4 July, 2020

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The Portfolio Madness (Thathva Pissuwa) At Diyawannawa & New Challenges To Political Stability

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Three-fold Failures of the Executive Presidential System

The failure of the Executive Presidential System and the chaos it can bring has been dramatically demonstrated in a different manner over the Sirisena-Mahinda attempted coup that took place recently. Previously, Sri Lankans observed a different kind of failure in this institution, namely, failure due to the abuse of power that a constitutional arrangement which concentrates so much power in one individual can bring. What I am going to refer to here is a third kind of failure and this is the potentiality for dysfunctional instability, which that constitution can bring.

Thus we observe three kinds of failure in the Executive Presidential system that was brought in by former President JR Jayewardene-the first incumbent of that exalted chair- power abuse, failure when the President and Prime Minister gets locked in conflict, and chronic dysfunction within the parliamentary party in power.

The 19th Amendment

Actually, the third type came into work only after the 19th Amendment that limits cabinet to thirty members. Previously, there was no such limit. JR consciously and on his own will avoided making up a large cabinet. On the other hand, Mahinda utlised the opportunity to compose as large a cabinet as possible to satisfy the cravings of our individual MPs. Keep everybody happy. It became happier when the former President turned a blind eye to the serial corrupt practices of his men.

“Thathvaya,” in Our Society

The social and cultural reality is that Sri Lankans are a status-craving population. The Sinhala word for status is “thathvaya.” From village level ordinary teachers want to become a headmaster or deputy; or even head of section may sometimes suffice. The government clerk has thathvaya; hence rural people prefer their children becoming clerks rather than turning into more profitable and useful business entrepreneurs. This is one reason why government offices have become favorite locales for giving employment. If a child becomes a medical doctor or administrative official – or ajantha thuma in the old Kachcheri- dominant era, the family gains thathvaya. Parents are identified as father or mother of so and so who has thathvaya. Caste became so important mainly because of thathvaya. A guy who has money or who owns a shop is a mere ‘mudalali mahattaya.’ The latter didn’t enjoy so much of thathvaya but villagers respected the mudalali because of the latter’s money power. In turn, the mudalali tried to gain thaththvaya by wearing a coat.

In time to come, the moneyed classes who did not generally have status gave their daughters in marriage to a government servant who did have all the thaththvaya and the government servant, who was broke those days as now he is, gladly obliged, snatched the daughter with the dowry. The young man becomes a status -giver thathva daanapathiya to a status-less family. He is a poor God- though a statusgiver.

Member of Parliament

The Member of Parliament and Minister were soon added into the pantheon of status- gods. This is why he insists on a fleet of cars and jeeps and a security ring even in circumstance where nobody will want to waste a bullet on the wretched fellow. Manthreethuma is the new god. The crucial thing is that he must be on the governing side. Hence, we have the jumping culture among politicians of our country. MPs do possess the wherewithal and the power to give and to take. They press their leaders to give them more and more such power.

Example of Range Bandara

Now, just take a look at the MP from Putalum – Range Bandra. At a meeting a few days, ago he is reported as having said that he is disappointed he did not get a cabinet portfolio and that he will shortly take a decision with regard to that human rights denial. Yes, indeed, becoming a Minster is a fundamental human right for our MPs today. The UN will have to revise its list of human rights after such developments. Ironically, our political leaders have adopted the practice of seeking courts intervention against a legally-immune President by claiming human rights denials and they file action against the state represented by the Attorney General. Now, that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Barber Salon

The most ingenious concept formulated by Mahinda Rajapaksa was that of the barber salon. The traditional barber saloon has a swing door through which any customer swings in freely and swings out when he wants to. Mahinda Rajapaksa said famously that as far as he is concerned, his government club was like a barber salon where MPs can go out and return as they wished. They go onto the opposition side and that is allowed. They come back to him and that, too, is allowed. He will, in fact have no objection in giving them a portfolio upon their return.

To Mahinda, there was no legal hindrance about cabinet numbers. Did he not go to town then? Rationality issues in allocation didn’t concern Mahinda; ballooning public expenditure and fiscal imbalances didn’t. It was hard to find any of his MPs sans a portfolio.

