4 October, 2022

Blog

The Three Crossroads – Part II

By Austin I. Pullé

Austin I Pullé

The Second Crossroad: The Amendments Factory

The usual suspects have proposed a draft 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. If one asks, how does this proposed amendment contribute to making Sri Lankan society a fairer and more equitable society, the answer has to be “not in any way” The draft, with its pretentious deployment of toothless fourth branch institutions infested with parliamentarians  is irrelevant to the needs and aspirations of the People. These amendments do nothing to curb the excresences of perks of parliamentarians and will not relieve the entropic pressures on a document that should be consigned to the dustbin. 

It should be remembered that this abhorrent lot of MPs which includes a convicted murderer, extortionist and similar worthies who raised their hands to support the dictatorial 20th Amendment will be supporting the 22d Amendment. They have long forfeited their right to make constitutional amendments. Besides there is a brand new constitutional draft, typically withheld from the Sovereign People, that will supposedly bring freedom, prosperity, and peace to the country.

So what is the need for an amendment? The proposed amendment will do nothing to prevent children of parliamentarians being appointed as diplomats, will do nothing to eliminate the outlandish perks and privileges of the MPs, and to stop state resource plunder. What next? A cricket stadium in the Sinharaja Forest, a Chinese harbour in Arugam Bay, and an airport in Wilpattu? The waste paper basket is the only proper receptacle for the proposed 22A.

Third Crossroad: True and Meaningful System Change  

“System Change” is the anguished demand of mostly everyone. The system change they demand is not for a Hitler but for governance and accountability that acknowledge that all three branches of government are delegates of the sovereign People. Will system change be easy? Will an existential struggle be easy? The first obstacle is the path dependent form of electioneering. Our politicians were way ahead of the Brexit propagandists and the MAGA promoters in fine tuning dog whistles at the “Left Behinds”. The counties that Biden won account for 74% of America’s GDP but because of the dysfunctional electoral college system, he won the presidency by a mere hundred thousand votes distributed in three battleground states. The “Left Behinds” in Sri Lanka can be counted on to oppose bitterly any proposal to make equality among all citizens a reality. Other bitter opponents of meaningful reforms are professional groups, professional politicians, trade union mafias in the CEB, Ports and other areas of patronage employments, the professional boot lickers and brown-nosers will fight tooth and nail at what they correctly perceive as serious threats to their rice-bowls. But unless these enemies of the common good of the people are confronted and vanquished, the people will be fooled again into thinking that there will be a new dawn. An amendment, if it is to be worth the paper it’s printed on, must address and deal with the following:

1. Law, Justice and a Functioning Legal System

a) Three of the best judges in recent memory were Justice George Samarawickrema, Dr. A.R.B. Amerasinghe, author of the ignored book on judicial ethics, and Justice Mark Fernando. Had they not been appointed by a president, the decisional law would have been poorer and the decline in judicial ethics may have begun much earlier. The quality of other judges, including Jaya Pathirana, appointed by the executive has been, to put it mildly, uneven. The present system of appointing most judges from the minor judiciary or from the attorney general’s office can result in unseemly scrambles for promotion. Allegedly, the temptation to render judgments in favour of influential persons, or curry favour with a disreputable head of judiciary in a divorce proceeding or the government has not been successfully resisted.

In England, prime ministers are mindful of the importance of a blue chip judiciary. John Major appointed Tom Bingham as CJ despite misgivings about the latter’s left of center views. However, tradition and respect for convention were regarded as not the answer to preventing poor appointments. The result was the establishment of the Judicial Appointments Commission “JAC”). As a perusal of the JAC website shows, the JAC selects judges on merit and any lawyer can apply for a judicial position. The brilliant Lord Sumption made a transition from the most successful barrister in England to the UK Supreme Court through this mechanism. 

Sri Lanka will benefit from the establishment of such a commission. A Sri Lankan JAC will put an end to the alleged  toadying whether to a corrupt chief justice or president and will encourage good lawyers from the private bars in Colombo and the provinces to apply. This will be a good development in quality control. The JAC should also be charged with administering they system of granting the credential of “President’s Counsel”, a credential that does not mean much given the political considerations that largely influence the grant of this honour.

Ridding the country of part of the contempt of court law relating to scandalizing the judiciary is an imperative. Delirious at the practice of being addressed as “your lordship” even outside court, some judges have forgotten that they are simply the servants of the People under Article 4. Sri Lanka should follow the  practice of advanced countries, where judges are simply addressed as “Your Honour’. Likewise the practice of addressing uncouth goons as “Your Excellency” must the changed. “Mr. President” is the way the most powerful man in the planet is addressed.  No “Your Excellency” for the semi-literate buffoons of the future who are in any case are mere servants of the sovereign People. 

b)There is a crying need for a fearless multidisciplinary board to supervise and investigate professional ethics complaints. Widespread anecdotal evidence shows that the self-regulation of the learned and accountancy professions has not operated to protect clients and consumers. Sri Lankans abroad regularly complain that if a lawyer in their countries provided the quality of services available in their countries, those lawyers would have been the subject of severe sanctions, if not disbarment, for breach of ethics. If affluent clients are treated with disdain by lawyers, how would poor litigants be treated? A multidisciplinary board established by the Constitution to receive and act on professional ethics complaint is an urgent necessity. 

