Country at a crossroads
Posted on March 9th, 2016

By Rohana R. Wasala

Let’s go invent tomorrow rather than worrying about what happened yesterday.Steve Jobs

The political stability that Sri Lanka enjoyed for a brief five years after the conclusion of the civil conflict in 2009 brought about tangible economic development and social progress in a nationally secure, peaceful environment. Of the economic growth achieved there was statistical proof; Sri Lanka reached middle income country status. To anyone who looked on the social scene with an unprejudiced mind it was obvious that the general lot of the masses was steadily improving; fast infrastructure development was taking place, with new roads, bridges, schools and hospitals being built across the country and  rural electrification projects extended to cover the entirety of the remote regions hitherto devoid of a power supply; major housing schemes and mega construction programmes building  seaports and airports and fisheries harbours were launched  and completed with assistance from friendly nations. National unity that had been seriously threatened by many decades of divisive politics indulged in by a few communalist minority politicians in contemptuous defiance of the innocent wishes of the sensible majority of ordinary masses was gradually being restored and reinforced. But  what is the status of the country today in economic, social and political terms? We all know the answer to that.

The leadership of the non-communalist, independent-spirited  Mahinda Rajapaksa, admirably dignified for all his natural humility, was the single most important factor behind the impressive achievements that Sri Lanka made under his rule. However, a little more than a year ago, the internal and external anti-Rajapaksa (i.e., anti-Sri Lanka) forces managed to derail and destroy his visionary nation building plans, and put paid to his dreams of turning Sri Lanka into the Wonder of Asia. They did this mainly through  relentless anti-Rajapaksa propaganda  in which exaggerated allegations of corruption and misgovernment with little or no basis of truth formed the principal mode of attack. This is a strategy routinely used by the US to bring about ‘regime change’ in countries that follow independent policies that don’t serve its geopolitical interests in a particular region.

Mahinda is currently being charged by those who betrayed the SLFP in the past with attempting to divide that party at present. But the common people are well enough informed not to waste time debating about the subject. With the defection of Maithripala Sirisena the powerful SLFP which Mahinda had built up and which he led suffered a severe blow. Maithripala’s victory as the ‘common’ candidate was paradoxically facilitated by his reputation as one of the closest colleagues and the eleventh hour challenger of his erstwhile boss the popular Mahinda. From a realistic point of view, there is now no question about the SLFP being divided, because the party is already divided and its vital components taken apart, and it is now in a chaotic state. Its vibrant engine has been forcibly removed and is waiting to be installed into a new vehicle, in which the authentic SLFP will eventually re-establish its identity in due course (unless there is some magical change of heart among the estranged leaders at this critical hour). For the time being, the best scenario that may be imagined for that new vehicle, if circumstances allow it to be assembled, is one where it will be able to assume the role of a strong parliamentary opposition. Confronted by the growing authoritarianism at the centre, the common people of democratic Sri Lanka are eagerly waiting for such a credible opposition to emerge quickly.

It will be in the fitness of things if a strong SLFP-led opposition under the leadership of Mahinda emerges as soon as possible. In default of this, a Mahinda-led new party, alliance, front, or whatever it is called, must be launched (though with the 50 or so MPs who are with him now, such a grouping will have little chance of mounting any meaningful challenge against the government – yet, something is better than nothing). The SLFP-led UPFA won only 95 seats and were not in a position to muster enough numbers to form a government; it would have pleased everyone if they unanimously decided to lead the opposition, leaving the UNP to form its government with those parties that helped it win. The SLFP need not be in the government to save itself and serve the country at this time of need. A powerful opposition led by the SLFP and its allies will be able to restrain the UNP-led government if it resorts to misrule. With their 95 seats they can deny the governing UNP-led alliance its two thirds majority in parliament when dealing with important legislative matters. But will the 45 or so UPFA stragglers be so patriotic as to give up the perks they are illegitimately enjoying and the personal agendas they are treacherously pursuing and resume the positions to which they were assigned by the voting public at the August elections and perform their duty by the nation?

 

3 Responses to “Country at a crossroads”

  1. Christie Says:

    The only way we can survive is understanding the Indian Empire and standing up to it.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    අස්ගිරි මහ නාහිමියෝ අපවත් වෙති !!!!

    What a loss to American and Indian camp!!!.

    This is how the deities protect Mother Lanka when we failed!!!!!!

  3. Christie Says:

    All leaders since 1956 were victims of Indian imperialism. Ranil has no other alternative but to carry out directions of Indian Empire.

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