Let it be GREEN-like in 60s, 70s!
- The disease, experts believe it would tail off during early June, partly because of social distancing and other restrictions, partly because of increased population immunity,
- We have four to five months to cover all arrears and bring country back to normalcy before Coronavirus decides on a comeback in the form of ‘COVID-20’ in December.
- Parliament, the missing pillar has to be restored without further delay because even if the old one is reconvened it only can function till September 2,
Last Saturday’sDaily Mirror on-line picture spoke a lot; Galle Face devoid of visitors—how it has taken a lush green colour as it was before 1970s. Will it, as the paper speculates, ‘Once the people are allowed to resume work from Monday even amidst curfew in Colombo, it is likely that the Galle Face Green will change its colour back to brown as it would be filled with visitors’?
The curfew imposed in Colombo for seven weeks, it stood as firm as ever; it was an eyesore for decades, COVID-19 had other ideas, the discoloration vanished bringing back the delightful, natural ‘green green grass’ that Tom Jones sought to lay his feet on and recorded in 60s…
‘Yes, they’ll all come to see me
In the shade of that old oak tree
As they lay me beneath the green, green grass of home.’
The green Mayoress Rosy, whose sense of beauty is unquestioned, should ensure by-laws are imposed to restrict use of this landmark green by leisure seekers, by marking large ‘no thoroughfare’ spaces and few more pathways.Will they transform it back into a ‘BROWN’?
She needs to take stringent measures with the politicians who would love to fill it with jokers and destroy the green. This green we enjoy amidst an epidemic, like running a nation minus one of the three pillars that a democratic state stands on: with no car permits, no Gamperaliyas, no ‘Highway’ or Bank robberies, have created panic among politicians; Constitution violated? Heading for autocracy, oligarchy,will lead to monarchy! We are without a legislature for more than three months at a stretch, for some Sri Lankans it is a blessing in disguise. Who will enact new laws? Who will authorize state expenditure? Who will control the treasury?
All the jugglery happened while that pillar stood bearing the daily cost of eight million rupees, and watching helplessly.
Donations and grants from rich nations will go into wrong hands like the Tsunami funds. [do they have a genuine fear?
How to resolve this? Bring back the old set; create mayhem, Executive and Legislator from two opposing political divisions and continue the past four and a half years of disorder, chaos and confusion? The only positive event of a summoning of old parliament would be as they now intend to, though kept hidden for obvious reasons,for a motion to nullify the nominations already submitted in March, and allow the United National Party factions put out of their minds the differences and unite temporarily. This will facilitate a reunification of opposition forces and face the forthcoming elections and gain a reasonable number of seats in the new Parliament, in the name of democracy is not a bad idea. The internal strife which has split the UNP into two compelled the feuding factions to submit two nomination lists. Undoubtedly, problem is not only for them but to other smaller parties who are depending on UNP to gain entry.
What they must do? Instead of creating unnecessary accusations; tell the truth to the man who is sure to listen, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has now cleared of all doubts, why his name has not appeared in the US’s quarterly publication of Federal Register that indicate the names of individuals who have chosen to renounce their US citizenship, because politics seem to have little relevance in his agenda.
The already tinkered 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka, by his early authors was molested by an unskillfully and clumsily drafted 19A, a makeshift arrangement hurried through parliament with the sole objective of transferring all the executive powers to the Prime Minister, with added hidden clauses on Citizenship issues aimed at not allowing a dual citizenship holder to run for the office of the President. He held his ground and said he rightfully renounced the dual-citizenship on April 17 last year, that he received the official document from the US State Department on April 26. In fact, Alaina B. Teplitz, the American Ambassador even said that the Federal Register could be months behind the actual recording of one’s renunciation of citizenship. President has been firm in stating that the previous Parliament will not be reconvened. The dissolved Parliament, the opposition says, can be recalled in an emergency situation, using Article 70(7) of the Constitution.
Will the President declare an emergency if there is no reason for him to do so? Only if an emergency situation arises that he should declare a state of emergency. But he can be flexible and concede to the demand perhaps the opposition is genuine in their intentions, or else the executive will remain stubborn, for he sees no such requirement.The opposition believes that, staff in the Elections Commissioner’s office as well as some District Secretaries would face logistical hindrances to hold successful elections on June 20, but they fail to make specific data in proof of the claim, have they interviewed the 25 or so DSs and an equal number of senior staff at ECs office?
Hold election before….?
The disease, experts believe it would tail off during early June, partly because of social distancing and other restrictions, partly because of increased population immunity, and partly because these sorts of epidemics likely to spread less readily in the end of the third month.
There will be some relaxation this week onwards. There is a possibility it may come back, by the end of year. June to November, we have four to five months to cover all arrears and bring country back to normalcy before Coronavirus decides on a comeback in the form of ‘COVID-20’ in December. Parliament, the missing pillar has to be restored without further delay because even if the old one is reconvened it only can function till September 2, and without President’s proclamation will stand dissolved on completion of the five-year term.
The present strategy in engaging the virus at a very low level, relaxing restrictions and fighting the remaining cases through consistent contact tracing using intelligence network, testing, isolation, and precision quarantine regions, handled far better than most other countries including the developed ones with more advanced healthcare systems. We have done it exclusive of major lockdowns.
Now for the next stage, back to work immediately, and to the polling booth, perhaps in July? Newly elected to Diyawanna and the rest to old venue opposite Galle Face; and let the green remain green to welcome them, as wished by award winning J. Vijayatunga in his 1970’s; ‘Grass for my Feet’
- We are without a legislature for more than three months at a stretch, for some Sri Lankans it is a blessing in disguise