14 July, 2020

Blog

The Spectre Of An Authoritarian Regime Based On A Putschist Model

By Lionel Bopage

Dr. Lionel Bopage

Living in challenging times can be a blessing if changes during that time move one’s country towards a fair and progressive era. Otherwise its society will be cursed for electing ‘charismatic strong men’ who offer much, but actually ruin the country, as has been the case in countries like the USA, Brazil and the Philippines, just to mention a few. Since independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has been ruled in turn by leaders that came from the two majoritarian parties, the SLFP and the UNP, promising much, but in reality, delivering very little. Succession of ruling elites has occurred in 1956, 1965, 1970, 1977, 1994, 2005, 2015 and 2019, but despite the many pledges made by them to ameliorate the economic and social issues that divide us, Sri Lanka has yet to see any such issues successfully ameliorated, let alone solved.

The Constitution stipulates that the sovereignty lies with the People and it is inalienable. This sovereignty is exercised through elected representatives who, during the time of their election, pledge to abide by a specific mandate. However, one could observe unambiguously that, since 1977, most of those elected representatives have not stayed true to their mandate due to many short-sighted, unethical and unlawful influences. This issue continues to persist even today as a fundamental problem that destabilises the country, its parliamentary democracy and law and order. Under the executive presidential system, none of the presidents elected by the people can be said to have stayed true to their pledged mandate.

The reason is not hard to discern. It is the lack of safeguards in the constitution, whether implicit or explicit. The institutions of the country have failed the people in terms of commitments to social justice and social harmony. Democratic institutions were and are being weakened and hollowed out, while some of those appointed to run them are found to be inefficient, totally unaccountable and corrupt. Lack of public enthusiasm for demanding accountable and transparent processes in the running of such institutions has resulted in the enrichment of the clans in power and their political allies at the expense of the nation, leaving the country even more indebted. Since 1956, the country was marred by expanding communal triumphalism, growing corruption on a grand scale and worsening human rights violations. From 2015 to 2019, communal triumphalism was less evident and several mechanisms to make state institutions accountable for the protection of human rights were mooted. Unfortunately, the core features that ensured human rights violations remained.

The current President, who was a key figure during his brother’s reign between 2005 and 2015, was elected  President in 2019 on the pledge of nationalism, law and order, security of the people, efficiency, and no-nonsense government, as well as wiping out corruption and other social ills. Yet, the regime’s actions so far do not bode well for the future. The track record during his brother’s presidency,  their behaviour during the 2018 coup to capture parliamentary power, the arousal of anti-minority sentiments to consolidate their popularity within the majority Sinhala-Buddhist base, and the escalating authoritarian characteristics during the last six months,  ring alarm bells about a path being taken for the repetition of  same. It makes us feel at the very least sceptical of the claims they made during the last presidential election time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the socio-economic and cultural consequences of the unequal and unsustainable economic model that we have been forced to endure for decades. A model in which the political and economic elite of the country astutely and cruelly exploited the ‘national question’ to shift the focus of the masses away from the looting of the public purse. These elitist regimes dismally failed to move the country from a neo-colonial plantation economy to a service-oriented and knowledge-based vibrant manufacturing economy. The tertiary sector engendered an educated populace, but they were not well equipped to transition into such an economic model. Even now, the endeavour to move towards a STEMA (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Arts) based model of education does not seem to have taken root.

Sri Lanka’s indebtedness to the world financial markets and to the Chinese government is reaching woefully unsustainable levels. Yet the regime does not appear to be doing anything to reform and root out those who are benefiting from this iniquitous situation. Tackling this state of affairs has become urgent. Instead, a crisis is being manufactured to divert the gaze of the people, and ethnic scapegoats are conveniently found. It worked out well in the past, why should not it work out now. Shutting down legitimate debates on accountability and scapegoating are the only ways to cover up the economic and social fissures that have been exposed by the pandemic. So, a move away from civil administration to military administration seems to be a chosen option for the ruling clan and their cohorts, who have allegedly engorged themselves on the wealth of the nation.

