26 September, 2021

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Why Lanka’s Parliament Has Declined & Decayed

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

The State Council and the ‘old’ Parliament were held in high esteem – Why Lanka’s Parliament has declined and decayed

Let me start with a confession. The last two weeks have been consumed rereading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire parts of which deal with the decline and decay of that most august of bodies, the Roman Senate. Those familiar with the first three volumes cannot miss their influence throughout this essay, but in a pint-sized column such as this it is infeasible to always insert quotation marks or add dutiful ibids. I have also taken tiny liberties with a few quotations.

By ‘decline’, in my title, I mean institutional changes, such as anointing Octavian as Augustus, or in our case the executive presidency, which undermined parliament. The ‘decay’ Gibbon pointed to was the decline of the moral and intellectual stature of Roman Senators. I borrow it deliberately, and disparagingly, for the appalling degeneration of Lanka’s legislators in the last four decades. Before getting my teeth in, here are two pickings from Gibbon which structure this essay.

  • “The principles of a free constitution are irrevocably lost when the legislative power is nominated by the executive”. (In modern English read ‘dominated’ for “nominated”). 
  • “Unless public liberty is protected by intrepid and vigilant guardians the authority of a formidable state soon degenerates into despotism”. If we translate into the rough and robust style of today we would say: The servile, grovelling, fawning and odious conduct of our parliamentarians has contributed much to the subversion of a free and democratic Lanka.

A personal anecdote of grovelling relates to the Eighteenth Amendment (Rajapaksa’s shot at eliminating term-limits). At the time I was in the Central and Executive Committees of Vasudeva Nanayakkara’s (VN) DLF party and it was gospel that we loathed the Executive Presidency. Mention of a third term would have made the party puke. Then came the surprise from Rajapaksa toadies (including all Sirisena-SLFP current Cabinet Ministers) that 18A was to be tabled. Much overrated Shirani Bandaranaike, then CJ, gave it an opportunist wink and a nod – not that it did her much good in the end; a lesson Sirisena has still to learn. Next, here is a bit of history that needs to be recorded.

There was hullabaloo in the DLF, noisy argument and the Central Committee was summoned. Of the thirty-odd attendees, shockingly, only three (Lankaloka, Wilegoda and I) called on the party to oppose 18A. The rest expressed strong support; VN grovelled and endorsed 18A in parliament. The LSSP and CP replicated the grovelling. The motive of these “leaders” who desecrated the mantle of NM*, Colvin*, Peiter*, Dr Wicks and Leslie* were posts and perks. The membership drooled for lesser favours in local areas. This was the last straw; I quit the DLF and sank my valuation of VN to just another Mahinda creep. (*I disagreed with these leaders in 1964 and from 1970 onwards; but there never was any distrust; the dispute was about the right and the wrong road to socialism. The four needed no portfolios, which in any case lowered not elevated their stature).

To return to my theme, on the decay of parliament due to institutional change – the executive presidential system – Gibbon has much to say that would make you think he was standing not at Trevi Fountain but on the bund of the Kotte lagoon. The rot of parliament was precipitate and inglorious after the 1978 Constitution. Weak institutions can be hijacked, democracy undone and systems that concentrate power in one man subverted to personal agendas. All visible in the internecine struggles of the second (Premadasa) presidency and full blown in Caligula like proportions in the Rajapaksa era. The reason the cancer has not swelled up much post-2015, is because Sirisena is distrusted within the divided government, and as an individual he has the disposition of an anaemic hamster. He makes it obvious now that he is Mahinda’s point man inside the ‘no-longer unity government’. This shackles him internally. His personal integrity too is not above reproach.

The general control of finances and the absolute control of the military raised Octavian (Augustus) to levels never before enjoyed by any Consul or Praetor, not even the great Julius. The end of the Roman Republic can be traced with exactness to the grant of extraordinary powers by the Senate to Octavian in 27 BC after the defeat of Mark Anthony at the Battle of Actium. Still, Augustus was only called Principate (first citizen) not emperor.

In times of emergency a “Dictator would be appointed by the Senate for a term of six months only, constitutional government was suspended and the Dictator would take control of the state. When his term ended, constitutional government would be restored and the Dictator fired. The Romans, smarter than Lankans, gave emergency powers, each time, to a different person and for a short period only. Despite deep suspicion of ambition (Caesar paid dearly for “ambition”), the Republic gradually gave way to Empire with constitutional transitions and the moral flabbiness of Senators. In the next phase the shrewd and balanced Augustus (d.14AD), was followed by less able successors; some were tyrants, two (Caligula 37-41 AD and Nero 54-68 AD) were clinically insane. 

