Stale toddy in a new pot
Posted on May 1st, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Ministerial appointments are being made, in dribs and drabs. Eighteen Cabinet members were sworn in before President Maithripala Sirisena, yesterday, and some other ministers are expected to take oaths today. Reshuffling the Cabinet seems to be the President’s favourite pastime.

Madness has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. The government keeps reshuffling the same bunch of ministers in a desperate bid to make the Cabinet efficient. It is said that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. What really matters is the quality of the persons appointed to the Cabinet. Garbage in, garbage out!

Only a team of educated, intelligent, efficient men and women of integrity will be able to hoist the country from the current politico-economic mire, it finds itself in. Nitwits are not equal to that uphill task. Some ministers, save a few, are not qualified to secure employment in the state sector even as labourers. Their peons have better educational qualifications than they. How can we depend on such politicians to develop the country? This sorry state of affairs, however, is not of recent origin.

Interestingly, Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who got under the skin of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by criticising the government’s divestiture programme, etc. and lost his ministerial post as a result, has been appointed to the Cabinet again. After being sacked as a minister, Dr. Rajapakshe told the media, last year, that the government had struck the Hambantota Port deal with China, in violation of the Constitution, and was all out to force the Attorney General’s Department into submission so as to shield the masterminds of the bond scams and expedite legal action against its political enemies. He said the Attorney General had been summoned to Temple Trees and made to suffer indignities at the hands of a group of backbenchers as part of a government strategy to render the AG’s Department malleable. He declared that his conscience had not allowed him to keep silent and remain in the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Cabinet. The government accused him of abusing his position as the Justice Minister to protect the rogues of the previous government without allowing them to be brought to justice for abusing power and stealing public funds.

Dr. Rajapakshe owes an explanation to the public. Has his conscience allowed him to rejoin the Cabinet which, he earlier claimed, was selling national assets for a song and had leased out the newly built inland port to China, in violation of the Constitution? Does he think the AG’s Department is independent, now?

Is it that Dr. Rajapakshe has been granted absolution for all political sins, the UNP accused him of having committed, simply because he voted against the motion of no confidence against the PM last month?

Meanwhile, this country does not need more than 12 Cabinet ministers and an equal number of deputy ministers. At present, there are 42 Cabinet ministers and 45 provincial council ministers. A lot of public funds, raised through tax increases etc., are utilised to maintain these politicians, who should be ashamed of being given huge salaries and perks for doing precious little. The yahapalana leaders ought to learn from Singapore, which they consider a role model. A cursory glance at the list of Singaporean ministers and their dazzling qualifications may be sufficient for one to realise why that country has achieved its development goals.

It is only wishful thinking that we can achieve any progress with the help of the politicians we are burdened with. You cannot win steeplechases with donkeys, can you?

One Response to “Stale toddy in a new pot”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Dear Editor, very succinctly put! Thank you. This exactly is what is ailing our so called democracy. We have nimcompoops occupying the legisature. 90% of them do not understand what they are voting into law. All this happens while attempts are being made to subjugate our sovereignity in different ways and under different guises. Votes in the parliament are taken close to dead of night and bills get passed.

    The idiot we elected as the President of Sri Lanka did not know that he his tenure in office is now 5 years and not 6 as it was before. He and the rest of the idiots in parliament so readily raised their hands to take away the Presidential powers that incumbent Prime Minister cannot be fired even when he is implicated as the mastermind of the Central Bank Bond Scam. All the while the idiot citizens of Sri Lanka are being taken for a ride of their lifetime.

    Lemmings are rushing to the sea oblivious to what awaits them!

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