Will there be a change or will the agony continue?
Posted on October 2nd, 2019

N.A. de S. Amaratunga

First let us recall what has happened in the last four and a half years so that we know what has to change with the election of a new president.  These last four years have been agonizing for the people of this country. The blows fell incessantly and relentlessly one after the other from day one of this government. All constitutional requirements and ethics were broken to put together a ramshackle of a government most inappropriately called yahapalana”. Immediately the central bank was robbed twice and the parliament was dissolved to prevent exposure by COPE.  Then came the US-initiated UNHRC Resolution 30/1 against Sri Lanka cosponsored by its own yahapalana” government which could be considered the worst betrayal since the 1815 Kadyan convention. This Resolution ich made unsubstantiated accusations against the war-winning armed forces of war crimes including the murder of civilians numbering 40000, rape and indiscriminate shelling. It also recommended the enactment of several parliamentary acts and the formation of institutions inimical to the sovereignty of the country.  Constitutional reforms to grant greater devolution is also recommended in their attempt to promote Tamil separatists and diaspora and destabilize the country. The aim of the western powers who had helped this government to come to power is obviously to take the country in its grip and use it as a base for its geopolitical agenda in the region.

Further to make matters worse the economy has been ruined as a result of mismanagement and loss of investor confidence due to Central Bank robbery. It must be understood that an economically weak country is less capable of protecting its independence. The heavy taxing has impoverished the people.  No development activity of any kind is visible. Even the projects started by the previous government have not been completed. The Central Highway construction, for example, has stopped. Thus the two most important factors for our dignified and comfortable existence, our sovereignty/independence and our economy have been almost irreparably weakened to a great degree. Recovery obviously would need a complete overhaul of the government, its leaders and policies. The individuals who are responsible for the above outrages cannot be relied upon to bring about a meaningful change that could result in the recovery of what is lost, the sovereignty and the economy. These leaders when in power in 2002 followed similar policies and we had negative growth and foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the country as well. 

With regard to the economic policy, some may say there is no difference between the UNP, SLPP, and SLFP. This may be true, for today there are no alternative economic models to choose from and all countries more or less adopt the same methods.  Yet there is a perceptible difference between the economic development experienced in the 2005 –  2014 period and that in the 2015 – 2019 period as indicated by the economic parameters.  Therefore the difference may be in the management and ability rather than policy. Similarly, with regard to foreign relations, there is a difference between the UNP and SLPP/SLFP. Foreign interference was resisted and managed quite well during 2005 – 2010 especially during the final stages of the war. Now we are almost a subject nation thanks to the UNHRC Resolution and its consequences. Some may argue that we have restored good relations with all countries which were not the case before 2015, but bartering the country’s independence for favorable relations and slavish attitude to foreign interference is not good foreign policy.

Therefore the vital question for the people is whether the individuals who were responsible for the ruination of the economy and independence of the country would continue to wield power even after the presidential election. This issue becomes more critical when the 19th A comes into full force after the presidential election and the parliament assumes more power. The crucial matter therefore for the people is whether the leadership of the party in power has changed for the better. If one looks at the individuals who engineered the change in their presidential candidacy one would see that they are the people instrumental in getting the UNHRC Resolution passed and who vehemently defended it. They are the people who claimed there was no Central Bank bond scam and wrote books to support their claim and footnotes in the committee report to confuse the issue.  As they are the force behind the presidential candidate it is they who will wield power in the government if their candidate wins. Therefore could the people expect any change for the better with regard to economic management, foreign relations, and independence as a result of the change in the presidential candidate of the ruling party. President may be harmless but the parliament would consist of the same lot who ruined the country and they will merrily continue with their bumbling.

If that is the story about one option in the presidential race what about the other. Their track record in the economic sphere and foreign relations may be more acceptable but certainly not with regard to corruption and nepotism. However, corruption and nepotism are rampant in the present dispensation too. Therefore people may have to choose the lesser evil and hope they have learned their lessons and are reformed.

N.A. de S. Amaratunga

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress