Govt’s PR skills can’t fill empty stomachs
- Tharaka Deshabimana Nanayakkare -
Attorney-at-Law, Tharaka Deshabimana Nanayakkara is contesting the upcoming Southern Provincial Council elections from the United National Party (UNP). Being the son of former Parliamentarian Hemakumara Nanayakkara, he hails from a deep rooted political background. He told Daily Mirror that he decided to join politics in order to fight against the unruliness existing in the country.
Q: What made you join politics? Was it a decision made in a hurry?
Joining politics was not a quick decision. I have been practising as a lawyer for the past six years. With the existing oppression and interference with the judiciary--which is the only institution people have to seek justice-- I decided to fight against this. As a young man, I must raise my voice against this situation. Since I have faith in the UNP, I decided to join it and start my political journey.
Q: At one point, your father supported the UPFA and later on he left the government. Now he seems to be an ally of the UNP. Why did you choose UNP amidst all these issues and do you think it’s a wise decision?
My father joined the government not for any personal gains. He joined in order to support the government to eradicate terrorism. He is with the UNP now because he is dismayed with the existing system.
I consider joining UNP as a wise decision. Any party in the Opposition has issues. Even SLFP, when in the opposition had issues. Being in the Opposition is a struggle and not a bed of roses. But I chose it because that is the best way to fight against the existing injustices.
Q: There seem to be a trend where many members of the Opposition join the government as your father did. Would you consider joining the government if you are invited?
Certainly not. As I said earlier, my father did not join the government for any personal gain. I joined the UNP even at a stage where it is not strong because it is the only way we can fight against the current corruption and many injustices. I know that the UNP will come to power in the near future. But even if the UNP has to stay in the Opposition for twenty more years, I will remain with the party and will never leave.
Q: If you are elected what are the plans you have?
As a member of the new generation, I can see that there is no proper set-up for the advancement of the youth of the country. There is no policy for such purposes. What we have is only a showoff set-up. I want to work for the empowerment of the youth. As an attorney- at-law, I would work to save the country from this sad state of affairs. I would work tirelessly to restore justice and equality in the country.
Q: What is your opinion with regard to the allegations levelled against Sri Lanka on human rights violations?
As a son of a patriotic father, I have to say all these issues arose because of the way the government handled the International community. There seem to be an issue with regard to their foreign policy. Look at the countries our government has most connections? They are either autocratic or morally unacceptable. We can not be happy about the way the government conduct s relations with the rest of the world.
It is time to implement the recommendations given in the LLRC. The document was made by the government bodies and they themselves have failed to carry out their recommendations. There would not be any issue if it was granted by a foreign body. Their failure in implementing these recommendations has caused issues. It is time to implement these recommendations. If they can not comply with their own recommendations, we have nothing to talk beyond that. Also, time has come to carry out a better structured and focused foreign policy.
Q: What is your opinion about the ongoing development activities of the government?
I believe any government is under obligation to carry out development projects. The past governments also carried out such projects. But what is going on is not development. This government has miserably failed to identify the needs of the people. What they do is just beautification. They use money raised through commercial loans to boost their image and to cater to the inferiority complex of some people. There seems to be no productivity. The so-called development is only beautification.
Q: The UNP is in the opposition for 17 years. Do you think that the UNP will come to power, and do you think the UNP can counter the government’s strong PR skills?
The UNP will be in power very soon. People are discontented with the present regime. People are suffering from hunger. This is not a situation which we had ever seen before. Today it has come to a situation where people have to beg for food. PR cannot answer the empty stomachs. The government’s actual focus is on making money than serving the people. People can not be fooled everyday. Also it must be noted that the UNP was in power in 2001. The sole reason for the collapse of that government was the SLFP’s union with the JVP. They knew that they could not fight against the UNP without another force. In 2001, the UNP lifted the economy to a significantly robust level. Today, the economy is in deep trouble and the people can’t make ends meet.
Considering these factors, I can say that in the near future, the UNP will come to power. This is just a provincial election. But its results will show the emergence of the UNP as the next government.