27 September, 2020

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Way To Go Prime Minister – Discipline The Rapscallions

By Srima Warusawithana

Srima Warusawithana

Srima Warusawithana

Too long they have survived sans discipline. So it is a significant moment when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe uttered the stern warning to the loud mouthed persons in the opposition over Mohan Pieris’ fiasco. “Do not shout. Sit down and act calm”. No saner words than those from the Prime Minister himself.

Watching some of the parliamentary proceedings on TV, I have seen how the speaker – whoever it was, helpless as the rapscallions shout and throw chairs at each other, utter vulgarities and disrupt the proceedings in a most disgusting manner.

I recall how as a young school girl over fifty years ago, my father would take me to view the parliamentary debates in the House by the Indian Ocean. The Speaker ( it was Sir Francis Molamure) entered the Chamber led by the Sergeant at Arms bearing the mace and there was pin-drop silence.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

The proceedings were so dignified and members were such a disciplined lot. Here was the prime centre of governance and its sanctity was preserved most conscientiously. Over the years discipline seems to have reached a dismal low and there has been callous disregard to any kind of discipline in both words and deeds. Some years ago, school children were taken as a sort of ‘field trip’ to view parliamentary proceedings to help them in their social studies as part of the curriculum. But these visits stopped abruptly as parliament became a place of hooliganism and a bad influence for young growing minds. The worst human instincts of hatred, ill-will, ignorance and gross misbehaviour were exhibited here. Hence, the PM’s tough words will certainly be a warning to all to keep their “voices low, sit down, be calm” and present your case in a civilized manner. This reprimand had to come at some point because shouting had been the norm, and misbehaviour the creed of these rapscallions. Discipline and dignity has to be restored. Recall how Alavaka yaka – was tamed.

The Prime Minister is thought to be a very gentle natured person, calm and unruffled in any situation but hats off to him for this stern warning to those who profess to be representing the people of our country in the august Assembly – which is our Parliament. I have seen even some of the other leading members speak in loud rattling voices and wondered why they do so; could not the person in authority instill some sense into their feather brained egos all this while? Taming the wild is indeed a good move.

 

 

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  • 13
    1

    Srima Warusawithana –

    RE: Way To Go Prime Minister – Discipline The Rapscallions

    Thanks.

    The Speaker should be given a good long cane, and given a dozen cuts for each rowdy MP.

    Let him go an complain to his voters.

    • 1
      1

      Amare..u made me laugh.. not just a long cane but a thick one too… so that the uncivilized PEOPLES REPS could be tamed.

      I remember while at D.S. {D.S = Discipline and Sincerity :)}, Late R.I.T Alles the founder principal had canes A B and C all defined for thickness, most times our class was given the C cane.. May his soul rest in peace..

      Thanks Sir for installing discipline in our generation.. you always told us to remember the Motto of our school, “COUNTRY BEFORE SELF” sadly for Gomanpila he went out of track to bring a bad name for our ulma mater…sigh

  • 5
    1

    SWRD opened the flood gates of the August Assembly, the Parliament for Postal Peons, Bus stand Kavi-Kola karayas, Kasippu brewers, Murderers and Thugs. Thereafter this riffraff even infiltrated the UNP to enter Parliament. When the decent educated Public was crying for Law and Order, Justice, the ousted CJ commented that Good Governance is only on paper and not practiced anywhere in the world as is the norm to justify the situation. What pathetic apologists? Ranil was accused as a Dictator for maintaining discipline in the UNP. In preference these critics of Ranil opted to transform the Parliament to a Hell Hole to accommodate a Tyrant as Gota who never could participate in a decent debate but indulge in violating basic Human Rights of expression.

    What Democracy for such people, including the JVP and the Leftists who sought the safeguards of Democracy to subvert Democracy itself?

    • 0
      0

      Jayantha

      “SWRD opened the flood gates of the August Assembly, the Parliament for Postal Peons, Bus stand Kavi-Kola karayas, Kasippu brewers, Murderers and Thugs.”

      and coconut pluckers.. says Sir John Kothalawala.

      Financial Times Kerala wants Sri Lankan coconut pluckers

      http://www.sundaytimes.lk/091115/FinancialTimes/ft37.html

      A recent newspaper article spoke of Kerala planning to recruit Sri Lankan coconut pluckers a development which will surely gladden the hearts of this small community of skilled workers that is making a silent but significant contribution to the national economy.

      The announcement of the Kerala State that it is prepared to recruit pluckers from neighbouring countries offering high perks has given our pluckers international recognition. This is not the first time that coconut pluckers are in the limelight. Over 50 years ago when that outspoken, one time prime Minister Sir John Kotalawala was told that the coconut industry was suffering from a dearth of pluckers, his famous quip was, “They have all entered Parliament.”

      Whilst Kotalawala’s intention was to discredit the 1956 Parliament, he perhaps little realized that he was emphasizing that Parliament had ceased to be the preserve of the elite and become truly representative of the ordinary people. By saying so he also paid a compliment to the coconut pluckers.

      Lets not forget that it was Robert Knox who stated, “Wash the mud off the peasant cultivator, he is fit to sit on the Throne”! Today with this new recognition that our coconut pluckers have earned, if Knox had been living, he would have said, “Take the ring (Walalla) off his ankles and dress him in a white suit, a coconut plucker is fit to be a minister”!

      Today Sri Lanka professes to be a truly egalitarian society honouring all manner of rights, fundamental rights, human rights and what not.

      The time has come indeed, like the State of Kerala to look up to our coconut pluckers not only literally but metaphorically too. The uniformed gentry of the Police and Armed Services who are compelled to salute politicians who have criminal records and often resort to low and disgraceful behaviour, should have no qualms in saluting our honourable coconut pluckers!

      Edward Gunawardena Battaramulla

  • 5
    1

    I quite agree with the writer. Time is prime to discipline some of unruly,rowdy and ruffian parliamentarians of both divides who had been given a open licence to misbehave and shout down any issue in the legislature.The voter must be prepared to elect a honest set of members to the parliament in the future.

  • 3
    0

    Perhaps we can show these hooligans, who call themselves people’s representatives, some video recordings of the the sittings of the British Paliament. They are quite exciting and full of drama but at teh same very decent. Why we as a Buddhist country, acheive at least something close to that is what I cannot understand.

  • 1
    0

    Srima has raised the right call. Less disciplining would be required if the “list system” is done away with in nominating candidates for elections. All the rif raf, bottle shop dealers and kuddas creep into parliament via this list system. 70 per cent of MPs have not passed O’levels. In the Indian Parliament 60 per cent are graduates.

    • 1
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      Beg to disagree, Shyamon.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/23/india-parliament-criminal-charges_n_5365225.html

      As the above link points out, yes there maybe 60% educated in the Indian parliament but there is also 34% facing criminal charges.

      I don’t think the problem is education but rather a lack of proper up brining.

      Many are the great and decent men/woman who have walked the hallways in parliaments with only 12 years (or even less) of schooling.

      Where did our religious leaders go ? They are busy playing politics themselves to guide the young…

  • 3
    2

    The word “Rascallions” is very much archaic, but Still sounds humorously mischievous. How about rephrasing it to “rascal-lions”, which too could fit clamorously naughty to spell upon the ‘Sinhala-Buddhists’.

  • 0
    0

    Democracy demands that everybody has the right to a place in Parliament depending solely on being voted in. It has unfortunate consequences.

    Singapore overcame this problem somewhat by limiting membership to university graduates and paying them a large enough salary to keep them from accepting bribes.

    How many of our own politicians would be able to jump such a hurdle ?

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