13 June, 2024

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Qualified Candidates Essential For System Change

By Austin I Pullé

Austin I Pullé

Sri Lanka has been in the news, again for the wrong reasons. For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, one Commonwealth country has imposed sanctions on not on one but two former presidents of a fellow Commonwealth country. Rather than focussing one’s anger about this shame to the country exclusively on these individuals, the focus should be shifted to the legislature whose spineless members enabled the looting, corruption and despotic violation of human rights that occurred during the watch of these presidents. It was the legislature that emboldened, through the passage of the 20th Amendment, a former president, obviously suffering from delusions that he was a modern day pharaoh, to proclaim that his word had the same force of a written circular! If the country’s constitutional history is a guide, the proposed new constitution will enable more of the same, and any changes will be purely cosmetic devoid of meaningful change. Such changes will not meet the urgent bottom-up demands from citizens of all segments of Sri Lankan society for a true system change. In short, any tinkering with constitutional provisions that would produce the same bunch of uneducated, rent seeking, privilege addicted individuals and nepo babies in parliament will doom the country to continue on its downward spiral. 

If the educational and ethical standards of parliamentarians are to be improved, the profile of the average parliamentarian; uneducated, uncouth, lacking principles, prone to violence and hooliganism, tardy attendance at parliament and addicted to mind boggling perks and privileges, must be changed. The vicious chain of causation that produces these outcomes must be destroyed. The crying need of the hour is a legislature consisting of honourable, clean, educated persons who will recognize that their primary duty is to the country and not to their party leader or to their bank balances.

Systemic change requires that the root causes of Sri Lanka’s chronic dysfunctionality be identified and eliminated. One such root cause, in fact a taproot, is the existing system which allows party leaders to appoint incompetent, corrupt, and uneducated persons to contest elections. The only non-negotiable requirement for such appointments has been and is a slavish obedience to the party leader. This and associated problems need to be addressed before there can be any talk of systemic change. 

Without the following, there won’t be any systemic change: (a) The task of selecting candidates should be taken away from party leaders and be entrusted to broad-based grass roots party units; (b) All the existing perks and privileges, the most outlandish that exists in any democratic country, provided to MPs should be forthwith abolished; (c) Asset disclosures and other means of weeding out corrupt or corruption prone individuals should be mandatory; (d) Minimum educational qualifications including an O’Level pass in English should be imposed; (e) Following a general or Presidential election, the party leaders of the party with the second highest votes in an election, should resign and be replaced by another person; (f) Nominations must accord with term limits and a mandatory retirement age; (g) Abolition of the National List or a National List that serves its true purpose; (h) Clergy of any religion, and those convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude (regardless of pending appeals) should be  ineligible for nomination; and (i) candidates must provide the Elections Commission certificates from the tax authorities that all tax due and payable have been paid, the utility bills have been paid, and that government property in their possession for terms that have expired has been relinquished. This must be an obligation that continues during their term in the legislature. Satisfying this requirement annually and an attendance record (not merely marking attendance) for 50% of parliamentary sittings should be a precondition to voting in parliament.

a) Intra-Party Democracy, Party Leadership & Candidate Nomination.

The task of selecting candidates should be taken away from party leaders and be entrusted to broad-based grass roots party units.

In democracies diverse political actors and interest are organised into cells or groups (political parties) on the basis of which they effectively participate in the larger political process, principally in elections. Sri Lanka has had a long history of political parties representing a broad spectrum of interests. The major political parties have had varying degrees of success in articulating differing interests and aggregating them to produce election manifestos. But a healthy and vibrant democracy cannot coexist with a corrupt dictatorial party leadership. This is why Sri Lanka’s democracy largely consists of staging elections, derided justly as an auction of non-existent resources, and cannot be called a vibrant and functioning democracy despite a prolix human rights chapter in the Constitution which is observed mainly in the breach.    

