Today Sri Lanka needs a powerful Executive President, and not democracy.
Posted on September 25th, 2020

By Charles S..Perera

What Sri Lanka  wants is not a democracy of the press, the freedom to write, the freedom to criticize the government, freedom to demonstrate. What we want is a democracy of the people for their right to live in peace and security, have the minimum of a decent living condition, right to have access to water, security of employment, a good health service, bring up a family, and have good service from an uncorrupt  government.

Sri Lanka is 72 years away since its Independence.  We are still talking about a democracy. What did we have before Independance and beyond? We were ruled by Kings and there were periods when Sri Lanka prospered under some kings. There were the Nobles who helped the king in ruling the country maintaining law and order.  The people were grouped according to their skills, a caste system where each one occupied tasks allocated to them .  

Rhys Davis says that the West learnt what they call democracy from the east. The Buddha himself had a gread  organising skill. Lord Buddha had a great following and his disciples came from all walks of life. They had to be trained into being the followers of the Buddha Dhamma. It was a   difficult task which he attended to with great perspicacity. He made known the Dhamma through  discourses  and set out rules of conduct for his disciples and followers.

Therefore, what we call democracy in relation to politics was not unknown to the Sinhala people. Or as a matter of fact to entire nations the world over. But  it is only when we come to politics we speak mostly of democracy. The imported notion of democracy existed from Independence  and differed from one ruling system or government to another.  That is why now in TV political discussion the opposition to the Government compare their period of rule as a period  where there was a greater democracy compared to the government they replaced.

Therefore this political democracy of varying standards will continue. But what we should examine is under which democracy the people were better off, more secure and protected, spent peaceful lives.  When it is put through such an examination, one would see that  democracy becomes meaningless if the people had been neglected and left on their own to meet the rising cost of living, lack of protection, fear of an underworld etc., and a drug menace. 

Sri Lanka today is not what it was 72 years ago. Today Sri Lanka under  President Gotabaya Rajapakse ,is not what it was five years before under the Sirisena-Ranil duo. But yet the rejected government of the past says that there was democracy during the five years before.  Why then were they rejected by the people ? Because this democracy is what the educated Colombiens and the Colombo press moguls want, it is different from what the people outside in towns and villages want.

Whatever notion different people have about democracy, it is since Independence there had been something that had been accepted from the west  called democracy. It came from the Colonial rulers who did not rule democratically. It has in reality  given nothing to the people. Sri Lanka continued to be a developing country yet with that absurd democracy becoming    a barrier for progressive development of the country, changing governing systems from time to time. 

The present day media specially the Capital Maharajaa Organisation, News First, Dawasa, Satana, Face the Nation,  journalists have their own notion of democracy which they try to promote against the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In a recent political debate in Satana a journalist insisted that an invitee should  accept  that compared to the periods of government before Yahapalanaya,  there was democracy under Yahapalanaya.

If they were to think that there was no democracy under  President Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2005 to 2015, they cannot deny that there was a remarkable, or if they want, an apparent  development of the country during that period breaking away from the  path of  a developing status, to a county on the path of progressive  development with highways , high-rise buildings, beautification of towns, parks  and cleansed lakes. 

If these democracy fans  insist that despite all that it was  a period without democracy, the price was worth it,  and there should be more periods of governments in Sri Lanka without democracy for it to really step into a developed country status.

In that sense too the 20th Amendment is welcome though it irks Sajith Premadasa, Anura Kumara Dissanayake and their followers wearing blinders. The word democracy” , a sacred OM” to the opponents  of  the government, had been introduced by former colonial masters to keep the country poor and undeveloped. It is getting out of the blinder that will make developing countries take the risk  and forge ahead to  enter a new path of development.

It is enough that  we had been floundering in the darkness of under development  for the last 72 years making every effort to keep the crown of democracy on our heads.  One government rules for five years  and takes the government forward according to its idea of development, and then when it is defeated another comes  to change everything that the other government had done to introduce a new system for the next five years, the circle continues and we are always where we were at the beginning.

It is time that it changes. China, Russia,Malaysia,  Singapore, Vietnam and Bangladesh  are not countries holding democracy in high favour, but they have developed  to a far greater extent than we have done  holding on to this precious democracy.

