What is the Sri Lankan President up to?
Posted on April 30th, 2022

Shenali D Waduge

The President of Sri Lanka came to power in November 2019 with an overwhelming majority promising to deliver on his manifesto. He will go down in history as one of the most unluckiest leaders walking into a covid crisis – deaths & lockdowns, vaccinations & dealing with the collapse of revenue. This was nothing that was exclusive to Sri Lanka but it impacted Sri Lanka’s economy and added to the already piling debt. The covid became a foundation for external parties to influence strategically important nations to become economically clasped under their control. Was the mismanagement of food/fuel/gas & power intentionally done to bring Sri Lanka under western monetary control having suddenly distanced Sri Lanka from China having built a wrong notion of  ‘Chinese debt trap’? Who trapped the President?

While many assume the policies and proposals of the Viyathmaga team are at play and are responsible for the current economic chaos – in reality it is the Morgoda economic-defense-foreign policy proposals that are being rolled out. What happened to the leader, the people elected? It has become a puzzle to many.

A string of MOUs are set to completely remove Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and run contrary to what was promised to the people, if signed. These are not what people expect of any leader who assured no assets would be sold – bargaining our sovereignty & assets is never an option or a solution that politicians should dabble with for their political survival or to satisfy foreign counterparts.

Be that as it may – the country is now facing a political circus.

The protestors, let us presume are an outlet for the grievances and frustrations of the governance & the political system with people demanding the entire Parliament to step down. What if beneath this, a covert operation is at play maneuvering the protestors from one side & the President from the other?

We can put this doubt to rest if the protests stop no sooner a so-called national government is installed & the charismatic vote commanding PM is removed. Sign of things to come is the removal of the Buddhist Ministry as a separate ministry in the recent gazette. 

It must be clearly mentioned that all leaders have only shown cosmetic allegiance to Buddhism & have not fostered Buddhism as the constitution has mandated. They have only used Buddhists to come to power & allowed non-Buddhists to destroy Buddhism thereafter.

The President has become distant not only from the people but many who were close to him previously. Today, one a handful of people flock around him like glue and to them he has showered the best of ministries.

When People expected punitive action, the opposite happened. Therefore, the main players of the economic collapse are still at large & it was their proposals that led to Sri Lanka having to accept any handout with conditions which Sri Lanka is unable to negotiate or refuse. We have been brought to this level because of the incompetence of a handful of people who prepared the proposals & questions why they are still holding office.

Should the President play into the hands of entities trying to weaken Sri Lanka? 

The President in reality does not have a political party nor does he have political experience. He is in the position solely because of President Mahinda Rajapakse’s appeal to voters to trust the person he was nominating for the role of President.

The SLPP was a new party formed under Basil Rajapakse and patented to him. The SLFP is one of the 2 main political parties alongside UNP that have a traditional loyal vote base still. Unfortunately neither SLFP nor UNP have charismatic leaders to take reign at any future elections. SLPP’s future depends on the performance of the SLPP government which has now run into all sorts of calamities as a result of poor decision making & ill-management of country funds.

There are some dynamics in politics that we cannot ignore. These are aspects the urban elite tend to ignore.

Arguably Mahinda Rajapakse, old as he may be, still commands the people’s choice among all politicians in Sri Lanka. This is a factor even the opposition admits. Is the call for his removal suddenly and surprisingly ,the President himself is agreeable to, aimed at breaking his vote baseahead of an early election if parliament is dissolved in 2 ½ years from Nov2019?

Next we are hearing of a national government coming to shape – this too is being heavily mooted by a dual citizen camp within government and the opportunists in the opposition. If the issue at hand is all related to money – when the President should only function with a trimmed down government of only essential ministries (limiting to less than 10) – why has he suddenly gazetted 31 ministries / Ministers and another group of State Ministers who collectively will come close to 60 ministers (from both government & opposition) – the people did not go to vote for opposition MPs to be given portfolios in particular because the opposition MPs were all in power prior to 2019. If the protestors are silent & do not object to or prevent a national government, we can identify the brains behind both the protests and the President.

What is the use in having a 50 plus government when the call was to cut down on expense & deliver solutions? People are being asked to sacrifice and tighten their belts (with no food, no gas, no fuel and no electricity) while Parliament is converging to create a national govt to further drain the country dry.

Enlarging the government and handing out ministries to government and opposition in a bogus national government set up by getting rid of only the PM is not the solution and nothing that the people have asked or want. 

Moreover, having Opposition MPs sitting in Government & given portfolios is akin to allowing them to campaign for the next election tarnishing the image of the government in power & building the ground force while enjoying perks of office. This is political hara kiri that the President is committing.

Who is advising the President? 

All political parties are weighing their options including those that are now unlikely to return to parliament as well as those whose political careers are unlikely to go beyond current positions they hold. This scenario is not very healthy for the public because such politicians will take maximum use of their position as MP/Minister before they bow out of politics (but not before grooming their children to take over)

Be that as it may – a national government is not the solution & simply asking the PM to step down and increasing the number of ministries as gazetted does not signal any intent to reduce the burden on the tax payer & only marks more trouble brewing.

What is the President up to & who are advising him? Removing himself from the PM and his vote base that backed him & distancing himself from the SLPP stalwarts that campaigned for him to embrace a handful of select MPs (some who are allegedly dual citizens) while also embracing Opposition MPs – is not the solution but the start of more troubles for the nation.

Shenali D Waduge

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