The party leader’s interest is to have parliamentarians beholden to the leader, and in most cases demonstrate unquestioning servility. This has two important consequences. First, many people of integrity do not want to compromise that integrity by swearing fealty to a party leader whom they might privately despise as a mediocrity. The result? The available pool consists of the dregs that do not belong in a legislature. Second, the shockingly poor quality of parliamentarians proves that party leaders cannot be trusted to field the best candidates. The leader alone must be seen to be all wise, well-read, and well educated above the others in the party.

Pericles in his funeral oration spoke of Athens, the birthplace of democracy, where “when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit.” In Sri Lanka, it is not merit but the willingness to treat base contemptible figures as gods that opens the door for public service. 

Many in social media, frustrated by the nature of parliamentarians, vent their anger and frustration on the voting public whom they call stupid cattle whose vote can be bought with a bottle of cheap arrack and a packet of rice. While there may be some truth in this exasperated reproach, it overlooks the fact that the voters have little choice because the candidate has been foisted on them by party bosses. 

In America, who will represent a party at an election is decided by a preliminary election known as a “Primary”. Such a system is too expensive and will generate a ton of election violence for it to be of any use in Sri Lanka. The UK model, however, can be adapted and used to break the dictatorial grip that party leaders have over the nomination process. 

In the UK, the major parties have different procedures for selecting candidates but the broad objective of intra-party democracy in nominations is achieved. For example, constituency associations in the Conservative party select their constituency’s candidates. Constituency Labour Parties select the general election candidates using a procedure agreed upon by the National Executive Committee. The local party members of the Liberal Party choose the particular candidate who will represent the party in an election. In none of these parties is there an omnipotent boss drunk on his own power who decides who will and who will not represent the party.

b) Abolition of Lavish Perks and Privileges: All the existing perks and privileges, the most outlandish that exists in any democratic country, provided to MPs should be forthwith abolished. If one scatters pieces of expensive cheeses around on the floor of one’s dwelling, a swarm of rodents will invade. This is an apt metaphor for what happens presently in parliament.

It is alleged that one of the first things that the President did when he entered Parliament through the National List as an MP was to avail himself of a permit to import a duty free vehicle. If the scion of an educated and cultured family can find such a vulgar perk so attractive, what chance is there of the average politician who cannot afford to buy a three wheeler with his own money resisting the impulse to buy with funds provided by a mudalali a Porsche SUV?  Such perks and privileges are the opium of the otherwise unemployable. The idea that politics as a service and a sacrifice should be the non-negotiable Excluded must be those whose only wish is to “serve the country” by gorging on publicly funded benefits, receiving ethanol importing licenses, licenses to operate bars, and otherwise enriching themselves in so many ways.

The benchmarks of parliamentarian perks and privileges should be either selected from Singapore or the UK. Without this fundamental change, there won’t be any type of systemic change and the only change will be that there will be a different generation of rodents replacing their forbears. 

c) Asset disclosures and other means of weeding out corrupt or corruption prone individuals should be mandatory. The country desperately needs to attract different types of people to work in government. Reducing the opportunities to engage in corruption would encourage participation by persons more focused on serving the public interest rather than pursuing their own squalid goals. In this respect, one way of cleaning the Augean Stables is to vest public procurement and tax adjustments in an independent procurement commission. Unsolicited bids and sole source procurement must be prohibited and every government contract must contain a mandatory representation that no commissions or payments related to the project other than those disclosed in the document have been made or promised. 

Corruption is not a problem confined to Sri Lanka. Citizens of many countries sick of corruption have secured anti-corruption safeguards. One such reform is a comprehensive disclosure law that requires government officials to regularly declare their income and assets. Disclosure laws must force politicians to publicly document their wealth on a regular basis, including sources of income and the structure of their wealth and liabilities. This disclosure law could also usefully be extended to cover heads of state owned enterprises, senior customs and tax officials, and senior law enforcement officials.

Disclosure laws help deter the abuse of public office for private gain. Similar to a tax audit, disclosures create a public record of where officials earn income and the types and value of assets they have accumulated over time. To work effectively, disclosure laws must force a move from a relatively opaque to a relatively open informational environment, and the RTI laws must be strengthened to achieve this.

