25 January, 2021

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My Recommendations To The President: On Structural Changes To Promote Reconciliation

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

On the basis of consultations undertaken over the year as Adviser on Reconciliation to the President, I submitted a report, with several recommendations. One set deals with problems raised at Divisional meetings. I give here the preamble, and the actual recommendations –

Much dissatisfaction is created by the sense that government is distant, and decisions are made without consideration of local wishes and needs. Explaining government decisions, and why delays are inevitable even though planning is based on a commitment to equitable development, often relieves feelings.

A second problem is resentment of perceived corruption. Enhancing accountability, and providing opportunities to discuss expenditure, with concentration on outcomes and value for money, would reduce resentments.

Confusion is also caused by overlapping areas of responsibility. Though the Divisional Secretariat was intended to be the primary unit of administration, functions impacting strongly on people are based on different areas of responsibility. These include the police, education and health. This makes coordination difficult.

Recommendations 

1.Strengthen Local Government Institutions and give them full responsibility for administration of functions closely affecting the daily lives of people. These include education and vocational training, health and sanitation, local roads and bridges and transport, water supply and drainage and waste management, markets and agricultural extension work.

2.While policies in these areas should remain the preserve of the Central Government, consultation procedures should be entrenched. Draft legislation for local government contains provisions for consultation, but these could go further. Consultation should be of the grass roots, with mechanisms to convey ideas from Grama Niladhari level, and obtain responses. When these are negative, which will often be the case, alternative remedies for problems posed should be offered, with a time frame.

3.Accountability mechanisms should be improved, with transparency as to public spending. Strict rules are needed to prevent rent seeking by politicians, and family involvement in government contracts must be prevented.

4.All government functions should be based on Divisional Secretariats, with entrenched mechanisms for consultation and coordination. Every Division should have a police station with an OIC responsible for that Division alone. The same goes for Medical Officers of Health. The Education Ministry already has plans to strengthen Divisional Education Offices and abolish Zones. This should be expedited, while a fallback to Districts is unnecessary, and will only delay decision making. The Divisional Woman and Children’s Units instituted by that Ministry should swiftly be established islandwide with clear responsibilities.

5.Cadre positions for all social concerns should be created at Divisional level with clear job descriptions and reporting mechanisms. Concerns include Women’s Development, Child Development, Child Protection, Counselling, Welfare, Disabilities, Elders, and Rural Development (called perhaps Social Development, so that attention is also paid to deprived urban areas). Positions should be filled, and teams such as existed in Social Care Centres should be established, with individuals assigned to liaise with each Grama Niladhari Division.

6.The recently initiated system to enhance cooperation between Police and communities is working well, with one or two police officers assigned to each Grama Niladhari level. Meetings at least twice a week should be mandatory, with opportunities to refer potential problems to other officials, to resolve before they become serious. This is particularly relevant with regard to social problems such as alcoholism, drugs and teenage pregnancies, where counseling and awareness programmes must be conducted systematically.

7.The Divisional Secretary should have regular consultations with social leaders, including the Police OIC, the Divisional Education Officer, the MoH, the Magistrate responsible for the area, and selected religious leaders and professionals.

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Latest comments

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    Rajiva, you have submitted so many recommendations and proposals to the President and none of them have been acknowledged or acted upon. Under these circumstances how can you continue to be part of the UPFA government and a minister. If you are a person with iota of self respect you should resign and follow the footsteps of your friend Dr. Dayan J.

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      Has DJ resigned ? He has just resigned from his previous job, but still barking being on the the side of the REGIME.

      He is still trying to inisist on that MR is the person to rule the country. No matter consecutive sets of issues in the very recent past of the country were held against the rule of law.

      Rajiva is taken aback since he said the recently held unconstitutional impeachment against Dr SB was not within the frames of international norms.

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      Dayan has not resigned..He claims he didn’t ask for an extension and assumes that is rather magnanimous of him. All these jokers are in it for the money and prestige. Rajiva knows that he has a snow balls chance in hell of winning a parliamentary seat at an election. So he will cling to whatever regime to ensure that he remains an MP. A sad pathetic angry old man. Go do some farming in Belihuloya. You will at least be among loved ones.

    • 0
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      If there is a bone of shame in human body, Rajiva doesn’t have it.

