President’s second term manifestly futuristic
Posted on November 17th, 2010

By Philip Fernando, former Deputy Editor, Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ President Mahinda RajapaksaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s second term commences on a manifestly futuristic note signifying a creative approach to governance. Political observers credit the president for being remarkably accessible casting himself as the proverbial safe pair of hands, an unmatched leadership quality. Many favourable trends mark the event: first and foremost his adroit prosecution of the war would prove to be an unparalleled experience in taking the country forward.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Equally significant is how Sri Lanka successfully withstood the harsh impacts of a global recession under PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s stewardship. IMF has stated that a full-scale depression as been averted. While many Western nations were performing triage on their sick economies success has arrived steadily in Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What is also germane is that overcoming obstacles to inter-racial harmony seemed well within presidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s grasp. Even detractors would acknowledge that. The SLMCƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to join the government unconditionally pointed to PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s success as a proven consensus builderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚almost unmatched in recent times.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Path towards paradigm shift

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The current growth forecasts portentously show that the economic tempo would likely take off into top gear breaking out of the box. Many analysts predict that the second term would see a steady path towards a paradigm shift in development impelled by technological innovation.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s first-term began with a hard fought election victory. Yet the razor thin Parliamentary majority of that era brought in adeptness and purpose. Post-war ebullience prevalent today lends itself to a more forward looking stance.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The challenge to ensure a steady flow of capital into the country as well as the identification of the vexing issues facing the country had not been left to speculation. The grass-root approach to development had not been forgotten, neither had the younger members of Parliament been left out.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Hustling for motivation

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Second terms should by definition be hustling with an eye for motivation as the crippling and arbitrary term limits are gone. Getting the country energized seemed the pertinent planned course. Refighting the presidential campaign is a constant day to day effort. Staying focused by avoiding collusion course would be a major ingredient of success.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The results would hinge on keeping faith with the ordinary folksƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ability to stand firm. Their anxieties must be the guiding light. The core of the coalition that the president assembled should never be allowed to be gnawed away by ensuring that stagnation and insecurity are under control.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Those suffused with vengeful glee and ready to body-surf the anti-establishment rhetoric may be fired up and ready to go. The impulses of urgency and commitment must overcome such predicaments.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Five point strategy

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Most analysts predict that to keep everyone enthused five main goals are essential: economic stability and growth, infrastructure enhancement, food safety, innovation in industry ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”especially high Tec, a service sector geared for productivity and lasting peace. Ability to deliver on these fronts is vital.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The coalition that stretches from the liberal left into the centre-right must not be allowed to lose faith. Constituency politics must not become antagonistic but anchored on a vision of hope. Firm roots need to be well entrenched.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Some have argued that the first term had become a rallying cry for overall support garnered due to the unprecedented access Sri Lankans had gained following the increase in the number of ministershipsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚a much maligned topic.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Ultimately access underpins democracy. The ability of all citizens to reach the highest echelons of power is vital. President has exemplified that principle.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The inspirational well-springs abundantly point to presidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ability to project an innovative agenda capitalizing on the substantial support in the country. The emboldened party-following would not rest until goals are reached. So would disparagement and dissent.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Overriding goals getting etched

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The overriding goals would get etched in stone eventually. With every flourish of PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s imprimatur would come the need for fastened growth, of course, the antagonisms may be part of the equation.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The golden rule is that leaders have to be realistic about what can and cannot be achieved, while at the same time recognize that realism should never be confused with capitulation.”

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There is common ground to be built. That can be found not in the corridors of power alone but from among the ordinary folks who are the vanguard of success. Progress in the economic front must take precedence over doling out favoursƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚what is termed sharing the pork barrel in the West. The demarcation of priorities has to be made on the basis of strategy.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As I write two unrelated news items herald futuristic beginnings: a garment factory on a 10 acre land in Kilinochchi has been planned and over 2 million saplings are being planted to mark the second termƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬‚both augur well-both unprecedented in their overall impact.

One Response to “President’s second term manifestly futuristic”

  1. gunarat Says:

    There is nothing wrong in praising a political regime or a political leader.

    However, praise along will make the writer an accomplice of the object of his veneration. For no human is error proof.

    This is the same essay that appears in the weekly column “Parallel Perspectives” in the Daily News, the voice of the ruling party. I find it hard to glean a parallel perspective in the article.

    The writer says, “Most analysts predict that to keep everyone enthused five main goals are essential: economic stability and growth, infrastructure enhancement, food safety, innovation in industry –especially high Tec, a service sector geared for productivity and lasting peace. Ability to deliver on these fronts is vita.

    Who are these “analysts”? How did the writer ascertain that they constitute the “most”? Are these five goals mutually exclusive?

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