22 October, 2017

The Danger Of The Third Term: South Korean Experience

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

UNP General Secretary, Tissa Attanayake, appears to be quite naïve to talk about the winning prospects of the UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, against President Rajapaksa, without challenging the ‘illegality and immorality’ of the incumbent contesting for a third term. As many have already pointed out, his statement was an indirect legitimation of Rajapaksa candidacy for a third term. Then the party had to do some damage control. The call for an early presidential election in January 2015, as planned and now confirmed, itself is unconstitutional if one clearly goes through the constitution and the flawed 18th Amendment.

There is nothing wrong, however, or even imperative for the main opposition party, the UNP, and other parties to be ready for a snap (and I might say an unconstitutional) election given the fact that the judiciary has increasingly become a rubber stamp of the authoritarian executive. However, even Mohan Peiris’ Supreme Court might find it difficult to completely disregard all the legal arguments against a third term and a snap election. Even in this case, so far announced UNP’s 7 point program is fundamentally weak without challenging the ‘legality and morality’ of the third term for the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

MahindaIt is commendable that the UNP has incorporated the abolition of the executive presidential system as one of its seven points. Abolition is the main cry for liberty today. In my opinion, however, the main campaign against the President (at such an illegal and immoral election) should be launched by highlighting that illegality, danger and the immorality of a third term for the incumbent president along with the abolition of the presidential system.

The opposition that intends to come to power should also assure the electorate that it would preserve and expand the now battered free education and the public health system apart from ameliorating the cost of living. This is the only way to get the support of the university sector, broader trade union sections and the poor. This means a progressive socio-economic program. Protection of minority rights and the implementation of the 13th Amendment through dialogue and cooperation also should take equal importance.

Louis the Great!  

The danger of a third term is now strongly felt within the UPFA circles and even within the SLFP ranks. The constitutional reforms proposed by the JHU MP, Ven. Athureliye Rathena Thero, through his Pivithuru Hetak (A Pure Tomorrow) are commendable and a reflection of this trend. Perhaps as a reaction to these developments President Rajapaksa has stated that he is ready to abolish the presidential system if the TNA and the Diaspora give up separatism! This is mere rhetoric.

Even if he is correct in his assertion, why does he think that the Presidential System is equal to His Presidency? Is he going to say that no one in his party or in the UPFA coalition is capable of contesting or holding the presidency? Perhaps he is following Louis the Great who said “I am the State” in the 17th century France.

When one looks at the genesis of the presidential form of government what is clear is that its basic design came from the archaic ‘constitutional monarchy’ and not parliamentary democracy. The first presidential system was designed in America in late 18th century, or in 1789 to be more precise, and tracing its origins that is what Sydney Milkis and Michael Nelson argued about its origins (American Presidency: Origins and Development). The old constitutional monarchy in England also was the basis of Montesquieu’s pure theory of separation of powers.

There is no doubt that parliamentary democracy also evolved through constitutional monarchy but that evolution ensured the responsibility and dependence of the executive on the popularly elected legislative body or parliament. This does not mean that a parliament should be all supreme and above the constitution like what appeared to be the case under Sri Lanka’s 1972 constitution even encroaching into the independence of the judiciary.

Constitutionalism should govern even parliamentary democracy, safeguarding particularly the independence of the judiciary and independence of the other organs of the state i.e. the public service. Politics should be kept to the minimum for an efficient and developmental administration. This is what we understand as independent commissions or the 17th Amendment whatever the drafting weaknesses of that piece of legislation.

Monarchical genesis or even genetics of the presidential system is clear in many of the presidential systems. When De Gaulle drafted his presidential system in 1958 in France, although it was a mixed system, his image was Charlemagne and Napoleon. As we all know, after J. R. Jayewardene became the president he did everything to place himself in the pantheon of royalty. He frequently got up on the Paththiruppuwa to address the nation and indulged in Vap Magul. Do we need to say anything about the incumbent President? Our concern is not so much on the glorification of the presidential position except where the glorification is accompanied with ‘family rule’ or attempts to hold on to power ‘by hook or by crook’ as today in Sri Lanka.

Dictatorial Trends

Aristotle opined that monarchy usually degenerates into despotism. In the case of presidency, it can degenerate into much worse, dictatorship or military rule. This is a clear propensity in any presidential system particularly in transitional and conflict ridden societies like Sri Lanka. Let us take few examples before talking about South Korea.

The new independence constitution of the Philippines (1946) was a presidential system designed on the American style. When Ferdinand Marcos first came to power in 1965 with 52 percent of popular votes, the duration of a presidential term was four years, limited to maximum two terms like in America. He was the first president to win a second term in 1969 with 62 percent dubious votes by using $ 65 million treasury funds. This is an established fact. But his presidency was supposed to end in 1972 when he declared martial law and continued until 1986 when he was overthrown. His easy excuse for martial law was the threat of Communist and Muslim insurgencies.

Peru’s case was slightly different under Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000). When Fujimori won the presidential elections in 1990 he was a dark horse candidate. No one imagined that he would become a dictator. He was by and large a technocrat. But his powers and circumstances led him to become one, facing a hostile congress. In 1992, with the help of the military he became a dictator. It was on that basis that he won the second term in 1995. Peru’s term of office was five years but there was a two term limit. Let me quote a reliable Wikipedia entry to drive the point home of the danger of a third term.

“The constitution limits a presidency to two terms. Shortly after Fujimori began his second term, his supporters in Congress passed a law of ‘authentic interpretation’ which effectively allowed him to run for another term in 2000. A 1998 effort to repeal this law by referendum failed. In late 1999, Fujimori announced that he would run for a third term. Peruvian electoral bodies, which were politically sympathetic to Fujimori, accepted his argument that the two-term restriction did not apply to him, as it was enacted while he was already in office.”  

Peru’s ‘authentic interpretation’ was similar to Sri Lanka’s 18th Amendment in some ways. There is also a possibility that the government might try another ‘authentic interpretation’ before January 2015 as there is a ‘more authentic interpretation’ by a former Chief Justice.

The situation in Sri Lanka is not unfamiliar to any of these countries under presidential antics. Clifford Krauss writing from Buenos Aires to New York Times on 27 December 1999 said the following.

“President Alberto K. Fujimori of Peru announced his candidacy for an unprecedented third term today, arguing that his country needed him to guarantee an end to terrorism and to complete its economic recovery.”

Doesn’t it familiar? It does. Terrorism and economic arguments are standard ‘stock in trade’ for many those who seek dictatorial powers.

