(14.12.2014 – Email)
According to a latest news item, the constitutional proposals drafted by the so-called Joint opposition to abolish the Executive Presidency within a 100-day timeframe, envisages the formation of a Parliamentary Affairs Committee, replacing the present system of control of Parliament by the Cabinet, paving the way for the Parliament to become the primary organ.
I remember there was a Sinhala film titled “Parliamentary Jokes’ screened few years directed by Ranjan Ramanayake, a actor and a parliamentarian. Although I have not seen the film or unaware of what is in it, the titles came to my mind soon after I read a news item titled “The viewer who called Mahindananda Aluthgamage traced – He is Ranjan Ramanayake”. According to the news item, the caller, who questioned Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage during the live “wada pitiya” which prompted the Minister to end the programme abruptly causing a severe embarrassment to him has been traced as Member of Parliament, UNP’s Ranjan Ramanayake. He had used the name as Sunil from Matara.
Whoever who imitated as Sunil, if it was a parliamentarian, indicates nothing but the poor state of the parliamentarians whom the voters elect to represent themselves.
We hear almost daily about parliamentarians and other politicians crossing sides these days as never we heard before. The changing camps is now like a two-player (government and the opposition) strategy board game played on a chessboard.
When the party secretary of ruling SLFP crossed-over to opposition, the secretary of the main opposition party crossed-over to the government. The SLFP secretary said to have changed the camp after having a hoppers night with the President without even having a backbone to tell the President or anyone else in his party that he is leaving the party to contest the presidential election.
Those who crossed-over from the ruling party to the opposition repeat opposition slogans against the ruling party while those who crossed-over from the opposition repeat government slogans against the opposition. Those who praised the President for defeating terrorist, while with the government are now in the forefront of the opposition to defeat the President at any cost. It is also interesting to note that those who never utter a word about winning the war against terrorism, all these days, are now praising the President and the ruling party for his achievement after joining the government. Some of those who identified as nationalist are now sitting and dining with the well-known anti-nationalists like Wickramabahu and Rajitha Senarathne. It will not be surprising if they sit on the same stage with TNA and other pro-LTTE elements within the next few weeks to establish a country with so-called good governance and free of corruption.
Those who were listed as possible parliamentarians to crossed-over from the government, as claimed by the media supporting the opposition, say they are not changing the ruling party even though they have problems within the party. They do not tell us what those problems are, but by looking at the politicos who have left the government during the last few weeks, majority of the ordinary citizens know very well that the problems they might have are personal and certainly not based on principles.
The so-called common opposition say their aim is to abolish the executive presidency ‘to provide more powers to parliament’ in addition to their claim of establishing good governance free of corruption. It is interesting to note that both parties direct their fingers to each other for taking bribes after a crossed-over either from the ruling party or from the opposition. Under the western type of democracy that we have, voters elect their parliamentarians to match their political views to represent them for a specific period and not to dessert them as they pleased to archive their own selfish goals.
The basic question we have is what would be the country’s political and economic stability, apart from the state of governance and the level of corruption, one could expect from these parliamentarians if powers are vested on the parliament to become the primary organ, as proposed above, after abolishing the executive presidency.
– S. Akurugoda