Of that rib-tickling curtain raiser
Posted on February 25th, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island

We witnessed the first part of the much-awaited Cabinet reshuffle yesterday. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake lost no time in describing it as a comedy. It was a curtain raiser. We will be treated to the farce proper shortly. President Maithripala Sirisena has, with the help of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, shuffled the pack and dealt out jokers to the public. People’s needs are different. They are struggling to keep the wolf from the door. Jokers can’t help dull anyone’s hunger pangs, can they?

It is not the shuffling of the pack of jokers the people have asked for. The yahapalana leaders seem to think the masses are asses. Else, they wouldn’t have adopted such a harebrained measure in the aftermath of an electoral disaster in a bid to win back public sympathy. Voters’ message, on Feb. 10, was loud and clear. But, the yahapalana worthies pretend that they can’t figure it out. They are only fooling themselves. Unless they make a radical course correction urgently while granting people much-needed economic relief, they are bound to suffer another electoral body blow.

The Cabinet ‘reshuffle’ may have solved the problems of some disgruntled, ambitious government politicians thirsting for power but certainly not those of the irate public. While the yahapalana leaders kept on putting off local government polls we argued in this space that they were making the same mistake as a dysentery patient who postponed a trip to the washroom. What they have chosen to do, in their wisdom, after the polls debacle is akin to ‘using a loincloth to control dysentery’ as a local saying goes.

Before trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with Cabinet changes etc the yahapalana grandees ought to prove that the agreement between the UPFA and the UNP to form a national government is still valid if they are to justify maintaining the present jumbo Cabinet. That pact cannot be considered valid simply because the UPFA and the UNP or even Speaker Karu Jayasuriya et al say so. The method the government has employed to prove the validity of the national government agreement is a classic example of circular reasoning.

The Speaker cannot arrogate to himself the power to determine the constitutionality or otherwise of bills or other matters placed before Parliament. If he is allowed to do so then the Supreme Court becomes redundant. Good governance consists in, inter alia, maintaining the separation of powers.

The Speaker is not infallible—far from it. He represents a political party. This is a country where even some judicial officers have failed to remain above partisan politics. It may be recalled that last year the incumbent Speaker insisted that Parliament could go ahead with the ratification of PC polls (amendment) bill because the Attorney General had given his nod for it. The government, true to form, steamrollered it through Parliament and it has become one of the worst laws. It can be bracketed with the 18th Amendment, which the Rajapaksa government earned notoriety for. It contains despicable provisions which didn’t pass muster with the apex court but were smuggled thereinto at the committee stage. The Speaker also endorsed the report of first Delimitation Committee, headed by Jayalath Dissanayake. But, subsequently, the government suspended its implementation, claiming that it was seriously flawed and had it reviewed. There exists a pressing need for the government to make public the UPFA-UNP agreement at issue and seek a judicial opinion thereon through the President to allay serious doubts in the minds of people.

It is not advisable to let the yahapalana worthies, whose very political survival is dependent on the continuation of the present administration, to decide whether the UPFA-UNP agreement is valid or not. Asking those politicians whether the national government is legal or not, is, according to folk wisdom, like ‘seeking the help of a clairvoyant to nab a thief who happens to be her own son’.

The government is like a buffalo blissfully dozing off on a railroad without caring two hoots about the deafening blare of the horn of an oncoming express train in the distance. Chugga, chugga, clackety-clack, chugga, chugga ….

8 Responses to “Of that rib-tickling curtain raiser”

  1. nilwala Says:

    Congratulations Island!! on a great editorial regarding this ongoing tragicomedy….one day there may be a real theatrical exposition of the goings on of this Yahapalana Govt.. written and produced by a local, we hope, that exposes the complete lack of shame and conscience in the Yahapalana’s pursuit of power and money.

    As the Editorial so aptly says, “….government is like a buffalo blissfully dozing off on a railroad without caring two hoots about the deafening blare of the horn of an oncoming express train in the distance. Chugga, chugga, clackety-clack, chugga, chugga ….”

