UNP-SLFP government a mess
Posted on July 26th, 2017

By Methmalie Dissanayake Courtesy Ceylon Today

The new government came to power on the promise to introduce a new Constitution. However, the National Freedom Front (NFF), a constituent partner in the Joint Opposition, has been vehemently critical about this move.

Here, in an interview with Ceylon Today, NFF Kurunegala Organizer Kelum Jayasumana discusses the NFF’s opposition to the proposed new Constitution and several other issues.

Excerpts:

? The National Freedom Front (NFF) is conducting a series of seminars against the government. What is the response you get from the people?

A: We are receiving many favourable responses. The largest number of ‘war hero families’ live in the Kurunegala District. So I know how they feel about this government’s shameless which-hunt of their children who served the country during the war.

They are absolutely frustrated and live in fear as they don’t know what will happen to their children in the future.

Moreover, even retired Army soldiers have been taken into custody. The people, who were once celebrated as heroes that saved the country, are now being dragged to Courts like common criminals. So the ‘war hero families’ are worried because during the war the soldiers had to take some safety measures when fighting with terrorists. They did not take such measures for fun or out of anger with the Tamil people. The things that happen during a war do not happen in ordinary society.

This government is also well aware of it. But, they just hunt war heroes to satisfy certain foreign forces and the Tamil Diaspora.

We have also noticed during these seminars that even the ones who supported the government in 2015, are highly frustrated with the path this government has taken today.

? But, the government says this is a well-planned conspiracy by the NFF and the Joint Opposition (JO) to discredit the government. Can you comment?

A: We don’t need to discredit this government. They are discrediting themselves these days.

Our main concern is the way this government treats our security forces. Don’t get me wrong, the NFF is not against the right to grieve the missing children in the North. We know that every parent values their children. But, it was the LTTE that made them suffer like this. It was the terrorists who kidnapped and conscripted children, not our security forces. They were the ones who placed bombs in buses and public places and killed thousands of innocent people and soldiers.

But, this government, while going easy on the people who support terrorism, hunt our security forces. So tell me, will the citizenry accept what the government is doing?

Apart from that, the UNP ministers and the Prime Minister who are in power today, did not value the efforts of our security forces in 2002-2004. Even during the final stage of the war, they mocked our soldiers. They said that Thoppigala was just a jungle and the security forces acted without sense. People remember Ravi Karunanayake saying the forces were actually going to Pamankada when they were about to capture Alimankada (Elephant Pass).

Now, this government is even sealing offering boxes (pin keta) in temples. When the Asgiriya Chapter gives a red light to the government, they start exerting revenge from the temples connected to Asgiriya Chapter.

So it is not the JO and the NFF that discredit them, but they do it themselves.

But, we as a responsible opposition always do our part by creating awareness among the citizenry about the misdeeds of the government.

? There is a heated discussion between the NFF and the government regarding the constitutional reforms. What is the current status of this debate?

A: Even though the government keeps saying that they have no hidden agenda, we are not stupid enough to trust them.

This is the same Ranil Wickremesinghe who was the Prime Minister in 2002. We still remember how he signed the Ceasefire Agreement between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE.

The day the government signed that agreement, Speaker of Parliament W.J.M. Lokubandara was asked whether there was such an agreement. At that moment, the government MPs told the Opposition that they did not know about such an agreement and it will not be signed in the near future. Later, the media revealed that the Ceasefire Agreement was signed by both the government and the LTTE. This is how Wickremesinghe works; this is how he behaves, secretly and without considering the majority. We have so many similar experiences about him. So how can we trust the assurances of Wickremesinghe?

He does not have real power given by the people. He did not have the majority in Parliament and the UNP and the SLFP together formed a ‘messy’ government. The citizenry did not give him power to change the Constitution in this way.

President Maithripala Sirisena promised during the election campaign that reforms which can be passed by Parliament will be introduced to the Constitution. But, what Wickremesinghe does is completely different from this. He wants to change the Constitution completely and divide this united country which we safeguarded after so many sacrifices, to fulfil the desires of a few groups.

And let us see what Wickremesinghe intends to do. Is he trying to save the country from the dengue epidemic? Is he trying to save foreign currency reserves? Is he trying to start new long-term development projects? Is he trying to attract investors to the country?

Is he trying to save the country from the cultural landslide which we face right now? No. He does not have any plan regarding crucial factors. Since the very beginning he only wanted to change the Constitution and devolve power. He does not see anything beyond that.

MP M.A. Sumanthiran implied their intention very clearly during a recent media briefing. He said the TNA does not need fancy words.

He said they only desire devolution of power and federal government.

The unitary nature of the Constitution rests on the Executive President and his power to dissolve Provincial Councils through the Governors. If the executive presidency is abolished, a Governor’s power is curtailed and the Concurrent List is done away with, the unitary State will be finished. Then the government will not be able to take any decision concerning the Provincial Council without the consent of its members.