The term of the last Parliament was to end in September 2020. Using the power vested in the executive presidency, Parliament was dissolved six months ahead of schedule on March 2. Apparently, this was done in the hope of getting a full budget approved after the general elections. Politically, though, this would have enabled the ruling party to:

* gain a two-thirds majority by capitalising on the ongoing infighting and disarray within the opposition;

* use this new majority to rollback the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that limited the executive power of the president;

* remove the checks and balances on presidential powers thus annulling the need to be accountable for their actions and policies; and

* gain freedom to build an authoritarian power structure that promotes majoritarian nationalism.

However, by the time the parliament was dissolved, the virus had already started to spread globally as well as locally. The coronavirus pandemic has prevented elections being held within the constitutionally mandated time. The elections scheduled to be held on April 25 were postponed by the Elections Commission until June 20 because of the virus. The constitution requires the President to bring issues like fiscal expenditure to parliament for approval, till the new parliament is elected. Nonetheless, the President vehemently refused to reconvene the parliament.

The Elections Commission has since declared that the polls cannot be held on June 20, and to hold elections it will need 10 weeks after the health authorities declare the country is safe from the virus. The Supreme Court declined to rule on the 15 fundamental rights petitions that sought annulling the gazette notifications issued to dissolve the Parliament and hold elections on June 20. Despite being argued for ten days, the Supreme Court did not explain its decision. A three-judge bench of Supreme Court in general is not legally obliged to provide reasons at the leave stage. Though Five-judge benches of Supreme Court did not have to, they have previously reasoned out their decisions on matters of vital importance. Considering the national importance of this decision, it would have been better if the five-judge bench of Supreme Court did clarify its reasons.

This is because one could argue that the constitutional provisions have been flouted as the constitution stipulates that:

* the country cannot run without a parliament for more than the mandatory time limit of three months;

* as such, the president has no legal authority to spend government funds after the end of the three months; and

* therefore, the sovereignty of the people and the rule of law have been undermined.

By ignoring the normal democratic procedure as per the constitution, the President and the ruling parties appear to have created unnecessary confusion and distrust about the democratic process. By manufacturing this ‘constitutional impasse’, they appear to be sending a message that current democratic norms might not be equipped to handle a ‘national crisis’ we are currently in. Could this manufactured crisis be a prelude to designing a more authoritarian future?

Meanwhile, the number of human rights violations is on the rise. Most of the victims of these violations are civil society activists, protestors, journalists, opposition MPs and government officials. The announcement made on April 1 that ‘those found to be criticising and pointing to the short comings of the government will be arrested’ is highly disturbing. A typical example was the arrest of a human rights lawyer who had appeared for and been vocal for the rights of the minority communities on what appears to be trumped up terror related charges. So far, he has been denied access to a lawyer which is a breach of fundamental human right.

Police Officers involved in key investigations suddenly found removed from the cases they were handling without any explanation. Officers convicted/prosecuted for criminal offences during the civil war and afterwards have been reinstated and promoted. At the same time, noted human rights violators, who are credibly accused of torture, disappearances and killings, are appointed to top positions of the state apparatus. Further, public servants such as police officers, public health officers, excise officers et al, who are mandated to conduct their official functions face harassment and reprisals, and their tormentors are never brought to book.

All this occur under the President’s watch whose authoritarian tendencies are well known. He has openly stated that the 19th Amendment of the Constitution – which reduces some of the overweening power of the President and gives some teeth to oversight bodies – is a hindrance to the Nation. If he and his cohorts are successful in getting their way and establish an authoritarian state based on a putschist model, one can only expect more human rights violations and, an even greater emasculation of the democratic space and militarisation of the public service.

