Executive Presidency must end - SFOctober 10, 2012, 10:04 pm
By Saman Indrajith
Lawlessness, corruption and crime had become the order of the day and continues to thrive with the blessings of the rulers, former Army Commander and leader of the DNA, Gen. Sarath Fonseka said yesterday.
Addressing a press conference at Solis Hall, Nawala, Gen. Fonseka said corruption, crime and other social problems could never be ended as long as the executive presidential system remained.
The need of the hour, he said, was to form a mass movement which could force the government to do away with the executive presidency or elect a government which wanted to do so.
The root cause of all the evils that the country was faced with was the executive presidency, the former army commander said. "The executive presidents have not used their powers where necessary for the betterment of society but abused them for personal gain.
The powers of the executive president are not used to combat crime, but to protect criminals."
Gen. Fonseka said that the country had experienced unprecedented levels of corruption, crime and fraud in the recent past. "What action has been taken against those who engaged in the Hedging Deal? Has anybody been arrested over the attack on the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission?"
Gen. Fonseka described all the ongoing development projects as examples of embezzlement of public funds as there was no transparency in any of those deals. "The tender procedures have been followed and the tenders were approved by the Cabinet. So there has been no transparency in the utilisation of funds allocated for those projects. For one kilometre of newly constructed road, the commission for those who approved it is between Rs. 50 – 80 million. The national carrier has become a loss making enterprise. In such a situation, a relative of the ruling party recently imported a puppy and the flight had to come with 50 empty seats. The loss could have been around Rs. 20 million, Gen. Fonseka said.
UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya said that a rally had been held by the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF) on October 18 at Hyde Park to form a common front of politicians, professionals, intellectuals, religious and civil society leaders, against the executive presidency. "This is the only hope for the preservation of democracy in this country. We invite all those who love the motherland to come forward and be there on Oct 18," he said.
UBF President Meetiyagoda Gunarathana Thera, and Secretary Bopitiye Dhammissara Thera also addressed the media. UNP MPs Palitha Range Bandara, Palitha Thevarapperuma, Ashoka Abeysinghe, DNA MP Jayantha Ketagoda, UNP Horana Organiser Ravi Jayawardena attended the press conference.
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