Sri Lanka also needs to replicate legislation like the Singapore Legal Profession Act. Professor Jeffrey Pinsler of the National University of Singapore, an expert on legal ethics, could be invited to draft the legislation that will free hapless litigants and patients from the arrogant, unethical, and dismissive way lawyers and doctors treat their clients. 

2. The Legislature

Confidence in Parliament is at an all time low. Some necessary reforms are as follows:

– Sri Lankans are entitled to have their country respected and honoured by the international community. Worldwide media publicized the assaults and mayhem engaged in by a feral group of parliamentarians when they flung chilli oil and bibles at the Speaker of a previous parliament. The world laughed at the barbarians, the local cringed, and life went on without any retribution. High time to put a stop to this nonsense. Both a code of conduct for ministers and one for members of parliament is an urgent necessity. An independent body similar to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority set up by law in the UK will ensure that decorum and decency will be restored to proceedings and conduct by MPs. Conviction by a trial court should immediately result in a convicted MP from participating in parliamentary proceedings.

– Term Limits: No one who has been in Parliament for more than 15 years cumulatively will be eligible to stand for election. If the 15 year period ends while the person is in parliament, his term will automatically end. A successor may not be a relative.

– Retirement Age: 70 years. 

– Emoluments to consist only of a salary reduced by the amount of days of non-attendance in the chamber. No duty free automobiles, pensions, utilities payments, luxury housing and security details. Traffic stops to allow a convoy of ministers to move should be disallowed.

– An unambiguous cap on the number of cabinet and state ministers. 

– Intra-party democracy with no leader allowed to head his party for more than 10 years. Replacement should be by secret ballot by a convention consisting of heads of grassroots organizations and sitting members of parliament.

– Anyone should be able to contest a seat. Nominations to be awarded by a select nomination committee consisting of a quota of grassroots heads and MPs. 

3. A Secular Modern State

The outsize and negative role of the Buddhist clergy in the political affairs of Sri Lanka should be obvious to all. The nadir of this influence was the power exercised by the powerful businessman-monk  who ordered the assassination of one of the most educated leaders of the country and the group of monks who prevailed upon this leader to tear up a pact that would have established a very diluted form of devolution in the form of the district development councils. The historical results of this hysterical demand are the white elephant provincial councils, an Indian invasion, and a decades old civil war. The recent allegation by a former president that a monk badgered him into granting a pardon to a brutal murderer of a teenage girl in return for money, if proven to be true, should remove any doubt about how the teachings of the Buddha have been polluted by the demands and behaviour of some members of the clergy who have managed to grab the headlines. It is hard to find anyone who can give an account of the precise content of the constitutional provision giving foremost place to the Buddha Sasana. As many eminent Buddhist commentators have remarked, the Buddha Sasana does not need safeguarding by a Sri Lankan government. A secular constitution that removes state patronage of Buddhism and encourages the clergy and laity adopting a lifestyle that makes the country a shining example of a Buddhist society will be far more effective. 

4. Good Governance– An Enforceable Fundamental Right

Given that a fair majority in the legislature is selected from the most worthless and infamous of Sri Lankan society, it is no surprise that most provisions of the constitution are breached and fundamental rights ignored. The sovereignty of the People, enshrined in Article 3, is imperilled when the heavy machinery of repression deployed to quell protests is withdrawn only because of protests by foreign ambassadors and international organizations. The Prevention of Terrorism Act must be repealed in toto.. 

All the three branches of government are nothing but delegates of the People pursuant to Article 4 of the Constitution. Citizens are entitled to have officials comply with the constitution. Accordingly, there must be an enforceable fundamental right to good governance. A breach of collective cabinet responsibility must entitle a citizen to petition the court to declare the offending minister expelled from the cabinet. Likewise, the untrammelled power to ignore constitutional provisions relating to the use of the National List. Nepotism and the abuse of the National List appointments should be eliminated.

5. Post-Facto Review of Legislation for Constitutionality and Judicial Review of Administrative Action

The present system of pre-enactment review of the constitutionality of bills should be replaced by the system of post-facto review that prevailed until the first republican constitution. The ripeness doctrine exists because courts are ill-suited to decide abstract issues. They are best able to apply constitutional principles when there is an actual controversy presented. The present system of pre-enactment review invites lawyer and the courts to speculate in ways that could be limited by the imagination of the courts and the lawyers. If there is an actual case and controversy, the court can focus on the application of the constitutional provision to the facts. The analysis provided by such a focussed attention is far superior to the present system.