It would be inaccurate to describe the successors of JR as clinically insane. But tyrant, an old-fashioned term, fits one of them; the nemesis of democracy, disrupter of the rule of law and enemy of human rights. Furthermore, there was a propensity to servitude in the retinue (think of hilarious Dr Mervyn). No one in the cortege dared tell an emperor that he/she was naked, privates in full view, when the boss acted like a knave – Water’s Edge, Mattala, Lotus Tower to emptiness, Sampur power-plant cock-up, and more. Cowardly silence in the retinue, servile civil-servants, billion-rupee larceny and sil-reddi venality are features of our presidential system. Do you know the collective noun for owls and rooks, like flock for birds and herd for cattle? It’s ‘parliament’! When an executive president roars, hordes of parliamentarians, state officers and hangers-on, grope like half-blind owls and eat carrion like crows.

“Notwithstanding the propensity of mankind to exalt the past and depreciate the present” it is reasonable to assert that the State Council in the 1930s and Parliament in early post-independence decades – both institution and membership – were held in esteem. Now parliament is ridiculed. The booming oratory and prodigious intellect of Colvin marked him, at his peak, as Lanka’s Cicero; what a comedown to today’s clattering brass. Schools brought students from Jaffna on excursions not to watch some ratty Finance Minister read the budget, but a fortnight later to hear NM open the budget debate. I am no fan of SWRD, GG, Dudley, Mrs B, or JR – perish the thought – but even a sceptic must grant that today’s lot “walk under their huge legs and peep about to find themselves dishonourable graves”. (This phrase of course is not Gibbon’s).  The difference is not in the water, the air, or the dhal they imbibe; parliament atrophied when the executive presidency arrived and emasculated it. The debate on the 4 April 2018 no-confidence motion, for example, was so hollow.

There is a second factor which has contributed to degeneration; evaporation of racial and religious tolerance. “The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by philosophers as equally false; and by the state as equally useful”. (I love philosophers!). Roman pantheism was open minded, religious accommodation a norm. The edifice of power preserved the wisdom of the ages and let Rome set about the more important business of codifying laws, strengthening institutions, building roads and aqueducts, diffusing city freedom with prudent liberality and crafting a civilisation that stood for a thousand years. Roman citizenship was catholic; millions from the provinces, the colonies and municipal towns were eligible and conditions were not onerous; the state was fortified by an open view of citizenship. It is estimated that at the time of Claudius citizenship stood at seven million; add women and children and it reaches 20 million – huge by the standards of the time.

This reminds me of another emigrant nation which reached for greatness by opening its doors to the best and the brightest. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. A small island crowded with 21 million souls is a different ball game from Rome and America, but there are lessons that should kick us in the teeth. Our notion of national identity remains undefined at best, blinkered and bigoted at worst. Parliament now serves as a repository of this plague. As I have taken pains to explain, ever since the all-deciding executive presidency took over, it is jobless. Then the new proportional representation system lowered the bar further. You see, MPs have no real constituency to answer to or be responsible for. Hence the overriding purpose of being an MP is to be re-elected. If an unwieldly multitude of citizens debases the exercise of power, then MPs compete to champion the basest instincts of the mass to ensure re-election. In a word, this is why the well of parliament has become a pit of racist stench.

The wretchedness of the hegemonic political culture of the petty-bourgeois does not reinforce progress or unify the nation, it contradicts them. Anti-secularism, outmoded religious systems, the failures of parliament (and presidency), and anti-modernism have undermined bourgeois democracy in Sri Lanka. After the exit of the Raj the Indians found progressive solutions to problems of state, economy and national consolidation; thus far we have failed.

Parliament has degenerated for a multiplicity of layered reasons. Its power has been debased like counterfeit coin by an all-powerful executive; PR and preference voting, as institutionalised in Sri Lanka, have deracinated MPs from the grassroots – they are no longer tribunes of folks in towns and villages. Then pathological communal hatred has sunk Mother Lanka deeper in misery than other nations afflicted with similar ailments. 

This would be too negative a note to end on; what’s the way forward? Annul the executive presidency, legislate harsh penalties for corrupt Ministers and MPs (in China they execute the buggers; bloody good idea), educate the ignorant ones (you will need a large classroom), build institutions and most important, school the people and raise public consciousness. Alas, all easier said than done!

