Sri Lanka could not move forward without changing its political culture, SJB MP, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka told Parliament on Thursday, January 20.
Participating in the adjournment debate on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, Fonseka said that what people now needed was not political rhetoric but a radical change in the political culture that had been prevailing since Independence.
“What is prevailing is so pathetic. Every politician is trying either to come to power or to cling onto power. Helping people has never been a top priority. Since Independence the primary concern of the political leaders has been power. It is my belief that political leaders will not do anything to change that culture,” he said.
He also said, “All governments and political leaders should be held responsible for not leading the country in the right direction. The challenge before the younger generation today is to change this political culture without leaving it to the next generation. I call on the youth of this country never to fall for the promises given by the political leaders. Whenever they promise this and that, please ask yourself whether those promises are realistic and what those making such promises had been doing so far”.
He also noted, “Please, take into consideration the past of those promise-makers and assess their capabilities. If you choose to do otherwise, you’ll continue to suffer. It is the paramount duty of the youth to give value to their votes. Never vote for those who give liquor and 1000-rupee notes and never expect those who give such bribes to develop this country. At the last election, I neither served liquor nor stayed at any place where the candidates served liquor. I did not give meals to get votes. I am proud of my conduct”.
“This culture could not be changed by amending the Constitution which has been reduced to a mere booklet. Great Britain has the fifth largest economy in the world. Democracy and people’s rights are ensured and the rule of law is upheld there. It is a country without a written Constitution. Take the recent incident of removing Prince Andrew from the royal family. He was a four-star admiral but when his name was sullied by a sex scandal the Queen removed all his posts and positions even before the hearing of the case started,” he also said.