Constructive Responsibility | Daily News

Constructive Responsibility

Constructive responsibility should be the norm in politics and not destructive irresponsibility. This principle applies to those not doing anything to the detriment of the people and the country as well as to those breaking away from political parties on flimsy grounds and forming new parties without rhyme or reason just like sometimes people contesting Presidential Elections well knowing their paltry vote count.

The earliest political party to be formed in colonial Ceylon was the Trotskyite Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) founded in 1935. Thereafter, with the emergence of Joseph Stalin as the supreme leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) after the death of V.I. Lenin in 1924 and the exile and the subsequent demise of Leon Trotsky in 1940 the Ceylon Communist Party was formed in 1943.

The LSSP broke into so many parties under varied nomenclature too numerous to enumerate under well-meaning leaders such as Philip Gunawardena whose progeny have continued his work to this day as well as by professionals and intellectuals not to mention colourful senile characters providing more entertainment now than political substance.

Not only did the Marxist-Leninist Ceylon Communist Party split into the Moscow wing and the Peking wing but even the new-leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has its complement of breakaways in the National Freedom Front which has now settled as a constituent party of a Government and the Frontline Socialist Party with university student support exudes revolutionary flavour.

The bifurcation of the United National Party (UNP) founded in 1946 by D.S. Senanayake, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike leaving it with a number of his confidantes in 1951 founding the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has lasted to this day thereby signifying that the split was not for a selfish reason but rather to meet the demand caused by the lack of national feeling accompanying the receiving of Independence as in India.

However, even the UNP in time realized the lacuna of national fervour vis-à-vis the emergence of a free country and made the necessary adjustments making the difference between it and the SLFP hardly recognizable, the longest serving leader J.R. Jayewardene and some others of the former party including JR’s Finance and Planning Minister for eleven consecutive years Ronnie de Mel wearing the national costume.

The best example to show that both United National Party and Sri Lanka Freedom Party see eye to eye on vital matters is the retention almost in toto of Section 6 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka of 1972 of the United Front Government led by the SLFP giving the foremost place to Buddhism by the UNP Government in the 1978 Constitution.

Section 6 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka of 1972 reads, ‘The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect Buddhism while assuring to all religions the rights granted by section 18 (1) (d)’.

Article 9 of ‘The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka’ of 1978 of the United National Party Government led by President J.R. Jayewardene says in Article 9 that ‘The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect Buddhism while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14 (1) (e)’.

In Chapter V of the Constitution of Sri Lanka of 1972 on the principles of State policy mentions in section (2) that ‘The Republic is pledged to carry forward the progressive advancement towards the establishment in Sri Lanka of a socialist democracy,… .

The 1978 Constitution does one better by mentioning in Article 1 itself that ‘Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is a Free, Sovereign, Independent and Democratic Socialist Republic…, prompting President J.R. Jayewardene quipped, “now, we are also socialist like Soviet Russia”.

In such a context it is best for the people for all those in politics in Sri Lanka, to distance themselves, from being petty minded and be large-hearted so as to dissolve and disband all egotistically recently founded some of which being mere three-wheeler parties, aligning with the two main parties the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party as the alternate political parties, also wading clear of parties based on race and religion.

It behoves Philosopher King S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s daughter former President Chandrika Bandaranaike who used to proudly and adoringly refer to her father as ‘thaththa’ at Temple Trees those days to bring back respectability and intellect to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

 

 


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