By simplifying investigations, disclosures also lower the corruption-related utility of serving further in government. Using public office for financial gain in the future becomes less attractive if a paper trail of personal accounts throughout one’s time in office is made mandatory.

d) Minimum educational qualifications including an O’Level pass in English should be requirements to contest elections at all levels. A new constitution should require at least 2 A level passes of candidates as well as an O’level pass in English as qualifications for nomination.

Without a proper education, an MP cannot properly do her job. The lack of education on the majority of parliamentarians was evident in the passage of constitutional amendments. A slew of amendments granting powers to the President followed by a slew of amendments cutting down on the scope of such powers were voted for by the same bunch of people. Constitutional amendments are very important instruments meant to deal with the larger questions of the relationship of the branches of government to each other and to the sovereign people. As it is the People who are sovereign under Article 3 of the Constitution, amendments must be carefully scrutinized for any detrimental impact of such sovereignty. The Supreme Court has issued many judgments on constitutional questions and fundamental rights. More than a nodding acquaintance with the content of these decisions written in English is needed for any MP daring to consider proposed constitutional amendments. 

A requirement of an ordinary pass in English at O’level might leave many aspirants who desperately want to “serve the people” bereft but the country cannot afford MPs who are ignorant of the world language. Two anecdotes relating the late Lee Kwan Yew illustrate the importance of English. First, at an International Bar Association (“IBA”) meeting held at the Marina Bar Sands, Lee Kwan Yew was invited to give a talk. (His daughter in law, Lee Suet Fern, now bitterly estranged from her brother-in-law Prime Minister Lee and his family, was the head of the Singapore branch of the IBA.) During question time, a lawyer from China asked Mr. Lee what advice he would give to the people of China. The two word answer, “Learn English”, was the pithy advice given to a citizen from an incredibly rich civilization. Contrast this with the disempowering Sinhala Only leader, who arguably was Asia’s version of James I of England called the wisest fool in Christendom. If Lee’s advice can be given to the Chinese who hail from such an incredibly rich civilization with a rich tradition of Chinese literature, how much more should it apply to an insular culture like Sri Lanka with the principal language spoken by less than twenty million persons? Second, in an interview with the New Yorker, the late Mr. Lee said he never read any material without seeking out the implications of what he read for the future of Singapore. He read widely the leading English publications like The Economist, the FT, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His reticular activating system contributed to making Singapore what it is. Instead of asking what the Fed’s interest rate hike or the movement to ban gas stoves in the US means for the country, the default reticular activating system of many local parliamentarians is to be on the lookout for kickbacks, perks, and enriching friends and family that has brought Sri Lanka to its knees. 

Article 4 of the Constitution that defines the way the sovereignty of the People is distributed among the three branches of government. The legislature has been delegated the responsibility of enacting laws that govern the country and performing a separation of powers function of acting as a check on the executive. The basic rule of law norm is that a government should act according to the law and not to the whims of a person. Laws should be thoughtfully debated and enacted. Robots powered by artificial intelligence can do a better job that most parliamentarians in present day Sri Lanka. A well-read assembly of legislators who are aware of important topics such as basic economics, climate change, the environment, international law and international relations, the workings of global institutions such as WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank will deliver a much better product than what the arrogant morons who constitute the majority in parliament unleash on a helpless population. 

e) Following a general or Presidential election, the party leaders of the party with the second highest votes in an election, should resign and be replaced by another person.

The Conservative Party in the UK has seen leadership changes from Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss, and Sunak. Labour likewise has seen changes from Gordon Brown, Miliband, Corbyn, and Starmer. In Sri Lanka, despite defeat after defeat party leaders continue to head their parties. This seems to be a feature common to parties in South Asia.  One explanation is the personality cult and brand name recognition. For Sri Lanka, the most compelling explanation is that the party leader cannot be dislodged because the leader controls those voting on the leadership election. Party leaders have such an insidious grip on the party machinery which is filled to the gills with sycophants that they keep electing the same person as the leader. The unfortunate result is that this practice clogs the leadership pipeline. Apart from being on the lookout for leadership material and nurturing the potential of such persons, as is the practice in Singapore, party leaders are bent on crushing potential contenders who are seen as rivals. A future of the country in capable hands is the last thing on their minds.