Soon after the Supreme Court decision, two Presidential Task Forces were appointed. It is evident that the President has used the paralysis of parliament to appoint them. The Chair of the Task Force to create ‘a virtuous disciplined and lawful society’ is the Defence Secretary, retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne. It comprises 13 members, all of them from a military and police background. They are expected to take immediate steps “to curb illegal activities of social groups that violate the law that is emerging as harmful to the free and peaceful existence of society in some places of the country” and to take necessary measures for the prevention of the drug menace. According to the Gazette notification, it will take necessary measures to take legal action against persons responsible for the illegal and antisocial activities conducting in Sri Lanka while locating in other countries”.

Apart from the disturbing Orwellian overtones, the irony of it would verge on the absurd, if the views of some of its members were not so chilling. This task force includes Major General Tuan Suresh Sallay, the recently appointed Director of Intelligence. Credible allegations have surfaced against him (but were never investigated) that he played a pivotal role in coercing a medical doctor, Dr Thurairajah Varatharajah, to give false testimony after the end of civil war in May 2009 by illegally detaining and threatening him. Dr Varatharajah had been treating Tamil civilian victims with fatalities inflicted by both sides of the conflict during the last phase of the war. 

The views of the Chair of this Task Force retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne, on democracy, are very well known. It was during a speech in the presence of the current President and his fans, who were openly applauding and laughing he stated that those who want to change the constitution are traitors and he wants them dead. As if that is not enough, he does not even want to give them a proper burial. He wants Buddhist priests not to attend and give blessings or provide consolation to their grieving families. 

This was when the mask of civility and even paying lip service to the key norms of a civilised democratic society – the right to dissent, political pluralism, accountability, transparency, social justice and communal harmony – dropped. By appointing this Task Force, has the President empowered it to act beyond the Constitution and the law of the country? One can only reasonably conclude that under a militarised authoritarian regime comprising such individuals, key democratic norms will become the very things that they will try and extinguish in the name of building a ‘virtuous disciplined and lawful’ society.

The other 11-member Presidential Task Force was appointed for ‘archaeological heritage management’ in the Eastern Province. While Archaeological Chakravarthi Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero, an academic and hawkish nationalist politician chairs this Task Force, the Secretary of Defence retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne and, Chairman of Derana Media Network, Dilith Jayaweera, a prominent but controversial figure in the pro-regime advertising industry, are among the Task Force members. The entire Task Force comprises Sinhalese and some of them have a background in archaeology. However, the question is how unbiased they would be in assessing the archaeological claims of the Tamil speaking people remains to be seen. The lack of any Tamil or Muslim representatives – communities that collectively make up over 70 percent of the Eastern Province’s population, is a major drawback. Are their rights, linguistic, cultural and devotional practices, and tenure of the land, again to be denied and airbrushed out of the history of the land?

We therefore appeal to all those who want democratic norms protected, and build a country where all citizens live as equals enjoying a fair-go; wish to work towards building an egalitarian society based on the firm principles of equity, social justice, economic freedom and participatory democracy at all levels; who are also desirous of  cleaning up the parliament and bureaucracy from the non-accountable, corrupt, criminal  personages and their nefarious activities. One good country to learn from its experience is none other than Germany. We are talking about the Beer Hall Putsch that ultimately brought Adolf Hitler into power, which brought with it all the subsequent significant destructive consequences.

When Hitler’s putsch failed, he and the Nazi Party manipulated the political system using the national attention the putsch gained in Germany. Hitler held an elaborate march every year on the anniversary of the putsch and used a so-called blood flag to rally the faithfuls to Nazi ideology. A decade after the Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler became chancellor of Germany and went on to lead the country into World War II and to mastermind the Holocaust. It led to the systematic, state-sponsored murder of nearly 6 million European Jews, along with an estimated 4 to 6 million non-Jews. In Germany, there are still some who admire Hitler and his nefarious murderous activities. We know that there were admirers of Hitler in Sri Lanka. And there will be some who will continue to admire such personages that will bring disastrous consequences to the fabric of the whole country and its multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.

