Axing mosquitoes on Yahapalanaya’s back
Posted on January 6th, 2017

Somapala Gunadheera Courtesy The Island

There is no doubt that ‘Yahapalanaya’ is beset with grave problems. One can understand the causes for its major problems and the ways in which it is trying to solve them. The attempts of its adversaries to topple the dispensation are also understandable. What beats comprehension however, is the gimmicks of its friends under the delusion that they were helping their generous Santa Claus. May be that their overtures may bring some relief but the damage that their fancies cause to a dispensation in crisis is beyond redemption. Such relief is marginal, ill-timed and suicidal. This predilection reminds one of the foolhardy courtier who whacked the mosquito on his king’s back with an axe.

The Quixotic ventures began with the attempt to increase road fines in the rush of passing the budget. Apart from the marginal relevance of the move to the job in hand, any income that it could have brought in would have been minimal, compared to the goodwill that it crushed in one stroke. The proposal is still hanging fire but the damage it caused to the vote base of “Yahapalanaya” is beyond measure.

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Then, came the attempt to regulate three-wheelers. Although that move also did not bring any tangible results, it succeeded in antagonizing a powerful block that helped to usher in “Yahapalanaya”. Slipshod management of paddy stocks enraged the small mill owners with an extensive influence in the rural sector, not to mention the hardships caused to the consumer by escalating rice prices as a result. The latest misadventure is bound to alienate sweep-ticket vendors. There again the stakes are not worth the bets. If not for the fact that the perpetrators of these follies are trusted friends of the regime, one might wonder whether they were hatching a conspiracy to topple the Government. In the circumstances, the superstitious may believe that the miscounted coconuts of the JO were not broken in vain.

What is noteworthy is that those irritated in vain by these petty operations form a prominent part of the “Yahapalanaya” support base. They are people with a wide circle of contacts and have the power to influence a large segment of the population that comes in contact with them day in and day out. Evidently, these alienations would have a decisive impact on the result of the oncoming local authorities’ elections. That impact may be stronger than all the other failures of governance combined. Silent resistance to them may be more effective than all the vociferous campaigns of the JO and TUs put together.

The wonder is that those in charge are impervious to the damage being inflicted by their own favourites. Not only do they fail to control the priorities of operations, but also they hesitate to rein in their misguided friends. They are otherwise busy appointing commissions, authorities, sub-committees and other deleterious devises to go into unending investigations and speechifying most of the time, leaving team management to providence. Postponing elections is no remedy to this situation. In fact, postponement makes the problems worse confounded. Holding back the elections will only aggravate the debacle unless “Yahapalanaya” puts its foot down, at least at this late stage and manage its team professionally.

Somapala Gunadheera

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