By W. Vishnu Gupta –
Sri Lanka is a failed state and will remain as such until the People, Media, Judiciary, Politicians, and other State officials act as ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. Furthermore, the country possesses all characteristics of a pariah nation. Increasingly isolated in the international community due to fiscal, economic, social, and justice framework and policies adopted by a few dirtbags holding on to power to rule under a corrupt political machinery. The annual report submitted by the High Commissioner and the Secretary General at Forty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council confirms that “In the last two years, the independence of the judiciary, the Human Rights Commission and other key institutions have been eroded, and democratic space, including for human rights advocacy constricted.” Furthermore, the same report says, “The Sri Lankan state, including successive governments, has consistently failed to prosecute international crimes and serious human rights violations and pursue an effective transitional justice process.” Despite the objections and denials made by our Prima-Donnas heading the Government and Foreign Ministry, it is obvious that, HRC has questioned the credibility of the judicial mechanism in the country. Moreover, in addition to the millions living under the poverty line the same report states, since the start of Covid-19 pandemic 500,000 citizens have fallen below the poverty line. The food security of the country is in dire straits, a world bank survey indicates that 44 percent of the households, approximately 9.7 million people are concerned about their daily foods. The scarcity of essential food commodities, never ending queues for rice, gas, cooking oil, gasoline, milk powder and the exorbitant prices of vegetables, meat and eggs proves that majority of Sri Lankans are worried about their food security. Amazingly, 225 charlatans in the legislature have failed to debate this national disaster and arrive at immediate and long-term solutions for the people. The successive governments have failed to fulfill their obligations and duty to ensure that the basic needs (Food/medicine, Clothes and Shelter) of the people are satisfied. The people are sure only about unending misery and untimely deaths, that has been the trend since 1955. Is it “THE CURSE” as some shamans believe?
Intolerance of the political leaders of (Ceylon) Sri Lanka since 1955 has been the only CURSE of our state. There is no exception, cumulative effect of Bandaranaikes, JRJ, NMP, PG, PK, SJV, Premadasas, Ranil, Sirisena, Rajapaksas, Wimal, Udaya, Vasu, Hakeem, Rishad, Wigi, Sampanthan, Douglas, Sumanthiran, Rathana, Fonseka, Ranawaka, Dinesh G, and Anura Kumara Dissanayake is the endless curse and it fell on the nation at 3.30 PM March 22nd 1952, with the death of Honorable D.S. Senanayake. Soon after the untimely demise of father of our nation, formally dormant chauvinistic political movements, lead by SWRDB, JRJ, NMP, PG, PK and SJV came into action under different guises, they were wolves in sheep’s clothing. The citizens of the newly independent state at that time were very naïve and made the cardinal mistake of falling into the traps of the chauvinistic political agendas and they were forced to believe in empowering political leadership to redress the grievances. These charlatans duped the nation and advanced warped political theories that were foreign to the gullible masses, their personal schemes to empower the political leaderships, their families and equally vile and corrupt closest circle of friends were well camouflaged.
State vs Political Leadership
It is not a secret that these jingoistic political leaders undermined the noble efforts of Hon. D.S. Senanayake to build the nation by EMPOWERING THE STATE. Chief among them were SWRDB and JRJ and they were preoccupied with EMPOWERING THEMSELVES either by hook or by crook. Sri Lankans until today have not understood what went wrong in the past 72 years. The million-dollar question is why Sri Lanka is a failed and bankrupt state, one of the charlatans (PG)’s son DG vehemently protested in the legislature last week when equally corrupt another MP mentioned Sri Lanka is bankrupt. The entire world knows Sri Lanka is bankrupt and it is increasingly becoming a pariah nation. Unquestionably, Sri Lanka is bankrupt and is a failed state because the people opted or forced to EMPOWER POLITICAL LEADERSHIP by relying on the rhetoric of SWRDB, JRJ, SIRIMA, CHANDRIKA, PREMADASA, MR, Ranil, SIRISENA, GR, and BR. In other words, the bottom line is people have chosen “rule of man” as opposed to rule of law. The constitution developed by Sirima’s government in 1972, JRJ’s concocted constitution in 1978 and subsequent amendments especially the 18th, 19th and 20th were devised to empower the political party, political leadership and hence the “rule of man.” The “rule of man” places responsibilities on one man or woman and the people believe he/she has magical eyes; many brains and he/she is the jack of all trades.
