Good Governance 21 – Making laws and regulations accessible Government needs to be accessible to the people. At present however everything militates against this. Laws are formulated in language people cannot understand. They are amended with no effort to ensure that clean copies of the latest version are available for anyone to consult who needs them. Instead you have to go through the original Act and then all the ...

BBS, foreign policy matters et al (Part 1) by Shamindra Ferdinando Today, the electorate is at a crossroad with twice-president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, launching a new movement to form a government, at the Aug 17 parliamentary polls. A confident Rajapaksa launched his parliamentary polls campaign at Anuradhapura where he vowed to overcome the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combination. The pledge was made at the largest ever gathering in the historic ...

A Reform Agenda 20 – The failure to consult Last week Parliament debated an Adjournment Motion introduced by Mr Yogarajan, one of the more thoughtful members on the government side of the house. He wanted more consultation of political parties and interested groups with regard to electoral reform. This is an admirable idea, but it is significant, sadly so, that he should have proposed this only in June. As ...

Good Governance 19 – The problem of pervasive corruption Many allegations are now being traded with regard to corruption, but sadly there is no discussion about measures to get over the problem. We seem more inclined to concentrate on allegations for political purposes rather than institutionalizing preventive measures, remedial measures and also measures that will give early warning. I am very sorry about this since one of the reasons ...

A Reform Agenda 19 – Undermining Reforms In the last few weeks I have looked at the way in which several of the pledges regarding reforms in the President’s manifesto were forgotten or subverted by those to whom he entrusted the Reform process. In addition there are some fields in which reforms have been carried through, but in such a hamfisted fashion that the previous situation seems ...

Prof. Wijesinha wants next Parliament to take up COPE report on bond scam By Shamindra Ferdinando Former UPFA MP Rajiva Wijesinha says the next parliament should take up a special parliamentary report that dealt with alleged Central Bank bond scam. The report shouldn’t be allowed to be suppressed; the outspoken former MP said, adding that the new parliament should take a fresh look at the alleged scam. Parliament will meet again on September ...

Sri Lanka: Need to make solid understanding with India a priority Many who supported Maithripala Sirisena during the last presidential campaign felt that handling of foreign relations by the previous government had been inept. In particular, it seemed that relations with India had deteriorated, sadly so given how solidly India had supported us during our war against terror. Though the then president seemed positive about India, those around him seemed to ...

Political Principles and their Practice – Donoughmore Chapter 6 of Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka dealt with the introduction of Universal Franchise to Sri Lanka, and the beginning of   Representative Government. This happened through the Donoughmore Constitution, which gave Sri Lankans a much greater say in government than in any other colony which was not composed largely of European settlers. The main grievance of ...

A Reform Agenda 17– Ignoring Parliament In this last lap as it were of my discussion of what should have been  comprehensive Reform Agenda, I thought it would be instructive to lay down the Reforms that were pledged in the manifesto on which the President won the election, and to explain how they have been ignored. Amongst these perhaps the most significant was the pledge about ...

Good Governance 17 – Abdicating Governance In the last couple of weeks we have seen what seems total rejection of the ideals of Good Governance through which this government came to office. I shall look today at the performance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, having spent time previously on another vital Ministry, that of Finance. But I should note that with regard to many others ...

Democracy developed apace in Britain in the 19th century, and the Ceylonese began to ask for similar rights for themselves. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was impossible for the British government to refuse such demands. The Liberal Party had returned to office in 1906 and many years, on a reform platform that included reducing the power of ...

Good Governance 16 – Implications of the Bond Disaster for Good Governance, as explained by a former Deputy Governor I was deeply concerned about what seems corruption in the Central Bank, an institution that had never previously roused any suspicion on such grounds. What we have thus far discovered at the Committee on Public Enterprises is startling, but obviously I cannot refer to this now. I thought therefore of basing this article on the observations of Dr W A ...

Former State Minister Prof Rajiva Wijesinha was among the first group of MPs to leave the government along with Maithripala Sirisena when the latter was brought forward as the Opposition’s ‘Common Candidate’ to face Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last presidential election. Though appointed as State Minister of Higher Education under President Sirisena’s government, Prof Wijesinha soon resigned from his portfolio ...

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