Let’s discard low quality, lawless legislators


The state of our Parliament is also an indication of the quality of the by-products of free education, ever since ‘free education’ has been doled out after its introduction to Sri Lanka. Though education is imparted without charging fees from the parents of the students attending government schools, it is paid for by all the taxpayers, that is, by all the people who eat and drink because every food and drink and traders selling them are taxed by the State. The people of this Country, the majority of whom are far below or very close to the poverty line, have paid for the parliamentarians, the high level administrators, highly placed officers of the armed forces and the police, and GMOA members and all public servants who enjoy high emoluments (salaries, allowances, payments) with many privileges and perks even while neglecting their duty. Though they are in their posts to serve the people, the ‘serving’ is often forgotten.

Those who have not gone through a good education, even when that has been given free, have had a very deficient upbringing and discipline at home and school. As students they have not sufficiently gone through a process of listening, learning and absorbing, internalizing and putting into practice what enhances and elevates life. They lack sufficient training in reading, studying and attending to a task with concentration. So invariably they live without discipline throughout their lives and inevitably turn out to be scamps and scalawags. There are no rules or stable ways in their lives. Their ethics are their own. They do not submit to any authority or obey anyone. No law seems to apply to them, except those of their own devising. They get by on their own whims and fancies. So they cannot do a stable job even of one’s own, that needs regularity and self-discipline which they lack. Their muscle quotient may be far higher than their IQ and their conscience.

When this kind of people enters the highest legislature of the land, what can you expect? Their political vision, principles and stances do not endure stably for three months, turncoats as they are. They hand down to the people their own intellectual, moral and spiritual penury. The people are not disposed to accept that. These dishonest lawbreakers should no more be allowed to enter parliament to make laws for law abiding citizens.

Parliament is the place where important matters relating to the whole country are spoken about, argued, debated and discussed and agreed upon; those who are eligible to be elected to sit there should be persons who have a high standard of intelligence, education and integrity of character. Only those of sufficient IQ would be able to comprehend the complex natters that come up for discussion in parliament: important matters pertaining to the life and liberty, obligations and rights, values and norms and the legitimate and prudent ways of earning incomes and devolving expenditures for the development and progress of the Country.

Spending sans accountability

Competently the obligations of a representative of the people should not be sitting there. Nearly two thirds of the present membership is of low education and doubtful character. The people should come to a keen awareness of this fact and even be ashamed of themselves. Most have gone there with a bizarre understanding of their powers. That is why they have usurped their powers to irresponsibly favour their kith and kin, giving them lands and houses and even hundreds of ounces of gold at State expense. The State has still to recover the money wasted on the shameful and unauthorized expenditures of hundreds of millions on ‘sil redi’ as well as the transport fares running up to over one hundred million rupees by the boss/es of the last regime.

It is due to a lack of a sufficient sense of political representatives’ responsibility that the people of this country who lived in peace were instigated by these rascals to fight and kill one another on issues of ethnicity, language, religion and culture - leading to a war of three decades. It is the discriminatory attitudes of legislators at the national level that keeps the national question unresolved. These foolish, dishonest and corrupt leaders neglected solving the biggest problem the country faced. Yet they borrowed money for projects of self-glorification as a result of which the country was landed with debts of trillions of rupees to be repaid by the poor people. Having put the country in a pitiful state they now have the audacity to say that Sri Lanka is facing an economic and a foreign relations crisis that they themselves created. They were never suitable persons to hold positions of national responsibility. Such like people never eligible to be MPs should be discarded. This should dawn on the voters who should seek persons of generous hearts with high IQ able to serve Sri Lanka with creative initiative, foresight and prudence in a fast moving complex commercial world. Raising to a high level the quality of Parliamentarians should be a priority for the people.

Radical reformation

Sri Lanka needs an overall long term reformation of the whole of our society to make it a truthful, just, fair and cultured nation of persons of mature adulthood, possessing human dignity and self respect who know to relate well to fellow human beings within the country and beyond. Integral Education, properly understood, is the key to remake the whole of society and uplift it. Presently, the situation in Sri Lanka is such that all kinds of uneducated, uncultured elements with a distorted understanding of religion, and of living itself, have exercised power. They have forced and compelled the abrogation of agreements of reconciliation arrived at after protracted discussions; they have brought on discrimination, division and a deluge of suffering and devastation to life and property of all the communities of people in Sri Lanka. Many have not understood that people do not live for the sake of devolution of power, reconciliation, unity and peace; rather people are striving for all of them for the sake of living their life to the full.

Today society is changing and people want to change it for the better. People are becoming more conscious of their dignity, their social responsibility and their rights. People do not want to accept everything, whether it is in health, education, transport or communication the way governments dish out to them. People want to change the vicious and wicked structures of state controlled by vicious, wicked and selfish elements in them. The day is not far off when the poisonous incisors of the wild rebels will be defanged by the sane people of this country. The political parties will then need to be headed by persons of high integrity. They will be urged by the people and the force of reason to discard, at the earliest opportunity, the unruly and mean elements from their midst and choose decent respected persons to be elected servants of the people.

Presently, the people conscious of responsible and good citizenship who know to accord trust, honour and respect to all others worthy of them, should increase their numbers by conscientizing others and bringing them on to constitute a civilization of compassion, understanding, equanimity, generosity, in brief, an upright and virtuous people capable of sharing and living in fraternity and social harmony as befits the true nature and tradition of our Land. The National Anthem has already held out such a vision all these years. But the humbugs in politics have been thoughtlessly mouthing it and not singing it with heart, soul and spirit because they did not have them. The challenge is for all to live up to it.

Fr. Augustine Fernando

Diocese of Badulla

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