15 December, 2017

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Listen If You Wish

By Helasingha Bandara

It is that time of the year that gossip is circulated, predictions are made, hypotheses are formulated, mud is slung and curiosity is aroused regarding the next political extravaganza, the presidential poll.

The talk concentrates on the subject of whether the Rajapaksas can be defeated, whether there can be a common candidate from the opposition, who can be that candidate, is it Chandrika, Ranil, Fonseka, Sobhitha or Dissanayake and what should be the winning manifesto.

Can the Rajapaksas be defeated?

SobithaThe short answer is yes. Should they be defeated is more of a difficult question. My personal opinion is that they should not be, if (a massive if) they can change. The possibility of that change depends on many factors such as the time scale of the next presidential election, their intelligence and their humility. If it is going to be held after another two years, there will be enough time for the Rajapaksas to address their shortcomings and win back the popularity that they have lost. If it is less than two years till the next election, it is unlikely that there will be sufficient time for the Rajapaksas to redress their faults. Both intelligence and humility of the Rajapaksas seem to be at the lowest ebb at present. Evidently blinded by the enormous power bestowed upon them they have almost forgotten the meaning of humility. Many people still wish them well and want them to remain in power. That trend is diminishing by the day. If the Rajapaksas do not regain the lost intelligence and restore the sense of humility for themselves they would push those people who still want to support them over the edge. With no option left they will turn against the Rajapaksas.

A common candidate

If Rajapaksas are unwilling to listen and change, a strong common candidate is the only option.  My personal preference is Maduluwawe Sobhitha.  The Venerable Thera has the right intention, right knowledge and right thoughts that are appropriate to lift the country from the current dilemma. The ethnic minorities or the religious minorities should not entertain any fear of a Buddhist monk becoming the leader of this country because Sobhitha is not Ganasara. He is leagues above Ganasara and the likes in every respect and a true Buddhist who believes in harmonious living of all ethnic and religious groups. Ethnic, religious and all sorts of other minorities should not reject the Thera merely for being a Buddhist, because whoever becomes the President, in this case, will be a Buddhist. It is wise to elect a  monk rather than a demon.

Chandrika

In the absence of Sobhitha Hamuduruwo, the best bet is Chandrika. Chandrika had not been the all clear President for Sri Lanka. They say there is a bit of lime in everyone’s lime jar (Kage Kage killotawalath hunu tika tika thiyenawa). There were merits in her work. The most striking was dispelling the fears ordinary people had of the police and the armed forces.  At the time she came to power the whole country was gripped with fear of the armed forces and the police for the massacres they had carried out and extra judicial killings they had committed during the terror era of the UNP rule. Within months she changed all that and people were empowered to legally challenge law enforcement officers if they were perceived as being in the wrong. The forces personnel or the police did not dare harass ordinary people without reason. With all that good work behind her and the backing of a respectable political family pedigree, she can be the most formidable opponent to Rajapakshas if they do not change their ways.

Winning manifesto

1.  A job description to MPs.

Propose to deplete the powers of the members of the parliament including, ministers, deputy ministers and ordinary MPs. The curse of this country is that they do not remain only legislators. They can, by default, interfere in all matters of governance and the day to day lives of people. This cannot be seen any where else other than in South Asia. Of course the worst influencer of us is our big neighbour which is full of all those evils and we happily embrace them as if India is the fantasy world depicted in Bollywood movies. The reality is that it still is a big outdoor toilet.   Under such a power handling mechanism that is prevalent among the Sri Lanka politicians, a politician has easy access to means of corruption and the country’s resources are misappropriated. Consequently the quality of life of the ordinary citizen has become abysmal. Once it is announced that the power of the politician is going to be reduced and changed and a proper job description of a politician is proposed, those who are prepared to spend millions to win elections would disappear. Only those who are willing to deliver an honourable service would come forward.

2. Eradicate corruption.

Indeed once the powers of the politicians who are the most corrupt in our country is taken away corruption would begin to dissipate.  A good leader can set an example and advise all his governing agents to support to create a corruption free society. This can be achieved by civilized means because other countries of the world have achieved this without much trouble.

3. A Lawful Society

Similar to eradicating corruption, eradicating lawlessness is a paramount need for our country so that the ordinary people would be able to lead a peaceful life. With the elimination of unwarranted power of the politician the restoration of law is half achieved.  Following that, simple measures such as an unmarked police car surveillance system would resolve the issue.

4. Discipline

Discipline is lacking in every sphere of our society.  A good example is undisciplined driving. If the intention is there, the whole country can be educated on disciplined driving within three months. There are so many other areas where indiscipline has become a grave antisocial issue. Promise to discipline the society.

5. Minorities

Deny separate governance for any community and positive discrimination for any religion.  Assure the minorities, a dignified living with true equal opportunity provision.

6.  Quality of life of the ordinary citizens.

Make sure you propose genuine measures to approximate the fair distribution of wealth, to lower the cost of living and to lift the quality of life of poor people.