Recently, Jacinda Arden, the PM of New Zealand resigned because she was burnt out. Nicola Sturgeon has likewise admitted that she lacks the stamina to continue as Scotland’s first minister. Compared to them, many Sri Lankan party leaders are burnt out cinders but they and their acolytes continue to infest the legislature.

The system of party leaders continuing to head the party despite multiple defeats results in a fetid stagnant swamp.  Individuals lack the grace to ride off to the sunset. Two former presidents now sit as ordinary MPs in parliament, and one was recently fined Rs.100 million for his reckless dereliction of duty in failing to stop the Easter Sunday bombings. The other has been scolded by his brother for not having the grace to retire gracefully. Sri Lanka needs to drain the swamp and allow a younger generation to emerge. Party leaders noted for their narcissism, a craving for flattery, cronyism, and a distinct lack of emotional generosity and empathy with the poor continue to head important political parties. Kent’s warning to Lear that “power to flattery bows” is empirically proven in Sri Lanka. An iconic depiction of this is the photograph of the former health minister, of magic water and Covid syrup fame, prostrated at the feet of the then president who looks as if he is receiving what is his due without upbraiding the woman and asking her to behave, at least for the sake of the country, with dignity and self-respect. Given such disgusting flattery, is it any surprise that party leaders continue to be limpets on the body politic? 

One can only imagine how the history of Sri Lanka could have been different if Sri Lanka had followed the example set in the UK about party leadership. 

Throughout its seventy-five years of independence, resignation by the leader of a defeated party would have paved the way for new and dynamic leadership. 

f) Nominations must accord with term limits and a mandatory retirement age. Article 4 envisages a parliament implicitly consisting of educated and youthful persons. Not a Jurassic Park! Term and age limits if established will be a pipeline for a new generation which will replace the bearded buffoon and others who continue in their same old ways. After being an MP for a total of ten years, no one could serve. Likewise a mandatory retirement age of 65 years is necessary. In order to promote gender equality, in 50% of the nominations, the party should promote candidates of both sexes 

California has enacted a term limits law for its elected officials. However, the Supreme Court held that this law cannot apply to federal representatives like senators and congresspersons from the state. The result, Senator Diane Feinstein aged 89 who should have been shunted off to an assisted living home two decades ago! Sri Lanka would do well to follow the term limits laws of jurisdictions such as California. 

g) Abolition of the National List or a National List that serves its true purpose;

The National List system should be abolished but if this cannot be done, it should fulfil its original purpose found in the origins of the Dominion Constitution. First, the national list that will be certified before an election must be the exclusive source by which unelected persons may enter parliament. Specifically, defeated candidates should be ineligible to slip into Parliament through the National List and nepo-babies like the Prime Minister’s sons should be ineligible. Second, only those selected from micro-ethnic communities such as Malays, Burghers, Veddhas, Dawoodi Bohras, Sindhis, should be eligible for inclusion. A parallel list of eminent professionals, academics and business leaders could also be considered. Appointment to Parliament should be strictly in the order of preference laid down in the list. Finally, it should be made crystal clear, despite it being patently clear under the existing constitution, that the right to nominate someone from the National List is lost if the nomination is not made within the one week window the commences with the Election Commissioner calling for nominations and which ends before the first sitting of the new parliament. 

h) Clergy of any religion, and those convicted of any offence involving moral turpitude (regardless of pending appeals) should be not eligible for nomination. A useful guideline should be “No politics in religion and No religion in politics.” The Vatican asked Robert Drinan SJ to resign from his congressional seat in Massachusetts. It is regrettable that no corresponding order has been given to monks. Article 9 of the Constitution obligates the state to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana. Does the state discharge this solemn duty by allowing monks to be involved in politics and engage in vituperative and dehumanizing rhetoric that has been standard fare? 

