22 June, 2021

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Time To Pull Down Politicians From Their Pedestals

By Ranjith C. Perera

Ranjith C. Perera

In most of the developing countries we could see politicians are kept on pedestals like demigods. Sri Lanka is one of those countries. People have seen pictures of people, sometimes high officials, worshiping them as they have seen a religious leader. They forget that those politicians are in those positions because of the votes given by them, in other words the people of the country. As soon as their tenure is over they become normal citizens. So what is the necessity for such humorous behavior from the people? Do people have to call them honorable? According to the play Julius Caesar even his fellow members in the senate called him by his name unlike in our feudal system in which the King was called by many many words in salutation before addressing him, with bowed heads. Not only in front of the the kings even when people meet a local leader they had to remove their turbans bow down their heads in respect and make room for his passage. Still we could see similar subservient feudalistic behavior in front of politicians not only from common people but even from so called educated people in urban areas.

Recently in TV news I saw a press conference in UK where the Health Minister invites a senior Health Official to explain about Covid-19 situation in the country. He started his speech by saying “Thank you Mr. Minister”. In our country it would be not less than “Thank you Honorable Amathithumani”. Sometimes you may remember the picture of President Obama sitting with his officials watching the live video of Bin Laden siege in Afghanistan. In the picture we could see he is seated in a low chair while officials are seated in high chairs. Can we see that type of situation in our country? Here he will be given a special high chair. Sometimes we see the politicians are seated while the monks are standing. We have also seen the pictures of Presidents and Prime Ministers in some European countries travel in public transport with the people in their countries. Our Heads will not go out without motorcades with large number of security guards. That shows closeness of people to Heads in other countries and ours. In other words those instances reflect the place given for the politicians in developed countries and in countries like ours.

Although when they come to power they say we are not masters but servants of the people. It is the other way we see in action. Therefore we have to bring them to the level of practicing what they preach. This situation must be changed. Why? There are several reasons why some are doing everything to find a place at the local or national level politics. (1) To show the supremacy to other people the person could not get otherwise. (2) To amass wealth.(3) To get respect from people. If changes are made for such treatments or opportunities then those who seek power, wealth or respect or glamour by becoming politicians will lose their interest to a great extent. Becoming a member of the parliament or in any other local body must be made unattractive as much as possible. Anyone can bet that over 90% of the voters will support such a change whole heartedly. That way we could pave the way for politicians who really want to serve the people and the country.

It is easier said than done. We cannot expect the governing rulers will introduce changes to that effect. Therefore people must force all the parties to include such changes in their manifestos in future elections. Of course including in the manifesto and bringing that to action are two different things. Normally that does not happen in our country. However if there are campaigns for such changes by civil society organizations then political parties will be forced to include such changes in their manifestos. On the other hand people should be sensitized on the need for such changes. Civil societies could play an important role in that context. Then people will also understand the need for such changes and politicians will be forced to talk about such changes eventually in their election campaigns. Social media would be able to give examples of the past practices of political parties and politicians. Then people would be able to realize which parties are more sincere in the campaign for such changes or who are bluffing.

The civil societies must force the governing party who come to power to bring amendments to constitution or any other regulations to realize the necessary changes for clean politics. They could include items such as What are the basic requirements to become a member in parliament or in Local Government Authorities? What are their rights and obligations in relation to their positions? Should they be the monitors of public funds and not controllers? How they should be addressed after they get elected? As for nomination, age and nationality are the basic requirements needed at present. But to get into the government service from minor servant to the top level administrator or professional, education qualifications together with clean personal record are basic requirements. For some posts police record is also a requirement. But for those who govern or who make laws for the whole country or part of the country those requirements are not considered. How illogical? Looking at the present situation a clean record should be made essential. Which means the nominee has been punished or is pending court cases for serious offences should be made a disqualification to contest in an election. Are educational qualifications not necessary?  For want of better criteria it would be appropriate to use education qualifications as in the case of government service. Considering the importance of the positions they are contesting for, it is reasonable to expect higher education qualifications from them. A basic degree from a recognized university should be made. Likewise a basic requirement to be appointed as a Deputy Minister could be a Post Graduate Diploma, and for a Minister a Master’s Degree will not be unreasonable. To become the PM or President PhD from a recognize university (not an honorary Degree) or long term commendable service in a higher position at National or International Level will not be an unreasonable requirement.

From President to local government member the term in office should be limited to two. If they qualify to go up in the ladder improving their qualifications together with performance ( for this suitable measurements should be created by an independent committee.) they may get another two terms in the new position. However as someone said ‘Our cemeteries are full of people who thought they were indispensable.” So limiting the term of office will do no harm to the country.

Like in the past MPs could be given a pass to travel in public transport. As government servants do they could claim the travelling allowance from the bus stand or railway to the official destination they have to reach. From President to Deputy Minister should be provided with one official vehicle. No family member should be appointed as private secretaries. If necessary Public Administration Ministry could call application and appoint such personnel for Ministers, Prime Minister etc. For them also should apply all the rules and regulations applicable to government servants. Those who come from other parts of the country could be given a room in places like Sravasthi or Malabe. If they want to bring their family to Colombo they could rent a house. Rent should be deducted from their salaries. If they want to buy a land or a house, loan facility should be provided as for the government servants. As for salaries only a fixed payment according to position has to be decided, ie. MP, Minister, PM or President. No pensions for politicians. No separate payments for parliament attendance. Like government servants they should be able to apply for casual and medical leave. If they exceed that then no pay leave regulations could be applied.

