The President Mahinda Rajapaksa shall be re-elected for another term!
Nov 20, 2009
It is a privilege to pay tribute to the Greatest Patriot of Sri Lanka who saved the Nation from disaster with whom I am well acquainted for several years.
Chapter VII of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in Article 30 states:
30. (1) There shall be a President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, who is the Head of the State, the Head of the Executive and of the Government, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
(2) The President of the Republic shall be elected by the people, and shall hold office for a term of six years.
The concept of respecting the superior in the Armed Forces is a sine qua non of an Officer and a gentleman. These are the tenets of a Patriot. But alas, I am shocked and dismayed by the recent media information that reveals the dishonourable conduct of a once respected personality who has been misled by disgruntled politicians in the opposition who are desperate to govern this country. It is unfortunate that this personality who tried to bite the hand that fed him and nursed him when he was injured has fallen into the hands of evil men plotting against a legally elected Patriotic President. The actions of this personality in question has not only amounted to unpatriotic conduct but betrayal to a the Leader of the Nation and to the Nation as a whole and tantamounts to a flagrant violation of the norms required of an Officer and a gentleman. Moreover to seek residence in an alien land whilst serving in the Forces was am unpatriotic and vicious act of dishonour. It is pathetic and falls well within the maxim that "the Devil himself knows not the thought of man". Patriotism cannot be sold for a song or for residence in an alien land whilst serving in the Armed Forces. This is a flagrant violation of the norms required of an officer and a gentleman. Furthermore, the status of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is the President.
The war was won because of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's leadership and Dr.Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's directives and strategies. No one else can take credit for the victory except the President and the Defense Secretary.
President Rajapaksa with his legal acumen, skills of political analysis cleared with one sweep the allegations against Sri Lanka by carefully and analytically making a submission about the intricacies of Human Rights and the complexities of Terrorism.
There are millions of children all over this nation who are left out and left back …. who will never become doctors or lawyers or teachers or police officers or much else …. who cannot even imagine a profession whose latent idealism will never be freed to grow into compassion and action ….. because there was no teacher, no friend, no one like you, who by action or example, quietly inspired them; showed them how to look up, not down; helped them to see their stake in their own and their neighbors dreams; touched a life in some private, but powerful way, and gave someone else a reason to hope. President Rajapaksa has saved the Nation and we should support him to develop the country by being patriotic.
Whatever system of governance is eventually adopted, it is important that it carries the people with it. We need to convey the message that safeguarding our common property, humankind, will require developing in each of us a new loyalty: a loyalty to mankind a loyalty to the country and a loyalty to the President-The Leader of the country.
Each of us has loyalties to several groups - from the smallest, the family, to the largest, at present, the nation. Many of these groups provide protection for their members. The entire country needs protection. We have to extend our loyalty to the whole of the human race.
We must appeal, as human beings, to human beings: Remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open for a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of destruction.
The quest for a war-free country has a basic purpose: survival. But if in the process we learn how to achieve it by love rather than by fear, by kindness rather than by compulsion; if in the process we learn to combine the essential with the enjoyable, the expedient with the benevolent, the practical with the beautiful, this will be an extra incentive to embark on this great task.
Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity we betray our own.
Does it mean that we have learnt from the past? Does it mean that society has changed? Has the human being become less indifferent and more human? Have we really learnt from our experiences? Are we less insensitive to the plight of victims of ethnic cleansing and other forms of injustices in places near and far?
A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Sri Lanka and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of Sri Lanka what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of Sri Lanka with equal rights, privileges and obligations. We cannot encourage communalism or narrow-mindedness, for no nation can be great whose people are narrow in thought or in action.
Ceylon obtained independence from the British Rule in 1948 by smooth transition after India gained its independence. We honour our Patriots who contributed towards that endeavour. But the crucial factor is the independence gained by defeating terror by the Rajapaksa regime in the midst of so much interference from Developed countries with vested interests is far greater achievement in the history of this country. This is an event to celebrate.
Patriotism is the grund norm of Civilized Society. As citizens we owe allegiance to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and we owe our loyalty and allegiance to the President. The total eradication of Terrorism is possible only if arms are seized from all militant groups who pay lip service to democracy whilst flirting with the major Terrorist Group.
