Word of advice to President Rajapakse: Restore the Rule of Law
Posted on December 3rd, 2010
Today, in the UK, the former Labour MP David Chaytor pleaded guilty to three charges relating to his expenses claims before the Crown Court. He was charged with false accounting totalling just over £20,000. He was suspended from the Labour party and did not contest as an MP at the last general election after media (Daily Telegraph) published about false expenses claims by the MPs.
He pleaded guilty for the charges ahead of a trial which was due to start on Monday and he will be sentenced on 7 January at Southwark Crown Court. He faces a maximum seven years in jail but is likely to receive a more lenient sentence because of his guilty plea. Two other former MPs, one current MP and two members of the House of Lords are due to face separate trials over their expenses claims.
The British media, the fourth pillar of the nation, said that the former MP has abused the trust placed in him by the public and after lengthy police inquiry the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February that the MP would face criminal charges.
Sri Lankan Experience
What is seen in Sri Lanka is the completely opposite. The Executive and the MPs elected by the people abuse the trust place in them at will. The judiciary and the print media are impotent and fatally powerless to play the role of the watchdog, expected from the two institutions in a democratic nation.
Best example is the withdrawal of the two criminal prosecutions filed against Abdul Carder, MP who joined Rajapakse administration and rape charge against Duminda Silva. Both these cases were dropped by the chief legal officer of the government, the AG. No doubt that the judiciary, the print and electronic media of this country were fully aware that the AG was merely acting on the wrong instructions of the executive, yet fatally failed to raise their concerns in the public interests.
Duty free car permits and US $50,000.00 loan to MPs to import luxury cars is the other day light robbery. This ‘santhosam’ is offered under the pretext of affording support to MPs to provide an effective service to their constituents. Yet, it is an open secret to every concerned citizen of this country that the MPs exchange these permits for millions of rupees and those who are in the motor trade import luxury vehicles on these permits, making huge profits by defrauding the government revenue.
It is very sad that no government in the recent past, whether it is UNP or SLFP had the audacity to concede this endless abuse of peoples’ sovereignty in broad day light. All successive governments, particularly since JRJ administration, lacked integrity to bring criminal charges against the wrongdoers who openly flout law and to demonstrate the outside world that Sri Lanka is not a failed state but a country that respect and observes the rule of law.
No doubt that the people of this country believe that enough is enough and the time is right for the Rajapakse administration to stop the twofaced culture of administration and to restore the rule of law in this country. People reject with contempt the rule by emergency laws that only sustain to suppress the peoples’ cry for justice. If the President acts in an offensive and irrational manner, like the useless UK trip he undertook on his free, will that brought disrepute not only to him but to the whole nation, he should realise that days are not that far where he would pay a heavy price for the sins committed against the people who had a great trust in him.
Peoples’ cry for right political culture
Sri Lanka is one of the very few countries where politicos are allowed to go unpunished in this manner. Probably the extent of unfettered immunity they enjoy may not be found anywhere else in the world. It is learned that this appalling culture invariably induced the corrupt elements to disregard all ethics in politics and to indulge in all forms of wrongdoing with no regret or remorse.
In this backdrop peoples’ appeal to the President Rajapakse is to redesign the political culture in the country rejecting the criminals and disruptive elements in the mainstream politics. Peoples’ firm demand is to bring an end to this immoral, senseless and illusionary politics that only insult the intelligence of the people. Now the ball is in the President Rajapakse’s court and burden is in him to prove that he is a person with integrity, vision and commitment to deliver.
Up until now, the people of this country had been betrayed by so many dishonest politicos who rule the country by deception. They were twofaced and had no integrity or commitment to serve the nation. Consequently, the innocent people, who were taken for ride by corrupt and self-centred politicos, have undergone immense hardship for no fault of them. In the light of this unhealthy political culture the people demand President Rajapakse to prove his character and worth by demonstrating his own conduct by proving that he is not just another twofaced politico. Politically intelligent people of this country expect President Rajapakse to respect the political judgement of the people, most of whom are not partisans of any particular political party.
The President can simply see before his own eyes the plight of those who followed the Machiavelli’s political ideology and got condemned and buried alive. Best example is the decomposed CBK, the one who shamelessly abused the great faith and confidence placed in her by the people. Probably she was the only one who was given an overwhelming mandate to put things rights. Yet, it is very unfortunate that peoples’ judgement on her was proved wrong. She was a monumental failure. CBK was just another common and unenlightened autocrat and anybody can see her sorry plight today. Nobody bother pay a shit of respect towards her. She got everything wrong and got what she rightly deserved. The majority of the People of this country do not want to see that President Rajapakse committing the same hara-kiri. People truly want him to be their true leader but with great degree of honesty and integrity. Now the choice is in his hands. If he wants to be just another Machiavellian like JRJ, RW, R Premadasa, or CBK and to continue to rule the nation by deception his destiny in the history would be just another addition to the names of “great betrayers of the Nation”.
Many people still believe that President Rajapakse has the full potential to be the Mahathir Mohamed, or Lee Kwan You of Sri Lanka. He has already proved some good characteristics of a good leader. At the closing stages of the separatist war, he stood firm against the powerful colonial pressure, and he clearly refused to betray his people and won the hearts and minds of the people. If Ranil or CBK had been the President, there is no question that they would have kneeled down before the old colonial powers. President Rajapakse is also known for his modesty and people naturally compare him to the bigheaded CBK. People also know his weaknesses, lack of integrity in particular. That is why this sincere word of advice, because people are willing to pardon him providing however, he shun all bad characteristics and would commit to become a true leader with firm commitment to uphold the rule of law and to serve the nation.
People reject the rule by deception, which will naturally bring downfall of any leader. The leader should be brave enough to redesign policies based on strictly disciplined economic policy, backed by zero tolerance of any form of wrongdoing. The people of this country still have hopes on President Rajapakse. They have no faith whatsoever on any impotent RW administration and sincerely believe that Rajapakse would give up all forms of wrongdoing and would reject the habit of pleasing cronies and other bad practices that only help ruining his chances for a third term. In very clear terms the people expect the President to rid of all criminal elements he associates, some of whom are given Cabinet portfolios in his new jumbo Cabinet that is clearly out of proportions and a curse to the nation that undergo enormous economic hardship. On the other hand by now the President should know by experience that indulging in egoism only help tarnishing his image. The failed useless trip to London that brought disrepute not only to the President but to the whole nation is the best example.
People of this country want peoples’ President Rajapakse to displays that he is a transformed person with moral characteristics. If he has any concerns to be a potential candidate and win a third term in office, people demands him to demonstrates right now his commitment to serve the nation by denouncing the Machiavellian political ideology that only encourages rule by deception, that would end up with public humiliation, like the living example CBK