A peaceful call for democracy was observed at Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo on November 11 (Sunday) and the event received wide media attention. (Pic AFP)
- History reveals that past governments fancied the less affluent and the less educated
- One possible repercussion could be Sri Lanka being denied of the GSP Plus facility
- But so little was achieved and so much robbed during the Yahapalana regime
- Now Rajapaksa has been given ‘wings’ and is expected to carry Sirisena out of the woods
Sri Lanka is a country where its people have a huge capacity to tolerate the misdeeds of politicians. Right now we are witnessing another attempt at forming a new government through a snap election, scheduled for January 5. The majority of Sri Lankans who voted for the Yahapalana Government to be formed in 2015, are infuriated as much as the UNP due to the present developments in the political scene.
A peaceful call for democracy was observed at Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo on November 11 (Sunday) and the event received wide media attention. It seems that the elite, the educated and peace loving people of Sri Lanka have felt the pinch of the work of undemocratic forces in politics.
The man who earned the praise of a nation for standing up against the dictatorship of Mahinda Rajapaksa has now been reduced to someone who is incapable of administrating the country. In politics we see many ‘marriages’ and the one Sirisena entered into with Premier Wickremesinghe was a disaster. This is because of Wickremesinghe’s aristocratic ideas and the premier not giving Sirisena recognition and respect an executive president deserves. As Sirisena explained later the clash of cultures was unbearable.
In Sri Lanka we see two sects of people; the educated and the intelligent who would take the best out of any given situation and the not so educated who wish the government to do much for them. Sirisena represents the latter.
The country’s future is terms of moving forward or being stagnated lies in the hands of this latter group. The majority in this country have to depend on a stable Government. People sweat during the first 30 years of their lives and when they don’t get much benefits from the hard earned monies frustration sets in.
But there is another school of thought regarding the country moving forward. Take for an example the petrol formula during the Yahapalana Government. Each price revision that was made was beneficial to the Government, which meant its coffers were being strengthened. Hence there was more money to ease the debt burden of the country. But the majority of the people would want petrol at the lowest price having no regard to how such a move would affect the country. People need to understand that a prosperous country is not only one that doesn’t sell off its assets to foreign countries, but one that doesn’t allow its coffers to be drained by the people. The more uneducated people the country has the more money the government has to spend on them to nourish them or make them survive.
History reveals that past governments fancied the less affluent and the less educated. This is why seasoned politicians like Mahinda Rajapaksa take time to speak to ordinary citizens and occasionally picks up a child from the crowd, just to pull at the heartstrings of the people. Actions like these for Wickremesinghe were akin to putting a grown-up on a swing at the park. Politicians like Rajapaksa still know that a kind word or two with a stranger would win him a voter! This is one vital aspect in politics which Wickremsesinghe refused to see.
The downtrodden masses are only concerned about the fuel prices and cost of living. But the elite and business community are now on pins given that a concerned international community would initiate imposing sanctions on Sri Lanka. One possible repercussion could be Sri Lanka being denied of the GSP Plus facility in the future. The international community has denounced the manner in which Wickremesinghe was removed as Premier and the decision taken to prorogue parliament. In this backdrop the ambassadors of European Union countries together with Australia affirmed that Sri Lanka’s lawmakers should proceed with the vote of confidence when parliament reconvenes. But that will not be the focus now because the President has dissolved Parliament and called for snap elections, scheduled for January 5.
The wise people, who always wear their thinking caps, know that Sirisena dissolved Parliament because it was evident to him that his ally now, Mahinda Rajapaksa, might not muster the majority support within Parliament, when it is reconvened. Rajapkasa will not have the majority support within Parliament, but knows that he only has to step on to the road and produce that grin accompanied by waving hands and sure enough he will have the numbers to propel him back to a top slot in the Government. This could be the reason why he ended his relationship with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and took membership with the newly formed Sri Lanka Pudujana Peramuna (SLPP). Sources say that Rajapaksa is likely to contest the upcoming General Elections representing the SLPP.
On November 8 (Thursday) the 3rd death anniversary of Ven. Sobitha Thera was commemorated at New Town Hall. If we go down memory lane it was Ven. Sobitha Thera who played a major role in organising the National Movement for Social Justice and bringing Sirisena to power. That move was initiated because both the UPFA and UNP had failed by then to ensure good governance, despite having other achievements.
Sirisena looked a neutral person and the best bet to put the country on the right path, a few years after the war concluded in 2009. But so little was achieved and so much robbed during the Yahapalana regime with examples being the Central Bank Bond Issue and commencing work on the Central Express Highway without adhering to proper tender procedures.
All this points to one thing and that is Sri Lanka’s voters forced to see the same old faces of politicians popping up at each election, often aligning with a new party or alliance. Rajapaksa who was bad and ousted suddenly saw himself in the hot seat, thanks to Sirisena. Now Rajapaksa has been given ‘wings’ and is expected to carry Sirisena out of the woods in this crisis situation. In the future a Government possibly headed by Rajapaksa would see Sirisena being incorporated, in return for gratitude. Politicians know for sure how to maintain the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ tradition.
Sri Lankan voters will have to tolerate all this unless they learn to choose their representatives in parliament using their heads instead of their hearts! The islanders now have a golden opportunity to do so, come the General Elections in January.