10 December, 2018

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Thank You Mr. President!

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

With a single stroke of a pen Maithripala Sirisena has gone down in history as the President of a Democratic Socialist Republic for creating a dysfunctional government and a dislocated economy, both at the same time. A president who was a former village headman, and may be with some knowledge about how a village economy works, has been empowered by a Gaullist constitution with unlimited powers to manage the operation of a seventy year matured democracy with a complex but open market economy. Within a few weeks, this president has made the first dysfunctional and the second dislocated. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The parliament of the country is in limbo; there are two prime ministers and two cabinets; parliamentarians are either switching sides for money and positions or engaging in thuggery when they assemble; local currency is sliding rapidly in value; tourism has stagnated; and foreign investment has almost halted. In short, the nation is in political and economic chaos, while its ordinary citizens are left to their own fate and orphaned. All this in a country steeped in religious beliefs, rich in cultural traditions and blessed with unparalleled natural beauty and fertility.

What is ailing this proud nation now is a disaster brought simply by the personal hatred between two individuals, an elected Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe and an impulsive President, Maithripala Sirisena. Before they fell out both were collaborators in a series of financial and legal scandals and both ignored warnings from an economy running into unbridgeable budgetary gaps and current account deficits. Both equally ignored the mounting cost of living that was burying families under oppressive debts and encouraging suicides. None of them realised that the economic difficulties facing the nation were systemic and no patchwork measures are going to bring it back into black. The current crisis has worsened an already bleak situation.

In between these two adversaries is the former ruling family, Rajapaksas, and its cronies attempting to stage a comeback with support from a vengeful President through the back-door. Their avalanche of crimes and corruption committed when they were in power were about to be exploded through the nation’s judiciary, and the best and only way to avoid such a calamity for the clan is to capture power by any means. The President, with little knowledge about constitutional proprieties and with faulty advice, has invited the Rajapaksa clan with open arms to manage the realm. What an incredible achievement from the Gamarala from Polonnaruwa. Thank you Mr. President for making Sri Lanka a laughing stock.

If democracy is to survive in Sri Lanka an epitaph should be written on the Jayewardena constitution.

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

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Latest comments

  • 29
    2

    The Gamarala from Polonnaruwa is full of conceit and vengeance, but little intelligence or common decency. He should be impeached and thrown in the jail so that something good can come out of this disaster: a good precedent can be set that would deter any future attempts to subvert the constitution.

    • 3
      2

      The best thing that Sira ever did was Sack Bondscam Ranil who looted the Central Bank and destroyed the reputation of the most important financial institution of Lanka. RW should have been impeached when PCOI Report on Bondscam at CBSL came out.
      Better late than never!
      Bondscam Ranil, pent house Ravi K. Mallik, Mahendran etc have put Sri Lanka into a debt trap to sovereign bond traders and capital market speculators who own 55% of Lanka’s sovereign debt.
      Bondscam Ranil and Mahinda Jarapassa should share the same prison cell for Financial Crimes and hate crimes against people of Lanka. We need to remember that the worst anti-Tamil and Muslim riots, attacking the economy of minorities has happened during UNP governments.

      • 2
        0

        Tnk u for U re thinking Most people cant see the blunders made by UNP /Ranil, including the speaker. Are they truthfully looking after Democrazy ???, good governance . This country needs a UNITARY government while treating all MINORITIES as well as the majority true SOCIAL Justice, while protecting Sinhala Vision throughout the country ,the land, defence foreign affairs,territorial integrity.Remember we have to among countries influenceing separational tendancies for minorities

  • 23
    1

    Dr. Amir Ali,

    Re: Thank you Mr. President

    Thank you Dr. Amir Ali for succinctly describing the current situation. Yes there should be an epitaph in the tombstone of the later JR Jayawardana, as stated by the late NM Perera in 1978, “When a madman becomes the President, the country is in Peril based on the powers given to the President. This prescient prediction had come true in 2018 with President Sirisena”.

    • 18
      1

      As a member of a minority community, I have been reduced to keeping my head down without getting involved in arcane constitutional debates. Sri Lanka’s constitutions are flawed entities, so abused in conception as to have become playthings of opportunists. Colombo interests tend to be soft on Jayewardene, a lawyer from Royal College who spoke Queen’s English, but with absolutely no principles since the start of his political career, and a rotten intellectual. The other Presidents seem to have shown a glimmer of humanity at some point. I am not so sure about Rajapaksa – the scale of corruption too sets limits on humanity.
      After the damage done by Jayewardene – the communal violence of 1977 and 1983 are not minor aberrations as many Sinhalese tend to think – what the separatists did was simply to breed on the poisonous weeds that Jayewardene and his predecessors had sown. Power is an important driving force in madness.

