| by Sarath Wijesinghe
Political Stability and Peace
( November 17, 2014, Tel Aviv, Sri Lanka Guardian) Political Stability and Peace are one of the main ingredients to attract investors, improve tourism development and prosperity of a Nation. It is undisputed that Sri Lanka is one of the most peaceful countries in the world - if not the most peaceful - in terms of the unstable and volatile nature of all the parts of the world. Middle East including Syria, Iraq is infested with “ISIS” and war among Clans and Sects. Lebanon, Jordan, Libya are full blood baths. Africa has the threat of “IBOLA” when Sri Lanka has eradicated” Malaria” , Nigeria is facing “Bukhara” terrorist outfits and the European Community is facing economic crisis. In short the world is in crisis when we are enjoying the fruits of peace and stability. We are now reaping the harvest of the hard earned peace after the war of thirty years waged by the most feared and ruthless terrorist outfit in the world claimed by the USA and many international organisations. Our life before 2009 was in the hands of unknown terror groups and people lived in fear throughout the day. During the gloomy and unfortunate three decades, nobody was sure of coming back home alive after leaving home to work. Family used different modes of conveyance for the members of families to move about at least few members of the family would come home alive. There is no iota of an incident since the war ended in 2009, due to the dedication, commitment and strategy of the President who had Executive Powers with him to take crucial decisions when NGO’s, some Governments, International Organisations were pressing to stop the war and adopt to the failed peace processes adopted unsuccessfully for three decades.
There are few politically stable countries in the world may be in the West East Middle East of any other parts of the world. United Kingdom is one of the most unstable countries with a hung Parliament in which the Government is depending on many other parties for existence. Many Western counters are in the same plight and the Middle East is unstable and volatile due to infighting and outside intervention with religious sectors fighting with each other. African and Asian countries following remnants of Parliamentary Democracy are facing eternal threats of instability doe to the nature of the system which has power of Members of Parliament to disable governments on trivial sensational issues without considering the mandate given by the people for a specific period of time.
Three Decades successive Governments and Leaders in Sri Lanka attempted to control the terror regimes to end by various ways. Sri Lanka became a “Hot Topic” and a “Hot Spot” in the international arena in peace, reconciliation, “Human Rights and Human Rights Industry”, and wars on terror as against the most powerful terrorist group with powerful tentacles worldwide with illegal trades Human smuggling Narcotic Trade Drug peddling and all sorts of ways and means of collecting funds legally and by fund raising. Sri Lanka became the ideal pray for the Human Rights Industry to collect billions of pounds and dollars in the name of peace reconciliation and fight against war, while justifying unjust wars in the Middle East- especially Iraqi- that led to the destruction and instability of the Middle East that is in Chaos today. Internal NGO’s with Fat Cat NGO’s in Sri Lanka had a field day during the terror regimes which bring them enormous amount funds in the name of peace and reconciliation. It is told that there were over 20,000 NGO’s in the North during the war and when the war ended, there appeared nothing have been achieved constructed or left except the barren land which the Sri Lankan Government today has given life to, with infrastructure and a Railway line from Colombo after 26 years as a result of the destruction of the railway line by LTTE.
Peaceful and Stable Countries in the world
USA is politically stable due to the Presidential System of Government but not at all peaceful. Gun Law which is a part of the constitution is being used and misused often with massacres and disturbances in families, schools and in public. President will go through the entire period despite the powers of the Senators who too are deciding factors in the Government. Despite the differences in both Supreme Government Institutions government goes on continuing the original mandate given for specific period of time. USSR and China are stable and Peaceful. Members of the European Union are neither Stable nor peaceful in that sense. Africa and Middle East is always in news on peace and stability with issues to be resolved which is well known to the world. As a neighbour we can be happy India has become stable after a long pause in which the Prime Minister has enormous powers he is using to bring prosperity to the country with his wealth of experience and leadership statesmen qualities. He is as powerful as a Executive President and taking decisions on the right direction with the convincing majority given by the propel to bring about necessary changes. Philippine, Indonesia, Brazil and other countries with strong heads and similar to Presidential systems are stable so that the citizens are peaceful for the period they have given the mandate for the Government to manage the affairs for the given time.
