Give priority to vital needs and not impeachments : MahanayakeThera
BY J.A.L. JAYASINGHE AND LALITH WALISUNDARE
Nov 3, 2012
Malwatte Chapter Mahanayake Most. Ven. Thibbatuwave Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera yesterday said that so much of work needed to be given priority instead of bringing an impeachment motion.
The Mahanayake Thera reiterated that the executive presidency should be abolished forthwith as otherwise it would create further problems in the country in future. He made these remarks when Water Supply and Drainage Board Minister Dinesh Gunawardane called on the prelate.
The Mahanayake Thera also said that justice should be meted out to the Tamil people at this hour. He said, "I opposed the provincial council system right from the beginning. But, the damage has been done now. I want to know whether the preferential vote system is going to be abolished. I do not oppose development work. Yet, I cannot approve what is happening in the guise of development in some cases."
The prelate said," I can recall what the late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike told me at her first anniversary of taking office. She wanted to focus on rural development. Today, education is in a total mess. There is a lot more to be done in the country rather than bringing an impeachment motion. Today, thousands of people have been hit by floods. They have to be provided with relief. Some people with political power destroy forest areas. We have to stop this immediately."
Minister Gunawardane briefed the Mahanayake Thera about steps taken to amend the electoral system.
Meanwhile, Asgiriya chapter Mahanayake Most Ven. Udugama Sri Bauddharakkitha Thera said politicians were in the habit of crossing over from one party to another and that such trends did not augur well for the country in any manner. During a meeting with Minister Dinesh Gunawardane at the Asrigiya temple, the Mahanayake Thera said the provincial council system was introduced to gain cheap political mileage without the least concern about its consequences.
The prelate who stressed on the need to change the provincial council system said, "The provincial council system has created a series of problems to the people. Responsibilities of the provincial councils and the central government are not distinguishable. The public are often driven from pillar to post. When an individual calls over at the provincial council to get something done he is referred to some government department and at the government department he is sent back to the provincial council. Projects undertaken by the contractors often fail due to lack of supervision. The provincial council system should change or else it will create serious problems. The Village Council system smoothly functioned for centuries. The chairman of the village council was a man of the village who could be met at any time. Today there is no one to look into the civic needs of the village. The water resources in the country are fast dwindling due to the haphazard clearing of forests. These are serious matters that should be looked into" the Mahanayake Thera said.
Minister Dinesh Gunawardene said he was hopeful that the proposed amendment to the local government election laws will bring about a considerable change to the present system.
Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka
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