Monday, October 7, 2019

ඔසීට අදින ‘මහේශාඛ්‍යලා'

එළඹෙන ජනාධිපතිවරණය සම්බන්ධයෙන් පවතින සාකච්ජා අතරින් මේ දිනවල ඉදිරියට පැමිණ ඇති ප‍්‍රධාන එකක් වන්නේ තුන්වෙනි අපේක්ෂකයෙකු අවශ්‍යද කියන කාරණයයි. මේ පිළිබඳව කතා කරන අය එයින් අදහස් කරන්නේ ප‍්‍රධාන දේශපාලන ධාරාවන් දෙකටම වෙනස් ආකාරයේ අපේක්ෂකයෙකු ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණය සඳහා ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතුද යන ප‍්‍රශ්නයයි. මේ සාකච්ජාව අද ඊයේ ආරම්භ වූ එකක් නොව 2015 යහපාලන යැයි කියන මේ ආණ්ඩුව පත්වූ දවස්වල සිටම එක්තරා කණ්ඩායමක් ඉදිරිපත් කළ අදහසක් බව පිළිගැනීම නිවැරැදි බව මගේ අදහසයි. මේ කියන තුන්වෙනි අපේක්ෂකයෙකු පිළිබදව කාරණය පිළිබඳව මෙ සතියේ සටහනින් ලියන්නට අදහස් කළේ ඒ පිළිබඳව මතුකර ගත යුතු වැදගත් කරුණු කීපයක්ම සමාජයේ විවිධ ක්ෂේත‍්‍ර තුළින් මතුවෙමින් පවතින නිසාවෙනි.

ආචාර්ය චරිත හේරත් 
පේරාදෙනිය විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයේ දර්ශන අංශයේ ජෙෂ්ඨ කථාකාචාර්ය
මෙතැන තුන්වන අපේක්ෂකයෙකු යනුවෙන් අදහස් කරන්නේ ප‍්‍රධාන ධාරාවන් දෙකේ අපේක්ෂකයින් දෙදනාගෙන් නවතින්නේ නැතිව ඒ දෙකටම විකල්පයක් ලෙසින් වෙනත් අපේක්ෂකයෙකු ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතුයි යන අදහසයි. මේ කාරණය ලංකාවේ ජනාධිපතිවරණ මැතිවරණවල සමහර අවස්ථාවල අත්හදා බලා තිබූ උපක‍්‍රමයක් වූ බවද මෙහිදි සදහන් කළ යුතුය. විධායක ජනාධිපතිවරයෙකු තෝරා පත් කරගැනීමට පළමුවෙන්ම මැතිවරණයක් පැවතියේ 1982 වර්ෂයේය. ඒ ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදි එජාපයේ ජයවර්ධන මහතාත් ශ‍්‍රීලනීපයේ කොබ්බෑකඩුව මහතාත් යන ප‍්‍රධාන අපේක්ෂකයින් දෙදනාට එරෙහිව ජවිපෙ විජෙවීර මහතාත් සමසමාජයේ කොල්වින් ආර් ද සිල්වා මහතාත් තුන්වෙනි අපේක්ෂකත්වයට තරග කළ බව සමහරුන්ට තවමත් මතකය.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Democracy rhetoric or a Practice ?

Although exact dates for the presidential election has not yet been declared, it is clear that the enthusiasm and interest over the upcoming presidential run in the country is significantly increasing. The candidates of two major political camps have already been announced; they are the candidate of the SLPP lead alliance and the candidate of the JVP lead alliance. Another interesting fact is that discussions about the UNP candidate is also showing a tendency of growing into an internal crisis of the party.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has already commenced his campaign as the candidate nominated by SLPP and Sajith Premadasa has stated that he will contest the election even though he is not yet offered the official candidature from UNP.

Dr Charitha Herath
@charith9
Leaders of UNP party say that the UNP candidate will be announced only after the presidential election is declared and some say that Ranil Wickremesinghe will contest from their party.  According to some, Karu Jayasuriya's name has also been proposed as the UNP candidate. Whoever are the candidates for the upcoming presidential election, this round of presidential election will have certain unique aspects when compared to the past elections.  This specialty can be explained in relation to many aspects.

On one hand, this is the first presidential election since the 19th Amendment, hence the real impact of reduced powers from the executive body on the position could only be tested after this presidential election. 

