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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

The Cost of Freedom for the poor and the marginalized

[b]The Cost of Freedom for the poor and the marginalized[/b]

Q Perera, reporting from Colombo

As usual Freedom Day of Sri Lanka is celebrated by the government sans people. Without speaking of democracy, it would be a futile effort to explain about freedom (liberty)

The word democracy has derived from the Greek words demos – kratein– the people to rule. The essence of democracy then is the people of a country rule through a form of government - representatives elected by popular suffrage. In Sri Lanka this type of government existed, until with a new constitution executive presidency was created, vesting the power on single persons, apparently a dictator.

Though the president is also elected, the other elected representatives of the people, part of who form a government, would have to be subjected to the dictates of the executive president. This fact could be demonstrated by how these elected representatives forfeit their power as they would attribute that all the development and other plans emanate from the leader.

Freedom or liberty is defined as the right of individuals to act as they choose referring to individual liberty as well as the achievement of sovereignty by a people called national freedom which often connotes civil and political rights, such as the right to economic opportunity, education, shelter, right to live and a host of other rights that are clearly spelled out by the United Nations.

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