By W. Vishnu Gupta –
It is obvious that the citizens were not flabbergasted or shamed when the Executive President was jeered and sent away from the parliament of Sri Lanka on July 5th, 2022, as he has lost public trust. It was a historical commotion lead by SJB within the legislature, the tyrant was grinning from ear to ear and was surrounded by few political turncoats whose survival depends on the survival of Rajapaksa clan and hastily exited the house of the legislature. The state is paralysed and dysfunctional due to the present illegal government appointed by the Rajapaksa clan and the judicial branch of the government must be equally responsible for the political and economic insecurity of the state of Sri Lanka. Because the judiciary has failed to step in to prevent the illegal appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister and ignoring the sovereignty of people. The approval rating of the government in “June has dropped to 3% from 10% in January according to Verité Research’s Gallup style “Mood of the Nation” poll.”, in other words, the government led by Gotabaya is in the deathbed due to mismanagement and corruption. It is well known that the STATE is bankrupt. However, the most unpopular duo, Gota and Ranil must realize that the STATE is not DEAD, and it will never DIE despite the dishonest and unlawful agreements entered with Indians, Americans, and Chinese since 1977. All three international forces vying to gain dominant geostrategic position in the ocean around the island nation will always rely on corrupt politicians such as Rajapaksas and Ranil to achieve their hideous objectives and jeopardise the economic security of the state.
The economic security of any state can be achieved only with political stability and not with political shenanigans or accepting handouts given by foreign countries and illegitimate contracts signed by corrupt politicians such Basil Rajapaksa otherwise internationally known as Mr. Ten Percent. Therefore, given the pathetic economic and security climate, Gota must transfer the state responsibilities to a transitional government without further delay to avoid many deaths, destructions, and mayhem soon. Blinded by greed, power, and own insecurity, Ranil and Rajapaksas will never favour an all-party interim government but that is the only and preferred option left for the people in the state of Sri Lanka. This option was proposed on April 16th, 2022, in a “Colombo Telegraph” article published under the caption “From Mirihana To ‘Gota Go Gama’, for the benefit of those who care to understand the concept of transitional government, the following is appended from the said article.
A transitional government is a system of law and leadership put into place during a change from one type of government to another, usually during a period of crisis such as economic insecurity encountered by Sri Lankans.
It seems that existing government of Sri Lanka will be overthrown and dismantled by public pressure. In the eyes and minds of people, the present leaders have lost credibility and people including children have throng to the streets demanding (225 +1) to resign and stop the political charade of last 72 years. Their demand is further reinforced by the economic collapse, Sri Lanka has ended-up being a failed bankrupt state. Hence a transitional government needs to be established sooner. Transitional government is not akin to shuffling the cards as some political novices and youtubers claim.
The purpose of transitional governments is typically to determine a new political structure, and sometimes even a new economic structure as well. The transitional leadership may be expected to establish a new constitution and hold elections and restoring a sense of justice. The existence of Sri Lanka as a country and the future of Sri Lankan children are at risk due to 72 years of self-centered actions of politicians, corruption, and mismanagement. The people need to take responsibility to make proposals to overcome the present impasse faced by the government just like the keen interest taken to oppose the leadership non-violently. The following political structure needs to be looked at seriously as an alternative, instead of scheming in the dens of politicians devoid of voice of people.”
Rajapaksas should have left in April
Furthermore, with the hope opening the minds of Rajapaksas and their cohorts the said compendium on transitional government was bold enough to suggest that, if Rajapaksas truly love Sri Lanka, Gotabaya must consider the following legislators in a transitional government, before his imminent departure, and he will earn respect locally and within the international community for taking such a courageous step to safeguard the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. The suggested names to the transitional government are not “Lily White Saints” but appears to be less evil, they represent every political party in Sri Lanka. Moreover, elimination of all State Minister portfolios is warranted to save billions of rupees spent on maintaining these political dead-weights. The caretaker all- party government is well within the constitutional framework of Sri Lanka and hence the international leaders, UN, IMF, World Bank and EU will not hesitate to recognize them as the representation of sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka paving the way to obtain much needed financial support.
Time is running out for Gota
Gota must understand his time is running out, Although the people are agitating peacefully right now, it will not last forever. He has only made blunders since becoming the president, clearly, he does not have what it takes to be a leader of the country, many have died, and millions have become destitute due to his ill-conceived policies and mismanagement. It is time for him and his clan members to retire from politics now and appoint an interim all-party government without contravening the constitution.
