FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL

To say that Sri Lanka is at the crossroads (yet another) in so far as the political landscape is concerned is obviously an under-statement. The people of Sri Lanka have been deceived by its politicians especially those that they the people placed in parliament. The deception has continued throughout much of their tenure in this parliament. It is at least twenty months in the waiting – we of course refer to the non-holding of Provincial Council elections.

The so-called Yahapalanaya government have turned out to be an absolute disgrace. There simply is no other way of putting it.

This government for all their assurances have proved adept at fiscal mismanagement. The economy is in a shambles and that was long before one Zahran and Co wreaked their brand of sick havoc on the people.

In spite of Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy’s constant pronouncements on the growth figures he knows – but dare not say it publicly – that the growth figures are a shambles too. Officially he once upon a time said it was 6% then he said it was 4% now he says it is more like 3%. It is probably down to below 2%.

What is the point of his pronouncements? The Central Bank has a habit since 2015 of changing its figures saying that they do so when the Department of Census and Statistics updates their figures.

This is nothing better than tosh. The people know if the economy is growing. They know when they have money leftover after paying for accommodation, food and transport. They know. They do not need any Governor or Treasury Secretary or purported Finance Minister to tell them how pretty damn good the economy is in.

Consider the case of Venush. Young, bright and with a plan. Earns 35,000 a month. It costs him 4,000 for a bed space in a rental room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner costs him 15,000, classes cost him 6,000, transport 3,000. He can send his mother 5,000 leaving him 2,000 for his personal use including mobile phone, data, clothing, grooming etc. If he goes home it will add another 700 for return transportation. It is clear that this is not the quality of life the future of our country is looking forward to. Once again and almost sadly these youth, our future are actively considering a future abroad. Where will Sri Lanka head towards?

In terms of national security the Prime Minister will have us all believe that he has achieved a near magical solution. According to this seasoned politician 98% of the problem is eradicated (nearly 3 months since Black Easter) and ‘only’ 2% to return to ‘normalcy’. The Premier must be spectacularly under-informed or is attempting to paint a rosy picture. His virtual fan club of western nations including the European Union eagerly await his re-election presumably so he can deliver upon various matters that fit in nicely with a foreign agenda. This agenda includes the rewriting of the Constitution, the potential to sign a Visiting Forces Agreement (also referred to as SOFA) with the USA and the granting of devolution to some parts of Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister visiting Jaffna recently stated he needed a further two years so he can give the North devolution. Does he really believe that the people of that area are so naive that they will believe that what he has been unable or unwilling to deliver within the last four and one half years will be delivered within two years?

Is it devolution that is most important for the people of that area or is it a host of other matters like the return of land, the payment of compensation where land cannot be returned (occupied by military and  security) and the provision of homes for some 65,000 plus families needing homes? The people of the former conflict areas need opportunities in terms of jobs, education, medical apart from the provision of water, waste disposal and other basic infrastructure projects.

The Prime Minister has delivered next to nothing but now – almost tongue in cheek – confidently says that he needs two more years to give the people devolution.

Not only the northern citizenry but the rest of the citizenry across our land are unlikely to pay much heed to a man who promised an equitable life style for all, an end to corruption, nepotism and family dandyism only to deliver anything other than what his yahapalanaya government promised?

His attitude as our youth will say, ‘sucks’. Having failed to get his own majority and having been afraid to contest the presidency against Mahinda Rajapaksa, he has been spectacularly dismissive of the President and has tried everything in the ‘book’ to sideline and relegate the President to the sidelines. In the process he has thrown caution to the nearest dustbin and gambled with the peace we had in Sri Lanka for nearly ten years.

Two million new voters will enter the voting ranks and these new voters will not wish to hear the same old tosh that Wickremesinghe has been putting forth for the past four and one half years. They will recognise that Wickremesinghe is fighting for survival. To cling on to power not for anything but merely to continue with the trappings of power. As much as cocaine and heroin and other hard drugs has fuelled the addiction in Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe has – over the past twenty five years as leader of the UNP – become addicted to power.

The youthful voters of this nation are unlikely to take in the tosh. They will compare the scorecard of President Sirisena against that of Wickremesinghe. They will recognise that despite his near zero popularity Sirisena has done more for democracy and transparency than any of his peers in government today. Yes he is a proud member of the grama sevaka ranks and is looked down upon by Wickremesinghe and his Colombo hoi polloi but the facts speak for themselves.

Take a cue from what our Attorney General is doing. He has fast tracked cold cases like none before him. The bond scammers, the IGP, the former Defense Secretary, Secretaries, Police officers, alleged murderers and those complicit in unlawful killings (read Thajudeen) have all found that the proverbial net is closing in on them.

Dappula De Livera much like that wonderful straight talking former Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe, are acting and conducting themselves like what the people expect. Delivering results that will eventually be the bedrock of a better, vibrant and happy Sri Lanka. They are not fighting for survival. They are truly fighting to deliver real results. God bless them.

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