Seven days had passed. The murdered innocent are buried. The Mothers lament for their lost children; Fathers sob in silence. The children long for their lost parents. The protectors are vigilant. The people are in fear and suspicion. The republic is one funeral house. And my sadness is turning into anger. I cannot accept the talks of the government and those who whitewash them any longer. All I can do at this moment is to show you the truth. Thus I write.
Those who do politics, talk politics and tell others not to talk politics must first of all understand the difference between the State (රජය) and the Government (ආණ්ඩුව). A State is “a specific geographical territory defined by borders with all of its living and non-living resources being ruled by one government”. Because the sovereignty (absolute ownership and rule) of the “State” of Sri Lanka belongs to its people, we call it a Republic meaning the State of the People (ජනරජය).
I hear some ignorant politicians, journalists and citizens say that the “State” is responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks. It is an atrocious claim. Blaming the State is like blaming the “system”. Nobody knows what this illusive “system” is. Similarly nobody knows who the State is. So it’s easy to blame the ambiguous. Ultimately they have been blaming themselves. It’s a miracle that the Republic stands even at this condition with these kind of people.
Legislature (ව්යවස්ථාදායකය ) makes laws (which are commonly called as Acts). It is also known as the Parliament meaning the assembly of those who make laws. The laws made by the parliament can only be “executed” by the Executive (විධායකය). And the issues which arise when executing laws are resolved by the Judiciary (අධිකරණය).
This is the basic structure of any State, company or even a small association i.e. 1) decision making (legislature), 2) executing decisions (executive) and 3) resolving issues (judiciary). Those three institutions should function separately, independent of each other while they check and balance each other (සංවරණ සහ තුලන). For example the parliament should be able to remove the president; and the President should be able to dissolve the parliament. But that important check and balance was violated by the 19th amendments to the constitution. (I will write about it in my next post)
Sri Lanka’s parliament is unicameral meaning that it is one single assembly. The 196 members who are elected by the people and the 29 unelected members (National List is misnomer) making a total of 225 MPs are one single assembly. It is not a bicameral parliament which has two assemblies such as in the UK and USA. The purpose of the 225 MPs is to make laws for the Republic as needed by its sovereign citizens (not as per the whims and fancies of the MPs).
Government and Opposition
But according to mere tradition the 225 MPs break into two groups as the Government and the Opposition. The reason for that is the carcinogenic political “partycracy”. Usually the political party or a group which takes the simple majority seats (113) will form the Government (ආණ්ඩුව). The remaining parties or groups are called as the Opposition (විපක්ෂය). So every party tries to form the government.
But there are instances when the government does NOT have a simple majority of seats. They are called “Minority Governments” (සුළුතර ආණ්ඩු). In fact the current government is a minority government. United National Front has only 106 seats. That’s less than the simple majority 113. Just because the TNA, JVP and some SLFP members raise their hands with the UNP(F) that doesn’t make them a majority government because TNA, JVP and SLFP are in the Opposition. My sympathy to those who screamed “show the majority” in the recent past. They don’t even know the basics of politics.
So then why do parties fight to grab the Government? It’s because the Government is the most powerful institution in the Republic. From one hand they are able to pass any laws as they wish because they have majority votes. On the other hand they can execute those laws as they wish. You see the parliament cannot execute laws. They only make laws. The executive consists of three institutions namely 1) the President, 2) the Cabinet of ministers, and 3) the State Public Service. Many ignorant people think that the executive is just the President. Those who scream to abolish the “executive” don’t even know the meaning of the word.
The Cabinet of Ministers including the Prime Minister is formed by the Government. Here, a part of the parliament also becomes the key part of the Executive. This is the biggest fault of the current constitution because the Government is therefore able to make laws and execute laws. It breaks the checks and balances between the legislature and the executive. Worst of all by the 19th amendments they made a law to increase the number of ministers as they wish when several parties join together to form a National Government (word National has been misused). That was the disgusting time that bribery was built into the supreme Constitution.
By now you should understand the difference between the State and the Government. Then where does the President fits in in all of this? As per the Constitution, the President is the Head of State, meaning he or she is the top representative of the Republic. The President is the Head of the Executive, meaning he or she is the head of the Cabinet of Ministers and the State Public Service. Don’t forget that the President is a member of the Cabinet. The incumbent Maithripala Sirisena is the Minister of Defence, Minister of Mahavali Development, and the Minister of Environment.
Furthermore the President is the Head of the Government, meaning he or she is the Head of the MPs who form the Government side in the parliament. The President is also the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. And I have no words to say to the 6.2 million citizens who actually elected a man like Sirisena for such an important position.
Therefor the Government consists of the MPs who are seated in the Government side of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Ministers, and the President. The opposition are merely the members who are seated in the opposition side of the parliament who speak against the ill decisions of the government or sometimes speak for such proposals for their personal and political advantages. The opposition has no real power.
Who is Responsible?
So then who is responsible and should be held accountable for the heinous suicide bomb attacks by an Islamic extremist terrorist group on the Easter Sunday 2019? The purpose of the terrorists is to terrorise the people to attain their political motives. Whether it is ISIS or Al Qaeda or National Thowheed Jamath or all of them have done their job to the dot. Therefore the responsibility of the attacks are with the terrorists.
The purpose of the Government is to protect the Republic and secure its People. The top most responsibility of the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers and the Government members of parliament is to secure the citizens. They must fulfil their responsibility with the same energy they use to grab the Government power. The opposition too has a some responsibility here because they should speak against and vote against the decisions of the Government which are harmful to the Republic and its People (I’m referring to the 19th amendments).
“I don’t know.” “Nobody told me.” “I wasn’t invited to the security council.” “My Daddy knew about the attacks so he told me not go to church.” “My security personnel were told a week ago.” “We told them, but they didn’t listen.” “This didn’t happen yet in the Disney World.” “Now it’s all done and over.” “We expected blasts, but not this big blasts.” “Hotels should make their own security.” “Foreign terrorists cannot be prosecuted in Sri Lanka.” “There had been far worse.” “Sirisena and Ranil didn’t work together.” “Make use of me at least now.” “Don’t take political advantage now.” “Please let’s all work together now.” Blah blah blah. I refuse to accept these Baila talks. I will not fall for such insensitive, childish, irresponsible claims.
As per the constitution, “Defence and National Security, Internal Security, Law and Order and prevention and detection of crime” are the first and foremost responsibilities of the Government. The Government has completely failed in their responsibility. Therefore there is nothing more to debate. The responsibility of the Easter Sunday destruction is with the Government and they must be held accountable.
Living luxury lives paid for by the people’s tax money, they have ruined the security and safety of the very people who they swore to protect. Those who let the global or whatever terrorism to re-enter our Republic must get down on their knees and beg for the people’s forgiveness. And then they must resign immediately.
At least now let the people use our sovereign franchise to elect a New President, a New Parliament and a New Government to replace these utter failures. If they continue to block the people’s right to decide for the Republic, then we the people must stand as one against this Government which systematically ruined our economy, culture, security and freedom!
27 April 2019