Sri Lankan VOTERS MUST identify irreversible damages & treacheries when voting
The question is important primarily because despite Sri Lanka having a high literacy rate, being well read & aware of global politics, Sri Lankan voters are unable to distinguish the record sheet of political parties. Undeniable fact is that corruption is a major faux pas in governance at all levels even down to the common citizen. It is impossible to find people of integrity in society today. As a result, money & bribery have come to play a key role. Corruptions are aspects that we can deal with & address but can the same be said of treachery, treason & decisions that are virtually impossible to reverse? This is where the voter needs to be educated on what are reversible damage & what are irreversible damage helping them to totally eliminate voting for politicians or political parties that are guilty of irreversible & treacherous acts.
What are reversible acts?
Reversible acts are those that another political party coming to power can change. These acts affect our own citizens and therefore remedial actions can be sought with minimum damage. Corruption & bribery can be dealt within the existing laws or by new laws introduced, checks & balances, regulatory bodies to monitor & mechanisms where People can report & seek grievance intervention & remedial action & punishments with no one being above the law.
The corrupt – big or small must be punished & the damage can be mitigated & even recovered.
In the case of the 6th amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution it clearly establishes the punitive actions for any individual, politician or group found guilty of attempting to separate Sri Lanka. Therefore, there are laws in place & all it requires is the political will & the necessary legal actions to carry out justice. Therefore, the damage can be reversed.
What are irreversible acts?
Irreversible acts are that which cannot be easily reversed or impossible to reverse & with a big price tag – corporates are now even taking governments to international courts & citizens end up paying massive compensation for decisions taken by a government they had no clue about.
Giving LTTE a banned terrorist group territory under a foreign negotiated cease fire agreement in 2002. Setting a precedent by signing an agreement where the government was one party & a banned terrorist group being another will face legal ramifications in the future.
Allowing banned LTTE to bring in satellite equipment via the country’s port & customs levies & duties borne by the state also committed in 2002. These are acts of treachery & treason & any other country would have imprisoned those responsible.
Co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolutions agreeing to war crimes by the national armed forces when these Resolutions are legally questionable in view of them being based on a personal report called for by the former UNSG which did not have either the UNSC or UNGA mandate while the demands placed by the resolutions have nothing whatsoever to do with the conflict but are imperial in nature & violating the UN Charter by interfering into the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. Though UNHRC resolutions are non-binding of nations, by repeatedly committing to them reversing these commitments will become an arduous diplomatic task.
Committing to changing the existing constitution & drafting a new constitution with the inputs of players that wish to insert their agendas – again a constitution is no joke & it must have the buy in of all after the majority of people calls for a new constitution – we see no such calls except external parties desiring a new constitution. Newly drafted constitutions with foreign inputs in Kosovo, South Sudan etc have proven failures that Sri Lanka should not knowingly repeat. Libyans are crying at the fate they are suffering after being delivered democracy!
Moreover, let us not forget that the parties that are peddling for a new constitution have uncleared links to the LTTE, they have not been investigated & exonerated, their election manifestos have openly declared LTTE objectives equal to theirs, they speak on LTTE stages, they are funded by LTTE fronts & these are the entities demanding asymmetrical federalism giving powers to the provinces aligned to their bigger objective of separatism. How can voters allow their political party to promote a new constitution that is virtually facilitating a future separation of Sri Lanka. Can a constitution hurriedly passed with detrimental clauses be reversed or changed easily? When we know the parties that are pushing hard for a new constitution will such a reversal be even allowed? In such a scenario should we not allow a new constitution to be passed working on the premise that the known devil is better than an unknown angel?
Agreeing to give Ports, Harbours, Airports, strategic assets etc are not only detrimental but dangerous to the sovereignty & territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka being an island the value of Sri Lanka’s ports is immeasurable. Hand these strategic assets over to a foreign country – can we demand them back & knowing the importance of Sri Lanka’s geopolitical position which is the reason why every country is interested in Sri Lanka, will these countries give back what a government hands over on a platter for the help given to bring them to power?
If we loose our ports, airports, harbours & other strategic assets will these not be choke points & result in detrimental consequences to our people? Have people forgotten the economic embargo placed by India against Nepal simply because Nepal refused to adopt clauses into their new constitution that India wanted inserted? Nepal being a landlocked country was dependent on border relations with India to bring fuel, medicines, food etc… India disallowed any vehicle to enter Nepal passing its borders resulting in China having to help by flying essential commodities to Nepal.
