24 September, 2018

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Technocratic Cabinet With An Iron Fist

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The anti-Muslim violence in Ampara, breaking out soon after a cabinet mini-reshuffle in which the Prime Minister has taken over the law and order portfolio, is going to test not only his personal resolve to act decisively against unruly elements in society, but also the coalition’s governing ability after its debacle at the local polls. It appears that there is a hidden hand operating outside the law to hasten the dissolution of the parliament by creating maximum chaos. Islamophobia is once again threatening to show its ugly head as demonstrated in Ampara. Those who celebrated the victory at the local elections want to convert it into a national grand finale before the voters’ protest mood against the coalition evaporates. They obviously want to make hay while the sun shines. Here lies the danger to Sri Lanka’s democracy and society. If saner minds in the society sit quiet and allow this sinister plan to succeed, there is no doubt the country will descend fast to kakistocracy. The silence of the government and of the opposition over the Amapara mayhem speaks volumes about what is going during the rest of this government’s term of office.

What has democracy especially after the 1970s produced so far? Elections came and went nationally, provincially and locally; political parties emerged and they colluded and collided at their convenience, not in the interest of the nation but in the interest of power and profit; and, the membership of the legislature and executive increased to unaffordable and unmanageable levels just to reward electoral warlords. At the end of all these experiments, the country is fast sinking in debt, steeped in corruption and fallen hostage to the manipulation of transnational capital and regional power centres, while becoming a paradise for shady venturers and sordid power brokers. The ultimate victims of this derelict democracy are its ordinary citizens, majority of whom are facing a bleak economic future amidst inordinately rising cost of living and personal debt, political disruptions and social dislocations. Do Sri Lankans still want to continue with this hollowed democracy?

The need of the hour therefore, is a third alternative that can command the respect of the majority by its dedication and sacrifice to govern with an iron fist and tackle the issues facing the country head on and without fear or favour. It should not be a one-person rule but a one-team rule, and that team be predominantly staffed with technocrats, who would keep the lobbyists and hate mongers at bay. If there is going to be one solid lesson that one could learn from the experience of countries like Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan it is their success with technocracy. These countries also had political parties and periodic elections, but whichever the party that came to power it did not sacrifice its technocratic character. True, they are not perfect examples for a free society, but the constraints placed on liberty and freedom by those authoritarian regimes have been tacitly tolerated by the citizens because they could clearly witness the material benefits of the freedom deficit. One should remember that they are also societies following Buddhism of some sort.

Thanks to the welfare state that Sri Lanka enjoyed until the 1970s, it has produced a highly educated and technocratic intelligentia who are capable of taking up the challenge. They remain unidentified and unrewarded because the nation’s silent majority are too lethargic to encourage them, gather this elite under one umbrella and act as the vanguard for a bloodless revolution. This, I stress, is one of the patriotic duties of the silent majority. By disengaging itself from active political involvement, the silent majority has allowed the mediocre run riot and rule over everyone.

The current leadership at the helm has proved itself incapable and incompetent to be trusted with a fresh mandate. Its record of broken promises, weak governance, judicial laxity and above all, tolerance of financial maleficence has betrayed the confidence that people placed on the regime. The alternative leadership that is challenging the current one also has a sordid past with even more diabolical political traits. There is no demonstrable evidence so far to convince the people that this alternative has a new and workable plan to carry the nation forward with a clean slate and in the interest of national development with respect for diversity and differences, social harmony and rule of law. There are too many risks in bringing them back to power. One should recognise at the same time that there is a small technocratic element present within both leadership camps but tainted with a poisoned political atmosphere.

The time has come for the silent majority to come out of their cocoons to work for a team to govern the country with dedication and fairness at all times but with an iron fist when necessary. The search for this team has to start now and it should be one of the choices before voters at the next general elections. Have I opened a new can of worms?

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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Latest comments

  • 5
    2

    95% sinahslese are good but 5% of bad people tarnish the name of the country and create a all problems…
    Now governments should act so quickly and decisively..
    Sri Lanka economy and tourists will go down .if this kind of violence to continue…

    • 1
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      Sinhala

      More than 5% are bad in any social group but this small bad percentage can be made to the best & the life blood of the group provided them be properly guided.

      The silent & the believed to be educated & intelligent lot may cause much more threat to the healthy existence of the group with dignity.

    • 0
      0

      Dear Sinhala, I wish I could agree with your, ‘95% sinhalese are good ‘. If such a predominant percentage of the people of the country country are good how come we keep electing rotten politicians to make decisions for us? Help me to agree with you!

  • 2
    4

    you have not opened a can of worms
    the worms got out of the can long ago
    expecting the silent majority in sri lanka to rise up and technocrats ruling with an iron fist is a pipe dream. .it will never happen as we are a nato country
    only an army takeover can do that as they did in thailand and egypt
    but even for that to happen is like waiting for godot

    • 0
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      We are a NATO country? Since when?

      • 1
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        Pau

        NATO – No Action Talk Only.(N. A….. T… O…)

  • 3
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    Amir Ali: YOUr opinin is right. UP rising should be a peaceful one as you say. There should be a new “TEA PARTY” which doe snot involve the same old politicians. I always say get rid of the 45 NAtional list those who get free money nothing. Most of tgem are rejectd by voters. but, they are there because they are either trobule makers for weak politicians or henchmen who supported them. IT is the same with 94 MPS who failed O/L. How can they take an educated decision. At present the world is small.

