Madoluwawe Sobita Hamudurwo and the Executive Presidency
Posted on August 29th, 2014

By Charles.S.Perera

 Madoluwaw Sobita Hamudurowa is known for his  Buddhist sermons and not for his political views.  We had monks from JHU , who tried their best to  make political changes  to help people live peacefully in a political environment  appropriate to a Sinhala Buddhist Culture.  These monks of the JHU saw for themselves  how difficult it is to bring about political changes to make Sri Lanka follow Buddhist principles  making it a country where every one  may live together in peace and contentment.  

 Unfortunately they could not even pass  legislation against conversion, against cruel meaningless killing of animals at Munneswaram Kali Temple, or even against  consuming of liquor.  However, these Buddhist Monks may have learnt  that they cannot  change the political environment  of the country to make it  a better place for all communities  to live peacefully and in unity by becoming legislators and prepare legislation to correct the ills of the Society.

 But they may have learnt that  the Buddhist Monks could  change the people and through them the country by bringing the people closer to Dhamma, encouraging them to live according to the teachings of the Buddha, rather than by becoming legislators and sit in the Parliament.

 The Parliament and Legislations cannot change people to do what is right or wrong, but it can pass laws and authorise enforcement authorities to make people do what is legally right and refrain from doing what is legally wrong.

 Hence enforcing laws to make people law abiding citizen, and teaching people to understand through Dhamma what is wrong and should refrain from doing,  or  what are  wholesome and worth doing,   are two different things.  Therefore, there are politicians to pass legislations and the Police Force to ensure that the laws are followed.

 The Buddhist monks  are there to explain to the followers the teachings of the Buddha and make them understand why one should do what is good and refrain from doing what is wrong. They  should use appropriate methods to bring about that mental change in the people, which they cannot do as politicians.  On the other hand Buddhist monks may advice and give good council to politicians as to how they should use their political power to change society, when the religion has failed to make people understand  what is morally right.

 Therefore,  a learned monk- learned in the teachings of the Buddha, should know by now with the experience the monks of the JHU have had , that being a Buddhist monk, and being a politician are two different vocations one different from the other, each having its own methodology of learning and its application. The politicians deal with the worldly aspect of man and the monk his spiritual aspect. Otherwise it would be like the well known folk tale of the donkey, attempting to replace the dog  to warn the master of thieves.

 The sudden talk about a common candidate and some ambitious politician who cannot think straight and unable to think of a  politician who could successfully challenge  the President Mahinda Rajapakse, has thought of  tapping into Buddhist monks and come up with Madoluwawe Sobita hamudurowa as  likely to take more votes than the President Mahinda Rajapakse, or at least split the Buddhist vote to  put the President Mahinda Rajapakse at a disadvantage   at the next Presidential elections, and therefore a more apt common candidate. 

 This has apparently gone into the head of Sobita Hamudurowo , who has found it more attractive, and far more easier than seeking enlightenment according to the teachings of the Buddha .  He has therefore thought doing better than the Buddha by becoming the first President of Sri Lanka in a yellow robe !!!  

 Madoluwawe Sobita hamuduruwo has left aside the scriptures,  and turned to learn about politics.  He has found that a President without executive powers is more a prestigious decorative position, with the Prime Minister and the Government taking over  the executive powers now vested in the President. Therefore he will have the prestige of being the President of Sri Lanka without having to deal with more onerous duties cast upon an executive President.

 Therefore,  we  now have Madoluwawe Sobita Hamuduruwo assuring himself that if he were to be elected at the next presidential election he will be without those bothersome executive duties of which he knows nothing.  He is a foolish man” momentarily blinded with the glory of the  possibility of becoming a President.

 Sobita Hamuduruwo  merely repeats what the other very ambitious politicians of the Opposition who are prepared to sign a MoU with the devil himself if they could defeat the President Mahinda Rajapakse  at the next Presidential election or make the government fall before that eventuality.

 Executive Presidency comes from the Constitution of Sri Lanka and without changing the Constitution one cannot do away with the executive powers of the president.  These opposition politicians including  Sobita Hamuduruwo should know that without the executive powers of the President terrorism could not have been eliminated. 

 If  the  President Mahinda Rajapakse was without executive powers he would have had to put every military strategy proposed by the Armed Forces in its war against terrorism to the Parliament, and receive its approval before the Armed Forces are informed that they can go ahead with their proposed military operations, while terrorists  would have go on attacking the armed forces  in barracks awaiting Parliamentary approval for action.