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Latest comments

  • 8
    20

    I know Even JVP is asking to abolish executive PResidency which is in absolute terms not executive. Executive president can be bullied by the Parliamenrt as well as by the dirty Hyena PM. My opinion is Executive Presidency is a must until the 13th amendment is abolished. but, Hindia want allow it then Tamil migrent in Sri lanka make it a political issue intheir motherland, a block vote issue in the UK. Besides withthe parliament composition, MPs can be bought to screw up the PM who is seleced by the corrupt parliament and not by the people. My view is cance the 19th amendment and strenghten thre 18th amendment to make the executive president is a really executive who is answerable to the voters and not to the corrupt parliament. See right now, Because of right honurable Ranil, and his other right honourable thief with multiple financial Fraud charges and his Foot note gang. PArliament is a JOKe. Get rid of these thieves, Bring legislation to make it functional by getting rid of so many three wheeler parties. then it starts working.

    • 11
      4

      Time to crack down on the individuals acting as proxies to bring the Rajapaksas Black Monies back into Sri Lanka…

      #INTERPOL

    • 1
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      Not only the Parliamentary system in decay the government run ” state institutions” are at a loss which are Unproductive.
      The government’s wasted revenue was far more than spent on the state health service!!
      Who are the culprits wasting the state finance unproductively??
      Recently accused Sathosa CEO was one such culprit , how many more in the Parliament Ministries who are gobbling up the state revenue??

      The world Bank has pointed out that this is unacceptable .

      So what are the other badly run government institutions and ministries??
      Why do they only talk talk and fight fight in the Parliament nothing constructive comes out.
      No counter productivity no growth but Zero returns.
      What’s happening Mr Sirisena and Mr Wickramasinghe??
      Who is draining our state wealth??
      Tom, Dick and Harry Eh!!??????
      Expose them Sirs instead of covering up and protecting them ??
      The Elephants ( mega crooks) are in the parliament. We all know that.

  • 8
    18

    I get what KUmar David says. President is chosen by the 69% of sinhala buddhists. 31% of minorities can ask for a president as their voting power is weak. then the problem is how come your common candidate Ranil going to win the Presidency. Or are you suggesting a way to Keep Ranil as the Executive PM and ask MY3 to step down. I am sorry to say, over and over again you prove you passed advanced level by that JAffna Style A/L examination are are we dumb and you are talking to 31% of the minorities.

    • 15
      6

      I feel really sad about this frog in the well ‘SOFTY” who wries so much of nonsense.
      He thinks that everyone is a gross IDIOT like him.
      Dr. Kumar David is a First Class honours in Electrical Engineering from Peradeniya, with a PhD from a British University.

      • 0
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        That makes him an expert on engineering not politics.

        • 0
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          Is’nt it better than having school dropout from Ananda college as minister in-charge of country’s economics matters for five years? He knew how to buy a few palaces in Gampaha district.

  • 7
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    Itis not the Executive president that has hijacked Weak Institutions. who is PM is he executive or semi-executive in front of a non-executive president who is supposed to be executive. If the president was executive why Mahinda Rajapkse had to buy Ministers from UNP and other parties to continue the war. Because he needed 2/3rd power. Now, Maithripala sirisena proves that he is really lame duck preident and his Ultra Liberal, right wing durty Hyena PM can run amock te parliament. See how he used Central Bank to bankrupt three banks and employee provident funds Because, Mahinda Rajapakse has money to spend. See how he is running the Srilankan airlines with unqualified his school mates. I heard SOE – State enterprises what ever is loisng money. auditor general says, the management is unqualified and incompetant. I heard BOC – bank of Ceylon also lost 50% of it’e previous year’s profits. If you check Definitely BOC chriman should be a Ranil’s school mate who is uneducated, incompetant and is an idiot. that is just extrapolation and prediction. Have you worked or looking for a position in the Bank too ?

    • 1
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      The Chairman of BOC is a old joe and a lawyer . An ineffective dude by all means and the qualifications I believe is being the son of Paul . Effing Joke if their was one.

  • 5
    5

    What great nations you are talking. Bangladeah got indpendance after that and they are doing better than us. Malaysia and Singapore got indpendence after us. they are doing better. Kenya is also the same. Now the western journalists compare us to a Debt ridden country and they say Zanbia is going to be the African – Sri lanka. what a Reputation because of the EXECUTIVE PM and his chosen gang of right hounrable thieves.