This government is trying to neglect the majority in order to please separatists. We remember what former MP Tissa Attanayaka said about the UNP and the TNA signing a secret agreement. We think the government thinks that by fulfilling the needs of the TNA, India and the Tamil Diaspora, they can collect some funds to Sri Lanka. Even though the government is saying they have a huge international support, everyone can see they have no such thing. So they try to make money by selling the country and pleasing separatists.

Furthermore, you can see that everyone who supported a federal government such as Mangala Samaraweera, Dilan Perera and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga are now in the same group. How can we trust people like them who are trying to do any good to the country by passing a new Constitution?

? Even though the JO does not agree with the idea of introducing a new Constitution, we can see some members of the JO remaining in the Constitutional Reform Committees. Recently, a group of intellectuals also criticized that and urged the JO members to resign. What is your comment?

A: Well, the NFF firmly believes that the country does not need a new Constitution right now. We have so many problems in the country which should be immediately solved rather than wasting time on passing a new Constitution. Even the Mahanayaka Theras are of the same opinion.

But, you know that the JO consists of several parties who have different political ideologies. There are several parties which follow left-wing politics like the Communist Party and Lanka Sama Samaja Party. Furthermore, senior politicians like Vasudeva Nanayakkara still believes in Marxist theories like the right to self determination.

But, I can say that as a whole, the JO stands against passing a new Constitution at the moment.

? The government recently shut down the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). This was a surprise move for many as the government had talked highly about the institution. What is your opinion regarding that?

A: Before this government came to power they cheated people saying that they will catch ‘thieves’ in former government in an instant. Now two and half years have passed but they are now struggling to find details about the ‘thieves’ they mentioned on the political stage.

Therefore, the people who voted for them have come to the realization that this government cheated them without shame to gain power. They cannot misguide the people anymore. That is why they shut down the ACC because they know the ACC cannot go on like this anymore.

? You are an active figure in social media. Social media played a role in both presidential and general elections in 2015. After two years, what are the differences you see in the behaviour of social media users?

A: As you said, social media played a crucial role during both elections we faced in 2015. But what I see now is everyone, even the people who supported this government and the President, is rapidly turning against them. It is because they now know the truth about this so-called government and that it cannot do anything for the sake of the general public.

People are suffering due to natural disasters like landslides and drought, as well as economic decline. There is no economic growth in the country now. This government does not have any vision and a plan to solve these problems. Social media users are well aware of such facts. That is what I see in social media.

? Do you believe that there is a chance to topple this government in the near future?

A: This government, if they conduct Provincial Council and local government elections at the proper time, will be able to gauge what people think of it. Actually, I think the government is already aware of the people’s sentiments. That is why they keep postponing elections and act against democracy. I think in the near future, people will take to the roads to demand democracy which this government is trying to take away from them.

2 Responses to “UNP-SLFP government a mess”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Written in response to CURRENT VIOLENT SUPPRESSION of STRIKES & CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE by the YAMAPALANAYA:

    The Yamapalana Government is hellbent on alienating National Assets to cover up its PROFLIGATE waste and robbery of PUBLIC FUNDS and INABILITY to recognize the value and FISCAL SOUNDNESS of the programs implemented by the previpus MR/UPFA GOSL.

    The Yamapalanaya is driven to ACT IRRATIONALLY against the Nation because they had INCORRECTLY characterized these programs as unproductive and corrupt, but are now UNABLE to continue them having ALIENATED the foreign lenders and are UNWILLING to acknowledge to the PUBLIC that they were VERY WRONG and DEVIOUS, and had misled the public to ENGINEER a REGIME CHANGE.

    Even the Rs 10,000 per month pay hike they gave to ALL public servants has come back to HAUNT THEM by COMPUTING the FISCAL MESS they DUG for THEMS ELVES through SHEER INCOMPETENCE, BUNGLING and OUTRIGHT THEFT on a GRAND SCALE hitherto not seen in Sri Lanka.

    More than the DESHADROHI PAL-HORA Yamapalanaya, the citizens of our country have an INALIENABLE RIGHT to protect National Assets that we depend on for our future survival as a Nation. The CITIZENS MEVER ELECTED this government to SELL our National Assets, HALT our infrasyructire development programs, and to DIVIDE and SUBJUGATE our unotary sovereign Motherland to its enemies, or to undertake a WITCHUNT of our war heroes who liberayed and reunified our nation.

    So, thes PAYRIOTIC CITIZENS are taking URGENT steps to PROTECT & SECURE those National Assets through STRIKES and CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

    Given that the Yamapalanaya has REFUSED to hold and DELAYED the Local Government Elections, the PEOPLE HAVE NO OTHER DEMOCRATIC WAY to change the DIRECTION of this government. THe ALTERNATIVE is to RESORT TO VIOLENCE on a MASSIVE SCALE.

