JOINT OPPOSITION ALLIANCE – NOW OR NEVER
Posted on January 18th, 2016
By M D P DISSANAYAKE
The members of SLFP are concerned about losing their seats in the Parliament if they shift to a new political alliance of the opposition. This fear is clearly the main reason for the delay in the formation of a new Alliance. The President Mahinda Rajapakse was intentionally mislead again by President Sirisena when MR was indirectly coerced in forming his own political machine prior to the General Election in August 2015 at a time MR was not a sitting member of the parliament. This was the first major setback for MR camp since losing power. John F Kennedy said: “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
The SLFP members of parliament, who are currently supportive of the Pro-MR camp have been clearly identified. Yet, as a test case, the SLFP members of parliament who voted against the Budget in 2015 were Rohitha Abeygunawardana, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Dallas Alahapperuma and Mahindananda Aluthgamage. All other SLFP group of members of parliament who were in the MR camp, abstained from voting or did not attend. So far the four members who voted against the budget, have not been replaced by the next in line in the order of preferential votes gained by the party. In reality, well over 40 SLFP members were in MR camp at that time and now on the hindsight it may be argued that the entire block of those 40 SLFP members should have voted against the budget, with the MPs of the parties of MEP, NFF, PHU, etc. This was the second set back for MR camp for missing out on another golden opportunity. Winston Churchill said: ” A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
The dangers of exposing SLFP members are understood. As an alternative, MEP, NFF, PHU, etc can forge an alliance without any further delay. The habit of making announcements through a temple at the Narahenpita will not create an awareness of the Joint Opposition.
The next best opportunity available is to form the Alliance immediately, without waiting for local government elections. The nation need to be educated by the opposition from village to village, explaining the dangers of the policies of the government. New leaders must be found from the grass root levels, set up branches, district committees to take the message in a robust manner.
Now there are indications of a series of planned meetings between President Maithreepala Sirisena and President Mahinda Rajapakse. President Sirisena is upholding what Abraham Lincoln said: ” I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”
The Joint Opposition has so far failed to provide a forum for the general public to provide hope and future. The public is fully aware that MR and GR will come to their salvation, their absence from active participation from the Joint Opposition campaigns will not be a deterrent. The general public is always intelligent, but they need a clear vision and an action plan from those who are planning to succeed.
“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes”. Management Guru Prof. Peter Drucker