At least now we want a man at the helm,  who would not bend to pressure but continue to do what is good for the country and the people who have placed their confidence on him  to do what he thinks is correct. Therefore the President should be given all the powers of an executive President .

The pseudo democrats of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya , Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna   say Yahapalanaya gave real democracy to Sri Lanka. But did it  give the people of Sri Lanka  what they really wanted,  which was not democracy but a decent living standard, education for their children,employment , clean water to drink, roads,pathways and a drug and a crime  free country ?  No,  statistics show quite a different story.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa wants to give the people what they really want. For that the Executive President wants a free hand to move without ugly undemocratic manifestations in the well of the august assembly of the representatives of the people-the  Parliament,by the undisciplined infantile members of the Opposition, distorting facts in the 20th Amendment.  

Sri Lanka has an honest, disciplined visionary leader in President Gotabaya Rajpaksa , who had demonstrated  his devotion to the country and the people, who risked his life for them. None other political leader  even with dynamos, and paternal genes had ever made such a sacrifice or risked one’s life  for the Country. Sajith Premadasa the  Opposition Leader who denounced the 20Amendement saying it is to give executive power to  an individual had never lifted a gun in defence of Sri Lanka.

That individual,  Sajith Premdasa  and his supporters often refer to is the President of Sri Lanka. His personal identity is submerged  when he holds the high office to which the people have hoisted him.

President Mahinda Rajapkse put the country into the correct path of development, but ungrateful people  were  forced by coercion and enticement by local and foreign enemies of Sri Lanka to reject him at the Presidential elections of 2014.

The 20th Amendment is essential at this hour of Sri Lanka’s history as we should think of a different people friendly political system, as the past systems have failed to give the necessary leadership to Sri Lanka with its glorious historical past to surmount  difficulties to achieve new heights of development.  

Therefore, the President should have immunity, be free to face and stop  unpatriotic self interested  opposition in a  parliamentary system by even dissolving the parliament if it becomes necessary, to have patriotic  Sri Lankans with even dual citizenship who  may want to  come back and help in the development process of Sri Lanka.

The 20A does not suppress the Audit department or the Auditor General . They will be there carrying out their allotted functions. Therefore there should not be any difficulty in  having the 20Amendment passed in parliament as a temporary measure until a new Constitution is written and presented.

Some ask what is the impediment to carry on the government without removing the 19th Amendment. The impediment is that the 19th Amendment does not fit into the new thinking of the new Government. The Yahapalanaya may not have had any impediment in carrying on it destructive path of bankrupting Sri Lanka with the hastily adopted 19A, but that is the past and that 19A does not fit into the present path that is being hacked, despite opposition by political reactionaries , towards a better , sure and  an efficient advancement of  prosperity to illumine  a country that has been thrown into an abyss of  political, financial and social darkness. 

There were two critics Jayadeva Uyangoda who admits  of a hurried reading of the 20th Amendment, which was enough for him to  writes what he always wrote against President Mahainda Rajapaksa with added venum trying to put President  Gotabaya Rajapaksa into a garb of a Dictator.  He may have written that without reading the 20th Amendment at all.  The other Dayan Jayatillake does more or less the same thing but with greater venom,  having missed the diplomatic boat to a European destination. Most of what he writes is frilled with his quotes from his intellectual reading material or seen & heard  in the cinema. They are both prophets of doom and not worth commenting on their rantings.

Finally 20 Amendment is to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, we do not want UN or Commonweal or any International interference. It would be an insult to our sovereignty; independence and our Judiciary. Sri Lanka  can settle its matters on its own.

6 Responses to “Today Sri Lanka needs a powerful Executive President, and not democracy.”

  1. Nimal Says:

    We need both a powerful honest President and democracy but not a dictatorship. I say government by the people and for the people.

  2. Charles Says:

    Nimal If you wish. As for me democracy is a farce that has retarded development in countriies. I prefer a bnevolent, people friendly, disciplined government.

  3. Nimal Says:

    ask the people in countries like Belarus…Days of dictators are running out.

  4. Charles Says:

    Dictators are not benevolent,people friendly and disciplined !

  5. jay-ran Says:

    Yes Mr Charles Perera!!!
    “Today Sri Lanka needs a powerful Executive President, and not democracy.”.YES,ITS COMPLETELY TRUE!!!!!!!!!

  6. Nimal Says:

    If he can get rid of corruption and excessive greed then it is good for all.

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