Early in his presidency, the previous occupant, whose governance style was to throw an enraged tantrum and abuse and threaten, proclaimed to cowed down government employees that any verbal instruction of his should be treated as a government circular! Someone aggrieved by this verbal presidential circular could bring a fundamental rights action but there is no guarantee that she would be allowed to proceed. A much better alternative is to re-invigorate the jurisprudence of writs such as the writs of quo warranto and mandamus which appear to have fallen into desuetude. 

6. Elimination of the Provincial Council System

The provincial council system is the most obnoxious result of the Indo-Lanka Accord. These councils impose an unaffordable layer of government and bureaucracy on the treasury and do little to reduce the burdens of the average citizens. As the Shrek look-alike now in the cabinet who was convicted for extortion while being a Chief Minister shows, more paperwork and licenses mean more demands for bribes. A Chief Minister of the Northern Province did very little for the people being in a trance reciting his genocide mantra. The Indians must be persuaded that the dire economic situation of the country cannot afford to keep these set of white elephants in operation, and that provincial councils must be eliminated.

7. Foreign Ownership of Land in Sri Lanka

Coming down the pike will be a demand from the IMF and the World Bank that, as a condition for rescue, Sri Lanka abolish restrictions on foreign ownership of land in Sri Lanka. When this writer once attended an “Ease of Doing Business” meeting convened by the World Bank in Singapore, he found that Sri Lanka was penalized for imposing a tax on foreign ownership of land. The irony was that the worthies who compiled the index in the Bank had not reminded themselves that Singapore itself which they ranked No 1, as well as all other Asean countries, do not allow foreign ownership of land. 

A constitutional amendment barring long leases and outright sale of Sri Lankan land to foreigners could have avoided the humiliating 99 year Hambantota lease and the sale of Colombo Port City land. The only way to deflect the battering ram that would be wielded by the donor institutions is to enact this urgent constitutional amendment.

8. The Management and Supervision of State Owned Enterprises (“SOEs”)

Mismanagement, patronage appointments, and corruption bleed dry the Sri Lankan treasury. A single SOEs management board of independent and qualified business persons and professionals should be established with an explicit mandate to eliminate the ills of SOEs. This SOE management board must be  must be authorized to prevent patronage appointments and even to privatize some SOEs or enter into management contracts relating to the SOEs. A strong whistleblower system based on bounties for rewards must also be put in place. 

Sri Lankans born just after independence as well as the current generation have united in disgust and despair over the ruin that has befallen the country. Unlike those who are stoned out of their minds by the opium of ethno-national madness dished out in generous quantities by the well-known culprits, these people has opted to take at last the road less travelled and will discover like Robert Frost “that has made all the difference.” Unlike the Lotos Eaters of Tennyson’s poem, the present group associates with his line in “Ulysses” and is determined “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.” Sri Lankans should never forget the debt they owe to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much in their quest for system change. Their struggle should not be  in vain, their heroism never forgotten, and their sacrifices always appreciated by a grateful people.  

Related posts:

The Three Crossroads – Part I

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    Austin, excellent article not just criticizing but providing with the right answers. These changes should have been implemented by now, if not very soon, for us to not just survive but thrive , as a nation. Hope one day, some of the changes you suggest, will see light.

    • 11
      8

      old codger

      1) Your Prevarication and Deception to AVOID Austin Pulle’s Cogent Questions relating to Ranil Wickremesinghe who for long you have been FAWNING over is PALPABLE.

      2) You are also ‘continuing’ to AVOID responding to the DISINGENUOUS answer you gave ‘Sinhala_Man’ on the permission granted for the docking of the Chinese research ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ in the Hambantota Port – “Again, it wasn’t Ranil who granted permission, but Gota.” Why don’t you come CLEAN on this at least now?

      3) Do you really think readers of ‘Colombo Telegraph’ are so NAIVE to accept your NONSENSE that your HERO Ranil Wickremesinghe “was unable to implement in the past” his purported “economic principles” (whatever they maybe!) “due to Pohottuwa- instigated protests”?

      4) Similarly you also spew the ABSURDITY that “For the last two months, RW has done his job.”! What “JOB” are you talking of? Is it perpetrating VIOLENCE on persons exercising their DEMOCRATIC RIGHT to PROTEST and ARRESTING some of them under the Draconian PTA?