Buddhists in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam have told the writer that in their countries monks are required to stay out of politics and they express astonishment at seeing the front rows of political platforms occupied by monks. One should not be surprised that the religious hardliners who rail against “unethical conversions” have little inclination to cleanse the monkhood of some prominent members whose behaviour and language mock the fundamental precepts of Buddhism. 

i) Candidates must provide the Elections Commission certificates from the tax authorities that all tax due and payable have been paid, the utility bills have been paid, and that government property in their possession for terms that have expired has been relinquished. This must be an obligation that continues during their term in the legislature. Satisfying this requirement annually and an attendance record (not merely marking attendance) for 50% of parliamentary sittings should be a precondition to voting in parliament.

In his oration, Pericles observed that “the secret of liberty is happiness and the secret of happiness is courage.” Many of the foreign funded NGOs, not willing to jeopardize their funding by attacking the blue eyed person favoured by their patrons, have cheated and broken faith with the Sri Lankan public. The likely postponement of local government elections and the capricious abuse of the Prevention of Terrorism Act have elicited not a whimper of protest from these entities. Hope now lies only with the brave young women and men of the Aragalaya who have demonstrated the courage to confront the sacred cows of ethno-nationalism, religious bigotry, and sycophancy in Sri Lanka society. Any hope of happiness for a benighted land will depend, not on the posturing of civil society groups fronting a foreign agenda, but on the re-emergence of courage by this idealistic group of young women and men. 

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Latest comments

  • 9
    0

    AIP,
    First and foremost necessity, Election Commission members with Integrity

  • 6
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    An excellent essay but I think its wishful thinking. Our predicament today is largely due to gullible voters who have been stirred up by ‘nationalistic’ & religious sentiments. They were willing to look the other way on mega corruption, acute mismanagement & abuse of power, nepotism & cronyism, just on the ‘nation’s saviour’ rhetoric. We were happy to accommodate punks, drug dealers, murderers & even thugs in robes, yet the Buddhist monks, held in high esteem as advisors by those in power, failed to speak up but even encouraged the President to ‘act like Hitler’ (name itself is taboo in Germany), which shows their level of knowledge & wisdom, & the mentality of the average voter who venerate them. In this context of ‘nationalism’, would the requirement of English knowledge be acceptable?

    It is often said in British Parliament that Governing a country is an honour & a privilege, but for SL politicians, it is a gravy train. I totally agree that if we are to have decent & honest politicians, the generous & unfair perks & privileges have to be abolished, otherwise we have the current despicable yobs raising the entry barriers to prevent others coming in. I hope that capable people with integrity from the civil society will come forward & hold the current bunch accountable but it is the ‘known devil is better’ concept that is in the mind set of the average voter.

    • 3
      0

      Raj-UK,
      You are spot on this matter!!??
      They believe in the THEORY, mostly accepted and adopted by the Sri Lankan electorate is that the CURRENT team of politicians have ROBBED (accepted as given) and they have done so SUFFICIENTLY AND ADEQUATELY, that if they continue to ROB AND CONTINUE TO BE CORRUPT it would be MINIMALISTIC AND NOT IN BILLIONS!!??
      If you elect
      Quote,
      a new team to Parliament, they would be FRESH STARTERS at the GAME!!?? Therefore THE NEW STARTERS or TEAM would TEND OR WANT TO GRAB ALL THEY CAN IN ONE GO!!?? THAT WOULD BE DISASTROUS
      Unquote
      Anyway, disaster has struck, so nothing more worse is awaited!!!
      This theory was mooted by a then, POWERFUL politician, still a PROMINENT MINISTER in Cabinet, AND STALWART in Mara’s infamous government 2010 – 2015, who proclaimed this VALUABLE, [OLITICAL THESIS IN THE FORERUNNER TO 2015 ELECTIONS!????
      Such is the feeling amongst the elected and the electorate!!!??? Wild Dreams offered!!??

