Ranil calls for a new political system

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Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called for a new political system.

Speaking at a meeting with young professionals in Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe said that alongside system change, a new political system must also be embraced.

He said that not only the issue of the Executive Presidency but the whole representative system should be addressed.

How many political parties should there be, how should the voting system work, do we follow the preferential voting mechanism or a new cost effective voting system.

The former prime minister explained that the cost of the political establishment must also be taken into account. How can we include more young people in politics.

He said Sri Lankan society must be brought into the 21st century with system change. Our education and our workforce must all adapt to the changes so that we can once again see a growing middle class in the country.

At independence, Sri Lanka was on par with Japan, now we have fallen below Afghanistan. In 2048, the country will celebrate its 100 years of independence, by then we must have reached our potential.

To achieve this, we must come up with a new iron framework for national policy. This will allow governments to change sometimes, but the leadership of the country will not. Countries like India and Japan operate this way.

He also explained that the country has less than US$25 million. While due to government imposed tax cuts, the country has lost Rs. 800 billion in revenue and is now facing Rs. shortage.

“We are now unable to repay our debt. So first we have to put in place a debt repayment structure,” he said. Wickremesinghe added that the government must reduce unnecessary expenditure and provide relief to the masses as possible, while explaining that the costs of items such as fuel will increase if the government wants to increase its revenue.

He warned that our banks were at risk of collapsing due to outstanding government loans. He said these issues can be resolved in a year or two at most.

Once the immediate economic crisis is resolved, he said we must look to the future. If this is to be done, then the whole process must be changed, including the political process and the economic process. He explained that the country’s political system has lost the trust of the people and the protests have evolved from Go Home Gota, to Go Home Rajapaksa to Go Home all Politicians. This is due to the fact that Parliament has not provided solutions to the crisis.

He said steps are being taken to begin the process of stabilizing the economy. The first step is to bring control of public finances back to parliament through the establishment of new parliamentary committees. He said these committees can then engage with young people and see their recommendations implemented.

In doing so, Wickremesinghe said new leaders in the country would emerge alongside the new economy. He also said that the political crisis concerning the president and the prime minister, the constitutional amendments, the questions on the motions of no confidence will all have to be addressed.

He said all of these issues need to be resolved by everyone working together. They cannot be tackled by individuals, the public must also be involved. (Colombo Official Gazette)



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