      (continued below)

      • 4
        12

        ” “Again, it wasn’t Ranil who granted permission, but Gota.” Why don’t you come CLEAN on this at least now?”
        All manner of military vessels have docked in our harbours. The Chinese vessel would have come and gone with nobody even noticing.
        India created an embarrassing situation by objecting on flimsy grounds. What RW did was to tidy up a mess.
        Denying permission would have meant more than going back on an agreement. It would have been seen by various parties as an unprovoked slap in the face of China.
        RW is no friend of China, but not a fool to make an enemy of it, when the country can least afford it. The reason given was most diplomatic.
        Anyone can scold another for not doing what he/she wants.
        But what matters is whether what was done was in the best interests of the country.

    • 11
      9

      old codger (continued)

      5) Do you really think the TEMPORARY absence of fuel and cooking gas queues is a MAJOR Achievement of your Hero? This is a SUPERFICIAL reading of the ground reality. For example, does the weekly fuel QUOTA meaningfully resolve the problem? Fisherfolk throughout the country continue to protest due to the shortage and excessive price of kerosene. There are also allegations of CORRUPTION in the purchase of fuel and cooking gas which have not been laid to rest.

      6) His much hyped western links translating to MEANINGFUL economic assistance and FDIs is proven to be a MYTH. Have you not noticed that the cost of ESSENTIAL items has gone through the roof? Is it not the FEAR syndrome that is keeping a lid on things – how long this will CONTINUE only time will tell?

      7) All your Spin will not take away the reality that MOST people in this country find it difficult to SEPARATE Wickremesinghe from the ‘Rajapaksas’. You are MISLEADING people Big Time by HIDING under ANONYMITY.

      Amrit Muttukumaru

      • 7
        8

        AM,
        “For example, does the weekly fuel QUOTA meaningfully resolve the problem? “
        Well, what do you expect? Do you not understand that the country is bankrupt? Why do you not say a single word against the author of this economic disaster? In these circumstances, whatever income is available MUST be used firstly for priorities like fuel and food.NOBODY but the IMF gives loans to a country that can’t pay back. Even India says it won’t give us more loans BECAUSE IN THEIR OPINION, THE SITUATION HAS IMPROVED.. You seem, with your allegations of “temporary ” respite, to know more than the Indians!
        Please, AM, stop making a clown of yourself on a public forum. It seems your knowledge of economics is even more rudimentary than your expertise on bond scams.

      • 3
        9

        AM,
        “You are MISLEADING people Big Time by HIDING under ANONYMITY.”
        Okay, okay, I hereby declare that I am just another old codger and not important at all. Even less important than Amrit Muttukumaru of Colombo 7. I employ half-a-dozen underpaid journalists to write all the snappy comments under my name. They are under strict instructions to avoid CAPITALIZED words . I am even less handsome than AM of Colombo 7.
        Satisfied?

  • 9
    13

    Well, Mr. Pulle, CT’s new contributor, has got off to a good start. He is awesomely knowledgeable about everything from music to Shrek. I may not agree with everything he says, but it is clear he has no irrational vendettas.
    He certainly isn’t an old codger, going by his photo. I do hope nobody will demand his ID number.

    • 2
      5

      old codger,
      Your, ‘I do hope nobody will demand his ID number’, is not for men of our age!

    • 14
      13

      old codger

      1) You CAGILY say “I may not agree with everything he says” referring to Austin Pulle. Is it by any chance his reference to Ranil Wickremesinghe who you have been for long FAWNING over?

      2) Are you referring to Austin’s COGENT poser:

      “Is any appointment of a person to Parliament pursuant to Article 99A valid when such appointment is made after the one week period mentioned in Article 99A?”

      and his comment:

      “ It was a full bench the Supreme Court that affirmed his right to remain as prime minister when the 2015 president sacked him unconstitutionally. It should be a full bench that confirms that he was not an intruder into Parliament but a legitimate holder of the current office of President.”?

      3) If you decide to respond, could you WITHOUT PREVARICATION reveal where you STAND in the view of a LARGE number of people that they find it DIFFICULT to SEPARATE Wickremesinghe from the ‘Rajapaksas’?

      4) Even when responding to ‘Sinhala_Man’ on the permission granted for the docking of the Chinese research ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ in the Hambantota Port, were you not disingenuous when you told him – “Again, it wasn’t Ranil who granted permission, but Gota.”? Why don’t you come CLEAN on this at least now?

      Amrit Muttukumaru

      • 14
        11

        old codger

        The problem is that you are HIDING under a PSEUDONYM. Since Austin Pulle is TRANSPARENT by revealing his IDENTITY you are able to say “going by his photo” he “certainly isn’t an old codger”! Why don’t you give the opportunity to readers to discern whether you really look like an ‘old codger’ or not? What is holding you back?