    • 2
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      “(a) The task of selecting candidates should be taken away from party leaders and be entrusted to broad-based grass roots party units”
      Politicians holding national office generally come from the grassroots, eg LG members. They are voted in on the basis of popularity, not erudition.The real solution is to induct non-political experts into government. But the Pohottuwa experience with Viyathmaga shows that even experts are of suspect quality. Ranil’s selections like Harsha S and Eran W seem better.
      The JVP too has set up the NPP with the same idea.
      “(e) Following a general or Presidential election, the party leaders of the party with the second highest votes in an election, should resign and be replaced by another”
      This would be highly impractical, and implicitly assumes that a party leader’s main goal should be to win elections, not propose unpopular solutions for the good of the country. It is populist policies that destroyed this country.

      • 0
        0

        (Part I)
        OC,
        We (Sri Lanka) should adopt a system of “Primaries” or system to ‘Wet’ the prospective candidates at least before submission and/or acceptance of Nomination could be validated!!!??
        This should be made mandatory!!
        Pension for parliamentarians, considering the inadequate service to electorate and/or inefficient manner of delivery, must Negate the scheme altogether, which is only ‘SERVICE’ provided by the elected individual and is deemed the prospective candidate has self-sustained avenues of income to support himself and his immediate family!!
        To meet this condition, the candidate should provide proof beyond doubt prior to nomination!! If not they become ineligible!!! Unfortunately, “DUPPATHA”, going parliament is primary failure!!!?? This need to be corrected forthwith, to correct the greater malaise affecting our parliamentarians?
        They should be paid “once and for all” Subsistence on a per diem basis for attending Parliament, (only on the days they attend Parliament) not exceeding Rs 5000.00 per diem, including sustenance (Meals and accommodation – which government, provides single person Hostel accommodation in close vicinity to parliament at nominal rates and regular “Looped” bus service of 20 minute frequency)
        No Cars or Permits for importation and reselling – gain profit!!!
        (TBC

      • 0
        0

        (Part II)

        Assurance of providing selfless service, voluntarily to Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka, but expecting nothing else as motivational attribute/expectation, to contest and win any election (LG, PC, Parliament), must be firmly declared and adhered to at all times!!!
        Special payment of a further Rs 5000.00 to be made on every Fridays to cover cost of travel to their electorate office to meet voters on weekends or reasonable amount of travel expenses on Kms distance based rate depending on the location of their electorate, whichever is GREATER!!!??
        NO MP OF THE CALIBRE WE HAVE AT PRESENT IS WORTHY OF ANY GREATER REMUNERATION OR REIMBURSTMENT THAT COULD, JUSTIFIABLY BE COMMENDABLE AND NEEDED IN CIRCUMSTANCES TO SERVE IN ANY ELECTED POSITION!!
        Especially after the lacuna in being a source to keep a check on Executive and governance excesses
        Hopefully the electorate would look at this favourably.

    • 3
      0

      Raj,
      You and I are well aware of how they established democracy in those countries after the opening of the wall in 1989 and how they established democracy in those former USSR countries. Be it with their work, or any other skill they are far above our abilities. We on the other hand are called “Asia’s Oldest Democracy”…… isn’t that paradoxical in retrospect? So called asia’s oldest democracy has failed to implement even “basic rights” of its citizens.

      Poland, Zcech republic, Bulgaria and other countries have shown significant progress in many fields in the last 3 decades. All of them were subject to dictatorship at the time, but the human resources of each country could be raised to a certain level, so that each nation could be tamed by democratic means after 89. . Today, many other countries, including Romania, have shown clear improvement in their economies and human rights issues, although much more needs to be improved in such societies.

      Raj, I think before wasting money on any kind of election in our hell, we need to change the attitude of our people with a paradigm shift by rebuilding the nation intensively.
      Our people at large have no idea about the ” voting power”- they dont respect the power of “universal franchise”: In a world where people’s total ignorance and indifference are exaggeratingly grown, how can we expect them to be just normal ?

  • 4
    0

    Mr Austin,
    You have forwarded a “Wish List”or a basket of dreams, would you expect the existing politicians who supposed to make laws including constitution will allow your dreams to become reality?
    They will ensure that your wish list to thrown to the dustbin and safeguard their career as politicians will be safe and secure and continue with their profession for their own benefit and for their own family to prosper!

  • 6
    0

    ‘Qualified Candidates Essential For System Change’
    .
    Changed ‘Qualified’ to ‘Honest’. Qualifications are secondary, honesty is paramount.

