21 June, 2024


Sovereignty Betrayed: The Ball Belongs To The State

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

It appears, the sovereignty of Sri Lanka has been betrayed by all entrusted to manage the affairs of state leaving people hapless for nearly seven decades. All three branches responsible for protecting the sovereignty and carrying out the powers of sovereignty appears to have directly or indirectly participated in these acts of betrayals for political reasons, illegal financial gains, job security and promotions or ignorance. They have inflicted countless damages to the survival and economic security of the state collectively. Without any exception, (225 +1) in the legislature, and the executive branch seem to have denigrated and endangered the independence and welfare of the state. Ongoing citizens’ struggle (Aragalaya) and inconceivable long queues for essential food items, energy products and rampant malnutrition among children stand as testaments to betrayal of our sovereignty. Unfortunately, the arbitrary actions of the president and SLPP politicians prove that they hardly understand the difference between the “STATE” and “GOVERNMENT”, most likely due to their ignorance or due to servitude and acceptance of kleptocracy induced by Bandaranaikes, Jayewardene and Rajapaksas. None of these kleptocrats have ever respected the difference between the “State” and “Government” as it can be seen from their appointments to the plum jobs of the state and other excesses; For example, the political appointments conferred on Sunil Mendis, Nivard Cabraal, Arjuna Mahendran, Indrajit Coomaraswamy, W.D. Lakshman to head the Central Bank and rewarding other similar political hacks such as MCC Ferdinando, Lalith Weeratunga, and Upul Dharmadasa, Udayanga Weeratunga, and Milinda Moragoda.

Government and the state

If the citizens want to rescue themselves from unending economic despair experienced since independence in 1948, It is crucial for them to realize that the “State” is not the same thing as “Government” and stop paying homage to kleptocracy. The governments are temporary holders of state and appointed by the citizens for directing state power. Though it has no physical manifestation, the state is superior and not the government because, it is a legal concept that defines the structure of power. On the other hand, the governments are shaped by often deeply held ideological beliefs, greed, chauvinism driven by strong personal ambitions. It is obvious, judging by the performance of all failed governments since1956, that Sri Lankan governments have been shaped by greed and chauvinism driven by strong family ambitions of a few selected politicians such as Chandrika, Mahinda, Ranil, Sajith and AKD. More importantly, the sovereignty is also a legal concept and directly link to the State and the sovereign power rests with the people and not with the president, legislators, or the judiciary.

Sovereignty is the right to have absolute and unlimited power either legal or political, within the territory of a state

and hence Legislators, President and members in Judiciary branch should not be exempted or shown leniency when applying rule of law of the state. So, the people must be baffled by the recent ruling of suspended sentence given to Prasanna Ranatunga and let him sit in the legislature, is it an insult to sovereignty?

Challenges to sovereignty

As stated before, our sovereignty, both “INTERNAL SOVERIGNTY” and “EXTERNAL SOVERIGNTY” have been challenged since 1977 by various government afflicted with mismanagement, corruption, and the desire of various nefarious political leaders. The major challenges to practical state sovereignty have emerged from several forces.

a) The structure of international society: Specifically, international rivalries between superpowers seeking the dominant role in the Indian Ocean (including our own Laccadive Sea) and our northern crafty neighbor India. These competing nations, some claiming to be good friends and others as guardians of democracy have been vying to gain geopolitical advantage with the help of their stooges in the Sri Lankan government fed by lucrative commissions and largesse. As a result, it appears our sovereignty has been betrayed through many questionable trade deals entered with the US, Indian and Chinese business entities. Among these three countries, India has been the worst, Indians have become brazenly intrusive to violate our sovereignty, specifically “Internal Sovereignty” with many controversial trade deals under the pretext of helping a friend in need. The present government under Rajapaksas must be held responsible for betraying our sovereignty to gratify India. Hopefully judicial system of the state will stop acting as innocent bystanders and watch the destruction of our nation gradually while the rogue politicians have been making alleged shady financial deals with Indian, American, and Chinese corporations. Nevertheless, all three branches of the government must be aware, that these alleged shady international trade deals can be challenged under international law by a truly democratic and honest government in the future. The people demand a system change, the folks of “ARAGALAYA” at ‘GOTA GO GAMA’ and other regional protest rallies may not appear to be sophisticated in delivering this message eloquently to all three branches of the government yet, it is a matter of time. Hopefully the judiciary will pay serious attention to the actions affecting our sovereignty because they are given the power to apply the laws to particular facts and above all to judge the disputes which arise among the citizens, and to punish crimes. The latest alleged interference of Indian Prime Minister Modhi in renewable energy project is a classic example of betrayal of our sovereignty. President Gotabaya’s denial and subsequent explanation and the resignation given by pathetically incompetent political appointee; MCC Ferdinando, former Chairman of CEB a retired political hack will hardly nullify the betrayal because there has never been any tender procedure followed in awarding this lucrative trade contract to highly contentious corporation owned by Adani of India.

b) Other questionable political moves within the legislature most recently, such as abrupt appointment of an unelected individual as the Prime Minister without following the due process and arbitrary appointment of a contriving businessman known to have made his fortune in the gaming industry as a legislator have ridiculed our state and betrayed sovereignty. Because, in modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through properly elected representative bodies such as Parliament or Congress. Neither Ranil Wickremesinghe nor Dhammika Perera fall into this category.

c) Alleged arbitrary arrest of citizens, murder, and disappearance of citizens such as Wickrematunge, Thajudeen, Ekneligoda and Batalanda Torture chambers have betrayed our people defiling our sovereignty.

d) Likewise, “External Sovereignty” of our state has come under attack due to many petulant actions of our politicians since 2005. The politicians have belittled UNHCR, its officials, and reputed influential state officials of Western Democracies such as U.K, Canada, France. The most recent incidents of not honoring the trade agreements entered with Chinese and Russian companies must be added to the list of national blunders; refusal to pay for the consignment of fertilizer procured from China and detaining a Russian aircraft have betrayed our external sovereignty, what an irony, our legal luminaries and pundits have failed to grasp the gravity of these lapses in the judgements of Commercial High Court of Colombo.

