Former Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who had stepped down from parliamentary politics last year, is preparing to formally launch a new project.
As a renewal of consensual democracy that looks beyond the adversarial politics of the left and the right has become an urgent necessity, this project will seek to empower the youth of this country to redefine political ideologies with the aim of creating a radical centrist movement towards nation building.
"This project will be spearheaded by the youth who are set to take over the country in the future," an organiser of the project told 'Lanka Leader'. Accordingly, the first press briefing will be held this Sunday (25) at the 'Freedom Hub' in Colombo.
He further said that the press briefing will be broadcast live on all 'True Patriot' social media platforms.
Although the official launch of the 'True Patriot' project was scheduled to be held a few months back, it had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organiser said, adding that necessary arrangements have been made to hold this press briefing according to the Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
Mangala's Radical Center!
"A vigorous reiteration of liberal values is the need of the hour; a 'Radical Center' committed to liberalism and centrist values based on democracy, freedom, equality and justice as the four pillared foundation for a just society,” Samaraweera said.
‘True Patriot’ aims for the creation of a radical centrist movement towards nation building, according to Samaraweera, who said it is “about creating a new political culture based on the value systems of Lord Buddha’s middle path to Mahatma Gandhi’s path of non-violence, from Nehru, Mandela to Obama.”
Samaraweera had introduced the objective of ‘True Patriot,’ which proposes to create a radical centre for nation building by releasing his first video for public discourse via the #truepatriot social media platforms last year.
The Middle Path ?
# The middle path or 'Radical Center' is based on the principles of democracy, freedom, equality and justice as the four pillared foundation for a just, caring and prosperous society.
# Although many may say that a radical center is a contradiction in terms, a radical recommitment to liberal democratic principles is an urgent necessity along with the courage of one's convictions even to wage a non violent struggle if and when necessary to protect and achieve these values.
# The Radical Center is a platform of moderation providing the silent majority to oppose and fight authoritarianism, racism and all other forms of extremism actively and vigorously.
# The 'Radical Center' entails the creation of a centrist middle way where dissenting voices and opinions from every part of the political spectrum would have a place within a democratic framework of decentralised governance.
# It is a system where diversity in all its manifestations is celebrated; the years of deep mistrust between the different communities must lose its sting within a non violent, democratic framework where pluralism and secularism flourish.
# The radical center should show the intolerant that those they hate are in fact, quite similar to themselves and have the same dreams and aspirations as well as the same fears and concerns as human beings.
# The radical center should be the point where all Sri Lankans can discover their common humanity going beyond the boundaries of race, creed and caste.
'Unite to protect democracy based on principles'
Samaraweera reiterated that all right thinking people across Sri Lanka must break their silence and unite to protect democracy based on principles.
"The tyranny of the few can only be defeated if the silent majority - the true patriots - wakes up from their somnambulist stupor to say 'enough is enough'," he said.
He observed that patriotism needs to be redefined to reflect the goals and aspirations of a modern Sri Lanka rejecting the feudal/tribal attitudes and 'big frog in a small well' mindset of the post '56 era.
"While celebrating the diversity and glory of our respective ancient cultures and religions, the new patriots of Sri Lanka - nationalistic and cosmopolitan - must unite to march hand in hand with the rest of the world towards freedom, happiness and prosperity," he added.