South Korean Example

South Korea’s constitutional system was similar to  the American presidential system after the Second World War, like in the Philippines. However, Park Chung-Hee had to come into power through a coup in 1961. Then he held elections for the presidency in 1963 and won the elections with a dubious majority (43%). Like in the United States, the term duration was four years and there was a two term limit. He won the second term in 1967 with a comfortable majority of 52 percent.

The term was supposed to end in 1971 forever. But in 1969 his supporters brought a constitutional amendment similar to the 18th one in Sri Lanka for him to allow a third term. Then he contested the presidency for a third time and won with a slender majority of 51 percent. He was not satisfied with the situation and declared martial law in October 1972. Even before 1972, the system was authoritarian although there were elections. In October 1979, he was assassinated by his own security chief.

There are many assessments of Park Chung-Hee. I used to do the same when I was teaching Political Economy of Southeast and East Asia. Undoubtedly during his period, the economy of the country progressed. It was an actual ‘Miracle of Asia.’ The initial assessments were linking the economic take off to his authoritarian management of the polity, if not the economy. But thereafter the studies that were conducted deeper into the economic dynamics revealed that there were no direct connection between the two and the country could have perhaps progressed better if not for the authoritarian rule.

The point is that the authoritarian tendencies in a political system emerge not from economic imperatives but from political ones. In the case of Sri Lanka, if the presidential system was justified during the actual threat of terrorism or separatism, that is no longer the case. There is no question that the economy has progressed during the last decade. As G. L. Peiris himself once said, ‘when the tide is high all boats are lifted up.’ However, if not for corruption, nepotism and mismanagement, Sri Lanka could have become a real miracle with a two digit growth rate. A presidential system also does not mean a third term for an incumbent president, although it is a fallout of a presidential system in a developing and a conflict ridden country. A third term for a president, on the other hand, is a recipe for an easy dictatorship and a disaster.

As the Korean example shows, when a megalomaniac goes for a third term, he or she would be quite nervous. In the case of Sri Lanka, even if the incumbent wins the presidency, his parliamentary majority will be greatly reduced at a forthcoming general election. This is where and when the problems would start. Therefore, that eventuality should be avoided. In South Korea, at the beginning of the third term in 1971, Park’s political party majority became reduced in Parliament to a just 55 percent of seats. This is why he dissolved the Congress and changed the representative system to incorporate appointed members.

Otherwise, speaking of the personality, Park Chung-Hee was not necessarily a bad man. The following was what Jurgen Kleiner said in his book “Korea, a Century of Change” (p. 164) about the man. I allow the readers to make their own comparison (or judgement) only making my own emphasis to the original text below.

“Park Chung-Hee was not an unpleasant man. Photos from the mid-1960s showed him smiling among the members of his family and laughing among visitors….He remained modest; the Blue House was not transformed into a luxurious palace. He stayed away from nepotism. His interests and passions had other aims: the country and the power.”             

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    If a politician is honest, clean, pure-mind, people at the centre in his heart, unselfish, un-corrupt, dedicated….. then staying not for a third term but for life long won’t be a problem at all. As a matter of fact, for such a great leader, the problem will be to get OK from people to get his old age retirement!

    Some politicians are born & living to rob and cheat people in their first and second terms with the idea to splash out amassed cash to win elections in later terms (illegally) is intolerably stupid. This shows they are stupid, not genuine and not honest. Must have to get rid of ASAP!

    Thanks
    @SenakaDeZS

    • 4
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      Thanks a lot Prof. laksiri for educating the public about the impending danger , time has come to expose Ranil , He is the root cause for all these chaos , every body knows who MR and what he is up to , but Ranil ? every body tends to believe that Ranil is a squeaky clean politician and a gentleman , is it true ? under your previous article , i posed quite a few relevant questions about Ranil’s actions , but no body came forward to give a satisfactory answer !

      What Ranil should have been doing is to prevent holding this illegal PE , joining with JVP/SNS and putting pressure on the regime to back down from the idea , instead he had legitimized the illegal election by accepting it , now MR can accelerate it by announcing the dooms day , what a pathetic situation ?

      Ranil knows very well that MR will never allow him to win , even if Ranil wins , MR won’t allow him to rule , simple reason being , MR is not just another president , he carries tons of baggage with him and can’t afford to go , especially with the impending UN probe , mark my word , MR will get cleared his legal obstacle and will declare as the winner of the 2015 presidential election !

      • 4
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        1) Contesting the PE for MR is illegal
        2) In the first two terms in power themselves MR did nothing but illegal things
        3) Then what legal things he can do as an illegal president, provided he had the luck to get elected?
        4) He will further get cornered by the IC
        5) That will affect not him, but people and businesses in SL
        6) This means, worse results economically
        7) When the economy is down, how the country is going to pay back US$10-15Billion debt. By more and more loans at higher cost (may be 10-15% rate range
        8) IC will closely watch the situation. And it will not be the MR who will suffer but the people of SL
        9) He will have no options but create more social problems so that people will have to go and find work in the desert toilets in the ME to keep him in world’s best comfort
        10) Are you happy to experience that and why?
        11) Choosing one’s leader is a reflection of who that person is? Not the chosen!

        11) Use the head, the one that SLs largely leave for granted. Think far not tomorrow. Think for 25 years ahead not next week to come out of this danger MR created

        WHY Ven. SOBHITHA THERO +RANIL+ ANURA+ TNA+SLAMC++++

        1) First To stop MR’s wrecking & ruining
        2) To give politicians the message that SL people are knowledgeable than they were 10 years ago
        3) To Change the IC perception
        4) Clear the black mark and red cards to play fresh
        5) Obviously there he will be chosen by his party
        6) SL has to adjust, economic structure
        7) He will have less nepotism pressureS plus he might have learnt how dangerous that could be from MR’s case
        8) Bring the corruption and bad things in government to the minimum
        9) Empower 17th amendment*
        10) Let people be encouraged to get to the centre
        11) Try an implement new political cuture
        12) True economic framework instead of KUDU, GANJA, KASIPPU,GANIKA,SLAVES TO ME DESERTS, HORA, MERA,WNACHA, DUSHANA, MANKOLLA, MINIMARUM, MANKOLLA,
        12) dignity to people, the armed forces, police and the state officials.

        GOVERNING A COUNTRY SHOULD BE A HAPPY PROGRAM FOR LEADERS TO MAKE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA TO BE HAPPY!

        BE WISE!

        Thank you
        @SenakaDeZS

      • 2
        1

        Srilal,

        To quote you, ‘ time has come to expose Ranil , He is the root cause for all these chaos , every body knows who MR and what he is up to , but Ranil ? every body tends to believe that Ranil is a squeaky clean politician and a gentleman , is it true ?

