Sharing Power is essential for Peace, Prosperity and Happiness with Democracy in our Country
| by Sithamparapzillai Kathieravelu
Letter to the Editor
"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national
obligations of obedience. Therefore, (individual citizens) have the
duty to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."
- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything but I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the Grace of God, I will do.
– Edward Everett Hale (1822 – 1909)
( April 17, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The conflict arose, in my humble opinion, due to the turmoil in the country. This conflict is often portrayed as a bi-polar conflict between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority by-passing the substantial minorities like the Muslims and Upcountry Tamils. This sad state of affairs has to be changed. All efforts must be taken to change the mindset of 'dividing' the people as "majorities" and "minorities" not by words but by deeds. It is a well-known fact that these "majorities" and "minorities" are living together in many parts of the country as kith and kin, helping each other in times of need.
So it is the duty of all rationale minded people of this country to converge this idea to integrate the nation if we are to end the turmoil in this country and forge ahead as a nation.
Everyone agrees that power should be shared as a means to end the present national crisis. But the stumbling block is in the way the power has to be shared. The various suggestions proposed centre on a system with a central government and other governments under it, with the central government holding wide powers.
Therefore, a suitable system of democratic governance that would beacceptable to all rationale minded people (or one that cannot be rejected by these rationale minded people), must replace the present system of governance.
"My notion of democracy is that under it, the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest" so said Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for his part said, "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others"
Every person who calls him/herself a politician and dedicated to the interest of the people must top priority to solving the so-called “National problem”. It must be viewed as the “aspirations of the people” and not as the “aspirations of the Tamil people”. The need is the practical solution to the problem. Eelam may not be the solution to the problem. It might help to continue the problem. So a solution that ends the problem is the need. The right to live in a peaceful environment with dignity and the right to earn a living and support the family and dependents through legal means are basic human rights. These could be achieved by ending corruption, injustice, discrimination, oppression and favouritism among many others on the basis of race, religion and language. Every person must be given the equal opportunity – to play in a level field – on the basis of his/her interest, will and ability to do the work entrusted, the necessary qualification, merit and talent.
Abolish "colonial power mentality" and the creation of "ill-will" among sections of the people. More than half the problem will be solved and with the empowerment of the people with the power and right to participate in the governance of the country, nearly 90% of the problem would be solved. Balance 10% of the problem is due to greediness of certain people to grab the wealth of everyone and enjoy for themselves. This last 10% is created by about 0.2% of the population and is the root cause of all the problems for the balance 98% of the population. This has to be changed
Keeping the above views in mind, a democratic system of governance that is rationale and based on equality of all has been developed on the basis that all powers flow from the sovereignty of the people. The peculiar concept in this system is an unprecedented mode of sharing power –horizontal and not vertical – developed in the true spirit of true democracy. This system would unite all the divided communities and resurrect the "Paradise Isle" that existed some time back.
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In the present system the people cannot elect their own representatives but have the option of electing one set of party representatives who are empowered by the party to participate in the governance of the country. But in the proposed system the people have the option to elect and empower different sets of their own representatives based on different extent of areas (villages and villages grouped) to perform defined, distinct and different functions of the same parliament through different segments of that parliament like the different organs of our body – brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ears etc – performing different functions and helping us to govern ourselves. To be more explicit the concept is as follows:
1. Segment A – a group to enact laws for – good governance, defining policies, collection of revenue and other connected affairs – with the concurrence of all the groups in Segment C, but excluding implementation of any policy (at National level and consisting of 10 members elected from each district area, 100 members elected nationally on trade basis and 50 members elected nationally on ideological basis).
2. Segment B – a group to coordinate the activities of all the groups in Segment C, manage the country fiscally including collection and disbursement of revenue, foreign affairs, national planning in consultation and with the concurrence of the concerned groups in Segment F and the like and complying with all policies laid down by Segment A and implementing its proposals through concerned groups in Segment D by directly providing them with the necessary funds (at
National level and consisting of not more than15 members elected from each regional area).
3. Segment C – Groups to administer different regions of the country based on the laws enacted and policies laid down by Segment A with the concurrence of all the groups, maintain law and order, approve project proposals submitted by concerned groups in Segment E and to obtain the
necessary funds for expenditure from Segment B and allocate same to concerned groups in Segment D for implementation (at Regional area level and consisting of 04 members elected from each divisional area within that regional area).
4. Segment D – Groups to implement all project proposals approved by Segment B or by concerned group in Segment C and with funds provided by them – Segment B & C (at District area level and consisting of 03 members elected from each sub-divisional area within that district
5. Segment E – Groups to coordinate and confirm project proposals submitted by concerned groups in Segment F and forward them for approval to concerned group in Segment C (at Sub-divisional area level and consisting of 03 members elected from each gramasevaka area within
that sub-divisional area).
6. Segment F – Groups to prepare project proposals for their area and approving concerned proposals submitted by Segment B and submit all proposals to concerned Segment E for confirmation and overseeing all the proposals that are implemented by concerned Segment D (at
gramasevaka level and consisting of 05 members elected from within that gramasevaka area).
7. Segment G – Groups to monitor the functions of all the Segments for transparency, accountability, and take necessary action to curtail irregularities with an eye on the elimination of bribery and corruption (at Divisional level and consisting of 02 members elected from each gramasevaka area within that divisional area).
In these proposals, gramasevaka (G.S.) area is the smallest unit and these gramasevaka (G.S.) areas are grouped to form sub-divisions, sub-divisions are grouped to form divisions, divisions are grouped to form districts, districts are grouped to form regions and the regions grouped to form the country.
There would be only one institution – the Parliament with seven different segments with different functions that do not overlap –to satisfactorily govern the entire country. Presently we have the Presidential Secretariat, Central Government, Provincial Governments and local governments in attending to all matters connected with governing the country with their functions overlapping. The new system proposes only one establishment attending to all matters connected with governing the country, thus reducing the financial burden and cumbersome bureaucracy, while increasing all round efficiency coupled with streamlined speedy development, resulting in the reawakening of the country as a Paradise Isle for a pleasant living to all its inhabitants.
Due to the fratricidal violence that we are now embroiled in, it is far too easy to lose sight of these matters, so much to rob us of the very ideas that can be our salvation.