Civil allegiance is the duty of loyalty and obedience which a person owes to the State of which he is a citizen. The word 'allegiance' is a derivative of liege, free and historically it signifies the service which a free man owed to his liege lord. Every citizen owes the duty of loyalty to the state where he is a Citizen.
The term allegiance is often used by English legal commentators in a broader sense, divided them into natural and local, the latter applying to the deference which even a foreigner must pay to the institutions of the country in which he lives.
The English doctrine which was once adopted in the United States, asserted that allegiance was indelible: "Nemo potest exuere patriam" . Accordingly, as the law stood before 1870, every person who by birth or naturalization satisfied the conditions set forth, though he should be removed in infancy to another country where his family resided, owed an allegiance to the British Crown which he could never resign or lose except by Act of Parliament or by the recognition of the independence or the cession of the portion of British territory in which he resided.
Allegiance is the tie which binds the subject to the Sovereign in return for that protection which the Sovereign affords the subject. It was the mutual bond and obligation between the King or Queen and his or her subjects, whereby subjects are called his liege subjects, because they are bound to obey and serve him..
Allegiance is owed both to the Sovereign as a natural person and to the Sovereign in his or her political capacity. Loyalty requires affection also to the office of the Sovereign, attachment to royalty, attachment to the law and to the Constitution of the realm and he who would by force or fraud endeavour to prostrate that law and Constitution, though he may retain his affection for its head, can boast but an imperfect and spurious species of loyalty.
As nature and religion teach moral obligations and prescribe to children dutiful conduct towards the parents, so nature and religion imposes on citizens certain obligations towards their country and its rulers. These obligations may be interpreted as patriotism and obedience. Patriotism requires that the citizen would have a reasonable esteem and love for his country. He should have a reasonable esteem and love for his country.
Legal Allegiance is due when a person takes an oath of allegiance required for a particular office in the State.
Article 2 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka states "The Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State."
Article 63 of the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka states: "Except for the purpose of electing the Speaker, no Member shall sit or vote in Parliament un and subscribed the following oath or made and subscribed the following affirmation , before Parliament:- 'I ………………………………. do solemnly declare and affirm/ swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka"'.
Article 81 illustrates in regard to the expulsion of Members and imposition of civic disability. The Sixth amendment to the Constitution (certified on August 8, 1983) the preamble states "Whereas Sri Lanka is a Free , Sovereign , Independent and Unitary State and it is the duty of the State to safeguard the independence, sovereignty, unity and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka By virtue of the Sixth amendment to the Constitution Article, 157A was added after Article 157 for 'Prohibition against violation of territorial integrity of Sri Lanka' , Article 11 was amended as well. The Seventh Schedule by virtue of the Sixth amendment to the Constitution is " I………………………………..do solemnly declare and affirm / swear that I will uphold and defend the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and that I will not, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka".
Every citizen owes his or her allegiance to the Constitution and to the Head of State- the duly elected President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. We don't need people from the 'international community' to cast aspersions on our President and our Government. People should be aware of what allegiance is and the concept of Patriotism. This is not only the duty of every citizen but the obligation in the best interests of the Nation.
Our nation has been torn apart by the evils of terrorism and natural disaster. We have all suffered - there is no answer - there is no justification for the pain. Freedom of choice alone does not guarantee justice. Equal rights are not defined only by political values. Social justice is a triad of freedom, an equation of liberty. Justice is political liberty. Justice is economic independence. Justice is social equality.
Due to our internal conflicts which we could have long resolved, external forces with vested interests have all sought to intervene some in the pretext of resolving the conflict but our experience has proved that the gap of resolution of conflict does not seem to be narrower now.
We look for diplomacy. But there is no diplomacy with some of those opposed to us. We do not consider them opponents but they oppose every conceivable move we make to develop the country.
Sometimes, there is no compromise with such people, no meeting of minds - no point of understanding - so we would have a just choice -defeat it or be defeated by it.
We learnt that however much we strive for peace; we need a strong defense capability where a peaceful approach fails. Whatever the dangers of the action we take, the dangers of inaction are far greater.