        With all due respect to you, please do expose the fraud Ranil is. Please expose that Ranil is not squeaky clean nor a Gentleman but a Rowdy, because as you say many believe otherwise.

        You find fault with RW for trying to contest the PE which MR wants, where MR has even tried to hoodwink the Pope and the Catholics in this country. So you believe the social ills, the threats and the crime wave and the suppression in the country is all due to Ranil and not due to MR rule. Your assessment is that Ranil will lose at the next PE. You should be happy about it as then Ranil will have to exit from politics for certain. Could you kindly nominate who the successor should be?

        On the other hand have you ever given thought, what if Ranil wins and rescue this Nation from the bluff of MR as soon as possible through a PE, before there is blood shed from a revolt by the Public.

        • 1
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          Dear Gamini ,

          I know you are a die hard fan of Ranil and i’m truly sorry if have hurt you in any way , as far as i’m concerned Ranil won both 1999 and 2005 PEs , circumstances beyond his control had prevented him becoming the president of SL , that is the history !
          since that fateful 2005 PE defeat Ranil has become an obsolete leader and all most one third of his sub ordinates had decided to leave him ( for different kind of bogus reasons ) leaving UNP in a right royal mess , what did Ranil do to bring any meaningful reform for the grand old party , other than clinging on to that dear “leadership position ” ? Ranil was very insecure within his own party and started sidelining every single potential leader to safe guard his own position , as a result there is not a single potential leader to challenge MR any where soon ! only Ranil’s few old guards ere backing him while every single election (except CMC) being lost under his able leadership ? isn’t it normal practice for a true leader to accept the responsibility for continuous defeat and bow down ? how many defeats were there under Ranil’s leadership ? yes we all know that there won’t be any free and fair elections under MR’s watch and it’s a foregone conclusion ! so there is no point bickering/winging about it after a defeat , if you are not up to it , you must give it to some one who is more capable than yourself. next natural question is who is there to take the mantle from RW , answer lies squarely on the leader again , isn’t it a leader’s job to groom the next leader ? why no capable leader in the pipe line after Ranil ? whose fault is that ? this reminds me the famous utter stupid notion “ only MR can save Sri lanka “ nonsense , in other words, out of twenty odd million people there is no body to be a leader in SL, how hilarious it can be ? same theory applies to UNP as well ! Gamimi I’ve never accused him being a fraudster , what I meant was , Rranil’s dubious, bizarre reactions for some of life & death situations ,for your convenience , here with I reproduce the same set of questions ,which i’had posted earlier , for you to answer .

          1)Why does RW want an early PE ? (Tissa A publicly declared)
          2)Why doesn’t RW support JVP/SNS legal issue ?
          3)why doesn’t RW demand for LLRC (17A)implementation prior to PE ? 4)didn’t RW let go 18A by declaring Parliament is supreme ?
          5)Why does RW want to run for the PE this time by obstructing the CC notion ?
          6) Why did RW sideline Gen SF after his illegal imprisonment ?
          7) how come there are not any potential leaders in the UNP ?
          8)What is the possible justification for keeping long john A as the chief opposition whip ?
          9) what is RW’s stand on UN investigation against MR and his junta regime ?
          10) what is RW ‘s stand on continuous monumental blunders ( giving away 1/3 of port city to Chinese , Mihin air , Air lanka ,Hambanthota white elephants , Ajith Cabral’s magic numbers , CJ mohan P’s performance , IGP’s inaction , GLP’s dismal performance , mega corruptions on development projects , Drug menace etc etc )

          • 0
            1

            Srilal,

            No hard feelings.I am no fan of Ranil nor do I know him personally. I just judge him for what he is and what he has proved himself to be. A man of Principles with no favouration to any, even his good friends, some of whom are the strongest Critics of him, for not obliging special favours to them when in power.

            Please do not go by the number of elections that Ranil have lost, which yourself admit, that all are a one sided affair and all were staged with corruption. What has Ranil done in the interim? Ranil has instilled discipline in the UNP against much odds, because there are still many in the UNP who prefer a corrupt Leadership in the UNP so they could benefit and do as they like, just like how it happens under Corrupt MR who has no control over the excesses committed as seen on a daily basis in the country flouting the Law of the land with a Puppet of a CJ to boot. Has not Ranil brought in fresh blood to the UNP the likes of Eran Wickremaratne, Harsha De Silva, Ajith Perera, Harin Fernando and a host of others who are qualified with means and standing in society and not just the riff raff in society. Are these not the characteristics of a good leader, to put his own house in order before disciplining the country to usher development. What a coward Ranil would have been had he abandoned his responsibility by the people, if he had resigned for the banter of his critics?

            Do you agree that MR just manged to scrape through UVA elections after using the entire machinery of the Govt? Patience is a virtue only the intelligent are blessed with. Wait and see what happens to MR in an Island wide election as a Presidential Election in the near future. What has happened to MR today? MR gave recognition to all and sundry at the beginning to win them over. So the Academics, Professionals, Artists and everyone else who supported him at the beginning, today have turned against MR, including Dr. Laksiri Fernando. MR has no support base today except the catchers who are robbing the State and them alone will not help MR to win an election island wide. On the contrary even the strongest critics of Ranil admits that he is the best bet at the moment, who has proved himself to be an Honest Gentleman and a Leader to all the citizens of this country. He has no one to groom of his own to take after him, nor reason to rob the country and waste public funds to appease juvenile fantasies of the present lot, with their interest of Race Tracts and Casino Economy. The only family member of Ranil who is in politics is Ruwan Wijeywardene who heads the UNP Youth Front. You can see the quality of him when he resigned his post and offered it to Harin Fernando after the UVA election. Where do you find such decent people who steps down from position in today’s politics? Therefore the choice before the people in this country today is between Honesty and Dishonesty. So Srilal the choice is yours and if Ranil does not get elected for parochial reasons as you put up, the losers are us and the country and not Ranil Wickremasinghe. Good day to you.

            • 0
              0

              Dear Gamini ,

              Thank you for being such a gentleman , what ever you and i say ,if its meant to be it will happen, certainly we all do our bit to change the current system on our own unique ways , so we shall hope for the best and keep our fingers crossed for a better tomorrow.

              Cheers Gamini.

            • 0
              0

              I agree with you. So do the many that respect dignity of life – lawful life.

              RW deserves to be the country leader NO doubt is about that. If People like MR and thugs can be the leader of the nation. A man with all decent nature – RW has every right to be the country ‘s leader.

              Today only bitches sons have the power in the society. No the educated can even raise their voice. All is done to make them silent. Sad… the levels have gone beyond all appalling margins.

