The President & the General
Posted on October 15th, 2009

Prof. Hudson McLean

I felt that I had to put my two cents worth of comment to the on-going saga of the President & the General.

First of  all General Sarath Fonseka is no ordinary mortal.  He has proved beyond any doubt that he is a highly skilled strategic planner who could put his Plan to Action. And succeed.

Second President Mahinda Rajapaksa has shown his political savvy thinking far into the future.

With over 60% of gains in the recent polls, Mahinda has already planned his next ten year strategy in maintaining leadership in the country.

The electorate has seen what Mahinda has successfully achieved but would not understand or give two hoots if H.E goes to the polls to seek to change the constitution.

By doing that HE can reverse the current system and make the Presidency a symbolic decorative Head of State with no Executive Powers.  H.E also has the powerful machinery to go to the electorate, and as the Leader of the Party, become the Prime Minister, with full Executive Power.

If H.E continues to deliver, as the Head of the Party and Prime Minister, H.E can reign as long as he lives.

Any slime who is now trying to put a spanner into the wheels of a good working relationship between the President and the General seems to have missed this point.

Yes the General can place his candidacy to become the President at the next Presidential elections, but the new President might just be the figure-head to meet and greet the great and the ugly.

Where as by decent co-existence with the powerful, popular President, the General might go for other goodies which he could receive from a grateful President.

A Deputy Ministerial Portfolio should not be the ambition of a General who actually deserves to greater heights in life.

In Singapore, the government actually compensates the Military and Defence leadership with very lucrative commercial positions.  With a brilliant, creative, analytical mindset which can Plan the Work and Work the Plan, General Fonseka should be offered a highly compensated commercial position to develop defined key tasks and challenge.

Apart from top ceremonial Diplomatic positions in London, Washington, Paris or Tokyo, Sri Lanka needs an iron hand with an intelligent head to develop the infrastructure for inward investment.  General Fonseka is also known for his honesty and military thinking.  He could also utilize a 100,000 of his soldiers for civil duties alongside military functions and compensate accordingly.

The General would be ideal to hold a roving position as Ambassador-at-Large to straighten out the infrastructure for inward investment.

At the same time, his military logical presentation skills should be put to use in attracting inward investment, as a Special Advisor to the President / Prime Minister. A title of First Deputy Prime Minister or Executive Vice President should be given thought.

The last thing General Fonseka should consider is to join the Opposition Party as their candidate to take-on H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa.

One cannot compare General Eisenhover or Charles de Gaulle of WW11 fame in the same context in as the 30 year internal battle with the LTTE Terrorists.

I am certain that good friends have given some advice to the General on entering politics, as with the Presidential advisors who may have talked with H.E regarding an unhappy General.

Both H.E Mahinda Rajapaksa and General Fonseks need each other, for themselves as well as for the country.

And both of them are well informed of the continued good comradership or ending up as a divorced couple.

Monkey Needs the Organ Grinder as much as the Organ Grinder Needs the Monkey.

Future will tell!

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4 Responses to “The President & the General”

  1. Kit Athul Says:

    Learned professor, I beg to disagree. I love your articles, do not get me wrong. The Excutive president is a MUST to a democracy. Parliamentary system was created to safe guard the monarchy, like in England. So, no one must be the head of the country for more than 8 years. That is 2 terms. The constitution of a democracy is a living document and is ment to be up dated as times cange. Let’s leave the Presidentant the General for a moment. Did you ask this question from your self. “Who wrote 60% of the Sri Lanka constitution?” If you do not know, I will give you the answer! Rajive Gandhi. (Why did the Honor Guard attack him? It is for this very reason) Now, why did the Tamils at that time call J.R. cunning fox? Because he made sure the annexation of Sri Lanka to Tamil Nardu will need two thirds majority and that will never happen. I can go no and on, with this subject, but I will stop now. Tell me what is the difference between General Eisenhover, General Charles De Gaulle and General Fonseka? All of them were difficult to get along with, so was Winston Churchill.
    As I see it, this is what happend. Sri Lankens, specially the dum Sinhala still live in pre May 19th era. Why they cannot come to the post May 19th era is as follows: Evolution is a painstakingly slow process. One generally dosen”t observe it taking place in real time. One normally need to zoom out and observe same event over a long of time, starting, not from 30 years ago, but from king Dutugamunu. (No offense to the Tamils, they must learn to live as a minority with all the minority rights and not as a majority) This is not so with pre May 19th Sri Lankens. This change happed at the speed of light. Speed with which the Sri Lanken Army was racing towards the end result, the anihilation of tamil terrorism is the living proof of my theory.
    Can you see how the Trincomalee Harbor was renderd uselwess by the Indians? H.E. MR was given a warning by Indians if you allow forign navies to use Trincomalee, then India will call for war crimes inqurie at the UN. I want to keep this short, so please say NO to 13A and 17A. Over the years your articles have inspired many people like me. Kithisri, Florida, USA Proud to be a Sinhala American.

