Need of the hour is to implement specific ‘system changes’ | Daily News
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Need of the hour is to implement specific ‘system changes’

The writer has read several well written articles in the press chronologically narrating and analyzing the history of our current predicament. Now that the symptoms and diagnosis phases are over, it is high time to find prescriptions and administer the medicines before the patient dies. In other words, specific solutions must be devised and implemented with a sense of urgency to mitigate the present crisis through critical ‘system changes’ impinging on public life, economy, electoral systems and the Constitution, leading to re-formation of our public service, people, mass media and political culture.

In regard to normalcy in public life and economic recovery it is essential to enhance staff productivity in Government offices, Police and the Judiciary through effective systems and procedures, using advanced computer and communication technology, mass media and efficient roll-out systems. We have heard of some re-organisation and re-engineering projects being undertaken in the public service with funding from international aid agencies. Unfortunately, they are not properly implemented inter alia due to vested interests of politicised trade unions. Further, it is imperative to instill good work ethics and courtesy among the public service staff through ‘customer care’ training as service delays compel the public to go behind corrupt politicians who eventually become ‘Demi Gods’!

The cultural change among the people, public service and the mass media needs to be fast tracked by restoring law and order, discipline and meritocracy through robust ‘Country First’ leadership and continuous training and monitoring at all levels of public administration and private enterprises. They are essential prerequisites to win the confidence of international investors, lenders and tourists who can mitigate our ‘Dollar crisis’ which is the bane of our country at present.

In regard to Electoral reforms upstaged by the peaceful and intelligent youth in the ‘Aragala Bhoomiya’, it is imperative to fast-track critical ‘System changes’ based on fairness, result accuracy and meritocracy forging a true Sri Lankan Democracy, as detailed in several articles to the press and requests to the authorities by the writer over the last several years, before holding any Election!

The country loving political parties and collectives should forthwith freeze their urge to grab power by ‘hook or by crook’ holding TV savvy media conferences, public demonstrations and protests calling for multi-billion rupee Elections under the pretext of upholding Human Rights and Democracy, at a time when the country is in the doldrums with millions of innocent people suffering from hunger without even one square meal a day and lack of medicines mainly due to their 74 years of political mismanagement.

The banks and the Government coffers don’t have the money to lend to the PMB to buy the paddy harvest of the farmers; the Treasury is finding it difficult to pay the salaries of 1.5 million Government servants without printing money; power cuts are continuing; cuts on import of essential intermediate goods are throwing employees out of jobs; medium and small-scale industrialists are already up in arms against the proposed tax hikes and some are threatening to boycott payment of taxes; the danger of fuel, gas and other essential import restrictions continue to loom over exporters, industrialists and hoteliers like the ‘Sword of Damocles’. Against this pathetic background, some selfish politicians, officials and NGOs for whom ‘Elections’ provide their bread and butter, insist that holding Elections is the panacea and that money should not be an obstruction to hold such Elections as human rights and democracy are more precious. How can they mix up country priorities so shamelessly? Besides, some of these clarion callers seem to be assuming to their own advantage, that normalcy has returned to the country and that everything is just ‘tickety-boo’! They must realise that the cost of multi- billion rupee Elections if met by printing money and taxing the people above their heads would add insult to injury and the galloping inflation would sky-rocket the prices of goods and services, ‘Lock, Stock and Barrel’! Elections also require Dollars to import the necessary stationery such as security paper, indelible ink and equipment needed to meet health regulations and maintenance of peace etc. On the other hand, how can one guarantee that an Election under the existing system will produce the desired result of the proponents? The present de-grading behaviour of the ‘225’ portends the confrontational approach they intend to repeat after an Election.

It is extremely urgent for all country and people loving politicians to forthwith shed their narrow political, race, religion, and caste differences as well as power struggles and honestly form the much- awaited ‘Interim -All/Multi-Party Governments and spend this interim period to consensually approve critical ‘System changes’ to our defective ‘Electoral process and other necessary changes arising from an agreed Common National Programme to normalize the country situation and prepare the ground for effective and meaningful Elections. The crying need of the silent sovereign voters at present is, having a simple, rational, fair and a low-cost Election system that can guarantee equality of vote and quality of ‘Political Professionals’ as their representatives instead of having a Parliament teeming with another ‘cursable’ set of politicians produced by the existing defective system.

If the country loving Mass media and National and Religious leaders take necessary precautions to prevent any damage to this national endeavour with untoward exaggerations that can mislead the public, they can surely spearhead, meeting the expectations of the silent majority upstaged by the peaceful and intelligent ‘Aragalaya’ youth and accelerate the approval process of the said Election system of our own anvil before the end of April 2023 and prevent a further curse of the ‘225’ and the entire Political and Public Administration system.

Let us act fast and prevent an anarchy, the fall-out of which will surely jettison our Motherland to the dustbin of History!

If there is a will there's a way!

Bernard Fernando

Moratuwa

Email: [email protected]

 


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