          • 1
            0

            Srilal@,

            if you really want to get rid of Rajapakshes, why do you criticise RW ?

            Just branding him as LTTE supporter is a just a trick of MR and co. to make the general public for their favour.

            Let alone not only RW nobody would allow this country to be partioned. TNA has made it clear as louder as they can that they are not pro-Elam.

            Only way out for a law bound society is through an educated leader. If we have not a big choice, if CBK would not be the common canddiate, I as long term anti-UNPer would have no other choice than supporting UNP led opposition this time.
            I know there are many in the country would feel like that since not a man with a bird brain would feel to support RAJAPAKSHE idiots anymore. He should learn to respect rule of law first before making any further efforts bringing blatant lies about a future solution for ethnic issue.

            • 0
              0

              Only way out of current problems would be making every efforts to marginalising the highly abusive oligarchs by a Coalition built by

              a)UNP led at least 35%
              b)JVP 7%
              c)TNA 3%
              d)CBK UPFA fraction 15%
              e)DP led by SF 7%
              e) All other small parties that want Rajapakshes to go out of their sigts
              3%

              so the total would be over 65%

      • 2
        0

        Dear Srilal,

        Please don’t go on the basis of past impressions. Ranil is not the problem, but MR and his third term at this juncture. Even on a personal basis, he may be far better than many of the other politicians. Rethink your stance.

        Laksiri

        • 0
          0

          What about “Ven. Athureliye Rathena Thero, of Pivithuru Hetak (A Pure Tomorrow”, the favourite of all anti-Bddhist forces (jehan Perera, laksii fernando, Dayan Jayatilleke) and other wolves in disguise?

          Promote him, good Professor. He can fill the void created by Sobhita who was ‘hot’ just a fes months ago. Now nobody seems to want him.

          Disparate people, disparate choices!

        • 0
          0

          Dear prof. Laksiri ,

          I’m sorry Prof. Laksiri , you seemed to misunderstand my stance here , this is nothing personal !
          when i said Ranil is the root cause , it does not mean Ranil is committing crimes or looting the national wealth ,of course he is not ! what i meant was , Ranil’s inaction , inefficiency or the inappropriate responses as the main opposition leader putting the whole nation in an awkward /vulnerable situation , as I said earlier , Ranil may win the PE by default , but is this the most effective strategy to counter attack a person like MR ? MR is not voluntary calling any election to lose , especially the PE , of course he is having plan A,B,C,D,E,F,G and H to face any eventuality , whereas Ranil is having only plan A .
          if I were Ranil , I would make every possible effort to postpone the PE until the natural death as it has already started .

        • 0
          0

          Ranil has been the opposition leader of the country for more than 15 years. It is a huge responsibility, what he has done in the past 15 years?? Personally, RW is worse than MR, just useless guy in the second most important political position, may be a better human than Gota.. RW didn’t kill people I guess..

        • 0
          0

          Dr got a point.

          Don’t go by the massacre in Athuraliya,

          They are just minor in comparison to the peace,harmony and the right to find a job and attend to it without losing an arm , a leg or the eye balls.

          Besides, the opposition buddies of Ranil practice exactly what the Dr preaches.

          One Mr Rasanayagam was elected to Parliament from Batti in 2004.

          But the new CM’s Hero didn’t like it and removed him from the Parliament and the TNA as well.

          Apparently Ranil’s buddy, the TNA leader was there then

          But no record of even lighting a single candle in Mannar Church at least, on his 10th Anniversary.

          And poor Rasanayagam was a an Anglican / Methodist .

          At least a Canadian based Tamil remembered old Rasa.

        • 0
          0

          How right are u sir !
          We must not just criticize RW just considering the facts and figures being made by incumbent rulers. They dont allow real facts to be reached to the nation. Who would agree with any kind of decisions partioning the country ? I really dont think even Tamara K or late Kadirgamara would have agreed with that. So their ill fated agendas to get more attracted by their rhetorics cant help furuther. People are becoming BUDDHIMATH… wiser today than no times in the past. RW has no whatsoever any kind of abuses. Though some issues that he was involved in left unsolved because of the very reasons that the tradition of srilanken politics worked. I have no doubt in my mind that people would be made debtors by a rule run by RW. He deserves a term to show that he can. The entire world respects him. Not long ago, Boston and UK invited him but not MR. MR cant get on with world leaders of western kind. He can only go to late Gadaphi and Swaziland. But how much he spent for his Entourage making the poor of the nation even more poor is the question. No morals and ethical limits for him, when doing whatever. We now need a man to handle all these by respect. By strenghtening police and making their salaries much higher since they are the ones who should do their job as cautiously as they can safeguarding the rights of the nation.

      • 1
        1

        Srilal,

        What many forget is that ut was the ‘ceasefire agreement’ and the accompanying ‘Peace trap’ that enfebled the LTTE and led to its destruction. VP feared the consequences of the ‘Peace trap’ and ensured the election of MR- of course he received a very handsome payment foerthis favour. Looking at howthe MR government has undermined the SRi Lankan polity since, I wonder whether VP had unwittingly/ wittingly pave the way for it.

        Further, I remember the hue and cry made about the high cost of living during the two year premiership of RW under the Chandrika presidency. What has happened since?

        Ranil, may not have a good team now. Under a Westminster system, this will be liability. However, under a refined Executive Presidential system that permits a cabinet of persons from outside the legislature, he may be able to build a cabinet of excellent, capable and honest persons.

        There a many pros and cons, and many facets to the issues such as political systems, parties and personalities at this moment. All aspects should be explored, exposed and debated, until clarity emerges.

        I do not see an alternative to MR, other than RW at the moment. However, what he can deliver will depend on the postion he attainss- Executive President or PM. I am inclined to favour a refined and redefined EP.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        • 0
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          Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran ,

          i firmly believe That Ranil’s 2002 cease fire agreement had been the real secret behind LTTE’s ultimate demise ,but there are so many contradictory statements emanating from all directions and this will continue to be so in the future as well , Ranil’s regaining Sri lanka program is another gem which his political opponent opportunists used to destroy his image , Ranil was accepted with open arms from around the world as opposed to MR , he had never been accused of swindling state money and many more but all these good things came to an end with the dawn of 2006 , Ranil had been transformed from a strategist to a puppet opposition leader , go through his achievements since 2006 , you will see what i mean Doctor.

          • 0
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            Srilal,

            Your thinking is like mine on RW’s role in the LTTE defeat. Milinda Moligoda revealed this strategy during the 2005 election campaign and alerted VP to what awaited him if RW won.

