29 June, 2022


Let Us Apply Pressure & Change The Value Commitments Of Our Next Set Of Leaders

By Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

Chandra Jayaratne

I trust that most of you will no doubt hope, agree and commit to ensure, that the next parliamentary election in August 2015, will elect “fit and proper” leaders and legislators, committed to maintain the democratic and pluralistic values we have experienced in Sri Lanka since 8th January 2015.

We should collectively and publicly emphasize, that the changes seen in the application of democratic freedoms, human rights, harmonious co-existence of diverse groups in society, upholding the rule of law, justice, equity, social justice, good governance, transparency and anti –corruption, must continue during the next 5 years. This hope and demand must be our resolve, despite of some glaring instances of different shades of grey, seen in the effective application of these treasured democratic social norms over the last 7 months, due to some unacceptable value commitments of our current leaders.

Many of you will also no doubt agree that in order to bring sustainable growth, happiness, social justice and prosperity for all our people, the continuity of this much desired change in the governance framework is essential. This hope can of course be realized, only if we collectively ensure a strong and committed coalition of political parties, with a value commitment in placing the sustainable long term interests of the nation and its people the number one priority, remain in governance after 17th August.

The current Prime Minister and the collection of political parties forming the Front for Good Governance, have the golden opportunity once again, to leverage their collective capabilities and vision, and lead the next government to deliver what society yearns for since January 8th peaceful change in governance structures.

Towards the above end objective, let us all collectively agree to apply continuous pressure on the next Prime Minister and his cabinet, to sharpen and change their core value commitments; and become aligned to the values and norms that the society aspires for; and thus become more acceptable as national leaders seen working in tandem and signing from the same hymn sheet as the much respected President, elected to office by the people to deliver the changes voted for.

The key pressure points to be focused by us as voters and change managers, are to ensure that the Prime Minister designate and his cabinet commits, post next election;

1. To commit that they and their selected key officials , will wholeheartedly and consistently uphold in governance, without any exceptions and embed through Codes of Conduct and Ethics,

  • the active promotion of democratic freedoms, human rights, harmonious co-existence of diverse groups in society, as well as upholding the rule of law, justice, equity, social justice, good governance, transparency and anti –corruption,( all such commitments being those repeatedly articulated by them during the presidential and parliamentary elections)
  • the sustainable long term interests of the nation and its people being the number one priority in governance and national resource allocation and preservation ( thus creating a government proactively taking in to consideration the sustainable future and interests of all segments of society in policy making and governance, especially the marginalized and weaker segments- women, children, disabled, conflict affected and those living in poverty and without basic amenities and state provided services )

2. To never undermine or attempt to undermine the interests and articulated core values of the new President and the core group of persons who led the change that dawned on 8th January 2015 (including the leader of the Social Justice Movement, Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, leaders/political parties / professionals/men/women/youth and Groups, behind the positive change of 8th January),

3. To be mindful always that arrogance and egoistic behaviours, dictatorial and undemocratic actions and ignoring the aspirations and interests of common citizens (with emphasis on the marginalized segments), will soon lead to the downfall of the government,

4. To be mindful always and avoid under any circumstances close network relations and being surrounded and guided by undesirable and socially unacceptable elements; those committed to foster personal gains; those engaging in under hand/ under world deals; those engaged in destroying the ecology and the environment; and those engaging in unethical practices, (including gambling, the distribution and promotion of the use of narcotics, dangerous drugs/chemicals/substances, and habit forming products injurious to the health)

5. To be mindful always and avoid nepotism, cronyism, promoting the old school tie and cliquish driven networks ; and fostering biased interests of select groups; and always commit to make selections based only on independently validated capability (knowledge, skills, experience, attitudes and values) and being assessed as the best suited for the task;

6. To be transparent, open and honest in communications; willingly and proactively engage with the community and stakeholders with integrity and openness in resolving challenging and problematic issues; always demonstrate the willingness to listen to voices of good advocacy and the aspirations of the people affected by decisions in governance; and ensure environment and national resources are preserved and sustainably allocated with equity, where necessary with affirmative deviations to support justified needs of the marginalized communities;

7. To accept criticism and dissent openly, without resentment or remorse; learn lessons from mistakes and use such lessons for future actions and change management; apply mindfulness and independent good judgment in dealing with crisis and change management challenges;

8. To lead with integrity, independence and good judgment; use a straight bat in governance and never bowl a foul ball; never seek short term gains nor resort to a ‘no action policy’, when faced with challenging situations hoping that the problem will go away ; and never try conceal, misrepresent or blind fold stakeholders in society