Laws will have to be changed not to deny the basic liberties but to prevent their abuse and protect the most basic liberty of all; freedom from terror. The people are terrorized by certain Tamil s with vested interests in their vile pursuits for power committing crimes and targeting a reflex scenario as if the Government was responsible.
We must always be on guard for those who will exploit and manipulate for their own narrow political ends who will distort the essence of pluralism and tolerance for their own extremist agendas.
People are being tainted by the reckless media. It is a national catastrophe for the nation. We must enact new laws amend the old.
We must work as a community to ensure that everyone not just a privileged few get the collective ability to further the individual's interests.
The governing idea of modern social democracy is community founded on the principles of social justice. That people should rise according to merit not birth; that the test of any decent society is not the contentment of the wealthy and strong, but the commitment to the poor and weak.
But values aren't enough. The mantle of leadership comes at a price; the courage to learn and change; to show how values that stand for all ages can be applied in a way relevant to each age.
We learnt that equality is about equal worth and not equal outcomes.
The standard of living is higher. The expectations of the people are higher. This is a consumer age. People don't take what they are given. They demand more. The rising cost of living is because of Terrorism - not only the amount we spend on the war but the consequences that follow the false allegation by the Terrorists and their henchmen in Parliament who travel on diplomatic Passports, enjoy all the perks of the State, desecrate the sanctity of the House of Parliament and make false allegations to the world at large - these men and women will howl and cry but fear that they may not be elected to Parliament again. They neither love their own people they love themselves.
We are not alone in this. All round the world governments are struggling with the same problems. The program of reform is huge. We must have co-operation, determination and consensus.
We are a community of people, whose self interest and mutual interest at crucial points merge and that it is through a sense of justice that community is born and nurtured. This is the moment to bring the faiths closer together in understanding of our common values and heritage a source of unity and strength.
By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more together than we can alone. We must reach beyond our fears and our divisions to a new time of great and common purpose. Let us trace the roots of affirmative action. Let us determine what it is and what it isn't. Let us see where it has worked and where it hasn't and ask ourselves what we need to do now.
Private media freedom is running amok. The news that millions of people in this country including foreign correspondents who convey news overseas receive each night is determined by a handful of men responsible only their corporate employers. The State should have control not to permit abuse of the freedom of the Press.
The people love the President. His achievements are remarkable. He has been a stoic in the face of adversity. He has earnestly endeavoured to unify the nation. He is totally committed to serve the people. It is genuine unwavering and it is selfless.
We must not permit a contaminated moral environment. Let us not negotiate out of fear, But let us never fear to negotiate.
As a philosopher once remarked. "The water is clear pure and fresh - it is for all to drink. But some clever people began to bottle the water. Some in beautiful bottles. Some in ugly bottles -with no regard to the water but with great care to its shape."
It is time that affirmative action is taken so as not to eradicate the norms of democracy.
Resolution of conflict has its requirements. Parties to a dispute cannot threaten and violate the rights of innocent people or those who are performing their duties. If the conflict between the organized form of government and a force not popular on the norms of legality, it is then the duty of the Head of State to take such measures to safeguard the nation by whatever means to protect the nation.
There are individuals and groups who may be critical of the President for political gain, but the President has always taken affirmative action within the norms required of the President. No progress can be made unless a common ground is established. To endeavour to establish common ground certain specific responsibilities on the people and political leaders should be imposed. More of our people must set an example. People should be made conscious of their conduct. We must learn to discuss matters with those who are different from us. Not just people who agree with us but with somebody who is different.
Politicians must set an example to those among whom they work. After all, politics is a matter of serving the community which means that is morality in practice. We cannot restore peace unless we can find some way to bring the nation close together. There should be collective responsibility within groups or else the people will be confused.
We must be Patriotic. We must uphold and defend the Constitution and the Head of State-the President. We owe allegiance to the President and the Constitution as Citizens of Sri Lanka. We must uphold the norms of the Constitution apprehend and prosecute those who terrorize us by their actions and threats, then economic prosperity will follow suit. Our destiny lies in our hands.
(Dr.Levins T.C.Rajaratnam LL.B(SL)., LL.M(Lond)., Ph.D(Lond)., was the Co-ordinating Secretary to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament, Late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle)