Presidential Elections When heroism defeats reason and logic

25 July 2019 12:23 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe inspects progress during a visit to the construction site of the Chinese-funded Port City

The resources that Sri Lanka has can make any other country envy this island. From the beautiful beaches that can help promote tourism to the scenic views that a tourist can enjoy of the mountains in the central hills, Sri Lanka has much to offer as a tourist destination. 

But those lovely reviews written about Sri Lanka could be soured once stepping on the island. Right now the lawmakers are under fire for bringing to the country clinical waste. Provisions to bring in waste from other countries were made through amendments made to the Monetary Act which in turn made changes to other acts which would now not affect the import of certain items to the country. Also the changing of some ports to free ports and renaming of the free trade zone as bonded zones have allowed the importation of waste to the country.


  • Provisions to bring in waste from other countries were made through amendments made to the Monetary Act 
  • The 71 years after receiving independence from the British have been spent on a power struggle
  • The present Government has survived at the expense of the people
  • In a Machiavellian manner he brought the 19th Amendment to strengthen the portfolio of the Premier

Both the present government and the Rajapaksa regime were accused of making agreements with other countries which aren’t beneficial to the islanders. The 71 years after receiving independence from the British have been spent on a power struggle by two political parties at the expense of developing the nation. 

Now we are entertaining the thoughts of elections again without much hope that any of the parties would field a formidable candidate whom we could all relate to from a voter’s point of view. The next leader of the country should have enough qualifications and the skill to pull this nation out of the debt trap in which it is caught in.

We hear that the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) is painting a beautiful picture about the future of Sri Lanka, if the party assumes power. There is much talk about former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa being the likely candidate from the Pohottuwa Party. SLPP Chairman GL Peiris has said that ‘the only yardstick with regard to the party’s election candidate is that he should have the ability to win an election’. He has added that things like sharing perks should be secondary. Given the financial situation of the country we should be seeing parties suggesting names of individuals who could pull the nation out of this present debt trap. That should be the supreme most qualification of any presidential candidate representing any party. 

Given the financial situation we should see parties suggesting individuals who could pull the nation out of this present debt trap

Very recently we read in the newspapers that as much as rupees 120 million is spent on providing meals to lawmakers who attend parliament sessions. Another staggering 80 million is spent on electricity while 14.5 million is spent on telephone calls. All these finances are raised through tax payers’ monies and in the end what has happened is that ‘the well-fed lawmakers have chocked the nation with their excessive spending. 

The present Government has survived at the expense of the people. The UNP Leader has held on to power both in parliament and within the Green Party. In a Machiavellian manner he brought the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to strengthen the portfolio of the Premier. He also proposed the Foreign Exchange Bill and it was passed in parliament in 2017. Critics argue that the bill would give much control of financial matters to the Finance Minister which invariably strengthens the resolve of the Prime Minister regarding state expenditure. 

Elections

Wickremesinhe during the last two parliamentary elections fought his battles through a third party or a neutral candidate. Political analysts have pointed out that both Ranil and Mahinda hunt in pairs, this is from a political point of view. There is a perception among many that Mahinda always worked for the welfare of Ranil and fancied having the Green Man as his opponent at elections. This could be one reason why Ranil recently proposed purchasing a bullet-proof vehicle for Mahinda, largely because he was serving in the capacity of Opposition Leader. Critics also point out that the absence of both Mahinda and Ranil from their positions of power and influence on the nation would change the political landscape of the country. Such a change would also usher in a new political ideology. 

Last Sunday marked the 3rd month remembrance of those who perished due to the Easter Sunday bomb blasts. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, who conducted a special ceremony to mark the re-opening of the St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya in Negombo, delivered a sermon which helped heal the mental wounds of those whose lives were shattered due to the bombings. He also didn’t forget to send a strong message to the Government. The Cardinal said that the people had no faith in the regime regarding the probes that are being carried out to find those who were responsible in failing to avert the attacks. This government has failed to value human lives. This was confirmed by the fact that the authorities showed a lukewarm interest in following leads which warned of the possible attacks. Now the government is trying to win back the confidence of the people by compensating blast victims with money. According to media reports RS 12.35 million has been paid to victims so far. 

This government has failed to value human lives. This was confirmed by the fact that the authorities showed a lukewarm interest in following leads which warned of the possible attacks

It’s in this backdrop that the UNF government is preparing to retain power with the elections just around the corner. The cold war between Wickremesinghe and Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa is at a boiling point with the party’s veteran leader hinting that he is not willing to part with the baton which continues to put him in charge. 

The final effect is that the party’s second string leadership has been kept in cold storage. 

A similar problem affects the Rajapaksas because Mahinda doesn’t wish to see the control of the party going out of the hands of the family clan. 

In the past Mahinda always worked for the welfare of Ranil and fancied having the Green Man as his opponent at elections

The greed for power has seen no end and much of the voters are blind to this fact. This is politics in Sri Lanka; a social and cultural phenomena. Finding the ideal individual to lead the country is based on religion and heroism and here logic and reasoning unfortunately don’t apply.  

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