9. To strive with commitment to live up to the promises and never promise what cannot or are doubtful of being delivered; use post audits, public forum debates/reviews and critical evaluations to bring out weaknesses and failures in governance meeting stakeholder expectations; never accept outputs and outcomes below the best deliverable results under excellence of governance and management ; and strive to optimize quality, productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and economy in project management;

10. To develop committed teams and team players; foster team work in governance supported by open sharing of accurate information, data and statistics; and always be mindful of the need to have a line of succession in leadership, which alone will ensure continuity and realization of the vision

It is up to us in civil society to shape and sharpen those who govern us, on an ongoing and consistent basis. Towards realization of this objective at this critical stage, we must collectively and transparently use our professional capability and integrity driven value commitments in the cementing our future governance structures and ensure it will be aligned to our aspirations. We must where necessary openly dissent and express our opinions; and advocate our aspirations and wishes for sharpening and shaping good governance. We must even be bold enough, when essential, to openly organize, agitate and apply our collective voter pressure, in order that the to deliver to us good governance, democratic freedoms, human rights, harmonious co-existence in our diverse society, and ensure upholding the rule of law, justice, equity, social justice, good governance, transparency and anti –corruption, for the sake of sustainable growth and prosperity of all in society.

As an initial measure of public pressure, I have decided that my vote at the next parliamentary elections will be cast in favour of the continuity of the change that dawned on 8th January. However, I will carefully evaluate the available choices in casting my preference vote, and ensure it is made only in favour of candidates who I believe will be able to adopt the 10 points leadership commitments articulated above, as their value commitments post elections. I will also advocate that national list nominees selected post elections are those committed to the 10point leadership values as articulated

It is my fervent hope that you too will support this collective initiative and that you will evaluate your choices carefully in casting your vote at the forthcoming elections.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    We must unite. we must be above party politics,and have ethnic and religous reconciliation. There has to9 be atimeof reflection for things done wrong. The people gorups wronged have to be compensated. Poverty alliviation and building up the poor by food. medicine and education and training has to0 be done factories and offices must be open to traing manpower by legistlature. translating books, journals and studies must be done large scale as countries got around copyrights. Media has to be opriented to show good living.

    Reconciliation based on RW vision by every parlimentarian and all people groups is what we must presure the nparties to promise.

  • 3

    Mr Chandra

    Your Article is not complete without a list of candidates who in your opinion qualify to receive our vote.

    From what I have observed of the political scene, I have been unable to identify even a dozen who do qualify. Certainly Mahinda and Ranil, and ex and present Ministers, except for a couple, are in my humble opinion not those who qualify.

    So please make a list of good guys and publish please.

    Take the leaders, Ranil and Mahinda, what assurance is there, they will endeavour to satisfy even five of the ten points you have given? Can you please explain a strategy to the electorate, how they can eliminate both of them?

  • 1

    Listen again Are we carrying the SB voters – the decisions makers on Aug. 17th?


  • 6

    I am not sure who you are, Mr Chandra Jayaratne, but I agree with every word that you have written above. William Blake said that “to generalise is to be an idiot; the truth lies in particulars”. So let me recount something that I experienced last week.

    Our family had been plagued with a land problem for – well, to say fifty years is no exaggeration. We have lived legally, in a remote place on an acre of lease land for 64 years, paying regularly. Suddenly, we get asked to pay 15 million rupees, or clear out. Last Wednesday, I was told that the final say was not with any Minister, but with the Secretary to the Ministry of Lands. “What’s his name?” I asked. Dr Mahanama, I was told. Met him. File called for, matter cleared in five minutes. Pay Rs 63 (sic) p.a. More needs to be done quietly to turn in to freehold, but I am confident that assessment will be only in the region of 2,000 rupees. Now, it’s not the one named individual alone whom I have to credit. About eight people I know had made minutes on that file, since January 2015, and every one of them was honest.

    Many will find this incredible. Test veracity this way. I had to wait long to get the final letter. Found thre was a clean canteen where I got decent lunch for Rs 70/=. I then stumbled on the fact that the Minister (M.K.D.S. Gunewardena) also regularly has the same lunch, same price.

    The Ministry is in Battaramulla; go check it out!

  • 6

    Chandra Jayaratne,
    It is not too late to start a movement “save Sri Lanka’ that demands transparency , accountability from the politicians. The Principles expressed must be taken to the people should not be confined to the elite in Colombo.

  • 1

    Do you really think we can persuade Batalanada Ranil to force CB Boss Mahendran to refund that extra 3 % back in to the Treasury Coffers, even if Galleon has departed.

    I mean you can’t ask Batalanda to cancel the Bonds .. right.

    Just imagine what it will do to our credibility in Bond Market, let alone Bodhi Sira’s Yahapalanaya…

    • 3

      If I was Maithripala I would definitely have cancelled the transactions on the first whiff of suspicion.

