Contradictions
Posted on July 17th, 2019

Editorial Courtesy The Island

The yahapalana government is a contradiction in terms in that it consists of politicians who have a history of practising the very antithesis of good governance. Some of the recent utterances of its leaders and their soul mates show how fraught it is with internal contradictions.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has gone on record as saying that the armed forces and the police, acting on his instructions, in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Sunday disaster, eliminated the local agents of the ISIS root and branch, in record time, much to the astonishment of the entire world. All the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) cadres have been either killed or taken into custody, he says. He would have us believe that the credit for the jaw-dropping performance of the police and the military should accrue to him, for President Maithripala Sirisena was not in the country, at that time.

Not to be outdone, President Sirisena insists that he ordered the anti-terror operations, from Singapore, where he was holidaying, at the time of the carnage, the implication of his claim being that he alone deserves the credit for the success of the blitzkrieg, as it were, which brought the situation under control. Both these yahapalana leaders, however, deny the responsibility for the government’s failure to act on an intelligence warning of impending terror strikes. Success has two fathers and failure is an orphan!

Former war-winning Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka has struck a discordant note. He insists that the new form of terror is far from over. The ongoing operations to prevent further terror strikes will take at least two to three years, and a campaign to wipe out the entire terror network will last about eight years, he says. His statement runs counter to the claims made by the President and the PM. His detractors accuse him of raising a bogey in a bid to secure the Law and Order Ministry, but the fact remains that he is au fait with anti-terror operations and national security.

The Prime Minister has declared that the State Intelligence has cleared former Minister Rishard Bathiudeen of any wrongdoing as regards the Easter Sunday terror attacks. He is flaunting a police investigation report in support of contention. But the UNP backbenchers have opposed moves to reappoint Bathiudeen a minister. They seem to have doubts about their leader’s claim of Bathiudeen’s innocence. Has the government failed to sell the police reports concerned to its ginger group? It wants police investigations and reports taken seriously lest the people should lose faith in the long arm of the law, but its leaders challenged the results of police investigations into Thajudeen’s death, under the previous government, and subsequent probes proved that it was a murder. So much for the accuracy and credibility of police investigations!

TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, explaining why his party had leapt to the defence of the government when a no-confidence motion was moved against it, the other day, has said that if the UNF administration had fallen, a dictatorship, led by those who committed war crimes, would have emerged. This statement may be considered a damning indictment of the JVP, which moved the no-faith motion. It may be recalled that the JVP joined the TNA in thwarting an attempt to dislodge the present dispensation, last year. The TNA’s latest claim implies that the JVP sought to pave the way for a dictatorship by moving a no-confidence motion against the government, albeit in vain.

The JVP says it will never allow the SLPP to capture power. If its no-confidence motion had been passed, the government would have collapsed or a situation favourable to the SLPP would have arisen much to the detriment of the yahapalana camp. Are the critics of the JVP justified in claiming that it moved that no-faith motion as it wanted to provide the government, divided on the issue of the Easter attacks, with a rallying point?

Meanwhile, the TNA has contradicted itself on the question of war crimes. It says that it is all out to prevent those who are alleged to have committed war crimes from capturing power. But while accusing the army of having harmed civilians intentionally during the closing stages of the Vanni war in 2009, it threw in its lot with wartime Army Commander Fonseka in the presidential fray, in 2010. It had no qualms about trying to make him the President while calling for action against the perpetrators of war crimes! It either acted out of expediency and not principle or did not believe in its own allegation that the army had committed war crimes under Fonseka’s command.

One Response to “Contradictions”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    [Quote] TNA Leader R. Sampanthan, explaining why his party had leapt to the defence of the government when a no-confidence motion was moved against it, the other day, has said that if the UNF administration had fallen, a dictatorship, led by those who committed war crimes, would have emerged. [Unquote]

    Really?

    If Tamils call anyone a war criminal, that is sufficient proof he is a war hero.

    True Sri Lankans should shed all differences and support these people TNA calls “war criminals” to win the presidential election.

    Strange TNA supports Batalanda Ranil who is also an alleged war criminal! But Tamils don’t call him a war criminal, so he is not a war hero.

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