A government which satisfies the foreigners by forgetting its own people
(A path to become a colony of the foreigners) –
Chathura Viraj Wijesekara
Undergraduate: Law Student (UOJ)
“The principle that those charged with upholding the Constitution – be it a Police Officer of the lowest rank or the President – are to do so in a way that does not violate the Doctrine of Public Trust’ by state action/inaction is a basic tenet of the Constitution which upholds the legitimacy of Government and the Sovereignty of the people.
By Shiranee Thilakawardane J, in Medis vs. Kumaratunga case (Water’s Edge case)
Above words had clearly spoken in the Supreme Court by giving a foremost place to the Doctrine of public trust which came into the stage at different times through different faces. It does not matter whether you are a police officer of the lowest rank or the president of the country. You have to act in a way that does not violate the trust doctrine. But in the current scenario, we have a question on implementation of the trust doctrine. Most of the resources which own by the people of Sri Lanka were used by the present government arbitrarily only to achieve their own agendas. Their agendas were never having the purpose of public benefit. But what they had in their minds were erasing the picture of the development which was drawn by the Rajapaksha regime. But what they did not understand was alienation of the Sri Lankan properties to the foreigners can not erase someone’s personality.
What does it really means from the “Doctrine of Public Trust”? It is the principle that certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, and that the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public’s use.
The word public is highly incorporated in the above definition. Everyone has to accept that the government is acting on behalf of the people. Government got the power from the people. The resource which enshrines the power is “people”. Article 3 of the constitution has stated crystal clear that “In the Republic of Sri Lanka sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise.” So the government has no legitimate right to cut down the rights of the Sri Lankan people to use those resources. It was the power of the people. So how is it possible for a government to give/sell or do whatever they want with our own resources?
The eradication of these resources has started with giving the Hambanthota harbor to China for 99 year lease. Now the disaster has come a long way and it seems like uncontrollable. We have to ask from the government a simple question. Why we really elect a government? People elect a government for different reasons. But the common idea behind an electing a government is to protect the country’s dignity and people’s expectations by securing the country’s resources for future generations. But since 2015, we did not see any aid for the fulfillment of this purpose. The government is negligently excluding the expectations of the younger generation by selling and giving up all the Sri Lankan own properties to the foreigners.
They just gave up the Hambanthota harbor though many people oppose the move. Even the government had to use the police to control the people who oppose. Think for a moment. How legitimate for a government of a country to justify their actions by suppressing the people by using police power. It is an undemocratic way of throwing the opinion of the people away.
The same thing happened regarding the Galle cricket Stadium. At first, they tried to demolish the whole stadium. But due to the people of this country, the government failed to continue their selling agenda of Sri Lankan properties to the foreigners. By highlighting fake fears, the government is trying to sell Sri Lankan identity to the foreigners. They have planned already to give up many government own properties to the foreigners & private sector in upcoming days. ITN, a part of Katunayake airport & Mattala airport are some of them. But the most sarcastic thing is the ministers of the government planning to sell our own properties to balance the other country’s interests.
“The real issue here is the diplomatic issue. It really doesn’t matter who we give as they are investments. We are trying to balance. When we have given one to India and the other to China” – Rajitha Senarathne
The irresponsible behavior of the ministers has arisen fears of Sri Lankan people which seem like “actually we don’t own our country anymore.” The government is selling almost all heritages & properties without considering the opinion of the Sri Lankan people. The Prime Minister is acting like a tyranny while the president ignores all the opposing remarks as a dumb person.
“Since such control is exercised by Parliament in trust for the people, we are of the opinion that the process should be transparent and in the public domain, so that people who remain sovereign are informed as to the manner control is exercised”-
In the Supreme Court determination on the Appropriation Bill 2008, Chief Justice Sarath Silva,
It is clear with these statements that at least the process should be transparent. But we don’t have any transparency at all. The government decides and the government executes while the right to question is rejected. How many people really know the powers and the manner which the present government uses to dispose the Sri Lankan heritages to foreigners? Only the few people who walk around the PM would know the real reasons and powers.
“Public power is not for personal gain or favor, but always to be used to optimize the benefit of the people. To do otherwise would be to betray the trust reposed by the people within whom, in terms of the Constitution, the sovereignty reposes. Power exercised contrary to the Public Trust Doctrine would be an abuse of such power and in contravention of the Rule of Law.” – Ranil Wickramasinghe (2013/02/24: Sunday Times News Paper)
On another side it is humorous to see the PM talking about the public trust when he was acting as the opposition leader who is now giving up the trust of the people by selling all the properties to the foreigners.
Now the situation has turn to worst. The government easily ignores the words of the people while the president is still acting a paralyzed person’s character. Through the constitution we created a president’s role in order to protect the country by quickly preventing any harmful activity which can be done by any organ of the government. Sufficient powers have also given to the president for the above role. But unfortunately, that role was restricted just for a statue which silently watches everything: even the pigeon’s dirty works to its head.
The people become hopeless with inability to prevent government’s arbitrary nature. However the “dignity + public trust” of the Sri Lanka have faced a serious threat and the resources which own by Sri Lankans gradually decreasing its Sri Lankan own identity.
Now the time has come for a serious framework in order to rescue our heritages and properties for the future generation. We are not the people who should sacrifice our own identity to balance the countries. The government is only a trustee who looks after our heritages behalf of our selves. They don’t have any right to act contrary to that policy. It is violating the doctrine of public trust. A government should satisfy its people: not foreigners. So it’s the time to be active against selling the mother land to foreigners. If not, we might experience the bad effects which will cause up to three or four generations.