Leaders – Old and young (Original Title)
By S H Moulana
When a government servant celebrates his sixtieth birthday, he sees yet another party is in progress in his department and that is to say goodbye to him. If you are a cricketer you are expected to hang your gloves when you reach your forty.
However, for politicians, whether it is sixty or even seventy is the qualifying age to take up leadership. We are pleased to see this trend is changing in the West. First, we saw Justin Trudeau at the age of 44 became the second youngest prime minister of Canada. Then another young man in Emmanuel Macron followed him to become the youngest president of France at the age of 39 years. In 2014, when he was just 36 he did a marvellous job as minister of economy. To top all these, now Austria has elected Sebastian Kurz as its chancellor at the age of 31.
Cartoon added by TW from internet
He was Austria’s foreign minister since he was just 27 years. During this period he was instrumental in the negotiations on the nuclear program of Iran in Vienna. He was also responsible for the negotiations on the Ukraine crisis in Vienna. It is on record that during the period he served as the foreign minister, he has met almost all the world leaders. All these young leaders are well known for their integrity and their hunger to serve the people, contrary to the aged leaders.
We don’t write off all old leaders, and paint them as corrupt. A former senator, Mark Udall (Democrat) had this to say about the former elderly US Republican President Gerard Ford “President Ford was a devoted, decent man of impeccable integrity who put service to his country before his own self-interest. He helped to heal our nation during a time of crisis. Provided steady leadership and restored people’s faith in the presidency and in government.” In the meantime, an American college professor while condemning the US’ funny electoral system of ‘electoral college’ has said “As an American, I want to apologize to the rest of the world for my country electing Donald Trump.” You can see the difference between these two old brigades.
Codgers like imported paskaralingam, manik samara, rauff, tilak mara and even ranil and my3 must retire to look after their home gardens and make way for young men and women between 30 and 55 of age. There would be no future for Sri Lanka unless the cabinet was reduced to 20 with honest technocrats drawn from the civil society appointed as ministers. This blogger has told his children and grandchildren categorically that Sri Lanka will remain the same even after 100 years so long as codgers like the ones quoted here rule the country.