Sri Lankan parliament elected ‘law and order’ speaker in Ranil: Lawmaker
ECONOMYNEXT – Lawmakers who faced violence from part of the electorate amid currency depreciation and high inflation elected Ranil Wickremesinghe to restore law and order, a Sri Party lawmaker has said Lanka Podujana.
In July, President Gotabaya Rjapaksa resigned amid protests and intensified fighting with riot police and last week Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected by 134 of the 225 members of the assembly. He had previously been appointed prime minister and interim president by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
In June, dozens of homes of officials of Sri Lanka’s ruling Podujana party were burned down after supporters of former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa attacked unarmed protesters and a lawmaker was killed by a mob.
Wimalaweera Dissanayake, an SLPP member and former wildlife minister, said Wickremesinghe was elected by lawmakers who feared for their lives and property and someone who could restore order.
“That’s one of the main reasons,” Dissanayake told reporters in Colombo. “Everywhere there is violence, wrongdoing and cruelty (beeshanaya, krroorathwaya. dushtathwaya,).
“So number one is safety.”
“So there had to be someone who doesn’t represent the protesters (aragala karuwan) who was strong.
He said that many legislators saw the need to vote for someone who did not have the approval (aragala karwan-gay anumathiya) of the protesters.
“I’m not saying if it’s right or wrong. But it’s the reality.”
Sri Lanka has seen large-scale protests after the country’s central bank created the highest levels of inflation since the 1980s when money was printed and the currency depreciated in the basket, strip, crawl (BBC) policy, triggering widespread strikes and social unrest.
Sri Lanka’s central bank printed money and depreciated the currency for seven years during three currency crises in quick succession under “flexible inflation targeting” from 131 to 360 for the US dollar, the largest decline occurring after March 2022.
Wickremesinghe, after being named interim president, claimed there were “fascists” among the protesters. His own residence, which had a valuable library, was set on fire hours after police attacked reporters covering protesters in a surprise move.
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SLPP lawmakers have singled out Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and his dissident and more hardline frontline Socialist Party operatives for violent acts by protesters in the same vein as Wickremesinghe’s “fascist” comment.
The JVP and its military wing DJV led an armed uprising in 1987 after seven years of high inflation and currency depreciation.
Dissanayake said the media and some commentators gave moral support to the violence and that Western lawyers and nations were not critical enough to undermine state authority.
“Law and order” and “discipline” were also a plank of ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Unlike classic 19th century liberals who reduced sentences based on the crime and established the rule of law over law and order, only imposing penalties after a court hearing, leaders of law and order the order engage in harsh treatment of citizens using police power.
One of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s first acts was to inspect the police and troops guarding parliament.
Wickremesinghe came under international fire after unarmed protesters were attacked by police and paramilitary units in a pre-dawn raid.
Sri Lanka is a European nation-state with a permanent police and army created by the British.
Unlike kings, who had only a royal guard and peasant levies in times of war, European nation states have standing armies and are extremely difficult for the people to overthrow, political analysts say.
In Sri Lanka, the urban intellectual elite is generally fascinated by fascism and state violence, law and order, the cult of the state (statolatry) and scoffs at liberal values and individual freedom .
A European nation-state functions primarily with the power of the police.
“The state is, if properly administered, the foundation of society, of human cooperation and of civilization,” explains economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises.
“But it’s a tool and a means only, not the ultimate goal. It’s not God. It is simply compulsion and coercion; it is police power.
“The state is a human institution, not a superhuman being. Who says “state” means coercion and constraint. Whoever says: there should be a law about this, means: The government gunmen must force people to do what they don’t want to do, or not to do what they want.
Whoever says: This law should be enforced better, means: the police should force people to obey this law. He who says: The State is God, deifies arms and prisons. The cult of the state is the cult of force.
However, analysts say a liberal order is hard to sustain without sound money, a key element of classical liberalism, if central banks print money and create monetary instability under the guise of flexible lending targeting. inflation and flexible exchange rates.