Free Car Permit System

This is also how the free car permit system became such a ridiculous and extravagant practice. When a MP gets a portfolio, he gets duty free car permits and government-payed fuel. They could go for any joy ride of their choice- gedara yana gaman or otherwise. The portfolio and the cars became a full package of thathvaya. If he gets an overseas trip that is compounded thathvaya.

Dangers of Fractionalisation and Faction -forming

I pity Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for having to confront such momentous status issues among his men in addition to the problems he has with the crazy president. Under the 19th Amendment brought in by yahapalanaya in accordance with the goal of yahapalanaya, the number of cabinet Ministers became fixed at thirty. How is he going to keep his men solidly behind him? How is he and the party hierarchy going to prevent fractionalisation and break away?

‘There is also the ever present danger of a section within the government forming a faction with a power broker. An impatient but ambitious MP or Minister, I am told, is trying to re-group wuth his own faction. The objective is to develop a new power center within the United National Party.

In such circumstances, making decisions about a Presidential candidate or Prime Ministerial candidate is fraught with much political danger. The UNP leader and party hierarchy has to be on alert and turn their radars on this man.

It is clear from the above that we need a drastic overhaul of our constitution. That is a survival necessity for Sri Lanka. But how? When a 2/3 majority is needed? This is where a bipartisan decision must be agreed upon for no future government can perform under the current status of affairs.

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  • 13
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    So beautifully written article about our addition to status in Sri Lanka ..
    Now it is said cabinet will be expanded into 45 members to include these thathubawa pisso.
    Good luck Sri Lanka ?
    You are going back gear in history and all countires around us laughing at us ..
    Think about economy of Bangaladesh in 1970s and 80s and now it is growing rabidly with good econmic policies..
    I know they have more factory contract from many international companies than us ?
    Why we fight each other for petty things .
    So; our investors go there ?
    Please do not destroy the country for mean politics.

    • 9
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      A well written luculent article. Thank you Shyamon.

      • 0
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        Shimon and GH: The biggest status addict is Washington-backed, Bondscam Ranil and Penthouse Ravi K. who have turned parliament into a Cesspit of Corruption and horse trading with their buddy Mahinda Jarapassa. Pathetic and shameless Ranil and Ravi cling to power and have turned the Parliament into a cesspit of corruption in order to cling there like limpets and won’t hand over to the younger generation.
        Bondscam Ranil should be impeached for looting the Central Bank and Financial and hate crimes against the people of Lanka. Attacks against Muslims were organized when the Bondscam Report came out to distract everyone, just like 1983 riots when JR was in power.

        Today a lot of fake news about drug wars and attacks on Muslims is being generated by Bots to distract people from Bond Ranil’s cabinet of corrupt clowns. Also the old Divide and Rule ploy – a new constitution for TNA – in being wheeled out to distract people from the Crashing economy, debt trap and rupee because of Bondscam Ranil’s corruption and economic policy which is designed to benefit his America First and the Global 1 percent and asset strip and sell off Lanka’s strategic lands, marine, transport logistics infrastructure and energy and food security. Sri Lanka will soon be beggared – Haiti of the Indian Ocean if Bondscam Ranil is not impeached.

    • 0
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      Critical Thinking: I do not know whether you are genuine JVP or MCC pay master paid you for this. AKD and Vijitha HErath must lose this time, “as JVP every time pay games withthe country. JVP has become Capitalist and enjou the super luxury life inside the parliament and JVP has forgotten their rotts and the very violent beginnings.. I guess you are writing from the west, pauid by MCC and JVP thinks you are really JVP.

    • 2
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      Shyamon Jayasinghe,

      RE: The Portfolio Madness (Thathva Pissuwa) At Diyawannawa & New Challenges To Political Stability

      “It is clear from the above that we need a drastic overhaul of our constitution. That is a survival necessity for Sri Lanka. But how? When a 2/3 majority is needed? This is where a bipartisan decision must be agreed upon for no future government can perform under the current status of affairs.”

