Fast and furious
Posted on June 3rd, 2019

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Never a dull moment in Sri Lankan politics! Someone or something keeps it really exciting. The unfolding political situation is like an edge-of-your-seat thriller.

The yahapalana government is afflicted with a serious autoimmune disease, so to speak. It has become its own enemy. President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are at daggers drawn. Others who helped cobble up the yahapalana coalition and bring it to power have turned against it. Its chief architect, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, was one of its bitterest critics at the time of his untimely demise. His successor Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya cursed himself, the other day, for having backed it.

Now, MP Rathana Thera, who led the yahapalana campaign against the Rajapaksa government, from the front, is on the warpath. He launched a fast last week, demanding the removal of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Governors Azath Salley and M. L. A. M. Hizbulla. The government had to give in. Salley and Hizbulla resigned, yesterday. Rathana Thera ended his fast after being given an assurance that Bathiudeen would follow suit.

If the government had refused to grant Rathana Thera’s demand, his fast would have continued and the deterioration of his health would have made the public furious. Above all, his hunger strike would have snowballed into a mass protest campaign against the government. Kandy traders closed their shops as a mark of solidarity with the fasting monk, and bus unions threatened a strike; in fact, buses stopped operating on some routes yesterday. A TNA MP also staged a fast in solidarity with Ven. Rathana, and the families with the victims of the Easter Sunday bombings travelled to Kandy in support of the Thera. Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith visited the rebel monk and held the latter’s hands. The message was loud and clear!

The government may have been able to prevent the people from taking to the streets, but the political storm has not blown over. It would not have been in the current predicament if it had faced the no-faith motion against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen instead of trying to open an escape route for him through a parliamentary probe into the very serious allegations against him. It may have thought that it could do anything in Parliament. Thanks to its arrogance, an issue which could have been confined to Parliament has got out of hand; even if the no-confidence motion had been taken up and the Opposition had secured its passage with some UNF MPs voting for it, Bathiudeen would have resigned himself to losing the vote. But, now, all Muslim ministers in the government have had to resign because of him.

It is reported that the Muslim MPs in the ruling coalition have decided to continue to support the government without holding ministerial and other portfolios. They have helped the government wriggle out of a difficult situation, albeit temporarily, but they are politicians thirsting for power like their counterparts in other communities. This is certainly not a situation they can come to terms with so easily. There was absolutely no need for them to resign en masse from the Cabinet because the allegations at issue were not against the Muslim ministers; they were against only Bathiudeen, and they were never under pressure to step down.

In fact, some of the Muslim ministers are known to have courageously stood up to the dangerous extremists in their community. Why they decided to get bracketed with their beleaguered ministerial colleague defies comprehension. Their resignation might prove to be counterproductive in that it can be misconstrued as an act of pledging solidarity with Bathiudeen, who stands accused of having had links to the National Thowheed Jamaath, which carried out the Easter Bombings.

We can only hope that an equal number of Sinhala ministers will also resign from the Cabinet so that a lot of public funds spent on their maintenance could be saved.

4 Responses to “Fast and furious”

  1. Christie Says:

    I like the last sentence of your editorial.

    Let us come to our senses and basic logic.

    There are lots of allegations against few men and no legal action of any sort except backyard actions.

    It is not a political or a democratic exercise to make a person guilty or not guilty by the public other than a jury appointed accordingly.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Avamangala Samaraweera has stated that he will REPORT Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith to the Vatican for exciting communal hatred in Sri Lanka because he visited and offered his support to Ven. Ratana during his recent fast in front of the Dalada Maligawa!

    What a TREACHEROUS SNAKE!

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    From Easter Sunday upto now Muslim leaders have STRIVED MIGHTILY to disassociate themselves and the Muslim community at large from any responsibility for those attacks. They have been VEHEMENTLY DECLARING that ALL those who supported the terrorist acts and terrorist agendas MUST BE PUNISHED to the fullest extent of the LAW!

    Yet, they NOW JOIN HANDS with the FIRST THREE MUSLIM LEADERS accused of COMPLICITY in the terrorist ATTACKS and Muslim EXTREMISM and RESIGN IN UNISON!

    They have ISSUED a COVER STORY that they are RESIGNING TOGETHER to PROTEST the FAILURE of the Sri Lanka Govt to protect the Muslim COMMUNITY!!

    WHAT a LOAD OF BULLSHIT is this?!

    Their RESIGNATION as a TEAM to PROVIDE COVER to the alleged TRAITORS is CLEAR PROOF that NONE of these Muslim Leaders are TRULY committed to the PUNISHMENT of the CRIMINALS AMONG THEM!

    They are COMMITTED INSTEAD to DEFENDING & PROTECTING the CRIMINALS AMONG THEM and FABRICATING a FALSE COVER STORY to cover themselves!

    I can only say to THIS GANG OF NINE Muslim Ministers: Your FIG LEAF HAS FALLEN and your Nakedness REVEALS your COMBINED ANTI-NATIONAL MOTIVES & AGENDA

    INVESTIGATE them ALL, and PROSECUTE the GUILTY to the FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Please view this Derana 360 program with Wimal Weerawansa:

    360 with Wimal Weerawansa (03 – 06 – 2019).

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