By Dr. S. Shrikharan
In Sri Lanka, we are criticizing the politicians for their involvement in corruption with IMPUNITY.
Honestly, what will you do if given a chance to enter parliament in Sri Lanka?
I will speak for myself. I will certainly join the rest and make money! I will do better than what others have done.
I am criticizing the Parliamentarians only because of the golden opportunity they have to rob the country with impunity, which we as ordinary citizens do not have.
So where is the fault? The fault is with the ‘system’ which provides the opportunity to steal with impunity.
The politicians giving various excuses for public consumption, successfully have broken down all checks and balances, escaped any accountability and have cleverly obtained the liberty to do whatever that pleases them.
Changing leaders to bring positive change and fortune is a fantasy. We should not totally depend on a ‘good leader’. We should have a method or a system that will identify and bring in good leaders and screen out bad and corrupt politicians. It is the good ‘system’ that modulates to bring good leaders and even bad people will change knowing they cannot survive in the ‘system’.
We have to establish a system where accountability and checks and balances are ingrained.
The single most important component that helps Parliamentarians to avoid accountability is their privilege to be on both sides of the fence.
Legislature and administration should be two totally independent bodies. Ability to have a hand in both invites corruption. Remember a judge cannot be a policeman. The judge cannot be both a judge and a witness!
The politicians can only pass laws and which are handed over to the ‘apex body’ of administration and it is they who are totally responsible (and not politicians) for the implementation of the law. This includes selection for employment, so politicians cannot select based on their political patronage.
The criteria for selection is stipulated by the law and a properly constituted panel appointed by the administration is totally involved in selection. This includes heads of institutions and even chief justice done by a professional panel based on a point scheme. If any politicians get involved, then there is an element of obligation towards the politician and law and order breaks down.
Certainly, people in administration too, are accountable and they are monitored by their respective professional councils.
The politician’s long arm should never be allowed to reach through the administrative structure and instruct officers what they should do!
Just bring these simple changes and see the wonders. Then only the ordinary people can do their job without the interference of corrupt politicians.
At present, officers are forced against their own conscience to indulge in carrying out illegal work of politicians merely to save them from any threats, intimidation, and harassments from politicians who wield power.
We all know how a former Chief Justice had requested the PM to allow him to continue as CJ and he will deliver the judgment or verdict what the politicians want. Fortunately, his request was not granted.
Some food for thought.