Selecting Leaders to Reclaim Our Country
Posted on July 15th, 2019

Dr D.Chandraratna

During the last so many years we have agonized over the unsatisfactory state of affairs in our body politic and the helplessness of its citizens. If we are to survive this madness, simply switching off or merely ridiculing the current crop of Parliamentarians will not deliver. We must actively canvass our good intentions to rectify the gross abuses of the so-called democracy that we are corralled into. Our reform agenda should be known to those around us and thereby encourage a vigorous debate about how we plan to see happen. After almost five years of disenfranchisement we must seize the upcoming opportunity to educate the public. Mere bleating will not give us the future we deserve.

Remember the famous words of the French lawyer and philosopher, Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821) that every nation gets the government it deserves. If we lose interest by giving lame excuses, or wash our hands off the whole enterprise of politics then we will get the sort of government that we deserve. It is understandable that many people of good intellect are disengaged right now because of the parlous state of politics but we are a resourceful people once and we can do better. The opportunity will come at the forthcoming elections and hence let us be prepared. To do nothing is to acquiesce.

What then are the steps to recovery? First, we need to understand current reality with clarity. It must be grasped that it is not the time to support candidates who are unable to garner a winnable proportion of votes. We need a candidate who has earned credits through past performance to be at the starting point. We will not find candidates who are totally unblemished. Even with certain misgivings we are duty bound to go for a candidate who has the potential to muster more than 50 precent of the votes, Therefore the mushrooming, inexperienced new faces have to be cleared out for the moment so as not to spoil the chances of one who can win.

Second, stated very briefly the need of the hour is a courageous leader with reasonable intellect, who is willing to work with professional opinion, who can work according to plans and policies, with the interests of the suffering people of this nation at heart.  That is real democracy at work. We need no new laws. Such claims are a chimera to dupe the masses. The country has all the laws necessary for good governance. But you must let the institutions that are there work without crass political interference. The bureaucracy must be made to work efficiently. Let not the legislators dictate terms to the bureaucrat. The heads of departments should set the example by not heeding the politician’s dictates. If they resign in disgust the whole working population must down the tools. Let the high end of the professions take the lead. We have seen how the 17th amendment made matters worse. The Parliament, the role of the Speaker, the procedures, and the opposition deserve their due place. Do not make the Parliament a sick joke by getting rejects through the back door. Killing off democratic institutions is one sure way for nations to fail and we are just standing at the edge. A law is a law, which has come through correct passage in the Parliament. Not one that has been crookedly altered half way through. We need a democracy in the spirit of the law and not in the form of the law. Do not allow our Nation to Fail

Third, we need to broaden democracy. The modern state is too complex and Parliament will not have the intelligence by itself to administer the nation. We cannot get experts to adorn the seats at Diyawanna Oya. We are not a successful democracy because we have not reached the kind of economic development coupled with high education and maturity to have a sizeable middle class. For sixty per cent of the people life is a fight for basic survival and elections are won through taxpayer’s money offered as bribes and the country is made poorer after every election.

Constitutional Councils and Police Commissions fail because they are manipulated to appoint cronies to important places to do the bidding of the corrupt politician. But broadening democracy means a senate or council of public men and women, experts not orators, a Council assisting the popularly elected President. It is given adequate powers to curb irresponsible talk and action. The one thing that our country, steeped in debt, needs is financial management by specialists. Britain set an example and precedent in 1997 when it transferred control over interest rates from politicians to the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) whose advice cannot be ignored by the politicians. In that MPC are four from the Central bank, an economist, an academic and two others with specialized knowledge. Vital aspects of our nation must be given to such Council(s) of excellence. Others like power and energy, environment, come to my mind.

The Fourth is in the area of Defence and Foreign policy. A person who has the interest of the country is desperately needed. We need a patriot who can communicate with the world even without an interpreter standing in the middle. Sri Lanka’s location is becoming  a matter of concern but Sri Lanka need not build military alliances with new emerging powers. Without compromising our non-aligned stance we need to keep them all at arms length and stay neutral from a military perspective. Having the nation’s interest at heart let us pursue economic cooperation and technological collaboration and maintain multiple links for military training and joint exercises and be an independent friend in the Indian Ocean and not a power pawn of any super power.  We need a strong willed patriotic individual assisted by professionals to lead the nation at the forthcoming contest. Time is of the essence.

