1.Do not take credit for others’ achievements. Your sycophants and sundry followers may ask you to “declare open” some project which you never had anything to do with. Appreciate your predecessors’ achievements and do not claim them as your own – even if you do not publicly acknowledge their contribution.
2. You were elected by a certain group of people, on a certain platform, promising certain things. Now if you have a crisis of conscience or an attack of the heebie-jeebies because of the risk of the FCID or some ad-hoc body coming after you, stand your ground or resign and contest the next election. If you cannot be true to yourself, at least be true to the voters.
3. Do not insult the citizenry’s intelligence. We know who you are and where you came from. If you are going back on your word (assuming your word meant something in the first place), say so. Many people will say that current honesty trumps past tacit disloyalty and/or treachery. Some won’t. Do the maths.
4. Corruption, undue influence and nepotism are not just words. They mean something. Learn the meaning/s and try and eschew those aberrant forms of behavior.
5. You were elected, not anointed from on high. This also applies to the apparatchiks on the national list. You bear the greatest responsibility to the people – first, foremost and always. You do not derive your authority from the despotic, autocratic, anti-democratic, racist leadership (chose your label), but from the sovereign people and the Constitution. Act like it.
6. You and yours may have earned millions from road contracts but you are not “master of the highway”. That is a public resource. So when your escorts and drivers run people off the road or cause huge roadblocks/congestion because your personage is travelling through, have a heart (in the absence of a brain) and curb that mentality.
7. Judges, attorney-general’s personnel, police officers and others in the justice-cum-law enforcement area are not political tools. Their independence, impartiality and fairness of dealing, guarantees that you will not be lynched, shot or bombed during the next uprising/insurrection. Keep that in mind when you make your next call to exonerate your local moonshine/drug dealer and financier.
8. Do not abuse your official privileges. The State-owned Land Rover/Land Cruiser/Pajero was meant for security, not for joyriding in Yala or elsewhere. You are a very insignificant person (VIP) until and unless you prove otherwise.
9. Attend your parliamentary, provincial council, local government sessions. We did not elect you to faf about doing your own thing while governance goes to pot. If you cannot, go and import hybrid cars or sell tiles to the parvenu wannabees. Better still, get an inside line into the health ministry and sell medical equipment/devices on a thorombalkaru basis as the SunTimes has revealed. Best yet, start an “international” school in the Sinhala and Tamil media and rook the local mudalalis for all they’re worth.
10. Lastly, do not appear on TV talk shows unless you are briefed and in possession of relevant facts/ a valid and defensible point of view. Your lambent face by itself is not enough to brighten a screen.