The most important change should be made to allocation of funds to electorates. It is one of the main attractions for corrupt people to get into politics. At present most of the funds are allocated to MPs. Although there are District Level Development Committees comprising of District Level politicians and officials, it is no secret activities such as allocations, tendering etc. take place on the likes and dislikes of the politicians. This situation should change. There should be a mechanism to allocate funds on the basis of development plans prepared by authorities of various sectors of the economy in consultation with MPs and Civil Organizations of the district concerned and funds for the implementation of the plans should go to an official account of the Government Agent of the area. Controllers of the funds should be the Committee consisting of GA and other top officials of the districts. Politicians should monitor the progress of the plans and allocation disbursements.

With reference to addressing politicians Mr. and Ms. could be used as for the Government Servants. They will be addressed as Mr. or Ms MP, Minister, Prime Minister and President. If politicians wish they could in turn address the citizens as Hon.Citizens, because they are the ones, without any payment, who brought all those Mrs. and Mss to power for a limited period of time..

In short most of the regulations applying to government servants should be applied the elected politicians. Some might say that cannot be done. There were honest high level public servants and professionals who contributed to the development and well being of the country serving under all the above mentioned rules and regulations, very often for several decades. If so why can’t the politicians function under the similar rules and regulations? 

Now this is over to Civil Organizations to mobilize people to sensitize people on the need for changes discussed here to keep corrupt politicians away from administration and establish good governance I the country. 

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Latest comments

  • 18
    0

    ……….. reasonable to expect higher education qualifications from them. A basic degree from a recognized university should be made. ……….
    In the current context when over 90 MPs are just ‘O’ level OR LESS, this will be a gargantuan task. The political party hierarchy love these low downers as they cannot find anything called gainful employment and will be ever willing to be led by the nose for some crumbs.
    But more laughable is the plethora of Dr or ‘Archarya’ so and so. Recently I notice Kehelmal with this title. Some service types go higher to ‘Professor’ as well.
    Either these are for sale on the pavement or the Universities have lowered the bar for these to purely confer favours.

    • 5
      0

      What if candidates such as GLP though qualified from oxford but behave sitting with Wimal Buruwanse , miriskudu Kasippurala from Kelaniya and Kudu Lanza? I think as some make it very clear, it lies on srilanken genetics. Where on earth Pimps like Gotabaya can become president s? TRUMP was a degree holder and a billionaire but Gota was a patriot in pseudo nature, polarised through fake public perception, the status comparable to that of Dhammika paniya maker.☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

      • 3
        0

        You have identified the major problem with Democracy, dear LM.
        .
        Also, it is you, more than anybody else, who tirelessly attempt to reach the Sinhalese voters who matter, whilst doggedly insisting that Tamil and Muslim interests are addressed. Altruism is personified in you; what have you to gain from all your incessant activity.
        .
        Here’s a comment from the German citizen, in Sinhala:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mangala-de-silva21-may-2021/
        .
        And there are nine Sinhala comments, and six English comments by you. From Germany! Had there been a few more people like you, dear LM, the Double-Paksas wouldn’t be lording over us.
        .
        Forget the Past; please continue your good work. I don’t believe in Karma. I don’t know whether success will crown your efforts; I hope so.
        .
        Successful or not, we have a chance of a happier tomorrow because of you, LM.
        .
        Bless you!

        • 4
          0

          Dear SM,
          thank you. You too have been doing the same. Champa did not react to my kind request. Not yet.. I really dont know what a mind set she may have. All of sudden hers stand out, then again, she goes to hibernation….. is that normal ?
          :
          As I questioned somewhere else, if SINHLA MAN, OLD CODGER, SIMON and the few could do it, what happened to all other retired professionals that could do some good for the rebuilding of nation ?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DdFF9yG0xo
          .
          Why is that lanken senior professionals in their retirement behave like AMAZONIAN sloths ?
          .
          I dont know about the recent decades, but in 70ties and 80ties, the SL society I got to know was total different. There, I saw people s respect towards law and order. Police extra judicial killings were not out of their routine, lawyers were not comparable to their counterparts in Europe, but some so sort of respect and dignity of life were there. People had some respect to each other. Hamudurwos were respected since their role was to help out the villagers. To my eye, looking back their role was more or less family counselling for a better family and society.
          :
          Today, most of those sivuru wearers, taking an example from KOTUWE podihamudurwo the like enjoy their eveinings watching TV programs of all abusive nature.

    • 6
      0

      Dear Mr Perera,
      .
      It is the culture in SL, to emulate the other. They dont care much about anything if anyone would say ” sadu sadu”; then all next to you would start repeating it – no matter even if it came from a high criminal. Giant media institutions transport the message in favour of their rates even if the air frequencies are believed to be people’s properties.

      And yet today, people are not aware of the facts about TAXES and avenues of the state revenues. That 5000 -bucks grant offered to the low income families was introduced as if it came from Gota ‘s own pocket or hidden accounts. People in general dont know what taxes we are talking about. People should be made very clear, that it is no ones but PEOPLE s own funds that they get in them being in need. VAT is known to anyone in EUROPE. European govts offer lot more concessions to those who are really in dire situations. THat is the case also in Australia, US and Canada. People in those countries would not kneel down on the politicians for such grants.
      :
      First we should fight against LOCAL media mafia. None of the elected PRESIDENTs have taken any actions against that yet.

      • 3
        0

        Yes Leelagemalli Local media mafia is the biggest supporters of corrupt politicians. People have only the social media and places like Colombo Telegraph to air their views freely. Government is trying to restrict them also. Will do what we can !

  • 11
    0

    Mr. Perera when ever I see that accompanying picture, the appropriate title keeps intruding my mind, “his excellency, on the run to solve villagers problems and over enthused supporter trying to tackle him for an autograph”. (must be a Rugger fan).