      Thanks for the succinct summary. This is the “Gift”, not the English word, the German word ‘Gift”, (poison) to the nation by the JR, and in Sirisena, we have the Madman Dr N M Perera, presciently predicted in the executive presidency

      So, everybody are after their Thahvaya,, and Sirisena has earned his Thatvaya, Titles of Traitor, Quisling, Sevelaya Pala-Peretaya, Patholaya, Pachaya etc

      Yes, Sirisena must be impeached, for the illegal and unconstitutional coup, and the executive presidency abolished before second Madman becomes the executive president

    • 4
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      I’m in favour of a power whittled down presidential-system with a single 4-year term ……….. for the simple reason that’s the only way the minorities have a say in electing the country’s ruler. And the “president” has to be beholden to the minorities to the “right extent/proportion” to have a chance of getting elected.

      And also the proportional-representation.

      If not, the landslide victories of the past of both the two main Sinhalese parties UNP/SLFP with a 2/3 majority will give the “majority-group” carte blanche power to do any crap as they wish. If past history is any guide, curtailed power is always better than unbridled power ……. because our “rulers” have always used power they acquired to do unmitigated crap. Sooooo …….. in Lanka weak governments are always better than strong governments.

      Even good ol’ Mahinda’s earlier aura of invincibility was torn to shreds and brought down to earth by the ill-fated putsch when he couldn’t marshal the “required power.”

      “Long stretching” governments always end-up in lazy-complacency and corruption ………. most governments do their “good deeds” in the first year or so. Even “Yahapalanya’s” best deeds were done in the first 100 days. So did the Whitlam-government of your beloved Oz; Shyamon!

      In Lanka we gotta keep everything short, sharp, sweet and focused ……… if not to end up in disaster.

      How the hell did I end-up as the “Kavum-eaters” whisperer in a goddamn forum! ………. “suicidal thoughts;” I’ve them myself! ……… comes with the territory of being born a Lankan ………..

      ” The most troublesome bequest is his father’s station as the neighbourhood’s “nigger whisperer”, expected to talk down any suicidal resident “who’d done lost they motherf—in’ mind”. ” — (The Sellout – Paul Beatty)

    • 3
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      Shaymon J.

      Re: Range Bandara

      He was offered Rs 500 million and a cabinet post in the illegal and govt with the Fake PM by the coup conspirators. He refused and exposed them,

      If the same deal was offered to Ravi Penthouse, he would have accepted it, the way he accepted the Penthousefrom Alosius.

      Ranil with the rotten balls, goes along with Sirisena with dissolved balls , goes along removing the honest Ranga Bandara.

      In the meantime, the illegal and unconstitutional coup conspirators are at large.

      Sri Lanka, a Land like no other.

  • 12
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    Thanks Mr Jayasinghe, your article brought me back to my nostalgic feelings (mid 70ties to end 80ties) back in my home country. But each time travelling to the country today, I notice how it has been changed to this day.

    No respect and dignity as had been then are part of the society. Alone the manner some politicians hold their speech on public stage make me as if people are verbally attacked. The language is they use on the public stage today WAS no allowed those days in the country, even broadcasts were thousand time more polite than what we hear today.
    The wording alone – take for example the guys of Wimal Weerawanse nature – being used on public statements have become familiar to people. Those days, the kind of sinhala rhetoric were used only by rascals that spent plenty of their time on village culverts. Surprisingly, the kind of Wimal weerawanse rhetoric should have polarized a lot also in the MOST literate Western province of the country, making him a LAW maker CLAIMING over 300 000 or more votes.

    Are people (majority in the country today) deaf and blind? Why then social indicators of lankens claim much higher percentages?

    Yes, indeed thathwaya-STATUS became above anything and everything those days in the counry. But looking back I feel those days people in general respected one another just because they were taught to obey law and order than it is the case in today’s context. Dont you think so Mr ?

    Those days, Buddhist temple and school placed a greater role in villages to keep them alert with law and order issues. Respect and dignity stood out above anything else. Yes govt servants earned also a greater respect more in rural society. Teachers and retired teachers were like GURUs to those areas. They were the ones worked diehard to keep those communities together.

    Like it is the case in the US and Europe today, no psychologists and sociologists had ever been part of lanken society, – yet today, not many psychologists are available in Sl: As far as my info are concerned some few dozens of councilors with or without proper knowledge are seen working in the country. People often mix it up yet today the role of a psychologists with that of a psychiatrist.

