ROUND AND ROUND THE BUSH (PART IV): They got the POWER

Published : 10:25 am  August 1, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (342) reads | 

he Youth Commission in their report as far back as 1990 had recommended that the Parliament being the central institution of our democratic system, steps needed to be taken to re-establish public confidence by revamping and strengthening the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in order to fortify the democratic, legislative process. 
They had suggested that an effective committee system be established in order to involve members of the public through a consultation process. The Commissioners had also recommended employing university graduates for a period of two years in Parliament Secretariat and had dealt with the need to “strengthen the human resources available to the higher courts by the introduction of a system of judicial interns drawn from the Law Faculty and the Law College. 
Having defeated the former regime, society now insists that those involved in statecraft should not only obey the law but also observe a stringent code of conduct not to manipulate the law. Shouldn’t the elected representatives and the citizens be treated alike by the rulers?
What happened when Wimal Weerawansa was detained by the Immigration officials at the Katunayake airport? It was alleged that the Prime Minister had intervened to assist Weerawansa. 
The PM however accused Weerawansa that the latter considered the PM as PM, only when he wanted and not otherwise.  If so, why did the PM, as alleged, safeguard reprobates, including Weerawansa?  
Aren’t there instances of abuse of power, corruption and nepotism under the present government as well?
I do not think they could sweep all that under the carpet. The masses are now watchful. Rajapaksa regime was defeated because they did nothing about corruption. They believed that their Government was unshakable.
It has been announced that a Media Commission is being considered to regulate media.  Shouldn’t the Government members first think of regulating themselves? 
Do you know what the mother crab had told her son when it asked his mother why in the world she walked sideways?  And the young crab had said 
“Set the example yourself and I will follow you”. 


The newly elected leaders have been mandated to establish good governance and rule of law.  They should by all means use the mandate in the interest of the country and the people. Countrymen expect them to perform their duties and responsibilities according to the ethical principles and with unquestionable integrity within the legal framework. If they too make let-downs and destroy the system further, shouldn’t they be held accountable. 
They must also remember that the public property belongs to people. Shouldn’t they be made liable for “acts of commissions 
and omissions”?  
In developed countries, there are four main types of liability arising from the performance of elective duties, namely civil, accounting, criminal and political liabilities, with its own rules for each area.  The liability mentioned usually arise from an unlawful act or omission that has caused unwarranted loss or damage. 

 

 

"If you visit Parliament, you could see hundreds of latest Mercedes Benz, BMW and Chryslers. How could they do that when Gammadda in Sirasa had shown the suffering countrymen go through without the basic amenities such as drinking water?…."

 


Furthermore, in countries where rule of law exists, public authorities are liable if they fail to carry out their legitimate duties and obligations, whether in making a decision or in implementing such decisions? A citizen who has been unlawfully wronged is also entitled to compensation in the event of a negligent act or omission by a public official.
A senior public official was last week convicted for the failure to comply with the requirement to furnish declaration of assets annually and amassing wealth.  
A former IGP is being questioned for suppressing evidence. Don’t you agree that public servants too lack integrity and the ability to help formulate policies, and successfully implement them in the interest of the country and the people? 
Our politicians have particularly failed to achieve GDP growth. It had simultaneously increased inflation too. In principle, controlling inflation helps steady the economy. 
The government raises taxes, the easiest method for maximising the Government’s revenue. Shouldn’t it consider cutting down costly privileges that are enjoyed by the members of the government, until we achieve growth and stability? Shouldn’t they also shy away waste and corruption?
“Those who do good will reap good results.  Those who do evil will reap evil results”
- Lord Buddha.
 If you visit Parliament, you could see hundreds of latest Mercedes Benz, BMW and Chryslers. 
How could they do that when Gammadda in Sirasa had shown the suffering countrymen go through without the basic amenities such as drinking water in rural Sri Lanka?
If you follow a religion, you cannot do such things at an exorbitant cost to the general public. Are they atheists? 
If they could cut down the overheads, it will in turn reduce inflation too.  Remember, our country has become a place where most of the politicians and bureaucrats lead lives with the fear that they will be arrested any moment. 

 

 

"There is little delegation or supervision on the part of superior officials and therefore, the officers below them do not work at maximum efficiency…."

 


They should now diagnose the illness.
Shouldn’t they find out the causes given in the Youth Commission Report even belatedly? The cure is in their hands. 
Why is that, our rulers have so far failed to build up national consensus on major 
political issues?
Our electoral process and multi-party system have been seriously flawed. They only need power.  There is deep-seated continuous distrust and lack of confidence in the democratic system.  The government must introduce meaningful democratic systems in order to engineer rapid socio-economic changes to create employment, economic growth. 
The report had added that “the bureaucracy at the lower levels is not responsive to the needs of the people, the bureaucratic apparatus retains its top down character and that there is very little feedback from the periphery with regard to implementation.
It would appear, in consequence, that the recipients of many programmes do not reap the full benefits of the initial plan. 
There is little delegation or supervision on the part of superior officials and therefore, the officers below them do not work at maximum efficiency and the senior officials who make policy are often out of touch with changing reality at the grass-root level”.  
First and foremost, we need an effective and efficient Parliament with its roots at the village level reflecting the tendencies of the wide society to discuss, deliberate and represent the interests of the people. 
A 2008 global poll had emphasised that 85 percent of people had believed that the ‘will of the people should be the basis of authority of government’ and 84 percent had held the view that government leaders should be elected by universal suffrage.  Didn’t we do that?
The curse of this country, may I say, though we have been lucky to enjoy and elect our government leaders by universal suffrage since 1931, our politicos since of late, have totally disregarded their primary duties, and responsibilities. 
Didn’t they fail to create both a representative Parliament and a representative state?  The Youth Commission report had furthermore urged that “We are convinced that there is need for drastic measures to ensure youth representation in our political system”.
Shouldn’t we be happy that the colonial rulers at the time they granted independence had established a legislature which existed independently from the Executive. 
The Parliaments of Australia, Canada and New Zealand likewise developed their Parliaments and followed Westminster-style Parliamentary systems. They continued with First-Past-the-Post electoral model, while continuing to improve on the traditional role of their respective Parliaments and evolved and developed the systems further in response to the demands of the society. Why did we fail?
The report had also stressed that “the concept of the public servant should be developed as a facilitator”.  They had stated that the bureaucracy is not responsive to the needs of the people and had adversely affected development programmes.  The Commission had therefore recommended the need to redesign the bureaucratic system to ensure correct feedback through a process of constant consultation. 

 

 

"Though we have been lucky to enjoy and elect our government leaders by universal suffrage since 1931, our politicos since of late, have totally disregarded their primary duties, and responsibilities. "

 


The Report added that representations had been made with regard to “the erosion of the FAMILY as the primary social institution 
of the nation”. 
They had pointed out that this had been mainly due to the fact that parents leaving the country for employment overseas and had referred to the question that a large number of women seek employment and hence “values which tend to preserve the cohesiveness of the family, such as respect for elders, have also eroded due to a variety of reasons”.  
The Commissioners had rightly concluded that “a large number of youth involved in the rebellion came from broken homes”. They had recommended that “the institution of the family has to be strengthened” and had urged “All efforts should be made by the state to cushion the family institution and to give it support and encouragement. Traditional values of respect, love and affection should be preserved 
by example”.  
Don’t you think due to the failure on the part of our elected representatives, our fate is hanging in the balance? 
Or else, on a sober appraisal, there is less cause for celebration. Don’t we therefore have a responsibility to make our country a better place without leaving it in the hands of politicians alone?