Thursday, 5 July 2012

Karu Jayasuriya calls for united opposition to "tyrannical presidential system’’

Karu Jayasuriya thinks that people in Sri Lanka forgets the past very quickly.  It is not so Mr.Jayasuriya the people remember how you and seventeen others crawled to the executive President Mahinda Rajapakse seeking as a gift for the betrayal of UNP a Ministerial post when you were kicked on your political backside by your now erstwhile leader Ranil Wickramasinghe .


If on principle Karu Jayasuriya was against the executive presidency he should not have joined the President Mahinda Rajapakse  and above all not accepted a Ministry in his cabinet.

But having sacrificed his principles there is no reason now for him to let that once accepted executive presidency, become a tyrannical presidential system in his boggled mind.  Karu Jayasuriya in fact had no principles, he is an unprincipled man.  He is running after what he thinks are opportunities that would take him to unreachable heights. When he joined the President  Mahinda Rajapakse, he may have thought that he would probably be made the Prime Minister.


When that seems an unlikely possibility he thought of changing camps again  by going back to the UNP rank hoping to become the Deputy leader and eventually the Leader of the UNP when the unpopular leader Ranil Wickramasinghe would step down.  Now he is like the cat that ”shitted” on the rock.  It is not likely that Ranil Wickramasinghe will step down and not likely that he would have a chance of being the deputy leader. Sajith Premadasa despite his lack of a firm back bone  is possibly more popular a candidate for the leadership of UNP than him, and all that remains for  him  to do is to scratch the rock and  cry “meow”


In his missing the chance of  being the leader of UNP, he thinks of other possibilities  of remaining in the fading lime light .  It is not said for fun that the empty mind is the devils workshop.  If there is no chance for him to be somebody in the UNP he could be somebody among the “all opposition political forces” in the country if he could muster them to form a united  front to oppose a “ tyrannical Presidential System .”


In his “disturbed” mind he fails to see the good an executive president could  do with  a small developing country in a “political shark infested” international waters around it. If it was he or his Leader Ranil W they would have both been devoured by now or tamed to drag the whole of Sri Lanka in to the deadly waters . 


Being that dumb he makes his clarion call, “ As a member of the UNP, the country’s single largest political party, I believe that the time is right to call upon my fellow members of opposition to unite in shedding our differences, letting go of old wars and seemingly insurmountably diverse ideologies, in order to unite and emerge stronger than ever against a common enemy.’’


He is so daft that he cannot realise, that the common enemy of the “ opposition of radically diverse political views” the President Mahinda Rajapakse is the most popular political leader among the ordinary people of  Sri Lanka. But Jayasuriya says, “ The executive presidency is not just the enemy of the UNP or the JVP or the TNA or even the SLFP – in its all pervasive, destructive omnipresence it is the singular enemy of Sri Lanka…… and so our agenda, as a common opposition would be a worthy one and one that will win the support of all Sri Lankans.’’ This statement itself shows that Karu Jayasuriya is a stupid  day dreamer.


Jayasuriya says, "Through the years, the executive presidential system has taught us many bitter lessons. As political parties we are poorer because of it……”  Yes, the executive presidential system has taught us, that to fight an enemy of the nation such as terrorism, it had been  an excellent tool.  The President was free to exercise his powers to the benefit of the country without being hindered by the  Parliamentary and other weird political red tape.

Jayasuriya quotes  Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake ,  "Too much power concentration in one person can only hinder and not advance democracy in a country. This is the reality we are all living today, whether politician, journalist or citizen. The only way to change that is to make it the one common stand of a united and strong opposition.’’

This is an utterly false evaluation  of the situation .  This would  be correct if the power is concentrated in the hands of a right wing Dictator, but not if such power is entrusted to a socialist political leader loved by the people and who in turn will not rob the affection of the people for his own benefit.  Our President Mahinda Rajapakse is the  most religious oriented political leader of recent time.  We the ordinary people know that he had not used his executive Presidential power for the detriment of his  people.