 With all the manoeuvres of  the diaspora, and planned attempts by Navi Pillai (who is a biased Tamil woman even if she was a former Judge of the International Criminal Court), to disrupt the government and help the Tamil diaspora with the help of the politicians of the TNA to divide Sri Lanka, the  executive powers of the Present President should be retained as long as this danger exists. 

 The danger of some of rightist political evolution in Sri Lanka with the backing of the pro terrorist Tamil Diaspora, the USA and its allies ( like  Cameron and Harper depending on Tamil votes  for their political success) to create political chaos in Sri Lanka with the aim of dividing the country,  cannot be ruled out. 

 Therefore,  its is only a President with executive powers like President Mahinda Rajapakse who will be able to hold the enemies in check.  Hence talking about abolishing executive Presidency is  foolish without taking into account the local and international  political movements afoot against  Sri Lanka.

 President J.R.Jayawardhana misused his executive powers in signing the Indo-Sri Lanka Pact and including the 13A into the Constitution forcing the MPs to vote in favour of the Amendment, which has caused all the problems we are bewildered with at present.

 President R.Premadasa became an intolerable despot eliminating his opponents, and arming the terrorists without consulting the Parliament.  President Chandrika Kumaratunga was weak. She was unable to use the executive powers of her Presidency, thus allowing  her Prime Minister Ranil Wichramasinghe sign a CFA with the terrorist leader Prabhakaran  without consulting the  elected President of the country or the Parliament.

 On the other hand President Mahinda Rajapakse has utilised the Executive power vested in him meaningfully, to eliminate terrorism  and then for  a constructive development of the country in various ways. No one in the opposition or in the Government could point his finger at  President Rajapakase for  abusing the executive powers vested in him.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse is not a power greedy man.  He is insightful and takes appropriate action for the welfare of his people and the country whatever his adversaries make him out to be.   All these critics of the President Mahinda Rajapakse have forgotten that it is thanks to him that they are able today to open their big mouths to speak against the President and address meetings without the fear of being blown into pieces. 

 There are those who want him to loose at the next Presidential election and a former Chief Justice who helped the terrorists to bring bombs to the south by ordering the removal of check points, swear that the President Mahinda Rajapakse cannot contest the Presidential election  for the third time or hold portfolios on more than two occasions.

 While the Sri Lanka Opposition parties are all out to see the end of the Presidency of Mahinda Rajapakse, the country is peaceful, the development projects are taking Sri Lanka to an unimagined prosperity, with a remarkable economic progress.  Normal political, economic and social  problems any country would be faced with are being exaggerated by the opposition to the government,  anti-Sri Lanka Tamil diaspora and their vote seeking USA and its allies. 

 Nevertheless, the country and its people are content that they have at the helm of Sri Lanka an able President who has shown his ability to handle all problems at his own pace, unruffled and with patience. May he go from success to success despite all the barriers put on his way. Because his failure would be the  is failure of  all the people of Sri Lanka.

14 Responses to “Madoluwawe Sobita Hamudurwo and the Executive Presidency”

  1. Vijendra Says:

    Charles, I personally think the problem is not with the Presidency, but with the President! Even though we all owe him for eradicating the cancer of tamil terrorism in the country, lately he seems to have lost focus. In spite oNot withstanding the external political and economic pressures from the external environment,

  2. Vijendra Says:

    Hi Charles,

    Thank you very much for this interesting article about Maadoluwaawe haamuduruwo. I am in full agreement with you. However, please allow me to express my opinion.

    I think that the problem really is not with the Presidency, but it is with our President. Even though we all owe him for bringing the country back to normalcy eradicating the curse of tamil terrorism, lately he seems to have lost focus.

    Timely action is one of the most important traits of a good leader. Our Pres has failed in this, in my humble opinion. The root cause of the current problems in the country, again in my opinion, is the failure of the Pres to act in a timely fashion on the priorities of the country. Granted he has done a lot in developing the infrastructure in the north as well as as the rest of the country, but he has continued to foster the monster of the 13A. The result of this has been just breeding internal terrorists in the guide of Provincial Councillors!

    As soon as the country got rid of the terrorism, he should have taken action to control the misbehaviour of extremist groups trying to divide the country. No one would have ever found fault with that at that time. He should have got rid of the 13A and banned all parties which are perceived to be, or really are divisive of our Sri Lankan society. Anyone going against the country should have been put in prison for treason or sent to gallows. He did not do that because he was either slow thinking, if he was thinking at all or had his personal agendas. I know it is much easier on hind sight to see things in better perspective, but as the President, he should have had a better vision or good advisors. It appears that he is rather short changed on both these counts.

