By Sunil J. Wimalawansa –
Part 14: Sri Lanka—Changing Pillows to Cure Headaches: Need For Changing the Awful Old System
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servants (i.e., politicians/govt. employees) and has forgotten the gift” (the people) [Albert Einstein]. In fact, “The best way to predict the future is to create it” [Peter Drucker] and not get stuck with what the government wants us to do.
The populous must have a mission, understanding, political consciousness, and commitment to a structural change. In conjunction with the right vision, a persistent but non-violent path is crucial to achieving the goal of sustainable and beneficial Structural Change.
Donkeys should not do Dogs’ work
The job of MPs is to create legislation that is useful for the country and positive for its development and people. Instead, they create laws that benefit themselves, like the 20th Amendment facilitating embezzling public resources. The Army’s mission is to protect against threats from outside and safeguard the sovereignty, not harass or harm people. The mission of the police is to protect the public, including from (recent) violence initiated by the government, not rogues. It is illegal and insane for the police or the military to follow harmful orders by politicians blindly. If they do, they too deserve due justice and jail terms.
The country cannot expect to have law and order when the AG (who is supposed to uphold the laws in the country) breaks the law. He and his recent predecessors dismantled dozens of valid lawsuits filed against ruling politicians and their catchers, failed (or refused) to arrest and prosecute criminals, and immorally protected an rtd. General who insulted the Judiciary and threatened Chief Justice, etc.?
Consequent disregarding the law by leading politicians, some high-ranking Police, and the AG, no wonder why the country is in shambles in reference to Law and Order.
The faulty tradition of providing an entourage, a fleet of vehicles, and police protection for politicians must stop. When politicians engage in wrongdoings, why does the Public have to pay for their protection? These misfortunes of this nation will only disappear the day everyone begins to respect law and order. No one is above the law, not even the president of any country; they are subject to prosecution: although some clowns pretend they are above the law. Eventually, the boomeranging karma and natural justice will take care of them.
Economic development and public welfare
While the country’s economic development is critical, it must be tied and go parallel to the quality-of-life indices and human well-being. The latter include literacy, relevant skills, health, and well-being indexes (e.g., low maternal health, infant/child mortality, life expectancy, etc.), affordable and sustainable potable water supplies, law and order, and personal and food security. Without the latter, there is no peace or comfortable living.
Economic growth must also reduce poverty and unemployment, increase personal happiness, peace of mind, reasonable (equitable) income distribution, access to healthcare and education, a clean environment, and nutritious food. Are we having any of these now? Those politicians who created the food, medicine, and gas crises, the threat to living, insecurity, and lack of peace, and destroyed the spirit of the public, do not deserve to get re-elected to the parliament, councils, and municipalities. Voters must get rid of them permanently.
Even though the 20th Amendment, created by the former presidential secretary, was enacted with two-thirds of a majority, those who voted for it intentionally pushed the executive presidency toward a dictatorship. Even though the constitution would not allow such, those MPs who knowingly voted for the 20th Amendment for personal gains, the informed public considers them as traitors and should vote out at the next general election.
Entrenched older politicians are dead-wood
Besides, older politicians (in the parliament and municipalities) happily sleep during sessions. Perhaps, consider it as their paid nap time. They have cluttered minds and no new or productive ideas. This old-fashion dead-wood occupies political seats needlessly and does nothing helpful to the people of the country. They have engaged in the systematic destruction of the country yet desperately continue to be in power, even by switching political parties.
Those parasites who change political parties for greed and money should automatically lose their elected seat under the new constitution (or at least via the 21st Amendment). This lot also must be voted out at the next general election.
Not only the public but also politicians and government administrators live in an insecure environment perpetuating a cycle of falsehood created by themselves. The system change must also stop politicians from constantly misleading the public.
In addition to replacing the constitution, the interim administration must promptly act to bring back the normality to the day-to-day lives of people, especially the education system that was unnecessarily disrupted by curfews and restrictions for two years. While resolving short-term issues, it must focus on what allows the growth of the country and longer-term sustainable recovery. The arrogant attitude, exploitation, and expectation that the public need to worship politicians, administrations, and police/military must be END now.
Attracting FDIC and other foreign currency inflow
The country’s political, economic, and social stability is crucial, especially for economic purposes. However, it will attract FDIC, the IMF, and other bridging finances that would help restructure the debt. In this regard, the recent BALS proposal seems reasonable on the surface; however, it failed to address the majority public’s fundamental and primary demand; the president’s resignation. Therefore, it was rejected by the majority public.
It is a puzzle why the BSAL failed to include the president’s resignation, which most of the population in the country is demanding, in its proposal; the BALS was too cautious or diplomatic. Another missed opportunity. The proposal rolled out by the president with the new prime minister (PM, also with no new ideas) turned out to be yet another “changing of a pillow to cure an existing headache.”
This is the first time in a democratic country that an “un-elected” person rejected by the public was appointed as the PM who has one seat in his pollical party! Gunni’s book of (flawed) records! This contrasts with electing the new PM from the majority opposition political party. “We are told never to cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men (the Public) who have ‘crossed bridges’ in their imagination far ahead of the crowd” [Dale Carnegie].
The president traded the country to protect himself and the extended political family and paved the path to surrendering the protesters. Yet again, he missed the opportunity to appoint a credible PM or a cabinet with genuinely multi-party support. Consequently, the ruling party’s design significantly worsened the political crisis. This is not what the country expected or needs at this point. President still can resign before things get worse.
The country needs a genuine leader
“A leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way to others” [John Maxwell]. We, the people, and people’s power underestimate their capacity to change the ingrained status quo. While there is no right time to do difficult things, a true leader’s function is to help people (around him and the populous), have a clear vision of their potential, and communicate it succinctly to the followers’ nation.
Candidates from all political parties must demonstrate good governance, a clear manifesto, asset declaration, and transparency and accountability to the people. Sri Lanka needs a genuine leader who is fair and firm but compassionate, who can listen to subject matter experts with experience in the field, understand the issues, and take the most robust and suitable solutions for the country and its people.
Unfortunately, there is no such person in the vicinity but, should be groomed within the educated, younger generation with guidance from patriotic experts with broader experience. “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised” [Denis Waitle]. This is what we need now.
*The next article discusses issues related to the current system and unlawful actions.