      • 8
        0

        Rajan Hoole,

        JR “.but with absolutely no principles since the start of his political career, and a rotten intellectual.”
        “After the damage done by Jayewardene – the communal violence of 1977 and 1983 are not minor aberrations”

        So, the First Madman President Dr N M Perera described was J R not Sirisena? So, there is competition here!

      • 5
        1

        Dear Dr Rajan Hoole,
        .
        You have said:
        .
        “I have been reduced to keeping my head down without getting involved in arcane constitutional debates.”
        .
        You were ever wise; you’ve left it to your ever-so-bold-brother, Prof. Jeevan, to be the hero of the hour.
        .
        It is good to have two such guys as you around.

      • 0
        0

        Mr. Rajan Hoole,

        It seems to be you are a rotten intellectual. At the time he took over you could see the begging state of Sri Lanka with exhibitions like poor people digging refuse bins in search of food. During his tenure he made Sri Lanka a prosperous country by his free market policy. Everybody wants to give him another term and if not for a power hungry bastard hailing from a shanty area (belongs to his own party who said he will sue him if he does’t step down) he would have made Sri Lanka another Singapore.

    • 1
      1

      This idea is all bullshit What the President has done is after tolerating for 3 1/2 . yrs ( 38 mths. ) of Irrational, non democratic governance of Ranil ,PM, To remove him constitutionally ( his UNP , really a minorty )and appoint the next best possible Real opposition REP of people ( proved by local elections) to be the PM and seek a new mandate of getting a single party elected to parliament!!! which perfectly as per the constitution. Even the 19 amendt. violates the constitution and is inactive in terms of clauses passed to dismantle Exec. power.without a Referrandum Therefore the President still has the exec power . It is sad that most so called educated make varios statements from foreign countries without proper understanding of ground /REAL world situations. They don’t see the vast blunders done by Ranil being Agents of Extreme west.

  • 2
    20

    Ameer Ali

    What’s this hurry to go to that conclusion?

    Why should you defame people in this manner. (MS was elected by the people)

    Who canvassed to make MS the president?

    Please blame/insult them without hurting this genuine innocent person from village.

    Only one mistake he’s done; allowing deceptive 19th amendment; because of his less/un sophisticated mind set.

    • 10
      3

      Real Revolutionist, So Sirisena is a genuine, innocent, unsophisticated person from the village and has made only one mistake! Now this what we call bullshit.

      • 2
        0

        Aelajo

        Keep that bullshit aside.

        What do you say, who is wrong; MS or those who put him on steed?

  • 18
    3

    In Sri Lanka the REAL Democracy has been buried decades ago. It started with depriving the Indian Tamils of Ceylon Citizenships and Sinhala only promise by SWRD.
    SL will turn a new leaf only when Sinhala Buddhists learn to treat the minorities with due respect and treat them equally

    • 8
      1

      Naman,
      You have said the truth – especially the second sentence – is what happens in real democracies.
      All, citizens and even non-citizens, called ‘permanent residents’ enjoy all benefits equally.
      When this happens in Sri Lanka, we will have a real “Dharma Rajya”.

    • 2
      1

      Tamils were not a Minority when foreign powers attacked Ceylon.
      There were two nations here one the Sinhala Nation in the South and The Tamil Nation in the North and East. They had their own kings and kingdoms. They had fought wars against the foreign powers. They won and lost the wars periodically in the North and East.
      There were no wars between the Sinhalese in the South and Tamils in the North / East. The war between Ellalan and Dutugemunu were between two kings similar to war between Sinhala kings and not against Sinhalese and the Tamils . It so happened that Dutugemunu was a Sinhalese King and Ellalan was a Tamil . If Ellalan was considered a ‘Tamil’ king by the Sinhalese they would not have allowed him to rule for over 40 years consecutively. May be when Ellalan became old and feeble Dutugemunu decided to kill him and gain power. There are so many killings between farther and son and between brothers among the Sinhala Kings. Take for instance, the present situation where RANIL and MAHINDA TWO SINHALESE ARE FIGHTING AMONG THEMSELVES TO RULE. and the TAMILS ARE SUPPORTING ONE OR THE OTHER. I am sure, if the Two Prime Ministers had the opportunity, they would not have hesitated to use fire power. Sumanthiran would have been the Commander in Chief for Ranil and Karuna for Mahinda.
      Also Please note that neither Ellalan nor Dutugemunu spread their rule beyond North of Anuradhapura or beyond Polonaruwa.
      If not for the Britishers capturing Ceylon and bringing North and East under them today there would have been a Tamil Eelam and a Sinhal Kingdom living happily with no place for India or China.

    • 1
      0

      Naman

      Indian Tamils should have been given citizenship in India because they belong to India.

      This is not because we are unkind to them but that’s the reality & we love them.

      Even now it’s not too late for them to regain their Indian wealth.

      They’ll be able to enjoy wealth in both countries.

