02 September 2019
19th Amendment and Presidential Candidates
Both leading political candidates Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Mr Sajith Premadasa are facing internal challenges. Ironically - Mr Sajith Premadasa is showing in action that which Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa indicated he was capable of – independence. When one truly believes, one must take her/his true position. That is the basis of De Facto system. To the extent one follows Due Process – that belief would manifest at that level.
I learnt this wonderful lesson about the system of truth – through my own experiences – including in Sri Lanka. When I took an independent stand – against my seniors I was ‘dismissed’ by those seniors in various ways. I ultimately took my position as per my belief and was shocked by the response by the seniors. I was treated like a whistle-blower - which by effect was persecution. But from then on – my best contribution to my ‘home-nations’ – has been to share my truth with others in similar position. Recently, I wrote as follows in relation to the petition in support of ‘Witness K & his lawyer, Bernard Collaery’ who were being punished for exposing the Australian Government’s involvement in East Timor:
[ I suffered persecution for daring to oppose peacefully - through my truth. But eventually I realized that I won in the court of natural justice - by becoming part of a large community of victims who identified with my pain in their own ways. Truth always wins.]
I have realised through this process that Truth always wins. I therefore take the position allocated by the other side in a ‘free’ environment. This communicates to be their truth. The reliable structure then evolves in my mind – and reaches the needy members of the family, community or nation – as the case may be. I have taken Mr Sajith Premadasa’s move to declare himself as the next Presidential candidate – as the parallel of Vaddukoddai Resolution 1976.
Some have suggested that Mr Karu Jayasuriya would be the UNP’s Presidential candidate. Ideally, as per the structure the most self-governing and the least Administrative person fits the Amended Presidential Position. Given that the 19th Amendment gave birth to such a structure – one would expect Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe to be that candidate and for Mr Sajith Premadasa to fight for the position of Prime Minister. But given that the person on the other side – is military activist – Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – Sri Lanka needs someone who has demonstrated capability to oppose such persons – in parallel positions – especially from the region. Otherwise we become the juniors of those who seem powerful and fail to exercise our sovereign powers. This happened during the current incumbent in that position – who demonstrated fear against RAW – India’s Research and Analysis Wing. When the mind fears – we often fail in our duties. This led to the Easter bombings – which were not prevented by the Prime Minister who blindly stuck to known due processes even in an emergency.
Junior in a vertical structure is heir to the throne. Junior’s parallel in democracy is the Opposition. The position of is raised to the same level as the Senior / party with majority vote – so the motivation to oppose comes from within itself. This requires the Opposition to work and contribute more to the common pool - than the side in government. So long as the Opposition works and sacrifices into the common pool at the same level as the government – in truth it would not have the confidence to lead at national level. In truth Mr Sajith Premadasa has demonstrated that he is capable of opposing strong activists who are not bound by official structures and protocols. He is likely to lose some status with his seniors – but that is part of the sacrifice. So long as it is done genuinely – truth will protect and lead us.
By failing to nominate from within the UNP - the best fit for the position of President – Mr Wickremesinghe has watered down the value of the 19th Amendment to the constitution.