The people should not leave room for the enemies within the state to achieve success in their end game, despite the major setbacks faced by the state, it has not failed yet, on the other hand it is conclusive that all governments since 1956 have failed and made us a bankrupt state due to inbred corruption, mismanagement, and the dominance of kleptocrats. The judiciary of the state until now has acted as powerless bystanders and turned a blind eye on the misery and unabated vile actions of the politicians for inexplicable reasons. However, the people irrespective of their demographic backgrounds and BASL are awakening gradually to realize that sovereignty resides in the body of the State, and it belongs to the people. More importantly, after 74 years they have come to realize, they are responsible for delegating the powers of sovereignty to legislative, executive and judiciary branches of the government. The outburst of Basil Rajapaksa in a recent press conference should be an eyeopener, his comments confirms that delegation of powers of sovereignty has not been carried out as it should be to safeguard interests of the people.

“SLPP MP Basil Rajapaksa who stepped down from his parliamentary seat today said that he had not passed the ball to anyone else by his resignation and added he did not even have a ball.

He further added. “You say that we have passed the ball to the people then those who passed the ball to us should take the responsibility”

The “BALL” unmistakably belongs to the state and Basil claims, the people have failed to pass it to the right person or persons, and he has merely taken advantage of the trust people placed on Rajapaksas. Obviously, every politician since 1956 have done the same, they swindled the people with the help of various statutes driven by political motives. Hence the emerging distrust of vast majority of people confirms that the greatest secrets of corruption, mismanagement, and that of kleptocrats are hidden in the constitution of the state of Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 1

    excellent contribution to the citizenry to develop them!
    what you ae saying is the the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) in Power, is the ‘TEMPORARY TRUSTEE’ OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE!! Emphasis is on the word “TEMPORARY” TO DELINETAE from ‘PERMANANT’ TRUSTEESHIP!!??
    \DEFINITELY not the GOSL!!??
    No way. because the MP’s who govern are ROGUES unlimited!!

  • 0

    All the ingredients for a Failed State is in the pot boiling…….

  • 1

    Vishnu: Sri Lanka can easily get the economy running by buying OIL and GAS from RUSSIA at discount rates and sending tea to Russia. Russia does NOT trade in Dollars! But the American citizen Goat Rajapaksa – Wickramasinghe regime is staging the fuel shortage and marketing the dollar shortage to sell Lanka cheap to IMF and Washington.
    Yes indeed sovereignty has been betrayed – as the IMF hits town –the schools are closed and the worst fuel crisis Staged! at the start of the talks on June 9 they staged the attack at Galle Face and the violence with curfew to appoint Bondscam Ranil as PM.
    This is all to enable the asset stripping and IMF firesale of strategic assets of the county – lands, transport, energy and telecom infrastructure and frequencies are all to be handed over the Washington via its Hedge funds and ISB traders that put Lanka led by the corrupt US citizen Rajapaksas and bondscam puppet Ranil into the Debt trap and default for IMF to take over Economic and Energy Policy soverignty.
    Its very simple really!

    • 1

      Yes its terribly simple really!
      To prevent Sri Lanka buying Russian oil and gas to get the economy running, and to force the IMF firesale they staged the Aeroflot airlines episode to damage the relationship between Russia and Sri Lanka,
      Russia is an old friend which came to Lanka’s assistance in a time of need.
      The US citizens and puppets who run this country are destroying it as the New Cold War kicks in but as Joseph Stiglitz wrote recently in Project Syndicate- The US will lose the New Cold War – First in Asia

  • 2

    “Aragalaya” has become a headless chicken running around and that is exactly what Rajapaksas and Ranil want our young protesters to be. No where in the world such “Aragalayas” have succeeded. Having an innocent “Tamasha” in the Galle Face Green has not prevented Rajapaksas carrying out their hidden agenda. Though it is bitter, Aragalaya must be told that they have not achieved anything for the state yet. Mahinda left the “Temple Trees” and sent his lifetime friend Ranil as a Proxy to fill the vacant PM position. Basil Rajapaksa resigned and sent his family friend Dhammika as his Proxy to the legislator. Rajapaksas are still in the driving seat and our dear fellows at Aragalaya, have not achieved nothing so far.

  • 1

    The thrust of this article is the terrible betrayal of trust of the people. The sovereignty of the pearl of the Indian Ocean, from the 22nd of May 1972, was in the people, which is inalienable. The 1972 constitution provided that sovereignty was exercised by the National State Assembly and in the 1978 that power was divided into legislative, executive and the judicial power and was exercised with two institutions and as per both constitutions the power was to be exercised on behalf of the people. Periodically by way of an election, we give a set of fellows a blank check for them to gallivant without any accountability to the sovereign people. There is no mechanism for the people to intervene in the process and say this is what we want and not what you guys want though we gave you the mandate to run the show on our behalf. There is no mechanism for the people to remove a guy out of office and that should be possible if they are indeed sovereign. Finally, we have a rotting regime riddled with sleaze. What has gone un-noticed is the unbridled corruption of the officialdom and the judiciary. HOW SAD!

  • 1

    “The Ball Belongs To The State”
    The boy with the ball decides the rules of the game.

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