The heavy debates regarding the present political crisis in the country continue on social media, especially on Facebook, leaving the country at large rather peaceful. At present there is no prime minister, government ministers and a Cabinet, but with only a president in office this nation continues to function; giving hiccups to the outside world which has been critical of the present political situation in Sri Lanka.
When it comes to facing crises there is something about Sri Lanka. The islanders have some inner ability to bounce back after a fall, largely when the crisis is associated with a natural disaster. But the man-made disasters often take quite some time to be settled; the best example being the war against Tiger rebels which was finally finished off after a struggle which lasted for almost three -decades.
We have negotiated well the effects of world recession and the often occurring floods, but we mustn’t get cocky. This time a ‘tsunami’ erupted in parliament due to a faulty Constitution and the high handed acts of the Executive. Now the country is worried about a 2019 Budget that must be presented and passed in parliament.
- Despite the political stalemate President Sirisena carries on functioning as if not bothered by the fact that the ‘state establishment’ is severely jolted
- Sirisena has said that there is no disruption or violence in the country because the people are nurtured by the Buddhist culture
- He has said that the media has played the issue up as a crisis. Sirisena has added that the present political issue isn’t a serious matter in his opinion
- But the JVP claims that the president is taking the credit for the positives of the 19th A and passes the buck on its negatives to the others
- We are a nation that appoints the most unsuitable representatives to Parliament and then tolerate their nonsense
- We are only short of ‘bad’ politicians who would not know how to fatten their purses if they were given an opportunity to serve the people
A Government needs finances to function. The present impasse and court cases indicate that a solution to the stalemate would be delayed before it finally arrives. Parliamentarian Dr. Harsha de Silva warned that an economic crisis is in the offing. De Silva says that the president has no power to control state finances. He adds that the president is not vested with the power to spend finances for the four months starting January. There is another impending danger of Sri Lanka’s financial mess being dragged to a further low if the Supreme Court judgement on the dissolution of parliament is not delivered by December 14. This is because the ‘Court Vacation’ commences after this Friday (December 14) and continues till early January.
Despite the political stalemate President Sirisena carries on functioning as if not bothered by the fact that the ‘state establishment’ is severely jolted. He has praised the people of the country for the peace that prevails. Sirisena has said that there is no disruption or violence in the country because the people are nurtured by the Buddhist culture. He has also acknowledged the contribution by all religions to the moral conduct of the citizenry as a whole. Sirisena also knows or believes that the political impasse will not create bloodshed on the streets; akin to some Middle Eastern nations. The biggest critics of the Government have been Britain, Japan and the USA.
But Sirisena maintains that the foreign nations remain friends of Sri Lanka. He has said that the media has played the issue up as a crisis. Sirisena has added that the present political issue isn’t a serious matter in his opinion. But the British Government has maintained that it is extremely concerned about Sri Lanka’s current political situation which is causing great damage to the country, both politically and economically.
positive piece of legislation
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed during the Yahapalana regime with Sirisena as the president. The amendment annulled the powers the president had to dissolve parliament anytime; a privilege the the 18th Amendment gave the president. But the president went back on the promise which he gave the people regarding this clause by dissolving parliament before the stipulated four and a half years finished. Naturally the president has been labelled as a man full of contradictions.
Sirisena has maintained that the 19th is a positive piece of legislation. The president has said that the 19th strengthens democratic institutions, upholds human rights and ensures judicial independence. But the JVP claims that the president is taking the credit for the positives of the 19th A and passes the buck on its negatives to the others.
President Sirisena vowed to restore the present political crisis within a week., but has later said that he would wait for the Supreme Court decision on the case filed against his order to dissolve parliament. Now we see a woman filling a petition in court seeking a court order to examine the president’s state of mind.
Given all what the president is saying and doing the country’s citizenry is awaits patiently to see what he’d do next. This is because there is only Sirisena that they have to deal with given that there are no other members forming the lawmakers’ collective; which under a normal circumstance we’d call the Cabinet. For the record this situation arose following a court order banning the members of the Sirisena-Rajapaksa Government from functioning in their capacities as ministers.
We are a nation that appoints the most unsuitable representatives to Parliament and then tolerate their nonsense. We voted for this president and can now only grieve due to the position he has put us in. The president has the gumption to tell the media that there is no violence in the country because ‘the people have put the country before self’. Isn’t this a virtue that all government ministers should adopt in their thinking?
We are not short of food, drinking water and fuel apart from the cold environment in December to comfort us during this crisis. We are only short of ‘bad’ politicians who would not know how to fatten their purses if they were given an opportunity to serve the people.
As the political tug-of-war continues we have no other option but to grit our teeth and and watch....but for how long?