Selecting the President of Sri lanka
Posted on January 1st, 2015
By Garvin Karunaratne .
When I was Senior Assistant Commissioner of Agrarian Services I was in charge of the administration of the entire department comprising a staff of 4000 with some thirty staff ranks. We had to find the ablest of the Assistant Commissioners to handle key districts like Anuradhapura and Kurunegala where the volume of work was easily double that of any other District. I had endless discussions with the Commissioner J.V.Fonseka all to find who would be best for the job.
Later on as the Government Agent at Matara District I had to see that the ablest of officers were posted to key areas of work and this was done after careful discussion with the Additional Government Agent.
In all these instances the officers were known, they had a track record of work. We knew their successes and failures, their ideas and how they would face a situation. It was a task that we generally successfully attended to.
Thinking of the ardous tasks I did in selecting officers I pity the voters at this Presidential Election because it has so happened that while one person, the incumbent President Rajapaksa is a known and a well tried party the other party appears slimy and his utterances belie the fact that he is acting as a puppet of some other authority or authorities, who lurk behind the scenes, making the puppet act as they like. In nostalgia I have seen puppet shows in Sri lanka as well as in Hawaii and his utterances and actions are no different from what I can recall were the gestures and movements of those inanimate puppets..
His utterances tell me that he has never given any serious thought. He is just repeating what some authority wants him to tell .He fails to understand the implications of his own statements.
The Appointment of the Prime Minister
His first Hundred Day Work Programme shows him as a person who has not read and understood the Constitution of Sri lanka.
He states that on January 11, “a Cabinet of not more than 25 members of all political parties represented in Parliament will be appointed, with Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister”.
The Constitution at Section 43 (3) states that, “the President shall appoint as Prime Minister the Member of Parliament who in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.”
Thus without knowing whether Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe is likely to command the confidence of Parliament, he has already decided that Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe will be appointed.
As a new parliamentary election has not been held it will be the current members of Parliament who are with the President Rajapaksa .
If the Common Candidate or those that drafted this Work Programme were aware of Section 43 (3) of the Constitution they would have said that a general election would be called forthwith.. Thereafter too appointing Mr Wickremasinghe will be possible only if Mr Wickremasinghe commands the persons who are elected at the new general election. Thus the very statement that he will appoint Mr Wickremasinghe as the Prime Minister is something that cannot be done according to the Constitution.
The fact that the Common Candidate has made a firm statement that he will appoint Mr Wickremasinghe as the Prime Minister is indicative of the fact that the Common Candidate and Mr Wickremasinghe have come to some agreement that in the event of the success of the Common Candidate at the Presidential Election he will appoint Mr Wi ckremasinghe as the Prime Minister.
The voters of the country have the right to know of this agreement. In fact the Editorial of The Island goes a step further and states that the agreement the Common Candidate has had with the TNA should be made public. This is because the TNA has yesterday declared that they support the Common Candidate. This would apply to all Agreements.
Capabilities of the contenders for the post of President
The capability of President Rajapaksa is well known. People have seen him in action and he has defeated the LTTE led by Prabhakaran and has delivered a country of peace and harmony. This peace is now enjoyed by the twenty million citizens of the country and the people owe it to President Rajapaksa. Otherwise, no political rallies would have been possible. The hand of the LTTE has been proved in the assassination of many of our political leaders of the UNP itself- Major Generals Janaka Perera and Lucky Algama.
President Rajapaksa is a true democrat, otherwise he would not have deemed it necessary to hold an election and seek a mandate from the people.
The very fact that he declared that there should be a democratically held Northern Provincial Council tells that he upholds democracy.
Compared with President Jayawardena he stands tall, in that he did not give in when the Western Superpowers demanded that he stop defeating the LTTE. That was David Milliband the Foreign Minister of the UK and his reply rings in my ears- to the effect that Sri Lanka is no longer a colony of the UK.
It is well known that President Jayawardena was frightened by the Prime Minister of India Mr Rajiv Gandhi, when he did a parippu and food drop by Air over Jaffna, and sent in sorties of fighter planes to fly low over Colombo and perform some sabre rattling, both acts infringing on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. President Jayawardena caved in and on bended knees accepted the 13 th Amendment, which has proved to be a cancer in our administration.
Take the people behind the scenes, the two authorities that handle the puppet strings.
One of the puppet directors, seen behind the scenes is Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe. . His CeaseFire Agreement of 2002, when he accepted the LTTE as the sole administrator of the areas they then controlled tells it all. That Cease fire Agreement accorded many rights to the LTTE cadres. They could go anywhere in the country and attend to political work. But the Sinhala people dare not enter the LTTE controlled North and East as they would be risking their life. The Armed Forces were confined to barracks.
Ranil Wickremasinghe also brokered the ISGA the Interim Self Government Agreement with the LTTE. This ISGA conferred to the LTTE the power to collect taxes and run the administration, including law and order, with power to alienate land in the North and the East. The LTTE was authorized to borrow money from abroad, without approval by the Government of Sri Lanka. In the words of Professor Gamini Keerawella, “The ISGA exceeded the federal formula, effectively excluded the institutions of the State of Sri Lanka from the North and the East and (was) a clear route for a separate State.(“The LTTE Proposal for an ISGA & Future of the Peace Process”:May 2004) The ISGA ended when President Kumaranatunge opened her eyes from slumber, took control of the Ministries of Defence, Interior and Information, dissolved Parliament and called a General Election in 2005.
Take the other authority who is directing the puppet. That is no other than President Kumaranatunge of WatersEdge fame where she sold prime land to her friends at ridiculously low prices and was fined by the Supreme Court of the country.
At her best she implemented the PTOMS(Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure) an Agreement by which the LTTE had a greater authority in the administration of Foreign Aid in the Tsunami areas. This was a three Tier Arrangement where the LTTE was accorded a prime place higher than the Government of Sri Lanka. The Highest Level was a Committee comprising one person each from the Government of Sri Lanka, the LTTE and the Muslims with the Chair being held in rotation. Their task was to oversee the administration. There were to be Regional Committees comprising 2 persons from the Government of Sri lanka, 5 persons from the LTTE and 3 persons from the Muslims where the Chair will be one of the LTTE nominees and the Deputy will be from among the Muslims. At the lower level there were to be District Committees to implement the decisions of the Provincial Committee.
The strategic Port of Trincomalee and its seaboards were included within the PTOMS.
It was only on an order from the Supreme Court that the PTOMS was stopped.
It is of great interest to note that the Jatika Hela Urumaya which is today supporting the Common Candidate who is also supported by the TNA vehemently objected to the PTOMS Agreement. That was 2005.
The above detailed maneuverings of both Mr Ranil Wickremsinghe and President Kumaranatune for the cause of the LTTE indicate the manner in which the Common Candidate will have to function under their dictatorship.
Thus it is quite evident that some of our leaders have actually helped forces against the sovereignty of the country to further their interests. However up to now they have been stalled by our nationalist forces.
The facts stand out in favour of President Rajapaksa in that he has never betrayed the Motherland.
With the Muslim leaders – Bathiuddin, Hakeem and Mustapha leaving abruptly and with their eternal demand for an ethnic enclave it is easy to see that a wrong decision by the voters will ensure a Sri Lanka torn into bits of ethnic enclaves. In the manner in which Western Superpowers dictated to President Rajapaksa to stop defeating the LTTE it is possible that our puppet directors are merely a cat’s paw as directed by a master puppet director from overseas all to splinter our Motherland to bits so that they can share it all.
May these facts enable our voters to think and make an informed decision about who can lead the country.
Former Government Agent and member of the Administrative Service
31 st December 2014.