Get rid of 13amendment and “Manape“ system
Posted on May 10th, 2013

Shenali D. Waduge

The nation has been discussing 2 issues but not a single person seems to have the guts to do away with either though everyone gives a nod that both are adversely affecting the nation. The first is nothing that has been indigenously incorporated and will always be seen as a stepping stone to carving out a separate state while the other is a bizarre system of electing representatives who end up killing each other and they happen to be from the same political party.

The signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord signed in July 1987 did not deliver any of the promises it made. Instead it secured a dubious provincial council system that provides no relief to the masses in terms of productivity or service and has ended up eating into the taxpayers pockets while nurturing a bandwagon of goons and thugs throughout the provinces indulging in all sorts of crimes and even murder.

Be that as it may the question of legality of the 13th amendment itself gives rise to why legislatures are delaying seriously addressing the issue. Its not a case of making India happy that should concern the Sri Lankan state. We need to do what suits our country not what makes India happy.

The Government needs to realize that the majority populace dislikes anything that associates the country with India given that the people are well aware of how India can betray the friendship Sri Lanka offered. The manner in which India has betrayed Sri Lanka is nothing that the people of Sri Lanka will ever forget even if the Sri Lankan Government has forgotten. People are all the while alert to the Indian fishermen incursions, the Indian labor that continues to flood into the nation whatever excuses the Government gives, the Indian condominiums coming up spelling dangers of Indians likely to take residency in Sri Lanka, public official lethargy in monitoring Indian illegals and legals pouring into Sri Lanka, the unclear land ownership rights that would facilitate Indians marrying Sri Lanka women and taking stake in Sri Lankan state lands whereby incrementally we may find no land belonging to Sri Lankans in time to come, businesses now being taken by India and run including Sri Lanka’s famed Ceylon Tea, strategic locations given to India that rings alarm bells”¦ the list goes on.

The 13th amendment is illegal because it does not have the clear determination of the Supreme Court which was of the opinion that a referendum was needed. President Jayawardena bypassed the Supreme Court ruling in particular Justice Ranasinghe’s judgement and went on to pass the Provincial Council Bill by parliament. This itself reveals the unconstitutional nature of the 13th amendment and the fact that the will of the people was totally ignored. The present Government cannot ignore the will of the people too. The majority populace are all in agreement that the 13th amendment was forced upon Sri Lanka by India in a terrorist problem that India created which eventually ended up an international proxy continuing to give Sri Lanka endless headaches by foreign destabilizing operators. We do not know who the enemy is now. That is the tragedy that prevails in Sri Lanka.

The country has become an open house for all sorts of destabilizing operations and it has become a tedious effort for the Defense Secretary and the Military to handle though the entire nation remains grateful to the service they continue to do.

The politicians are too naƒÆ’†’¯ve or busy with gathering personal goodies to realize the dangers and risks some of the decisions they take or do not take will end up for the nation in time to come. What can we expect when the quality of those that we vote to office is nothing that can merit any better performance. What is of paramount importance is that with all the loopholes in place India is forcing a Northern Provincial election and we are well aware with the LTTE proxy TNA contesting it is likely to lead to a declaration of independence no different to what Vadarajah Perumal declared as the North’s first Chief Minister. The Governments representative at the Northern election is to be a one time LTTEr and seriously questions how many votes he can seriously bring to the Government from pro-LTTE Tamils or anti-LTTE Tamils.

The country’s situation is further accentuated because virtually all key public officials holding posts are those whose background reveals a clear personal preference for ideologies that stand for separatism, devolution, federalism none of the ingredients that would maintain the unitary nature of Sri Lanka. A mistake that most Governments make is appointing such officials without taking a good look at their background bonafides.

Be that as it may it was lack of decision taking at proper times, delaying of decisions and the decisions usurped for personal gain that ended up with the country facing 30 years of bloodshed which lost a lot of unnecessary lives and affected the entire nation. That damage should not be repeated by decisions that should be taken and which are not for personal gain of a handful or because of foreign pressures. It is far better to reveal the truth and become a hero by telling the truth amongst one’s own people than ending up a traitor once the people ultimately find out the truth.

Get rid of the Manape too

The controversial preferential voting system turned out to be a headache to all political parties since its implementation by former President J R Jayawardena through his 1978 constitution. From candidates of opposing parties fighting each other to secure votes the new system ended with the same political party members of the same area fighting between them to woo preferential votes “”…” the manaapaya system is a nightmare to both candidate and voter. Animosities are created between colleagues of the same party, political friends turn into political foes and in worst case scenarios deaths have also occurred.

