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The necessity and reasons for an alternative democratic system of governance for the restoration of peace, prosperity and happiness.

Sie. Kathieravelu

Respected Sir/Madam,

May you be pleased to permit me to submit a small brief on the necessity and reasons that prompted me in devising a system of governance that is truly democratic and that would certainly go a long way in integrating all the people of this country who are being kept apart by persons who have their own hidden agendas to serve their own personal interests. These suggestions are being submitted in the long-term interest of the country as a whole. It is believed that these suggestions, if incorporated into the constitution, might serve as a tool for an alternative method or a way for a resolution of the current disorder in this country by allowing the ordinary people to continuously participate in the governance of the country.

It is my humble opinion that the cause of the various conflicts and disorders since independence that are now being tainted as ethnic are not purely ethnic but created and branded as such by interested groups – big or small – of different political ideologies for their own benefit by misguiding the common man. If the political grievances of the Tamils was the one and only problem in this country, then it would have been suggested to either sincerely implement all the laws that have been enacted since 1956 to solve the ethnic problem or study and follow the way Canada tackled the ethnic problem in Quebec. But here we have to tackle many a problem (some of them being the root causes for the so called ethnic problem) such as the ever rising cost of living, discrimination, bribery, corruption, injustice, the problems caused to the public by the arrogance of some of our public servants, environmental problems created by our planners in the name of development by disrupting and polluting mother nature, the problems of the workers with their employers, the unfair trade principles that are being practiced by some traders and so on and so forth – an unending list of problems. The recent spate of actions taken by the Nepalese government in creating a cordial atmosphere among the various sections in the country to tackle the unrest in their country due to some of the causes mentioned above is commendable and could be replicated by us to create a cordial atmosphere in the country.

The most vital component in maintaining the sovereignty of a nation is the execution of its (nation’s) power with justice to the entire populace. Execution of power with justice to the entire people would only be possible if the social and political minorities are represented in a substantial proportion in the ‘cabinet of ministers’ which is actually the policy making body of the government and thus share executive power. But the constitution of this country does not provide for such an arrangement, which in my humble opinion is the primary cause of all the sufferings the country has undergone and is undergoing from 1948 to this date.

In this connection we may take note of the constitution of South Africa, which compels the induction of the various racial groups – big or small – constitutionally into the Cabinet of Ministers thus ensuring the distribution of power to all. It has to be noted that in this country, persons of different races, religions and diverse political ideologies have shown and are showing the capacity to serve in a single Cabinet of Ministers from independence to date – may be for the sake of their own personal benefits.

Experiences have proved that it is mainly through political empowerment that different groups, which have even mouthed ethnic and religious slogans, could be inducted into the main stream politics and thus officially weaned away from the “gun culture” if the democratic system is put into practice, in the spirit it was intended to be implemented. The factor of crucial significance then, is the quality of the much advocated ‘democracy’ that has to be practiced in this country of ours taking into consideration the prevailing ground situation. The so-called democratic institutions that have been installed are only there to create a false image in the eyes of everyone including the international community.

A former M.P. of Vavuniya and a one-time cabinet minister, the Hon. C.Suntharalingam had repeatedly said in parliament that “ democracy is counting of heads up to a certain point and then it becomes the breaking of heads”.

We must try to evolve a system that will be instrumental in reducing our problems by incorporating the good things found in the constitutions of other countries with modifications where necessary, without attempting to blindly copy the systems adopted in other countries, which have a different political and cultural climate.

In this country the Buddhist identity is accorded a pride of place as being the pre-eminent civilization and tradition that occupies a distinctive position in the historic evolution and formation of this country. Let us and the millions of followers of Lord Gauthama Buddha world-wide think for one moment as to what the feelings of Lord Gauthama Buddha would be if He were to witness the current turmoil in this country which embraced His teachings. “Suffering is the result of craving” is a saying by Lord Gauthama Buddha.

