Mr. President’s First Month in Office – 5 – A Brand New Constitution

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accepting a guard of honor

The infamous 13th amendment was forced upon both the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE terrorist outfit by India for a problem that would have been solved between the government and the terrorists. The said amendment was a solution that had no sensible approach at all. Both the government and the LTTE equally opposed it and the then president late Mr. J. R. Jayawardene had to sign it as he was forced to do so by going against his own cabinet and the rest of Sri Lanka. This is the high time that a totally new constitution is introduced by taking the issues in the immediate past and the foreseeable future are addressed. This has to be done with the participation of all ethnic groups to make everybody feels they are part of one Sri Lanka. Each different ethnic group would have to sacrifice some of the long enjoyed privileges and come to a compromise.

There are three leaders the new President can learn from. Rwandan President Mr. Paul Kagame who made Rwanda the “Switzerland of Africa,” Pakistani Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan who tries his best to fight corruption, end the terrorist issue of the Taliban, and the Philippines President Mr.  Rodrigo Duterte who fights the drug war, underworld activities, jihadist terrorism and corruption. All these leaders are far from saints. Well, no one in politics is. Most charismatic leaders who changed the fates of the countries had many a skeleton in their closets. Obviously our own President cannot be an exception. So, we have to live with it to see a REAL change.

However, Mr. President’s main challenge would be to keep Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister and his notorious three sons who are popularly known by the citizens as “Three Idiots,” at bay throughout the President’s office. Mahinda Rajapaksa has done his share of duty to the country by finishing the terrorism that no one expected to happen before 2009 and then improving infrastructure (even amidst massive corruption allegations) and the best thing he should do is to help the present President with his political experience and help groom a new leadership to take the country forward. Mahinda can become a senior adviser than in active politics anymore. It would make more sense if he becomes such one without accepting a remuneration and any other privileges that he is entitled to as an ex-president. (But this would be the last thing one could expect from him though.)

I know very well that many will criticize my stance about the new President here. At the moment, I have seen his positive moves. If he disappoints me and the rest of the country, it is our bad luck. So, for the moment, we will just wait and see. If the things go wrong, you would know it well because I won’t be able to write this monthly review about him anymore. You know what I mean. 🙂