Some argue that after the 19th amendment, president even cannot hold the portfolio of defense.  Some legal experts responding to this argument say that the presidential system is valid in the future in the same manner as president is still granted the powers by the constitution to appoint the permanent secretaries to the ministries and many other high-profile positions.   Others feel that the 19th Amendment will not have a serious impact if the Prime Minister and the President are appointed from the same camp. However, it is correct to acknowledge that a change in the portfolio of the executive president could be expected after the presidential election.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Presidential Race: Some Challengers

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was officially nominated as the SLPP candidate for the upcoming presidential election last weekend. With this nomination, the entire discussion in the political landscape is completely focused on the upcoming presidential election. Though the UNP is yet to officially announce who it will be nominated as the candidate to contest in the presidential election, we see a situation where several party members are self-nominating themselves.

Gotabhaya's speech in accepting the official nomination proposes a new dimension in the country's political discourse. It is very important to note that his speech was only focused about policy matters and development goals that are expected to be delivered if he is elected as the president but not about the opponent or the shortcomings of the opposition political parties.

In the recent past all the political campaigns in our country have always focused on criticism on the opponents but not on what they are going to deliver to the country. The 2015 Presidential Election campaign is a classic example of this

What happened during that presidential election was to attack the Rajapaksa government with various political rhetoric and baseless allegations without developing a substantial policy debate in the campaign discourse. There is nothing wrong with saying that there was nothing new in 2015 presidential election campaign beyond the rhetorical criticism and mere name dropping such as good governance. The importance of Gotabhaya's speech could be more highlighted in that context.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Battleground changed?

It is a well-known fact that the attention of the entire society is focused on the next election. Some feel that there is a possibility of holding the provincial elections before the presidential election.

The notion that provincial council elections will precede the presidential election has arisen due to some statements made by the Election Commission Chairman recently. He declared that he will resign if provincial council elections are not held before December. Due to his statement, some think that there is a possibility of provincial council elections being held first. However, my understanding is that all the chances of such a possibility are over. Since holding presidential elections in November is mandatory under the Constitution, there is nothing wrong in thinking that the first national election we will face this year will be the presidential election.

In this week’s column, I am not focusing on what kind of person should be the candidate for the next presidential election. My focus is to highlight some issues that are relevant to the current situation in the country which need to be addressed in the next presidential election.

In other words, I am trying to raise some points which people think should be debated in the discourse space of the next presidential election campaign.

In my point of view, it does not matter who is nominated by each political party as their candidate because economy and international relations-related subject matter has surfaced in the political landscape as matters of much greater importance due to the nature of the country’s current political situation.

Although it is clear that the topic of national security is of great concern in addition to the two aforementioned topics, in my personal point of view – although the need for strengthening national security is relatively high with the emergence of Islamist extremism – the issues of national security are not as complex as the ones of the economy and international relations. It is clear that economic issues have been a major topic of discussion in almost every national election in this country, but this time, the gravity of that factor has increased.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Social Media Politics

The issue of banning a social media page has once again become the talk of the town in Sri Lanka. It seems that the government has banned the social media page of a young popular musician. It appears that a large number of people are coming forward against this baseless ban, regardless of their political opinions. Since this social media page is one of the most popular pages which has over 100,0000 followers with a significant social power, there could have been some hidden agenda behind this sudden ban. It is true that it’s only one individual who is subjected for this incident, but the blocking of social media in that way has an indirect link with the rights of every citizen in the country.
In this week’s column I wish to discuss the relationship between social media and democracy on one hand, and on the other hand, one of the significant developments in the political arena of our country today. A very significant interconnection has been developed in the recent times between social media and day to day activities common people. It is a noteworthy factor that this has spread not only in to the political arena but also in to the other zones of social life such as economy and trade.

