Saturday 4 December 2021

 Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

04 December   2021



Governor or Administrator?

["the Opposition must understand this situation. Due to mismanagement and blotches during their five years in power, citizens elected me as the new President of Sri Lanka. But the behaviour of the Opposition is deplorable. Today, the Opposition behaves as if they were not in power for the past five years! This state of affairs must change for the betterment of the country." ] President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – as reported by Dr. Tilak S. Fernando through Ceylon Today

According to Dr Fernando ‘He was not a politician but an administrator. During his tenure, as the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development from 2005 to 2015, under the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he demonstrated his mettle. His decisions managed to finish the thirty-year terrorist war and helped to crumble the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that waged a guerrilla war for thirty years, fighting for an independent homeland for Tamils in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka

Was the president’s response to the Opposition as a Politician or as an Administrator?  A politician by belief becomes a Governor to those who elected her/him.  Such a politician does not need Administrative / Executive powers. The political belief of the whole is determined by the belief  of the independent Opposition. Any vote above that requires express administrative powers to be reliable and unharmful to a true citizen. The additional Administrative powers through the  20th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution, confirm this ‘gap’ as recognized by the  current President.

In his Counter Currents article ‘High Time for USA and UK to live up to their commitments’ – Dr   Thambu Kanagasabai states:

[President Gotabaya Rajapakshe’s statement on November 24, 2021 to the public is alarming and is an ominous sign of entrenchment of the Rajapakshe family dictatorial rule. In his statement, he “Threatened to abolish all rights of those who are shouting, if that is what you ask for I will give it to you”]

If the President did make that statement  then he was taking the position of Christian leader who said ‘ask and it shall be given you. But that same leader said also ‘seek and you shall find; knock and It shall be opened unto you. In democracy the three are:

Politics, Administration and self-governance. As per the President’s statement as alleged by a Tamil law expert – it was politics and hence the citizens needed to ‘ask’. Otherwise the President would have said ‘knock and I will open the door’.

There was not enough governance power in Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa to give such assurance. Hence he reverted to his preliminary position as an elected politician and needed to find the right law to progress to governorship.

As per Dr. Tilak S. Fernando :

[There was another aspect in his election promises to make Sri Lanka free from poisonous food intake. He openly declared that he would stop importing toxic fertiliser and replace it with Carbonic manure. However, as Ven. Muruththetuwe Ananda Thera exposed in the 'Derana 360' programme, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was misinformed by his advice-givers about the ban of importing toxic fertiliser suddenly. 

The consensus of every farmer and many erudite professionals is that farmers should have given a specific time for adaptation, say at least from next Kanne! It made farmers stage protests all over the country, and in some areas, farmers invited the President to come and see for himself. This has caused the Government as unwarranted head-ache! The respected monk did not want to expose the names of the President's advisers on TV, but said he is prepared to name those who ill-advised him if the President makes a personal request to the Venerable Thera to do so. Nevertheless, none of the farmers in the south is making a fuss about switching over to carbonic fertiliser. Still, only a section from Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts are staging protests!  An accusing finger directs at the Minister for the inadequacy in the importation of fertiliser, and the officials who oversee manure distribution.]

The emotionally driven tend to express through ‘attitudes’ rather than objective analyses. Hence it they have dissatisfaction over one issue and there is a protest by farmers they would joint the farmers. Polonnaruwa for example is a farming district . It is also the electorate of the former President of Sri Lanka – Mr Maithripala Sirisena who caused the Constitutional crisis which led to chaos in Parliamentary order.

If as stated above by Dr  Fernando ‘His decisions managed to finish the thirty-year terrorist war and helped to crumble the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that waged a guerrilla war for thirty years, fighting for an independent homeland for Tamils in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka’ – then as per Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s mind, he eliminated the LTTE and not his brother Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who was then President. Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was then not a governor even by position. When he became President, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa reduced his governing power and converted it to Administrative power which needs strong opposition to be governing power of the whole of Sri Lanka.

Out of that Opposition – a good proportion were farmers elevated by the LTTE. In 2006 when I went to Kilinochchi to leave my brother in law in Yoga Swami Home – I noticed the poster with a child farmer and a child-soldier – the former carrying a plough and the latter a rifle. When I asked the tuk-tuk driver – he said the farmer had to work for the soldier to carry the gun to protect the land. That confirmed the place of farmers in the LTTE hierarchy. Hence when the farmer is demoted below the soldier by the President – the natural credits of his Opposition go up. Likewise in Polonnaruwa district. Hence they became the cause of his fall in status.

Administration helps us to limit the area of our authority – which was high while Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in the army. His brother’s governance power gave him the natural protection from civilians. But he has abandoned this by taking advice from American Sinhalese who are the parallels of Tamil Diaspora leaders without a vote in Sri Lanka. The exercise of the vote is the first step to sharing our governance power with fellow voters. Those who are no longer citizens of Sri Lanka – do not have the right to vote. They have to win the confidence of those who do have the Sri Lankan vote. Otherwise they are limited to advisory roles or Administrative roles such as the one Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa took as Defence Secretary. Dual citizenship works to limit the governing power – where the two nations are of different structures. By declaring non-cooperation with UNHRC – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa confirmed the separation from the USA and UK. By blaming the UNP – he lost further power of democracy and has embraced hardship.

As we sow, so shall we reap. 

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