SRI LANKA’S POLITICAL CROSSROADS

 

The independent nation of Sri Lanka will find itself voting in at least three different platforms within months, not too distant into the future. Apparently nearly two million new voters will be joining the voting ranks this time round.

 

Time perhaps to take stock. Firstly, the provincial council elections are nearly two years overdue. By a cruel twist of a robust democracy to which the country aspires to, it is parliament that has held up the holding of the provincial council elections. In parliament it is none other than the near wizard of oz, Ranil Wickremesingeh who holds sway replete with support from the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who has perhaps not unkindly been described as the most partisan Speaker since independence in 1948.

 

There can be little doubt that the government is fighting shy of giving the nod for the holding of provincial elections. The same government that were dealt a thunderous and resounding NO at the last local government polls. The results then showed an almost astonishing support for the man who had been voted out of office in favour of President Sirisena. And that with a brand new political party.

 

The government used all sorts of excuses mostly legal to postpone elections and it may well be best said that legal eagle Faizer Mustapha had possibly exhausted all of his rabbits and eventually voted against the motion even if he had presented the bill himself!

 

The President has found out perhaps a tad too late that the Prime Minister is no match for him when it comes to political survival even if the PM appears to have become a bit of a desperate salesman by promising the people of the North autonomy almost obviously as a measure of thanks to the Tamil National Alliance for their support required to keep the PM in office. Not once but two votes of confidence.

 

The galling agony of it all is that the Prime Minister is ‘styling it out’. He makes no mention of the fact that the Police knew about the potential terrorism of Easter 2019 as early as January 2019.

 

It begs the question if the Indian RAW people merely reported in April what the Sri Lankan intelligence knew in January.

 

It is best that the authorities investigate thoroughly the entire scenario before giving out dismembered bits of information – rather like the Saudi Arabians and their unfortunate journalist Jamal Kashoggi.

 

The government has shamelessly hidden away a real investigation into the central bank bond scam. What is even more galling is that quite sane, ordinary but long term UNP supporters still believe that the PM should not be held culpable. In any other democracy even a pretend one perhaps, the people will be rational enough to ask why the PM changed – by his admission he insisted – a system of issuing bonds that had been in place since 1996. The system that the previous Auditor General insisted was the least cost methodology of raising funds for the government. The PM not only changed the system but also for the first time ever since independence, listed the Central Bank away from the Ministry of Finance – and yes he listed under a ministry of which predictably he was the Minister of! Please tell us how it is that the PM can be not considered to be culpable.

 

In as much as the PM is claiming not to be culpable of the Bond scam, by the same measure the former Defence Secretary and the Insector General of Police must then also not be culpable of dereliction of duty in terms of the Easter bombings.

 

In simple terms it is a classic case of what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

 

As Sri Lanka traverses this latest crossroads in its political landscape, the youth of this country who clearly have their own near utopian vision of how this country ought to be run, will be paying critical attention to the acts of corruption, to the departures of due process and the bags of lies that older politicians continuously put forth.

 

It is becoming increasingly clear that what Sri Lanka needs is fresh leadership, unafraid and focused to deliver pure and simple goodness to its people.

 

As the de facto Shadow Minister of Finance for the SLPP, Ajith Nivard Cabraal has stated, in terms of the economy this government knows not what it does. Real growth Mr Cabraal maintains is closer to below 2% if not in real terms even 0%. That’s obviously a dangerous situation and bad news for all of Lanka.

 

The people simply are besides themselves with anticipation of forthcoming elections – to make the changes that we much want and desire in Sri Lanka

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