  • 3
    7

    You seem to want PHD, Masters Degrees etc as a minimum requirement to enter politics. Clearly demonstrates your lack of intelligence. Don’t assume that academic education equals intelligence. There is a clear difference between the two. The west has understood that academic intelligence has a limited role in society. Beyond your primary education it is almost pointless.

    Thankfully a person like you is not in a prominent position in society, or i would dread the outcome. By your logic, Abraham Lincoln would not have been able to contest the U.S election. Lincoln was one of the best presidents of the United States of America. He was also academically uneducated and did not hold a basic degree. He is not alone, Henry Ford, James Cameron, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Ingvar Kamprad are all similarly academically uneducated. Yet are luminaries in their own right.

    Stop writing nonsensical articles, and if you really want to make a change in the system, put your “brilliant mind” to work and contest at the next election. I am sure an “intelligent” mind like yours should have no problem to formulate a plan to beat the uneducated politicians without even a basic OL.

    • 4
      1

      Dear Nilmah,
      .
      I agree absolutely that academic qualifications ought to be immaterial. If such conditions are imposed, the representatives so elected will tend to look after the interests of those members of the society who have similar backgrounds and qualifications.
      .
      I’m sending this from my mobile phone; I will have more to say on this subject when on a computer.
      .
      This is only the third article in this forum by Mr Perera, who has here displayed his real name and photograph. In doing so, he has displayed considerable courage, with a merciless dictatorship controlling the country. I’m not necessarily faulting you for not unambiguously disclosing your identity; it’ll suffice if you keep coming back here and follow up with consistent comments.
      .
      Consistency doesn’t mean repeating the same unintelligent response irrespective of the topic under discussion and changing circumstances. However, when inconsistencies are inexcusably seen we know that the voters have been betrayed.
      .
      Take Diana Gamage. She “owned” a Registered Political Party. The obduracy of Ranil Wickremasinghe forced the card carrying members of the UNP to buy that Party. Her price? That she be accommodated as a parliamentarian on the National List.

      • 0
        1

        Dear Sinhala_Man

        I assume Perera wrote the article not under duress but rather his own accord to share his childish opinion. Lets be honest here, I doubt White Vans will visit anytime soon for sharing his childish opinion on politicians in general.

        Now lets get into it, you talk about voters being betrayed. What is the solution for that ? Well i ‘d vote for a different politician next time. Rather than write an article on Colombo Telegraph venting your frustration, I’d much rather somebody man up/women up and contest at the next election, I will definitely give you my vote.

        Listen my friend, you can take Diana Gamage, Wimal Weerawansa, Mangala Samaraweera or any career politician in this country. They will behave the same. They are career politicians, and will take actions to further their career. The people will always come second. It is foolish and naive to expect a politician to behave otherwise.

        Logically think, a person like Mother Teresa was not without her controversies and furthered her agendas “research if you are unaware”. How can you expect a higher standard of behaviour from our politicians? We need more pragmatic thinking and less childish thinking.

    • 6
      0

      So what do you suggest to allow any hooligan to rule the countries? I know education qualification is not a good criterion. Then what do you suggest? Aptitude Test in Politics? I think most of the countries use education qualification for government service recruitment. That may not be the best thing. Private sector use different types of assessment. I know that. But for all minor or top position they use some kind of measurement. So what is the problem in using that for people who are supposed to govern other people? Are you suggesting just age and citizenship are enough? Now in SL citizenship is also in question? Look at the type of most of the people nominated by the governing party in SL. Look at how they behave in the parliament and local government bodies. There were such things in the past. But not to this extent. Do you wan to have that type of hooligans in our politics? Is that what you are saying. Shouldn’t there be some kind of restrictions? Education Qualification may not be the best thing. But I think educated man has some kind of discipline to look at a problem and solve it. Talking about Lincoln he became lawyer with great difficulty due to not his low intellect but due to poverty.

      • 0
        1

        That hooligan unless he/she gets to that position via undemocratic means will always be a hooligan that we the people appoint. Blaming a politican after the people have voted for him/her is like complaining about your wife/husband after you marry them. Nobody forced you to do that, it was your choice. So now deal with the consequences of your actions.

        There needs to be no change to assessment such as aptitude tests etc.., the current system is fine. What needs to change is the mentality of people. The people need to take responsibility for their actions rather than blame the politicians.

        If 104,000 people think CHOKA MALLI is the person who should be responsible to represent them, who are we to judge? This was their decision and we have to respect that decision being a democracy. If you don’t like this, then campaign and break his voter base ! Complaining on the internet is much easier thou isnt it ?

        The solution is simple, yet involves a lot of hard work. This work ethic is something that classroom academics like Perera and most of you do not possess. It is easy to talk but hard to actually act.

        • 4
          0

          “If you don’t like this, then campaign and break his voter base ! “
          Wonderful suggestion. Don’t you think it is more easy campaign to change the system for parties to nominate more acceptable characters for election than trying to break voter base of every hooligan nominated.. Anyway I can see you are talking on behalf of Politicians. We are at different levels in communication. No point arguing.
          By the way thanks for reminding about Sudu Van. With fast spreading Corona we will be travelling soon in a Sudu Van rapped in a polythene bag. So Long Chum !

