Is there any government today?
Posted on July 8th, 2017

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Courtesy The Island

Anyone watching TV feels there is no Govt. in the country: President – News Item

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Does one have to watch TV to feel this?

The President says the media reveals the opposite of what is really happening in the country. Development activities, people’s welfare, the peaceful situation in the country are all turned upside down to attract people’s attention, says the President.

Let’s begin with just one matter – the building to house the Ministry of Agriculture. The advance paid for it in 2016 was Rs 504 million. There was an estimated rent for it of Rs. 13.5 million, with an actual rent of Rs. 21 million, and a monthly service charge of Rs. 6.1 million. Damn it, all that is a lot of public money. But, the Ministry has not yet shifted there, because it is still not rendered suitable for occupation.

Just a little more – the Minister of Agriculture is  Duminda Dissanayake, MP from the Anuradhapura District, not very far from the President’s own Polonnaruwa, and he is also the General Secretary of the SLFP, that is led by President Sirisena. Is it very difficult for the President to have a chat with this minister and at least get this building occupied?

Is any media – TV, radio, print or social – turning anything upside down when this is reported, yes, time and again, because it is taking such a long time to have an officially rented building occupied?

What exactly is happening in the country that would give the people any idea there is a government in place?  What are the development activities that are going ahead, pointing to any progress?  Let’s not talk about that Hoaxwagen Project.

Can we talk much about people’s welfare – when faced with the reality of people who were the victims of floods and landslides at different places, and the Army’s central armoury explosion at Salawa, not receiving their relief or compensation yet?

Do we really have a peaceful situation in the country?  Yes, the war with separatist terrorism is over – nearly a decade ago. But, what about the increasing rate of crime in the country – the figures are really shocking, and they keep rising each day, while the Police are said to meditate every morning – possibly on the prevailing peace and not the control of crime? As crime keeps rising in this manner, can the people and the media, believe there is a government in place?

Anyone who thinks these are signs of governance must be joking, or else trying to take the people and country on a really long ride on political buffoonery.

The President is not only thinking of the media and upside down reporting on reality.  He also has strong words to say about the Police, FCID and the Attorney General’s Department.  At no less a place than at a Cabinet meeting, he has said they had not dealt with financial corruption under the Rajapaksa regime, for the past 18 months. But, the probes had been about those from the Rajapaksa days who had joined the government. What a shame … and the President says he can show these institutions how the thieves could be nabbed in three months if they are all brought under him!

That calls for a real WoW.  Come on Mr. President, you are the Executive President, and all of these institutions you are so critical of are under you, managed by ministers appointed by you. Did you not realize this when that recent so-called reshuffle of the Cabinet took place?  Why did you not take any of these institutions under you, and launch the fight against the Rajapaksa corruption and fraud? Was it more important for the government to give the control of lotteries boards to the Foreign Minister? We will have to keep guessing.

Of course, we know that you are heading a coalition, and things must be getting tougher to keep the coalition unity going – when fraud as well as corruption is spreading so fast within the ranks of government, both Green and Blue, and giving a big challenge to the corruption of the Rajapaksa days.

But now that you have mentioned the FCID and Police, it may be helpful to recall the hard words you had to say about the CID, FCID and the Bribery Commission, not so long ago, in October last year. That is what led to the resignation of the Director General of the Commission to inquire into Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) – she was Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe.

I’m sure you can’t forget the Presidential displeasure you expressed about how the former Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and former Navy Commanders were brought to Court, on a matter being probed by the CIABOC. You were strongly critical of the CID, FCID, and CIABOC working to political agendas.

So, Mr. President, why not take all these slow moving, and possibly pro-Rajapaksa institutions under you, and show how the thieves could be nabbed in three months – and also show that you are not working on any political agenda?

But, it is certainly not easy to do all that just now, even though you may like to. Corruption and fraud are spreading wider each day. You will have to catch your own guys (who made the leap from MR) and also seek to curb the steadily rising Green corruption. What will you do about the Central Bank and all the corruption that is revealed by your own Commission each day?

It is certainly no easy task. But, it is good to bear in mind that the people of this country, on their own reading of events, are beginning to believe that there is no proper government in place today – this has everything to do with the corruption of politics and government.

Watch out, Mr. President. We are fast moving towards the absence of government. That is the reality and not any upside down media reporting.

One Response to “Is there any government today?”

  1. janakic Says:

    A good analysis. The current situation of the country is much worse than what is reported in the media. There is no collective responsibility for governance. There is no authority or control of governance. The President had on many occasions reneged on policy directions. The co-sponsorship of the Geneva resolution is currently at a stalemate with President’s assurances to the armed forces on war crimes. The stance on the constitution is no better. Is the draft new constitution ready to be tabled on 15 August or is it not formulated yet according to the promises given to the Maha Sangha? The action on bond scam, SAITM etc. are in a state of confusion and inaction.
    Often the President’s version of policy is not supported by the Ministers. Ministers appear to embrace confrontation rather than negotiation and consultation, as demonstrated in the case of SAITM, resulting in matters not being resolved in a timely manner. Unfortunately, these virtues of good governance are non existent in the current situation.
    A govt. needs to have policies and direction with a Cabinet endorsing and implementing the policy positions. There is no government if these aspects cannot be successfully coordinated. Media has only reported the confusion in a circuitous manner!

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