    Coming back to Sobitha haamuduruwo, he is a great bana preacher and he should stick to that considering that he is no more young to take on responsible leadership. Besides, as taught in the vinaya pitaka, a Buddhist priest t not allowed to take power of politics over others, but on the contrary, they have to depend on the laity for their livelihood through their good deeds, usefulness and relevance alone; not through political or other power over them.

    Buddhism in Sri Lanka was brought to the lowest level by some Buddhist “priests” seeking political power, which in principle is against the preaching of the Lord Buddha himself. See what has happened to our Buddhist priests today! Some of them behave worse than some of the laity! How can they advise the laity when they, who are supposed to live by example break the basics of vinaya.

    I personally like Sobitha haamuduruwo for his bana, though lately such preachings have more political bias, but I can not even think of him as a Pres. He would be well advised to remain in the robes the way he was all this time where he excelled as a bana preacher. We need someone, like MR, but who is focused better on the long-term interests of the country. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be anyone in the horizon, leaving the best of the bad in place!

    With metta.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Agree with Vijendra.

    Somewhat like SIRIMA in 1970s. When people were STARVING (except in Jaffna and Vanni where people were happy and richer), Sirima’s advisors told her everyone is HAPPY.

    Then at the election SLFP got WIPED OUT.

    The SAME THING will happen to MR. Mark my word!

    Only MR can defeat MR. And he is doing it!

  4. Nanda Says:

    “Timely action is one of the most important traits of a good leader. Our Pres has failed in this, in my humble opinion. The root cause of the current problems in the country, again in my opinion, is the failure of the Pres to act in a timely fashion on the priorities of the country. Granted he has done a lot in developing the infrastructure in the north as well as as the rest of the country, but he has continued to foster the monster of the 13A. The result of this has been just breeding internal terrorists in the guide of Provincial Councillors!”

    – This is exactly what I am saying too !

    ” Buddhism in Sri Lanka was brought to the lowest level by some Buddhist “priests” seeking political power, which in principle is against the preaching of the Lord Buddha himself. See what has happened to our Buddhist priests today! Some of them behave worse than some of the laity! How can they advise the laity when they, who are supposed to live by example break the basics of vinaya. ”

    – this is correct too ! but the culprit is the sleeping MR because ” result of this has been just breeding internal terrorists in the guide of Provincial Councillors!”.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    SL is falling ranks in GENDER EQUALITY INDEX!

    In 2010 we were 16.
    2011 – 31
    2012 – 39
    2013 – 55.

    What is happening?

    Just like MR’s popularity. Clearly shows SL is getting worse in MR’s second term.

  6. Christie Says:

    Here I am the, anti-Indian. Latest I have heard is that India, Tamil terrorists, Indian vermin and Indian colonial parasites are in the process of trying to divide the Rajapaksa brothers. India has been in the driving of Ceylon politics long before the independence of both, India from the British and Ceylon from the British but not from the Indian colonialism and imperialism.
    India and others made a mistake when it backed MR instead of Ranil. They thought Ranil would be a hard person to negotiate. They thought MR will be like the Bandaranaikes and JR who will finally do what India dictates.

    I have come across Sobitha about two decades ago when a friend of mine had a dispute with a leading Indian colonial parasite business person. In this dispute Sobitha was backing the interest of this parasite. So I am sure Indian interests are behind Sobitha’s aspirations.

  7. douglas Says:

    The main “ISSUE” raised here is : Is it correct or appropriate for the Buddhist Monks to get involved in the Legislative functions? and shouldn’t they be confined to teaching and leading the Buddhists, including, I believe the Politicians in the way of life Buddha has preached?

    This question to be answered has to be looked at from various angles, in that, the Buddhist way of life is most appropriate in every aspect pertaining to day to day affairs of an individual as well as in general to the whole society. If the laws of the country are enacted to be enforced by law enforcement authorities, that even is nothing but to establish the right and wrong and most importantly the truth. Then the question here is: whose priority,or who is the authority to do that. If in a country, every individual over a certain age is legally entrusted to select the “authorities” to that task of enacting “Legislation” to establish what is right and wrong, truth and enforcement; then all including the “clergy” should not be “debarred” or “advised” to be kept out of that participative process. If clergy, individually or collectively opt out of it; it is a different matter and that is their freedom. In the absence of such a move, no one can say or propagate that the clergy should not participate in the Legislature of the country. If we look at the not so long history, i.e. since 1956 the clergy has taken a very prominent and active role in the matter of governance including enforcement through securing employment in the State Sector. Even at present we have clergy appointed as “Advisers” and members directing the functions of State Establishment on payment of wages and perquisites. That is not so long history and the present day happenings too.

