We have seen hybrid motor vehicles so far. But, at present we are going to see a ‘Hybrid Court System’. The consumers and citizens of this country have the right to reject the hybrid vehicles at any time, thus it will reduce the imports of hybrid vehicles. But, I doubt whether we can do the same with a hybrid court.
The majority of the people will not allow the hybrid system. One main reason could be the administrators or political hierarchy might think this is a gross violation of the country’s Constitution and interference in internal affairs. But, one may argue, if we are to bring real reconciliation and genuine consensus among communities, we need to look for a third party or a foreign source to judge the happenings of the last stage of the war. Again the question remains as to how genuine is the third party we are looking for?
‘Hybrid Court’ has become the most popular phrase used by the masses at present. But although the final draft resolution put forward by US did not carry the word ‘Hybrid’, the Western forces are intelligent enough to include many other phrases that will lead to external interference. This will apply more pressure on us than the use of this word hybrid. The major part of the resolution points fingers at Sri Lankan security forces regarding human rights issues. But let me pose a simple question. Does this US backed resolution address the crimes and atrocities committed by LTTE and its allies? If so, then how will that probe be conducted? Who are the perpetrators from the LTTE side? I personally feel it is a difficult question to answer. Therefore, I presume as far as the latter part of the question remains unanswered; the first part of the question also will remain unanswered.
Let me once again come back to the word ‘Hybrid’. Who will agree to a Hybrid Court? May be the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the interested Tamil citizen’s groups might push for this Hybrid Court probe and draft resolution. But the majority of the people will not allow the hybrid system. One main reason could be the administrators or political hierarchy might think this is a gross violation of the country’s Constitution and interference in internal affairs. But, one may argue, if we are to bring real reconciliation and genuine consensus among communities , we need to look for a third party or a foreign source to judge the happenings of the last stage of the war. Again the question remains as to how genuine is the third party we are looking for? The so-called third party can be biased or will have an internal agenda to exploit the situation in Sri Lanka. Therefore, it is important to make a close study of the subject before deciding on the third party. But, most of the stakeholders, except the Tamils, will agree to a domestic investigation mechanism. But the Tamils, who are worst affected in the war, do not believe in a domestic probe as it has not reaped any positive results in the past. This stance itself will make the TNA provide opposition. One will say that it does not need added qualifications for the TNA to be in the opposition. But the fact that remains it whether the TNA can achieve any positive results by holding on to the Opposition leader post? When you become an Opposition Leader it will expose you a lot. Whoever who holds this post will be criticized from all quarters.
R.Sambandan, by accepting this post, has indirectly agreed that the present government is in favor of the Tamil people. But that is not the stance of innocent Tamil people. This situation will promote the present Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to go in front of UN assembly and say it is in favor of Tamil people by showing that they gave a Tamil the post of Opposition Leader.
According to Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution, it is a “DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC whilst ratifying the immutable republican principle of REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY, and assuring to all peoples FREEDOM, EQUALITY, JUSTICE, FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS and the INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY”.
Continuing, the Definition states: “WE, THE FREELY ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA, in pursuance of such Mandate, humbly acknowledge our obligations to our People…”.
In keeping with these “immutable republican principles” the elected representatives are obligated to represent the interests of the Sri Lankan people.
What is the real role of the Opposition?
In a democracy, the structural arrangement that enables these obligations to be fulfilled is through a majority of the elected representatives forming a government and the rest forming the opposition. Both branches are equally important, because while the government formulates and implements policies for which they received a mandate from the people, the opposition should exercise due diligence to ensure that both the policies and the implementation processes the government carries out are scrutinized and reviewed in order to protect the interests of the people whom the opposition represents.
• Members of the opposition must accept that opportunities for their work as initiators of legislation will be limited, but their role as representatives is undiminished and greater burdens devolve on opposition members than on government backbenchers in regard to scrutiny and oversight.
• At the same time, the opposition has a duty themselves and to other voters to play the role of an alternative government and indeed, the role of a government in waiting.
If we allow this concept to play in present politics, the alternative government of TNA will definitely give the green light to establish a separate state.
We need to wait and see whether TNA can perform this duty or not. Already there are signs of negativity in this process.
Besides this, the Controversial National List Dilemma seems to have entered a crucial stage. Although UNP, JVP and other parties also included some of their defeated candidates in the list, the problem was highlighted in all its ugliness when the UPFA National List was made. DEW Gunasekara had already gone to Supreme Court seeking justice for the omission of his name in the national list. Now Prof Tissa Vitharana also joined the group and went to Supreme Court. We need to wait and see the outcome of this court procedure. If DEW Gunasekara and Prof Vitharana succeed in their pleas, then the situation will force some of the members in the cabinet to step down or resign from their parliamentarian posts. It should be noted that Prof Vitharana was the pioneer who brought almost all conflicting parties into the negotiating table through the APRC process. Prof Vitharana also articulated the possible solution to the ethnic issue.
All what we can say now is the present government and parliament are about to face the major challenges in coming days. With the rupee value depreciating at an alarming rate, the present National Government has to immediately address some economic issues along with other challenges. Let us hope for the best!