SRI LANKA: Is the defense ministry a guardian of the future plan?
In the previous article we discussed about the Ministry of Defense as the most important social institution of the country, next to the executive presidency and that the justification for this in times when no insurgencies are taking place, is to maintain internal security. This in turn means strict control of Trade Unions, political parties, freedom of expression and media, electoral system, the judicial system and the civilian policing system.
We also considered as to why such strict control of all the areas of social life are thought of as necessary. The reason for that is for keeping the incomes of the general population at a very low level, one suggestion is the keep income to such a level that "people may live without dying", as is said in Sinhala No-mae-ri-jeevathvimata. That expression graphically explains that the aim is to keep people at a survival level.
Why is that thought of as necessary? The explanation is that this is necessary to achieve development. The argument therefore is that limitations on income, liberties and opportunities are necessary to achieve that development.
From this perspective, the role of the Ministry of Defence is to force the acceptance of low incomes now, for future good that will come by way of such development.
Therefore this doctrine envisages constant friction between the people who will not want the lowering of their incomes and means of living and the Ministry of Defence that must do its duty to ensure that the peoples' expectations will not upset the government's future plan for development.
Therefore this friction is not going to be temporary but a long term one by its very design, as the future plan of development if it is to come at all, will take a long time in coming.
The plan has taken many decades since 1978 when it started. How many more decades are needed for its achievement is not predicted by those who are pursuing the plan.
The longer the delay in fulfilling the promise of development, the greater is the friction between the people and the Ministry of Defense and the more repressive each year the Ministry will become as the guardian of the future plan of development.