Given the above chilling scenario, all citizens of Sri Lanka who value human and democratic rights have an extremely important responsibility: If and when the elections are held, make it your duty to vote against the regime and for parties of the Opposition, whatever their antecedents and weaknesses are. Most of the political parties who have been in power during the last seventy odd years have nominated their old guard and want them to be re-elected. If you do not elect candidates that you know for their probity, then the outcomes of the ‘new regime’ will be no different to the outcomes you have experienced during the last seven decades.  This is an appeal for you to reject those who are trying to trample our democratic rights under the guise of building a mono-cultural nation, fraying even further the already fragile communal harmony.

If any candidate has a character blemished with corruption, thuggery or criminal activities, it is your duty and democratic right to reject them. That is how you can become accountable to the future generations of this wonderful land. You have a better understanding of who are the most capable and honest candidates, especially at the local level. Irrespective of the political party, if you find anybody with an unblemished character, better suitable and better capable of serving this land of ours, consider it your duty and responsibility to elect them so that we all could start a new journey, as a result of which the future generations could live in peace, harmony and abundance.

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Latest comments

  • 26
    9

    Deny 2/3 to these barbarians at all cost.

    • 4
      10

      Mr. GATAM,
      .
      2/3 already assured my dear child.
      .
      Don’t you see opponents withdrawing…..?
      .
      Don’t you see opponents quarreling with each other…..?
      .
      It will be a white wash.

      • 2
        2

        Ms Senali,

        No white wash for the barbarians.

        People have more choice this time. PR system works to give seats to the smallest parties first (if they get more than 5% of the vote). JVP vote will increase from 3% in 2019 which comes out of the SLPP vote.

        Only Buddhist voters and Upcountry Tamil voters are divided. Other voters are not.

        Economic disaster will bite people hard by August. The gap between GoNa winning 52% in November 2019 and August 2020 is too long to use the momentum. MaRa contests this time with same old crooks, not fresh GoNa. Far less popular.

      • 2
        1

        S. C. Pasqual

        “Don’t you see opponents withdrawing…..?”

        Probably the candidates got wind of 1000 body bags the Fascists demanded and received from ICRC.

        “It will be a white wash.”

        Or White vans.

    • 7
      4

      This nation will never learn it right.
      :
      Who on earth would give votes for them ? Now with all being manipulated in favour of them, make every effort to grab the votes of the people – singing the song that they contained the VIRUS spread.
      :
      Folks, please rethink before going to vote for any bps in the next election. If they are close to Rajakshes, they should be avoided. These people would suck the blood of the easy targets.

      • 7
        6

        Ranil W is working hard to give Rajapakse gang a 2/3 majority.

        • 1
          0

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

          “Ranil W is working hard to give Rajapakse gang a 2/3 majority.”

          So is mummy’s boy Sajith Premadasa.
          Whether the people chooses to give the the fascist a 2/3 majority or not his brother 10 to 30%, the new bagman his nephew, the Attorney General, the DIG, the Army Commander, using piles of files …….. know how to make life difficult or easy or rich for the 225 …. at the parliament. Horse trading and veiled threat starts at the same time the polling opens.

      • 3
        3

        leegamalli

        Did you hear that three policemen in Aluthgama have been interdicted for not carrying out their duty of not arresting the autistic boy for violating quarantine procedure and not for assaulting him. Will the victim become the accused.

        DrGS.
        now I would like to say, I respect you today more than had been before. I dont care about few others that repeatedly attack about your selective memories, but yours exposed me a lot.

        Who on earth would give votes for them ? Now with all being manipulated.

