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NO CONFIDENCE MOTION: On whom should we place our confidence?

9 April 2018 12:02 am - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The 3rd no confidence motion in the Sri Lankan legislature ended up with the Prime Minister winning , perhaps the most difficult obstacle in his political life. In that sense it was a numbing defeat for the Joint Opposition, an embarrassing situation for the President and a temporary respite for the UNP leadership. 
The political fall out of the whole episode is yet to be seen and it is doubtless that  the repercussions will be felt across the divide.

Any one watching the no confidence debate on TV would have been entertained to the mudslinging between the battling groups.  A foreigner who would have listened to the accusations and the cross accusations that were bandied about by those supporting and opposing the motion, would have wondered whether it is one of those underground meetings of the underworld syndicate. Such were the allegations raised.

 

"The result aside , the citizen of this country is left with the dilemma as to what direction he should turn to entrust the sovereignty that is vested on him in terms of Article 3 of the Constitution"


Dilemma of the people

The result aside , the citizen of this country is left with the dilemma as to what direction he should turn to entrust the sovereignty that is vested on him in terms of Article 3 of the Constitution. The confidence, motion or no motion, that should be with the representatives of the people, is in smithereens, going by what is clear as daylight. 70 years of representative democracy has come down to this. The Pot calling the kettle black.
Theft, misuse, corruption seems to be the main allegations that all politicians are being accused of. When one side cries foul over Central Bank Bond scam or the Central expressway deals, they are countered with Greek Bonds, Hedging, Avant Garde and sil clothes!
 A thing the Leader of the JVP said during the debate on the no confidence motion seems highly thought provoking. In joining the debate in support of the motion, it was mainly for the non action  in dealing with corrupt politicians of the previous regime and taking steps to shield them from law enforcement, he and his colleagues supported the motion.  According to him the no confidence motion not only questions the Prime Minister, the UNP or the Coalition government , it also casts doubt on the good governance movement. It brings to disrepute the mandate of the January 8 Rainbow revolution; it negates all the forces who banded together to remove a despotic and nepotist regime; it dilutes the hard fought for ideals of the civil society groups and the courage shown by the voters who weathered all odds in ushering in a new era. So it is clear that those who are guilty of past crimes as well as present transgressions are relying on the ruling ring to be shielded from the hands of the law.

 

"It was repeatedly said that 94 members of Parliament were without Ordinary Level qualifications!"


A blessing in disguise?

According to  the UNP backbenchers the seemingly ominous  hurdle is a blessing in disguise as it had united hitherto conflicting sections in the party.  According to others it was a waste of a lot of national resources to have such a long parliamentary session with all the attendant costs. But in a way it was a no confidence against the entire representative democracy, the party politics and entire mode of governance. The CID, FCID and Commission Inquiries that were thrown about in the Parliament involves majority of the members of the legislature who represent people at the highest place. 

 

"The Prime Minister may have escaped unhurt from the no confidence; in fact he might be invigorated by the outcome given that the rivals used all their might to dismantle his regime yet fell short"


What is the alternative?

Very few members of the Parliament could boast of moral uprightness and integrity; the only thing they can resort in the face of allegations against them is to make counter allegations against the rivals. Yet they find it relatively easy to get re-elected at elections and come to this august assembly. 
The political , social, economic and moral quagmire that Sri Lanka is in cannot be solved either by supporting or opposing the no confidence against the PM. Even if the Joint Opposition was successful who would replace him and what will be the inner circle that supports him? Do they inspire public confidence.? Was not the entire farce that was played out before the whole nation , an indictment against the system of governance that we have been under in the last 40 odd years, at least? To whom and to what group shall we turn to do our bid in governance?
It was repeatedly said that 94 members of Parliament were without Ordinary Level qualifications! The capacity of many of the members sitting in Parliament to represent the sovereign legislative power of the people is highly questionable. 
The Prime Minister may have escaped unhurt from the no confidence; in fact he might be invigorated by the outcome given that the rivals used all their might to dismantle his regime yet fell short. But do the 6.2 million citizens who brought him and the yahapalana government , equally feel overjoyed by the result? I hardly think so. Unless the backbenchers hold their leaders to the promises they seemed to have made to the party at the last moment and unless the members of the SLFP who stand for the good governance principles that made them embark on this difficult journey of a coalition government manage to overcome those elements who hark back to days of old, there is very little for the people to be confident of.

 

"Very few members of the Parliament could boast of moral uprightness and integrity; the only thing they can resort in the face of allegations against them is to make counter allegations against the rivals"


Good governance is people’s right

Good governance is not something that the PM or President own; neither are they the prerogative of the governing coalition. It is the right  of the people; they have not contracted with the state to be governed in any manner. They have the right to demand good governance from any leader or ruler who comes to power. People who are sovereign cannot be governed otherwise but in a good manner. 
The motive of the proponents of the no confidence motion was allegedly to question the legitimacy and the credibility of a Prime Minister who was involved in the Bond scam by action and by inaction. The reason why the UNP and parties supporting it came to his rescue was on the basis that he was being a scapegoat for a bigger political game. Neither party seem to show a genuine eagerness to rid this country of the corrupt culture that ails this body politic. For one it is a means to coming back to power while for the others it is a threat to the bid to remain in power. The only principled decision in the entire legislature with regard to the motion seems to be that of the JVP. Accordingly  the picture is so bleak as on both sides are rogues and whether the PM lost or won , the result would have been the corrupt people being in power. 
The shockwaves of  the no confidence motion and the debate and hype that preceded it will fade away in a week or two. Whether the so called new direction the UNP pledged in terms of its good governance mandate will come out to something tangibly salutary in terms of the political culture is yet to be seen. On the other hand whether any success that JO might have from the motion coupled with their win at the LG elections is to be used for genuine ridding of the corrupt from body politic is highly debatable, if not utterly impossible.
The people have lost their confidence in them all!!

  Comments - 2

  • Janaya Monday, 09 April 2018 09:07 AM

    Simple. The JO? I have confidence that they will take our country to paradise in the near future, something not even the gods have been able to do.

    dickie bird Monday, 09 April 2018 08:36 PM

    On the guys who sold their VOTE and betrayed the country.


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