17 December, 2017

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Open Letter To All Heads Of Commonwealth Governments

By Elmore Perera

Elmore Perera

You have decided to meet in Sri Lanka at a time when Democracy is struggling to survive in several of the states that constitute the Commonwealth. Observance of the Rule of Law and Principles of Good Governance are no longer distinguishing features of member states. Authoritarianism is rampant. The very survival of the Commonwealth is at stake.

In Sri Lanka, limitless resources have been expended in an effort to window dress the inherent beauty of our land and reflect the warmth of our welcome. You may find that this window may not accurately reflect the situation in the entire land.

Ever since Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was granted independence in 1948, successive governments have progressively destroyed all traces of Social Justice.

There can be no stability without contented communities. Sri Lanka has been ‘home’ to persons of diverse races, religions, cultures and histories, using different languages. Adherents of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity inhabit this land. These inhabitants, who together constitute the People of Sri Lanka, need to have the right to develop their own language, to profess their own religion, to develop and promote their culture, to preserve their history and enjoy their due share of state power, including the right to representation in institutions of government, without in any way weakening the common Sri Lankan identity.

To stem the increasing tide of Authoritarianism and the arbitrary exercise of State power, the 17th Amendment – the only amendment to the Constitution initiated by the People – was passed without any dissent in 2001. With the appointment of a Constitutional Council and Independent Commissions, politicisation of key institutions was greatly reduced and Good Governance measures instituted. Regrettably, commencing in mid-2005, the Executive violated the constitutional provisions introduced by the 17th Amendment and rapidly politicised all institutions of government to unprecedented levels.

In the aftermath of the military defeat of the LTTE, the 17th Amendment was surreptitiously revoked and the Executive vested with unlimited power, by the 18th Amendment. Regrettably, the elected representatives of the people of Sri Lanka institutionalised Authoritarianism in our land.

The only barrier to unfettered authoritarianism was the Judiciary. In disregard of explicit decisions of the Superior Courts, the Chief Justice was hastily removed and replaced by a political appointee. The politicisation of the Judiciary is now virtually complete. Any form of dissent is swiftly quashed by arbitrary use of State power. Sadly, good governance is being relegated to the dust bin of history.

How the present dangerous trend could be reversed and adherence to the Commonwealth Principles ensured, will no doubt be addressed during your meeting as a matter deserving the highest priority.

*Elmore Perera- Founder CIMOGG & Past President Organisation of Professional Associations for and on behalf of Citizens Movement for Good Governance – The Citizens Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG), founded in 2002, relentlessly endeavours to pursue the goal of restoring good governance and the rule of law in Sri Lanka.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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      Thanks a million and Hats off to you Mr. Perera!

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        BRAVO ELMORE PERERA!!!!

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          loku baba, don’t be a punchy baba, say something sensible, will you?

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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      /* Ever since Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was granted independence in 1948, successive governments have progressively destroyed all traces of Social Justice. */
      yep, classic case of Monkey given ‘dali pihiya’.
      later monkey blame those who gave the dali pihiya to it. -:)

      or stating previous monkeys did the same now why blame me. -:)

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    The very fact that MANY commonwealth countries have slid down the slippery slope of Good governance along with Sri Lanka means that there is no Commonwealth Ethos or ethic!

    So it is just another band of bandits and good guys settling in for a Borushow for their respective electorates. Of Course MR is trying to make the most of it for his local audience as that is all he cares about.

    Whatever declarations are made at the end will be just to justify the event, and watered down to reflect the insecurities of the other dictators and the show will end on a damp squib.

    The reality is that the UN resolutions have more bite as they are commitments that Sri Lanka has entered into which if broken can face international reprimand, whereas the Commonwealth is far more waffle.

    So much for Commonwealth Principles in 2013, what principles!

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    Mr. ELMORE PERERA:

    [Edited out]
    How does your Organization define the WORD GOOD GOVERNANCE ?

    Is it possible for you to give an example just one country, on this earth, which has good governance ?

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      JimNutty, you are edited out???

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        I am Waiting until Mr. Elmo Perera gives at least, one example of a country with godd governanace,

        I am not asking from the British – Common Wealth, I am asking any govt on this earth ?

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          Zimbabwe.!

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          Sri Lanka now has the system called “COMMON FAMILY WEALTH” and will be crowned the COMMON WEALTH – Chairperson title to further the Wealth of the ruling class enjoying and partying off with poor people’s hard earned money. Thank You CHOGM team!!!