    • 10
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      The real challenge faced by this website is to promote disagreement without insult. That is when a website truly becomes a delight to visit. We owe it to the rest of us to be civil, even in disagreement.

      • 0
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        Dear Justice and Fairplay,
        .
        Yes; although we survey a scene that is depressing, we can take some comfort from the way Prof. David, Mama Sinhalam, Raja Senanayake, Kolla, Plato, and many others write.
        .
        It is always a delight to read you as well!

  • 3
    4

    Prof. Kumar David, I started reading your article with great eagerness, even though the Title predicted that it was just a theoretical prescription. Sorry, I couldn’t continue with the same enthusiasm I started with. It was too tedious for me to keep focus. I shouldn’t comment further, for I never read it fully.

    • 3
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      You have a short attention span; that is the problem!

      • 2
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        TEDIOUS: dull, tiresome, too long, … … .
        You do not know what tedious means. That is your problem.

  • 1
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    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/

  • 12
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    The standards of the Parliament has dropped mainly because there isn’t a basic requirements to contest either the parliamentary or Local/Provincial government ELECTIONS. They should be a graduate without any criminal record/pending criminal cases and be ideally fluent all 3 languages of the country.

  • 9
    2

    Prof. Kumar David,

    RE Why Lanka’s Parliament Has Declined & Decayed?

    The mean IQ of Lanka, occupied by the Paras, mostly from India, Damba-Diva, Bharat is 79.

    The MPs who are elected have mean IQ’s close to 79 or lower. T here is one MP, Buruwamsa, who says, 2/2 =0, and he got 300,000 preferential votes.

    https://photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

    Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

    If you want to improve the quality of the Parliament, give then IQ tests, and put a cut off value of say 2 standard deviations above the mean of 79.After all, for the universities, there is some kind of screening, even through not perfect.

  • 19
    0

    The main reason the Parliament has declined and decayed is because the political party leaders have given nominations to thugs, rogues, rapists, murderers and paga kings. Equally the voters too have to take the blame for voting for these undesirables. Its time the leaders of the parties stop giving nominations to these guys. The other reason is, like in the present government, the President is not a strong person and he does not appoint able MPs as ministers. For example the President opposes the appointment of Sarath Fonseka as Minister of Law and Order. Hence the President does not want to deliver the promises he gave the voters during his election campaign. Will the Parliament reverse its position, well that depends on the new ministers who will be appointed soon and once they are appointed we can know how honest the leaders are. This is their last chance.

  • 7
    1

    Researchers try to connect two events through statistical methods and if the numbers are right a relationship is deemed to exist. Prof. Kum’s exercise in comparing two incidents, namely, the falling and finally sunk Roman Empire and the deprave Sri Lankan politics is illuminating though dull to the ordinary reader. There are common attributes to success and decay. The success or failure of an institution managed by humans entirely depends on the values that the humans concerned prefer to uphold thus characterizing the quality of the humans and thereby the output of the institution. What we need is the cultivation of humans with good values and for them to take up positions that exercise public will. No amount of laws, rules, regulations etc. can be a substitute for humans with good values.

  • 12
    0

    The answer is v.simple.These 225 should be the so called lawmakers in the country .Just see how they behave in the parliament “Wihilu sappayanno.”Most of them have robbed the counrys wealth and have become millionars.Some are involved/ordered in murderrs.Most of them have not Even passed GCE OL.Most of them should have been serving long prison sentences by now.For the last 70 years they have been above the law or lawbreakers.For the last 25 years 3 presidents promised to abolish the executive presidency.None couldnt do it.When they come to power they are the owners of the country.In a developed nation politicians are not the owners of the country.They are just a caretaker for 5 years till the next election.When you have muppets in the parliament.What do you get??.A muppet show.

  • 8
    0

    ” Wonder of Asia ” well can anyone elaborate on this incident at the GOSL Parliament??
    “Culture of violence ” in the Parliament all to see in the picture above. Any murder that we have not heard of??
    GOSL knows how to cover up crimes anyway.

    As we know there are several groups in our Ape Aanduwe are “law unto themselves”
    They think they’re above Law , can escape from anything. This culture of impunity is evident among several groups of professions.
    They’re in fact serving the country as SERVANTS OF THE NATION / PEOPLE Receiving salaries from the state.
    They’re are Government Servants indeed , but they behave as the “LORDS OF THE JUNGLE.”??