  • 5
    2

    In Lanka, as in many other Asian countries, Islamic terror is raising its ugly head. Muslim men are ready followers of the most radical, Wahabi version of Islam and women, who were a few decades back were moderates now completely cover themselves and shun any interaction with non-Muslims. Sinister Jihadi forces are actively recruiting men and even children to join them to wage global war against non-believers. Hundreds of Lankan Muslims have joined the ISIS and many other fanatical groups. Therefore it is not difficult to imagine that these forces are poisoning the innocent and naive Sinhalese. It is a fact that for a long time the Muslim traders have been adding carcinogenic compounds to tea dust from factories and selling them to Sinhalese. The poor Sinhalese villager can only afford such throw away tea and nothing more expensive.

    Sinhalese had to fight the terror of the LTTE and they won that battle. However, the battle with the Islamic terrorist monster is a very different one since the Muslims are using the most vile methods to harm vulnerable young Sinhalese children and women and win the country by populating it with more and more Muslims including “refugees” from Myanmar. Sinhalese must make every effort to adopt the strategies that the Chinese have deployed against Uighur Muslim fanatics and fight radical, terrorist forces of Islam and crush them and annihilate the monster as soon as possible. Tomorrow will be too late.

    • 2
      1

      Jay.
      How about stopping sending sinhala women to middle east and stop exporting tea

      • 1
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        Annesley Dias

        Jay has to send his women folks to Medieval Middle East kingdom otherwise he cannot park his lazy bum on his easy chair wondering where to have his next jolly good drink and meal or how, when, where … to start the next riots.

    • 0
      0

      Jay Chambers

      “Sinhalese had to fight the terror of the LTTE and they won that battle. “

      The many battles were won by the LTTE however the war was won by Hindia with great contribution from VP.

      “In Lanka, as in many other Asian countries, Islamic terror is raising its ugly head. “

      In Sri Lanka, as in many other Asian countries, Buddhist fascistic terror has been raising its ugly head since 1915.

  • 1
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    Some politicians openly say that Arajitha and Champuka masterminded the Aluthgama riots. I heard even President Rajapakse saying people who are responsible for the Aluthgama incident are in this Government. It is very clear now that the Aluthgama incident was carried out to discredit President Rajapakse and break Muslim votes. Muslims fell into that trap. I am sure Muslim politicians are aware of this but did they press for an impartial investigation? They are better off with this Government and keeping their mouth shut.

  • 3
    0

    Amir Ali you did not open a can of worms, you have just woken up. Hello the silent majority voted Pohottuwa to the hilt.

  • 0
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    Jay

    You are correct thats what took place crushing and annihilation started yesterday like what happend in black july 23 1983.

  • 2
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    This notion of forming a third force has been discussed I should say in passing, from rather a considerable period, say within the last two years. As the author of this write up Dr. Ameer Ali says it is going to be a herculean task, but I concur it is the one and only solution left for the people who are yearning for truth and Justice.If our people want to live in peace in a just and civilised society they have to get rid of this entire set of dishonest thieving parasites altogether from the political arena. They don’t just deserve to be addressed as Honourable. They are an utter disgrace to our country and are polluting the entire fabric of our society. The two leaders have no signs of repentance about the broken promises and they are only playing with words and shifting gear hither and thither. We will not be surprised if the two propose an amnesty to all politicians and their kith and kin and give another undertaking to rebuild the country. We only pray for forgiveness not because they do not know what they are doing, but because they are well aware of the criminals and the fraudsters and who are actually being protected by the two V.I.PP. I believe in a Supreme Legislator” God ” and my humble request is for the Top Leaders of four Great Religions in our country to get together and appeal to all people of Good will to come to the rescue of our Mother Land by supporting this idea of organising a third force to eradicate this political cancer .’ If there is a will there is a way.’

  • 0
    0

    There won’t be anymore YAhapalanaya. It will be ORUMITHTHA GOVT. MAtirhiapala Sirisena also is fattening his accoutns =, I think saying for the daughter and Son and. I heard recently bought 300 acres in Anuradhapura or in MEdirigiriya. there are new eleven or 12 trucks (lorries) on the road but not in his name. On the other hand, law enforcement has direct orders from Ranil not to arrest anyone because it Maithripala Sirisena’s govt. So, it is a mess

  • 1
    0

    A A.
    As usual a very good analysis.
    Unfortunately there is not a single politician or party capable of belling the cat in Sl.
    The Field Marshal is the best hope if he is given the job; he could be ruthless and the country could be grateful.
    We are in a “Can’t loose” situation.
    We, as a country could end up with a real winner.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
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    It has been repeatedly told that the Tamil Speaking People should get together and meet the Challenge, rather than living in isolation. Muslims all over Srilanka speak
    Tamil irrespective of the fact whether they live in N E W S. Though some of them like to call themselves ARABS to escape the wrath of the Sinhalese when they attack the Tamils. Self centered, Selfish, Self seeking Muslim Politicians think that the can curry favour with the Sinhalese and live happily ever after with or without the birth control devices.

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