Sri Lanka’s ousted Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe talks with party deputy leader Sajith Premadasa inside the parliament at a news conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 14, 2018. REUTERS
The victory that the grieved petitioners were handed by the Supreme Court ruling regarding the dissolution of Parliament was akin to the end in most movie scripts; the good triumphing over the bad.
It seems the efforts of the democratic forces during the past few days haven’t been in vain. But like walking out of a movie theatre and stepping into reality again, we now have to fathom that we have three difficult customers to deal with; Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa. This in fact is the bitter reality.
- The present court ruling gives some respite to Sri Lanka
- the democratic forces who are working overtime do believe in a ‘Sri Lankan Summer’
- People in the country have the habit of shelving their good-naturedness and taking on a confrontational attitude when the topic switches to politics
- Those who love democracy and fair play can’t relax now and must double their efforts
The problem with the three is that they are power hungry and love themselves more than the country. Another common characteristic about the trio is that they have been the least influenced by the opinions of others. In other words they have to take responsibility for the positions they have put themselves into in the field of politics. Right now it’s only Rajapaksa who has some future in politics (Going purely on the people’s acceptance of him). Wickremesinghe and Sirisena have proven beyond doubt that they are spent forces in politics. But Rajapaksa’s ruthless past and the negativity with which the outside world looks at this man makes it real hard for him to have the same clout he had during past elections.
The present court ruling gives some respite to Sri Lanka because the recent developments indicated that the nation was slowly moving towards becoming a ‘pariah’ state. As many as eight Western diplomats shunning a scheduled meeting with the Dr.Sarath Amunugama a few days ago underscores that the international community wasn’t in favour of Parliament being dissolved in an undemocratic manner.
‘Lawyers for Democracy’
A lawyers collective operating by the name ‘Lawyers for Democracy’ voiced the biggest warning and stated that qualities of a civilised country in loving democracy, basic law, sovereignty of the people and decency in governance have been showed in the gutter. This they said was due to the dissolution of Parliament by undemocratic means.
What’s alarming is that a nation that lit crackers and served milk rice on the streets to celebrate the dissolving of Parliament and appointing Rajapaksa after sacking Wickremesinghe as Premier didn’t show enough enthusiasm to welcome this historic court ruling. It seems that a good number of the county’s citizens find it hard to understand that the rule of the law is the only hope when politicians bungle after assuming power, thanks to the people’s votes. UNP Leader Wickremesinghe was quick to point out that ‘one can’t play around with the Constitution’ adding ‘the president is not above the law’.
The people in this country start believing when someone goes on repeating untrue information like a mantra. It’s alarming as well to note that people are quick to comment on untrue facts appearing on social media, without bothering to verify the content. Politics often takes centre stage and one can observe the fantasy worlds they live in, believing their favourites would rule the island when in reality they don’t have half a chance nor the legal clearance to be granted nomination at elections.
But on the other hand the democratic forces who are working overtime do believe in a ‘Sri Lankan Summer’ saying hello soon despite it being a cold November that we are at present experiencing.
There is much talk within the UNP that it is mulling over the prospects of appointing of a new leader. Sajith Premadasa’s name has come up at several forums as the possible candidate for the party leadership. Political analysts point out that the only avenue for this opening up is if Wickremesinghe moves away and assumes a consultancy role in the party, paving the way for the next generation of UNPers to take over and contribute to the decision making process. But nothing of that sort could have been even dreamed of if not for the staunch efforts of Karu Jayasuriya who maintained that he was compelled to accept the status quo prior to October 26. The same must be said about the Asgiriya and Malwatte Chapters of the Buddha Shasana in Sri Lanka who have maintained a stark silence regarding the dissolution of Parliament and the appointing of a new premier. This silence could be interpreted as their dissatisfaction regarding the new turn of events in politics under the Sirisena-Rajapaksa ‘alliance’.
Regardless of what opinions patriotic people of this country express, the internationals community is fully behind Wickremesinghe. This (The outside world) is a force and must be considered as a force to be reckoned with. If Sri Lanka doesn’t revert back to a democratic way in which it governs the country, the international community imposing sanctions on Sri Lanka is not far away.
People in the country have the habit of shelving their good-naturedness and taking on a confrontational attitude when the topic switches to politics. This is a subject where people would go to any extremes in order to defend their views. So much hate is spread on social media during arguments about whether Sirisena did the right thing dissolving parliament. For some people dissolving Parliament, having an election and electing an efficient Government is above the law and democracy. For them Wickremesinghe stating that ‘the court ruling in favour of the people’s franchise was a victory for decent politics’ amounts to rubbish.
Those who love democracy and fair play can’t relax now and must double their efforts. They can’t be caught napping. Those who rule the island now have the habit of springing surprises on the people. The forces behind the Sirisena-Rajapaksa duo have vowed that they await the Supreme Court ruling on December 7 and add that they would fight hard to go for elections.
December marks the arrival of the festive season. That much looked forward to month is just days away. But what’s happening now has made the political environment rather unpleasant. The tussle between the good and the bad has never been so decisive for the islanders. Sri Lanka’s democratic forces are screaming for ‘spring time’ despite the present environment we live in making us bitterly cold!