 7. Executive presidency

Stop talking about abolishing the executive presidency because people do not believe you. It is a hackneyed subject and the ordinary citizen, the majority vote, does not care whether it is the executive presidency or monkey presidency as long as they have the above. Make sure you do away with one man rule although you do not make a big hoo haa about it.

To win the next election someone has to come forward with the above manifesto, be it Rajapaksas or otherwise.

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Latest comments

  • 1
    7

    So when this common candidate is appointed the Utopia you are looking for will be created . When was the last time this utopia in existnce ? yeah right Never .

    I hope that MR will not be defeated . Sri Lanka needs stability to grow .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 1
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      The first principle for good governance is an EDUCATED population / citizenry that is capable of holding its leaders ACCOUNTABLE.

      SInhala Modayas need POLITICAL EDUCATION first. Then the cabinet of corrupt clowns needs to be brought down to 10.

      majority of Sinhala voters do NOT know the meaning of democracy aside from the farce of elections!

    • 1
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      Earlier this year in Geneva, Lalith Weeratunge, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s CHAOS SPECIALIST promised CHAOS in Sri Lanka if there is a war crimes investigation.

      The Gota the Goon run BBS rampage against the Muslims (July 1983 REDUX) is that CHAOS promised by the Rajapaksa regime, fulfilled – for all the world to see!

      Get real Hela Bandara, the Rajapaksa are a bunch of uneducated and uncultured criminals and corrupt killers as are their cronies. They defeated the barbaric LTTE because it takes a killer to kill a killer – Set a thief to catch a thief!
      Under NO circumstances are the UNEDUCATED and corrupt Rajapaksa brothers acceptable and it is only once they are purged that Lanka will be liberate from the CURSE OF KUVENI on Sinhala Modayas..

    • 1
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      Burn, Baby, Burn! The policy of Gota the white van goon to distract and rule Sinhala Modayas… from the looming war crimes trial in the Hague..

    • 1
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      “I hope that MR will not be defeated . Sri Lanka needs stability to grow”.

      Lets See………………………….
      Nepotism, corruptions, lawlessness, racism, violence against minorities and women, Bunch of Idiots in Jumbo Cabinet wasting tax payers money, corruptions, mega white elephant projects such as Hambanthota port and Mattala RajaPAKO international AIRPORT, impeachment of chief justice,
      Police constable got beaten by deputy minister’s thugs, Drunken cops shooting a bike rider, BBS morons on the loose, manipulated EPF funds in a
      great mess and OHCHR set up the panel to start their inquiry against HR violations.
      So is that your definition for stability????

    • 1
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      you are a another illeterate, uneducated, gamvassa who support the current idiotic regime.

  • 4
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    What H.B said was perfectly correct.Rev Sobitha has always stood with the masses in common issues confronting them.He could have easily taken the side of the family regime and obtained all the luxuries in life.Maduluwave Sobitha Hamuduruvo has no such ambitions.It is my firm belief that he could defeat this family regime which is dragging the country to a bottomless pit day by day.

    • 3
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      I too believe MSobitha is the best and probably the only CC-SI candidate. But CBK’s open, cooperative and active support is a must to divide SLFP votes which would weaken MR.

  • 2
    0

    Maduluvave Sobitha Thero, please create a true Dharmadvipa in our beloved Sri Lanka.

    Politics and Political parties have created a breed of selfish Politicians who have no interest at all in the well being of the Country or its People.

    Their idea of Development is building huge Edifices and Roads without any concern for the Environment.

    This type of unplanned encroachment into Nature, creates Natural Disasters, which any competent Engineer or Scientist could have forecast!

    But Politicians who think they know everything, even without a basic Education, will not listen to the Experts, in the pursuit of instant and obvious gratification!

  • 4
    0

    Do not bring any monk, priest or sanyasi into the political sphere any more. The greatest danger would be to induct them into the presidency. Learn from the history of Europe. Politics and religion should it be allowed to mix, Ven, Sobitha Thera may be a good man, a good monk or even a Buddha in the making, but he should not be the president. Do not permit this to happen for the sake of Buddhism and a Sri Lanka, it will create a percent we will live to regret, it will be a beginning that can lead to a calamity in the long term- a creeping take over if politics by the monks. We will breed more Gnanasaras by the thousands.

    My choice would be Chandrika for President and Ranil for Prime Minister. The powers of the Executive Presidency should be trimmed and any incumbent should not be exempt from the laws of the country. The proportional voting system be also drastically modified. Devolution is must. Citizenship and a Community rights should be unconditional and inalienable.The parliament should be only a legislative body with powers over finance. The Council If Ministers should be nominated from outside the parliament, but must be approved by parliament. They should also be answerable to parliament. Election dates should be fixed in the political calendar. The cabinet should not be bigger than fifteen. The Judicial, Public , Police and Armed Services should be insulated from political interference and misuse. A new constitution that is formulated by a wisely constituted Constitutional Commission should be bpconsituted after the next Presidential elections.