  • 6
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    There is nothing wrong with the “Executive Presidential System.” UNPers are against it for selfish reasons as they have no leader who could face a nationwide Presidential election and win.
    RW also abused his power with the consent of the President by introducing 19A.
    Much to our delight, the 19A has become a boomerang to BOTH its masters.
    Ranil/Maithri restricted the Cabinet to 30 for a single government anticipating that the unity government will stay until 2020, so that he will have a Cabinet of no-limit.
    As per writer’s title, “there are new challenges of political stability” FOR UNP cos’ I don’t see any challenge to country’s stability.
    Though the President has pulled out from unity government, President, PM and the Cabinet work as one entity as all the three are dependable on the Government Service. In other words, for the delivery of government services, they are required to work together.
    According to our Constitution, while PM is the Head of Cabinet, the President is the Head of State and Head of Government both, who has the power to “overpower” his Cabinet and PM.
    I understand UNP is contemplating to seek a clarification from the SC (or AG?) about increasing the Cabinet portfolios to 45 which is against the Constitution.
    As per their own 19A, Cabinet can have only 30 Ministers which should include Ministerial portfolios of President and PM, too.
    In my opinion, the calculation should be like this.
    President has 2 Ministerial portfolios (1. Environment/Mahaweli, 2. Defence) while the PM has 5 Ministerial portfolios (1. National policies, 2. Economic Affairs, 3. Resettlement and Rehabilitation, 4. Development of Northern Province, 5. Vocational Training, Skill Development & Youth Affairs.)
    Therefore, the number should be 30 – 7 = 23. The rest of the Cabinet which is over 23 is unconstitutional.

    • 3
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      Champa…………….. profession

      “UNPers are against it for selfish reasons as they have no leader who could face a nationwide Presidential election and win.”

      It was SLFP which opposed the presidential system of governance, when in 1978 JR introduced the new constitution. In the Parliament elections UNP won 140 seats, Tamil United Liberation Front won 18 seats and SLFP won 8 seats.

      Do you think the weeping widow opposed the Presidential system in 1977 for her selfish reason as the SLFP had no leader who could face a nationwide Presidential election and win?

      Please feel free to ignore my comment as I understand your problem.

      • 1
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        Hindian Vedda, the founder of the ……… profession.
        I am not an SLFP supporter. Therefore, I don’t care what they promised.
        Sirimavo Bandaranaike was defeated for disregarding poor people’s misery who had nothing to eat. The defeat was not based on any constitution crisis.
        Her opposition to Presidential system is understandable as she was the one who introduced 1972 Constitution.
        Things have taken an ugly turn in Sri Lankan politics while you were asleep. At a time Parliamentarians are on sale for the highest bid, only hope for people is the Executive Presidency (the position.)
        Given the present scenario, I don’t think any Sinhalese, who is in his right mind will agree to abolish the Presidential system.

  • 7
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    Some UNP MPs seems to be interested in going for an election to capitalize from the boost received from Sirisena-Rajapakse fiasco but MPs who came to Parliament for the first time do not want an election because they are more concerned about their pension as well as pension that some of their family members get. I think pension for MPs should be scrapped so that MPs take decisions taking people whom they were elected into account rather than their own gain.

  • 5
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    The only qualification Ranil has to be PM is that he is the leader of the UNP and has held that post for 30 years ( a record for a democratic party anywhere in the world) despite never leading the arty to victory. He does this by stuffing the leadership committee and having an undemocratic constitution for the UNP.

    If Ranga Bandara was leader for 30 years Jayasinghe may also file a fundamental rights action claiming High commissioners job in Australia !

    Everything depends on getting the spoon to your hand. Then you can serve anyway you want. Strangely Jayasinghe has no understanding of the real politics of this country.

  • 4
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    some people in this forum are always white washing RW, RW is a power hungry “leader” who doesn’t have a good image even within his party. He is a serial looser. This time too he thinks he has defeated sirisenas plans. It is the people who defeated sirisena _ MR plan because they wanted to preserve democracy, definitely not to bring back RW.