  • 0
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    Looks like there is some problem with your metadata prof.

  • 0
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    Rajiva wishes to keep doing something or other for his “earnings” even
    if the reports and recommendations finds a place in the Waste bin of
    the King. Marking time till be is removed – but for his luck this is
    lasting long.

  • 0
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    It seems that they dont have proper plan for all these. So how can ever be accepted them to go with LLRC implementations. Person A says something totally against to the B. I wonder how you guys would ever be able to explain all these to the IC in the Geneva sessions. Coming colour is not good at all to the country – and folks :(

  • 0
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    By having RW as an adviser the king wants to reassure the west that he hass an year for liberal ideas although most of these are consigned to the WPB.

  • 0
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    If this 65000 Sq. KM island, only two with two languages and 22 million population, is this difficult to govern why don’t this politicians resign leaving it to some one who can do the job.

  • 0
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    RULING PARTY IS A BUNCH OF IDIOTS,THIEVES, WHO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THE COUNTRY. TO PUT THIER NAME ,THEY BUILD AIRPORTS,PORTS,ROADS,NELUM POKUNAS,CRICKET STDIUMS BUT NIETHER OF THESE ARE CREATING MONEY THOUGH SPENT BILLIONS.I AM SURPRISED THE BIG IDIOT DIDNT NAME THE SOUTHERN EXPRESS WAY TO RAJAPASSA WAY. IF YOU BELIEVE IN MEDAMULANA W/E YOU ARE AN IDIOT. MEDMULANA IS FOR IDIOTS. MAY BE THE POOR BASTARDS WHO DONT HAVE A PENNY AND NO FOOD WILL VOTE FOR THESE PEOPLE.THEY ELECT THESE IDIOTS
    ULTIMATELY THEIR BELLYS ARE EMPTY. HOW COME SRI LANKAN LETARACY RATE IS MORE THAN 90%? I AM SURPRISED.WE NEVER HAD PEACE IN THE DAMN ISLAND. NOW THE BIG THIEF AND THE DUMBEST LEADER AND DUMB FAMILY IS FUCKING THINGS UP. BIG TIME. FEEL SORRY FOR ESPEACIALLY THE POOR IDIOTS. I DO SYMPATHISE WITH THEM ABUT I AM PISSED.

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    Why does Rajiva not recommend that the 13th amendment be implemented in full as quickly as possible.Reconciliation with India is more important than reconciliation with tamils. The sinhalese are going to be taught a bitter lesson trying to play the china card. China is thousands of miles away while India is only 16 nautical miles from srilanka. Thinking that India can’t bully us because then china will bully India is stupid.If China tries to bully India then US+EU+India will bully China.It is all a bully ridden world today and smaller you are the more you will be bullied as the arrogant Rajapakshes who think they are big shots like prabhaharan will find out soon.China is unable to bully even the small countries of south- east asia and Japan let alone India,because it can’t take on the combined might of the US and EU as recently it found out when it tried to throw its weight about in the south china seas and now has to eat humble pie and back down.The technologically superior US will smash china in a conventional war the way it did germany and japan and made them realise who is the boss.The battered china will lose its prestige in the world after a skirmish with the US and so it is just grinding its teeth and swallowing its pride without trying to take on the US,and that is a wise decision.

    Those who think that China will come to our military aid in a confrontation with India backed by the US are living in cuckooland

  • 0
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    Jimmy:

    The mighty USA, the populous India and China; Russia – the largest country in the world – are also run by a Cabinet of about 2 dozens.
    Except for the US the other 3 have to contend with a multitude of races and a myriad of languages. They control land areas from 3 to 9 million sq. miles and several time zones. If one might say so – relatively well and without too much of confusion. They have all recorded various degrees of economic growth in the past few years.

    Our (non) governance is a joke and has a bunch of semi-educated mobsters going as Ministers. At least one aspirant to ministerial office is a confirmed psycho. The real political power is in the hands of 3 from The Family. While on the other side of the spectrum is the other below-the-source of power since 1956 (save 1977-1993) – the dis-organised Clerical mafia with a whole bunch of pseudo-patriots at the helm hiding under religion. But, in real fact, as venal and with open intent to plunder as the other faction. That, pal, is the good news from the Miracle of Asia.

    Senguttuvan

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