        Your man GS the LIAR & Manipulator of truth would. Why not

        • 1
          2

          Kali,
          .
          not just policemen but all others in various other sections lack of proper traing.
          First these men should be provided with due trainings, can help rebuilding a better future.
          :
          Though politicians give lipservices, after grabing votes, nothing seems to work well. Either people are wrong or the politicians a sa whole or both… Let s give the order to MONSANTHO company to do the job by producing genetically modified srilankens for a better future.

          • 1
            1

            leelagemalli

            You are way off target just like the Grandad who is SENILE. You cant blame him as he is nearly 80 and all the departments are shut. His only claim to fame is an imaginary knship to SHAKSPERE. He is now talking to Prof Davis ( god knows who that is ) in is sleep.

            Desperate Stuff.

            Did you hear that three policemen in Aluthgama have been interdicted for not carrying out their duty of not arresting the autistic boy for violating quarantine procedure and not for assaulting him. Will the victim become the accused.

            We know Grandad is an OLD FOOL and if you want to join the club just produce more of the same

            DrGS.
            now I would like to say, I respect you today more than had been before. I dont care about few others that repeatedly attack about your selective memories, but yours exposed me a lot.

        • 2
          3

          Leelagemalli, carry on your good work. Intelligent people make good assessment of others, which imbeciles cannot appreciate. Don’t take notice of this fellow who is of unsound mind, with inability to understand English.

    • 8
      0

      Dear Mr. Bopage,
      Thank you very much for your well balanced and informative article.
      You have stated “If any candidate has a character blemished with corruption, thuggery or criminal activities, it is your duty and democratic right to reject them.”
      100% agree with the statement.
      Appointing a convicted criminal (currently out on bail) as his Senior Adviser, Appointing a person who had been barred by the court from holding any public office as his Secretary, Disgraceful activities such as throwing chilli powder & attacking the Speaker to degrade our Parliament, Taking part in a coup with the former President to become the PM of SL illegally, Appointing retired army personnel and friends without relevant qualifications to run State institutions & Diplomatic Services, and Dissolving previous parliament illegally by the previous President who is a candidate in this election are a few examples amongst many other corrupt practices exercised by some of the members in the current regime as described by the writer.
      The day light “Bond Scam” robbers, allegedly taking a Penthouse as a bribe by a prominent Minister, Good Friday debacle, Appointing “Right Royal “friends from his old school for State institutions and Diplomatic services without adequate qualifications, Wheeling and Dealing to safeguard friends, relatives & political opponents,

    • 8
      0

      Gatam,

      Most probably 2/3 majority will be denied .

      But if they get a simple majority, they know how to convert it to a 2/3 majority.

      They did it earlier and it was how 18th amendment was passed.!

      • 1
        1

        In 2010 they won 146. From there they went up to 164. SLPP cannot get 132 seats this time. So even with that increase, it cannot get 150. Don’t forget MR won 58% in 2010 presidential election. GR won only 52% in 2019.

    • 6
      4

      “If any candidate has a character blemished with corruption, thuggery or criminal activities, it is your duty and democratic right to reject them”. This is exactly what Prof. Hoole said and hooligans with allegation of swindling and murder started to attack him. No authoritarian ruler whether Idi Amin, Gadaffi or Mugabe maintained his grip without murder of dissidents, suppression of expression and amassing wealth, and Gota will not be an exception to it. But he must understand that what ultimately will happen to him will not be different from how they came to their end. One day international community will authorize foreign troops to remove him, like those dictators.

      • 4
        2

        Yesterday you said

        Did you hear that three policemen in Aluthgama have been interdicted for not carrying out their duty of not arresting the autistic boy for violating quarantine procedure and not for assaulting him. Will the victim become the accused.

        *** It was damn right LIE

        And now

        “If any candidate has a character blemished with corruption, thuggery or criminal activities, it is your duty and democratic right to reject them”

        *** NO man NO if they have ORGANISATIONAL & LEADERSHIP Qualities like Gora & MR they will be an asset to the Country..

        I am waiting for your secret admirers of which there are many to come forward and give you support.