What if the foreign country we give our ports, airports, harbors etc too decided not to allow imports to enter for our consumption? What can we do? Will there be any point in shouting at the government that gave these assets to them?
Will the privatization schemes used to argue about foreign investments coming to the country be of any use if food is not allowed into the country for our consumption as in the case of Nepal? Aren’t these irreversible dangers and should voters sit silent & allow these handovers simply because it is being done by their favorite party. Will that favorite party be able to go back to the country they gave our assets to & tell them please allow food into the country, our people are in hunger & will they listen? India did not listen to appeals by Nepal or even foreign countries! (Now think of the dangers of giving Colombo East Terminal, Palaly Airport, KKS, LNG Terminal, Trincomalee port, Trinco Oil tank farm & adjacent area, Mattala airport) especially to countries that have had hostile relationship with Sri Lanka & countries like the West that have blood-soaked hands whatever human rights & rule of law democracy mantras they preach to the world. While, we have to even be cautious of our dealings with China & ensure we have proper exit clauses & our end of every deal is carefully negotiated, unlike India & West, China has never been hostile to Sri Lanka or interfered in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
The President of Sri Lanka gave several addresses to the nation explaining to the people why he decided to remove the PM one of these reasons was the proposed plan to privatize 83% of Sri Lanka’s land. How irreversible would be this damage? Is it also not true that the laws in place denying foreigners the ability to purchase land was removed in 2015 & in 2018 privatizing land meant that foreigners could easily buy up land & we know that the same opportunity given in 2002 resulted in foreigners buying cemeteries along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka. If Sri Lanka’s land became privatized & foreigners, foreign conglomerates, transnational corporations etc started buying land in a strategically important but small island such as Sri Lanka, what would happen to the citizens? We would become landless citizens & end up fighting by proving by blood DNA as in Hawaii of our heritage in our own country. If this new land ordinance act had been passed could it have been reversed? Where do we have the money to buy back land bought by foreign parties when we are already in debt?
Detrimental trade pacts are another irreversible & dangerous acts that citizens & voters must be aware of. Have voters thought about the impact of allowing foreign citizens to buy land, property, to establish their own commercial establishments, to allow them to bring their own nationals to work, to bring their families to work & live with no mechanism to monitor them, with no rules or regulations will this not result in major demographic problems if they start marrying & acquiring citizenship rights with time in view of 100% land ownership plus marriage? What is a quantum of trouble we are inviting simply because a country agrees to invest a lump sum which ends up not reducing the countries loan ratio even. How can voters agree or accept their political parties & political leaders who peddle such pacts on the ruse of foreign investment? Shouldn’t people be wiser to be cautious & apprehensive & think about the damage resulting from opening Sri Lanka as is being done?
Allowing foreign interference/intervention & undue foreign involvement through their local proxies. What happens when a countries secrets, confidential documents, military strategies plans etc are allowed to be perused by foreign parties & groups? They are able to devise ways to manipulate our structures to their advantage & devise ways to limit our ability to counter them. When foreign envoys are issuing statements that have nothing to do with their diplomatic role, when they are present in the parliament gallery or inside our courts what kind of message are they giving to the people? It clearly points to the fact that they are interfering quite openly into our internal affairs which is disallowed by UN Charter & as a consequence of goodwill between nations. But their interference is as a result of them being allowed to interfere & voters must realize what party has placed Sri Lanka in such a vulnerable position so much so that foreign countries are dictating how we should govern our country and we have to conform to their rules & regulations. Are we then a sovereign & independent nation? Can these interferences be reversed or stopped without causing diplomatic friction but who is really at fault – isn’t it the political party that opened the door & allowed them to interfere? Think about it, think how irreversible these damages are to our nation. Small as we are we cannot even exert our sovereignty now because of the vulnerable position to which we have been crippled into. How damaging this is to our future & our ability to exert our rights & freedoms. This is certainly a major irreversible damage.
In walking voters through the need to think about who you vote for, top on that list must be to question whether the acts & decisions by your favorite party are those that can be reversed or that will cause irreversible damage. If they are causing irreversible damage, you should seriously wonder whether you helping to bring that party to power will make you also accountable for the vulnerable & weak status you will make the country & its people suffer. Is it worth it simply to bring your favorite party to power when the entire country & its people will suffer immeasurable consequences?
Think about it a bit more than you have…. Should I vote for a party that is engaged in irreversible damage to my country & my people is the question you should ask & answer.
Shenali D Waduge