The British type of democracy does not help the developing countries.  Democracy has failed even in Great Britain –the mother of Democracy.   We saw in recent times the disastrous break down of discipline, reducing the British security forces to  a shameless spectator, and the government  of UK brought down to its knees by a handful of pro terrorist  expatriate Tamils carrying  the flag of the terrorists. 

The Government of UK despite the presence of a police force, on a great day such as the Jubilee of its Queen was unable to receive the invitees and allow at least one of them to address a meeting that had been arranged for him in advance. The UK government was harassed and shamelessly made powerless by a handful of pro-terrorist expatriate Tamils in UK .

There was lot of mayhem trying to ridicule the President Mahinda Rajapakse- a visiting head of state as having been refused to address a meeting that had been arranged for him, and it was the second time that the President of Sri Lanka was denied such honours.   That does not go against the President Mahinda Rajapakse at all, but against Britain and its failed democracy.  The President Mahinda Rajapakse defied the ridiculous UK Security provided to him, to walk up to the cheering  Sinhala crowds that welcomed him and took the opportunity to speak to them, while the pompous Great Britain was denuded by a handful of expatriate Tamil  terrorist rump and stood naked before the public on the great day it celebrated its Queen’s Jubilee.

UK which with the help of its allies and the NATO destroyed Libya and  Libyan leader, and arms the rebels and manipulates them to oust the President of Syria, was unable to control the pro terrorist Tamil expatriates who reduced to ridicule  their grandiose plans to celebrate their Queens Jubilee honourably and in peace.

Great Britain did not learn its lesson from the first occasion when the President of Sri Lanka was denied addressing the Oxford Union, and shamefully allowed the same thing to happen the second time.  One wonders who rules Great Britain, is it the Prime Minister Cameron’s  Government or the pro-LTTE Tamil expatriates who were more powerful to have  been able to force their will on the British Ruling Class.

In that sense the Executive Presidency of Sri Lanka is far better than the advanced democracy of great Britain.   What happened that day in UK would have never happened in Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapakse.  Therefore our system of executive presidency is best to be copied even by the UK Government, throwing over board the British democratic system that failed in its own soil.


The fault in Sri Lanka is not with the executive Presidency, but the opposition parties UNP, JVP,TNA etc  that have failed to unite to contribute to the vast development projects that are being carried out by the government of  an executive Presidential System.   If the Opposition is able to bury their hatchets against the executive presidential system and rally round it, our country would not have been allowed to slow down its progress by unnecessary and undemocratic interference by the International Community on a questionable Western ideology of “Human Rights” .


Karu Jayasuria should therefore unite the opposition forces in Sri Lanka not against the executive  presidency but against the interfering International Community to leave us alone to develop our country  bring together the Communities and bring peace and happiness  to our people.


The President Mahinda Rajapakse had not at any stage used the executive powers of his office  to thwart the freedom of the Opposition parties to criticise or manifest against the President or his Government.  In Sri Lanka the press, to say the least, is not very patriotic either. The President has not unnecessarily censured news or  gagged the  media despite its constant criticism of the government, twisting of news, and publishing articles  to bring disrepute to Sri Lanka abroad.

Sri Lanka may have defects as any so called democratic countries of the “white” world. But  under the President Mahinda Rajpakse we have seen an unprecedented development of our country that could not have been even dreamt of by the UNP Pandits or JVP talking machines. 


The ordinary people of Sri Lanka are happy with what had taken place since 2005, and though Karu Jayasuriya is planning to unite the opposition to oust the government and the executive presidency, the Ordinary people of the country are 100 per cent behind the executive President  and would like him to continue to be the executive  president for some more time, as they see no leader as capable as the President Mahinda Rajapakse amoung the political leaders of the opposition.

If there is a hindrance for the development of Sri Lanka it comes from the opposition parties. Karu Jayasuriya finds fault with executive presidency as it hinders the progress of democracy.  But who are really hindering the progress of democracy in Sri Lanka, and acting undemocratically ?