        Amrit Muttukumaru

        • 8
          9

          Amrit,
In the name of God (not sure if God exists, seeing as nothing seems to be working against Mahinda Rajapaksa as of today). , please allow us to continue in our anonymity. It is our right, if you have issues against us please talk to CT authorities. I don’t think we’re asking for too much… that’s the least.
Not only our beloved commenter OC, more than 80% of our CT commenters are hiding behind their fake names. Rajapkashes are famous no different to Jamal Khashoggi killers. However their human shields protect them forever. Each of us has our own reasoning behind it. The world knows about our reality, but the people of your nature and you may be secretly working for your people to surround us.
.
Yours and Sinhalese man’s may be unique, we have never molested anyone in CT or anywhere.
You can check our archives again. Above all, we know very well how murderous our people have become. They are not afraid to name who they are. They are close to demons and their henchmen. Not only Lasantha Wickramatunga, but many unknown people were killed by Rajapaksa’s gunfire all these years. None of their extrajudicial killings have yet been investigated in favor of the victims.

          • 5
            9

            LM,
            Some people think shooting the messenger is the best solution.

            • 2
              3

              OC
              Be fair.
              If the message cannot be shot down, if the sender cannot be shot down…what choice does one have?

          • 6
            7

            LLM,
            Morning
            Lawyers protect lawyers, Doctors Protect Doctors and Medical Practitioners, so does any professional – even Politicians protect Politicians in our lucky land!! You lick mine and will do well to return the favour to your entire satisfaction!!!
            THAT’S MODERN SRI LANKAN MOTTO!! NOT RECTITUDE AND ALLEGIANCE TO RULE OF LAW??!!
            Even one-time Law Professor, University of Colombo (UoC), would agree without reservation!!
            No matter, what all Sri Lankan professionals (?) follow that Adage without questioning, whatsoever, without exception?
            Engineers, Professors, Psychiatrists, Palm Readers’, and Psychopaths’ et all are no different??!! Mean in Sri Lanka??
            No surprises there!!

            • 3
              4

              Mahila,
              .
              Thanks for your comment. However, every time I read your posts I am reminded that you must be somewhere where the sun hasn’t set yet because you always bring up a “good morning”.

              I can’t agree with you that I collect mine for my own satisfaction. We had revealed long before you posted on CT that we were working with the Rajapaksa mafia. As of today; Certain business communities in Sri Lanka and Rajapakse sympathizers living in Italy, France, UK and other countries are silent.

              I agree with you that our practitioners are no different from the “Lindalanga Association” in Sri Lanka.

              The highly literate province that is the Western Province proved to the world how the rest of the country engages in their politics to dispel the false opinion of Rajapaksa. SLPP candidates’ voter gains in that province made it clear. So both VOTERS and POLITICIANS are equally to be blamed.
              A man who used to work as a petrol shed helper then grabs power as “President” and works wonders, but in the end that “Covid panacea maker” – many in that hellhole thought it was no different from the schizophrenic who ruled Kaliyamma. .
              After the Middle Ages, Europeans were able to draw a line between religion and politics. However, South Asians still struggle to do so. This later became evident with the dawn or democratic regimes.

              • 2
                0

                Readers Apologies.
                :
                I have corrected my typos in my previous texts/ I had some KEYBOARD issues all these days….
                .
                sorry for the incconvenience caused…..
                .
                ” can’t agree with you that I collect mine for my own satisfaction. We had revealed long before you posted on CT that we were working AGAINGST the Rajapaksa mafia. As of today; Certain business communities in Sri Lanka and Rajapakse sympathizers living in Italy, France, UK and other countries are silent.

              • 1
                0

                LLM,
                Good morning.
                (That is the time of day I am in right now – probably late night for you, which is unavoidable)
                “The highly literate province that is the Western Province proved to the world how the rest of the country engages in their politics to dispel the false opinion of Rajapaksa. SLPP candidates’ voter gains in that province made it clear.”
                Hope you remember 1994 election – CBK – the only province that didn’t overwhelmingly vote for her was UVA – most backward – and Moneragala district topped???
                These things do happen, nothing to do with questionable education w/o important History SRI LANKAN EDUCATION imparts?!! Or intelligence???!
                Importantly, Social pressure and how much of Currency was thrown around, state of Voter inebriation, swing emotive sense of individuals than rationale/consequences!!??
                That why, BR Kaputas or 20% or party backed by him emerges victorious!!
                People should eradicate this practice!!??
                Aragalaya as a first step demand, legislation to ban any influence by
                1. 5000 Rupee currency,
                2. ¼ bottle of Gal/liquor and
                3. Chicken Biryani for election day lunch
                Become ‘TABOO’, equally as TRANSPORTING voters to election booths??!!
                Aragalaya must demand change immeadiately!! no 2/3 majority and referendum required??!!

        • 5
          3

          “The problem is that you are HIDING under a PSEUDONYM.”
          It is only a problem for those who do not know the rules.
          There are people who abuse the space to slander and sling mud at others.
          That is what is bad. Bad even under one’s own name.
          Cannot we debate based on data and analysis?
          Why should who said what matter more than what was said?