        • 2
          1

          Prof. David, just ignore this fellow. He has a poor knowledge of English to understand what is written, and jumps to conclusions due to his unbalanced mental state. If you go through what he writes, you will find that it is disjointed, full of confabulations and delusions, typical of a long standing schizophrenic. This is the problem with modern management of allowing these people on parole.

          • 1
            0

            Ir is getting a bit desperate for Grandad( GS) and now he is starting to talk to the wall( Prof David) sign of being Hypoglycemic.
            Old age can be cruel

      • 2
        1

        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
        Do not try to whitewash Hoole. According to an official translation presented in a TV discussion, Hoole has told not to vote for SLPP.
        Hoole is the man brought by Sumanthiran and placed in the EC to carry out the agenda of Terro rist National Alliance. He is doing the job assigned to him tarnishing the image of independent Election Commission. Another disaster of ‘Yahapalana’ Government.

    • 3
      6

      Lionel
      It is said Melbourne weather is unpredictable. You are also like that and change your tunes according to your liking to the ruler. I believe in cold weather your brain stopped working. Historically you have contributed to drag Sri Lanka for many decades. In early seventies, you led scores of young brave vulnerable people to death bed. Country went back 20 years. In eighties, again, you did same and scores of young and educated lost lives. Again, country was dragged back 10 years. University system was corrupted with your henchmen and students lost many years of their academic programs. Still they are cursing you. Then you supported barbaric LTTE while innocent people lost their lives. You have no right to talk about decent lawful governance. Your law is something you created. That is why you went to jail twice breaking law of country. Let me tell you something. If GR and MR break the law, why not go to Supreme Court. Even you are not accepting SC decision. That is how much law abiding you are. Name anyone who did not have selfish or corrupted aims in politics. You can not find a single person.

  • 5
    0

    Pleading to voters who brought us to this state ??????

    • 1
      1

      C
      Could you please advise him on whom else he should plead to, or what instead he should do with/to the voters.

  • 5
    0

    in a nutshell, sad sorry Sri Lanka is an f…..d up nation mainly thanks to the racist petty-minded SLFP and now the criminally cum racist SLPP.
    =
    let bygones be bygones forget the 1956 era curse and concentrate on what’s currently occurring.?
    =
    1. soon after the poll for the position of the big bad wolf the elected crafty cunning nariya [ fox ] has within a short period of time has created and is still creating lots of bandu pandu and he has exposed his weakness in
    how to administer and run the growing economy successfully..
    the yahapalayana government were forced to vacate their offices 10 months before the due time period.
    2. the world did not like the selection, the Lankan rupee depreciated itself the cost of imports went up the now suffering foolish masses begar hitting their heads on gadol [ hard stones ] but it is and now too late the bird had been skinned alive.? along
    3. then came the gift from the paramour china’s gift to the world the destroying coronavirus.
    long curfew lock-down hours have made the suffering masses lose their sources of employment and even if a few had the requisite cash to purchase the essentials to feed their families

    • 1
      0

      they have to be given the thrashing beating of their lives for the villainous actions and activities they have and are indulging in ever since the fateful black day of 16th November 2019.
      depriving them of a 2/3 majority is not a good enough option and a total annihilation will be the most welcome desired order of the day.

      • 2
        2

        rj1952,
        This is the wish of those who bragged that they cannot be defeated but eventually got a humiliating defeat and suffering from ‘Inferiority Complex’.

        Quote “depriving them of a 2/3 majority is not a good enough option and a total annihilation will be the most welcome desired order of the day.” Unquote

        16th November 2019 is the dawn of a new era for Sri Lankans. End of the ‘Dark Age’ started in 2015.

