Northern Province Requires Good Governance And Not Interim Administration

by S.L.Gunasekara

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution [forced down our throats by the Indian Government] was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in the creation of Eight ‘White Elephants’ called ‘Provincial Councils’ and a proliferation of political functionaries in the form of Provincial Ministers, Members of Provincial Councils and their ‘hangers on’ which drained the public purse of colossal amounts of funds which ought to have been used for the benefit of the People and not for the benefit of such functionaries.

There can be no doubt that both the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils Act which followed should be repealed forthwith: it is, however self evident that neither the present Government nor any other would have the political will to do so because the abolition of Provincial Councils will deny to any government [and even parties in opposition], vast vistas of opportunity to grant political patronage to all kinds of good for nothing sycophants so loved by politicians of all hues.

In these tragic circumstances the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Council Act are a part of the law of the Land and likely to remain so, and must, therefore, be implemented: they are evils with which we are compelled to live, and all we can do is to strive to make the best of a woeful situation. Accordingly, the APRC cannot be faulted for proposing the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and hence the Provincial Councils Act and the holding of Provincial Council Elections in the Eastern Province.

In addition the APRC was perfectly correct in stating that Provincial Council Elections cannot be held in the Northern Province because of the prevailing situation in that Province; and equally wrong in suggesting the creation of an `Interim Council’ to aid and advise the Governor until such elections could be held. Various functionaries of the Government have, from time to time, made statements regarding the proposed Interim Council from which it may be gathered that the idea is to constitute an Interim Council to function as a de facto Provincial Council;and that the members thereof would be politicians selected on the basis of political affiliation and ethnicity.

One fact that needs to be borne in mind in this connection is that neither the 13th Amendment nor the Provincial Councils Act requires the establishment of any ‘Interim Council’.

One can well visualise what will happen if such a crazy scheme as the appointment of an Interim Council is implemented. First, with so many politicians of no use to man or beast shamelessly clamouring for body-guards, and being granted their demands, the ‘ appointed to that Council will also clamour for an even greater number of personal security officers resulting in our security forces having to face a reduction of the personnel available for the ‘make or break’ battle with the LTTE purely in order to furnish these political jackanapes, their families and their staff with personal security. Only the LTTE and not the law abiding citizens of the North or elsewhere would stand to gain from such idiocy .

Further, it must follow as the night the day that they will promptly demand and probably get luxurious official vehicles, plush official accommodation, plush offices, a large personal staff to which they could appoint their kith and kin and hangers on, and many perquisites of office such as permits for duty free vehicles. The public purse will doubtless be bled to satisfy the cupidity of these Interim Councillors to the detriment of the People. Thirdly, they will indisputably seek to interfere in all aspects of governance of the Northern Province in pursuit of their own political agendas thereby retarding the Governor’s ability to make objective decisions and implement them promptly, resulting in political interference which is and has been the bane of all parts of the Country being entrenched in the Northern Province even before a Provincial Council is established for that Province.

What the People of the Northern Province require [as do the People of the other 8 Provinces] is good governance. The Government has a golden opportunity to provide them with such good governance free of political interference [a pearl of great price which the People of no other Province is blessed] by appointing a competent administrator with a commitment to the Country who, unlike a politician, will have no political debts to repay or grudges to pay off, and will have the ability to examine the problems facing the People objectively and find rational solutions to them without having to cater to the whims and fancies of vested interests.

Such a Governor will necessarily need assistance and advice in various fields such as agriculture, irrigation, marketing, public health and sanitation etc.: but it is he and not any other authority who should be given the power to select his Advisors-for if that were not so and advisors with their own agendas are appointed on political grounds, the Governor and his Advisors are likely to be at cross-purposes to the detriment of the People. Further, under no condition should ethnicity or political affinity be a criterion for the selection of Advisors: the sole criterion for selection should be knowledge, expertise and proven ability in the field in which the advice is needed.

If the Northern Province could be so administered, it could become a model for the rest of the Country, and living proof of the fact that the devolution of power and the creation of ‘White Elephants’ that will go hand in hand with it is not necessary for good governance. Let not the Government let slip this opportunity and create a Ninth ‘White Elephant’ by establishing the proposed Interim Council.