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          Below are a set of good governance indicators prepared by the World Bank in 2012. As a matter of curiosity you can make an ascending scale of 0-10 on each of this indicators and mark your own scale to see the extent to which Sri Lanka or any other country reach the expected level of governance integrity.

          Anti-Corruption Non-Governmental Organizations
          Media’s Ability to Report on Corruption
          Public Requests for Government Information
          Voting and Party Formation
          Election Integrity
          Political Financing Transparency
          Conflicts of Interest Safeguards & Checks and Balances: Executive Branch
          Conflicts of Interest Safeguards & Checks and Balances: Legislative Branch
          Conflicts of Interest Safeguards & Checks and Balances: Judicial Branch
          Budget Process Oversight & Transparency
          Civil Service: Conflicts of Interest Safeguards and Political Independence
          Whistle-blowing Protections
          Government Procurement: Transparency, Fairness, and Conflicts of Interest Safeguards
          Privatization of Public Administrative Functions: Transparency, Fairness, and Conflicts of Interest Safeguards
          National Ombudsman
          Supreme Audit Institution
          Taxes and Customs: Fairness and Capacity
          Oversight of State-Owned Enterprises
          Business Licensing and Regulation
          Anti-Corruption Law
          Anti-Corruption Agency or Equivalent Mechanisms
          Judicial Independence, Fairness, and Citizen Access to Justice
          Law Enforcement: Conflicts of Interest Safeguards and Professionalism

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      JimSofty,

      The only place where there is good governance is around the brim of your glory hole where all forms of maggots and parasites cohabit with cunt obsessed UPFA politicians.

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      Elmo any luck with your open letter?Don’t give up.Keep on writing open letters.Who knows some lucky day you might strike gold!By the way it seems that Mahinda is having the last laugh!Oh!Elmo any idea of where Brian Senevirathne is?If you happen to bump in to him pl give my kind regards.I miss Brian.Hope that you will fill the void.

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      Norway you moron!

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        You mean ole grand pa Brian is in Norway?

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    Meanwhile the UK government prepares laws for Press regulation!

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    You are in the losing camp Elmo.

    Tamils lost again. MR won. Now Vigneswaran is MR’s latest lap dog.

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    It is a good article for those who wants a true democracy and rule of law and the good heart peace loving people welcome this article. In contrast for those people who wants to practice unlawful acts of humanity and misuse their power for wrong doings in the name religion, and race it is disheartening and indigestible. These people enjoy and celebrate on the suffering of disabled innocent people. Cruelty is their way of life!

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    Well written.

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    Well said Elmore Perera,

    but who will bell MaRa the big cat?

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      The only person who can bell this cat is Paba??

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      forget about opposition because MR is cannibalizing all opposition parties.

      if you so helpless only sources to get help are from UN, Obama, Moanmohan Singh etc..

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    Thank you.
    I’ve been waiting for this for months.

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    Dear Elmo
    you were missing for quite some time after the impeachment.

    Are you ok. May God grant you with many more years of healthy Life to write bravely.

    Cheers

    Levi

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    It is only the intelligentsia that can save SL is my hope. Thanks for this piece. The militarisation & polticalization of Institues need to be
    also dealt with.
    When an International apex body (UN) has not been able to put SL on the correct path, there is nothing more any CW Resolution, even time-bound,
    will be able to do against the Regimes hidden agenda. This is all an
    ego-boosting event for the Dynasty and its henchmen.

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    Thank you Elmore Perera for reiterating for the umpteenth time what many of us feel. Greatly appreciated.

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    With Mr.Perera at the helm of affairs at the OPA there was fresh wind.I remember him coming to Trincomalee along with some other office bearers of OPA to meet the Lawyers and other professionals in Trinco. He fought bravely many fundamental rights applications on behalf of the oppressed. It is a pity that men of his calibre are a rare commodity in Sri Lanka now.Almost all the educated persons sold their dignity for power.The large number of MPs in the government are those who crossed over from the UNP.How could any reasonable person have voted for 18A (Current Minister of Justice also voted for it).The country stinks. Hope the dignitaries who travel down to our country for CHOGM will bear it.

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    Why don’t you send this piece to all CW countries for them to know before the conference

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    radish S : Here`s one –
    “An Afghan, upon landing at Colombo Airport, introduced himself to a Colombo Immigration Officer, as Ex-Minister of Ports & Shipping of Afghanistan.

