Moses of Lanka and the Ten Commandments
Posted on June 16th, 2009

Dilrook Kannangara

Prof Hudson McLean correctly identified President Rajapaksha as Moses of Sri Lanka. It is an apt comparison with the story in the Bible. However, Moses not only led his people to the Promised Land, but also regulated their affairs so that they will survive for thousands of years. This he did by giving them the Ten Commandments. He consulted God to come up with the Ten Commandments. Similarly Moses of Sri Lanka must also come up with Ten Commandments to safeguard Sri Lanka forever. To his credit he has already come up with the First Commandment!


The First Commandment “”…” There are Only Patriots and Traitors; There is no Ethnic Majority and Minority

Following the greatest ever victory mankind has seen, President Rajapaksha declared that there shall not be an ethnic majority and an ethnic minority; each Sri Lankan shall be either a patriot of Sri Lanka or a traitor. This understanding must be the basis of all political solutions and all legal pronouncements.


Racism was glorified in Ceylon even before gaining Independence. Racism emerged a very powerful tool to extort favours and unfair advantages over those who don’t practice racism. Unfortunately almost all the time Tamils had to be contended with racist political parties that conceived the Tamil Elam nonsense. From 1944 onwards it was only Tamil racist parties that ruled the north-east both in terms of votes and parliamentary seats. Whether it be All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Ilanka Thamil Arasu Kachchi, Tamil United Liberation Front, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, Tamil National Alliance or whatever, racist political ideologies thrived in the North-East. No wonder racist separatism emerged from the North-East!


The Sinhalas and Muslims responded to this aggression by forming the Sihala Urumaya (later renamed the Jathika Hela Urumaya) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Most legislators of these two parties were strong backers of the true peace process that emerged victorious in May 2009. However, going forward, they too will have to conform to the First Commandment.


The next nine commandments are yet to be finalised. Government should come up with them as soon as possible. As a guide let me elaborate what they should resemble.


The Second Commandment “”…” Every Sri Lankan shall Have Equal Rights

The Constitution has recognised equal rights for every Sri Lankan. It should be ensured and promoted. Institutions for the correct implementation of the law including fundamental rights need to be free from bias. Without anymore complications this will resolve almost all the problems attributed to equal rights.


Maintain law and order without interference from politicians and others. Subject the process of the law to regular independent review and expose and punish the wrongdoers. Instead of appointing the clowns as specified by the 17th Amendment which will only favour bankrupt politicians, appoint a Judicial and Police Independence Commission from retired judges to look into the irregularities. They should be instigating FR action in the Supreme Court in relation to irregularities. Similarly the Bribery & Corruption Commission should be able to take matters to court on its own with the help of the AG department. Politicians should not be allowed to suspend, dissolve, dysfunction or otherwise hinder their operations by commission or omission.    



The Third Commandment “”…” Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Shall Have the Blessings of the Maha Sangha and Other Patriots While His/Her Say on National Defence Shall be Obligatory Considerations for the President and the Parliament

There was a time when jokers with the names of ramshackle cars were appointed to high positions involved in defence. Instead of looking after defence, they were hell bent on glorifying and whitewashing the LTTE. No that the Chief of Defence Staff position is created with the responsibility to guide the strategic direction of the nation’s defences, it must be always filled by an unwavering patriot. As proven guardians of a civilised Sri Lanka for over 2,200 years, the Maha Sangha must be able to agree on the person holding the post of CDS. Similarly patriots got to be able to verify his patriotic credentials and challenge if required in a court of law.


Having proven his patriotic credentials, the instruction of the CDS should be mandatory considerations for the President and the Parliament in taking necessary action for national defence. His recommendations should be discussed and addressed appropriately by the Commander in Chief and the legislators.


The Fourth Commandment “”…” Promoting, Abetting, Supporting, Assisting, Encouraging, Inciting Separatism, Breach of Territorial Integrity or the Unitary Status and/or Concerting with Those Who Do So Towards that End  Shall be Punishable by the Illegalisation of the Group, Punishment not Less than 25 Years of Imprisonment and Property Confiscation  

Constitutional provisions and other laws like the PTA have failed to address this issue. Many loopholes in them allow culprit to escape easily. Serious and simple Constitutional provisions are needed to arrest the situation. Leave no room for escape for all kinds of separatists and the like and keep them away from poisoning the society.


Mass media shall fully comply with these laws in order to operate. Political parties, public servant and civil servants will be required to uphold national interests than promote separatists agendas. Simple punishments will take away the ridiculous complexities that allow culprits to get away.


The Fifth Commandment “”…” Economic Value of Taxpayer Funds Should Drive Decisions with Transparency

Plenty of examples can be given about how taxpayer funds are wasted on worthless efforts. From hospitals to universities, ministries to departments and LG bodies to the Parliament, waste, corruption and tax evasion contributes to billions of dollars every year. This has to be arrested for the betterment of the country. Some popular welfare schemes have failed to return an adequate return for the country and these should be restructured irrespective of what the trade unions, student groups, etc. say.


