First and foremost I must apologize that my name and logo had been inadvertently placed in the article written by Mr. Sathya Moorthy on page eight for the Daily Mirror of 10 July 2011. I must apologize to him too, since such erudite analysis on political issues is not my forte!
I normally express only my ideas on various situations that occur in this country. Having clarified this matter my intention this week is to express my views on the state of the essential reality that the people in the country face against the beautification that is taking place in the city of Colombo and the vast infrastructural development on highways, stadium renovations and flyovers.
The import of allegedly substandard fuel not only affected the vehicles that were provided with it but even the very pumps in petrol sheds that were given the fuel for distribution. The Minster apparently claims that he was unaware of this import and had not sanctioned it. So far no one appears to have been accused of having taken a mistaken decision and no responsibility has been placed on any one. It is as if the decision for the import has been made by a non existing entity !
Surely some one in the Ministry or Corporation must bear the responsibility for the import that occurred and a scheme of compensation devised to assist the unnecessary expenditure caused to the already cash strapped public who now largely resort to credit card buying !
Surely the Ministry and Corporation must be having some committee presided by a Deputy Minister and at the very least a senior public servant to serve on Tender Board that takes such decisions. While the Minister appears to be passing on the buck to his senior public servants the Secretary of the Ministry apparently according to news paper reports has tendered his resignation papers!
Article 28 of Chapter VI of the Constitution of Sri Lanka clearly specifies that the exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations. Accordingly, it is the duty of every person in Sri Lanka: to preserve and protect public property and to combat misuse and waste of public property; and to protect nature and conserve its riches. Well, it appears that even as the new entrants to the University are given leadership training perhaps Ministers and Senior public servants should be given a course in the article of the Constitution and their applicability especially with reference to accountability and the sovereignty of the people as is set out.
Such a course might teach the politicians that they are only trustees in using whatever resources it has and as trustees they are accountable for each and every action of theirs to the people who have given them that trusteeship. Arbitrary power does not rest in their hands and in the final analysis they have to give account of the manner in which they acted as trustees. In the same manner it is also essential that the public service too is reminded of their own responsibilities, they certainly are not pawns in a game of chess played by political superiors!
Unfortunately, it appears today that the Constitution is never read by either politicians or public servants so perhaps a training in the finer discipline in matters of the sovereignty of the people should be explained to them. Then hopefully accountability and transparency will come into existence!
One also tends to wonder whether the Minister of Higher Education in his continuous chant of having foreign students in the Universities has decided that they too must have leadership training, maybe they may decide not to come or perhaps their countries may think that by associating with our generally very dissatisfied and unruly university students in addition to the equally dissatisfied and protesting University Dons they may return to their countries getting rather confused notions. Moreover students who come from countries that have volatile situations might take back certain rebellions ideas so perhaps till the minister sees the effects his leadership training has had on new entants and their influence on those already in the campuses he should delay his rather brilliant idea of making some much needed money for the rather cash strapped universities.