ලබන වසරේ පැවැත්වෙතැයි අපේක්ෂිත ජනාධිපතිවරණය සඳහා විපක්ෂයෙන් පොදු අපේක්ෂකයෙක් ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතු යැයි මතයක් පවතී. මේ පිළිබඳ සෑහෙන කතිකාවතක් බ්ලොග් ඇතුලු විවිධ ජන මාධ්ය තුළ මේ දිනවල කෙරෙමින් පවතී.
මේ පිළිබඳ මගේ එකඟතාවයක් ඇතත්, ඒ සමගම මට කිවයුතු අනෙක් කරුණ නම්, කවර පුද්ගලයෙක් ජනාධිපති වුවද, බලය ලැබුණු පසු ඔහු හෝ ඇය කුමක් කරාවිදැයි කිව නොහැකි බවයි. ෆෙස්බුකියේ මා මේ පිළිබඳ දැක්වූ එක් අදහසක් මෙසේය.
මගේ අදහස නම් වෙස්සන්තර වගේ පොරක්ව කොමන් කැන්ඩිඩේටයා කරලා ජනාධිපති කළත් කිසිම වෙනසක් නැතුව කලින් එකා රට කාගෙන කාගෙන ගිහිල්ලා නතර කරපු තැන ඉඳන් කාගෙන කාගෙන යාවි කියන එකයි.
මේ පිළිබඳව මා 2009 දී ලියූ කවි පන්තියක කොටසක් මෙසේ ය.
වසවර්තියෙකු වුව ජනපති වෙනු පිණිස
ඡන්දය ඉල්ලනා විට බෝසත්ය යස
බෝසත් කෙනෙකු වුව ජනපති වූ විගස
වසවර්තියා වැඩි හොඳ බව නැත කුකුස
ඡන්දෙට කලින් මැති දුටු සඳ කුමක් වැනී
කලකින් නුදුටු හිත මිතුරෙක් දැක්ක වැනී
ඡන්දෙන් පසුව මැති දුටු සඳ කුමක් වැනී
අළුගෝසුවා රෑ මැද හමුවුනා වැනී
කෙසේ වෙතත් මේ රසිකොලොජි පෝස්ටුව පළ කරන්නට මා සිතුවේ ශ්රි ලංකාවේ යහපාලනය පිළිබඳ ඕස්ටේර්ලියානු උපදේශක්වය සංවිධානයෙන් පොදු අපේක්ෂකයෙකු සම්බන්ධයෙන් නොබෝදා කළ ප්රකාශයක් උපුටා දක්වන්නටයි.
(මේ සංවිධානයේ කිසිවෙකු මම පෞද්ගලිකව නොදනිමි. සිංහල පිටපතක් ඇතිනම් පසුව එක් කරමි).
Australian Advocacy for Good Governance in Sri Lanka (AAGGSL) - Statement
Australian Advocacy for Good Governance in Sri Lanka (AAGGSL) is a non-profit organisation with members of diverse backgrounds aimed at creating awareness of the lack of democracy, accountability and good governance in Sri Lanka, in particular due to the executive presidential system. It is committed to positively subscribe to the establishment of practicing democracy and rule of law in Sri Lanka respecting the rights and will of all its peoples.
The democratic space for political interaction in Sri Lanka has been diminishing over time. Politicisation and militarisation of civil administration, over-centralisation of decision making, and practice of graft and corruption have been on the rise. Repression of independent journalists and civil society activists is ongoing. Lack of democratic principles and rule of law, and disrespect for human rights, political rights and religious rights have become quite evident.
A major factor contributing to this continuing deterioration has been the executive presidential system that has led to an increasingly autocratic rule that controls all aspects of socio-economic and political life of the people in Sri Lanka. The Executive President, while in power, is not answerable to the judiciary, and enjoys detrimental influence over the Supreme Court making it somewhat a biased third chamber of government. A great majority of our multi-ethnic, multi-religious polity would welcome substantial constitutional reforms to change course for the better.
The next presidential election is likely to be held early next year, and the campaign work has already begun. Prohibition of foreigners from visiting the North without specific permission from the military; emphasis given to an imaginary war threat; propping up the need to vest power in the current leadership supposedly to preserve Sri Lanka’s unity; making significant personnel changes in the security apparatus; pledging to increase salaries and reduce cost of living pressures; provision of cash, land, jewellery and other graft, incentives and concessions to constituents – all these are forerunners to influence the outcome of an election – presidential or parliamentary, or a referendum to extend the current parliamentary term.
In the elections held since 2009, the executive presidency and the government of Sri Lanka had relied mainly on the military victory over the LTTE and the subsequent economic infrastructure developments for re-election. Similarly, this time again, recreation of euphoria over the war victory five years ago has begun with lot of fanfare, and a fear psychosis has been induced. With majority of the mainstream media under the government’s thumb, only the government’s political campaign can reach the entire country. Nevertheless, the issues relating to democracy, independence of judiciary and good governance appear to have gained prominence in the current political discourse. Such issues, however, are yet to be widely debated in public, as fear psychosis among the people is deep-rooted.
What can we do?
In light of this situation, AAGGSL believes that positively subscribing to the re-establishment of democratic practices and the rule of law is vital. Our road map to achieving good governance in Sri Lanka, inter-alia, includes the following objectives:
Sri Lanka deserves inclusive-good governance, responsive to the will of its peoples. We believe we can make a meaningful contribution to this end.
Our attempt is to underline the significance of democracy and good governance for Sri Lanka and to raise awareness on the relevant principles. Such principles associate with almost every field of life, social, political, economic, cultural and business alike.
What do we mean by good governance?
The fundamental indicator of good governance is free and fair elections with guarantees of freedom of expression, including the right to be critical of the Executive and the government. When people are bribed, coerced and manipulated in an unprecedented manner, how can one count such a vote as free, fair and voluntary expression of their will? To keep a government’s integrity, not only adequate laws against graft and corruption are necessary, but impartial implementation of such laws is essential, as rights can only be enjoyed when there is a realistic means of investigation and enforcement.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) succinctly sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that all human beings, regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, ethnicity and national background are entitled to enjoy. These rights are not just a construct based on Western ideals. They have deep roots in the traditions of all peoples. Human rights only have meaning when they can be enjoyed in a practical sense. Simply by reason of being human, every human being is entitled to universal human rights codified by the UN legal framework covering civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.
Democracy and good governance refer to the protection of civil and political rights and economic and cultural rights, such as the rights of minority communities. Democracy becomes hollow without the protection of civil and political rights, and governance becomes bad without the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Good governance is defined as ‘the transparent and accountable management of a country’s resources for its equitable and sustainable economic and social development’. Essential ingredients of good governance consist of democratization, rule of law and respect for human rights. Good governance aims at achieving justice, and needs to be nurtured for ensuring respect for human rights. Assurances of protection of human rights will remain hollow, without the rule of law, independent courts and other social institutions that are essential components of good governance. Good governance is democratic governance, that values:
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace. History teaches that transparent, responsible, accountable and participatory governance is a prerequisite for lasting wellbeing of a nation. Only Good Governance will bring enduring peace and prosperity.
Wimal Jayakody, Shyamon Jayasinghe, Sarath Jayasuriya, Saliya Galappaththi, Ranjith Weerasinghe, Lionel Bopage, Ari Pitipana, Anura Manchanayake, Ajith Rajapakse