        • 3
          0

          No, to CHOKA MALLI !
          .
          The fellow is a convicted murderer! Nilmah, I played no part in getting him elected, but I accept what you say, that I can be overruled by 104,000 people.
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_powers
          .
          We must keep shouting it out, even at some risk to ourselves. The Tree of State must have three healthy branches.
          .
          The goons may be powerful and dangerous, but we must deny these thugs any place in the governance of our country.
          .
          Non-negotiable.
          .
          I’m an old man who is consciously taking risks, knowing that I’ve lived my life, and am now dispensable.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

      • 6
        0

        You should not be a degree holder, but you should have a heart and some knowledge.
:
Look at Ms B who got recognition all over the world as first female prime minister to this world… she was attacked to be a kitchen wife… but she could do all better than that of FORMER refugee/pimp Gotabaya who is the current president of the country….
.
Look at SORYSENA and the manner he handled it presidency- at least during his 100 days.. bugger was not caricatured by RAJAPAKSHE…. later only he became abnormal letting 300 innocient people be caught by EASTER sunday disaster mastermined by GOTA#S presidency and release from all high crime investigations.
:
Look at CBK and the manner she handled it her presdiency- Grand lady mastered all better than WEERAKETIYE palhoru.. if not for her, entire world would not have controlled over LTTE ON THEIR rich soils. Mr Kadir under CBK delivered his yeoman services… remember ?
        .
Look at MaRa handled it with her abusive nature- finally being caught by the easy tricks being played on him th elike low level leaders with CHINESE investment injection. His was SIMILAR to actor.. yet today, his real face is not known to even his beloved wife.. none other than gold biscuit queen.


        • 5
          0

          apologies

          
Look at MaRa how he and his et al handled it with all abusive nature- finally being caught by the easy tricks being played on him th elike low level leaders with CHINESE investment injection. His was SIMILAR to actor.. yet today, his real face is not known to even his beloved wife.. none other than gold biscuit queen.


    • 2
      0

      Dear Nilmah,
      Take the flipside of the coin.
      …….Henry Ford, James Cameron, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Ingvar Kamprad…..
      All business men or entrepreneurs. Different league.
      We had many that way from Maliban, Dasa, Nawaloka and even some current “top ten.”
      Only Lincoln in politics at uneducated level, true, unless you bring in Trump. But then that was in a different era with only domestic politics and minimum worldwide exposure to economics and trade.
      I do not want to repeat – take LKY and Angela, who did their countries proud – better than Modi for sure and some others too.

      • 0
        0

        Dear MyView,

        So you are insinuating that academic education is imperative for political success and highlighting that business and politics are different leagues? Well everybody is entitled to their view. Running a business and running a country is pretty much the same. Sure the values are a bit different being, a business is run for profit and a country for social profit, but in the end both need to be profitable to improve their position and most importantly be sustainable. They both go hand in hand.

        I personally feel that academic education is absolutely no indicator of success in both politics and business. To counter your point on LKY and Angela, what about Najib Razak armed with an degree in economics convicted in embezzling millions, State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson armed with a Law Degree convicted for bribery/financial fraud. These people made terrible decisions. I can give you several more examples of prominent politicians involved in activities that were detrimental to their country that possess academic education.

        Hence academic education is absolutely no indicator of a person’s success, ethic’s and value’s. It just makes no sense to judge a person based on academic qualifications.

    • 2
      1

      Nilmah,
      .
      I couldn’t count the words from my phone. I had exceeded the 200-word limit. I’m grateful to CT for having lopped off only the excess words.
      .
      I had explained what this Parliamentary Speech by Diana Gamage contained.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DolKY-3hFJE
      .
      I know that there’s a positive in what she says – in exposing hypocrisy. But would she ever have got elected saying these things? The components of the “Night Economy” that she wants encouraged include casinos, liquor and prostitution.
      .
      Facing up to these issues honestly is fine, but this ill accords what the sanctimonious SLPP advocates! It would be interesting to see what others feel!
      .
      Whom does this woman represent? Is this democracy?

      • 0
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        Let’s be adults here, the votes she would have garnered from backing such a policy would have been an all time record.

        Just look at our bars, the votes from that base alone would have given her a seat into parliament. Casinos granted are for the high disposable income citizens and would not have made an impact, but prostitution on the other hand. While we love to play the culture act and innocent act in this country, behind closed doors we are only too aware what goes on.

        I could not be any more accurate than to state that this woman will represent the average Sri Lankan Male. Looking after his primal needs and his alchololic needs with pro policies.

        You can say this is against our culture and values etc… but the data suggests otherwise. Alcohol consumption in Sri Lanka is on a meteoric rise. The trending videos on Youtube with over a million views are almost always the ones that have sexual innuendoes. So tell me who are we fooling ?

        The average Sri lankan male’s internet browser history and budget spent on alcohol will give you a clear idea of who this woman will represent.

        • 0
          0

          Nilmah,
          .
          We need many more women in Parliament, that’s for sure. I’d like to see someone like this:
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCOMxMR5qj4
          .
          There were 29 on each National List. The person whom the NPP finally put into Parliament was an Old Girl of Bishop’s College. She is a member of some tiny party in the NPP coalition.

          Her most fluent language is English, as you will see from this: (40 minutes)

          https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=620275118905626&ref=watch_permalink

          However, politicians in Lanka must speak in Sinhala – or Tamil:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTXpR_Ya-1Y
          .
          I don’t like your Diana Gamage at all. However, you may be right; she may legitimately win an election. I will be unhappy to see her, but I will definitely not try to undermine her position as a Member of Parliament.
          .
          We need dozens more women in Parliament; by the same token, we need many men to get pushed out. No objection from me.
          .
          People who object to every suggestion make it impossible to have progress. I’m determined not to be one of those pests.