  2. Christie Says:

    If you really look at the Poll figures and add them up you will see India can choose the next President.

    Add the opposition votes to SLPP and some of SLPP votes to Opposition votes India chosen candidate will pas the post.

    With money and media in the hands of India and Indian Parasites India will get the job done as they did in 2015 and 2005.

    Note that India backed Mahinda in 2005 but he turned against India.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    A witty commentator in a facebook posting said, “now both Mahendran and Mahendra will be off the hook”.

    However, there is a shrewd political ploy here by Sirisena to pit Ranil against Mahinda. Sirisena thinks they are scheming together against him. Ranil has been given 2 months (not 2 weeks) to deliver justice to some high profile murder and corruption cases against Rajapaksas. If he does, Sirisena achieves his goal. If he fails, Fonseka will be given that ministry. He has a personal score to settle so he will get it done by whatever means.

    From a national interest point of view, this is misuse of power and encourages corruption of those friendly with the regime and victimization of the Opposition. Sirisena doesn’t care. However, from a political point of view, it is clever on his part for his own survival. Fonseka is his last trump card.

    When will Sirisena conclude politiking and start working for the country?

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    You asked “When will Sirisena conclude politiking and start working for the country?”

    The ANSWER is: NEVER! Sirisena is in it for his own AGGRANDIZEMENT first, second and third! As far as he is concerned TO HELL WITH THE MOTHERLAND! He is a KUHAKAYA from the VERY BEGINNING to the VERY END!

    BTW, Are you and other readers here aware that SLPP is organizing a MASSIVE PROTEST RALLY in Nugegoda to be held on March 7, 2018?

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Split permanent, SLPP going it alone at future polls ‘Likely presidential candidate GR being targeted’

    February 27, 2018

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday told the media at Battaramulla Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the SLPP-led Joint Opposition would got it alone at the next Provincial Council polls as well as subsequent Presidential and parliamentary elections.

    Former External Affairs Prof. Peiris said so in response to query whether the warring SLFP factions were likely to reach an understanding ahead of critical polls for six PCs expected to be held later this year.

    Those who had voted for the SLFP at Feb. 10 local government polls would certainly switch their allegiance to JO/SLPP at future elections, Prof. Peiris said.

    JO parliamentary group comprises 54 members elected on the UPFA ticket at the last general election in August 2015.

    Calling Sunday’s reallocation of ministerial portfolios a devious bid to deceive the public, Prof. Peiris pointed out how President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe had reallocated portfolios of some yahapalana members amidst calls for Wickremesinghe’s resignation.

    Having made an abortive bid to force Wickremesinghe to resign in the wake of the humiliating defeat the UNP and the SLFP had suffered at local government polls, President Sirisena had strengthened the UNP Leader’s position. Prof. Peiris chided President Sirisena for assigning the law and order portfolio to Wickremesinghe, in addition to national policies and economic affairs held by him.

    President Sirisena’s declaration that the reallocation of subjects in respect of SLFP ministers would take place in the near future meant that he couldn’t understand even basic requirements.

    Commenting on recent comparison of LG polls results with the next presidential polls scheduled in less than two years, Prof. Peiris pointed out that a foolish attempt was now being made to deceive the electorate that the SLPP couldn’t secure 51 per cent of the total vote cast at the next presidential polls. Prof. Peiris said that their candidate endorsed by war winning President Rajapaksa had been able to comfortably secure the required vote as those SLFPers who voted for the party at the recently concluded LG polls would certainly back the SLPP candidate.

    Inviting Maj. Ajith Prasanna, formerly of the Sinha Regiment to address the media regarding stepped up propaganda offensive directed at wartime Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Prof. Peiris alleged the government was hell-bent on restricting the activities of those who could pose a political threat.

    Prof. Peiris warned the SLFP of dire consequences due to President Sirisena ill-fated strategies. The former minister urged President Sirisena to seek a two-thirds parliamentary approval in terms of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to dissolve parliament to pave the way for a fresh general election. “Sri Lanka cannot continue to suffer due to weakness and inability of Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.”

