YAHAPALANA GOVERNMENT AND UNDERPINNING POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ISSUES (PART 2)
Posted on September 11th, 2018

EDWARD THEOPHILUS

The unitary status of the country was a condition that had been existed since the establishment of Sinhala Kingdom. In addition, during the ice era where homo sapiens were occupying the country Sri Lanka was a unitary state. The national integrity of the country without any ethnic differences respected and ethnic issues of the country were created by Indian invaders in the past. Before embarkation of Western invaders in 1505, Sri Lanka had a system of power sharing (less than the level of the 13th Amendment) with the assistants of the Kings who used delegated authority in provinces (Paththuva).  The authority of the assistant to the King in Jaffna was abolished by Portuguese and such action was later confirmed by Dutch and British rulers. Therefore, the challenging to the unitary system by the supporters of yahapalana rule is going against the aspiration of Sinhala majority, which represents 76% of the total population in Sri Lanka.

The political biography of Mr. JR Jayewardene clearly indicates that when he introduced an executive presidential system in 1978, he wanted Sri Lanka to remain as a unitary state, but the 13th amendment to the constitution Mr. Jayewardene attempted to delegate the power of the central government to provinces similar to the style of the Sinhala Kingdom.  The increase in population at regional level needed the delegation of central government authority to provinces in various administrative area but it was not supposed to animate a base for the division of the country.  Large countries such as India, USA, China have provincial states in addition to the central government because of geopolitical requirements of such countries and provincial states operate subject to the authority of the central government.  No province can become a separate country without the approval of the central government, which take back the power delegated.  The history of India after the independence reported in several times taking over provincial powers to the central government.

According to the national census report of 2012, 74.90% of population in Sri Lanka are Sinhala who doesn’t want a federal system and 15.27% are Tamils, absolute Tamil population doesn’t demand a federal system. If we consider the current population estimates, about 76% are Sinhala, who have no interest in going against the traditional Buddhist values and the attitudes of NGO advocates and their hidden objectives are motivated by Indian and Western plans and they want a unitary system in the country and more than 50% of minority of 24% population don’t want a federal system and like a unitary system sharing the political role with the majority Sinhala people.  In this background, planning to abolish unitary status by the yahapalana regime is not logical and working against the fundamental right of majority of the country. Yahapalana advocates in 2015 did a tremendous mistake and during past three and a half years, they were failed to correct mistake what they have done during the elections in 2015.  Now there is no person or a group of persons to accept the responsibility for the wrong doing of the yahapalana regime.

The other connected problem with the constitutional issue is giving prominence place to Buddhism as a living religion of the country. The chapter two of the 1972 constitution stated that the Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster Buddhism while assuring to all religions the right granted by section 18(1)(d)” in the dominion constitution introduced in 1947 and same contents were adapted in the 1978 constitution using different wording that the Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the state to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana while assuring all religions the right granted by articles 10 and 14 (1)e” of the 1972 constitution.

The giving foremost place to Buddhism is not a real issue in Sri Lanka as neither Hindu, nor Christians nor Muslim have questioned about it and Buddhism is a working religion and about 75% of total population of Sri Lanka is directly associated with Buddhism.  In fact, modern historians such as Prof Raj Somadeva expressed that, Buddhism had been working as a religion in Sri Lanka before the embarkation of Vijaya and the Buddha Sasana was established in the country when King Devanam Piyatissa was ruling the country centuries ago in the era before Christian and Muslim religions originated and all major ethnic groups in the country and why Western countries, India or NGO groups are working against this truth. Do yahapalana advocates believe that the working against Buddhism would support to establish yahapalana myths in the country.

The Kandyan convention that was signed by Sri Lanka’s Adigars and the British rulers clearly indicated that British rulers will give the foremost place to Buddhism while they will be protecting Buddhism.  However, British rulers breached the agreement on the basis of ill advices of Christian leaders, who were opportunists at that time rather than true believers of Jesus Christ.  After independence Christian leaders have changed their attitudes towards Buddhism because the changes of policies in global Christian church on other religions and now Christians and Buddhism are working together in Sri Lanka.  The major difference was only in regard to school administration.  Now Sinhala Buddhist and Christian work together as a one nation.  Mr Jayawardane included the clause to give prominence to Buddhism with a clear understanding of the unity of Sinhala ethnic group without any religious differences.  Why yahapalana advocates attempt to make divisions against the unity of Sinhala population.