    The Yamapalana Leaders are VERY MUCH MISTAKEN if they think they can use their ELECTION VICTORY of Jan 8, 2015 to IMPLEMENT RADICAL ANTI-NATIONAL political and economic changes in the country, while NOT HOLDING the SCHEDULED ELECTIONS through which the people can express their SUPPORT FOR or OPPOSITION TO the steps contemplated by the government.

    IT is CRYSTAL CLEAR that the VAST MAJORITY OF CITIZENS of Sri Lanka NOW OPPOSE the Yamapalana Government and their ANTI-NATIONAL MOVES VEHEMENTLY.

    In the ABSENCE of ELECTIONS, the CITIZENS will be COMPELLED TO RESORT TO VIOLENCE to PREVENT the Yamapalanaya from DESTROYING their Motherland.

    The BLIND, DEAF & DUMB leaders of the Yamapalanaya should take note of the SEETHING ANGER of the PUBLIC against them, and the MOUNTING DISCONTENT among the vast majority of CITIZENS.

    Their LIVES may depend upon ACTING IMMEDIATELY to CEASE & DESIST with these ANTI-NATIONAL MOVES. If they CONTINUE to use the kinds of STRONG ARM TACTICS we are INCREASINGLY SEEING NOW to continue their DICTATORIAL GOVERNANCE, they are DOOMED to FAILURE!

    The Yamapalanaya is SOWING the WIND, they will REAP the WHIRLWIND!

    NO AMOUNT of FORCE, relying on minority community and foreign support, will allow them to CONTROL & SUPPRESS the Majority of the PUBLIC for too long, and when the TSUNAMI HITS it will SWEEP ALL BEFORE IT!

    After all, when PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, the ARMED FORCES and the POLICE will support their OWN PEOPLE in the Majority Community, and not the PUPPETS BRIBED to ISSUE ORDERS to ACT AGAINST the Majority of Citizens of their Motherland!

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    It is the time all those who genuinely oppose Jadapalanaya unite regardless of party affiliations to bring down the Traitorous Administration.

    There must be a country wide effort to bring about this change. At the current moment regardless, all ordinary people are affected by the wrong doings of these traitors both in the UNP and SLFP. All promises made during their election campaign have not only not materialized, but they have gone further to bring up things – like a new constitution, the anti- Buddhist, anti Sinhala anti citizen activities and measures to make ordinary citizens mere helpless. Remember Lichchavi rule, Buddhist Sangayanawa, Transparent Economy, arrestingo of the corrupt etc etc.

    Attempts by the Jadapalanaya to take control over the Buddhist establishment in Sri Lanka should be condemned outright. So far their actions against Buddhist places of worship and against Maha Sangha should be condemned without reservation. Buddhist Kathikawatha was a wolf in sheep clothing to bring about dissension among the Nikayas.

    The Agenda of the Jadapalanaya is to make Sri Lanka subservient to the Christian West and a puppet of the Indian hegemonists. Since coming into power they have made paupers out of our farmers – paddy, tea, rubber etc etc. They are slowly taking away our food security, monetary security, physical security – a clear indication of making the ordinary citizens paupers at the mercy of politicos!

    Today we have to import rice and our exports are at the mercy of foreigners or their underlings within Sri Lanka. Simply told ordinary citizens are in free fall now! It is time we unite to throw out the Jadapalanaya. Even a corrupt Mahinda Administration is a thousand times better than these traitors. It is also imperative that a patriots and the Maha Sangha lay down the terms for a future administration.

    There is a dearth of leadership material in Sri Lanka, especially those who can bring votes and realistically win elections. This is why Rajapakses are still important to Sri Lanka. No amount of public adulation for Rajapakses should make them do the same foolish things they did in his previous administration. No more Maharajano foolish stuff! What we need is a patriotic government in power who can make ordinary Sri Lankans safe and secure in the face of all internal and external enemies. If Sri Lanka only managed the post war situation well and more wisely, we wouldn’t be in the current situation today.

    For a country that suffered through a 30 year war, we should have been wary of opening up the North and East too soon. No country that went through similar experiences big or small have done the foolish things the previous administration did in making Sri Lanka unsafe again by letting the terrorists out too soon and too fast – to score brownie points with noone knows who? The terrorst mouth piece TNA should have been behind bars!

    We must be self-sufficient in all of our basic necessities and that should be our bottom line! Rest of the world is following suite they are getting out of globalization – Russia, USA – and why shouldn’t we? Ranil’s traitorous plans to globalize Sri Lanka should be defeated at all costs. Globalization had its day, but it is on the way out. Globalization has failed and many countries are realizing this truth only too late and much to their detriment.

    Random thoughts.

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