The interim all-party government must be led by a less controversial but a reticent and undemonstrative introvert but conforms to the statutes in the constitution of the state. Hence, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, the speaker of the legislature fits the criteria perfectly. The interim temporary prime minister should possess similar personal traits but not driven by greed for power, someone like the late Wijeyananda Dahanayake. Obviously, the people will favor Rajith Siyambalapitiya as the speaker and Harsha De silva to fill the minister of Finance portfolio. Sajith, Sirisena, AKD must understand it is only a temporary government and they should avoid being seen as opportunists to benefit from the misfortune fell on Rajapaksas, but they should be in the cabinet with responsibilities to guide power/energy, foreign affairs, and agriculture respectively. Hakeem, Shanakiyan, Wimal, Vasu, Udaya, Gayantha, Jeevan Thondaman, Anura Yapa and GL Peiris should be given other cabinet portfolios to fulfill the requirement of an all-party interim government, and specifically G.L. Peiris must be given the responsibility to lead the Justice Ministry and responsibility to draft a new constitution avoiding Wijedasa Rajapaksa who speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
The mandate of the transitional government must be strictly confined to the following priorities of the people and to be fulfilled within eighteen months, hence our glorious protesters of Mirihana, ‘Gota Go Gama’, and other emerging nonpartisan civilian groups must remain hawkish, vigilant and monitor the progress of the elected transitional interim leaders every month.
Priority-1: Provide immediate relief measures to free the masses from economic insecurity.
Priority-2: Repeal 20th constitutional amendment and simultaneously enhance the 19th amendment with the inclusion of changes to electoral system that combines FIRST PAST THE POST (or single member plurality) voting and the PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION structure.
Priority-3: Abolish Executive Presidency and elect the president from the legislature. Introduced budget limits for the election campaigns with audit controls.
Priority-4: Cleanse the judiciary system and restore the credibility by retiring or reassigning present political appointees.
Priority-4: Conduct new General Election for the legislature under new election rules before December 2023.
Judging by the spontaneous reactions of the people, police and military personnel wasting valuable time in the gasoline, cooking gas, public transportation, fertilizer, and food queues, it is obvious that Sri Lankans have lost confidence in the government. The government may hold a different opinion and hide behind the flawed constitution. But people are not naïve anymore, it seems they have come to realize that the statutes in the present constitution are worthless before the ambitions of those in power.
Hopefully, common sense will prevail and all responsible parties for the present economic, financial, and political crisis, namely the executive, legislature and judiciary should feel the pulse of the people and take immediate steps to avoid a possible bloodbath in the state of Sri Lanka in the near future.
chiv / July 8, 2022
V.Gupta, least we can take pride in being an international subject matter “how not to become next Lanka”? Foreign media, research groups, financial experts are busy analyzing, understand and learn from Lanka’s misery. ( see Mahathir’s comment yesterday). The signs were there from the time Rajapaksas came into power. But the people ignored for known reasons and now almost after two decades, here we are out with our begging bowls. This cannot be fixed internally without any means whatsoever. We need international help and for that we need to first get rid of our political crooks ( including some you mentioned here ) Given our pathetic history, the possibilities of cleansing corrupted politicians is, just a dream.
MyView / July 8, 2022
While the article is generally acceptable, the suggested…….
…..Sajith, Sirisena, AKD must understand it is only a temporary government should be in the cabinet with responsibilities to guide power/energy, foreign affairs, and agriculture respectively. Hakeem, Shanakiyan, Wimal, Vasu, Udaya, Gayantha, Jeevan Thondaman, Anura Yapa and GL Peiris should be given other cabinet portfolios to fulfill the requirement of an all-party interim government…… Young Kanchana is doing a good job under trying circumstances and good material, while Amaraweera is sincere.
Certainly not the best of selections including , and specifically G.L. Peiris but Harsha De Silva to fill the minister of Finance portfolio is good.
Unless to keep the Tamil vote, Jeevan is a non-starter but better get Sumanthiram to really get an all party govt. It is difficult to fine good apples in a basket with rotten ones but………
More like Vijitha Herath, Eran Wicks, Kabir Hasihim, Charitha Herath and Champika are better suitable than just the verbose hot air trio of Wimal Vasu Udaya who did nothing but suck up to Rajapakses and disrupted much of the good things by lies.
Thanga / July 8, 2022
//millions have become destitute due to his ill-conceived policies and mismanagement.//
Sorry, there is more to it. Right from the day of independence power-hungry politicians have successfully played the racist, language and religious cards to capture the power and then retain it.
The Sinhala Only legislation was an unmitigated disaster. It polarized the nation into Sinhala Nation and Tamil Nation. Standardization introduced to prevent Tamil students from entering Universities drove them to take up arms. The enactment of a unitary constitution and giving foremost place to Buddhism created inequality. In short, Sinhalese people were told that their prosperity depends on the marginalization of Tamils.
