Buying time would benefit opposition!

Rohana_Wijeweera_(1943-1989)Rohana Wijeweera, the founder leader of JVP, that was in the South, what LTTE was in the North; both represented marginalized minorities in their respective regions, products of bad governance of Sri Lanka on gaining independence from the British in 1948. Wijeweera, led his party in two unsuccessful insurrections in 1971 and 1987 to 1989; yet today JVP is very much active in the political arena occupying opposition benches in the legislature. This week at the 72nd sessions of UN General Assembly, the President, was saying that haste will not yield good result and requested UNGA to give his Unity Government more time to complete the reconciliation programme; on buying time it is very apt to remind what Wijeweera had stated on the subject ‘that only serves the opposition’; therefore the President must first take care of the marginalised Sinhala Buddhists in the South to achieve reconciliation.

In the south of Sri Lanka from the late 1960s, JVP led by Wijeweera represented the marginalized Sinhala minorities, neglected by the state for many generations; believed that the armed struggle was the most suitable way to capture the state power; for the purpose of implementing their socio-economic policies in the country. Yet JVP was banned by the state following its defeat and the rest is history. In later years the ban on the party was lifted and the JVP entered the arena of legal political competition; Wijeweera finishing third as a candidate in the 1982 presidential elections, with more than 250,000 votes (4%, compared with the winner’s 3.2 million); today JVP are a playing a vital role in governance occupying opposition benches in the legislature.

Today, in the corruption covered Sri Lanka, to establish good governance the present unity government has begun to investigate serious financial frauds and crimes. For in the recent past, the leaders blinded by Sinhala Buddhist patriotism short of Buddha Dharma continued to rule without accepting the diversity by neglecting the minorities that led to the bloody civil war and the rest is now history. The war ended in 2009, by then people witnessed, how civil servants or rather they now prefer to be called ‘government administrators’ with their political masters gained control of the country’s finances for their personnel gains and or more often to satisfy their political masters, have resulted in corruption at the highest levels. The as the negative peace years rolled on, this practice broke all barriers and also engulfed the private sector. This trend has been going on for the past ten or fifteen years, a practice taken over by the administrators to expand the government involvement in varied fields in which necessary professional know-how were not utilized; in most situations available professionals were ignored and their advice not taken up for their consideration by the authorities.

Of the many cases that have come to surface from time to time one good example of the corrupt practice was very obvious in the Uma Oya Project that was very much over valued and awarded to a contractor with least experience in similar project as reported earlier, visit Northern Breeze @ https://rtr734.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/will-the-end-justify-the-means-on-uma-oya-project-in-sri-lanka/to read the full report. Now it is clear that environmentalists had reiterated their observations of the adverse environmental issues that Uma Oya would run dry in the course of time; the water resources would disappear and excavations would result in landslides in implementing the project. But these warnings were not headed by involved administrators and scholars, who provided lop-sided advice during the last regime, to please their politicians and still the multi-million Uma Oya saga continues. This lack of good governance in the country to 2015 resulted in a change of government. What has alarmed the people is that this trend is continuing even after two years of changing the government, case in point is the investigations related to Bond Scam that took place after the new government came to office in 2015. This only confirms the extent to which the administers are corrupted at the highest level; thanks to those people who voted in the 2015 General Elections to re-elect the same short-sighted politicians, who played musical chairs to exchange places between government and opposition and with few new faces filling vacant seats in the legislature. Sadly, people need to kick themselves, for missing the opportunity once again to rid of those corrupt legislators. This has placed heavy burden on the New President, who as the Head of State, have to weed the corrupt ones out and that has not been an easy task, with him tied to his political party as its leader. But in the two years have managed to rid of two ministers, that too only because the opposition have been vigilant. Bitter Truth is previous regime members in oppositions, are hell bent with all their experience in wheeling and dealing have escaped getting caught to the investigators; though two former administrators were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment after they were found guilty of misappropriating millions during the 2015 Presidential Elections. But both were later released on bail following an appeal made to the High Court, much to the relief of their political masters; with general public asking could an ordinary citizen get bail like this when the allegations are so obvious. Therefore, it is no wonder the world community are insisting on foreign judges to investigate cases related to human right violations, committed outside the battlefield by those parties involved in the civil-war and beyond to 2015.

Earlier, the “No Minister” posting appeared in Northern Breeze on March 26, 2016, highlighting, this state of affairs at the center,, that made reference to an old British TV episode called “Yes Minister” transmitted by BBC Television in the 80’s, that followed the ministerial career of a Member of Parliament and his various struggles to formulate and enact legislation or effect changes that are opposed by the British Civil Service, in particular by his Permanent Secretary with his Private Secretary usually caught between the two. In that posting, had suggested a similar episode titled No Minister for Sri Lanka based on real life experience to highlight ministerial misadventures that occur frequently in our parliament; to re-establish long lost good governance, which is need of the day for the country. Visit Northern Breeze @ https://rtr734.wordpress.com/2016/03/26/yes-minister-and-no-minister/ , to read the full posting.

Only by continuing with good governance, it is possible to restore communal harmony in the country and it was therefore not surprising to find most people agreeing with the President, that his Unity Government needs time, that slow and steady path is the most suitable course left for reconciliation. But the President has to cautiously take care of the marginalised Sinhala Buddhists into his confidence by giving them an ear with a view to resolve their grievances to achieve full peace in the country; for they are under a cloud consider reconciliation is only for the benefit of the Tamil speaking community marginalised by the war, possible only through the New Constitution. Failure to do so would give his opponents – the past regime masters now in opposition benches in the legislature the opportunity to exploit these southern marginalised people to their favour to put pressure of the government’s forward march to peace.