  • 14
    0

    If I am not mistaken, even a peon in a govt. institute, or any dogsbody for that matter, will be required to have an education at least up to O/L but judging by the conduct of MPs & Ministers, they would not be able to get even a lowly job as a peon if the educational criteria is enforced. The backword thinking of those like the health minister, is not only a joke but an embarrassment to the govt. & reflects badly on the integrity & credibility of the nation. Responsible political parties should nominate suitably educated candidates with a sound track record, not the village thug or ‘chain snatching’ petty thieves & illiterate yobs.

    In UK, MPs are not given vehicles nor bodyguards, only Ministers & PM have that privilege. In fact, a young MP, Jo Cox, was murdered a few years ago by a Brexit fanatic outside her office after being driven there by her secretary as she had no car but there was no demand for bodyguards or for official vehicles by the parliamentarians. MPs in UK have their travelling & overnight stay in a hotel reimbursed when attending parliament or the mortgage paid for a London home whist in office. If SL is to attract sincere politicians, the generous perks & pensions have to be abolished. Furthermore, their wealth should be disclosed & available for public scrutiny.

    • 1
      0

      Raja thanks for your information about the limitations MPs have in UK. Our people need to know these things. Here every government give them more and more privileges and opportunities to rob public funds. I invite people in developed countries to share the limitations MPs have in those countries.

    • 0
      1

      Statements made are oblivious to common sense,

      The blame is not with political parties but you, the political party has only one agenda in mind. To get elected to power. They will nominate people that they feel will achieve that goal. If it is the village thug that will get the votes, so be it. Take your frustration with the voters not the political parties. They are simply playing to win.

      It is foolish to generalize that UK MP’s are not given vehicles and bodyguards. Motorcades and security guards are systems set again to ensure political stability and completely unrelated to “closeness of people” as perera also suggested. This is to ensure that thugs cannot bump off a politician when they please, if they do not share the same views “JO COX”. Granted the more safe a country is, a person of significant influence can afford to take the risk of bicycling to work like Mark Rutte does.A third world country like ours and especially a politician who has played a part in ending a civil war does not have that luxury. There are plenty of provoked parties that would jump on that opportunity to cause serious harm.

      • 3
        0

        CONTINUING
        .
        Total absence of educational qualifications (I can vouch for that!) doesn’t really bother me, Palitha. That there was repeated outrageous cheating, and that the guy was a mere silent, smiling observer for eight years is what troubles me. Gehan Dias may now plead inability to visit outstations owing to COVID, but if you look at the comment dated 22nd, addressed to Simon, and follow the links, you will see how disgracefully even “our class of people” cheat.
        .
        I now submit this for public scrutiny with unambiguous identification, and you can see even my photographs if you follow the “Simon links”.
        .
        I won’t say that the Headmasters of Gurutalawa and Bandarawela looted the two schools. Such an allegation has to be proved. However, I certainly say that the Uva Branch Schools have been serving exclusively the interests of the Headmasters. The teachers, especially those who were alumni of Maha Vidyalayas, and those proficient only in the Swabashas, are treated almost like slaves.
        .
        Almost? Well, they are free to leave.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) of Bandarawela, aka “Sinhala_Man”

      • 2
        0

        Dear Raj-UK,
        .
        Most of THIS appears below as well.
        .
        Please excuse confusions arising from its genesis. The cynicism engendered by this, influences attitudes towards State Politics.
        .
        Our alma mater has fifteen Governors; one represents the Staff of the Bandarawela school. Those fifteen “guys” (one woman) monitor the performance of even the school at Mt Lavinia. My concern is that in March 2020, the Bandarawela Headmaster, an Anglican Priest, cheated on a Member, Gehan Dias, unseen in Uva to the Board. Terrorised Staff not consulted.
        .
        Note the Headmaster is merely an employee. Do you seriously expect commitment from the qualified, slave-class employees?
        .
        This man may have his O. Levels, and more. However, his predecessor, twice cheated on to the BoG, hadn’t got beyond what is referred to by most in this country as “Grade Eight”. At S. Thomas’ we confuse others using crazy nomenclature. This guy entered the Lower Fourth at STC, Gurutalawa, in 1955, and left in December 1959, from the Fifth Form, having passed twice and failed thrice. So never in the Lower Sixth, or the Upper Sixth. From the latter that you sit the O. Levels.
        .
        Written by Panini Edirisinhe

        tbc

    • 4
      0

      Dear Raj-UK,
      .
      I submitted a comment from my phone on the 22nd; later saved to my HDD. Refused publication owing to length. Posting it now as two almost unchanged parts. Please excuse confusions arising from its genesis. The cynicism engendered by this, influences attitudes towards State Politics.
      .

      Our alma mater has fifteen Governors; one represents the Staff of the Bandarawela school. Those fifteen “guys” monitor the performance of even the school at Mt Lavinia. My concern is that in March 2020, the Headmaster of this school, an Anglican Priest, cheated on a Member, Gehan Dias, unsighted here to the Board. Staff unconsulted.
      .
      This man may have his O. Levels, and more. However, his predecessor, twice cheated on to the BoG, hadn’t got beyond what is referred to by most in this country as “Grade Eight”. At S. Thomas’ we confuse the country using crazy nomenclature. This guy entered the Lower Fourth at STC, Gurutalawa, in 1955, and left in December 1959, from the Fifth Form, having passed twice and failed thrice. So he was never in the Lower Sixth, or the Upper Sixth. It’s from the latter that you sit the O. Levels.
      .
      tbc

    • 5
      0

      Raj,
      Just imagine, if MPs are not given security in SL, would they ever be able to remain live ?
      :
      Srilanka is proved to be uncivilized country… not even women can decently tranport from A to B in a public transport bus today. Tattamamalas would not behave today as the good monks we got to know in 80ties. Many of them hidden behind the SIVURU… behaves no different to Lay people. Most of them shamelessly request me to provide them with SMART phones so that they could enjoy information technology… such an abusive world to be compared with any civilized country where law and order be above …