    Why and how these Government servants were allowed to follow the culture ? Why are they above law??
    ” We the public allowed that to happen.”
    Worshipping them like gods and subdued by these government servants. Not Right ! Right??
    One other recent culture of impunity on display ” of an uneducated wife of the Armed force Personnel commanding a government servant to hold the umbrella for her preventing getting wet.
    Has she lost her Arms?? Mannerless woman.
    Why that government servant was NOT DOING THE JOB HE WAS PAID FOR?? Whose fault?? Why the Silly woman was taking advantage of a government servant in public all to see.

    Who are they ?? , We call them the Servants of the state ??
    They are from the “Uniformed Armed services “, ” Medical Professionals ” , ” The Politicians ” finally the ” Men in yellow Robes ” who are NOT Government Servants but they’re PEOPLES SERVANTS.
    The people are providing for their upkeep ( according to Buddhism) but they’re multi millionaires as we know.
    But we do not know how they amassed wealth and became Super rich which is against the Principles of Buddhism or a Buddhist Monk.
    They too are ” the law unto themselves”
    This is LAWLESS SRILANKA WHERE CULTURE OF IMPUNITY FLOURISHES.

  • 1
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    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/

  • 9
    0

    The ideals and values that the older generation accepted were Western-Marxism, parliamentary politics, importance of ideas, standards in public life. But even then the South Asian thing-Nepotism, politics as a permanent employment were occurring.

    Now we have the complete local show-ugly men doing ugly things on an ugly stage to an audience of open mouthed idiots .
    I think we were foolish then to have thought a small European thing ( a parliament, political parties , legal systems , central committees, public life in that sense ) could be created on this little island in the Indian Ocean.
    It is amazing how many Sri Lankans ( very anti West here)when in trouble and in danger in their motherland, find refuge in European countries and not in China, Saudi Arabia or India ! How many Sri Lankans have found a good life in the West ? I think even VNs children studied in the West and even live in the USA.
    Rule of law and quality of life are things their country will never give them.They may speak one thing, but know the truth in their bones.
    There are any races on this earth. All cannot create good societies. Not all are the same, nor are they equal it appears.

  • 5
    2

    It is a thoughtful essay. Reading Gibbon is tiresome. The three novels based on Cicero and his efforts to prevent the rise of Caesar by Robert Harris (Imperium, Dictator and …) are easier to read. They account for the rise of a dictator and the inability of Cicero, a great intellectual politician of the time to prevent it. In Sri Lanka we have had efforts at the rise of dictators. The means used have been not the force of personalities but the churning of racism. Bandaranaike started it. We began this so called revolution with a crude guy called Themis who epitomised the coming of the rabble rousing politicians. But, were people like Athulathmudali, an oxford man, any different. They stood behind these men and urged them onto greater vitriol against the Tamils. The culmination is Rajapakse and his brood, absolutely unrefined thugs leading other thugs. It will be difficult to change this picture. Democracy given to a people prone by history and inclination to racism ( Sinhala Buddhism derived from the Mahavamsa) is to use the Tamil simile like a garland of the best flowers in the hands of monkeys.

  • 6
    1

    It is not the fault of the Executive Presidency but the moral disintegration of society unable to resist false modernist values bereft of religion. We need traditional Buddhism to incorporate modern liberal values to build a Sri Lankan nation composed of all born in Sri Lanka and substitute Sri Lankan nation for Sinhala nation. We must restore the moral values based on Buddhism and incorporate the basic minimum values like respect for life in our Constitution.

  • 9
    1

    The older generation largely English educated set the tone for the whole society. But with the decline of English education the traditional values alone remained. nothing wrong with them but they have to be expanded and adapted to a modern society where the interaction between people is more frequent and more varied requiring newer definitions of the moral values of society. This we have failed to incorporate into the traditional value system.
    English education brought with it modern values both spiritual and temporal. The schools take-over is largely responsible for earlier the Buddhists and Hindus were familiarized with western religious and moral values. The schools takeover is largely responsible for the moral decline in our society. Let us at least promote English education more earnestly for a language of a Western society brings with it, its moral values as well. Traditional religion has been too passive and if the monks were to lead they become aggressive nationalists. Let us have Buddhism without nationalism as its accompaniment.