        Quote ” …the fateful black day of 16th November 2019.” Unquote

  • 4
    0

    Dear Dr. Lionel Bobage,
    A very good analysis of the politics in Srilanka. A few families and two nationalist political party destroyed this country for seven decades. As you say there is a duty for every citizens of this country have to think rationally and humanly before casting your votes in this election. If you fail to do that, you may not get another chance to get vote again. A very good example is USA presidential election of Trump. Today USA is loosing in all grounds because of him and his arrogant behaviour. This is a Buddhist land. This land had enough blood. It cannot tolerate any more bloodbaths. Please make sure that the Parliament and Judiciary are saved.

  • 6
    0

    Gota’s attempt to form a government on putschist raises suspicion in the eyes of the public. His pledges are rotten with his actions of appointing corrupt criminal military officers to the Presidential Task Team. Benevelent depotism is quite different from a government that is to form a government on putschist model which Gota should realize. Gota’s voice reflects a fanatic Buddhist system ignoring the aspirations of the ethnic minorities which is not a leader’s qualities. What is the guarantee that there will be no bias and discrimination to other communities and to provisions that are enshrined in the Constitution from a Presidential Task Team which is engaged with thuggery and corruption when they dictate terms on issues affecting health, economy of the country, free movement of the public, international relations, personal freedom, etc, all of which is certain to ruin the country. Such a government on the putschist model will only increase the ego of Gota & his Task Team and will not be beneficial to the country. It will be similar to Pol Pot regime in Cambodia, Kim Jong un of North Korea, Marcos & Imelda of Phillipines and abundance of abuse of human rights can be seen. This will only deny foreign investment for economic development and inflation of currency to the maximum, other than mortgaging the country to China and clown like Wimal Weerawansa can be seen dancing.

    • 1
      1

      AYATHURAY RAJASINGAM,
      Aspiration of Demala people is to grab North and East of the country which was the cradle of Sinhala Buddhist civilization based on Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa Kingdoms destroyed by ‘Para’ Dravida invaders to create a separate State for the descendants of Dravida laborers brought by colonial rulers to Yapanaya.

      Aspiration of Wahabi Muslims is to turn Sri Lanka to a ‘Caliphate’.

      Definitely, President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe will ignore these aspirations.

      Quote “Gota’s voice reflects a fanatic Buddhist system ignoring the aspirations of the ethnic minorities which is not a leader’s qualities.” Unquote

      • 2
        0

        Eagle Eye,
        It appears that you are still under the illusion that Federalism is Separation. Remember Federalism means binding together. It is an expansion of democracy where minorities can retain their identities while integrating with the Sinhalese. You have failed to realize the dangers of Gota’s evil motive of suppressing your own basic human rights.

  • 6
    0

    Dr Bopage has made a plaintive and evidence-based appeal for the voting public to do the right thing.

    I sure as heck hope that this bunch of villains will look inwards and reform, but it is at the end only a forlorn hope.

    Sri Lanka is destined to slide down the precipice that our crafty leaders in the last seven decades have engineered.

    Such a beautiful and bountiful country, with a mostly gentle, kind but sadly under-educated and misled population, now in ruins. So sad.

  • 3
    0

    Theoretically, ‘The Constitution stipulates that the sovereignty lies with the People and it is inalienable’. However, democracy doesn’t work when the electorate does not embrace it in its true sense. The philosophical lack of safeguards in the constitution is only of academic importance.
    .
    Opportunist politicians have used the ignorance and desire for short-term benefits of the electorates to maximum advantage. Even guardians of Law are not blemished.
    .
    Let us stop finding excuses since our problems run deeper than any COVID-19 could possibly cause.

    • 2
      0

      unblemished – it should read. Sorry.

  • 3
    0

    A fine narrative by Dr.Bopage, but religiously confined to bourgeois ethos. What the polity would seek to know are: (1) How many seats in support of the incumbent President? If two/thirds minus, how will it be made plus? How unconventionally will the budget embody the President’s programme of a strong military? Will the President see it as basic for a “Disciplined Society”?