It is the UNP and the TNA which have refused to nominate a person for the Parliamentary Select Committee which is hindering democracy and acting undemocratically. 

It is perfectly alright to criticise the system, but as parliamentarians they should respect  democracy which seems sacrosanct for them, by  accepting  the 18th Amendment  which  has been accepted by a majority vote, that is what democracy is all about. Karu Jayasuriya before pontificating on democracy and criticising the executive Presidency should understand and respect the basic principles of Democracy.

In a democracy the opposition parties have an important roll to play.  No doubt there should be criticism of the activities of the government , but not for the sake of criticism, but they should be constructive criticism hand in hand with toleration and compromise.  Does it exist in the Sri Lanka Opposition ? 

One can use words to demolish or criticise a government  such as , “, Sri Lanka is once more living the nightmarish reality of an all powerful president. The executive presidency has rendered parliament, the highest democratic institution in the land, redundant. Laws are now being made and imagined at will, there is state of terror that pervades all aspects of life in Sri Lanka.” This type of verbal diarrhea  perhaps soothes the distorted minds of the Opposition political parties of Sri Lanka, but for others they are irritant and  stinking.

Then Karu Jayasuriya puts up a list of actions by the executive  presidency in  contradictions with  the principles of democracy.  He paints in that the President Mahinda Rajapakse as an authoritative dictator, putting to shade the Dictators like Franco of Spain, Pinoche of  Chile , Mussolini of Italy or even JR Jayawardhane who is supposed to have said that he can do any thing except make a man a woman or a woman a man. 


But our poor peace loving simple President who even did not hesitate to wear his sarong to meet the Queen Elizabeth of UK, who bends down to the ground before a  Buddhist monk

 is neither a dictator nor an uncaring executive president.


Executive power under a man like Ranil Wickramasinghe would have been an absolute catastrophe. Even without such powers the way he signed the CFA turning his back to the elected President and the Parliament was very high handed, undemocratic, harmful and an unpardonable use of his power as the Prime Minister.  But the President Mahinda Rajapakse with his executive power abrogated the CFA and annihilated the terrorists, for the good of the country and its people.

The list of dictatorial actions of the president enumerated by Karu Jayasuriya are : ``The intimidation of the press, the harassment of political detractors and the impunity with which the regime conducts itself can all be traced directly back to the tragic flaws of our presidential system which affords absolute power. Every aspect of life, whether it is judicial independence, the rule of law, media freedom or the economy is shaped and determined by the will of one all powerful man. Until one individual can no longer lay claim to such absolute power, none of these issues can be put right and Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans will continue to suffer the insane policies derived by its all powerful rulers for their benefit and theirs alone.”

In the above list there was not enough intimidation of the press as in Sri Lanka the press is absolutely one sided taking side with political partie or anti-government factions.  There is no objective analysis of  news and the press and media do not hesitate to twist the news to the detriment of the Government.  But yet the press continues to diffuse  anti president and anti government information with impunity. 

The executive  presidency cannot be held responsible for the harassment of political detractors.  If it is so the TNA Parliamentarians would have disappeared from the political scene in Sri Lanka.  The government activities and presidential pronouncements had been open and they have been some times opposed by the opposition political parties and manifestations had been organised.

Karu Jayasuriya says “Every aspect of life, whether it is judicial independence, the rule of law, media freedom or the economy is shaped and determined by the will of one all powerful man.”

But if it is so it is also the fault of the opposition for not taking part collectively in the activities of the government, by respecting the 18th Amendment and nominating members to the Parliamentary Select  Committee in time and have dialogues with the President and the Government when ever necessary without resorting to make  aggressive political statements at press conferences and out side parliament, and systematic non-cooperation with the government .


This proposed “collective opposition” seems to have been concocted not with the welfare of the people in view but to recover eroding political popularity and for political benefits that may come from it.  But my conclusion or rather my opinion for what it is worth is that this proposal of Karu Jayasuriya will only distance people further away from him and his  collective opposition to the President and the Government.


Further more the aura of an socialist executive presidency is more attractive than that of a rightist democracy.

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