          • 3
            2

            “Cannot we debate based on data and analysis?”

            look who’s talking.
            Of course we cannot accept or trust any communicate from none Chinese official media. We can only accept communicates from Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, full stop.

          • 3
            3

            To all who are hunting the commenters:

            No problem. CT authorities know the correct email address of every fake candidate.

            They are the ones who know the most about the commenters. So where is the problem? More than 80% of us hide behind false names. We have reasons not to reveal the truth publicly. The whole world is well aware that the RAJAPKSE mafia net has infiltrated their diaspora microcosm as well.
            .

            • 2
              0

              Not exactly fake candidate, but the ones with pseudo names

          • 2
            1

            SJ,
            Agreed, No disputes – what was said or done prevails over Who??
            Charlatans and Comedians are the exception!!!??

      • 10
        9

        AM,
        I didn’t notice you making many outraged comments when Basil Rajapaksa was appointed a National list MP. Under 19A, he couldn’t have been, but became eligible with 20A. I really don’t care who is appointed to what post, (even Basil) as long as he can do his job. For the last two months, RW has done his job.
        I believe your favourites are that racist loose cannon, Sarath Fonseka, and the economically clueless AKD.
        I don’t fawn over anyone. I think RW’s economic principles are the same as mine. They require tough decisions, which he was unable to implement in the past due to Pohottuwa- instigated protests. Now, he has Pohottuwa ministers threatening to disconnect electricity from powerful temples if they don’t pay. Isn’t that an achievement in itself?
        “If you decide to respond,” Of course I respond. I don’t haughtily declare that “This is my final response/ I don’t have time to waste.”
        Even you are free to post as many “cogent posers” as you wish. Just make sure they don’t all target one person, and don’t get uptight if someone points it out to you with evidence.

        • 7
          7

          AM,
          “reveal where you STAND in the view of a LARGE number of people that they find it DIFFICULT to SEPARATE Wickremesinghe from the ‘Rajapaksas’?”
          This “large number of people ” must be really mentally deficient if they can’t separate Ranil from the Rajapaksas. This government supports:
          1. Privatisation of even profitable SOE.’s
          2. Removal of subsidies on things like fuel and LPG.
          3. Institution of a rational price formula for fuel.
          4.Disconnection of even temples for not paying bills.
          5. Cutting down on state recruitment.
          Do any of the above sound like something the Rajapaksas would do? Now don’t tell me it’s IMF terms. This is what the man has consistently advocated for donkey’s tears, and that’s why he lost elections. Further, has Ranil banned CT or pressured any media as the Rajapakses did?
          It is a Ranil-Pohottuwa government, not a Ranil-Rajapaksa regime. Get your terminology right.

        • 7
          6

          OC,
          What more to say than what you have stated!
          Since December 2021, when the imaginative, Nivard Cabraal – well boasted and Posted Home-grown economic plan – didn’t yield tangible results – 8 months of tenure – Governor-CBSL – reverse SL economy’s calamitous collapse, including the crazy MANNER, USD was “UNPEGGED” resulting in disastrous “plunging” devaluation of the SLRs. from USD 1.00 FROM 208.00 TO 420.00 (near 70%). The CAPTAIN AT THE HELM President, was FAST ASLEEP, bordering on DEEP SLUMBER, did nothing, CORRECT OR SAVE, system from Calamitous Collapse, (Starvation), claimed that, responsibility is HIS!! This astounding feat by, Strategic war-winning Weeraya, he claims to be!
          That background and past leading to the SOOTHING EFFECTS of post June/July 2022 happenings is welcome correction itself!! Essentials, are now available, at least rationed quantities, for reasonable livelihood?!!
          If one hasn’t seen it, or claim that hasn’t been realised is close to be a “Pathological pronouncer of Terminological Inexactitude”??!! Some never realists, don’t rely on FACTS!!
          Similar attribute of an accountant of a business declaring as a LOSS, WHEN EVERY PIECE OF EVIDENCE POINTS TO CLEAR PROFIT, or Vice Versa??!! Hope the message has sufficient momentum penetrate, those with inadequacy in comprehending complex economic issues!!

          • 6
            6

            Mahila,
            I am beginning to suspect that AM is Nivard Cabral in disguise.

            • 2
              4

              OC,
              .
              Time will tell .. let’s be patient .. I don’t understand why anyone goes after someone’s “genes”. None of us are criminals, even if we wear “pseudo names”:

      • 3
        7

        AM,
        If you harbour any suspicion, due to my approval of the author, that my name is Austin Pulle, NO, I AM NOT.
        But I would be honoured to be taken for a University Professor in 🇸🇬 .

        • 6
          3

          old codger

          1) For a person who has long surpassed the ‘Peter Principle’ you have an INFLATED opinion of yourself. There is no earthly chance for me to EVER confuse you with Austin Pulle. Please DISPEL such a thought.