4 Comments »

  1. Sam Thambipillai said,

    February 1, 2008 @ 3:28 am

    A rebel constitution of any rebel state should be torn apart and thrown into the waste bin. It is neither for any amendment nor decoration with the 13th amendment or the word “united”. A deadly virus should be destroyed not consumed!

    The term “rebel state” was first used in 1966, when Ian Smith unilaterally declared Rhodesia as a republic with a unilateral constitution. Sri lanka became a rebel state in 1972, when the south unilateraly declared it a republic with a unilateral constitution and illegally annexed the North East of the island.

    The rebel state of Rhodesia was rebellious against international norms, laws and standards from its inception. Rhodesian jets bombed and killed civilians in neighbouring Zambia and other countries. The rebellion was finally undone by external intervention. Internal solution was impossible.

    The rebel state of Sri Lanka has also been following step by step, the same footsteps of Rhodesia for the past 36 years. The people and the governments are rebellious against the requests of the International Community. It is continuing to violate all norms, standards and laws with impunity. Bombing and killing of Tamil civilians has become a daily occurence. The rebel state, in existence for 36 years, has produced a culture of impunity in the South.

    About two weeks ago, the chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Louise Arbor warned that those in command in Sri Lanka committing criminal acts would be taken to war crimes court.

    Here we are, within two weeks, we have witnessed unprecedented killing of school children in Mannar by the miltary and found mass graves in Keppitigollawa. Those in mass graves are believed to be Tamils arrested in Mannar by the military. Rebellion is acute.

    A rebel state always will have rebellious leaders and people. The solution for such state rebellion cannot come from within as the International Community expects. Appropriate external intervention is inevitable.

    Sri Lanka is not a failed state but a rebel state. Therefore, the UNHRC should firmly ask the rebel state of Sri Lanka to permit the UN monitoring mission. If Sri Lankan state is rebellious against such a request, the UN should recognise the sovereignty of Tamil Eelam.

  2. Sri said,

    February 4, 2008 @ 10:10 am

    Thanks We know that Mr S.L.Gunasekara is an expert on Constitutional Law.

    He says that the the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was forced down the throats by the Indian Government and it has created Eight ?White Elephants? called ?Provincial Councils?.

    Hence SL admits that the 13th Amendment created eight and not nine Provincial councils.
    This means that there must be only eight Provincial councils only. Then How we are having nine Provincial councils?
    Is it not in violation of the constitutional provisions.?

    According to the 13th amendment the de merger is possible only through a referendum. The constitution is the supreme law of any country and the 13th Amendment has not been further amended.
    In this scenario if the Supreme Court points out any lapses, it is the duty of the government to rectify those lapse, not to go against the constitution.

    Further SL says that the 13th amendment was forced down the throats of the people.But how was the entire Constitution of 1978 was formulated?. Was it not forced down the throats of the entire unsuspecting public? What do you say to this SL?

    The 13th Amendment to the Constitution [forced down our throats by the Indian Government] was an unmitigated disaster which resulted in the creation of Eight ?White Elephants? called ?Provincial Councils?

  3. Sri said,

    February 4, 2008 @ 10:13 am

    Thanks We know Mr S.L.Gunasekara is an expert on Constitutional Law.

    He says that the the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was forced down the throats by the Indian Government and it has created Eight White Elephants called Provincial Councils.
    Hence SL admits that the 13th Amendment created eight and not nine Provincial councils.
    This means that there must be only eight Provincial councils only. Then How we are having nine Provincial councils?
    Is it not in violation of the constitutional provisions.?
    According to the 13th amendment the de merger is possible only through a referendum. The constitution is the supreme law of any country and the 13th Amendment has not been further amended.
    In this scenario if the Supreme Court points out any lapses, it is the duty of the government to rectify those lapse, not to go against the constitution.
    Further
    SL says that the 13th amendment was forced down the throats of the people.But how was the entire Constitution of 1978 was formulated?. Was it not forced down the throats of the entire unsuspecting public? What do you say to this SL?

  4. lingam said,

    February 8, 2008 @ 11:19 am

    Sri Lanka is not a failed state but a rebel state
    The War is started . The GOSL forces are moving 10 direction into rebel state.
    We will wait & see……………………….

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