chanaka 2

The Liberal Party began as a think-tank called the ‘Council for Liberal Democracy’, the first institution to criticize the all embracing statism of the colonial and immediate post-colonial periods. In espousing free economic policies together with wide-ranging political freedoms, the Council, and then the Party, opposed both the authoritarian crony capitalism of the United National Party and the socialism of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. Both major parties are now in theory in favour of wide freedoms, but to ensure that these are understood and entrenched there is still need of coherent Liberal activism.

Political Principles and their Practice 1 -The need for high quality thought and discussion

Some years back Cambridge University Press in Delhi published a slim volume I wrote entitled 'Political Principles and their Practice in Sri Lanka'. I prepared this because I had been horrified at the lack of awareness even in students of political science of basic political principles. When we were revising syllabuses at Sabaragamuwa, I realized that the political science syllabus was moribund, with nothing that had been published in the seventies or later on the reading lists. The person in charge seemed to have no knowledge of John Rawls, or the seminal contribution of his 'Theory of Justice' to political thought – and I began to understand then the comment of President Kumaratunga at our first Convocation, when she talked about Sri Lanka being the only country where the frogs in the well were digging themselves deeper and deeper into the ground.


This approach to life seemed to have become endemic at Peradeniya, with little added to learning or thought after the seventies. This has contributed to a very passive approach to the subject, with outdated theory being the focus of attention rather than the actual processes of government. Thus, when I addressed a meeting recently for the common opposition candidate in Kandy, I was startled to find a very formulaic approach to the question of the Executive Presidency, with no attention being paid to the very practical problems created by the particularly perverse form J R Jayewardene had introduced.


But this had started earlier, with the sycophantic celebration of the Jayewardene constitution presented in 'The Gaullist Constitution of Sri Lanka', written by a supposedly great scholar, A J Wilson. I am sure Wilson had his plus points, but he failed completely to analyse the crucial contradiction in Jayewardene's approach, which was to impose a Presidential system on the Westminster Parliamentary model. Sadly no scholar in our universities, as far as I know, has analysed the implications of this for the doctrine of the Separation of Powers, which is the main reason for an Executive Presidency.

Prof. Rajiva wants due recognition for his party

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha who left the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) as the first group to attack the then reigned Mahinda Rajapaksa government was garlanded as the State Minister for Higher Education by the new government.

He was one of the pioneers to leave the UPFA with then MP Maithripala Sirisena and several others. He assumed duties at his ministry recently and speaking to the media today, expressed his disappointment over the way Cabinet portfolios of the Sirisena regime were given. While he had been appointed as the State Minister, one of the UNP seniors, Kabir Hashim had been appointed as the Cabinet Minister of the same subject.

Prof Wijesinha's claim was the minority parties like the Liberal Party and Up-Country People's Front were not given due recognition. He intended that even the minority parties like his also should have been considered. However, he said that he had no worries as he could work with a minister like Kabir Hashim.


Liberal Values and Muslims

Text of a talk at the celebration of the 27th Anniversary 

of the recognition as a political party of the

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress

February 11th 2015


I am pleased to have been invited today to the celebrations of the SLMC, since the Liberal Party was also recognized officially on the same day 27 years ago. In the midst of our satisfaction, however, we had to face tragedy for it was on that very day that Vijaya Kumaranatunga was assassinated. In the year before his death, he had stood out as a symbol of hope and enlightenment for all those who wanted Sri Lanka to reaffirm its status as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country where there was not just mutual tolerance but also mutual understanding and affection.


I believe strongly that Islam too is based on such concepts, which are essentially liberal. This may seem paradoxical at a time when the world is deeply worried about what is termed Islamic fundamentalism. But while certainly there are extremists amongst Muslims, just as there are amongst adherents of all religions, let me say quite confidently that God can never be a proponent of prejudice or cruelty or selectivity. God is about love.

ප්රතිසංස්කරණ න්යායපත්රය 4 - පාසැල් අද්‍යාපනය සඳහා සංශෝධන මාලාවක්

ප්රතිසංස්කරණ න්යායපත්රය 4 - පාසැල් අද්‍යාපනය සඳහා සංශෝධන මාලාවක්

ud iu. jevlrk l=vd lKavdhug wu;rj fjk;a who ixfYdaOk ms<sn|j lghq;= lrk nj oek .ekSfuka uu buy;a i;=gg m;a jqfkus' md;a*hskav¾ moku jsiska ili lrk ,o foaYmd,k mCI i|yd m%;sm;a;s ud,djla <.|S ud fj; ,enqks' ud is;k wdldrhg  md;a*hskav¾ moku ckdOsm;s;=udf.a WmfoaYl jrfhl=o jk us,skao fudrf.dv uy;d jsiska mj;ajdf.k hk wdh;khls' tu ksid Tyqf.a WmfoaYho .eTqrsk i,lk njla fmfka'

ud is;k wdldrhg fuu woyia b;d jeo.;a"m%fhdackj;a tajd jk w;r tajd flgsfhka  ixIsma; ks¾foaY f,i jsjsO jsIhhka hgf;a m<lrkjdkus tajd ish¿ fokdgu myiqfjka jgyd .; yels jkq we;' Tjqka jsiska lrk fhdackd miqjo ud Ndjs;d lsrSug n,dfmdfrd;a;= jk w;r" oekg Tjqka jsiska lrk ,o wOHdmk mqyqKqj iy ksmqk;d m%j¾Okh ms<sn| woyia fj; fk;a fhduq lruq' Tjqka m%ldY lrk ish¿u ldrKdj,g mdfya ud tl. jk w;r" wod, fldgi iusmQ¾Kfhkau fuys kej; m%ldY lsrSu jgS'

;joqrg;a Y%S ,xldfjs j¾Ok Wmdh ud¾.h wvq wdodhus Y%uh u; mokus jsh fkdyel' ixj¾Okfha B<. wjOsh mqyqKq ksmqk Y%uh iy ;dCIKsl wOsfY%aKs.; lsrSus uQ,sl lr .; hq;=h'udkj iusm;a j, ys.lu rfgs oshqKqjg we;s NkaOkSh ndOdj jsh yel'

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