The fact that whether a country is thriving was measured in the past based on the criteria how well the country's physical infrastructure has developed. In other words, development ratio was set against the improvement of things in the material realm such as roads, airports, ports, electric power, etc., But now that the situation has changed, and there is a direct relationship between the fact whether a country has achieved better social status and how the digital infrastructure of that country has changed. In this context it is not wrong to state that foreigners decide to visit a country as tourists, taking into consideration both the security and the status of digital infrastructure facilities.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

ජූලි ජූලි ජූලි 7යි


මේ සතියෙන් පටන් ගත්තේ ජූලි මාසයයි ‘ජූලි හතයි’ කියා සාමාන්‍යයෙන් අපේ ව්‍යවහාරයේ කියවෙන්නේ තේරුම් කීපයක් ලබා දෙන කියමනකි. එක පැත්තකින් මෙයින් කියැවෙන්නේ ‘යම් ආකාරයක බරපතළ ක්‍රියාවක් සංකීර්ණ ආකාරයෙන් හා අර්බුදජනක ආකාරයෙන් සිදුවීම’ යැයි නිර්වචනය කළ හැකිය.

තවත් පැත්තකින් සමහරුන් ජූලි හතයි යැයි කියන්නේ අප බලාපොරොත්තු නොවූ ආකාරයේ විසඳිය නොහැකි ආකාරයේ අර්බුදජනක තත්ත්වයක් උද්ගතව ඇති නිසාද තේරුම් ගත හැකි බව අපේ ප්‍රායෝගික දැනීමෙන් අප දන්නා කාරණයකි. මා මේ ලිපියෙන් සාකච්ජා කරන්නේ මේ රටේ දේශපාලනයේ මේ ජූලි මාසය වන විට මෝදු වෙමින් තිබෙන අර්බුදජනක තත්ත්ව කීපයක් (හතක්) පිළිබඳවය. වෙනත් ලෙසකින් කීවොතින් මා උත්සාහ ගන්නේ ජූලි මාසයට සම්බන්ධ දේශපාලන කාරණා කීපයක් පිළිබඳව සාකච්ජා කරන ගමන් මේ වසරේ ජූලිවලට අප පා තබද්දී මතුවෙමින් පවතින අර්බුද කීපයක් පිළිබඳව සාකච්ජා කිරීමය. මා ජූලි හත යැයි කියන්නේ මේ අර්බුදජනක කාරණා හතක් පිළිබඳව සිතාගෙනය.

පළමුවෙන්ම කිව යුතු කාරණය වන්නේ මේ රජය මේ දවස්වල කරගෙන යන ‘සුදු ජූලිය’ ප්‍රචාරක වැඩසටහනට පින් සිදුවෙන්නට එජාප රජයේ කාලයකම සිදුවූ බරපතළ කළු ජූලිය පිළිබඳව අපේ මතකය යළිත් උඩට පැමිණ ඇති බවයි. මේ රටේ ඉතිහාසයේ ‘කළු ජූලිය’ කියා කියවෙන 1983 ජූලි මාසයේ සිදූවූ වාර්ගික සංහාරය හරහා සිදුවූ ක්‍රියාදාමයයි.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Beyond 19 Amendment?

Last week president himself declared 19th amendment is the root cause of the political chaos in the country. President further went on to say that both 18th and 19th amendments are politically incorrect as 18th amendment paved way for pacifism while 19th amendment paved way for anarchy in the country. If he is raising this point with the idea that he himself and others who were instrumental in bringing in this reforms made a mistake, then it can be accepted fact for all of us. However, in my point of view, the underlying idea in president’s statement demonstrates the fact of unskilled governance which has become the key issue in our political landscape.

Hence, my column today is focused on the so called complications created through the 19th amendment. The important point which we need to keep in mind is the fact that this so called “failed” project of 19th amendment commenced targeting the 2015 presidential election. The idea of unifying under one platform was presented to public with the concept of common candidate on one hand and with the proposal of 19th amendment on the other hand. In that sense one can argue fth amendment and current president are two components of a single project. Another significant point here is that both the above projects commenced as a result of serious foreign influence in domestic politics. Though the election was held on 8th January 2015, some foreign ambassadors and certain politicians have held “planning meetings” long before that. There were rumors saying that such planning meetings were mainly held in Singapore and even the first sketch of the 19th amendment was designed during such meetings. The idea what I am trying to point out here is that when we analyze all above facts we can come to the conclusion that “yahapalana” politics of 2015 January and 19th amendment are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, president’s claim that 19th amendment is the root cause for the political chaos which country is currently going through, is a half-truth.  In my understanding that statement needs to be amended as follows to make it a true statement; the current political turmoil is a direct consequent of the chaotic political change of 2015.