The present Government has made moves to amend the laws governing local government elections and to do away with the preferential voting system partially at future elections (Local Authorities Special Provisions Bill and Local Authorities Elections Amendment Bill). This will mean that the electoral process will revert to the ward system under which 60% of councilors will be directly elected to local government bodies while the rest get elected on the PR system. Ideally, the PR system should be abolished in toto. The manape system has meant that only those with money can stand for elections because to woo voters the bribes and handouts are nothing that an honest candidate aspiring to lead the nation can match. Therefore, only those who are backed by notorious elements to secure their enterprises continue to thrive unabated and untouched come forward to place their stakes on any man willing to offer them exclusive protection status.

Nevertheless, the will even to go this far is commendable given the years of campaigning by national movements to abolish the system. What needs to also change is the type of candidates political parties nominate as candidates given the fanfare associated with nominations we can but wonder exactly how the general secretaries of political parties choose their nominees. The candidates that we are left to vote for end up unwholesome choices “”…” people who often turn violent, over ambitious and surrounded by thugs and underworld. Therefore, whatever the system introduced if the candidates are of such character it is really pointless for a nation aspiring to achieve development status. What is desirable is the need to have a new team of young, professionals who are intelligent, well read aware of the global political scene and having the ability to reach out to the masses something that the elite of the post-independence lacked. It is not difficult for political party secretaries to know the qualities needed of its party’s aspiring candidates if it proposes to offer a genuine change that voters can accept.

By and large, all political parties remain on par in terms of the quality of those they select to run for elections and unless and until political parties seriously address and put an end to cross-overs Sri Lanka is unlikely to have “ethical” leadership.

If as a nation we are to progress there is much that the politicians of Sri Lanka seriously need to introvert to change before they go lecturing to the masses.

 

 

12 Responses to “Get rid of 13amendment and “Manape“ system”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    We also have to get rid of EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY.

    It is OK when it is in good hands. But if a crazy person gets it, it is DISASTER.

    Tamilians almost 90% vote for LUNATICS at presidential polls. Now the war is over, their votes will come in and CHANGE the outcome in favor of ANTI-SL candidates.

  2. mario_perera Says:

    Shenali,

    The abrogation of 13A is vehemently called for by practically every unbiased mind. Yet that call has been to no avail. The crying out goes on like that of the prophets in the wilderness but the ears that should be listening have gone deaf. If so the only question now to be dealt with is WHY SO? One learned commentator LEELA gave an explanation that goes directly to the issue. He opined that if the 13A is embraced by MR and his gang, is because they need it for their own survival.

    My contribution to Leela’s commentary was that, in view of the unimaginable corruption and malpractices 13A and its children the PC’s are wallowing in, MR needs all this ocean of vices for his survival. Just consider the impunity granted to the scum of Kelaniya and Drug Baron Duminda.

    Let us not over emphasize the role of MR and gang in the war victory. It was also a question of the time being ripe for that assault on the LTTE. The preceding presidents were in no way lesser personalities than MR. The problem was that their hands were tied.

    You will recall MR’s speech in Parliament after the war win. The three things most to his heart and that of the nation, he said, were the MAWBIMA. With which of his many tongues he said that is a matter for conjecture. As for us, we should now know that the three things most to the heart of a ruler is MAMA, MAMA and yet again MAMA. The RATA is YAKATA. This is what it is all about as regards the 13A.

    Lot of ink will still flow on the issue of 13A, but it is like soiled linen water flowing down the gutters.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Political violence and corruption increased drastically after the introduction of 13A.

    Before 13A only a few Tamil MPs and one parliamentarian were killed in political violence. But afterwards a very large number of politicians were killed. Most provincial councilors are thugs. Parliamentarians who came through the provincial system are distinctly more corrupt and violent. For instance Duminda, Nishantha, Lohan, Range Bandara, Ossie, Pillayar, Karu and Dinesh Wijewardana are backed by violent mobs than those who made to parliament via civil groups, local government bodies and personal appeal. This is due to parliamentarians using PC members to do all the violent acts.

    If this layer is reduced, the political culture will be less violent and corrupt as before 1987. It was not perfect but way better than the post-1987 political culture. Behind every elected politician there are at least 100 organisers. All of them draw sustenance through corruption.

  4. ranjit Says:

    I am 100% with this Govt but when they do foolish things we should always criticize it without fear because this is democracy. We cannot allow our country to go backward again. We cannot allow bloody Indians to sabotage our forward march either. Our Govt must listen to the majority if they want to survive and finsih the job they started. Shenal please send your articles a copy each to these stupid politicians. Gota knows what is good and what is bad and he is a fearless son of Mother Lanka. How many letters you may have written and how many others may have written about this 13 why the hell they cannot get rid of it. I hate Indians and I will never buy anything Made in India. I hate for what they did to us for thirty long years and I hope this Govt will open their eyes and ears and keep an eye and be alert of Indians who comes to our country. They are like camels.First put their head and then the rest. BE CAREFUL OF INDIANS THEY ARE NOT FRIENDLY MY DEAR. Wake up before it’s too late MR or GR.