The next concerned issue raised by educated Buddhist monks was the undermining of the national security of the country by the yahapalana regime.  The national security is the priority of all countries in the world. A recently General Sarath Fonseka also made a public statement that yahapalana government has seriously undermined the national security of the country.  The national security is a prominent responsibility of any government, which spends a colossal amount of funds to maintain the national security.  Sri Lanka’s national security was challenged by LTTE war.  Many leaders of the country unsuccessfully attempted to control the war and bring peace to the country, but such efforts were failed as LTTE movement had international supports with a strategic plan for diving Sri Lanka.  However, yahapalanaya associated with these evil international forces to defeat the Rajapaksa regime and general public of Sri Lanka have no pleasure on account of the policies of yahapalana regime. The wish of people (95% of population) is to maintain national security and a leadership similar to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa given to the country.

Sri Lanka needs an effective security plan, which shouldn’t be disclosed to any other. Majority of people in Sri Lanka are quite unhappy on what is going in the country as the current yahapalana government seemly attempts to undermine the role of security forces on the ill advices of NGOs.  It is essential to understand that no country in the world allows undermining its security system and other countries to put hands to make judgements on the behaviour of security forces.  There is no harm in independent investigation of doubtful war incidents by Sri Lanka, if there were anything wrong happened during the war period, but it shouldn’t be with a malice motivation to get revenge from the Rajapaksa regime as it was not surrendered to animosity advises of NGOs and some other countries.  The current experience in the middle eastern countries clearly indicate that there is a war situation and many undemocratic events and crimes against humanity are happening contrary to the prevailing law and democratic values.  Investigation of war related incidents needs an impartial and positive motivation rather than incitement of taking revenge of leaders of previous regime.  The current experience in Sri Lanka gives an impression that yahapalana government’s action were motivated by taking revenge from Mr. Rajapaksa, who is recognized as the war hero by the ordinary people of the county.  Why is this revenge requirement, there is no any other reason than Mr Sirisena was not given the Prime Minister position in that regime?  How can justify this vengeance?

The third issue highlighted by educated Buddhist clergies was securing subsistence agriculture and plantation based economic sector.  The conventional agriculture mainly based on rice production, which needs modernization.  Plantation industry successfully introduced to Sri Lanka during the British colonial rule and the combine economic sector with rice production and plantation industry has been the strategic economic focus of the country since independence.  After 1965 many views emerged to diversify this traditional conventional economic sector, which supports to eradicate the poverty of the country. All elected governments since independence given priority for the conventional agricultural sector.  However, yahapalana regime has not given due attention this area.

The current government ignored the required reforms and diversification strategies of this sector and variety of reformed began in rural sector, which is like string with disordered knots.  Since 1978 executive presidential system supported to quick decision making for resolving problems in rural sector, but yahapalana NGOs focused to abolish the major system of the executive president

The forth issue highlighted by educated Buddhist monks was the right of workers to engage in trade union actions to achieve their demands.  There is a nonstop strike wave in the country, in addition to workers tertiary students and doctors also engage in frequent strikes as the yahapalana regime clearly disregarded the rights of employees.

Finally, people of Sri Lanka need to understand the fact that they are in a transition. The new situation always advocates essentially needs deregulation of markets for the benefits of people.  The trade union system also must be in this transition needs facing to deregulation with providing protection for lower income earners. It is difficult to maintain a competitive economy with a highly regulated labour market.  The operation of the trade union system in the world show that they are too selfish and openly contradict with the government economic policy.  It requires changing trade union operations in Sri Lanka and it must deregulate and attract foreign investments.

One Response to “YAHAPALANA GOVERNMENT AND UNDERPINNING POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC ISSUES (PART 2)”

  1. Christie Says:

    Is the transition you are talking about is that we will be a full fledged colony of India like Mauritius or Guyana?

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