    Range Bandaras case there is a valid reason to go for a fundamental rights violation not like what this authors tries to portray as if Range has suggested that becoming a Minister his his fundamental right, it is a misunderstanding, in case if Range Bandaras appointment was denied by sirisena then there is a fundamental rights violation. If sirisena had blocked the appointment of Bandara then it must be purely due to personal revenge where sirisena has abused his power to take personal revenge for Range Bandara exposing sirisenas broker being involved in horse racing.

  • 0
    1

    Sri lanka has the same presidential system that FREANCE and RUSSIA have, and in both countries the PM is a figure head. Only in Sri lanka both time after 1994, secondly after 2015, Ranil wanted to push away CBK and Maithripala and become the PReident. Executive president is so unexcecutive, The speaker, LEgislator full of Nationalist List MPs and the Central Bank Thief appointed by the PResident are more powerful thant the NOT so executive president eventhe SEVEN referres could ovr power him. They know they did with the help of the Constitutional council and the FEDERAL governor is living near by the TEMPLE TREES. You people are making fortunes with their MCC money because you do not know Anything about the now vanoshng SINHALA-BUDDHIST CULTURE. On the other hand they began NEO-LIBERAL conversion the day JRJ met REAGON. NOW it is almost complete. I wish MS and MR the best. because Ranil instead screwing up Rajapakses he himself became a thief. That is eveidence to say that Sri lanka is still looked after by Gods. They may have demolished Libya, IRaq etc.,etc, tried with North Korea I don’t think that will be easy with Sri lanka. They bssjed MR at their brest. Now, they want MS in the same boat. PEople should understand. People like you must be prosecuted for being TRAITORs That is as Sri lanka doe s not have money to send Helicopters full of armed soldiers and pick you up.

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  • 1
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  • 0
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    Just check who are the most loud MPS in the parliament are. Ranil appointed more of his as National list MPs. One SHE had accusations Handing Rs 2 million FAKE currency to Cinnamon guardens BOC branch and they caught it. Yahapalana courts acquitted the but the “CULPRIT’s” story is different. Three jumped sides from SLPP are all NATIONAL LIST. One say he gave Rs 100 million (how did he earn it) to another MP to do politics. Ranil appointed even ALUVIHARE’s as NAtional list. RAJITHA IS A NATIONAL LIST. HE is USING TERMINAL OPATIENTS for his advantage and how do they are accountable to the voters. Besides, we do not have MPs accountable to the electorate. They are accountable to the ELECtoral district and Money collected via Construction proejcts (Every ministry does their own construction and the Construction and Engneering Corporationis KAPUT) are given to Voters. Thise NEw ALUVIHARE’s are saying we are relatives but we do not do that kind of things.

  • 1
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    Thanks for a well- written masterpiece. Provocative for new thinking.
    Sri Lanka has been made ungovernable

  • 0
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  • 0
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    I am unable to connect the 30 Ministers limit with the Shyamon Jayasinghe’s Thathaya. Palitha was refused a minister post by New King. FR is not about not getting the minister post. The FR is about New King denying Palitha’s freedom of speech. His access to minister post cannot be controlled by what he said about New King. Any untrue information is libel. New King may be entitled to sue Palitha in that case. So, it is not clear why Shyamon Jayasinghe thinks that Palitha should not go to court. Shyamon Jayasinghe may not connect Ranil’s promise to New King that none of New King’s actions would be challenged in court, thus Ranil did not challenge his removal from PM office too. Further, Ponny too is in that situation.

    Let’s look at situation under which 19A introduced the 30 minister limit. The limit was introduced in different circumstances. 19A was formulated before August 2015 election. Ranil engineered it. He was not sure which party would win the election. 19A was offered in lieu of three major Jan 2015 election promises on the constitutional change: 1). In lieu of removal of EP; 2). In lieu of reintroducing FPTP election system; 3). Constitutional solution for Tamils. There is a saying in Tamil that ” A mountain size stomach pained to deliver a mouse”. For all the Hayoo Khooyoo shouting done in the Jan 2015 EP election with CC candidate, the delivered was only 19A. Ranil had secured his position when he got only 105. But all others were let in the middle of the ocean by 19A. Especially it was mountainous disappointment to Tamils. TNA is already split. It is yet to see what will happen to TNA in a General election.