    • 8
      0

      Raja, I think there is a lot in what you say. But, I do have doubts. I have written in support of Buddhism as the state religion if it is the true Buddhism of love and kindness not the Sinhal-Buddhism of hegemony over other people. But, it would be a contradiction to make the religion of the World Renouncer the state religion. As to English, I may also agree but the English that we learnt in the older generation in the public school mould does not exist any more. It is a technician’s language taught and learnt for the mercenary purpose of acquiring some skills. For that reason we should make it compulsory for all but I do not know whether it will give values. The UK politicians standards have declined. They are a pack of liars (e.g.. the lies that led to the Brexit vote) and a pack of fraudsters (e.g.. the non-disclosure of assets by the Health Minister). We must search for value in the teachings of the Buddha, Gita, Ghandi and our oriental traditions. In the New Year, all of us return to them. Fall at the feet of our elders and teachers. I remember with affection my many Sinhalese students who want me to bless them if they meet me on New Year Day. It is not that we lack our values but the greed in society makes us remember them only on particular days. Why I often wonder that the Sinhalaya, the most lovely person in the world, become murderous and hateful when in a mob going after a Tamil or a Muslim? To a large extent, the hate that this idea of Sinhala hegemony as a path of the politician to power has ensured that we have abandoned our values.

    • 10
      1

      Raja
      There are the pictures of three politicians in the article, Banda, NM and Pieter Kueneman. They are among the most educated of our politicians. Banda went to Oxford, NM went to the LSE and Pieter to Cambridge. Were they any better than the present lot of illiterates? I suggest not. Banda started on the Sinhala hegemony politics which made our country roll downhill, cost thousands of life and left a bitterness that has not healed. NM after holding out became a Minister and there was a scandal about Giridara Mills. Pieter, the one I liked the most, also gave up his creed so that he could become a Minister setting back the left movement and ensuring that there was no opposition to racial politics. Since then politics of the different Sinhala parties was confine to which one was more Sinhala_Buddhist than the other. Education did not prevent these three men pursuing power at all cost. The two leftists gave up parity of status so that they could have power.What could you expect of lesser beings like MR?

    • 1
      0

      Raja, when Mahanayakes oppose the appointment of a Christian from another cast other than Govigama as the Governor of the Central Province, and the President bends over backwards to accommodate their request, do you think there is any value in Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka today? I am not against Buddhism at all, may be the problem is with Theravada Buddhism. If you see where ever Theravada Buddhism is practiced like in Sri Lanka and Burma there is violence against other religious followers. However, where Mahayana is practiced we see peace and love for all.

  • 5
    0

    Failure is mainly due to absence of clear cut intelligently designed objectives. As Amarasiri commented above, there should be MP’s with good IQ’s. The leaders are aiming to swindle the treasury by various rouses and they dont need intelligent citizens to be members so that no many questions are posed. Be a MP and feast on the treasury whose doors are wide open. The doors are open to legislators, sanga, bussinessmen, friends, relatives, etc. This is the present constitution, not that made by the citizens, but by the politicians.

  • 5
    0

    The mindset of Srilankans must change.

    Employ ONLY people who KNOW and not whom you Know.

  • 6
    0

    Kumar David, mate you said in 2008 Sri Lanka alone can never end the war and you suggested this island should merge with India , and now you are again predicting doom and gloom for this island because you yourself failed in your Trotskyite meanderings and you have lost your political way, not even your old pal VN talks to you these days I bet. If you and your cohort left supported Mrs B in in mid seventies JR would have never won the two third majority, and there would never have been an Executive Presidency, now you cry wolf, how ironic.

    • 4
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      Mrs. B became so loathsome. That was why people voted for JR overwhelmingly.

    • 1
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      wannihami

      “Kumar David, mate you said in 2008 Sri Lanka alone can never end the war and you suggested this island should merge with India ,”

      He was right. Any Tom, Dick and Harry would have known the war against LTTE was won by a coalition of allied forces, VP, Hindia, USA, 28 other countries, and without reporters. The battle at UNHRC was won by Hindia and USA in favour of war criminals.

      “and you suggested this island should merge with India ,”

      As far as Hindians are concerned Sri Lanka is the Sinhala state of Hindia or Akhand Bharat or Akhand Hindusthan. The High Commissioner of Hindia is the Governor Hindia’s Sinhala state. In doubt please visit Hindian High Commission in Colombo.

