Mahinda Chintanaya and Downsizing of the Cabinet!
Posted on April 15th, 2010

Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya Melbourne, Australia

  This is a much talked topic that, the cabinet of that last Government as superfluous!

Even here in Melbourne, some who talk on community radio networks and coin the proud title “Journalists” too condemn the last Cabinet! They honestly regret the inability for a “Talented” leader like Ranil Wickramasinghe being unable to contribute further for the development and the progress of the country. My foot!

Probably for that to happen, I am now referring to the main topic, there would have been justifiable reasons, but now it’s use by day may have been exhausted.

Since the start of the Presidential elections and until the conclusion of the General election even the President has been sounding that the new cabinet will be reduced to 35 ~ 40 ministries.

This notion of downsizing the cabinet may be as a result of the President genuinely realizing that the cabinet was way above what was really necessary to run a smooth Government as oppose to the pressure by the opposition or on the hue and cry of the masses!

If the President truly believes the cabinet was big and it needs pruning, did he observe that it did not bring the desired efficiency of some ministries? Was there a failure in delivery of the expected results? Did the budget go far in excess than the allocated amount?

When one looks at the titanic capital involved in any project these days, technically if there had been a ministry directly responsible for this project, rather than a tributary of the parent ministry, the efficiency in implementation should enhance due to the absence of unwanted bureaucracy or red tape, hence the product can be delivered well in advance than the target date, keeping the integrity of the product intact. Constant monitoring of the progress is all that was necessary. I am not canvassing against downsizing the ministries, rather making a point that it has to be done after cautious consideration, which Ministry did not perform well and which is really a duplication ministry.

The main reason for plummeting Ministries is to cut down the colossal expenditure incurred by the added staff besides the Minister. Now that there is no threat in the country by terrorists, a lot of unwanted expenditure such as providing security, unwanted transport to the officialdom and ancillaries should be taken off. This is just a few of the expenses I noticed; however there may much more, those too will cease to exist immediately, after sensible assessment of the situation prevailing in the country.

Instead of having several ministries, a Ministry responsible for several branches may have several well qualified advisors for different disciplines, who in turn can see what developments needs to be undertaken to improve a certain weakness as observed by them in their area of expertise.

In developed countries, of course these countries are much bigger in size than Sri Lanka, in addition to the Federal Government there are State Governments which operate independently, thus the development of those areas are efficiently handled, and anyone can see the immediate results.

Though Sri Lanka is small in comparison, I think we have a similar arrangement, like District or Provincial Councils with much lesser responsibility and activity I believe, pardon my ignorance if I am wrong. There may be a possibility that the Government can transfer some responsibility to those councils to develop the areas in their jurisdiction.  If a major project were to take place in a particular district, perhaps a non cabinet MP from that area can be appointed to that council in the capacity of a CEO to manage the project with necessary expertise, for instance a technical advisor. He could hire and fire the manpower within the area if available.

The country needs efficient, honest, dedicated and pragmatic leaders to implement Mahinda Chintanaya to relive Sri Lanka in Maha Parakramabuhu era, not those seat warmers who go by AR and FR the pen pushers!!!

I also believe in the absence of a Senate, the Government should seriously think of having a “Think Tank” that comprises of intellectuals, Noble Seniors, Scientists of various Disciplines, Doctors, from Performing Arts, Religious reps, Teachers, Journalists and even from Slum Dwellers etc a good cross section of the society to get a meaningful balanced advise to steer the country to a Prosperous and Peaceful Sri Lanka.     

Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya,

Melbourne, Australia

One Response to “Mahinda Chintanaya and Downsizing of the Cabinet!”


    Having a think tank is good, provided they do not run out of direction and try to run in different directions!!! We need a reasonably balanced think tank may be up to 8 experts not more. Ranil would be the waiter. He would look after thirst and hunger of the thinkers…..How is that for a leader?

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