The President’s outburst on the corruption probes was predictable and the contents of his fiery speech were understandable; it proved once again that the current leaders like their ancestors are not immune to feelings. Probably, it would have done a lot to the President to get it off his chest, but it did worry those citizens’ watchdog bodies fearing that the President was coming under political pressures. The bitter truth is that the It must be taken as the Government’s outburst, because the President did have a special meeting with Prime Minister and senior Ministers the night before to express his displeasure about the way the corruption probes were progressing; both leaders did meet again night after the outburst confirming that the coalition was on course. The incident however should serve as an eye opener to all the legislators, particularly those representing the minorities in parliament, who must work with the coalition government to resolve all their issues during the current sittings of this parliament; thereafter could prepare their people with rest of the country for the development envisaged by the two leaders.
To have an upset President or for that matter the government, at this juncture when the legislators are involved in sorting out matters such as reforms, new constitution and other national issues was most unfortunate for the nation. On the other hand there are many people in the country not happy that these investigations are dragging on without concluding any of the cases taken up for investigation. To make matters worse JVP, the only proper opposition in parliament, has brought to light many cases of corrupt practices continuing under the present government needing investigations. This did not surprise the people, because only few new legislators were brought into the act; with the bulk of the administration retained after the formation of the new government of the two main parties UNP and SLFP with few other small parties.
Due to the two main parties UNP and SLFP in competition with each other, allegations from the JVP have not been properly responded by the government; in spite of their political collaboration to form the unity government. This whole chapter should be taken as an eye opener by all the legislators representing the minorities, particularly TNA representing the Tamils to resolve their problems during the period of this good governance of the two main parties UNP and SLFP; It was that failure of successive governments, who have had a history of going back on their promises because the other was opposing, when trying to resolve the issues of the Tamils, which led to the three decades of civil war.
The promise of resignation by the Director General of the Bribery Commission throws a shadow on the government and concerns the people who placed much faith in good governance. The leaders of this country, as reported in an earlier Northern Breeze post, have always been Buddhists, but none a Buddha. But the two leaders have come forward to resolve all the ills in the country are most welcome. The legislators particularly those representing the minorities utilize the first and probably the last opportunity available to them; while the political collaboration of the two opposing big parties is in intact. In particular, the wait and see attitude of TNA in opposition is not helping anybody and certainly not the Tamils waiting for their problems resolved by the government which their votes brought to power.
All efforts of the past twenty-two months by the President and Prime Minister meeting leaders of other nations around the world to clear the tarnished image of the country will reduce to nothing, unless they rid of the corrupt practices in the country first. Let us hope this outburst incident get the legislators alert to enable them to glide the ship of good governance shore out of trouble waters. The legislators in parliament should work with the two leaders and help the country to come out of the mess; which could only be achieved if all the people indulging in such practices are probed without exception. This will be an acid test for a country that has forgotten the basic legal norm “no citizen is placed above the law of the country”. To resolve the problems faced by the minorities, it must be accepted that both sides will have to move away from their present rigid stance, take case by case, and adopt a give-take policy to reach a midpoint.