    To unify Germany, Bismarck worked out a strong military budget in 1863. When the Liberals threw it out he advised the Kaiser “Approval or no approval, proceed with the budget”. Parliament was sidelined and the King alone counted. What followed? The strongest military in Europe, Germany unified, first world war, Hitler and second world war. What the world now sees is economic might of Germany.

    What is the difference in Sri Lanka? Are President and Parliament becoming one. Will the spectre that haunts, descend on the country?.

  • 4
    0

    Though president recently issued an order to public servants not to take part in political activities, I remember at least twice he took part in politically related activities when he was the defence secretary. Everybody who talks big about what was expected him forgets that he is the only leader of a country who came to power with a history of alleged murder, corruption and fraud. Every world leader who later got a bad name had a good character before his election, but 6.9m people of SL voted a bad character to do good things when he is elected.

    • 3
      8

      RohanaW
      I voted for Gota to save the country from RW’s Federal agenda which I believe is the beginning of the next round of bloodshed. Hopefully we can sleep comfortably for a further five years.

      Soma

      • 3
        0

        somass

        Oh the Awakened One save the Sinhala/Buddhists from themselves the people can take care of themselves.

        “I voted for Gota to save the country from RW’s Federal agenda which I believe is the beginning of the next round of bloodshed.”

        Ranil, Sambandan, Sumanthiran, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, Sajith, Wimal, Dhinesh, Assgiria, Malawathu, ….. Gnanasara, all the saffron brigades, Gota, Mahinda, …. Shavendra, Kamal, …. and their 10000 fellow single handed generals, Tamil Diaspora, LTTE Diaspora, Sinhala/Buddhist diaspora, ………………. have nothing to do with Federal state.

        It would be decided by Hindians in Sultanate of New Delhi.

        Where were you when five An-32s and five Mirage 2000 violated the airspace of the “SOVEREIGN STATE” whatever that is? Were you hiding behind your grand daughters? Was Shavendra hiding inside president’s residence? Was Kamal hiding behind VP’s fat bum?

        Hindians changed the state structure, especially the stupid Sinhala Only language policy which was a great pride to the Sinhala/Buddhists fascists after 31 wasted years and attempted to devolve ( anathema) powers to ALL provinces. Further they told Sinhala/Buddhists this is the Sinhala State of Hindia, and got rights to use oil tanks and … other things, perhaps All Sinhala/Buddhist F**t and No S**t .

        Big mouth Sinhala/Buddhists talk big then your leaders go begging for grant or loans which you never seems to have repaid.
        Please mute yourself in case if Hindians changed their mind (they have offered $1.6 billion grant/loans).

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    “In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the People.”
    ― Eugene Victor Debs

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    Looks like we already have a screw up. RW says WHO gave Lanka more than USD 200 million for covid management. Pavithra says she received only USD 2 million. Who should we believe RW ??? Pavithra???? or WHO.??????

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      Who should we believe RW ??? Pavithra???? or WHO.??????

      it’s simple…they all got 10%cut along the way, including the Ethiopian head of WHO

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    If Gota doesn’t get 2/3rd Majority in a democratic process, he has already bought 2/3rd majority in a democratic process.

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    Lionel did good analysis. But he didn’t stress enough of Ranil’s games (The last government) which completely destroyed the faith of Lankawe on democracy. They organized the 4/21. They saved the War Criminals and staged them into President and Prime Minister. They passed 19A only to Ranil have the PM for 4 1/2 years. They didn’t strength parliament. Not just the human right violators, no real criminals, including the one carries Pepper Water Cannon, were not prosecuted.

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    SJ, Astrologers and the Good Lord ! . What do you think ????

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      I cannot seriously comment on either proposition, but simply say that neither had been of much help to anyone I know in politics.
      Thus the known devil, the voter, is safer I will say– even better if voters exercise their democratic right by spoiling the ballot papers when there no good choice before them.

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