Governments of 2005 & 2010: Differ like Sugar & Spice?
Posted on January 14th, 2012

By Gomin Dayasri

 With the extinct of the LTTE and the country becomingsafe and secure,pinnacle point was reached in the modern history of Sri Lanka at the end of the first term of office of the President – no more was the need to hark back to pages of history in search of glory days. The President and the Government were assured of another term. Opposition looked feeble having tilted towards the LTTE.

 Gratitude contributed to a 2/3 majority in Parliament and the President enhanced his majority immensely in his second term in office in 2010. Constituents crossed traditional party lines to vote. That majority so achieved is fading fast, two years into the second term.

 The overwhelming majority in Parliament gave way to a feeling of false infallibility -unlike with the 2005 minority government- a contributory factor for thedecline is due to insensitivity towards public concerns. Too much is taken for granted because of the stupendous majority causing a drift away from public perception.

 The advantage 2005 administration enjoyed was the presence of nearly 50 MPs’ from the JVP and JHU that kept the government in a permanent check- mate position, savingfrom sleaze, scam, scandal, and skullduggery. With numbers in Parliament the government was compelled to give a hearing to the red shirts and saffron robes in the 2005 parliament. They were like vigilant boy scouts: today there are no watchful cubs.

 Rot started when the flood- gates opened for M.P.’s from the UNP to make the crossing. Among the early eager, desperate to join the government was the politically footloose G.L.Pieris – refused an entry visa due to the intervention of Wimal Weerawansa, heading the JVP in parliament.

  Failing to coax the JVP (that over-estimated its strength) to remain in the coalition, President had no choice but to absorb the 17 UNP dissidents to continue the war effort unimpeded.JVP by its faulty decision are in the wilderness but loosing the most disciplined party in its fold, made the government run berserk without controls.

  JVP could be juvenile and weird in outlook but ruthless on discipline. They booted their MP from parliament found guilty of corrupt practice. Corruption became rampant in the UPFA-UNP dissident combine.

  UNP became the official regular supplier of MP’s to the government “”…”a practice that is prohibited in a Constitution where the franchise is first exercised in favor of a political party- but made possible by inexplicable judicial interpretations. UNP MP’s on accepting ministerial portfolios bungled in style; from importing eggs and coconuts to incapability of releasing exam results properly, from botching pension funds to transporting vegetables in crates.

  Locals are becoming vocal with criticism and protests.It’s reached the point when alarm bells would ordinarily ring. But it is not heard with cotton wool in the ears.The puerile performance of the opposition keeps the government afloat.

 For the 2005 administration most everything it touched turned to gold. The bottom line was the determination of the Rajapakse Brothers to eliminate terrorism; being men-of-war than doves of peace, they were well equipped for the task and executed it brilliantly. Peace after the War is a different ball game in the RajapaksePark. The good luck charm has deserted the 2010 government.

  J.R. Jayewardane once rejected by his own electorate and suffered numerous defeats at elections finally emerged with a 2/3 majority in parliament sending into oblivion a government that held a 2/3 majority. In Sri Lanka a swing away from the Government often develops into an avalanche provided there is a meaningful opposition capable of exploiting the weaknesses.

 Being deaf to public outcries till it was too late, was the cause that brought down the Sirimavo Bandaranaike administration from a 2/3 majority to 7 seats in Parliament and propelled unpopular J.R. Jayewardane to absolute power. The UNP of the 1977 was a well-oiled turbo machine unlike its present streaky creaky state.

  Fear of personnel security prompted UPFA parliamentarians of the 2005 regime to give unstinted support to a President, leading the war front. With personal safety not at stake in 2010, senior parliamentarians look at the President with jaundiced eyes especially when personal agendas are not achievable. The war was a binding force to march the government parliamentarians in a disciplined formation behind the leader. No more does it prevail with SLFP parliamentarians acting in singular fashion to the detriment of its own government.