    The Immigration Officer was surprised, and asked: “But there is no sea in Afghanistan. How can you be the ex Minister of Ports & Shipping?”

    The Afghan replied: “Oye Haramzaade ke aulad, don’t you have a Minister for Law & Justice in Sri lanka?”

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    Ethnic Cleansing!

    “Yakada walata gulloh gahala nam, Haal nobala wisikaranda.” (If the bugs have eaten the iron, don’t even look at the rice, just throw it out. This is what has happened to the Sinhala Buddhists (iron). So don’t even look at the rice “(Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers.)-Dr.Jagath Asoka

    Sir!
    Under the Democratic Flag
    If I write this on the Government test paper
    Most probably I’ll be preferable
    for the Guillotine?
    Never mind thinking of the innocent exodus
    I have to write here my humble opinion.
    I believe in two nations & one religion;
    ‘Man & Woman…….then Humanity!’

    (Motherhood is the second oldest profession in the world. It never questions age, height, religious preference, health, political affiliation, citizenship, morality, ethnic background, marital status, economic level, convenience, or previous experience.)
    Erma Bombeck

    nimal p.dunuhinga

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    The “complete destruction” of the “FAITH AND CONFIDENCE” that the people had on the Judiciary is the worst “CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY” that this Administration had committed during the year 2012. This fact alone is sufficient to dismantle the whole structure of the Commonwealth, if there is one such at all. Any person with an atom of brain and honour will not accept to be the Chief Justice under the circumstances that prevailed and an “Officer” in charge will never ever think of appointing a person to that position who can be subjected to controversy. One can say “well what does it matter and who cares”? No. The appointing authority must act in the larger interest of the country and the people and not his personal interests.

    This is a blatant violation of civic responsibility and an unpardonable act that should not go unchecked. Is the Commonwealth organization looking into this aspect? I doubt.

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    Mara, Gora should one day be brought before the International Court for Justice. Congrats Elmore

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    Well said.
    Thanks very much.
    David,
    Ottawa, Canada

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    who is this [Edited out] ?

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    Well articulated Elmore Perera, you have spoken the perfect truth, and we can only hope this message will get across to the upper echelons of the visiting Commonwealth delegates, to put sufficient pressure at least to get back what we have lost. The freedom to elect a new President after two terms. That in itself is hope that things will get better the next time around. As it is now we have no hope with the 18th Amendment passed through Parliament with crossovers facilitated by Court Order, with MR’s stooge former CJ ‘Gedara yana ena gaman pervert’ Sarath ‘n silver.

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    I live in Canada. The prosperity index is compiled by London-based Legatum Institute. In the ‘Prosperity Index’ ranking of 142 countries.
    The 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index evaluates nations in eight categories, including education, health, economy, safety and security. Norway has kept its 1st place on the overall Prosperity Index from 2009 to 2013 fifth consecutive year. Switzerland placed 2nd and Canada 3rd. I am not surprised at all that Canada was placed 3rd. It is an enviable achievement for Canada since it is a multi-lingual, multicultural and multi-ethnic country. There are 3 founding nations and over 200 different language speaking visible minorities. As a Tamil Canadian I sometimes feel there is too much of freedom in Canada and some people misuse it. Every Canadian citizen whether old or recent is treated with dignity and with absolute equality. Just compare Canada with China (51), Sri Lanka (60), Nepal (102) and Bangladesh (103) and India (06). On the lower end of the rankings Chad stood at 142, Central African Republic (141), Congo (140), Afghanistan (139), Pakistan (132) and Iraq (130).

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    The ranking for India is 106. There was a typo error.

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    The dog barks, but the caravan goes on, they say. In our case the good people bark, but the dogs go on! Elmo- that,s how I remember your name. You always stood for justice and FairPlay, from the SLTA days.
    You are a good Christian – May God be with you.

    Bala

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    /*Ever since Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was granted independence in 1948, successive governments have progressively destroyed all traces of Social Justice. */

    You’re right.

    The root cause of terrorism evolves by these successive government’s irresponsible actions. They did not realize that Sri Lanka has two nations. Singhalese and Tamils.
    If they recognized this and give the right place, Sri Lanka would have better place to live.
    Until they realize and give rights to the both nations, Sri Lanka is no better place to live.
    Thanks for the editor to bring the facts.

    Thanks,
    Rajan.

    Canada.

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