ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisen has blamed a landmark 19th amendment to the constitutional reform that blocked many dictatorial presidential powers and restored the independence of the judiciary for the failure of Sri Lanka’s current administration to live up to its election promises of better governance.
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena had said the 19th amendment of the constitution, which ended monarch style powers of the President had failed to bring unified leadership, resulting in the so-called good governance administration failing to reach its original aims.
President Sirisena had called for the abolition of the landmark 19th amendment to the constitution at a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the National Housing Development Authority, his office said in a statement.
However Sri Lanka’s largest securities fraud, which occurred under then-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendra, an appointee of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, was exposed under the current set up.
With socialist/interventionist economic policies coming out of a 2015 budget, including retrospective taxes, price controls and massive deficit spending as well as corruption, policy clashes between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe intensified.
An attempt to stage a constitutional coup by President Maithripala Sirisena also failed with a newly independent judiciary upholding the constitution.
Sri Lanka needs honest politicians, governance that is people friendly and rulers who love the country, President Sirisena had said.
However political philosophers have pointed out that anyone who expect leaders to be magically ‘good’ or saintly are doomed to disappointment.
A constitutional government is not dependent on the whims of individual leaders, but a system of governance, which limit their power to interfere in the freedoms of citizens.
A good reason to limit government is the fraility of human nature.
"People in government are merely people; they are probably neither wiser nor less self-interested than anyone else," explained British economist Eamon Butler.
"But they wield enormous coercive power, including powers to fine and imprison us. It would be unwise to let them wield that power as they please; it should be controlled and limited."
Modern elections, an European invention, are not expected to come up with great leaders who then try to control the people and force them to do as rulers wish, but is more of a process to weed out bad leaders, those who devised them have pointed out.
People are expected to be free to make economic and personal decisions for their progress, without harming others.
However critics say the current administrations economic policy in particular was also based on pillars such as monetary instability and price controls, which had since backfired.