      The weeping widow ruined the country even without the active support of the left and Felix sacked thelefties from one of the most racist government, in midway through.
      The weeping widow didn’t need JR to ruin the country she did it splendidly well. I still wonder how did the liberal Buddhists elect the most illiberal weeping widows and JRs to power? In the case of horas, VP delivered the presidency to Dr Mahinda and his clan.

  • 4
    0

    …….The decay of the Roman Empire[ As per Gibbon] was the decline of the MORAL and INTELLECTUAL stature of the Roman Senators…….
    This fits our Parliament and almost all MPP! like a glove!
    Rajah Senanayake in his comment above has correctly diagnosed the causes for this decay and decline.

  • 3
    1

    The caption of this article asked: “Why Lanka’s Parliament Has Declined & Decayed” . The BEST answers to this question were given by two eminent politicians. Immediately after the recently concluded Local Govt. Election held on 10th Feb: Mr. Bandula Gunawardene, a well “Educated” and an ex Minister of Education said: ” Even if Rajapakse placed a “POL LELLA” (Coconut Husk) people would have voted in large numbers”. Next: At a recent Media Briefing, another “Strong Man” from the Trade Union field, Mr. Lalkantha of JVP said, in answer to a question: ” Not only “POL LELLA” (Coconut Husk) but the people would even vote for a “BALU BETTA” (Dog’s Poo). So WHY all these “Theories” and references made to Roman Empire etc. to explain and answer the question raised, when simple and very true answers are available from within our own country , and that too not so historical. Please refrain from “beating about the bush”. What we need to do is to face the TRUTH and seek a SOLUTION.

  • 2
    0

    Rot started with 78 constitution, people must be blamed for 5/6 power given to JR.

    However we have a responsibility to upgrade country’s political thought without unproductively blaming those responsible for degradation.

    Not the president or the PM should be given executive power, it should be given to the parliament.

    Strangely there’re more than enough MPs in the parliament. we can reduce the number to 100; to be elected on 1st past the post basis & a senate elected on proportional representation basis.

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      Real Revolutionist

      “Rot started with 78 constitution,”

      Not really.
      Actually rot started on September 2, 1951 when SLFP was formed.

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    “Wealth beyond Means” should be made a crime – it is a crime in India, but ignored in Sri Lanka.
    Most corrupt politicians will then be behind bars, and we can start afresh.
    Why this simple cleansing legal remedy is ignored, is puzzling.

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      Justice
      Have you ever seen any politicians sent to prison? Except Sirima B, just because she was from the weaker sex, This is Buddha land protecting Criminals I suppose written in the Buddha sasana.
      That’s why the President is dead against sending criminals to face the law and eventual prison.
      No, not in SL.
      Protecting war criminals is another chapter I guess in ” Buddha sasana”. What ever happens protect the thieves.
      Why do you think our country rating is in the nose dive for Accountability.
      The more the criminals are protected from the higher authority , the Criminals from big and small knows that they will be protected by the President and the PM.
      This kind of mentality is the essence for destruction of a Nation.

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    The Prof Kumar David pontifications could have been delivered without the two weeks rereading Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. The ‘Fall’ was not due the decay of the Roman Senate – “the most august of bodies” (Kumar David rating). The “Fall” was due to the insatiable thirst to build Empires.
    .
    The number vying for the Lankan Emperor position is down to three – one still uses WMD language/religion-divide. This started as a tooth decay seventy years back. The parliament started rotting from that day. We are just realising from where the smell emanates

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    UNP Octavian Dr Ranil, put the Yahapalana Finance under his Belt.
    Now even the UNP kinder Kids in Colombo know what Dr Ranil did with it.
    Just imagine if Dr Ranil had the Srilankan Military under his Belt too?.

    On a different note, I just checked WB Poverty Report on Hindustan.
    20 Percent of the Hindians still live in abject poverty.
    That is a whopping a 270 Million souls.
    They do not have access to Latrines, Running Water or Electricity.
    StillDr Kumar thinks they have done better than us Lankans.
    There you go……

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      One can live forever in denial as ” frogs in well ” mentality , where as the truth is that
      India ( Hindia as for KAS ) is considered to be one of the super powers with a thriving democracy , it’s also a vast country compared to SL.
      Where does our Ape Aanduwe stands on the Scale ???
      Zero rated country ofcourse, it’s all the talk the talk equals Nil.

      The recent world Bank report speaks volumes of the state of affairs of our country.
      Talk talk go on talking filth through the filthy mouths in the parliament or outside.
      Country is good at that Educated or otherwise all are Morally or culturally redundant.
      Should we be proud of the way the country is heading ?? Or bury our heads in Shame!!!