  2. parakrama Says:

    I agree with Kithsiri. I am certain that the learned professor will only look on in horror when his desired outcomes will turn into ashes. The year 2010 will be the truning point of Sri Lanka and not 2009 as most have thought. Like time be our judge!

  3. alahakoon Says:

    Dear Prof. Hudson,

    The President Mahinda Rajapksa has taken a wrong turn. He is busy with creating a kingdom for his family using the sacrifices made by the heroic soldiers, ignoring all democratic norms in the country. No one can speak against or criticise him. All media institutions and journalists are under continuous threat not to write or publish anything against him.

    Yesterday, the editor of a very popular weekend newspaper (Lanka Irida) was arrested regarding the main news item to be published in today’s edition about the row between MR and the General Fonseka. Some time back the CID questioned the same newspaper regarding a main news item published. Later it was revealed the news they published was the truth. Next, three journalists of the same newspaper were arrested stating they were involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the President. However, the police later told the Magistrate that those journalists were not involved in such a conspiracy. Now the Chief Editor of this newspaper has been arrested stating they wanted to get a statement from him. However, they have not made any charges.

    Unfortunately our country is going bad to worse under the administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa. His method of stay in power is to bribe opposition and let them to earn as much as possible. This situation created 100 plus ministers and is already unbearable to our country. The latest Southern PC election has shown the signs of erosion of democracy in large scale against the opposition including the ‘opposition’ within his own party. MR’s popularity started to decline for the first time in the recent history in this election.

    No doubt that all Srilankans must unite to stop this lunacy of the President. We need to stop the erosion of democracy of the country. According to the information revealed the starting point of the dispute between Sarath Fonseka and MR was Sarath Fonseka’s involvement to stop shady arms deals and promoting honest, brave and active soldiers to higher ranks. If General Fonseka can lead the country with a correct vision and a program to stop corruption and establish true democracy in Sri Lanka, it would be a blessing for the nation.

  4. monkeynuts Says:

    As an independent observer, your President Mahinda Rajapaksa has achieved the impossible in a mere 5 years, and stands head high amongst other leaders who have suffered and still suffer from terrorism.

    All leaders do make mistakes. Some by themselves and others fallen victim to their advisers. In the case of Rajapaksa, the mistakes done could be the result of his over confidence.

    One way to correct such acts would be to publicise them in various media and of course by vote.

    “Unfortunately our country is going bad to worse under the administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa.” says Alahakoon. It was in dire straits when Rajapaksa became President. Actually it takes a long time for a country like Sri Lanka to get up after the crippling effects caused by the LTTE Terrorism.

    Whom do you suggest takes over the power next? Darling Ranil? Whatever one might dream, General Sarath Fonseka is not Presidential material. He, like General Pervez Musharaff and General Colin Powell, is a brilliant military brain. General Fonseka needs a C-i-C who can give him military orders and direct him to achieve a goal.

    Quite frankly, I think, President Rajapaksa should be given another term in office to straighten-up the mess.

    General Fonseka should be adequately rewarded with another challenging opportunity to serve his term and then be given a comfortable post to enjoy the rest of his life. He deserves it.

    The infighting should stop!

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