  • 8
    0

    The recommendations contained in the paragraph starting with: “Like in the past………” were contained in a “Policy Statement” issued by the “NPP” (National Peoples Power) during the last General Election. What happened? Only a bare minimum of “Three” MPs was elected and the total number of votes counted only “3%”. What does this indicate? In my opinion, still, the people of this country hold and venerate those who can display “High Esteem” that they possess because of them belonging to a “Respectable Family”, hold “Monetary Power”, (how they have come to hold such monetary power is immaterial) the “Schooling” background, the “High Status” of belonging to the “Elite Club” etc. In this regard, there is a Sinhala song: “Raja Maduraka Umba Ipadee Sitiyanam Umbath Rajeki Puthune” (My son, if you were born in a Palace, you too would be a King).

    • 5
      0

      I agree with you Simon. We have to change the political culture to the extent that people would learn to select the genuine politicians. That is not easy to do. But I think Civil Organization should take the lead here as I described in the article. It will take time. But it has to start somewhere. If they start now then we might see some results in the near future. Before the last election I advocated for a website in which profile of every nominee to be published. One started that. But they only included names and photos. I repeatedly ask them to include them the profiles also. They replied to me several times saying it is difficult because some are not responding. Then I suggested at least include the profiles of people who respond. Then the people would have some kind of information to select candidates. But they never did that. We might have some kind of methods like that to change the ruined political culture in this country.

    • 3
      0

      Dear Simon,
      I can think of three such sons.

    • 3
      1

      Simon, you’re quite right, the fault lies with our people.
      .
      Democracy shouldn’t be thought of only in terms of Party Politics. I’m glad that the moderators have seen the relevance of what I have told Raj-UK. I’m sure that corruption in those circles would have taken all readers by surprise. Some may have known that corruption is pretty common where ever the human species is involved; but to this extent?
      .
      What I have told you above, about the S.Thomas’ Board of Governors elections is absolutely true, although I have streamlined it somewhat. I have written five articles on the subject. One way of getting at them is by googling the two words: “Thomian Pharisees”. Unique collocation. The articles will be listed on the very first page; all except the first. Or try this last article:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/challenging-three-cheating-thomian-pharisees-and-not-doing-it-from-behind/
      .
      You could work backwards; there are links.
      .
      You speak of where a son is born. Well, my Birth Certificate states that unambiguously: in S. Thomas’, Bandarawela; my father was a teacher there.

      • 6
        0

        Mr Sinhala Man,
        .
        Faults lies on our people.
        .
        Beg to differ. Just imagine how many of srilanken are aware of taxes and their own citizen rights. Who should feed them with facts and figures ? How many of them would be aware of ” simple biology”. … can you guess going by your statistics ? Not many .. even school going teachers would not be aware of VAT…. retired school teachers would not care much about VAT and free education. They dont know that PAKISTANS are not blessed with free education…. they dont give a damn to expand their knowledge either. That is how the SL society is made up.. I am telling one retired teacher went on saying ” SOUTHERN HIGH WAY should be a real wonder came into being thanks to Rajakashes”. Even if I told her the facts about how many kms the ETHIOPIANS enjoy today- was treated with total ignorance.. She had gone to her retirement after 30 years of service. She was an English Teacher.

        Then again, I got to know few Universtiy Leturerers – they were then supporting RAJAPAKSHE’s comeback. I asked why should the do so, was prevariacted by them. Some of them were PhDers while others were just MSc graduates.

    • 1
      1

      Dear Simon,
      .
      Right now the excitement appears to be elsewhere on CT.
      .
      This is the third article by “Ranjith C. Perera”. It may be that he has got a few things wrong (according to me – but then I’m not omniscient); we must apply the principle of coherence. What does that tell us?
      .
      That Ranjith is an honest man, who will read what we write and understand what we are saying and why.
      .
      It’ll be good for you to go here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/stop-politicking-around-covid-19-shut-down-the-country-for-a-month/
      .
      Read the article and the comments. I have made many. Some crooks say different things to different people. Ranjith is intelligent and speaks the truth!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 4
        0

        Yes, Mr SM, I agree with you. The writer should be a hearted person.
Unfortunatley, srilankens seniors after retiement become no different to the sloths in amazon.
We see Dr Janapriya keep coming with his articles, and the other is Dr Wije.. and few others do the same to other forums, but the numbers are handful. We also see some good commenters being in their later day life would not refrain to add their two cents. However, compared to many other countries, the numbers are much less. If the society to be rebuilt after 30 year long civil war, there should be systems, where seniors could take part proactively.
        Srilanka produce alteast 25k of graudates/year. And there are whole lot of people go to retirement each year. What do they all do in their retirement ? Not all go to Australia or any other countries ? What have they been doing ? Why is that we got to see, only a handful of individuals become proactive about people’s issues?
–
If the society s deterioration reach to that appalling levels, what have those seniors been doing today ? What made them to be stay lethargic further ? Why cant they become vocal against ABUSIVE Hamuduruwos ?

  • 8
    0

    Civil society organisations will never be given enough power to upset the status quo. Nominations from illicit brewers, gun runners, murderers, brothel owners, rapists, chain snatchers, con-artists etc are acceptable because they have people power (ie they can bribe voters with jobs or arrack and they follow) and they also acquire much wealth in order to finance political campaigns. Those people with academic qualifications (see that GL Peiris if you need examples, or fake Jayasumana) can do very lowly deeds also. However, if the people mount a peaceful revolution for change, then selfish interest will be trumped for the common welfare of the land. Thus, development and progress can take place with far less corruption and skullduggery..