 The statecraft was in the skillful management of foreign affairs and economics in the 2005 era – those difficult days of war where supply lines and procurement of arms was the key to success. Oscillating among arms, human rights and adequate fundingrequired proficientfine-tuning.Either Sri Lanka had to walk the plank blindfolded orpivot on a trapeze artfully. Sadly at the helm of foreign affairs and economics presently are competing rival one- man-bands playing for their own personal glory and upward mobility.

  The 2005 government did it to perfection, the most effective government since independence.Every step was directed towards winning the war; people were willing to bear any burden, watching the armed forces advance.  With victory a short distance away awakened alackadaisical nation. President reached the zenith of his popularity. Finest hour arrived and passed by. What follows?

  Same old facesnow lie in different new places but variance is in the style of governance of 2005 and 2010?  The 2005 minority government was forever on probation but always alert not knowing when it will be dislodged. Now with a 2/3 majority, the party in power relaxes knowing their lifetime is statutory prescribed. Instead ofthe heroicsof armed defense servicemen on display is the banditry of armed politicians. It’s a government that perennially reacts belatedly after a catastrophic event.Often the President has to intervene in a last ditch effort to salvage a failed operation.

 The marginal 2005 administration exceeded expectations to enthrone the 2010 governmentthat is surviving on the laurels of the former.For how long without an opposition?

3 Responses to “Governments of 2005 & 2010: Differ like Sugar & Spice?”

  1. douglas Says:

    Is there any other way than this presentation to tell the truth, and reality? These reality shows are not seen by the authorities sitting in pedestals. The current situation in its real terms are obvious as described above, but unfortunately for the country and the people the pulse is not yet felt. Fortunately for the administration, there is a set of clowns in the Opposition group and they are day dreaming of a “Jana Aragalay” (Public Uprising) to take place to topple the Government and take over power, like the happenings in Libiya,Egypt. It is high time that they realize the people of Sri Lanka are not that foolish. The people are no more ready to “give up kehi ganee and take over a hotu ganee”.That is what we did in giving up Mrs.B and taking over JR. We have learned that bitter lesson.

    The people want this Government to take charge and be very assertive in the administrtive areas. If a Minister/MP is not perfoming in his or her job properly/ behave appropriately sack him or her without any fear. Hold a fresh by-election to fill that vacancy and you will see how the people will overwhelmingly support such a move. If Constitutional or other Ruls and Regulations do not allow such action, bring in amendments and re-constitute the system to allow it to happen. This is the time to do it. You have 2/3 rd majority and if any member try to veto it you will the see the reactions of the people in the country. I don’t think such MPs will be allowed to drive along the streets even with high security.

    In short we need well deciplined Parliamentarians and good governance. That is the cry of the people at this moment and if it falls on deaf ears you will not be sitting on those high pedestals.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “The marginal 2005 administration exceeded expectations to enthrone the 2010 governmentthat is surviving on the laurels of the former.”

    Add to that the 2005 government was fighting a “brutal” war that killed thousands. Everyday we bombed somewhere killing scores. Multi barrel rockets were fired with sweet music coming from them. Navy sank hundreds of LTTE terrorists along with their ships.

    Despite all that the 2005 government was the BEST (people approved it). The 2010 government doesn’t have ANY of these but is one of the WORST in history.

    TOO MUCH POWER has corrupted them.

    When Chandimal (2005) knows his place in the team is uncertain he will play centuries. But Sankaggara (2010) knows he will anyway be in the team. So why play?

  3. Kit Athul Says:

    Before bashing JR, give a thaught Gomini! Without the constituon Execcutive Presidency this war could never have won. If you are trying to resurrect UNP it will never happen and if you are living in 2010, wakeup it is 2012. If you want to change the government, who else is there to run it? May be you Gomin. evalution is a pains takingly slow process, but for Sinhala it accelerated at an uncontrolable speed in 2009, now they are bewildered! SLFP cannot be worken up as well.

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