Government’s chewing gum theory

30 October 2012 09:20 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Anyone who chews ‘chewing gum’ and those who witness it knows that it is not an act of any usefulness. However, there is no decrease in the sale of chewing gum. No matter how long it is chewed, it never fills anyone’s tummy. Chewing it continuously merely deceives the chewer as well as those that witness the act. Nevertheless, those who are addicted to the habit continue to chew it as chewing ‘gum’ is a personal choice and those who witness it do not take the habit seriously. However, when a government starts chewing ‘gum’ the scenario is not the same. The citizen not only has to witness the nonsensicality  but has to tolerate various other adversities.

Many in the Mahinda Rajapaksa government are chewing ‘gum’ these days. From Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to Ministers Wimal Weerawsansa, Champika Ranawaka belong to this category. The ‘gum’ they are chewing is the slogan to revoke the 13th Amendment which is also the call to abolish provincial councils. The process reflects the chewing ‘gum’ theory as those who repeat the slogan do not have any intention of revoking but need to show the masses that they are engaged in something. On the other hand all this clamouring against the 13th amendment is not because it has become a white elephant; nor is it because it moves the country towards separation. If the government had a genuine intention the 13th Amendment that had existed despite the disapproval of the masses for two-and-a-half decades should have been abolished a long time ago.   

 JR Jayewardene, whose hands were twisted by the Indian hegemony, signed the Indo-Lanka pact to establish the Provincial Councils system through the 13th Amendment in 1987 when the entire nation was opposing it.

The Amendment became a part of the Constitution through a 2/3rd majority vote in Parliament whose term had been extended through a so-called referendum. No other government was able to get this 2/3rd majority in Parliament until President Mahinda Rajapaksa established the current regime by marketing the military victory.  The masses have not forgotten how these ministers who raise the slogan to abolish Provincial Councils now had their lips tightly sealed then. The priority of the government at that moment was to consolidate more power using the 2/3rd majority. The 17th Amendment, that was adopted with the participation of all political parties, created a little scope for democracy through independent commissions; however, it was withdrawn. Instead, the 18th Amendment that abolished the independent commissions, concentrated all power in the hands of the President.

The board of slogans of abolishing provincial councils is fixed on two pillars. One is the obstruction Provincial Councils caused due to the delay in getting the ‘Divi Neguma’ bill passed in Parliament. The Supreme Court decided that approval from all Provincial Councils should be obtained to get the Bill passed in Parliament. A Provincial Council to the North has not been established yet and there are legal proceedings questioning the legality of getting approval from the Governor instead of the approval from a Provincial Council. The ‘Divi Neguma’ bill is a manoeouvre that gets all the funds of Samurdhi banks under the control of a member of the Rajapaksa family and the  government would not tolerate any obstruction to it.

The second pillar of objection for Provincial Councils is ‘patriotism.’ It is a very successful marketing gimmick of the Rajapaksa regime.  The so-called patriotic ministers create news by carrying out well fed ‘hunger strikes’ against a visit by the Human Rights Commissioner.

Now, as if they have suddenly woken up from a nightmare, media conferences, seminars and ‘mass operations’ are conducted regarding revoking of the 13th Amendment. Anyone studying all this could see a certain design. Every time the masses are immensely distressed the so-called patriotic slogans come to the arena.     
 The burden of state debt by July 2012 was Rs.6160 billion. During the period from January to July this has gone up by Rs.1000 billion. The loans obtained during the 2005 – 2012 period –during the present government’s term - is higher than the loans obtained during the 1948 – 2005 period. The economy of the country and the masses has been allowed to be managed according to the formulae of the IMF and the World Bank.  Trade unions are taking to the streets demanding an increase of Rs.13442.50. They also demand a reasonable increase to the salaries of all working masses.  

The daily increase in the prices of essential commodities and slashing of benefits and relief force the masses to tighten their belts.

As such, the government needs to give people something to chew on so that they would not ponder on the debacle they are being dragged to and the government that is responsible for the debacle. This is why chewing gum is needed. This is why slogans to abolish Provincial Councils are put up by the government that dissolves Provincial Councils before their term ends to call for elections.
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  • Namal Wednesday, 31 October 2012 05:09 AM

    good

    anthare pora Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:08 AM

    Chewing gums are not for filling the stomach....nonsense. That gives pleasure, food digestion, stress reliving etc. NOT for hunger. JVP kawadada chewing gum hepuwe?


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