History of Unstable Governments in Sri Lanka
The first parliament in this country had 101 members- 95 elected and 6 appointed. The UNP lad government of Hon D.S. Senanayaka won just 42 seats despite his popularity. There was no clear majority and the Government had to seek the assistance of the Tamil Congress later demanded 50/50. In 1952 Hon. Dudly Senanayaka obtained a comfortable majority due to sympathy, but it became unstable due to the rice issue. In 1956 Hon S.W.R.D.Bandaraneika got only 51 seats and had to seek the help of many parties led by Hon W.Dahanayaka, Hon Philip Gunawardena and many other groups. Mr Bandaranaike was gunned down and the instability has set in again. In 1960 the number of MP’s have risen to 157 and the UNP was able to get only 50 MPs and had to seek the help of Hon S.J.V,Chelvanayagam with 15 seats in the ITEK. In July 1960 Madam Bandaranaike managed to win 75 seats with a no contest pact with the left parties. In 1970 General Elections she won with a convincing 140 out of 168 in the Parliament and formed a powerful government that brought about many changes including the introducing a new constitution.
Stability of Governments in Sri Lanka
In 1957, the mere threat of civil disobedience campaign by the ITAK led by Mr. Chelvananayagam was enough to make then government to sigh the Didly Chelvaganayagam pact and subsequent disturbances let to the government to be under threat. Governments from 1947 to 1977 have been unstable and subject to threats of losing power from time to time. In 1971 the Government nearly lost the grip due to the JVP insurrection and the blood bath leading to the death of young generation followed by the 1988/89 terror by the JVP again with a killing spree of the opponents and the ruthless and brutal countermeasures by the Government in power under R. Premadasa Government. It was only after 1977 that the Sri Lankan governments went through the entire period unless the head of the Government chose to go before the people before the period is over. H.E. J.R. Jayawardene. H.E. Chandrika Bandaraneike and H.E. Mainda Rajapaksa went through the full periods with changes at the wish and will to go before the people before. People enjoyed the sense of stability and the successive government were free to go through the programme of policies for which people have given power to.
Stability and Achievements during H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa
Achievements and stability during President Rajapaksa’s rule have been unique and unprecedented in achieving peace and stability for Sri Lanka and the entire South Asia and for that matter for the world peace in combating terrorism, by disproving the notion that the terrorism cannot be eradicated and crushed militarily. LTTE was so rooted in Sri Lanka and spread worldwide with the network of business ventures, and organisations of NGO’s and private organizations backed by International Organizations that all successive governments were unable to bring about peace and stability by eradicating terrorism. It is the combined and continuous efforts of the President and the Security forces led by Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa with dedication and commitment on war efforts and management of the foreign policy that led to the unprecedented victors that brought peace to this beautiful and gifted Island which has now gained peace stability and prosperity. Underline feature and the a main reason that led to the rare achievement is the Presidential System of Government that gave power and stability to take decisions for the victory.
Agitation to change the system of Executive Presidency and contest for the Third Term
There is an agitation by a group of political parties and organizations led by some Buddhist Monks with ulterior motives and hidden agendas backed by NGO’s to revert back to the previous Parliamentary system that has led to instability historically and politically with shaky governments. No government is ideal or utopian in this world. President is bound to manage with the available resources and the members chosen by the people periodically with the changes in the world and economic world order from time to time. President has used the Executive powers to the liberation and development efforts the country is enjoying with the developments on infrastructure, tourism, economy, and generally in all sects in the government machinery in achieving peace and stability in the family of Nations, with many world leader visiting takin turns and more expected including His Holiness Pope who is due to visit soon. Tourism is booming, Investments are pouring, Developments are taken place in all areas, Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans are respected and recognized worldwide, we are well placed in the international arena, and look forward to be the wonder of Asia soon. They further state that the President need not contest again. It is his democratic to contest again and the people have the opportunity to reject his if they do not need him. The real truth and reality is that the opposition is unable to find a suitable candidate to oppose his charisma and popularity. People will not forget his services to the Nation in liberation developments for the people.
President should be given another term for unfinished jobs, which a new President will not be able to follow up. Giant Hotel and infrastructure projects sponsored by the Chinese and other governments international organisations/banks, Major Roadworks and Mega development projects on agriculture and irrigation, and other major and minor development projects will have to be followed to reach the target to be the wonder of Asia and it is the duty of the right thinking Sri Lankans to be a part of the achievements for the Nation awaiting to reach the goal for development and prosperity.
(The writer is a Solicitor and Senior Attorney at-law. He the Sri Lankan envoy to Israel and Palestine. Views expressed in this article are his own.)