  • 0
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    The 30 minister limit also Ranil’s technology. He locked SLFP and UNP in a forceful union of National Unity Government by that clause. One of condemnation in Jan 2015 election on Old Royals was on their Laissez Faire corruption with 1978 Constitution’s unlimited ministers and the way of drunkard life those ministers lived on people’s tax money. S.B.Dissanayake, Rambo, Hakeem, Rishard are some classic examples of that life. In 2015, as it was widely accepted that corruption would be controlled and Law and order would be established, the Colombo streets needed to be cleaned of ministers to avoid if one accidently hit on someone else and it is being a minister and one pay dearly for the accident. So UNP and SLFP, without knowing Ranil’s deep mind agreed to control Ministers number, thinking they were controlling Corruption, waste and undue power yielding. But Ranils object was never to punish the corrupted criminal. But if UNP didn’t make a good harvest in the election, he could still be in government by the allowing minister to be increased in Unity National government. Because a SLFPyer was the president, even if the UNP had lost in August 2015, UNP Ranil would have been made to be the PM. Ranil was made PM in Jan 2015 too. But 19A protected him that once Ranil is made PM he could not be the PM for 4 1/2 Years.

    But many things disturbed Ranil’s arrangement. The first cause is it was Ranil who gave the baton to Old Royals to beat him up. Ranil resisted prosecuting Old King in any manner. This naturally made him unavoidable alternative when Yahapalanaya started to fail on deliver any of its premises other than “NO leader, NO Commander, No Soldier would be prosecuted”.

  • 0
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    For two years Old King feared of consequences to form a political party, but thanks for Ranil provided Old King every opportunity to test on that aspect and confirm his correctness. When everything was checked for safety Old King staged the constitutional coup. This was in contrast on the earlier two projected army coups 1) one was after Jan 2015 election and 2). One was just before the death of Kegalle Jayamanne. The constitutional coup was stage under the safety net of perceived Presidential authority. The Coup was in two stages 1). Use the EP power to remove Ranil, the PM tentatively. 2). Then immediately establish the parliamentary majority by Donkey Trading and legalize it. The Main currency in Donkey Trading was Minister Posts. Creation of cabinet took place in lighting speed to draw in as much as possible MPs before any Joint Comedy Club members start to protest for them minister post too. So the priority was to those who switched the parties. It was a very innovative idea.

    But still It failed. Now UNP is back on the seat. Now EP is not giving minster posts for those who cross the border in the parliament or to those who criticized him. EP created two situations. 1).First he refused to sack the minority party from cabinet accepting the NCMs. A lawsuit made him to do it. 2). He hoped to have an election and make Ranil lose majority, so he swore not to appoint Ranil as PM. The second lawsuit killed his hope of election so he accepted Ranil as PM. Now, whimsically, he is refusing to appoint certain parliament members as ministers. It seems a third lawsuit is necessary to make him to change his mind. So I don’t think Palitha lawsuit is anything to do with Thathaya.

    But why Ranil would not like Palitha going for court is another subject. We cannot deal things like that in 300 words comments.

  • 0
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    A cabinet of 30 means 30 Subjects and not 30 persons.
    One or more persons could be Ministers for the same subject. For example, ‘Highways’ could be a subject. There could be a Minister for Highways (a) covering 4 of the 9 provinces while Minister for Highways (b) covering the remaining 5 provinces.
    Following this rule, every member of parliament of the Government could be a Minister

  • 0
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    I am not sure if I agree with the basic premise of your article. Given the crassness of the overwhelming majority of the current crop of politicians, typified by the likes of Weerawansa, what status is associated with a ministership today? To make my point in a different way, will any parent in their right mind ever encourage their child to become a politician in Sri Lanka?
    I think what’s associated with a ministership in Sri Lanka in this day and age is not ‘status’ but ‘power’ with perhaps the easiest and fastest means to accumulate enormous amounts of wealth. It’s akin to winning a lottery.
    It’s sad and unfortunate for the country but the reality is the position of a politician even at the top of the hierarchy is diminished, by their own conduct, to such a low level, that no decent person with any self respect wants to go anywhere near.

