Ministers, did you understand Maithri’s motives?
By Bandara (Ceylon Today)
“The President needs the assistance of Parliament to dilute the powers of Executive President. That is because it is the Parliament which has the power to amend the Constitution. Yet Parliament was unable to effect this change for the last twenty years. It is the President who is the leader of the main party that should provide the leadership to pass the Constitutional Amendment with a two-thirds majority. For that the President should take the initiative to reach an accord among main political parties. It is to fulfil this task that I decided to come forward as the Common Candidate of all the people at this Presidential Election.”
Above is an excerpt from the Manifesto of the President Maithri Palanayak Sthawara Ratak issued for the Presidential Election held on 8 January 2015.
These days we can hear ministers of the government itself proudly stating various ridiculous things here and there regarding the proposed new Constitution. These things are heard mostly from a few who worked tirelessly and with commitment for Mahinda Rajapaksa on 8 January 2015 and later leaned towards the government of good governance and obtained ministerial posts.
Theme Cartoon added by TW from internet
Some of them were well and truly defeated at the election by the people but entered Parliament through the National List.
Their main argument is that the government has not received a mandate to pass a new Constitution.
This is a story that has got its two ends entangled. It was clearly stated in the manifesto of the New Democratic Front through which the Presidential Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena contested together with the United National Party under the symbol of the Swan that a new Constitution will be brought and the corrupt Executive Presidential System would be abolished.
Within the arguments, the above ministers have got entangled in, is not the Sri Lanka Freedom Party under the leadership of Maithripala Sirisena. Within the dream government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is a single policy that abolishing the Executive Presidential System and the requirement of a new Constitution does not exist. Therefore those dreams exist in Mahinda’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party only. These ministers are also dreaming while still living in the psychological government of Mahinda’s. The reason is since they raised their hands without creating any rumpus in favour of the 18th Amendment which was brought so that a President can remain forever in the post of Executive President.
Then the Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena came out of that obstinacy and declared to the country that if he comes to power he will abolish the Executive Presidential System and bring about a new Constitution. It is possible that this was not heard by these particular ministers who had plugs in their ears in support of the 18th Amendment, and because they still have them in place.
Voice of Maithri
It is also possible that the voice of Maithri from the election stage could not be heard by these ministers, because they were on their knees in front of the ‘King’ with their spines bent saying ‘Yes Sir.’
Anyhow, 6.2 million people in this country accepted this meaningful proposal of abolishing the system of the executive presidency which comprises unlimited powers which can result in people suffering, and bringing in a new Constitution. That is why the rainbow revolution gained victory on 8 January 2015.
These ministers, who are creating havoc shouting, have got entangled on another point. There is no relationship or connection between abolishing the system of executive presidency and devolution of power through a new Constitution.
Just because the system of executive presidency is abolished it does not mean that devolution of power and co-existence will be created.
Devolution of power exists under the system of executive presidency in the United States of America.
In India, devolution of power exists under a system initiated through an executive prime ministerial post.
The Mahinda-friendly supporters are creating a bogey man of the Constitution and pointing out that a federal system will be brought in our country. However, both the above countries are federal countries.
The other side of the federal system is the unitary system. Even under this unitary system, in modern states, devolution of power is carried out with a federal system. The main country within a unitary system is the United Kingdom. It consists of four units.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are these four units. The United Kingdom or Great Britain and Northern Ireland include all four of these units. Accordingly, devolution of power can be carried out prudently within both systems.
It can be decided subsequent to a thorough study of the economic, national, social and cultural requirements to what extent devolution of power should be done even within a new Constitution in Sri Lanka.
In our country by 8 January 2015, there was an extensive national agreement regarding abolishing the system of executive presidency and creating a new Constitution.
Then according to the dictatorial authority based thinking during the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, there was no room for any political reforms. There was not even room for a dialogue at least, similar to the ministers who are free to jabber now.
Everyone had mouth guards on! They had gum pasting their lips together.
Probably as a result of this, the main slogan in overturning the Mahinda administration became abolishing the system of executive presidency, creating a new system of elections, establishing a system of independent commissions and implementing the law against corrupt members of the previous government.
President Maithripala Sirisena has said several times in many places that his one and only hope is to abolish the system of executive presidency.
President Sirisena confirming this in front of the remains of late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita Thera who helped in bringing the government of good governance into power and his belief in the fact that the dictatorial executive presidency should be abolished, was one of the leading instances.
There is no doubt that President Maithripala Sirisena knows that his political journey of good behaviour will end if he forgets his sensitive pledge as ridiculous which was given to the people in this country who possess a conscience regarding politics. As a mature politician he is intelligent enough to realize this.
It is the President who has fulfilled many social changes requested by the society of people in this country. It was the government of good governance led by President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe which rescued the people from the ‘white van culture’ and gifted democratic freedom to the people of talking about and criticizing the reduction of powers of the Executive Presidency.
Today, people are stoning the government, berating it, insulting it and talking about over turning it, holding meetings opposing the government while disgracefully remaining undercover of the freedom of democracy the government provided. Persons have forgotten what would have happened if they opened their mouths then and behave as if such a regimen never existed.
A new Constitution is not a conspiracy. An opposition against Ranil which is there, behind this matter has also jumped out of the sack. It is not an objection against the Constitution but an objection against an individual. Instead of an Executive President an Executive Prime Minister will be appointed. Certain people who have some unfounded fear that Ranil will become a powerful figure is using it as a truncheon and attacking back. Various strategies are being deployed in order to get this antagonistic private opinion to take root in people’s minds.
However, neither Maithri and Ranil nor the so-called Opposition nor Mahinda nor anyone else possesses a mandate to live forever with a permanent life span. There is no such idiotic dialogue such as equating the life span of a new Constitution to the life span of a human being which decides the existence of a country, or State. These uneducated brainless people believe that a new Constitution is for Ranil and for Maithri.
It is natural that such arbitrary thoughts fill the minds of people who have the same dreams as Mahinda. The reason is during the 10 years they were in power, everything was Mahinda; the Constitution was Mahinda, the law was Mahinda, the power was Mahinda, the dictatorship was Mahinda. Everything was Mahinda and relatives’ company. So, it is possible that they think that the proposed new Constitution which is intended for the people is solely meant for Ranil and Maithri. This useless opposition being shown could be because of this reason.
It would be of great value if the ministers who still live in the dream government of Mahinda and are ministers in the good governance government but keep on jabbering, remove the plugs from their ears and listen to the statement made by President Maithri:
‘Evidently this unitary government will with strength face the forthcoming five years. At the same time it will be decided in 2020 how we will govern beyond that. I have to tell you all of this very clearly.’
‘People who destroyed the country, people who got rid of democracy, people who put fear into the minds of residents of this country with the white van culture, people who stole billions causing an economic crisis of to the tune of Rs 9,000 billion in this country, people who crowned corruption, theft, fraud and waste in a manner that was unprecedented in history will not be allowed to establish a government in this country on any day and we wish to tell you all this very clearly. I should tell you all very clearly that in this country an environment will be built not for them to govern but to walk about’.
Raving, comedian ministers, did you hear Maithri’s speech, did you understand Maithri’s motives?