    • 1
      0

      I agree with you opportunist like GL (who is one of the biggest opportunist in this country) can stoop to low level in spite of their qualifications. But generally the numbers are few. I think Lasantha Civil Society can launch some programmes to educate people about this need and how developed countries keep the politicians in their right places. For instance (I wrote this in response to some one else also. I will write it again for you) before the last General Election I invited organization such as Free Election Movement to have a website in which voters could learn the background of all the election nominees. I saw one such website later on. I was in contact them and I wrote to them to include profiles of the every nominee. At first they said they would do that. After sometime they said in the process of collecting the information. Then few days later they said it is difficult to collect information. Then I told them publish the information they got so far then other will be compelled to do so.They said they would do that but never did it. I doubt their intentions now. What I am trying to say is Civil Societies can initiate things like these. They may not be able to change the constitution.

  • 5
    0

    The time is ripe for non-partisan civil society members to form a group with social media presence ( a new one can be created) and on a daily basis, fact check what MPs say in Parliament and also evaluate how they behave inside and outside the Parliament. This should not leave out even the President or any Civil Servant. This should be done through social media on a daily basis in all three languages.

    • 3
      1

      I agree, Buddhist01,
      .
      You may not want to share your identity with all. You can have good reasons for being wary.
      .
      By now, I correspond with many regular contributors – includes both writers of articles, and commenters. I’ve also had chats with many. If you google intelligently you can link up with many. That doesn’t mean that all one’s associates can immediately be shared with those who contact one. Care must be exercised!
      .
      A few frauds have had to be exposed!

  • 1
    0

    Srilanka being at the high end of the corruption index of the world the method some got their fancy qualifications was through corrupt means too. They are the most vociferous like they say empty pots make the biggest noise. Passing an examination means raising the level of strata of intelligence to a higher level. Nothing more or nothing less. Certainly not a license to make a fast buck nor political capital.

  • 3
    1

    PART ONE
    .
    Exercising now an overview of this honest article, and of the comments, the most interesting of which are by Nilmah (who has a poor opinion of all men), may I suggest that we devise some means to ensure equal numbers of men and women in Parliament (relatively easy; checking gender has not yet become as complicated as checking other criteria!) and also have strict rules to exclude from Parliament all those who have been convicted of any except “Political Offences”.
    .
    “Political Offences”? We must stop all talk of allowing only “National Parties”, thus discriminating against minority groups. Please Nilmah, although I’m an agnostic, I’m a teetotaller, mostly because I’m poor. So allow even “Temperance Parties”, “Green Parties” and “Vegan Parties”. I’m a sinner who gobbles all animal protein except those that cause allergic reactions in me. Since you seem keen on Diana Gamage allow her to contest from a Party that favours “liberal sexuality” and gambling – but no crossing over to other parties after the election! I will not vote for a “Temperance Party”, a little bit of sin may make the world go round for most humans!

    • 6
      0

      I think it is no right to put the blame on PEOPLE,… my focus is highly abusive media institutions (TV channels such as TV Ada Derana, TV Hiru, Swarnawahini etc). They have been paying no hearted interests about the public. And MEDIA ministries have failed to do the due yet today. For some reasons not only JUSTICE system, but also MEDIA AND RELIGIOUS affairs in all the govt totally ignored their responsiblities.
      :
      If GERMANYs private TV channels promoted – NAGAYA-CARRIED RELICS or the like FAIRY tales in favour of PRESIDENTIAL candidates, the channels would not be free from proper invesitgations. But in SL, nothing happened even if LACKS of people were misled by THIS PREMEIDATED acts displayed by DERANA TV. Consequence is people suffer today as no times in the past. I am not UNPer or any other party sympathiser, but I am forced to believe, if SAJITH won, things would have turned out to be MORE HUMAN…. today in terms of finding solutions to CONTAINMENT of covid virus .
      Diana Gamage is very intersted in colombo night life than anything else… what a POLITICIAN she should be ? I really dont know why the kind of candidates become MPs to srilanken parlament ?
–
She does know what she is talking about… how can she see in the eyes of SJB… having betrayed them that way ?

  • 2
    0

    PART TWO
    .
    We mustn’t tolerate actual physical violence, even if for “political ends”, so don’t allow convicted thugs to contest elections. Citizenship is important. See how that vital criterion was circumvented:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/was-the-presidential-election-free-and-fair-when-colombo-returning-officer-called-sajith-premadasa-the-son-of-a-donkey-asks-prof-hoole/
    .
    If you can’t be bothered to study what happened in the most decisive election since Independence (it will be that unless we succeed in getting rid of the Double-Paksha Government by peaceful means – which looks increasingly unlikely) then you should stop pontificating.
    .
    You have asked Mr Ranjith Perera to contest elections. I’m impressed with him, but, like me, doesn’t he look too old? I know that I can’t cope with the rigorous demands of National Politics; if you really want to, go ahead, establish contact with me, and place my name somewhere at the bottom. I have told, in the public domain, how much cheating there has been among so-called respectable people. I think that Ranjith Perera and I are only wanting “suitable people” elected after unmanipulated elections.

    • 4
      0

      I think that Ranjith Perera and I are only wanting “suitable people” elected after unmanipulated elections.

      Exactly Sinhala-Man. Most are talking about qualification. It is only a suggestion. Anyway it is good that has attracted the attention of people.
      It would be better if people can talk about the perks politicians get and give some information about how other countries do that as Raj- UK has done.

    • 2
      0

      Dear RC,
      .
      PART A
      .
      Sensational stuff from Nagananda Kodituwakku.
      .
      I consider him an honest man, although rather temperamental.
      .