Hence, the answer to the million-dollar question (why Sri Lanka is a failed state and bankrupt) is, the Sri Lankans formerly Ceylonese have failed to “EMPOWER THE STATE”. Hon. D.S. Senanayake wanted to empower the state, but subsequent Charlatan political leaders and their cohorts never wanted to “EMPOWER THE STATE”. It is the undeniable truth, when people choose to empower the state, rule of law will prevail ensuring that power lies in our people. Empowering the state means empowering duly appointed officials that leads to good, corruption free prosperous state under rule of law. However, empowering political leadership leads to dictatorship, corruption, decaying of security, inept judiciary, and declining social values under rule of man.
Despite of his rigid personal characters, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore did everything to EMPOWER THE STATE, he has categorically rejected the notion of empowering the political leadership. The rule of law prevails in Singapore and because of empowering the state the country is prosperous, corruption free and has become a model society.
In contrary, every major bill passed in the legislature of Sri Lanka are riddled with clauses that undermine the STATE of Sri Lanka. Under the pretext of empowering the state, all political leaders since 1955 starting with SWRDB swindled the masses and enacted various dubious bills and constitutional documents to empower themselves. Objective was to retain power within a chosen circle of families and friends. For instance, laws on Sinhala only, Nationalization of Foreign Companies, Land Reforms, Education Standardization, Ceylon Administrative Service, New constitution of 1972, constitution of 1978, Right to Information Act, 18th ,19th ,20th Constitutional amendments, Sirima-Shasthri pact, and all Presidential Commissions were designed to conceal inefficiency and lack of creativity, veil corruption and thievery and finally to improve electability and to maintain grip on power by a few. All these and other laws passed by the parliament of Sri Lanka has undermined Empowerment of the State but Charlatans in the parliament presented these laws to the people as part and parcel of the democratic instruments. For example, these politicians abolished the independent Ceylon Civil Service that was the backbone of the “STATE” and replaced it with Ceylon Administrative Service (Sri Lanka Administrative Service) which is subject to the influence of the governing political party, today it is under the whims of the President, Prime Minister, or the Minister. They were able to bring quacks and thieves to control the fiscal and monetary management of the state abandoning the trained professionals of the state; N.U .Jayawardene, Nivard Cabraal and Mahendran. Furthermore, unqualified, and untrained friends and family members were appointed to head the foreign missions; Wickrama Weerasooria, Dayan Jayatilake, Udayanga Weeratunga, Amari Wijewardene, Jaliya Wickramasooriya, Milinda Moragoda and many more… and appointment of retired colleagues and friends to the state institutions were meant to undermine the interests of the state but to empower the ruling men and women. 225 men and women currently occupying legislature and those who occupied the same legislature in the past and their masters, many willingly and others unwittingly have been the major force that debunked and obliterated the noble principle of Empowerment of the State.
The STATE is established under rule of law, but the chauvinist political leadership and “rule of man” are established by bigotry, biases, ill gotten money, lies, discrimination, nepotism, intimidation and through corruption. It appears Sri Lankans have been led to believe that empowering Chauvinist Political leadership is better than the Empowerment of the State. Hence the semi-literate and illiterate cohorts and family members were well rewarded leaving the masses in misery, hunger, and despair. They (politicians) were able to enter the legislature and become powerful ministers, enter the law school for night classes, obtain mansions and security contingents, devised and sanctioned a way to earn commissions from development projects and selling of state’s assets, duty free luxury vehicles, retirement perks unheard in the democratic countries, overseas travels, exemptions and immunities not available to the ordinary citizens, state paid medical facilities in Singapore or USA, unconstrained and unlimited availability of food, petrol, cooking gas and electricity and all these loots with no ACCOUNTABILITY for their actions or inactions.
On the other hand, if people empower the STATE, none of the (225 +1) will survive in politics in Sri Lanka, they will not be able to swindle the people and the nation, there will not be any booty for them scrupulously crafted and sanctioned by the legislature. That is the only reason why (225+1) has postponed and rejected the electoral reforms which would allow the first past the post system to elect good men and women as representatives from pre-determined constitutional seats that existed until 1977. Not a single party leader socialist (including the one preaching the virtues of Pol Pot), capitalist, nationalistic, and secessionist chauvinist will agree to revamp the existing electoral system that denies the voters to elect an alternative political leadership to EMPOWER THE STATE. Successive governments and all the politicians without any exception have conspired against the people of Sri Lanka since 1955 to deny every move to EMPOWER THE STATE leading to the predicament witnessed today; A failed and bankrupt country.