    • 5
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      Paul,
      Include “TRUST WORTHY”, WITH INTERGRITY

  • 8
    0

    No amount of education will deliver a better politician. Look at GL Peeris, Raji Senaratne or Channa Jayasumana. These fellows have absolutely no inkling of what a gentleman or decent human being should be. Instead, they adapt to the prevailing system of skullduggery, deceit and duplicity. Firstly, a resurgent and overwhelming Aragalaya or revolution must rid the country of the parasitic scum and their acolytes, lackeys and henchmen in industry and the bureaucracy, completely. Young, committed, and intellectually mature educated people must take the country ahead as a good working team. None of the suggestions made by the author matter anymore now. It is too late for all those niceties.

    • 6
      1

      Once again, there is no one like LP” to tell it, like it is”. Thanks.

    • 3
      0

      LP,
      .
      just because Professors became politicians, they have not set example in recent politics of developing world. Although European parliaments do not have a significant number of professors, asian countries occupy professors in their politics. Professors are only advisers to some ministries in europe. that should be the correct step.
      In fact, they should do better teaching in universities by fully contributing their expertise. Professor G.L.P. how much good work would he have contributed if he had continued as the vice-chancellor? To me, I dont see the difference between ” Wimal weerawansa (school drop out) and Prof. GLP in recent politics in srlanka”. Both had a “low mentality” to serve ultra criminals like Rajapaksas.

      GLP DNA may have predestinations of being a slave of the Rajapakse gang. GLP became a shame to academics of the srilankens. How can the youth of this nation be proud of our nation when the professors of Sri Lanka act like that? GLP has betrayed the decency without thinking twice.

  • 2
    0

    Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) gone through many changes in the past and the current generation do not no much about the life of the people of this island under different administrational systems. For example, some of us did not have the same tranport system or education system, power system, health care system etc. When the traders came to our country, say when Portugese tradesmen come from else and captured this country we did not have one king for the whole island and they did not have a security system to protect this island from those tradesman. They did not bring any military to fight our country. Whether it is Portugese or Dutch or British did not bring their people to live or fight with kings of this island. I am whether the people had electricity or gas before their arrival. I am also sure the people or communities moved from place to place for work. When we talk about our history we talk loudly without any knowledge about the real life of the past. Do you think Weerawanse or Rajapaksa know the history to tell that BS are the owners of this country? Did they have a knowledge of their family more than three or four generation? I don’t know anything about by great grandfather or great grand mother.

  • 0
    0

    AIP, Though you find it difficult to accommodate, even cultured families are able to birth idiots craving for “vulgar perks” which are very attractive. That is the only system change they are capable of. “Perks for citizens” will never cross their suppressive and murderous minds interconnected with similar evil clans. No elections means just that as money for elections is not a vulgar perk. So there can be no money for elections ever. All available money goes to buy votes, should the impossible election ever surface accidentally..

  • 1
    0

    Don’t have any candidates who have not passed their ord and adv levels.Students must be wondering what is the use of passing these if the uneducated always gets the jobs.

    • 0
      0

      s
      Will even a postgraduate university degree serve any purpose?

      • 0
        0

        sj

        we must try to have educated people as our representatives.However i get your point.Education=knowledge+wisdom+culture. So a person with ord and adv level qualifications is only part educated because he has only knowledge,that too with paper qualifications and has to get further knowledge with practical experience. We don’t have a certificate to show us whether he or she has wisdom and culture but when they start to work as our representative only we will be little by little begin to know more about him or her.By now we would know from those who have worked for us who has wisdom and culture.Those without these attributes should not be elected.

  • 1
    0

    Good write up; makes sense.
    The easiest way to tackle the political in pass the country is in is to have a new constitution with younger intelligent and fair-minded politicians running the country and this needs a new constitution with age limits and term limits and equal representation of both sexes in the parliament.
    The culture of impunity seems to continue indefinitely, and the future prosperity is wishful thinking.
    Governing Sri Lanka is nothing but a sad joke.

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