Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scrapping of Executive Presidential System in Sri Lanka

There is an imperialists' conspiracy by the US Government to get General Sarath Fonseka-now on a private visit to the United States-to give evidence against Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to draft a charge sheet against him. Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has most courageously informed the United States that he was the commander-in-chief who gave orders to execute the war, so the United States should inquire from him, if they had any questions about the war matters in Sri Lanka.

Courageously speaking on behalf of the army commander, president has said that he would make himself accountable for the good as well as ill effects of the war. It is clear that the president is not prepared betray the valiant military officers. This is the first instance where a sacrifice of this nature has been made in the recent history of the country.

Support of International Community
Several Asian countries such as India and China and Russia along with a few European countries are pleased to see a united Sri Lanka. Imperialist countries and colonial, capitalist groups want to see Sri Lanka split into two regions or at least they want to see a divisive, federal state established in this country.

Let us start this comment reminding the fact that war victory was achieved with the aid of the Executive Presidential System. It is a duel knife that sharply cuts through on both sides, and if effectively maneuvered, it could cut through the most needed thing in the most desired way.

Lately, the most vociferous demand of the opposition has been about getting the Executive Presidential System abolished. There are many other problems that beset the country today. The first of those is the cost-of-living. Development of the country is the next. The main concern of post-war Sri Lanka is how to resurrect the country from its current plight.

However, in Sri Lanka politics has painfully become an abhorrent "belly-filling" concept. Therefore, resurrection of the country naturally gets undermined. Slogans are being voiced highly nowadays, that Executive Presidential system should be scrapped.

History of the Presidential System
Let us leave talking about those vociferous slogans aside, and analyze the history of the presidential system.

President J.R Jayewardene introduced the Executive Presidential System hoping to rule the country forever, under the United National Party (UNP). Jayewardene obtained undated resignation letters from his own MPs to "break their legs" in case they disobeyed him. He exercised his powers to get 'Gonawela Sunil' (an alleged criminal) released from jail and made him a justice-of-peace. Apart from that, we can't recall anything important Jayewardene did using his executive powers.

However, President Premadasa did not need executive presidential powers carryon to do what he wanted, but used other methods to get the work done. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) knows more about it than us.

Later, Chandrika Kumarathunga came to power saying that the presidential system would be abolished, but this slogan was swept under the carpet, when her government formed an alliance with the JVP. Amazingly, one morning, the JVP was rudely awoken to their old slogan of scrapping the Executive Presidency when they got up to find themselves chased from the United People Freedom Alliance government.

In fact, President Rajapakse is the only leader who prudently used his executive powers. Rajapakse used the executive powers even before the war, in a productive way. One example for this is, when he scrapped the cease-fire agreement which had been signed with a terrorist who had demarcated the boundaries of the country for a separate ethnic state.

The president as commander in chief used executive power to forge ahead in commanding the forces in the battlefield, in spite of strong objections from the UNP and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) against the war.

Some ask why executive powers are now necessary since the war is over. No sane men would go out, as soon as a spell of torrential rain has ceased. They will take an umbrella when they go out in readiness to protect themselves from another downpour.

End of LLTE
Although the power of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE] in Sri Lanka has been crushed, operations of their international network have still not been controlled.

According to information confessed by the leader of the LTTE international network, Kumaran Pathmanathan, Prabhakaran has made enough cadres to last for seven more generations.

Because of this very reason, we would like to clearly and briefly state that Executive Presidential Powers should be in force for a considerable period of time in the future. There is an ancient Sinhalese adage that goes as "even if you betray the king, don't betray the country".

Repugnant Quagmire
Looking at the situation in all these aspects, trying to chase the commander-in-chief away and thereby isolate the defense secretary is an attempt to betray the country.

Politics in this country is in a muddy mess. Vengeances, greed for power, cruelty are part and parcel of this repugnant quagmire. We need to have a united and independent country to turn this muddy quagmire into a limpid lake, replacing it with fresh water, to have flowers bloom in it.

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