It has to be sincerely emphasized that the suggestions contained herein have been expressed (by a person who has suffered a lot and continues to suffer due to the ongoing turmoil) with a view of creating a just, fair and harmonious society that will be humane by not allowing any citizen of this country to be discriminated or subordinated on grounds of race, caste, creed, social, political, economical, or on any other ground. The suggestions made are to allow every individual to live in harmony with others in any part of this country and that it is not even vaguely motivated by any sectional/group interests. It is worthwhile mentioning that through these proposals the voters do not surrender/hand-over any of their rights/powers to any single elected member or political party since the rights/powers inherent in the people have been separated and distributed among the elected bodies at seven different levels – Legislative, Executive, Regional, District, Divisional, Village Headman and Grama Sevaka. All these bodies are inter-dependant and have to interact to achieve an objective in keeping with the laid down policies This system of governance, with a different mode of representation, would also help to curb many of our ills including bribery, corruption, violence (elimination being difficult) and prohibit or discourage any tendency towards dictatorship in any form.

It is said that the democratic system is the best form of Government. It is being defined as a government elected by the majority of the people (with the consent of the minority?). But in my humble opinion this type of democratic system fails if a majority of its citizens based on gender, age or trade (professionals, workers and peasants) and the small and very small groups that are different and distinct on the basis of politics, ethnicity or religious, – are denied participation in the governance of the country. It is this denial, to participate in the governance of the country by all concerned, that is being used by interested groups to create disorders and conflicts in this country which in turn leads to economical ruin and from there gun-culture begins. It is believed that the makers of the constitution of South Africa have taken this factor into consideration in the interest of that country. In a democratic system the mode of representation of the people in the elected bodies is an important factor that has to be given very careful consideration. It is with this end in view that an entirely different approach has been taken with regard to the mode of representations in the elected bodies at different levels – from the tiny village level unto the national level – based on the UN principle of one representative for one country – here equal representation from similar administrative areas to the same or similar Councils.

The framework outlined below is a way of safeguarding the territorial integrity and the unitary character of the country while guaranteeing the continuous participation of the people in the governance of the country and allow them to live in harmony and dignity in any part of this country. The suggestions of distributing powers from the grass-root level to the national level would strengthen the territorial integrity and unitary character of the country as a whole and create a harmonious atmosphere ensuring political stability and economic prosperity with moral and spiritual happiness to the entire populace.

A proposal incorporating the ideas outlined above is submitted for the perusal of the politically motivated intellectual community. It is most humbly requested that the politically motivated intellectual community be good enough to spare a few hours – in the interest of the country – to study this proposal with an open and unbiased mind and suggest suitable amendments, where necessary, that would benefit the country as a whole with justice being meted out to each and everyone without any discrimination that will allow the people to live in harmony and achieve prosperity and happiness. The suggested amendments could then be discussed to arrive at a solution that could be presented to the country either directly or through the political parties.

To summarize the above suggestions in a nut-shell, Grass Root Councils–proposing the needs of the people of the area, the Sub-Divisional Councils–confirming their needs, the District Councils– implementing their needs, the Divisional Councils – supervising the implementation process and progress – the Regional Councils – releasing the necessary funds and framing regulations for the purpose, the Executive Council – collecting and allocating the necessary funds for expenditure and the Legislative Council – enacting the necessary laws for good governance, with the people always having a direct and indirect control over the entire system of governance for the benefit of the people. Further, this system while not encouraging dictatorial attitude of a single or group of persons is people-friendly and concentrates on the development of the country as a whole.

The prevalence of good governance with transparency and accountability is a must for the meaningful progress of the country in all spheres – economical, political, social, spiritual and moral – and this must be the primary object of each and every political party. The political parties are most humbly requested to shed their petty differences in their way of approach in bringing peace and prosperity to this country. There is no doubt that every political party is striving hard to bring in peace and prosperity with dignity to all in their own way with priority to the well being of their party first, outdoing their main competitors. On behalf of the people of this country who are longing for peace and harmony, it is humbly requested that all the political parties shed their petty differences and change their attitudes in their way of approach to serve the people and the country, in the interest of the country.

Political parties must resolve to give
Priority of interest to the Country as a whole first with
Personal and party interests coming afterwards.

Thanking you in advance in anticipation of an early response that would give first place to the interest of the people of this country and second or third place or no-place to the interest of the political parties

N.B. The said suggestions are appended below for your invaluable comments please.

Yours, in Service,

(Sie. Kathieravelu)

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