JR Jayawardena said it all when he claimed ” J.R. Jayawardene said, “The more you put pressure in the north, the happier the Sinhala people will be here. Really, if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy.” JR’s racist supremacist mentality still persists. A unitary constitution has become sacrosanct.
Those who are marching the streets demanding Gotabaya Go Home have not revealed what next after he quits? Dispatching him home alone will not salvage the country which has officially declared bankruptcy. What we need is a paradigm shift to enact a constitution that is secular and democratic. Secularism is the constitutional principle according to which political and religious institutions are separated. The political authority is neutral toward all and keeping religious leaders out of political decisions.
Nathan / July 10, 2022
Those who are marching the streets demanding Gotabaya Go Home have not revealed what next after he quits?
What a worry!
Haven’t they opened up an unprecedented opportunity – that was never imaginable before – for the country to adapt a new political path.
Why not work to build up on it.
vipuli / July 8, 2022
Lankans were made to carry begging bowls by the self centered political leaders in Sri Lanka. if not mistaken since 1956. India was carrying begging bowl all over the world until Rajiv Ghandhi came into power in that country. It costs Three Indian rupees to buy a One Sri Lankan rupee until JRJ came into power in Sri Lanka in 1977. Rajapaksas are the biggest dumb crooks., Getting rid of Rajapaksas is the only prerequisite to make this country economically secured. Also, our history was made pathetic by the racists, thieves, criminals and drug dealers entered into the parliament as politicians. I hope you know about “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”.
chiv / July 9, 2022
Vipuli, I totally agree with your comment. Do you think today’s Aragalaya is ” When the going gets tough, the tough gets going “.
SJ / July 10, 2022
You may check on whether or not Sri Lanka became a big debtor nation only after 1978.
Naman / July 9, 2022
Transitional GoSL is the way to go as soon as President DISSOLVES the current parliament. Once this INTERIM government has been established, President resigns from his post.
We do NOT want any of the corrupt ones holding a cabinet post especially Sirisena etc.etc. etc.
Naman / July 9, 2022
Political + Economic STABILITY can not
— be achieved, with the bloated INDICIPLINED Security Forces in the country especially North and East.
— be achieved without assuring the minorities of equal treatment
— be achieved without JUDGES who CAN stand up to intimidations by President/PM/ Government MPs
—be achieved when defence forces are protecting the criminals and not the INNOCENT people
— be achieved without a NEW CONSTITUTION that acceptable to all races and religions
Bert / July 9, 2022
Gota speaks as if he won the 30 year war by himself. So why is this faggot now hiding from the people.
MyView / July 9, 2022
And his boast of 6.9M mandate – if you see the crowd in Sirasa just a while ago, hope he can get 6900 now.
Bert / July 10, 2022
Sarby should take much of the blame for the situation in the country. Under him as justice minister he brought the 20th amendment, turning a democracy to a semi dictatorship. He betrayed his own Muslim brothers because of his greed for power. He should rot in hell with Gota for the mess he created for the country.
shankar / July 10, 2022
excellent article.I agree with everything he says except the first past the post system which i detest.
The reason i hate it is it does not have the shring mentality for a unity government and gives unnecessary powers to the winner.The 1970 elections is a good example where sirimavo got a two third majority to change the constitution and play hell with the country though if you look at the votes she got on proportional basis she had only a simple majority.Then in 1977 also the megolomaniac JRJ went to town on his two third majority on a first past the post system.When you know from experience that it is bad for us why mix it with the proportional system.get rid of it.
shankar / July 10, 2022
should be sharing mentality,not shring.Give the person who comes second also a chance to have a say in the way the country is to be run.he or she also represents a substantial amount of the people doesn’t he?Are they all to be left out in representation just because the winner may have won with a few votes more.Creates disunity.
V.G / July 11, 2022
Thank you for your valuable input. However, I have not advocated the Westminster system of Government solely based on the First Past The Post electoral system. I have said many times it is a combined (mixed) method; FPTP plus Proportional representation. I first explained it on November 14 2018 in an article published in Colombo telegraph. Please see the proposed changes below, it may not let criminals in the legislature:
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.
ghulam ali / July 13, 2022
Dear Mr Gupta ,
First of all, thanks for writing such insightful pieces .
I am a PhD candidate at Leiden University, the Netherlands and also work at the Leiden University Center for International Relations ( LUCIR) . We want to organize a talk on the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka . It would be great if you could join us. We can discuss this matter further via email. The following is my email address