Good Governance 4 – Dealing with Violence Perhaps the most controversial subject we have to deal with in trying to restore confidence in government is that of the violence and extra-judicial killings that have taken place. Unfortunately dealing with this is complicated by the fact that there are in fact three different issues involved. Two of them have to do with the conflict period. The third issue ...

Good Governance – 3 : Accountability and the central role of the public Good Governance demands Accountability, but there is little understanding of the various dimensions of this concept. The first and most obvious one is Financial Accountability, and one vital commitment of this government is to strengthen audit mechanisms. But formal requirements alone are not sufficient. We must strengthen the powers of those agencies that can hold functionaries accountable on the ...

Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka – 3. Powers of Government Executive Power The word ‘executive’ means ‘doing’. The executive of a country is usually its cabinet of ministers. These ministers are responsible for the day-to-day business of government. Although we refer to a prime minister or a president who has executive power as the head of government, he or she is almost always part of a group of ministers known ...

The 24th Amendment …. INDEPENDENT COMMISSIONS Productive day in Parliament, with the first reading of two amendments to the Constitution that I had proposed, seconded by Upeksha Swarnamali.The 24th, which is the more important I think, is about making Secretaries to Ministries Permanent, and restoring their appointment to the Public Service Commission. I hope that all those who are keen on independent commissions will accept ...

The 19th Amendment I was most disturbed that the proposed 19th amendment does not seem to take seriously the commitment in the President’s election manifesto to ensure the independence of the Public Service. Two dangerous provisions remain from the past. The first is that Ministry Secretaries shall be appointed by the President (though, according to the amendment introduced in the Supreme Court, only ...

Draft Higher Education Act Given below is the text of the draft Higher Education Act prepared by a Committee appointed on January 27th at the meeting of the UGC and Vice-Chancellors and Directors. It has been sent to His Excellency the President, and also to the Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education, to take it forward after fuller discussion. The text was also sent ...

Parliamentarian Rajiva Wijesinha is no stranger to controversy. A State Minister in the yahapalana government that took office in January, he was the first to cross the floor and rejoin the opposition. Though he has fallen out with what he describes as a UNP government, he remains combatively loyal to president Maithripala Sirisena. In this interview, Rajiva speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about the difference between RW and ...

Good Governance 6 – A Responsive Judiciary There is much discussion now on the independence of the judiciary, and this is essential. The politicization of the judiciary in the last couple of decades has been disgraceful, and we must take forceful steps to ensure that political controls, and even political influences, are minimized. But we must also register that there is more to Good Governance than that. ...

One of the saddest aspects of the political culture we have developed over the years is the total rejection of continuity, a simple necessity if a country is to move forward smoothly. The present government seems to have rejected this principle completely, in the manner in which it has replaced personnel wholesale. Though it has shown some understanding of the ...

Simple regulations to promote Good Governance Suggestions sent to members of the committee to assist the Minister for Good Governance, set up at the Government Group meeting on March 3rd 2015. A – Preventing Corruption Schedule 1.  The Assets Declarations of Ministers, Parliamentarians, Provincial Councillors and those heading government institutions that have entered into contracts of above a particular value should be made public. They should ...

Good Governance – 2 : Building a Nation In a speech last week to the Rotary Club, I was asked to speak on Good Governance for Building a Nation. I based my speech on five principles which I can see are now being ignored. The lack of attention to two of them on the part of those supposed to be in charge of taking the business of government ...

100-day programme, no compromise. By Lakna Paranamanna The State Minister for Higher Education Professor Rajiva Wijesinha maintains that the promises made during the presidential campaign period have taken a backseat with the general elections in the offing. At an interview with the Dailymirror Prof. Wijesinha was candid on the reasons that led to his resignation, on the reforms he planned in the higher education ...

Restricting abuse of ministerial resources for political advantage rather than executive work I have sent the letter below to the Minister of Good Governance, along with the schedule beneath it. I realized how appalling the situation was when I was Secretary to a Ministry, and the personal staff ran riot (including ensuring the election of Mr Thevarapperuma). Dear Mr Jayasuriya, I had written to you before about simple measures that could be ...

Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka 1 – The need for high quality thought and discussion Some years back Cambridge University Press in Delhi published a slim volume I wrote entitled ‘Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka’. I prepared this because I had been horrified at the lack of awareness even in students of political science of basic political principles. When we were revising syllabuses at Sabaragamuwa, I realized that the political science syllabus ...

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