            However, I think RW has acted very shrewdly as the leader of the opposition. He has given MR a very long rope to hang himself, considering the manner in which he secured his 1995 victory and the manner in which he has made Sri Lanka stand on its head since his 2010 vistory. MR has definitely hanged himself quite grandly. The sheen of the war victory has worn off and the ugliness of MR’s and his familial rule stands exposed in all its rotteness for the people to not only see, but also to smell and hold their noses and feel the hunger pangs in their stomachs.

            If he had not played the waiting game, he would have not made much headway. He did not stalk a strong adversary, but waited until the adversary was enfeebled to attack.

            Ranil, seems to have played it right, in terms of MR and his tactics. He has assessed MR’s weeknesses and strenghths correctly and dealt with the situation with much wisdom.

            This is Ranil’s chance to go for the kill and if he fails, he has only himself to blame. Given his approach, I think he will act smartly.

            Dr.RN

    • 1
      1

      Agreed;

      But as You said Not, It must be changed Like this!

      “Some politicians are born & living to Rape, rob and cheat people in their whole life.
      Un educated but Showing Falsely taken Education Degrees,
      and for their first, second terms with the idea to splash out, Pilfered, amassed cash from Public coffers, Commission taking, Heroin peddling with Drug dealers, from Illegal contracts offering,
      Selling National Resources to Foreign Mafias and
      taking Ransoms to win elections in later terms (illegally) is intolerably stupid.
      This shows they are Cunning, shrewd and not PATRIOTIC to the People or Motherland, not stupid, not genuine and not honest.
      Must have to Liquidate them Now Itself!.
      Better to shot To Kill them At Gall face Green!!!!!!!!!!.
      And To BE WRITTEN IN HISTRY BOOKS of their Punishment to learn to others!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    • 0
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      senaka,

      Such a politician would not have introduced the 18th Amendment!

    • 2
      1

      Dear Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      hanks for bring up the dangers of a third term in a Family Dictatorship we have now.

      But First things first. Get Rid of Mahinada Rajapaksa, his goons and shills and terrorists.Everybody needs to pitch in. Here is a suggestion for you.

      I have suggested to several authors that a Sri Lankan Version of the Common Sense Pamphlet need to be printed and distributed to all citizens, for them to make an informed decision.

      This was precisely that was done by Thomas Paine in 1776 during the American Revolution. He wrote a Common Sense pamphlet in 1776, before the American revolution describing why the King had to be removed.

      Can you find some, any author who will write a Common sense Pamphlet in Sinhala, Tamil and English and distribute to the masses on the dangers of MaRa and the MaRa Dynasty?

      Whatever opposition candidate comes forward, there need to be exposure of MaRa corruption and nepotism. There is a dire need for a Common Sense Pamphlet, like what Thomas Paine did in 1776 for the American revolution, exposing King George III.

      What can writers and other do? Expose.. Expose and Expose the Mara regime.

      The current perception is that Rajapaksa Hegemony has taken over the UPFA/SLFP and people do not want dynasties.

      What can the writers do? Expose. what can the people do? Vote against MaRa and the criminal gang. However, the populace need to be informed by a Common Sense Pamphlet.

      Can you be the Anonymous Author and Produce a Sri Lankan version of Common Sense in Sinhala, Tamil and English? You will do as much service to Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, just like Thomas Paine did for America and France.You can expand this write up, and get there.

      Say, Because I have Common Sense, I will not vote for Mr. Rajapaksa and their criminal cronies for a continuation of a Family Dynasty, and say that Sri Lanka is a Republic.

      Rajapaksa had the opportunity. The power corrupted them. The People are sick of them. They even used Buddhism towards their ends. Even Sinhala Buddhists are fed up them, and they are showing their true colors.

      An Anonymous Author like Thomas Paine or an Author with guts is needed with a Common Sense Pamphlet to expose the King, King George, the Rajapaksa Clan. Read, the Common Sense Pamphlet , by Thomas Paine, that inspired the American Revolution along with the other events. Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Produce a Commons sense Pamphlet for Sri Lanka and say why it is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka to remove the King, aka Rajapaksa Dynasty from power and let the Republic be a Republic and Not a dynasty. This Pamphlet, in Sinhala, Tamil and English, need to be sent to each and every Sri Lankan Citizen, just like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet.

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        Dear Amarasiri,

        What you say is a good suggestion. I have noted it even before. I hope someone active in Sri Lanka will pick up that idea.

        Laksiri

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    [Edited out]

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    18th amendment is something that must be prevented BEFORE it happens. Its going to be hard afterwards.

    I made a big fuss. Although many did not seem to care nor understood the implications.

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    Dr.Fernando

    The Danger Of The Third Term: South Korean Experience.

    I like to say the ” The Danger of the Third Term” Sri Lankan Style which is a recipe for disaster for the following reasons.

    1)The Sri Lankan destiny is linked to the Ethnic divide and that is evident from Mahinthas pledge to abolish Executive Presidency conditional upon the Tamils dropping their demand for Eelam.
    2) By inference Manhintha sends out a clear message to the electorate that there is an unfinished job of Ethnically cleansing Sri Lanka to make sure there is never the possibility of the Tamils reasserting their right to govern themselves under a Federal System as a minimum.
    3)There in lies the danger for Sri Lanka as the powers that matter have called Mahinthas warnings of a Tiger revival a BLOUGH. That is why the ECJ has lifted the ban on the LTTE. India has reversed the decision of the Congress refuse entry to the members of the Transitional Government who are all ex LTTE members.
    4) The lifting of the ban is a sign of things to come which will culminate in the imposition of Sanctions when UNHCR delivers its verdict. If proof was needed of the resolve by UNHCR it was made clear by the Successor to Navaneetham Pillai to grant an audience to Ananthi but to refuse to extend the same courtesy to GOSL despite requesting one.
    5) Manhintha has called an early election even though he has two more years to run sensing danger.
    6) Finally if Mahintha wins which is a forgone conclusion it will make the imposition of Sanctions that much easier and the people of Sri Lanka will face severe hardship this time with India on Board.

    *** Just imagine if by Divine Intervention the electorate were to ditch Mahintha that will spare Sri Lanka of the impending disaster as the Countries that matter will find it hard to punish Sri Lanka .

    The Sinhala Electorate has Sri Lankas destiny in its hands. The big question is will they vote with their head or with their heart . If the 64 year history is anything to go by it will be the latter.