    Then going back to the history itself, the clergy have participated in spheres of governance of the country’s affairs. It is wrong and very wrong to forget what some of our prominent clergy of the Buddhist sector have done to free this country from the threats of invaders and other operatives who were bent on destroying the image of Sri Lanka. So what is wrong in them doing it at the present day? If they (clergy) think that there is an imminent threat and things are not going in the right directions for the country, what right anyone has to question their participation and involvement in securing “authoritative” positions to steer the country’s governance as per the wish of the people? They, the clergy too have a right to ask for that mandate and it is left to the general public to decide who should be given that authoritative mandate.

    So to the Clergy of all denominations: Ehamay Neda Ape Hamuduruwane?.

  8. AnuD Says:

    There is no problem with the executive presidency. the problem is with the president, the individual. Executive presidency needs amendments or restructuring.

    If the president is honest to himself executive presidency would not be a disaster to Sri lanka.

    It is said and it should be true that executive presidency allowed the country to win the war against LTTE.

    Infra structure development is OK.but, by every kilometre built needed double or trible the expenses what it really needs. Sri lanka, I heard, has 23 Agricultural ministers, but import most of agricultural produce including basmati rice, and artificial rice etc., etc. That does not look like a A LEADER is running the country. So much corruption we here, so much injustice we here, so much nepotism we here, Buddhism is being degraded day by day. Because, the govt is ruining Sri lanka.

    Sri Lanka needs a buddhist leader who is honest and accountable to voters as well he should not destroy sinhala-buddhist culture only for the economic well being of the country.

    It is time to stop cheer leading for the sake his own. Journalists should think about the country more than they thenmselves.

  9. jay-ran Says:

    Although Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero is a Buddhist Monk, HE HAS TOTALLY FORGOTTEN TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT & WHAT IS WRONG AT THE APPROPRIATE HOUR!!! I’m a Buddhist, but I DO NOT AGGREE WITH THIS SWALLEN HEADED PRIEST.B’CAUSE HE IS HELPING THE VERY SAME PARTY WHO HARRASSESD HIM DURING JRJ REGIME???

    MR and RAJAPAKSES HAVE DONE A MARVELOUS DUTY BY DEFEATING LTTE,IMPROVING THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE,DEVELOPPING ROADS,INFRASTRUCTURE OF CITIES TO ATTRACT THE FOREIGNERS,NO KILLINGS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS BY TERRORISTS,PROVIDING JOBS FOR JOBLESS IN GOVT SECTOR WITH NO FAVOURS,!!!!!!

    But this FOOLISH PRIEST AGAINST MR,I THINK THAT HE HAS BEEN BRIBED BY SOME DOLLAR NGO!!!

    He has been totally mislead!!!

  10. Leela Says:

    It seems ven Sobitha has already started his Presidential campaign. He has done well by accusing President Rajapakse the other day for wasting public money by spending a whopping Rs.2.6m daily for his expenses. Now, those who finger point others should know that there are four fingers pointing self.

    So, Ven Thero should let us know who and who are funding the publicity campaign for the ‘National Movement for Social Justice’ and how much for we suspect known anti national gangs who opposed the war with LTTE and with various other hidden interest are operating from inside his robe.

  11. Marco Says:

    At the outset may I say i don’t agree with Monks/Clergy/Priest get involved in Sri Lankan politics. However, they should be available in an “advisory” capacity.

    Leela –
    There is a big difference in wasting public money (ie tax payers money) and somebody elses money.
    NMSJ no doubt will publish their accounts and it will be plain to see which corporates, individuals, NGO’s or foreign entities have funded them.
    In the meantime they will have to put up with the usual tiresome and monotonous mantra of anti national, hidden agenda etc etc, Think we heard it all too often.

    Perhaps the readers would like to judge for themselves which of these goals are anti Sri Lankan

    Democratic governance: Abolish the executive Presidency; an electoral system with an equitable mix of proportional representation and first-past-the-post systems with no preferential voting.