  • 9
    0

    “Gamarala from Polonnaruwa” would have been an appropriate title for this write up rather than your sarcastic appreciation of ” Thank you MR. President”. Anyway damage is done and we early awaiting the Friday the 7th., which could bring a good news of victory for democracy or local Armageddon.

  • 4
    0

    Sir, you from a land of bandits is natural the rage within. Do wait of gamarala’s Gamparaliya, ahead, too.

  • 11
    2

    Dr. Ameer Ali.
    You have forgotten to mention another first of President Sirisena; His nominees of the PM and Cabinet Ministers are boycotting Parliament! It should be the other way round.
    The end fall-out from Sirisenas adventure is that MaRa the war winning Hero has now been reduced to ZERO.
    Sirisena of-course is MINUS!

  • 8
    1

    Thank you Mr. President – For providing us with that “Million Rupee” answer even the very “Architect” of this Constitution, Late Mr. JRJ could not do. The question was: “What if a “Mad Man” is elected a President”? Mr. President (do I have to address as Mr. any more) you are still providing “Answers” and when your “Actions” are recorded in the history books, the future generation would, I am certain, tear those pages and skip the period from “October 26, 2018 To……………?. I believe, you should not be let off the hook, because this “Black Mark” you put on our history must be CORRECTED by taking you before the Justice system and appropriately dealt with for “VIOLATION” of the Constitution. Then the future generations would read and understand, what Justice System we had in this country. One among, many such cases has just been shown by the arrest and put in remand custody your own CDS – Wijegunaratne whom you “PROTECTED” thus far. Mr. President to avoid all these problem for yourself and the country, isn’t it a better option for you to RESIGN and go home. I wan’t say “With Dignity”, because you abandoned all of the meaning of that word “DIGNITY”.

    • 5
      0

      Note for Douglas:

      Your question “Do I have to address the President as “Mr President” any more … ?

      No, no. What is more appropriate will be Ado paraya…..

  • 6
    1

    Karma is a Bitch and it comes in many forms? Could the Appaya be one? Too bad LTTE is not around to bang on the war drum and all the idiots in the south will forget everything and start cheering.

  • 4
    0

    Thank you Dr. Ameer Ali, for your finely articulated summary.

  • 8
    2

    Ameer Ali has put things out nicely. But Sirisena is much bad than that. He is an extremely evil man who does not deserve to live. I hope lightening will strike him dead one of these days.

  • 8
    1

    Even sarcastically do not thank this President. The buggar may take it as real.

  • 5
    0

    Unwittingly or otherwise, MS has dislodged a few stones in our form of democracy. The structure may not crumble but certainly more and more Lankans are beginning to wonder as to whether our version of democracy is working for us or to the elites.

  • 7
    1

    This is a man made disaster …
    Each day passes our money will go down ..
    Each goes by our reputation will go down ..
    The more time spend on this issue the more damage will be done ..
    So.we need wise people to deal with it …

    • 2
      0

      L no. 1
      THERE ARE NO “WISE PEOPLE’ IN S l POLITICS.
      CROOKS IN PLENTY.
      Wishful thinking.

  • 4
    1

    I do not have any personal grudge on any one. Ranil, MS or MR. but all have damage the name of this beautiful country.
    how much might have this cost the country… Billions…… I fee these three are enemies of Sri Lanka.. I’ m so upset that still this problem is not resolved…
    Do not they know it cost a lot for the country ..
    22 Million Sri Lankans have to pay for this lunatics..
    if you want to see a clean politics in the future,,,,
    MS must be punished for this..
    it is his greed that made this.. let him pay for this .. it is a lesson for public to know who is good and who is bad in politics

  • 0
    0

    The parliament of the country is in limbo; there are two prime ministers and two cabinets///

    Presedent is watching with different spectacle like to turn things upside down, to watch pictures and situations from another perspective. When he was with MR and Jumped to Ranil saying roses has thorns then he jumped to form Ranil to MR and says Thorn has roses. Wastage fund time. and
    Dual Ministers

  • 1
    0

    Dr AA, as someone has pointed out, the sarcasm in your piece may well be lost on the party concerned but you have made your point well. It is a pity, then, that you should have made an unnecessary reference to the “Gamarala from Polonnaruwa” – that was also irrelevant, it detracts from the point of your whole narrative and casts an unwarranted slur on the good names of gamaralas and Polonnaruwa. Sirisena’s family antecedents and his home town are not to blame for his erratic conduct. Most gamaralas, I am sure, are decent, honest and honourable as any university professor and the fair city of Polonnaruwa is just as good as the Perth suburb of Murdoch – arguably, with its rich history and heritage it might even be considered better. We are in this crisis because of the President’s mind set, and his various negative attributes, among others, his stubbornness, his vindictiveness, his lack of loyalty, his inconsistencies and poor choice of advisors.

  • 0
    0

    Don’t tell Thank You, the idiot might misunderstand

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