EDITORIAL – AUGUST 1999 ISSUE
A human Face to the Executive Presidency
Former president late JR Jayawardane boasting about the supreme powers of Executive Presidency(EP) he introduced said that he can do anything except transforming a male into a female. He could impose such a power on the Sri Lankan society since he achieved 5/6 of the votes in the 1977 General Election.
And in 1994, 62% of the popular votes insisted on abolishing that Executive Presidency. The people knew that the 17 years of UNP govt gave them extreme suppression except converting men into women, using the EP Power. In that sense, not that Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in 1994 achieved popular votes to be another Executive President, but the people voted her for her pledge to abolish the cursed tyrant power. The slogan against the executive presidency having neglected by the PA leaders following their inevitable coming to power, was put back to the political arena only by the JVP.
Comrade Nihal Galappatti, the presidential candidate of National Salvation Front challenged the PA candidate, Chandrika to give a pledge in written that PA candidate having taken the office of EP would act for abolishing that executive system. Chandrika Kumaratunga had to give the pledge by word and in written and that was a political victory for the sake of Sri Lankan people who suffered owing to very system of Executive Presidency.
Getting the extreme powers centralized into their hands and using them to suppress people has now become the only way of salvation for the capitalist rulers. So it is proved that the abolishing of such powerful ruling systems may be suicidal for them. And now the PA govt is going to practice “Skinning the beast twice” on the Executive Presidency. In need to solve National Problem, PA never asked the people in 1994 to vote for a specific ‘separatist’ Political Package that was not known even to PA itself. Now they are pleading the people that to solve the “problem of war” and to “abolish EP” they must support the govt for the implementation of so called Political Package. They are trying to legislate the separatism in the name of abolishing EP and finishing the war.
UNP, who were the creators of EP and the leaders of a 17 years of suppressive rule are now protesting to abolish the executive presidency. They do not stand for abolishing the EP. Instead they are going to change its appearance with a human face. In 1994 PA leader Chandrika Kumaratunga spoke of giving a human face instead of abolishing the open economy. But now what are they doing ? They are continuing in the same inhuman economic path. National assets are sold cheap. They are surpassing the tactics of UNP both in corruption and bribery.
Now Ranil Wickramasinghe says that he would reform the EP system, once he gets in to the power. Who knows whether or not this is another lie just like giving a human face to the open economy?
Founders of Batalanda Torture Camp, leaders of killing nearly 60000 of youth and the rulers who not only killed but also denied democratic rights of the people for 17 years are now giving us these pledges. They do not want to abolish the EP but to cheat the people by speaking of a reform in legislature.
The crooked suggestion of Ranil Wickramasinghe might have validity in a society, where a slogan “Abolish the Executive Presidency without conditions !” does not exist. But now the JVP as come up with that straight idea. Today the people are gathering together around the banner of that slogan. So the dishonest suggestions to hide the actual intentions for using of EP powers in future do not have a public support. JVP actively blocked that type of spaces where anyone may try to cheat people. So now the popular demand is not to retain EP with reforms, but to abolish it forthwith. The people of Sri Lanka have a single voice to support abolishing EP without conditions.