23 May, 2022


President As The Upholder Of Values

By Sujata Gamage

Dr. Sujata Gamage

Dr. Sujata Gamage

People have given the green light for a bold new step to do away with the executive presidency. The next 100 days are crucial as the form and shape of the new presidency emerge. The Maithri manifesto talked about a redefined presidency representing national unity and taking on other responsibilities as needed. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena has the ability to make it much more.

If executive presidential powers are given away as promised, it will give the new President a a moral authority like no other president will ever have. Going beyond the curbing of corruption, rule by family and friends and other ills, he can be the upholder of values of the nation to guide the new regime from that vantage point and, more importantly, help us rebuild our values as a people.

Ironically, Mr Mahinda Rajapakasha lost because he unwittingly gave the space for a consciousness about values to rekindle.

MaithriHe ended the war and got infrastructure master plans rolling. Good roads, decent electricity and water supply we could rely on.He tried to control the the media, but social media thrived because we could still plug in our mobiles to talk, sms, tweet or email. Absence of war and the growth of infrastructure enabled us to talk and reflect. MR provided fodder for the talk. As he broke all rules that govern civilized behavior, some protested, some even applauded, and most stayed put as if anesthetized.

True, when MR started we were already at low base of a national sense of values. Years of war had done much damage. The nature of the second JVP uprising and the reaction to it was such that people learned to go about their business stepping over swollen dead bodies. People even resorted lighting fire-crackers when President Premadasa died. They may have reasons to hate him, but, you don’t light fire crackers when a leader is brutally killed. Prabhaharan’s ruthlessness raised the level of national meanness further.

MR arrived on the scene annihilating Prabhakaran, but, his governing too was a battle to annihilate opposition. He used power and money to turn parliamentarians into monkeys, the parliament to a house of monkey antics, and artists, university teachers and government officials into either thakkadiyas (rascals) or nivatayas (weasels), to borrow expressions from Dr. Sarath Wijesooriya. Ordinary people learned to go easy on violence, thieving, gross indecencies, untruths, drunkenness and unruly behavior. In other words, people learned to recite the Panch Sila and break or condone the breaking of all silas with no conscience. Essentially MR stripped the national conscientiousness bare naked.

Then he called an election two years of ahead of time. People got a chance to awake from their slumber. The brazen display of power, the naked desire to pass on power to progeny and the exposure of the idiocy of the intended heirs perhaps turned the tide in this election.

A new president is to be sworn in soon. May he have the strength to build on the momentum and help us be a better people.

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  • 2

    Dr. Sujata Gamage

    RE:President As The Upholder Of Values

    Thanks for the write up on the Upholder of values.

    Common Sense Values?

    Common (Sense) Candidate?

    By the way, did you write, print and distribute the Common sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2014?

    Common Sense (pamphlet)


    Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

    Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

    • 1

      Please Sujata, you could be the one who could put this idiot out of his misery.

      Print a copy of the common sense leaflet from the reference he has given. Invite him to a candle lit dinner, turn him over and apply a healthy dose of vaseline and shove the rolled leaflet up his canal as fast as you can, until it disappears. And then kick him out.

      Thank you

      • 2

        Pena Kiyanna


        It has to be Sri Lankan Version, not the American Version of 1776, and it has to dbe stuck on the back of you.and all those writers who declined to write the Sri Lanka Version of the Common Sense Phamplet…

      • 1

        P K;
        oh, What happened to Your Canal.

        Did the Jarapassa Clan Filled it and Blocked it.

        You can consult, The un blockers like ja Ra japal, Hudda, Para Chandare, Malinda, Suokarwansa, Kudu Wermin, Kudu Dimiya, so on List goes on

  • 0

    Sujata Gamage:-

    “Then he called an election two years of ahead of time. People got a chance to awake from their slumber. The brazen display of power, the naked desire to pass on power to progeny and the exposure of the idiocy of the intended heirs perhaps turned the tide in this election.”

    I wonder whether MR can sleep these days. He must be kicking himself for losing two Years of his possible Presidency!

    • 0

      Rajapassa was greedy, superstitious. He forgot about Macbeth and relied on soothsayers who advised that the best way to prolong his rule was to call for elections on the “සුභ මුහුර්කිය”. Oh! boy. He did not even bother to find out the reaction of the electorate. By giving sweeteners, the baiyyas budget etc. he thought he can win. He forgot his own dictum that leaders are trustees of the people’s sovereignty. So OUT HE GOES!.

      The incoming leaders too must learn their lessons out of this. Don’t be drunk with power. An auspicious time of 18:21 was selected. Well! that may be to keep up with the fellows. But let that not be extended beyond limit.


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