‘Arab Springs’ and Sri Lankan ‘winters’ - EDITORIAL

23 November 2018 01:14 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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here is much talk about Sri Lanka succumbing to the efforts of the Western powers aimed at creating an ‘Arabian Spring’ like revolution in Sri Lanka. 
The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) at a recent press briefing stated that western powers are initiating a covert move to cause unrest in the country and thereby have succeeded in creating the present political impasse. 


This claim must be viewed with an open mind because the majority of Sri Lankans have this ‘anything from the westerner is bad for us’ attitude governing their thinking. The western countries closely associated with Sri Lanka maintained that the president must reconvene parliament. Let us not be hasty in throwing all what the west has to say into the dustbin and instead take a cue from the opinions they form about us. However we should also keep in mind that Western countries have a bad history of meddling in other countries leading to disastrous situations on most occasions. 


All ‘ambitious’ western nations could achieve little if the people of the country are united. Let the lawmakers fight each other and pursue their agendas, but not at the expense of the country’s future. More than the Western powers, it’s the selfish agendas of the politicians which leave this country exposed to the risk of interference by the other nations. 
President Maithripala Sirisena hastily sacked the incumbant Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and appointed Mahinda Rajapksa to fill this void. His dissolving of Parliament later led to much confusion, also attracting the attention of some of the world’s most powerful nations. 


The unsettled nature of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the message they now give by urging that diplomats should intervene and solve the crisis situation in the country make us understand that we Sri Lankans are doing all what ‘foreign hands’ wish to achieve; unsettle this beautiful island. 
A solution to the crisis does not seem to be in sight with the UNP claiming that they do not recognise this Government. The Cabinet’s decision taken to present a ‘Vote on Account’ to cover their expenses might hit a snag if the Sirisena-Rajapaksa Government does not have the majority to pass it. 


In this context it is wise for the UNP to support the ‘Vote on Account’ with the understanding that this caretaker Government goes for early elections next year. If not this tug-of-war between the Government and the opposition will only burden the people more and make their lives miserable; given that its year end and there are expenses to be incurred with regard to children and their education. Afterall it is the children who carry our future and the country’s most precious assets. 
The parties representing the minorities like the Tamil Progressive Alliance, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and All Ceylon Makkal Congress are closely monitoring the situation and will take decisions with one thing in mind, their communities. 


What makes it hard to fathom how deep the Sri Lankan crisis is when politicians like Bandula Goonawardene, who vociferously warned that Sri Lanka was a disaster economically, while occupying the backbenches in parliament, now say that there’s no debt service crisis in 2019. Goonawardene has cited Central Bank officials in making this statement. 


President Sirisena recently urged all heads of state institutes to cary out Government activities. This call probably came from Sirisena because the JVP was maintaining that there was no constitutionally elected Government, Cabinet nor Prime Minister and that state institutes should be careful when incurring expenses on the instructions of Cabinet ministers. 


We also saw several Sathyagrahas (Silent protests) being organised in Colombo in protest against the political agendas of President Sirisena and Premier Rajapaksa. 
Despite the political confusion and turmoil in Parliament there does not seem to be an ‘Arab Spring’ here as yet. It is only a Sri Lankan ‘winter’ here at the moment. 

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