    • 0
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      Kamal
      Oh yeah, Weerawansa again.
      I am sure you keep the so called decent “mastermind of the Central Bank bond scam” like Ranil in high regard as he represents Colombo elite society and berate Weerawansa as he represents the ordinary Sinhalese society.
      For your information, 90% of the population hail from ordinary families and the majority are Buddhists. They are the people who will decide future politicians irrespective of party politics. Then you will see where those you keep in high regard based on social status will land.

  • 0
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    Shymon J
    In a Constitution number of Ministers should be stipulated based on functional requirements or political requirements? Isn’t this clause in the 19th amendment which permits a larger Cabinet under a silly “national” government concept nothing but an obvious subterfuge to have an unlimited number of Ministers thus formally acknowledging and incorporating Rajapaksa’s barber saloon into the Constitution? What kind of Constitution making is this? The purpose of 19 was to transfer some powers from President to Prime Minister OR from Sirisena to Ranil?

    Soma

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    This Thathvaya is implanted to SL brains from the childhood. The writer hasn’t mentioned the SL hierarchical schooling system. I very well remember my university days where the students came from high class colombo schools never get mixed up with the rural folks. In our time there were no district basic intake. All who got higher marks get selected irrespective of district. All have the same intellectual capacity, the difference were schools and English.

    This is why i said the search of Thathvaya starts at the childhood and schooling.

    This has now changed to different dimension. Political power and power of wealth. I think this is worst than before. When Senanayake s , Bandaranaykes and lately Jayawardena were ruling the country has disciplines. No political enimies. Premadasa and Rajapaksas changed to worse.

    Some people still use English as a weapon to differentiate and show Thathvaya. This is regrettable. I have many things to say but i will take my finger off from the keypad

    • 1
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      Jay;
      Politicians seem to be taking to Politics, not to Serve Sri Lanka and Her People, but for the Perceived Thathvaya of being a Politician!

      They are envious of those, who through Intelligence and Hard work at School, pass Exams and become Teachers, Doctors, Engineers and Accountants!

      It is the Sri Lankans who treat Politicians as Special People, who are creating this Anomaly!
      The Result is that Politicians have come to think of themselves, not as Servants of the people, but as Their Masters to be treated with Special Respect!

  • 1
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    President want to keep presidency for future and ministers fighting for ministerial posts. Altogether nearly everyone trying to get personal gains and narrow party achievements. There is a discussion in the country executive presidency should be abolished.This is depend on parliament at the end.
    Considering these situations I would like to invite Colombo Telegraph and other media people to come forward and tell the people in detail (including data) about politics,economy and social performance after the independent. Specifically after 1978 with the introduction of executive presidency. Compare about parties and parliamentarians. Their positive sides and negative sides so that voters may have more details for rational thinking. Just reporting incidents and publishing some articles is not sufficient to achieve the good democracy. We need some impartial but influential discussion that would address nearly all people in the country. Capable people and influential organisations should be involved in this process. Otherwise you reports and some of us make comments and still the situation is same. Same actions make same results. If we need different results we need different inputs. So if we are not creative enough, hard to expect positive results. May be we have to report and discuss same matters again and again to inculcate people and make rational thinking a habit. You can add many more things.

  • 1
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    Down the vine comes the story that MS did what he did on and after 26 October because he was assured a majority will be found. In a weak moment, MS revealed the going market price for fence jumping.
    .
    Cabinet positions are a form of bribe. Remember at one time we had a deputy minister for Peradeniya Gardens! The perks are bribes. We have come to accept these as facts of life because of the culture of corruption/nepotism/impunity. The voters must reject the fence jumpers but we do not.
    .
    Sathasivam Viyalendiran was a Tamil National Alliance’s (TNA) candidates in Batticaloa District at the 2015 parliamentary election. He was elected comfortably. When the 26 October ‘crisis’ was at its hottest, Viyalendiran jumped fence to MR-side. He will be punished by the electorate.
    Other electorates must punish fence jumpers in a similar way.

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