Best man is better than best laws

By Bandara (Ceylon Today)

‘Ruling a country with the best man is better than ruling a country with best laws.’ – Aristotle

Who is the best man mentioned here by Aristotle the Scholar? What should he be like? Firstly this best man should not be a racist.

Martin Luther King has said that racism amounts to being blood-thirsty. Therefore, the man who should be a good ruler should not be a racist. The ruler, who should be a good man, should be a person of veracity. He should not be a person who has plundered people’s wealth and built up a new generation. He should be someone who does not use national wealth and people’s wealth for the enjoyment and living as well as to nourish his own relatives, followers and friends.

The best man who is a ruler in the presence of the law existing in a country and in the face of justice should definitely stand up straight. He should not be a person who handles the law of the country according to his whims and fancies and keeps it under his palm. The best man who should be a ruler should not be a dictator. He should not be a person who suppresses the opinions of people, mass media, democratic freedom of people and criticisms. The best man who should be a ruler has to have many other qualities. Not being greedy for power is a very valuable quality.

How many rulers in our country had these qualities of a good man…? During the previous regime, what we saw was injustice, inequity, misuse and lawlessness as well as other qualities of lowly persons.

Once the people’s verdict was given during an election according to what he did and said he should accept it without hunger for power and being deceitful, with bowed head. There are many scheming projects being implemented in a disgusting manner right across the country in order to regain power which they lost, in whatever manner possible, surrounded by a group who encouraged lawlessness and robbed and pillaged people’s property. The oil strike which ended after inconveniencing the people severely was also a reprehensible plan of trying to secure this power that they were deprived of.

Damage the economy

The main objectives of these lawless clashes are to damage the economy of the country. These insincere Joint Opposition members are against self-sufficiency of the economy of the country. They implement extremely disgusting plans to create chaos in the people’s minds spreading false racism and patriotism among the people. When the government was attempting to implement a development plan by giving the Hambantota Port to the Chinese Government based on a lease agreement they encouraged lowly patriotism. However, when the previous regime tried to hand over the Colombo Port City land as freehold land then, these patriots were hiding in the corner near the hearth! They remained blind, deaf and dumb. These so-called patriots do not even remember the fact that our national anthem was not even played at the inaugural function then. It is not that they have forgotten but on purpose have done so. These raving patriotic racists have been dumbfounded because handing over the land as freehold land to China in the construction of the Colombo Port City was cancelled and amended to include the right of a lease.

Behind the protest against the Trincomalee Oil Tanks are also the shadows of power hungry bats. Minister of State Enterprises Development Kabir Hashim said that, an agreement was reached between the governments of India and Sri Lanka to keep the ownership of the Trincomalee oil tanks with the government and to hand over 14 tanks to the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC)while the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is given 10 and remaining 74 will be run as a joint venture. These oil tanks were previously given on lease to the Indian Government, too.

The CPC trade unions had three main demands during this strike. Those were, not to hand over the Trincomalee Oil Tanks to India, to renovate the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery and that bunkering at the Hambantota Port should be taken under the control of the government.

For the government it was an extremely difficult task to respond immediately to fulfil these demands. The struggles carried out by trade unions existed forever in our country to fight to win trade union rights and demands regarding problems. However, these particular demands did not have any impact on either the members of the trade unions or members’ rights. This was an attempt to hurt the government, to intimidate it, to take it by the ear and shake it, to make the economy collapse and to discourage investors, based on a power hungry disgraceful conspiracy. The conspiracy showed how the doctors’ association was supporting the oil associations. These oil tanks in Trincomalee were set up during the time the British ruled the country. Even after Sri Lanka gained independence these 99 oil tanks were not made use of. During World War II this zone where the oil tanks were subjected to a bomb attack by the Japanese. According to reliable sources, 12,100 metric tons of fuel can be stored in each of these tanks.  Such a capacity for a country like ours is, vast.

In 2003, these oil tanks were leased out to the Lanka IOC. Even though lease payments were made, these tanks were over grown with scrub jungle and all of them were not made use of. Only 15 tanks were used. Now, the country is being set on fire after a lapse of 14 years. What is the reason for this? Is it not the hunger and greed for power? The Lanka IOC made this oil storage tank complex an investment zone and is there any fault in their using it as an Asian fuel storage venue?

Prior to the Lanka IOC setting up fuelling stations in the country, what was the condition of fuel stations that existed in towns? The difference between fuelling stations of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and those of the Lanka Indian Oil Company was very clear.

Chinese investors

The very same gang that incited the people saying that the Hambantota Port should not be handed over to Chinese investors, remained with their ears closed when the Colombo Port City was being given to China based on single ownership. This is another brutish protest of the same extremist gang which caused panic among the people when the Oil Tanks in Trincomalee were to be given to India as an investment.

The so-called power hungry, ‘joint oppositionists’ have forgotten that fourteen years ago these oil tanks which were not used for about seventy years, were handed over to an Indian company. What the conscientious people of this country should be aware of is why the opposition that was not there then has come at this time and under whose guidance. India and China are two powerful investor countries in the world today. If economic self-sufficiency is created with the cooperation of such countries, within our country, the result will benefit the people of our country. Those who were not keen to see that type of development, and were fighting somehow to obtain even through force, power and those who were defeated from the hearts of the people are injecting racist poison into the nation.

It is the responsibility of the government to save the country from such devious strategies of the so-called greedy for power. The government should be wise enough to understand that those who do not see benefits to the country are depicting an appalling picture of the state of the country. The government should definitely be fearless. That is how you can defeat defeatists.

Abraham Lincoln has said, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

In order to make that a reality, the government should always be on the side of the people. They should not be on the side of fathers-in-law and sons-in-law! If, from the side of the people, they fight against the fathers-in-law and sons-in-law who misused State funds of the Central Bank, and the people stand together with the government there is no doubt that power hungry defeatists can be chased away.