      That is called having the balls.

      Maithripala is a good man. But what good is good if you cant do the things that are necessary to do right?

      I regret I have to speak on the side of dirty Sumane; but couldn’t be helped. Dirty is judged by the intentions of the judged.

  • 1

    Mahinda made the mistake of not looking after the poor and uneducated which form his voter base.
    Interest free car loans and free lap tops for journalists confirmed to the educated classes why they should never vote for an uneducated president

  • 0

    The priciples and requirements eneumerated for good governance and behaviour, are excellent – but, are they practical & could they be enforced?

    Many contenders to enter parliament, are uneducated even up to the OLevel, and are thus unable to even understand the constitution.

    Many of them flit from one party to another in search of ‘nominations’ , and even ‘walkover’ from one party to another, and from government ranks to opposition and vice versa, in parliament.

    For many, becoming an MP is a means to provide for the family and progeny and become affluent.

    Only if all privileges and remuneration – except for an adequate allowance – can men/women who really wish to serve the nation, be induced to enter parliament.

    This happened in the old days after the Soulbury Constitution was adopted, but soon ‘privileges’ were acquired and are now in diverse and abundant proportions including duty-free car permits, a large number of ‘assistants’ to which posts wives/husbands,sons/daughters & close relatives are appointed, allowances for house rents, telephones, pensions etc., etc.
    There is no practical solution.
    Politics, now, is a jungle where only the ‘fittest’ survive.

  • 0

    Value Commitments of our Yahapalana Mk 11 seems a timely piece by Mr Jayaratna.

    We can now archive the Bond Heist to Mk 1, as a Shouldn’t have Done Item and move on … Right.

    Because no way Mahendran will Resign ,

    Ranil will never sack him. Sira couldn’t in the first place anyway.

    Even if Mahinda sacks him. just imagine what the Compensation package would be.

    Singapore Mahendran is no Cabby..

    With his Western Experience, he must have put a big ass Dollar clause in the contract, in case he gets the sack.

    And I will tell you it will be an Astronomical Sum , And Mahinda will have to issue Dollar Bonds to pay him.

    We can learn a few things to include in Mk 11 from the news from London this Morning.

    The Yahapalana Lords in London are in big Poo after the deputy Speaker was caught having a Fag…( the smoking kind mind you ) while wearing a Red Bra. .

    And it was in the Sun in London this Morning.

    There is also a video clip him snorting the Western Kudu off his Office Table glass Top .

    And spewing some juicy matter about his fellow Pollies in Yahapalana Administration Committee.

    Watch it folks .. Very interesting stuff.

    Pity our Dalits in the South can’t read the Sun.

  • 0

    When I read about a fat bellied Minister, with a grey mop of hair rooting a chick in a Luxury pad in Colombo , I thought it was just junk mail, because it was in a Web Rag…

    Having seen it again this morning in the most Elite DM in Colombo, I thought it is directly related Mr Jayarathna’s piece here about putting pressure on Yahapalana leaders to behave themselves.

    According to the DM, this Minister is from a Political Family,

    He has changed sides a few times and he is holding a very important Minister job in the current Yahaplanaya.

    Funny thing is the Political Madam who is grooming and mentoring this fat minister, came over to the luxury pad while he was on the job,and slapped him a few times across the face, and swore at him with a few juicy words.

    And told him to the face that it was big mistake to appoint him as the main contestant in her all important former Electorate.

    But I feel sorry for the Minister.

    Because rooting your girl friend is no body’s business. Unless you are married and the Missus smells it.

    Thee Madam to classify it as part of Yahapalanya is a bit wiered..

    The moral of the story is at least the Madam is serious about Yahapalanaya.

    Wonder whether the Madam is for same sex marriage under Yahapalanaya which our FM has accepted from the UN..

  • 0

    Chandra J.,

    Its a pity that you did not use the vote w/o telling the world of your intentions. Probably one could say that you think that you have a big following. That is O.K.However, its also a pity thatyou failed on the Bond Issue and now going with those culprits. Where is the example?

    Since you appear to be coming from a well-known UNP family ,Can you name a few politicians of the calibre of M.D. Banda, A. Ratnayake ( Well known to your revered Grand Father bus magnate Mudaliyar B.J.Fernando) U.B.Wanninayake and Gamini Jayasuriya( ALL UNPers) in the present arena starting with your P.M. Ranil W. That is how you must educate the masses. Please do not cater to the culture that calls father “old man” and “that bugger” and “this bugger” in every sentence.What you write becomes UTOPIC and ” Gangata Inikapuwa wagei.”

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