Citizens' Mail | Daily News


 

Citizens' Mail

How to tackle with the promised heaven on earth?

We are about to witness the most ridiculous presidential election in this country. As much as thirty-five candidates are vying for the post of president. Most of these candidates are not likely to get even their family votes. They are contesting for some nefarious reason. Unfortunately, we have no system to eliminate candidates who have no public backing. In the American system, there are primaries which keep the undeserving and unpopular away. We are unfortunately forced to bear a high cost in conducting the presidential election thus financing a set of jokers who have no chance of getting elected.

The presidential election itself has its amusing drawbacks. On previous occasions, the president was bestowed with supreme power which justified his election by voters of the whole country. Currently, although he is elected similarly the so-called 19th Amendment seemed to have removed some of his powers. In the circumstances electing a president with lesser powers seems to be cockeyed dogmatic and utterly foolish. I dare say that this ridiculous situation has arisen according to the whims and fancies of the present government, who in the most illogical manner wanted to bestow some of the presidential powers on a prime minister who represents just one of the 225 seats in parliament.

Let alone the jokers there are at least three presidential candidates who are likely to get some votes. Eventually, the voters will have to select a president from two of them. One candidate is from the governing party and has already participated in the decision-making process of the government and continues to do so. The other has held a high position in the previous government and seems to receive some criticism of his role in that government. Nevertheless, most believe that he has done a good job during his tenure. Whether their promises can be dished out given the financial constraints of the government is questionable. It is perhaps a mistake to believe that the general public will believe whatever the politicians say.

On the contrary, the present voter is intelligent and understands the situation perhaps even better than the politician.

Both top candidates have promised heaven on earth. They are proposing a variety of goodies concessions and numerous welfare activities that would be operative if they come to power. The most vociferous of course is the UNP presidential nominee who promised shoes and school uniforms to all schoolchildren. These are indeed fantastic proposals, but could they deliver? There is no development plan or how the economy would be steered clear of the problems.

A government should at least have some remedial measures to overcome problems faced by the public. There is no evidence of such efforts. What is vital to this country is a balanced economic policy and it is only the opposition candidate who has a semblance of such an effort to tell the least. While the opposition presidential candidate has made some welfare proposals there is a likelihood of these being implemented along with other appropriate measures? I hope that the people will vote the better of the two at least for simple mercies.

Prof. Ashley LS Perera


Presidential election 2019: disenfranchisement of voters

I am very disturbed by the voter registration process this year. According to the latest electoral roll, the names of some of us are not on the 2018 list (the list being used for the 2019 polls). Usually the Grama Sevaka of the area sends a voter registration form in June of every year. This year that did not happen. Although I met with the Grama Sevaka many times and also lodged a written complaint on the Election Commission website, we have drawn a blank. I have been voting since 1961 and this is the first time that I have encountered this sort of anomaly.

I have learned that residents from particular geographical clusters in Colombo have also been purged from electoral rolls and have received curt or confused responses from local officials when they inquired as to the reason.

The manner in which this is taking place suggests that there is a deeper systemic issue, rather than this being an isolated problem, with voters not providing some required information to the Grama Sevaka on time.

Exercising our franchise is a fundamental right. Given the importance of the upcoming election, this is a matter of highest importance to investigate. Is this administrative error? Or something more? Over to the Election Commission.

Rev. Sydney Knight


Turn a new leaf after November 16

After November 16, a new administration will rule the nation. This time the main Presidential candidates have already forwarded their manifestoes, which seem to be very fruitful to the people, specially to the farmers, fishermen and other cultivating sectors, if could implement. Every word of theirs seems to be so enthusiastic and so patriotic in developing our country.

One has said he will not occupy the President’s House, that he will forego his salary too and that will not employ his kith and kin for high posts in state institutions. The other being silent it could be understood that he dismisses such utterances as they may be horrendous to him. Be that be so.

A chief minister of Tamil Nadu in India, an actor-turned politician, continued ruling half of his third term before he died. He was successful in carrying out the ruling so long as he entrusted a ministry to a politician who had a vast knowledge related to it.

Not only that, he appointed highly educated and very fitting personnel to the high posts in the ministries, whether they are from his party supporters or not. Hence the state machineries function smoothly, efficiently with public commending the services. One of the best and deserving services he did to the poor people living in small gardens and shanties was providing free electricity from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

What I say this in particular is, to place suitable politicians to ministries and appropriate appointments to function them efficiently.

University students should not be allowed to protest on the road, at the same time their problems should be carefully considered, and if reasonable implement them in the shortest period. No political motivated strikes should be allowed. If it goes out of hand, follow how the late N. M. Perera, a Union leader and Finance Minister himself sacked bank employees conveniently followed by President Jayewardene.

Normally, a pension stops after the death of the recipients. Pensions are of some considerable percentage from the last salary dawn. Of recent protests, the differently-abled Army personnel demanded their pensions be their full salary and that same should go to their spouses as well. Ok, it was agreed, if I am correct, because they have made great sacrifices to our motherland. But why demand to extend it to their children as well which is not practical.

But they were incited to demand it by power hungry politicians. Sadly, top religious leaders arriving to the scene to bless them in order to get the ‘blessings from those politicians’ who are behind the creation, of course, know well about the unreasonable demand, yet a show of themselves to the nation.

Last but not the least, please remove the word ‘shortage’ from the books of requirements of the Sri Lankans, specially of consumer commodities which curses a ruling party.

If any commissions were to be appointed to investigate any matter, members of the ruling party, members of the main opposition, and from the second group like JVP/TNA and members from civil society too should be included in order to get the ‘genuine result’ so that the countrymen need not grumble of bias being taken place.

Nazly Cassim

Colombo 13

 

 

 


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