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      Dear Kali,

      You are free to have your own interpretation of the impending disaster and among your 6 points there are some valid ones. However, I don’t think it is always good to view politics through the prism of ethnicity or ethnic interests alone, however you are compelled to do so. While I understand some of the circumstances, it can be subjective to mean it would miss an objective picture or reality. For example, too much reliance on future sanctions or international support is not a good strategy even to safeguard those interests. Also it is not opportune time today to discuss a solution within a federal framework. The best possibilities are through the 13th Amendment through dialogue and cooperation. One tragedy as I see it, if I may say so openly, is the failure of many Tamil intellectuals like you to still grasp the new reality which is a clear debacle as a result of LTTE’s violent and extremist policies. I have put it very mildly without using the label ‘terrorist.’ I think the Tamil intellectuals should be more pragmatic and more realistic.

      I have specially noted your last two paragraphs which contains much ‘insight.’ On the other hand, if any activist section of the Tamil community (for example the TGTE) thinks that the best strategy is to allow MR again to bring ‘manna from the heavens’ (to mean the disaster in this case) and then achieve its/their objectives with the support of the international community, I think it would be a colossal mistake (Do I need to say like in 2005?). I don’t think you are in the same frame of mind, but you do conceptualizes the same. I was talking about a negative disaster for all communities, and your visualization is ‘positive disaster’ for the Eelam objective. Why do people visualize positive change through disaster (phoenix from the ashes) has always been an intriguing question for me for a long time. My purpose of the article, you may agree, to avert disaster. It is possible and it might work. I would invite you to join in averting that disaster.

      Laksiri

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        “Why do people visualize positive change through disaster (phoenix from the ashes) has always been an intriguing question for me for a long time.”
        Great saying Dr. It immediately went to my collection of valuable quotes.

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        Dear Dr.Fernando,

        Thanks for the endorsement of some of the points in response to your Article but let me clarify the points on which you have cast some doubts.

        1) “However, I don’t think it is always good to view politics through the prism of ethnicity or ethnic interests alone”

        Let me clarify the above

        Politics is all about Governance ( I mean treating each and every citizen equally irrespective of Race or Religion) and in a Country like Sri Lanka it is all the more important that leaders steer a course to marginalise fringe elements if we are to have racial harmony.
        2) The precursor to Racial Harmony is to remove any tools available to those groups otherwise Society becomes polarised and what we have is despair and discord. You cant split politics and ethnic interest.
        3) If what you say above is correct let me ask you the following. It is 64 years since independence and the North which is predominantly Tamil has been completely starved of any development and in terms of GDP contribution from the North is miniscule. Why was the North neglected at the expense of the South and do you think North would have been neglected if the inhabitants were Sinhalese. Sinhalese argue that Tamils are all over Sri Lanka and that is because there is nothing in the North so people migrate to the South in search of employment. If we had Federal System and developed the North we could have had COMPETITION instead of HOSTILITY (which has claimed thousands of lives)and would have been the envy of the World.
        4) But successive Sinhalese Governments have played the Race Card to win votes. I know that I keep harping on the fact that there are 20 million racists but what do you expect me to say in the absence of any evidence to the contrary.

        SANCTION AS A TOOL:

        We live in an interdependent World and are signatories to Certain Standards and Morals
        a) Recognition and Respect for people with different Language and Religion.
        b) Respect for Rule of Law.

        If we breach any of those there must be punishment otherwise the order will collapse and there will be Anarchy as we are seeing in Sri Lanka. Sri Lank relies heavily on its trade with the West and make no mistake the West is determined to bring Sri Lanka back into line.

        What I mean by impending disaster is that people have got used to living in affluence and any imposition of Sanctions will put all the in jeopardy.
        I am sure you know what happened to the Garment industry.

        *** Also it is not opportune time today to discuss a solution within a federal framework. The best possibilities are through the 13th Amendment through dialogue and cooperation.

        I hate to disagree with you on the above and my take on the above is as follows.

        13th Amendment is only the beginning and it falls short of Tamil Aspirations and the minimum we will accept is a Federal Structure.
        MR is no fool and he is cool , calm and collected and he is determined on complete colonisation and that is why he is refusing to grant Land & Police Powers but we are determined to preserve our Identity and safeguard our Language Religion and Sacred Places. We are a minority and we must have the means at our disposal to protect the above and only a Federal Structure similar to Tamilnadu will guarantee that and there is no Compromise.

        Divided as two separate people under a unitary state we STAND United under subjugation we FALL.

        I want to live in a Country where I don’t have to fear that I will be killed because I am Tamil. I have lost three of my family members for whom we still grieve but I don’t want future generations to go through the same misery.

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          Kali, Not only the north but deep south was neglected.That was why the JVP caught up.

          Whether we like it or not it was President Premadasa who changed that situation.The Free Trade Zones were in the western province. It was Premadasa who realised that with the FTZ in the western Province the govt had destroyed the social fabric, the culture and created prostitutes and brothels.

          We have had people without a proper vision as our leaders.

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            Aney Aney

            “Not only the north but deep south was neglected.That was why the JVP caught up.”

            Then the Sinhala/Buddhists should have demanded a separate state (Sinhala/Buddhist Eelam) for themselves and let the rest of us live in peace.

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    How desperate is MR on retaining Power is refeclted in the news item
    of Lankawebnews to-day, as below: SB will be happy to receive the
    goodies and the items will be re-called should the results go haywire?

    “Economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa, who is in charge of the propaganda campaign at the upcoming presidential election, summoned provincial Councillors countrywide to Temple Trees recently.

    On the occasion, he agreed to pay Rs. 10 million to each of them for the propaganda work. The money will be given in lieu of the bills being sent to the propaganda unit for the television sets, sewing machines, refrigerators, washing machines and other household appliances to be distributed to voters who would not support the government.

    Each provincial Councillor can buy such household appliances worth a maximum Rs. 10 million. The propaganda unit will pay for the bills. The provincial Councillors have agreed in one voice to Basil’s proposal.”

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    Agreed;

    But as You said Not, It must be changed Like this!

    “Some politicians are born & living to Rape, rob and cheat people in their whole life.
    Un educated but Showing Falsely taken Education Degrees,
    and for their first, second terms with the idea to splash out, Pilfered, amassed cash from Public coffers, Commission taking, Heroin peddling with Drug dealers, from Illegal contracts offering,
    Selling National Resources to Foreign Mafias and
    taking Ransoms to win elections in later terms (illegally) is intolerably stupid.
    This shows they are Cunning, shrewd and not PATRIOTIC to the People or Motherland, not stupid, not genuine and not honest.
    Must have to Liquidate them Now Itself!.
    Better to shot To Kill them At Gall face Green!!!!!!!!!!.
    And To BE WRITTEN IN HISTRY BOOKS of their Punishment to learn to others!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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    Thank you for the lesson in Civics.