There is no excuse for letting the corrupt, the inefficient, the crooked and the unintelligent to siphon out honest taxpayers hard earned money. It is better in their pockets than in the hands of the useless.


The Sixth Commandment “”…” Keeping Business and Politics Away from Each other

In the 2004 General Election the UNP and UPFA had spent at least 4 billion rupees and 1 billion rupees each. These were official numbers declared by the parties but the actual is much higher, This also excludes money wasted by individual candidates! When all is added up it is not impossible that at least 10 billion rupees was spent on that election. If anyone thinks these are “donations” from well wishers and “out of pocket expenses” from politicians, he is a fool. These are “investments” that must earn many times more! That is not all; the spenders must earn for the next election as well.


Thus emerges the need for corruption. Corruption has to be cut don at the level of the need. It is too late if we try to stop it at the time of the corrupt act.


To stop it at the need-level, politics (power) and business should be kept apart. This requires strict and simple laws banning businessmen from having anything to do with politics and politicians from having anything to do with businessmen, apart from mere social and official association. No businessman should be allowed to become a politician and vice versa. They should be barred from concerting together for profit and favours.


Politics will become honourable once again and boring. Elections will not be marred with violence as politicians will consider winning an election a headache to serve the people round the clock! Politicians will not have to be protected so much as they have nothing to fight with the people. They should be able to overrule the unruly easily.


Recently a very senior South Korean president committed suicide unable to face the public after his corruption was exposed. In Sri Lanka this is unthinkable; if at all it will be the people to commit suicide and homicide over politicians’ corruption!


The Seventh Commandment “”…” Make Sinhala the Link Language

More than 90% of the population can speak Sinhala and teaching it to the 10% is no big deal. Once this happens, people will be able to communicate with each other freely and it doesn’t take an eternity. English should be the medium of education. Other complicated suggestions lack practicality. Making English the link language is not going to work for at least another century as the percentage of English speakers is less than 15%. Making Sinhala and Tamil both compulsory is also impractical as this means 10% of the population of Tamils and Muslim who cannot speak in Sinhala and 65% of the population of Sinhalese who cannot speak Tamil will have to learn a second, second language. More than 75% of the population will have to go through this and it will take an eternity to happen.


No language is superior to another. Just by teaching Sinhala to 10% of the population the communication divide can be bridged.  After all you only need one language to communicate.


Law must be used to punish those with the language superiority syndrome which is highly contagious.


The Eighth Commandment “”…” Make Use of the Strong Religious Background to Uplift Morals

This country is blessed beyond belief. It has no atheists and everyone has a religion. What’s more, almost 99% of the population belong to one of the four main religions of Earth! The remaining 1% also practices religions that respect all morals recognised by other religions.


This unusual blessing should not be allowed to be wasted anymore. It forms the basis of a nation-wide campaign to stir-up moral upliftment in the society. Quick action is needed in this regard. Only upon the re-moralisation of the Sri Lankan society can we really call the National Flag our own. If you look at it carefully, it is clear that the National Flag is a symbol of the religions (not races) of the nation; nothing else. Take a hard look at it!


The Ninth Commandment “”…” Integrate People of All Ethnicities into One Sri Lankan Community

LTTE created mono ethnic enclaves in the country by ethnic cleansing. These evil acts should be reversed by resettling Sinhalas and Muslims. Avoid devolving power to racial groups and provinces suffering from the effects of ethnic cleansing. Fix the problems first and then share power as required.


What cricket has done especially for the past 27 years is remarkable. We got the Test status in 1982 and war broke out in 1983. But cricket did a yeoman service to inter-ethnic unity. Imagine what many sports can do. Popularising cricket, soccer, volleyball, rugby and other popular sports throughout the country will bring people together.


The Tenth Commandment “”…” Leverage the High Human Development Index for Economic Growth

India ranks 126 in terms of the Human Development Index compared to the better rank of 93 for Sri Lanka. However, India has very successfully used its lower HDI to develop an enormous IT industry. Other ancillary industries have also come up bringing in more than US$25 billion a year. Sri Lanka stands in a better position to develop its service based industry with skilled professionals.


At the same time using innovation is another aspect of human development. Amalgamating the relatively higher HDI with our other competencies in agriculture, fisheries, tourism, etc. can spin out multiple business opportunities. These efforts can fast track the economy into development with relatively little initial capital outlay.        


Defending the nation from suicide bombers is only one part of the game. Defending it from Tamil Elamists buying power is another. Money earned through scams, frauds, drugs and even legitimate means are channelled to the creation of the dreamland of Tamil Elam in Sri Lanka. Hindering all avenues of Tamil Elam is the way forward.

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