5 Responses to “Selecting Leaders to Reclaim Our Country”

  1. aloy Says:

    The newly leader has to come from the present parliamentary system as we cannot keep any hope of changing it via a military intervention as they are all chicken hearted fellows who will eat something and keep quiet.

    So, the new leader should realize that it is the very parliamentary system that our minorities have identified as the weapon to destroy the country. He should therefore replace it with a suitable system that will safeguard the interest of the nation and ensure its continuity.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    No matter who wins the presidential election, he/she will be unable to and completely uninterested to reclaim our country.

    He/she will dance to the tune of Tamils and Muslims (even if he/she doesn’t win their votes).

    Sinhalese need a nation of their own. Sri Lanka is less and less likely it can host that nation.

    To the credit of the Sinhalese, we are not the most numerous people awaiting death sentence for grave crimes. Tamils and Muslims far outnumber Sinhalese in grave crimes. Tamils and Muslims once again take the lion’s share in INTERPOL wanted Lankans too. Tamils and Muslims have terrorist groups but Sinhalese have none.

    How can civilised and pacifist Sinhalese save themselves living with such criminalized (and at times barbaric) groups in the same country?

    e.g. One cannibal consumed Fallopian tubes of Sinhala women. Unthinkable barbarity.

    The danger is if Sinhalese evolve to face these hordes, they too will end up like them. That is not desired. A peaceful and lasting solution that does justice to all is needed.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    I don’t believe in ONE MAN saving the nation. This is the root of POLITICIAN SLAVE culture.
    It was our brave Sinhalese Buddhist children fought for the nation- not the LEADERS nor their children who are neither Buddhist nor Sinhalese.

    However we should demand and make compulsory

    1. Removal of 13Am together with Pallath Sabha
    2. Removal of Thesavalamai, Muslim and Udarata law
    3. Getting rid of Arab culture
    4. Getting rid of Western culture ( how can we demand to get rid of Arab culture when leaders indulge in Western culture such as cutting birthday cakes)
    5. Confiscation of property and wealth of crooks ( not only Maha Bangku Horu)
    6. Hanging of all politicians or ex-politicians who protected crooks.

  4. Mario Perera Says:

    Aloy: … the present parliamentary system… we cannot keep any hope of changing it…

    Dilrook: No matter who wins the presidential election, he/she will be unable to and completely uninterested to reclaim our country.
    He/she will dance to the tune of Tamils and Muslims (even if he/she doesn’t win their votes).

    Randeniyage: I don’t believe in ONE MAN saving the nation. This is the root of POLITICIAN SLAVE culture.
    It was our brave Sinhalese Buddhist children fought for the nation- not the LEADERS nor their children who are neither Buddhist nor Sinhalese.

    These three quotes contain everything. There is nothing more to be said…and nothing more will ever be done. Sri Lanka is a TITANIC. But the Band plays on. And when the ship is sunk, the treasure hunting minorities will plunder it and grab the remains for their own. This is already happening. We are seeing the catastrophic dimensions of the reality with our own eyes. The peeling of temple bells have lost their religious connotation. They are heralding the Country’s demise. For whom do the bells toll? For whom else but the Sinhala nation.
    I hear the prophetic verses of W.S.Senior: your cities are laid in ruins, their courts through the jungle spread. Your scepter is long departed…the stranger lord instead

    All who can will jump overboard. They will swim towards other shores or sink.

    As quoted above: ”It was our brave Sinhalese Buddhist children fought for the nation- not the LEADERS nor their children who are neither Buddhist nor Sinhalese”.

    It is only they who can save this nation by fighting and overthrowing the LEADERS. but they are bereft of leadership. This leadership cannot come from the ranks of civil society. It has to be overpowering. It has to be the perennial custodians of the nation. It has to be the Sinhala SANGHA. It is they who wrote our Country’s history. It is they who formulated the resistant and combative ‘Theravada’ doctrine. It is they who made Lanka the home of Gautama the Buddha It is they who propagated the Theravada in South-East Asian countries thereby forming a barrier against rampant Hinduism. It is they who complied the Tri-Pithaka and spread it world-wide. It is they who pulled down the mighty from their thrones. The prayer of the Sinhala nation is: Sanghan saranang gachchami. Without the SANGHA, no Buddha, no Dhamma, no Sinhala.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  5. Vaisrawana Says:

    “Mere bleating will not give us the future we deserve.” True, Dr Chandraratna. But don’t worry. Only the deaf and dumb will fail to listen to the ROARING of the Lambs.

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