    I for one cannot agree there need be a limit of two terms to a democratically elected president. The main argument so far has been that it is the norm in the West, and that we should therefore blindly follow that norm. This has NOT prevented the US President(s) from ignoring the Congress and the Senate and overcoming the limitations on his power put in place in the Constitution, whenever they fancied. The present incumbent is the most unpopular by a long shot, though elected by a populace that believed his pre-election lies. He is a Democrat, yet there is not the flimsiest of evidence that his policies are any different from his utterly arrogant Republican predecessor.

    The Bolivians have ELECTED their popular president for a third term. There is not an iota of doubt that the election was genuine. He is certainly not popular with a small segment of the population, and with the US, but that is no reason to dislike and condemn him. You have mentioned many who wanted to cling to power come what may, but forgot to say that they did so mostly with the connivance of and the blessing of the US. The autocratic Korean Chung Hee Park was no different, with North Korea breathing down his neck, BUT he did provide the stable conditions needed for the six chaebols to succeed, provide jobs for the people, and drag Korea from the economic morass that it had fallen into after the war. Those newly printed US$ did help, but the effort was theirs and theirs alone. He certainly deserves far more credit than you’ve given him. Today, the Korean president is a near-invisible figure but the country marches on. Sri Lanka too deserves similar period of stability for the next decade or too, though those newly printed US$ are unlikely to come our way.

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    Clearly there is a firm belief by MR in Familial Rule, but is this actually a good prospect for Mother Lanka given the corruption, lack of accountability, lawlessness and destruction of the clear lines between the three pillars of democracy? Assuming its not a good prospect, how to square the circle and prevent the nation sliding into eventual military dictatorship?

    The Rajapaksas claim relationship to the old kings, so why not create a new Ruler and Royal Family, they can assume the mantle of King – however, like the Queen in the UK the Family would have to abdicate all political power (and therefore patronage)but MR can stay in ‘power’ until he dies and may then be succeeded by Namal.

    Of course it would require a new constitution removing the 18th, re-establishing the 17th, implementing the 13th – oh and outlawing cross-overs. Any jumping MP must face a by-election within 90 days of jumping.

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    Dr. Fernando,

    You should address the issues raised by Mr. Aahithyan Ratnam in a separate article on the “Thirteen-Plus.”

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    First of all Ranil is not going oppose the 18th amendment unlike his supporters doing. He wants to recognize the parliament’s authority to pass bills. He did not oppose the changer over of Shiranee to Peiris. He said that he cannot give chance to the foreign countries to tell Lankan Parliament what to do. So those who depend on that argument should rethink. Ranil cannot be the final end. The only Lankan Leader is, though he had not done anything to Tamils (good or bad), Dudley could not survive properly one term. He is the one started agricultural revolution with Mahaveli project. Brought the 2 measure ration rice. He started education reform, before Badiudin completely destroyed it. But Sinhalese exchanged him to Sirima. Ranil, one before came to power. But he could not stay on the chair much longer. Right away Chandrika fired him. Holding on to power is an art. Dudley did not have it. I doubt if Ranil has that too. Those who are trying to bring UNP to the power should realize that, weak Dudley lost the power and pave the way to JR. Like that Ranil is about bring Sajit. In that case, King a 1000 times better person. Ranil may win or lose, that is not the medicine for the current Lankan political sickness. So Sinhala intellectual should deist from campaigning that if one time Lankan’s bring Ranil to power, Lanka going to become Garden of Eden.
    Second is the legal challenge of the 18th amendment that is coming from the Buffoon Silva. As per to him, he is the one first on that. I am not going into that war of those who are fighting it is that they are the one invented the legal “Disqualification”. So far, I did not see somebody citing the original constitution talking about disqualification. All they showed was “No one served the second term is qualified”. These Pundits has to know the difference between what they are saying and what they are showing. One, not qualified today for job, will be qualified tomorrow if he or she get more qualifications or the qualification barrier of the job is lowered. King will be presenting him at court and the election that he has improved his qualification and 18th has lowered limit too. But the disqualification is not like that. Accepting the second term does not disqualify one. It is always concluding the second term is the one make a person not qualified. If the original constitution’s position is “accepting”, then that is flaw in the original constitution and it will be challenged by King’s lawyers. As already somebody said in their comment, King is lucky to have the JVP terrorist, Buffoon Silva and Perris as CJs, they both illegally save the King. Buffoon Silva’s tsunami case and Mangala’s LTTE bribe both are independently amount to King be impeached. None of these heroes had guts to attempt to do that in parliament. Now they are displaying a comedy show of legally barring King from standing for election. This is how the guru who could not clime to the roof to catch the hen, teaching how to climb to the sky and reach the heaven.
    Whoever wants to challenge the election can, but it may not suitable for Ranil, who wants to stand on this election. That is, if he accidentally wins the election, opposition will continue the case and make the election null and void. In fact, if somebody files a case, Chief Jester Peiris will a hold on to it, until the next day of the election and make the election null and void. After election SLFP has two years to deal with the loss. Ranil has been ineffective and dangerously cunning, but never was an idiot. He would not do that.

    It is laughable, when the Sinhalese intellectuals laugh at LTTE saying that their extremism has destroyed them. Kettle can laugh at pot, but this is much sillier than that. At least now, do they realize where the country has gone? Are they really crying that LTTE has destroyed itself? 66 years of extreme extremism has pushed the country into anarchy. Sill laughing at LTTE? Pity.

    Further no Sinhala Leader is ready solving the Tamils problem. All what they are saying is, you people lost, King won, now shut up go or else…… Well Nobody knows how long the Kathirgamar’ s successful propaganda, the word “LTTE terrorist” will last. Recently Dayan had written, after death of Kathirgamar, when his wife went and cried in front of the Europe Diplomats, they banned LTTE. Europe is new to the diplomat Dayan, but not for us. Nobody in Europe bring Sirimavo as prime minster when she cries in front of diplomats. It does not work like that, there. Period. Mangala said he got the Condedeleza to ban Europe. That talk is to deny Kathirgamar’ s marvelous effort. But as these entire contestant are still alive, I do not know why Mangala or Kathirgamar’ s wife cannot do the thing one more time. But whoever wants to call “LTTE Terrorist” can happily call it staying inside Lanka after international sanctions start to squeeze Lanka. If somebody challenges that even if EU, India lift the ban, and if they still will call “LTTE Terrorist” well, they deserve the sanction, diaspora must work hard to achieve it. Fore than 30 years JR, Premadasa, Chandrika, King all have mercilessly roasted the north with sanctions. Now, it is time for the south to taste and see it, too.

