Title : Dangerous Democracy (Lakshan)
Author: Lakshan Bandara
Last Modified Date: 2020-07-19
Article Code: 71
Keywords: Republic, Democracy, Sri Lanka, Constitution, Law
Is Sri Lanka a democracy? No, a Republic.
Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, article 2 states:
"The Republic of Sri Lanka is a Unitary State."
In the republic of Sri Lanka, democracy is practiced at election with citizens votes, which is a fundamental error.
4(e) the franchise shall be exercisable at the election of the President of the Republic and of the Members of Parliament and at every Referendum by every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and who, being qualified to be an elector as hereinafter provided, has his name entered in the register of electors.
In theory, republic and democracy cannot mix in a legal system. Let's see the difference.
A republic and a democracy are identical in every aspect except one. In a republic the sovereignty is in each individual person. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the group.
Let's see the elaborated definitions for clarification.
Source: Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition
Form of government in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. (word "people" may be either plural or singular).
In a Republic, the sovereignty resides in the people themselves, whether one or many. One may act on his own or through his representatives as he chooses to solve a problem.
In a republic the group only has advisory powers. Each individual is equally sovereign in a republic. The sovereign individual is free to follow or reject the majority group-think. 99% cannot beat 1%. Minority individual rights are the priority. People has/have natural rights. People enjoy freedom.
People have no obligation to the government; instead, the government being hired by the people, is obliged to its owner, the people.
Form of government in which the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation. It is distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy.
The sovereignty is not divided to smaller units such as individual citizens. To solve a problem, only the whole body politic is authorized to act.
51% can beat 49%. Majority has mandatory powers in a democracy. The minority has neither voice nor rights to refuse the dictatorial majority. The minority only has those privileges (civil rights) granted by the dictatorship of the majority. Those who wish to go against the collective (whole body politic) will be punished accordingly. Slavery is inevitable in democracy.
The government agencies own the citizens. Being citizens, individuals have duties and obligations to the government. The government's only obligations to the citizens are those legislatively pre-defined for it by the whole body politic.
You can see the danger in democracy. It is gang culture. Minority is oppressed by the majority.
In Sri Lanka, Tamil separatism is not an ethnic problem. Professor Nalin De Silva asked "what is the specific problem for Tamils in Sri Lanka that Sinhalese don't have?" My answer to him is minority aspect in Democracy. Democracy is inherent in the constitution. Both Tamils and Muslims are minorities. They have no voice. To make them heard, they use divide and conquer method at elections, resulting the tail wagging dog situation. This abnormal situation affects the political stability in our country.
Do you know that Socrates was executed by a democracy: though he harmed no one, the majority found him intolerable?
Why cry for democracy and suffer when you can live in a republic? It's necessary to correct our Constitution.
Our true experiment is to answer the question, "Can self-governing people coexist and prevail over government agencies that have no authority over the People?"
I think, people need true education to enjoy freedom.
As mentioned before, Republic and Democracy are separate concepts and should not be mixed.
If we want to benefit from a Democratic Society concept with fictional citizens, we can establish it below the People's Republic.
I suggest a new "Republic over Democracy" ecosystem model for Sri Lanka.
When doing so, it is necessary to educate Sovereign People about their rights above fictions, without hiding them with deception.
Do not treat people of my country as fools. They must know their true rights.
Republic is individual people power. Democracy is collective citizens power.
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