          2) Your HYPOCRISY shows. While HIDING under ANONYMITY, you have no problem in saying “going by his photo” Austin Pulle “certainly isn’t an old codger”! Why don’t you give the opportunity to readers to discern whether you really look like an ‘old codger’ or not? Come on!

          3) Your Prevarication and Deception to AVOID Austin Pulle’s Cogent Questions relating to Ranil Wickremesinghe who for long you have been FAWNING over is PALPABLE.

          4) You are also ‘continuing’ to AVOID responding to the DISINGENUOUS answer you gave ‘Sinhala_Man’ on the permission granted for the docking of the Chinese research ship ‘Yuan Wang 5’ in the Hambantota Port – “Again, it wasn’t Ranil who granted permission, but Gota.” Why don’t you come CLEAN on this at least now?

          5) All your Spin will not take away the reality that MOST people in this country find it difficult to SEPARATE Wickremesinghe from the ‘Rajapaksas’. You are MISLEADING people Big Time by HIDING under ANONYMITY.

          Amrit Muttukumaru

        • 2
          4

          OC
          With this kind of suspicion doing the rounds, is it not time that you started suspecting that you are someone else?
          Where will you like to start?

    • 6
      5

      old codger

      “I may not agree with everything he says, but it is clear he has no irrational vendettas.”

      Therefore do you advise me to read and then not comment on Austin I. Pullé’s article, by the way usually I don’t read the article and comment on it?

      • 3
        6

        Native,
        “Therefore do you advise me to read and then not comment on Austin I. Pullé’s article,”
        Mr. Pulle’s writing is rational, and not one sided. He talks not only about Ranil but also Gota’s idiocies. Much different from those doughty corruption fighters who see corruption only through one eye, and even then can’t produce any figures.
        You might have noted one of them demanding my identity yet again. This is sooo tiresome.

      • 3
        5

        “I don’t read the article and comment on it?”
        Interesting.
        Only articles?

        • 3
          5

          Mr SJ,
          .
          Many commenters on CT do it because of lack of time. I used not to read, but again I thought it would cause unnecessary problems, now I try to read at least the summary of the article before posting my comment.

          • 4
            4

            L
            I have not commented on anything you said of late, except for your idea of quitting which I thought was for a bad reason..
            My comment was on someone else’s claim.
            BTW
            Where can I find a summary of any CT article?

            • 2
              4

              SJ
              Sorry for the mistake, I’m sorry for that. However, below is my reply to your reply.
              The last paragraph of most articles can be considered the abstract, however this is not true for all articles.

              • 1
                0

                Thank you.
                But not any in the CT.
                However, the last is mostly a set of conclusions.

      • 3
        1

        NV,
        Good morning.
        “by the way usually I don’t read the article and comment on it?”
        Perhaps, stounding and interesting standpoint, which I have not yet encountered or experienced, which please pardon my ignorance!
        I’m rather confused?!
        Wonder,
        I. How one would start composing the comment, if any?? Or,
        II. Are you suggesting that your comments, needless to say non-responsive to the concerned article it is attached to??
        Please enlighten/explain to comprehend?

  • 4
    0

    “,..that will free hapless litigants and patients from the arrogant, unethical, and dismissive way lawyers and doctors treat their clients,…”

    Agree. Lawyers should be put under scrutiny like in England by SRA and and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to punish unorderly and greedy lawyers.

  • 2
    1

    Great and honest article yet to be received properly.Thank you
    Raising one issue only. The ADB can confirm, Singapore makes exceptions in Sentosa on foreign land ownership, as does SL on Port City. The Sentosa exception is to individual buyers, from which Singapore’s Public purse alone benefits (with accountability). Port city is given to a whole country and the benefits have not yet reached the people and only time will tell.
    On point, I haven’t understood why SL bemoans the IMF, and repeatedly goes to the Bretton wood theme Bank, which never claimed to be a charity, and gives its lending rules upfront.
    If China could be the preferred ‘no rules’ ethical lender, I love drinking Moutai to toast too.

  • 2
    1

    You have described clearly the present weaknesses in the system of government and the leaders who have miserably failed in their duties to the people while preying on their ignorance toward their personal benefits and concerned only with their family wealth and comforts. Therefore, the system change is vital for the public to regain their lost status in the country.

  • 6
    0

    Mr. Pulle:

    “The Indians must be persuaded that the dire economic situation of the country cannot afford to keep these set of white elephants in operation, and that provincial councils must be eliminated.”

    You have to be very careful in arguing this. The current system is a waste because it deviated from the original intent to have asymmetric devolution for the North-East, based on cultural and linguistic uniqueness, and unnecessarily imposed it on the South as well. That Mr. CVW didn’t do much for the people during his tenure as CM of the Northern PC is not a convincing reason to abolish it.

