parliamentary general election or any other election without the relevant reforms on electoral/election activities, will be a mere exercise of “rubber stamping” the despicable existence of a bunch of crooks representing two oligarchies. -What a travesty of accepted norms of democracy?