19 May, 2024

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The Menace Of Political Nepotism: Sri Lanka’s Downfall

By Udara Soysa

Udara Soysa

Since gaining independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has faced numerous challenges on its journey towards progress. One of the key factors hindering the nation’s development has been the pervasive influence of political nepotism. Over the years, politicians have, regrettably, allowed their offspring and political heirs to ascend to positions of power, ultimately contributing to the country’s decline.

From the early days of independence, political dynasties have taken root, leading to a system where familial ties often hold more weight than merit and competence. The consequences of this nepotistic trend are visible across various sectors, including governance, economy, and social welfare.

One glaring issue is the perpetuation of a ruling elite that prioritizes personal gain over the welfare of the nation. Political leaders, keen on securing their legacy, have often paved the way for their children to assume key roles within the government. This practice has resulted in a dearth of fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, stagnating Sri Lanka’s progress on the global stage.

Furthermore, the infusion of family members into important political positions has fueled corruption and undermined the democratic principles the country aspired to uphold. The unchecked power wielded by political offspring often leads to a lack of accountability and transparency, creating an environment conducive to corruption.

The economy, too, bears the brunt of political nepotism. Incompetent individuals with little experience or expertise are appointed to crucial economic positions, exacerbating issues such as mismanagement, fiscal irresponsibility, and a lack of strategic planning. The repercussions of such decisions resonate throughout the nation, affecting the livelihoods of ordinary citizens.

Social welfare programs, intended to uplift the disadvantaged, have also suffered due to the prevalence of political nepotism. Instead of qualified individuals spearheading initiatives that address the pressing needs of the population, political brats with limited understanding of ground realities are entrusted with critical roles, leading to inefficiencies and inadequate outcomes. Even Sri Lankan foreign service has suffered due to the same.

The erosion of meritocracy has consequences beyond immediate political circles. It undermines the public’s faith in the democratic system, fostering a sense of disillusionment and apathy. Citizens, disheartened by the blatant favoritism and cronyism, lose confidence in the ability of their leaders to govern in the best interest of the nation.

To salvage Sri Lanka from this trajectory of decline, it is imperative that the nation break free from the shackles of political nepotism. Reforms that prioritize merit-based appointments, stringent checks and balances, and a commitment to fostering a new generation of leaders untainted by familial connections are crucial for the country’s resurgence.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka’s struggle against the detrimental effects of political nepotism remains a critical battle. The nation must confront this issue head-on, instigating reforms that prioritize competence, integrity, and the welfare of the people. Only through such measures can Sri Lanka hope to reclaim its path towards sustainable development and prosperity.

*The author is a practicing attorney at law and a lecturer in law and ethics

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    Easier said than done, when people seem to think that corruption should be tolerated and crimes should go unpunished.

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