The gigantic mass uprising for Ranil and democracy that happened last week is probably unique in the third world. It is unique with national unity abandoning racism and communalism. In the Gale face green, it was inspiring to see people of all kind in a spirit of solidarity. They expect the arrival of Lankan nation and defeat of fascism. Free and fair elections are, no doubt, central to a democracy; but when conducted in the wake of the questionable sacking of Parliament, they may be anything but. Lanka is at a crossroads where it has to make a crucial choice between democratic consolidation and a retreat to authoritarianism. The judiciary has a crucial task at hand; so far they played well, extremely well. In fact many political analyst claims that democratic steps taken by Yahapalanaya; such as return of commissions reducing the power of President to appoint Judges has made judiciary more independent. Yes, but in this case the mass uprising of people demanding justice must have an induction within the judiciary too.
We are in a situation some what similar to the civil war in America where Abraham Lincoln was challenged by racist white Americans. Abraham Lincoln, also a lawyer, legislator and vocal opponent of slavery, was elected 16th president of the United States in November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Lincoln proved to be a shrewd military strategist and a savvy leader: His Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for slavery’s abolition, while his Gettysburg Address stands as one of the most famous pieces of oratory in American history. Ranil made a sound speech at the Gale face green victory celebrations; may not comparable to that of US counterpart but gravity is not less in this belated bourgeoisie revolution in Lanka,
Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky; Lincoln’s formal schooling was limited to three brief periods in local schools, as he had to work constantly to support his family. Lincoln got a job working on a river flatboat hauling freight down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. After settling in the town of New Salem, Illinois, where he worked as a shopkeeper and a postmaster, Lincoln became involved in local politics as a supporter of the Whig Party, Like his Whig heroes Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery to the territories, and had a grand vision of the expanding United States, with a focus on commerce and cities rather than agriculture.
On the other hand, born on 24 March 1949 in Colombo, Ranil is the second son of Esmond Wickremesinghe and Nalini Wickremesinghe née Wijewardene. His father was an ex-Samasamajist lawyer, who became a press baron taking over the Lake House Group of newspapers. Wickremesinghe entered the Faculty of Law at the University of Ceylon, Colombo campus . After graduation, he completed the law exams at the Sri Lanka Law College and took oaths as an advocate in 1972. Thus Ranil has a powerful position in Lankan society compared to then position of Abraham Lincon. There fore Ranil has no excuses; he must go forward and unite the country for progress.
Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne, BARRACKS LANE, COLOMBO 2
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