SRI LANKA: Economic, governmental, legal: not three crises but one

(Sharing a link to a video explaining the Sri Lankan crisis of governance, Economy and Rule of Law. This video was prepared as a part of an ongoing discussion on the need of system change) Link to the Video 

The purpose of this short article is to point to the need to focus on the various aspects of the catastrophic crises facing Sri Lanka, as a expression of a one single crisis. 

To lay emphasis primarily only on this or that aspect of the economic crisis therefore cannot throw light on developing a solution even to the economic aspects of the crisis. For example, a discourse on the debt crisis and related problems, such as restructuring of debt payments and obtaining favourable conditions for significant debt redemptions and similar matters, while are vitally important, is likely to have very little practical impact if the discussion does not include the problems rising from a collapsed system of governance and those problems relating to a nearly-failed rule of law system.

The same is true about the crisis of governance. If we take the issue of the five pillars of governance, this not purely a governance issue. The economic crisis is directly related to the nature of the governance that is taking place in reality, no matter how differently the  constitution and legislation may lay down the formal structure of governance. The five pillars may exist in legal texts while the real house may not have any of these pillars.

This, above all, is the case of the legal system. An illegal system seems to have come into existence in place of the legal system. While legal texts tell of one kind of system, the one that is actually at being used may be working on the basis of very different principles and practices. When that happens, the nature of the economy and also of governance begins to be dysfunctional.

This is not three separate problems but one 

As each of these crises have been explained, often in great detail, I do not want to re-iterate the problems existing in each of these aspects. What is stressed here is that the whole problem should be regarded as one single whole in looking for solutions and developing strategies and priories for action.

In such circumstances, priority should be given to PUTTING THE HOUSE IN ORDER, which implies dealing with the legal system crisis as the most urgent step. Without this, neither the economy nor the governance aspects can work toward solving their systemic problems. Without proper law enforcement, nothing can work as a rational system, to serve the interests of the nation.

In this, three areas require immediate attention and corrective action.

First is the investigative function into all crimes, including crimes relating to the economy and governance. If this is done, the system can begin to function in the manner it should function;

Second is the prosecutor’s function. This requires radical reform, re-orientation and rejuvenation.

The third is the removal of obstacles to judicial functions. If opportunity is provided for this, it is very likely to recover faster.

This, of course, is only the beginning. However, this is a necessary beginning.

If we start in this direction, it is possible for us to get to where we wish to arrive at.