  5. douglas Says:

    This 13th Amendment MUST GO. There is no doubt it, because that has created “misery” in aspects of Politics, Social and Economic spheres of the country.

    Yet, we also must consider the “dismnentaling” aspect of a massive Political, Administrative and Economic “Structure” that has been installed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment over a period of years. It is not, I believe, as easy as that of “repealing” the 17th and replacing with 18th Amendment, which only took a few dasys of debating and passing with a vote.

    I think the Government, after the defeating the terrorism within, should have “prioritized” Local Government System Re-Structuring too, (as that has a direct relationship with the 13th Amendment) along with other economic, infrasturcture programmes. The “politics” in Governing “deliberately overlooked” this aspect, mainly because they were on a “mission” of “image and ego” building exercise”. This “vision” and “mission” on the part of the Political Leadership of Governing, led the country “erode” into a situation of chaos and disruption in all related activities. Now they are faced and occupied with the up-hill task of disentangling the entangled ball of twine. To make matters worse, the Leadership made very irresponsible and detrimental statements in relation to the implementation of this Provision in the Constitution.

    So, as I see it today, it is not that easy or as a matter of fact impossible to get this done. The political leadership and its consituants have hanged on to the tiger’s tail (willingly and blindly) and they themselves do not know what to do to escape from the danger. In my mind all the agitations will be of no use unless that cry is coupled with a viable proposition.

    Therefofe, having assesed the situation (as briefly described above) and without getting engaged in a “blaming game”. it is worth while to “wrap up” the demand for repeal with a “plausible, national” Constitutional Amendment.

  6. Marco Says:

    I entirely agree with the comment by Douglas.

    The colossal exercise of dismantling the PC system will be more detrimental to MR local voter base muscle than any body else. MR has used this rather cleverly to his advantage and will continue to do so.
    In recognition of this ploy, the IC wish to see the implementation throughout the country. MR has not only made irresponsible and detrimental statements but given undertakings for its full implementation and even go so far as saying 13 plus.
    Changing the demographics of an area by land grabs is short term ism and more than likely to back fire as we have witnessed in history.

    Interestingly i note that the Govt has announced a few days ago the granting of Duty Free Cars for Ex PC members.- What does that tell you about MR thinking?

    May i end with a quote that i sum up the political scenario prevailing here.
    “Democracy is a system in which a dumb stupid majority elects dumb stupid leaders.”

  7. Senevirath Says:

    me athmedi anduwa 13 crush karanne nehe
    wedima vunoth polis saha balathala nethi karai

    ane apata kalak yayda

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Douglas,

    You CONTRADICT yourself.

    “This 13th Amendment MUST GO. There is no doubt it, because that has created “misery” in aspects of Politics, Social and Economic spheres of the country.”

    Then you say,

    “Therefofe, having assesed the situation (as briefly described above) and without getting engaged in a “blaming game”. it is worth while to “wrap up” the demand for repeal with a “plausible, national” Constitutional Amendment.”

    CORRECT identification.
    WRONG conclusion.

    I remember CHANDRIKA. She could speak for days about CORRUPTION in the previous UNP govt. in very great detail. But what to do about it? What to do about her corruption? Well, because of this and that it cannot or shouldn’t be done she says!!!!

    13 amendment MUST GO. SL survived WITHOUT it for 30 years. It can be SCRAPPED easier than 17 amendment. 17 amendment was a GOOD one voted by ALL the parties. 13 amendment was voted ONLY by UNP! IF 17 can be scrapped 13 can be scraped even easier.

    Those DISBELIEVERS in govt. WILL CRY to scrap it after losing north election this September.

    So far govt. party rules ALL provinces. They ENJOY it. But when they LOSE the north, they will realize.

    All SANE people MUST rally around Wimal W to SCRAP 13 amendment.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Micro,

    Your saying is applicable MOST to the north provincial election!!!

    That is why the dumb Tamil majority in Jaffna and Vanni should be reduced to a dumber minority in the north (without bloodshed of course)!!

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    A Tamil Muslim riot situation has arisen in Kattankundy over a cemetery. Army has been deployed.

    Lovely IF east PC had police powers!!

  11. Senevirath Says:

    Prof NALIN DE SILVA has been telling that India is not our big brother for more than 20 years and has witten hundreds of articles and books about this. He has been going all over the country giving lectures to educate people.

    Mahinda knows this but he is not bold enough to to stand on his feet GHOTA is better

  12. S de Silva Says:

    Well, it is sad that we as a Nation are willfully walking or sleepwalking into national suicide with the 13A! There has tobe a massive push by the majority to move out from 13A but how best..?

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