    Governance free of politicization: Abolishing of the 18th Amendment and the re-installation of the 17th Amendment with amendments as necessary.

    A stable country with contented communities: Whilst implementing the recommendation of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), resolve the ethnic problem through a political solution.

    Building a strong national economy: Priority for manufacturing industries, modernize agriculture, strengthen the farmers’ pension scheme, promotion of exports through the production of quality and high value added products, planned control of imports affecting the economy adversely.

    A civilized and law abiding society: Restoring the rule of law, application of the law equally to all.

    Democratic governance free of bribery and corruption: A decisive end to bribery, corruption, wastage, nepotism and cronyism in governance; a new fundamental rights chapter with broadened civil and political rights and the recognition of social, economic and cultural rights as well as women’s rights and children’s rights and mechanisms for better enforcement of such rights.

    Women’s rights and child protection: More effective legislation for protection of rights of women and children.

    Free education and health care and other social infrastructure: Sufficient budgetary funds to revive and resuscitate free education, health care and other social infrastructure.

    Empowerment of the people: The right of the people to information, subject only to reasonable safeguards in the interests of society.

    Planned governance and prudential state management: Laws to prevent recurrence of such misdoings as the hedging contract, low quality oil imports, sale of government assets at a loss or cheaply, numerous instances of bribery and corruption reported and revealed in COPE reports and to bring the perpetrators to justice; planning of the management of state sector with through institutions consisting of professionals and implementation of such plans ensuring social justice.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    These are ANTI-SL.

    1. re-installation of the 17th Amendment. Then all NGO MFs will decide the election outcome.

    2. implementing the recommendation of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), resolve the ethnic problem through a political solution.= DIVISION OF SL.

    3. NOT scrapping 13 amendment.

    So we reject Sobita’s manifesto.

    Didn’t I say these F*LTTE agents will say “MR will win so don’t worry” to MR supporters and then work TIRELESSLY to defeat MR?

    My prediction about these F*LTTE agents has come true, again!

    Too bad. NO ONE wants 17 amendment. Did people ask for it? NO. NO ONE wants LLRC nonsense. But people asked and even DIED for the scrapping of 13 amendment!! So what is more important?

  13. Samanthi Says:

    I agree with most of what Charles says; as I know Venerable Sobitha Thero is a very ambitious, selfish and a power hungry person. It is rumeroured that Ranil paid 3 million rupees to this monk to silencing him before Ranil signing the so-called peace agreement with Velu. Immediately after Ranil signing the peace accord with Velu, Ven. Sobitha Thera came to North America for a Buddhist sermon and said “Pinvathuni, Sri Lanka is a pudhuma ratak, katha keruwath baninawa, katha nokeruwath baninanwa” referring to his silencing against Ranil’s betrayal. One of my best friends, one A.B Collin ones said that the Arrack Bottle is hiding under Sobithas bed, though I am not sure how true was what he was saying.

  14. Leela Says:

    Samanthi,
    Ven Sobitha was hiding from JRJ goons at the nearby temple next to my wife’s house. And for the first and the last time I had a long chat with him in the early eighties. And that was soon after I returned from the UK after living there for two decades. Even at that time, I realized he is a very intelligent and an ambitious man.

    Ven Sobitha is a university educated man as well. No matter what government is in power, ven Sobitha has always been an active opponent of it. He took part in street activities. Never even had a good word for anything by any government. It seems he and his breed knew solutions for all our problems. Just like the JVP brothers. As far as I could see, he never appreciated the diverticulitis that an Executive President faces in running a government or even holding his political party together wich is a must to keep the government in power.

    That doesn’t mean to say that he never realized as for why JRJ collected undated resignation letters from MPs and why MR dish out portfolios for illdicilined third rate MPs. Ven DSobitha knows very well that multi-colored and truculent MPs will not agree with his haphazard constitution and vote to abolish the presidency in in a time frame of six months. Within him he knows that he’ll be compelled to stay a full term president hamuduruwo.

    All of Sobitha’s mothers family hails from the same village as I live now. In fact, many of them live next to my estate. Hence I know them well. He seldom visits them for a bana even then he’s always in a great hurry to leave at the end for none of them are well to do. But whenever he visits the well to do and connected families in the village, he spends hours chatting them and their visitors.

    All this and more made me think Ven Sobitha has been looking for the last hoorah in the twilight hours of his life. After this effort however, I hope, he would leave politics at long last and concentrate with his bana and mediation.

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