Jonahs fighting, ship sinking
Posted on February 18th, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Several Buddhist prelates have called upon President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to do everything in their power to dispel the political uncertainty that has enshrouded the entire country. They warn that the prevailing chaotic situation will take its toll on the economy before long. They have struck a responsive chord with all concerned citizens. We hope saner counsel will prevail. The Nayake Theras’ holy intervention reminds us of the spiritual principle of cause and effect, which is the recurrent theme in the tenets of Buddhism. We are witnessing karmic forces at work on the political front.

The yahapalana government’s predicament stems not so much from its electoral setbacks but from its wrongful actions in January 2015. Immediately after winning the presidential election, President Maithripala Sirisena, egged on by the UNP, sacked the SLFP-led UPFA government, which had a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Sirisena just vapourised the then Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, so to speak, and unflinchingly appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had only about 46 MPs in the House, the PM. He should have either allowed the UPFA government to continue or dissolved Parliament straightaway and held a fresh general election.

Sirisena and other yahapalana leaders, in dislodging the UPFA government, committed a cardinal political sin, which has been dogging them. They behaved like a herd of Miura bulls in a shopping mall, smashing up as they did every obstacle in their path. They also sacked the then Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, who, President Sirisena declared, had never been the head of the judiciary! (Ironically, some of the bigwigs of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, who fully backed the President’s despicable action then, have leapt to the defence of Peiris as well as a sitting Appeal court judge, hauled up before a Magistrate’s Court over some recommendations they made as the Attorney General and the Deputy Solicitor General, respectively, a few years ago.) The problem with political power is that it blinds the wielder thereof to the consequences of his or her actions. Now, it is payback time.

Three years on, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who benefited from the undemocratic sacking of PM Jayaratne, is about to be ‘vapourised’. The yahapalana government is hoist with its own petard. It is like a shaky, tumbledown warehouse with gaping cracks all over; fat rats are scurrying away fearing its imminent collapse.

What was held on Feb. 10 was only a local government (LG) election. The two main constituents of the ruling coalition, the SLFP and the UNP, lost very badly. But, if LG polls can make or break governments then there is absolutely no need for parliamentary elections. The present-day leaders must be ruing the day they sacked the UPFA government and created a very bad precedent, which has boomeranged on them. If an Opposition party which seeks a mandate at a presidential or local government election to bring down the government in power is allowed to achieve that objective after winning then we might as well scrap parliamentary polls.

If the UNP-led government has to quit owing to the UNP’s crushing defeat on Feb. 10 then the question is why President Sirisena should not follow suit because he could poll less than 14 percent of the votes as opposed to the UNP’s 32 percent. He is apparently trying to scapegoat the Prime Minister in a bid to distract the attention of the public from his failure.

The UNP sacrificed former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in a bid to absolve itself of the blame for the Treasury bond scams. The SLFP is trying to mete out the same treatment to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to avoid the blame for the unity government’s failure and corruption which led to its ignominious defeat last week. We see two Jonahs, exchanging blows, with neither of them volunteering to be thrown overboard; instead, the more powerful one is trying to make the other walk the plank. The ship is sinking.

Supposing the efforts being made by the SLFP-UPFA-Joint Opposition combine to sack the PM and form a government reach fruition, what will be the situation if the UNP manages to turn the tables on the new administration at the next Provincial Council election? Anything is possible in politics and that possibility cannot be ruled out. Won’t President Sirisena be compelled to invite the UNP to form a government again in such an eventuality?

A country, with a bunch of greedy, unscrupulous politicians at the helm, needs no enemies.

One Response to “Jonahs fighting, ship sinking”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    “The yahapalana government’s predicament stems not so much from its electoral setbacks but from its wrongful actions in January 2015. Immediately after winning the presidential election, President Maithripala Sirisena, egged on by the UNP, sacked the SLFP-led UPFA government, which had a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Sirisena just vapourised the then Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, so to speak, and unflinchingly appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had only about 46 MPs in the House, the PM. He should have either allowed the UPFA government to continue or dissolved Parliament straightaway and held a fresh general election.”

    INDEED! And these LAWLESS IDIOTS are now DEBATING the Constitutional Basis of their TENUOUS CLAIM to remaining in POWER!

    We the Patriotic People of Lanka say: Yamapalanaya GO HOME, BEGONE, and take your SORRY PAL-HORA of a Prime Ministir with you!

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