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Impossible Possibilities for Good

Governance

by Sarath Wijesinghe
Views expressed in this article are author own
Good Governance

( April 17, 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Good Governance


is indications on how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage resources
belong to the public. Often, Good Governance focuses on a set of rules and
requirements that confirms to organizational agenda. To promote Good Governance,
State, Private Sector and Civil Society will have to work hand in hand, with one word,
vision and a mission.
IMF in 1996 declared, Promoting Good Governance in all aspects achieved ensuring
the rule of law, improving the efficiency, accountability of the public sector and taking
the corruption as essential elements of a frame work, with which economics can
prosper. It describes how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage
public resources. The terms of Governance can appear to corporate, international,
national and local Government to interact between either sectors of the society. Good
Governance relates to accountability, transparency and rule of law in the system of

governance. Good Governance should be responsive, equitable, inclusive efficient


practical and fair.

Institutional Frame Work in Sri Lanka


Institutional Frame Work and the Legal System in Sri Lanka are of highest standards
in terms of South Asia, with excellent senior public servants and the public sector,
which is a substantial portion of the work force in Sri Lanka. This system tickles down
from 1948 from the Western model add to modern developments, in which successive
governments have made effective implementation of systems based on different
policies and ideologies from time to time. The previous Rajapaksa Government
against whom, the allegations are leveled has been one of the most efficient and
vibrant models that has transformed the entire outlook and ideology of the Nation, to
be a leader in Asia, with an iron fist rule coupled with one of the most powerful and
stable Governments and peace achieved after 30 years of bitter war. The existing
frame work is efficient and sufficient for Good Governance and what is required today
is the competence to govern and competent and quality administrators. The moot
issue is whether we have competent Governors to drive our Nation to be the Wonder
of Asia. The other issue is whether we are still the most stable, powerful and peaceful
country on the Globe.
Good Governance describes how public institutions conduct and manage public
resources. The trend can appear to corporate International, national and local
governments to offer to interaction between either sector of the society. Good
Governance expects accountability, transparency, rule of law and should be responsive
equitable inclusive efficient practical and participatory fair and reasonable. Absolute
good governance does not exist anywhere in the world but IMF and few International
organizations have proposed certain standards to be followed by the democratically
elected governments. Current government came to power promising good governance
and fair play with economic benefits.

Changes for Good Governance


Current changes for the transformation for the Good Governance were brought about
by a majority of voters with highest expectations. For Good Governance and economic
benefits in place of vibrant and tiger developments alleging corruption, malpractices
and lack of transparency was mooted by the opposition with INGOs, NGOs and
National and Internal groups and institutions. The voters voted the current regime for
a change and Good Governance. The current regime promised constitutional and
socio economic changes, with near impossible tasks to be completed within 100 days,
despite being a minority Government. Fulfilling the promised tasks within 100 days is

an impossible task. Sirisena Regime expected assistance from the West whereas
Rajapaksa Government depended and backed by pro non-align countries, USSR, China
and SAARC neighbours including India. The West is in crisis entangled with
unwanted war in the Middle East and whether they are able and competent to assist
Sri Lanka is a matter to be seriously considered.

Regime Change
The regime change is near impossible without the influence of local and international
factors. The previous government considered to be stable as a Rock with a powerful
and charismatic leader Rajapaksa, un-interfered with external interventions even
during the height of the war is now defeated to his Rival Sirisena backed by the
opposition and other local and international grope. Now the near impossibility of
Regime Change has taken place suddenly with some comparing it to a mild Arab
Spring people are confused and living with high expectations of Changes promised and
anticipated. In the Middle East powerful heads with dictatorships and enormous
resources were removed with external and internal interventions expecting changes
and democratic institutions with Good Governance, in place of dictatorships. This
region without powerful rulers have now become a battle field with new and emerging
terrorist organizations and forces backed by rival countries, Political and religious
clans and groups previously united by Dictators. Today ISIS the world richest
Terrorist Organization which is a by-product of Arab Spring has become a threat to the
West and the Entire World encroaching into territories of other countries.

Foreign Policy and Good Governance


Foreign Policy if self-interested strategies chosen by the State to safe guard the
interests to achieve goals within its international relations agenda. Sri Lanka has been
committed to non-alignment with the motto to be friendly with everybody and angry
with none. We enjoyed the fruits of the proper management of foreign policy, which
is an extension of the internal policy, based on the principal of safeguarding the
interests of Sri Lanka and to be to be Pro Sri Lanka and not backed by any power
block. The financial economic prosperity depends on the correct management of
foreign policy. Do we manage it properly? And do we apply the principals of good
governance in the foreign policy and foreign service is yet to be decided? The sudden
discontinuance of the Ambassadors appointed by the Rajapaksa regime has created a
vacuum in the diplomatic network, in many stations without heads to manage foreign
policy at this crucial moment.
This should have been done on staggered and case by case basis without disturbing
the management of forging policy linked to development and governance. There are

good and efficient Ambassadors and inefficient Ambassadors appointed by the Head of
the State within the service of outside service is a normal practice taking place in other
parts of the world including the USA. We are of the view that good governance should
be strictly adhered to all the sectors including the management of foreign policy.
Good Governance & Human Rights
Good Governance and Human Rights are naturally reinforcing. Without Good
Governance human tights cannot be respected in a suitable manner. The
implementation of human rights relies on the conducive and enabling environment.
Good governance and human rights are linked to development. Reservation to the
rights for the development proclaims that every human being are authorized to
participate in contribution to and enjoying economics social cultural developments
( article 1) which indicates that it is a balancing exercise and the good government has
to be implemented by keeping economic structural and related factors.
People have given a mandate to the current President and President to rule the country
as promised during the campaign. People have voiced themselves loud and clear to the
previous regime to reform them and the current regime to implement the promises.
Are they competent and able to be decided by the future? That matters for us that our
motherland and the future of the future generation. We pray and wish stability and
peace so the country and the region have our actions will have a direct and indirect
ripple effect on how the neighbors and the world will behave. It seems that the things
are now at a confused state. But impossibilities have taken place and we wish the
performance of the President and the Prime Minister will emerge victorious from the
unstable and confused state of our country.

The Way Forward


The way forward obviously is strict adherence to good governance and powerful
administrative systems coupled with all kinds freedoms to all with the aim for the
prosperity and development of the Nation. Rajapaksa cannot and should not be
overlooked as he is still popular and loved by the people despite allegations of
nepotism and corruption for which he has pleaded pardon from the people. SirisenaRanil Union is not doing that well with inefficiency and corruption in the highest levels
within a short period, with the allegation that everything is now at a standstill and
nothing is happening apart from allegations at the previous regime. Sirisen has
consolidated his power in the party and in the government for the rest of his period as
the President. Power is like an ocean. Why cannot the parties concerned resolve the
issues in the interest of the Nation when we there is a clear way forward before us
based on the principles of good governance?

The Writer is the Former Ambassador for Sri Lanka in UAE & Israel
Posted by Thavam