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDl5RFcF_sw
      .
      Please click on the above. It is what he has said just yesterday. Under 20 minutes in Sinhala, speaking directly into a video camera.
      .
      What’s he saying? That Mahinda Deshapriya helped Gota to cheat his way on to being considered a candidate for the Presidency. He has unqualified praise for Professor Jeevan Hoole. Do I know Professor Hoole? Yes. I have known him for about five years; not only do I have his contact details, I have met him, he has visited my Bandarawela home, with his family.
      .
      However, it is his elder brother whom I have known for 58 years. We were classmates for four years.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2bCXoD-NEY
      .
      The third member of that Elections Commission was Nalin Abeysekera. He’s about eight years older than me. However, I had met his parents, in Badulla, ages ago. His father, Stanley Abeysekera, MBE, was a respected proctor. My father had taught Nalin, but I have no memory of that.
      .
      By Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) of Bandarawela, aka Sinhala_Man

    • 2
      0

      PART B
      .
      I don’t recommend “employed persons” to waste time on these eleven minutes of sarcasm at the expense of our current government. Some may enjoy this sort of thing, but it’s not very constructive, is it?
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65hliGsa-Kc
      .
      I hope that I have made it quite clear that I’m doing my best to fight the corruption of the Double-Paksa government as best as I can, but these sorts of campaigns of ridicule are not my cup of tea. However, I fear that the world over, these appear to be part of political processes – and have been from the time of the ancient Greeks.
      .
      It is not that I don’t know these things! Read up about Aristophanes.
      .
      https://www.ancient-literature.com/greece_aristophanes.html
      .
      As a younger man I acknowledge that we thought this play hilarious. Recommended for you, Nilmah.
      .
      https://www.ancient-literature.com/greece_aristophanes_lysistrata.html
      .
      Your friend, Diana Gamage seems to know little of this. She tried to impress with her knowledge of Shakespeare, and ended up saying that Mark Antony murdered Julius Caesar.
      .
      Much worse than Sajith Premadasa thinking that Arundathi Roy was a man. But do these things really matter? Not to me!

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 2
    0

    PART THREE
    .
    In effect, I’m saying, let any citizen contest, irrespective of any grand qualifications; acceptability to the electors has to be the main criterion. Through laws that are enforced, ensure that misleading promises and rousing of hatred against social groups is eliminated as much as possible. In practical terms, it will be difficult, but working at it will be noble!
    .
    Very definitely, no educational or wealth qualifications for candidates, but I will strive, as here, to urge voters to elect well-educated representatives. Educating the electorate is crucial, but not through articles and comments written in an alien language. The importance of the two Swabashas, Sinhala and Tamil must be recognised. Although I’m genuinely a villager, I’m ill-equipped in that respect.
    .
    If Ranjith contacts me we can both contest, campaign as best we can, and get defeated. My uncommon name and idiosyncratic spelling will make it easy for anyone to find my contact details. Personal defeat won’t matter, if our younger generations are able to live happily.
    .
    Nilmah, I’m sorry, I won’t vote for either you or Diana Gamage, but if you win, I will accept it.
    .
    Promise, cross my heart!

  • 1
    0

    I’m getting very confused. Im not sure what’s happening to the elecricity. It keeps going on and off, in Bandarawela, that is. I telephone the Badulla land line that I’m supposed to then access for auto-notification has also started acting strangely. Can’t get through. It says the mobile I’ve called can’t be reached.
    .
    I can’t get my desk-top computer on, so I can’t check what I’m supposed to have submitted that is unacceptable. I must have posted something!
    .
    However, what I’m now going to submit is absolutely relevant to the subject of this essay by Mr Perera. The speaker here is my nephew, whom I have met only once, and that about thirty years ago. He is a well-known and highly regarded guy.
    .

    Rohan Edrisinhe, over one hour in excellent English.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEiXtQv5WKg
    .
    I hope this gets on. At least it gets the message that we’re alive and well. No rain here; only gales.
    .

  • 1
    0

    I think that I must submit this just to say that this is from a small notebook computer which I hadn’t used for quite some time.
    .
    What is pasted below is about 7 minutes of Rohan Edrisinha (yes, spelling correct, somewhat different from mine). I’ve just discovered that there is all this from him on Youtube.

    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJGwHfI4xX0

    .
    It’s difficult to operate like this. The signal comes in via a router that is powered by electricity but there is a UPS supporing it. Do I make sense? This is Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, like Rohan, associated with the Centre for Policy Alternatives. But a warning; this is vimeo and may not count for Youtube subscription from our Data Providers.
    .
    I don’t want to put on anything that could amount to unwitting advertising!

    .
    https://vimeo.com/20774762
    .
    I can hear the speech going on – it’s all quite relevant content!

  • 1
    0

    And here’s something else that is exciting; it illustrates how some are succeeding in breaking barriers and reaching out to other groups to ensure that inclusivity that is so important:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJCy-QK8IkY
    .
    The young Tamil MP from the Batticaloa District, Shanakiya Rasamanickam, being interviewed by a young and intelligent Sinhalese girl, and speaking in fluent Sinhala, in realistic fashion.
    .
    Comments can also be made on Youtube – cut and paste is very much in order here; it’s an honest option. One danger in hopping across media is that one accidentally loses what one has been writing. Saving on to a Word Document will also get length right!
    .
    What most of the nasty professional politicians don’t desire is allowing common people to talk across the barriers that they so assiduously create.
    .
    Let us not forget the Sinhala section of CT, although most of the time it seems to be English-speakers making heroic efforts to write in Sinhala:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/arundathie-sangakkara-25-may-2021/

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