    Retired Major and attorney-at-law Prasanna alleged that an attempt was being made to blame Gotabhaya Rajapaksa for January 2009 Lasantha Wickramatunga assassination. Accusing a section of the media for recent unsubstantiated reportage of The Sunday Leader editor’s assassination, Prasanna, a former UPFA Southern Provincial Council member said that those wanting to go after Rajapaksa had conveniently forgotten how the UNP in 2009 both in and out of parliament accused the then Army Chief Fonseka of running a hit squad.

    Prasanna alleged that law enforcement authorities had ignored specific evidence available soon after the assassination furnished by retired Maj. Gen. Kumar Herath in an obvious bid to suppress the inquiry.

    The retired officer alleged that a section of the media at the behest of the current administration wanted to protect Fonseka’s interests. Prasanna named several officers, who had been aware of Herath being told by the then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) retired Air Chief Marshal Donald Perera that Wickramatunga had been killed with a sharp object.

    Prasanna also referred to the attempted assassination of The Editor of Rivira Upali Tennakoon in a similar fashion using sharp objects during the previous administration.

    The Island sought an explanation from Prof. Peiris and Prasanna as to why the previous government hadn’t brought the investigation into 2009 January killing to a successful conclusion before the change of government in January 2015, Prof. Peiris said that it was certainly unfair by the previous government to assert that nothing was done at that time.

    Prof. Peiris and Prasanna said that had there been a lapse on the part of the previous administration, the UNP-SLFP administration should have made progress over the past three years. Instead, they engaged in political witch-hunt, Prof. Peiris alleged, adding that politically motivated inquiries had been accelerated in the wake of Feb. 10 polls defeat.

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    UNP State Minister to bring a no-faith motion against PM
    Tue, Feb 27, 2018, 01:35 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 27, Colombo: A group of United National parliamentarians would move a no-confidence motion against party leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for the party’s forward march, State Minister of Irrigation, Palitha Range Bandara said yesterday.

    Speaking at a media briefing yesterday, Range Bandara said that this is a no confidence motion against the person who did not have the country’s trust.

    Bandara added that the UNP has to change the leader it if wants to have a future and there was no point in reshuffling the cabinet.

    “In this situation, the UNP has no further journey. The UNP needs to make a complete change if it wants to go forward. First of all in the leadership. Cabinet reshuffle or any other changes will not take the party forward,” he said.

    The State Minister said he was not alone in seeking a change of leadership. There were many others who desired a change at the helm. “This is the reality that Wickremesinghe must understand.”

    “We will bring a no-confidence motion against an individual who is not trusted by the people. Many of our members are ready to take the lead to bring this no-confidence vote And I am ready to lead this movement against the Prime Minister,” Bandara said.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Wimal asks PM, President to resign

    2018-02-27

    DailyMirror.lk

    While claiming that it was a big mockery to appoint the Prime Minister, who was the mastermind of the bond scam, as the Law and Order Minister, the National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa said the PM and the President should resign without dragging the country towards anarchy.

    Addressing a news briefing, he said the President who proclaimed that he would not engage any culprits to run the government, seemed that he had forgotten what he had uttered during the pre-election period.

    “The bond scam that took place in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is considered to be a massive fraud that ever occurred in South Asia. The master brain of such fraud is now being appointed as the Law and Order Minister by the President. Further, giving the portfolio of Youth Affairs to Sagala Ratnayake is like setting a wolf to guard the chickens,” he said.

    Therefore, he asked as to how the county would move forward in this circumstances and urged the President either to rethink of entrusting of portfolios or resign with the Premier. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Arjun Mahendran has FLED Singapore! SUMMONS cannot be SERVED! Will HIS GUARANTOR & Co-Conspiratyor the RIGHT-HONOURABLE AGA-MATHI Ranil Wikunanasinghe assist the Justice Dept to LOCATE him??

    HELLO ….. CALLING the Chief Thief for ASSISTANCE!</b?

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