    A two-step process is needed:

    1) Return to asymmetric devolution to the N-E via PCs

    2) Achieve tangible and irreversible progress on constitutional amendments, secularism, abolition of PTA, human rights, linguistic rights, etc., nationally, and then gradually, the people of the North-East might find that, over time, devolution is no longer needed, that they can co-habit with the South in peace with better governance at the center.

    Rushing to abolish the institutions needed for devolution, without ensuring irreversible progress on the rights of Tamil and Muslim people, is making the same mistakes that Tamil leaders made in the years leading to independence from the British, when they trusted that the Sinhalese political leaders would be fair to the minorities.

    • 5
      2

      Agnos,
      Yes, it was the wily JR who invented the present monstrous PC system to give the illusion that the country wasn’t being divided on a linguistic basis. The Indians couldn’t care less, because the Tamils eventually (sort of) got their PC, but the Sinhalese got another layer of totally corrupt hangers- on to contend with.

      • 2
        0

        OC
        What JRJ did was pretty clear even to poltically illiterate. But why did the Tamil leaders (except the LTTE for altogether different reasons) protest against any aspect of 13A?

  • 2
    0

    Austin I Pulle,
    Good morning.
    Your article is commendable and very important to contemporary Sri Lanka!
    In regard to, “As many eminent Buddhist commentators have remarked, the Buddha Sasana does not need safeguarding by a Sri Lankan government”, agree with the sentiments expressed by many.
    Whatever, the Constitution states in simple language as clear as crystal, the ultimate meaning of this piece ‘Landmark’ constitutional provision, from the time of the 1st republican constitution by the Trotskyite (loathed religion as the opium of the masses from Public Political platforms) to the current 2nd Republican constitution by a pre-eminent President Council and sibling of the then incumbent His Exalted Excellency (aware now your claim to do away this ‘adjective’) from a family, historically, being ‘Dayakayas’ of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is definitely not to protect the Sasana, but the Sinhala Buddhists (SB) in particular and perpetuation of “Sinhala Buddhism” variant in passing!!! Sinhala Buddhism, is not the same as those precepts espoused by Prince Siddhartha, The Gautama; The Buddha, when he attained enlightenment, meditating in Buddha Gaya!!
    Present day emancipated SB’s claim that even this fact as incorrect, and this occurred in Jambudiva – which apparently is some part of Sri Lanka and Not India!!
    This in effect is the reality

  • 1
    1

    “Sri Lankans born just after independence as well as the current generation have united in disgust and despair over the ruin that has befallen the country. “
    *
    Now who will be left out, besides the 74+ senior citizens born before independence?
    If just after independence and and current generation are strictly defined, will it be the early 70s lot and the say the rather young ones?
    *
    Are we sure of that unity?
    All seemed fed up, even the 74+ lot— but to unite there had to be a purpose.
    Has the purpose been fulfilled?
    If so, fine. We need not discuss it any more.
    If not? Where did the disgust and despair go?
    To speak the truth, most of the disgust and despair was busy standing in queues, and struggling to make ends meet.
    They had no time to unite.
    Let us be real.
    There are no easy answers.
    It is a long hard struggle ahead to unite the many.

  • 1
    0

    A divided Sri Lanka would have been a cause of political instability in India. India took care of it thru 13A.
    (Even at the current session in Geneva, India has urged that SL makes it operative.)

    • 1
      1

      N
      JRJ took care that India’s plan bite the dust by creating 8 Provincial councils.
      It resolved nothing. It aggravated Tamil-Muslim difference. It left the Hill Country Tamils in the lurch.
      Did Indian bureaucrats have the foggiest idea of our national question?
      They saw it as S v. T, (like Hindu v. Muslim up there?)
      They used the Tamils to tame JR. JR turned tables on them.

      • 4
        0

        “JRJ took care that India’s plan bite the dust by creating 8 Provincial councils.”

        The Yankee Dick believed he was clever.
        The war lasted 26 years.

        “Did Indian bureaucrats have the foggiest idea of our national question?”

        Since they didn’t, they should have consulted descent, clean, benevolent, ….. Chinese Diplomatic Corp. Dixit made a big mistake.
        The price was paid by the entire country.
        Those accumulated mistakes over 74 years have including that of Yankee Dick have come to hound the country.

        On the other hand when the country is in its weakest point China officially declares Sri Lanka a neighbour, on what basis, only China lackeys know.

        • 2
          0

          The Chinese tagged the Himalayan migratory birds flying from Southern tip of Tibet to KKS, northern tip of SL!! Those lackeys in Beijing seem more innovative than the South Block in New Delhi!
          After all they are in dire need of Neighbours and ‘Friends’ at this point in time as Taiwan appears not so ‘friendly Neighbour’ after all?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.