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      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “They do not have access to Latrines, Running Water or Electricity.”

      Alright, alright, if you see the Indians are suffering under Hindian rule as a compassionate Sinhala/Buddhist you should be the first one to raise funds among the rich politicians and Maha Sangha, get some Chinese contractors and build Latrines, Running Water or Electricity for the poor inhabitant of India.

      By the way according to 2011 census 95,000 people do not have access to toilets in this island.

      “StillDr Kumar thinks they have done better than us Lankans.
      There you go……”

      Of course you are great, your leaders are great, your country is great, building skyscrapers, dams, ships, planes, tanks, being a software power house, exporting food, machinery, tools, motor vehicles, …. to Indians including parippu, three wheelers, ………………….. medicine, …

      You seemed to have recovered from drink problem. How long did it take you to dry out? Are you still in rehab, ………. Thai monks run rehab for drug and alcohol addiction are cheaper than American luxury ones.

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    Dear Sinhala_Man, Kindly give some thought to what Thappu has said (below). Having paid attention to his comments on other articles, I am sure that he had laid out in a subtle way, the views of many for whom you hold your admiration.
    *
    Kumar David, has his political leanings. Even though he is no more advocating his thinking aggressively, his political philosophy intervenes.
    *
    What was Kumar David trying to convey in this article. Couldn’t he have been direct in what he wanted to say. That was the question.
    *
    kolla, Mama Sinhalam, Raja Senanayake, … have nibbled at the causes and remedies of the decline and decay.
    *
    With your equanimous mind you are struggling to educate this Forum. This Forum is of those whose minds are set. There are those millions who do not get involved with what you, I and many others write here. Those minds matter more; much much more.
    *
    It is no more a case of who’ll bell the cat; It is a case of where is the bell!

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      Yes, Unreal,

      All too true.

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    The present state of affairs is caused by leaders of the UNP and SLFP. After the JVP uprising the UNP and SLFP nominated thugs, After the 13 th amendment UNP and SLFP appointed Illiterates to Pradesya sabah, Provincial councils to parliament, Parties encouraged corrupt family bandysm , The corrupt political brats were a disgrace to any country including Sirisenas brat. All this is because the MPs will not question the leaders corruption and can be bought by financial incentives. No decent person will want to be a MP today as they will not be willing to be survile. The fault of Sri Lanka are her leaders. They must be made to account and the UNP and SLFP must be banned if we are to get back a civilised society.

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    Well written, as often he does. I read it twice.

    I see two solutions – (1) Bloody revolution; Most unlikely. (2) Reform within the 70% of the population comprising the Sinhala Buddhists who are in utter confusion about everything including themselves. They don’t see or heed the continuing rapid deterioration of the two distinguishing attributes of the community – Sinhala language and the Dhamma. It is they who send the most number of uneducated men with no upbringing to parliament. No nation can hold together when such a large component of it is is such disarray.

    It’s possible that about 95% of the Sinhala Buddhists are actually Sinhala Hindus with Buddha (10th Avatar of Vishnu) as the chief god. Perhaps 60% of them are below the poverty line. Poor, gullible, and uninformed, they are compelled to vote for any rascal who promises a few immediate benefits such as roofing sheets, a squatting plate or paving the road. The last five-year plan was in 1972 – forty-six years ago. Having opened the economy, JR said “Let the robber barons come”. And they are all over now, mostly in parliament and local government bodies. How can we aspire to M.P.s of the caliber of those named.

    What could be tried is for the government to conduct a Council of Dharma by way of the constitutional requirement of “Fostering Buddhism”. Let the monks and educated lay Buddhists debate and discuss the issues relating to the present conditions including the status of minorities and recommend actions towards evolving a just and productive community of Sinhala Buddhists. Have the details of such an exercise worked out carefully, even enabling inputs from other communities and faiths. After all, it is the 21st century and the international realities cannot be ignored. Is there anything in the Dhamma that runs contrary to the ideals of Democracy? I don’t know.

    Aananda

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    What did the sterling stuff that the parliamentary left was made of do to the oppressed people?
    They sold out lock, stock and barrel.
    The intellectual dishonesty of the old left is as bad as the corruption of today’s lot.
    A stab in the back is a stab in the back be it by a sterling silver knife or one made of pewter.

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