While the new government led by President Maithripala Sirisena is being blamed for not implementing or being behind schedule regarding its election promises, it has advanced the implementation of one of the promises by almost a month. The National Government that was formed by the President with the inclusion of more SLFP parliamentarians in the Cabinet was expected after the much-hyped general elections scheduled for next month, according to the 100 day-programme of the Maithripala Government.
A unique situation has now emerged after the formation of this National Government. It is interesting to note that the President, the opposition leader and nearly 50% of the portfolios are held by SLFPers while the Prime Minister and the rest of the other portfolios are held by UNPers. Although both parties claim to hold different polices on almost all major issues, it appears that without a visible agreement on policies or a discussion on these matters,
the two main political parties were able to form a national government.
Some of the SLFP leaders who had during the presidential election campaign accused the President and the Prime Minister of conspiring to sell the country to the West and Tamil separatists are now working under the same “conspirators” with glee. On the other hand, the President and the UNP leaders who were so eager to free the country from the “robbers” in the SLFP and the UPFA led by the Rajapaksa family have seemingly welcomed into their fold those “robbers” some of whom were even questioned by the police under the new government’s anti-corruption campaign.
This is one of the best lessons to be learnt by Sri Lankans who unhesitatingly kill each other and destroy each others’ properties on behalf of their political parties, not to be misled by their so-called political leaders whose selfish strategies are of little or no use to their supporters.
Some analysts question the need to form a national government at a time when there is no national crisis or disaster. Even former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had said on Sunday that the people laughed at him when he spoke of such a government to overcome the crisis situation faced by the country during the armed conflict. However, going by the situation that prevailed during the past regime some analysts describe the executive presidential system of governance as a constitutional disaster or a national crisis.
It was a time when dissension was considered a qualification to be taken away by the “dreaded” white van and never return. The security provided to war veterans like Janaka Perera and Lucky Algama who joined the then opposition UNP were minimized, citing “security assessments” to such a reduced level that LTTE suicide bombers were able to penetrate through and blast them to pieces. It was the time when the very person who successfully spearheaded the war against the LTTE and brought the disastrous thirty-year war to an end was cashiered and deprived of even his pension and hard-earned medals, while the man who held the mantle of the terror outfit leader after the death of its dreaded leader and supplied it with lethal hardware for some thirty years helping to kill tens of thousands of people and maim an equal number was roaming free.
It was at that time that one family was handling 80 per cent of the economy with fraud and corruption being the order of the day and when the Chief Justice who gave a ruling that was not acceptable to the rulers was unceremoniously sent home. All in all, it was and is a disastrous situation that has to be remedied by a collective effort by all Sri Lankans.
However, if the National Government did not abolish the disastrous aspects of the executive presidency the remedy would definitely turn to be another malady, the national government itself would not only be a tool to defend the “robbers” of the past regime, as the JVP point out, but also a device to plunder the economy without any opposition.