25 September 2017

Constitutions are not Career Ladders for Politicians, their families & henchmen

Why is there a hurry to pass a new constitution? Look at the parties and individuals demanding a new constitution. Everyone EXCEPT 99% of the People want a new constitution. This is quite hilarious given that to this 1% even foreign envoys and foreign NGOs are also involved. So what are they all after – POWER for themselves, their families & their henchmen and we the citizens have to foot the bill. We must firmly put our foot down and reject this. Two main reasons to reject his new constitution is that the majority of Sri Lanka’s citizens did not ask, need or want a new constitution that is tweaking everything to the advantage of a handful while those seeking it are having hidden agendas including the foreign interest groups.

Is increasing Parliament going to provide any relief to an already inefficient and ineffective Parliament? No as it is with 225 Parliament, Provincial Councils, Municipal Councils etc what is the relief or service people are getting? Even the garbage problem cannot be solved by them. People are still without roads, proper housing, proper schools, how many schools has any government built? How many university hostels has any government improved? Against this look at the costs of re-renovating their official residences and the colossal amount of money they waste for helicopter rides, escort vehicles with security waving white hands and becoming a public nuisance to us all.

Let the provinces be reminded that over and above the funds allocated to the Centre to spend on the provinces the Provincial Councils request a separate budgetary allocation and the Northern allocation has always been 2nd to the allocation requested by the Western Province. However, at no given time has the Northern Province spent the full allocated quota on the people and the amount gets returned to the Treasury. So much for the Northern Chief Minister thundering about looking after the welfare of his people!

Why insist to change existing Unitary Constitution? The parties promoting Federalism under which confederal features are currently being craftily inserted are those whose party have propagated a separate mono-ethnic state. Why would they insist to change the Unitary Constitution otherwise? The present constitution is no impediment for the to serve their people if that is the real motive. It is because within the present unitary structure they cannot maneuver their hidden agenda. The provision to insert that the people of the provinces can decide to demerge is part of this insidious plan. Isn’t this why we should object, why should a handful of people’s hidden agendas be incorporated to a document applicable to all? We do not wish to be party to any constitution that is attempting to cut the country to pieces just so that a bunch of people can reign supreme forever over the people living in these areas.

Every new clause is controversial. Why should constitutions be changed to suit the whims and fancies of one or two controversial Chief Ministers whose credibility is at stake? Why are they eternally insisting on land powers, police powers, foreign aid, foreign relations, fiscal powers etc… ? TNA is a political proxy of the LTTE which ran its own police, own courts, had its own currency, own schools… let’s not forget this. Without exonerating TNA of LTTE links are those in power insane to be delegating these demands into provincial councils removing all checks and balances and ability for the Centre to control them? When the Chief Minister of the North is on record demanding no Sinhalese should live in the North and demanding the removal of Buddhist sites which have been in existence for before the Tamils arrived from South India, why is no one in the Centre objecting to these demands?

Mono-ethnic enclave but rest of the country has to foot the bill. The most hilarious part of wanting one’s own mono-ethnic enclave is that they want the Centre to fund that area, provide resources to that area and even allow people of that area to live, buy property, go to school and even work in all other parts of the island. But people in other parts of the country cannot buy property, work or live and soon they might not even be allowed to enter that mono-ethnic enclave without permission.  The people who are accepting these demands need to seriously get their brains checked.

Let’s also remember that present day demarcation of countries including their names are creations of the West and as a by-product of colonial rule. These artificial demarcations/borders etc are the reasons for many of today’s conflicts. The island originally had 3 administrative units – Ruhunu, Maya, Pihiti

No one has still explained why there was any need for a man who had been living all his life in Colombo, went to school in Colombo, became a Supreme Court judge would need to be parachuted to the North and the Tamils of the North who didn’t even know who he was were asked to vote for him and that’s how he became the Chief Minister. What kind of democracy is this? Therefore, we cannot trust in elections or referendums if the element of cheating and rigging is not dealt with. Simply having a bunch of people calling themselves election monitors who issue a basic report cannot remove the reality that voters have been influenced by different means and methods to vote. This is certainly no democracy.  

Tamil/Muslim Deputy President – Another career goal of politicians that has no relevance or use for the ordinary voters and will become another tax burden to the People who will end up having to pay to maintain this title. We do not need such a title to waste our money. None of the titles people hold currently have given us dividends for the expense we incur to maintain them and their families. We do not want to have this title.

We don’t need to increase Government    
Sri Lanka is an island nation. We are a small country. India is 48 times the size of Sri Lanka. We don’t need to be dividing or carving territories copying what other countries do. Let’s not forget the British ran the country with just 1 Governor and the Kachcheri system. More the systems, more the confusion. Look at the present Government and the overlapping of portfolios – no Minister is taking charge because several ministers are in charge of virtually the same thing and it is confusing the public service and the secretaries.

While these politicians are nicely being Father Christmas to each other – our problems whether town/district/province-wise remain unsolved. Garbage is not collected on time, drains are not cleaned, mayors are bribed to put up illegal structures, municipalities are bribed to put up condominiums above the accepted floors, environmental hazards are not looked into, restaurants and hotels are serving dirty food in unhygienic kitchens and bribery often results in no action, the poor man gets jailed for minor offences the rich man gets away despite whatever offences, to pass a file for approval from municipalities/provincial councils ends up having to take more than a day’s leave and plenty of begging and pleading, while it is a pleasure to drive outstation as the roads are fantastic just look at the pot holes in the roads in Colombo! From school admission to basic health services in government hospitals the service is getting poorer and it is not to say that private sector is the solution. All of the private hospitals are places where they end up draining your money dry coming up with all types of reasons to fatten one’s bill once admitted – no doctor today can give an assessment of the ailment without prescribing upteen tests.

Women Quota
Now there is a new flurry for women’s quota being debated in Parliament. If everyone is to be treated equally why should there be separate quotas for women? Is this a ruse to enable the present MPs to bring their wives, daughters and even daughter in laws to power to make a full family affair as campaigning too would be easier!

No. in Government
250 members serving 5 year term
250 members elected for a four-year term
113 seats
Senate, consists of 76 members. House of Representatives, consists of 150 members elected for 3 year term
180 for 5 year term
Cote d'Ivoire
255 members
275 members
Korea, North
687 Supreme People’s Assembly
184 members

More importantly, an important article by Lasanda Kurukulasuriya asks a poignant question “Is SL Being Used by Big Powers into Making the Indian Ocean Another South China Sea?” while another by Tamara Kunanayakam claims Sri Lanka: The New Constitution – A Neo-colonial Project! There is no need for the UN officials, or foreign envoys to be going campaigning for a new constitution in the form of lobby groups taking with them handsome handouts… if proven, these are tantamount to bribery.

People would not be making these assertions if there was no background foundation to them. It is the seriousness of what these scenarios are depicted that entails the Citizens to rise against all attempts to pass a New Constitution by these opportunist and power hungry and self-serving politicians who have no love for the country or its citizens. Every change that they are planning to introduce is going to be tax burden on us the Citizens and for that reason alone we should come out and reject it.

Shenali D Waduge