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    Dear Prof.Laksiri,

    Thanks for reminding us of the instances where the Presidential system of governance have failed. However, there are several instances too of the Westminster system having failed. I would cite Sri Lanka as a prime example. We have seen the failure of both systems in Sri Lanka. Were the systems at fault or the men entrusted to run them? Did we permit mice instead of men to run the Westminster system? Did we permit mice to design and run the 1972 and 1978 systems? Why do we continue to elect mice to govern us, instead of MEN. Is something wrong with us as a people? Are we yet a nation of lotus eaters? Are we a people yet unaware of our citizenship and democratic rights? Are we a people who yet prefer elected Kings to led us by our noses? Are we a people ever ready to be hoodwinked?

    Further, what is missing is a closer look at the US system of governance. It is a fine balncing act between the executive presidency, the legislature, judiciary and of course a dynamic civic society. It has produced an egalitarian society of a quality yet to be seen in human history. It has not only helped generate wealth – health, education,creative thinking, quality of life and money, but also helped deliver the country of slavery, elect a half-black man to the presidency and minimize inequality. It has enthroned meritocracy and cherished its religious ethos. It yet is a very secular State, where all types of people from around the world have found refuge, to become Americans and thrive. Despite being accused of neo-colonialism and exploitative international capitalism, it is yet the most humane country in the world. It is also the most powerful country economically and to a very large extent morally. The moral timber that resonates in the US has ultimately prevailed on its governments and brought excesses to an end. It is a nation that continuously fathoming its moral timbre at various levels of society, because of its freedoms at various levels. The degree of dialogue,debate and discussion that exists in the US is not found to the same extent even in the UK- the home of the Wesminster system and a country without a written constitution.

    There is something in the American political system that others lack. Is it the quality of its people as a whole? Was it the quality of men who designed her constitution? Was it a combination of both?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dear Dr. Rajasingham,

      Thanks for your thought provoking questions. It is difficult and even meaningless for me to try and answer all the questions. However, the thrust of your questioning appears to rest on the following statement.

      “However, there are several instances too of the Westminster system having failed. I would cite Sri Lanka as a prime example. We have seen the failure of both systems in Sri Lanka.”

      Yes, I do agree that, as you say, a ‘Westminster’ system can fail and Sri Lanka is an example for failures. First, I would like to call the future necessity as a ‘parliamentary system’ and not Westminster. Second, the scale and the intensity of the failures of the past Westminster system and the current presidential system are completely different. The present is not a mere a failure but a catastrophe. Third, your favour for some form of presidential system is based on your discontent about the type of politicians that we produce which I may partly agree. The solution to me is the changing of the electoral system and the promotion of new set of politicians. This cannot be achieved in one stroke but in stages. If the cabinet is limited to say 25 then some of the odds can be overcome. Fourth, you tend to give some emphasis on an executive managed through professionals. Yes, I do agree. This can be achieved if the PM and the Cabinet select and promote, say a ‘super civil service.’ What comes to my mind is the way the Meiji reformers sent their civil servants for foreign training and exposure. Research and development (R&D) should be combined and the best talent could be utilized. Let me say something called “Talent 21.” ‘Talent’ means both young and old and ‘21’ means for the 21st century. A parliamentary is not a barrier. Fifth, I think there is a confusion in Sri Lanka about the different roles of (1) the legislature (2) political executive and (3) the permanent executive. It might be difficult to untangle but clarifications are necessary. I am not here talking about the judiciary assuming that we agree on its complete independence. A new constitution should clarify these matters and if necessary strengthened the role of the PM. I have no objection.

      Let me outline few more points on the last matter. (a) Role of the legislature as the policy maker should be reinstated along with the defender of people’s rights, concerns and interests. Parliamentary select committees should be strengthened overseeing the whole functioning of the State and the administration including the Foreign Service. American committee system is exemplary. No MP should be given any budget. Regional development is a task of the Provincial Councils. (b) PM and the Cabinet should plan and implement finances/budgets and development projects with necessary expertise support and should propose necessary legislation. It should answer, responsible and depend on the majority wish of the legislature. (c) The permanent executive and the other commissions should be completely free from politics. This means the 17th Amendment in a better from.

      Let me focus on another necessary aspect and that is the Provincial Councils. The Present allocation of 12 percent of the budget should be raised at least to 25 percent in the immediate future. More than more powers, resources of the PCs should be extended. I give much priority to education and health. The main resource of Sri Lanka is human thus the importance of education. The quality of education depends on health. Both functions are devolved subjects and therefore much emphasis should be given to regional development on those subjects and going deeper into the grassroots level through the local government system. This is the only way to overcome uneven development and eradicate poverty and inequality. I value social objectives.

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        Dear Prof.Laksiri,

        Thanks for illuminating my objectives and ways of achieving them.

        Dr.RN

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    You are so right about the U.S Constitution drafted by eminent statesmen who understood human nature. I think James Madison said “if human beings are angels no government is necessary. But they are not and hence the need for a government. Human beings love power and hence the need for checks and balances. The present bunch of selfish politicians passed the 18th Amendment which dismantled all checks and balances and the first victim was the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake who allowed the violation of the Constitution without a Referendum
    We are a bunch of naive people. They say the wise learn from the experience of others, the ordinary people from their own experience but fools never learn. Lets hope we have at least the wisdom of the ordinary man

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      Dear Mr.Senanayake

      Thanks for your comment that highlights the greatness of the ‘Founding Fathers’of the American constitution. I hope we can find such a group of Sri Lankans to formulate a new constitution.

      Dr.RN

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      My understanding is that some angels did get thrown out of heaven. So much for Madison’s wisdom. I am astounded that you believe that the US Presidents’ have been held back by the so-called checks and balances so meticulously built into the Constitution even after recent behaviour of Bush & Obama. Kidnapping became ‘legal’, as did torture, as we understand it. In fact anything the President ordered done in his capacity as President was ‘legal’ (A Korean-born US judge’s legal assessment). Yet, so many Nazis who obeyed Hitler’s orders were ‘terminated’ without prejudice by the Neurenburg judges for obeying ‘illegal’ orders. This is the world we live in today. What is wrong in the hands of one does NOT become right in the hands of another.

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    What is the position of all the parties as to whether the sitting president can contest for a third time as President.
    Except the JVP none of the other parties have stated their position with regard to this important matter. Does silence mean that the President can contest a third time?,
    Why the silence?. Surely there are many legal luminaries in all the parties who can study the constitution and the 18th Amendment and make a categorical statement regarding this matter.

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