    Dr, Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      Corrected :

      ‘Do not bring any monk, priest or Sanyasi into the political sphere any more. The greatest danger would be to induct them into the presidency. Learn from the history of Europe. Politics and religion should not be allowed to mix. Ven. Sobitha Thera may be a good man, a good monk or even a Buddha in the making, but he should not be the president. Do not permit this to happen for the sake of Buddhism and Sri Lanka, it will create a precedent we will live to regret. It will be a beginning that can lead to a calamity in the long term- a creeping take over of politics by the monks. We will breed more Gnanasaras by the thousands.

      My choice would be Chandrika for President and Ranil for Prime Minister for the interim, until the constitution is revised. The powers of the Executive Presidency should be trimmed and any incumbent should not have immunity from prosecution when breaking the law or breaching the constitution. The proportional voting system should be also drastically modified to encourage persons of better quality to enter parliament with minimum expenditure. I agree that minimum educational, life experience and public service criteria be laid down for candidates. The best among us should be in parliament. Devolution is a must. Citizenship and Community rights should be unconditional and inalienable.

      The parliament should be only a legislative body with powers over finance. The Council of Ministers should be nominated from outside the parliament, but must be approved by parliament. They should also be answerable to parliament. Election dates should be fixed in the political calendar and specified in the constitution. The system of bye-elections should be The cabinet should not be bigger than fifteen. The Judicial, Public , Police and Armed Services should be insulated from political meddling and misuse.

      A new constitution that is formulated by a wisely constituted Constitutional Commission should be promulgated soon after the next Presidential elections. An informal Commission should be constituted by the joint opposition prior to the elections, to expedite the post-election process.’

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

      • 1
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        This was going to be a Single Issue Common Candidate. Not a Permanent President.

        • 0
          0

          It will be yet a single issue- constitutional reform.

          Dr.RN

    • 1
      1

      “The Judicial, Public , Police and Armed Services should be insulated from political interference and misuse.”

      ha,ha,ha,ha,ha

      7,000,000 return tickets to orissa please.

  • 1
    2

    [Deny separate governance for any community and positive discrimination for any religion]

    So, does that means that the 13 A. is to be no more? Good thing! We wouldn’t want Sri Lanka to be compromised by any kind of 13th A ……doubt though that Chandrika will like that. She did a good job however, in curbing the brutality of the police and military (good to know she did something). What does “positive discrimination for any religion” mean? (is that to be denied too?)

  • 0
    0

    Dr.Do you want us to believe this women.I never wanted to fall in to that trap.She cant be trusted,her conduct as the president of this country is tainted with black mark every where.I only sujjest to bring her to divide the vote bank of this despotic regime and not otherwise.Dr.Pl dont promote this idia.

    • 1
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      I will believe Chandrika Kumaratunge more than Mahinda Rajapakse. I also hope that age and experience have taught her some lessons.

      Dr.RN

      • 0
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        Old adages have been coined not for nothing. Once bitten twice shy. Someone burnt by fire is afraid of even a fire fly and this man who was praising Gota not many moons ago, today is trying to sell CBK to us now. He claims that age and experience have taught her some lessons. I wonder what the lessons are and who taught her. Is it Narendran himself? Hey Mr! why try to sell old wine in new bottles?

  • 0
    0

    An excellent opportunity for Native Vedda. No need to cry foul anymore!! Here is your chance. I will be campaigning free of charge.

  • 2
    1

    It is time for TNA to think twice before making a decision whether to support for MR or a common candidate. I don’t think whether Chandrika or Ranil will go for a proper devolution. TNA made a terrific mistake by supporting former military commander. If there is a common candidate then it is worth considering giving support to MR who will consider proper devolution rather than handing over the power to his main Sinhala enemies.

  • 1
    0

    WHEN did you find this monk to be the suitable candidate for presidency? We, the tamils, haven’t forgotten the past. He was a racist monk during 80s and 90s appearing on TVs delivering hatred speeches against tamils. The most popular program was the “Jana Handa” on TNL TV. Appeared alongside were actor Wimal Weerawansa, Pattali Champika, lawyer D.L.Gunasekera, Tilek Karunaratne etc etc. Do not expect the tamils to support him.

  • 2
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    Me? As a Muslim I will gladly vote for Sobitha Thero!

    Hameed

  • 1
    0

    Honourable Helasingha Bandara:

    ***The short answer is yes. Should they be defeated is more of a difficult question. My personal opinion is that they should not be, if (a massive if) they can change.

    You are entitled to your views but with all due respect that is a privilege of the majority as we are not part of the decision making process . We never were and we never will be on the national level.

    But I totally disagree that Mahintha and his clan can ever be part of the Reconciliation process until and unless they are cleared by an International Court of Law. The Tamils cannot move on before that as we have shed too much blood. Antru Sinthia Ratham is still fresh in our mind.

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