New Year Greetings and best wishes to all followers of Northern Breeze for a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Our postings have been well patronized and valuable comments received on them, more have joined our readership this year; while there are silent observers, a few of all ethnicity have opted out of circulation, as the seriousness of subjects discussed perhaps have disturbed their tapered mind. Our legislators of all ethnicity have been monkeying around with the constitution from final days of colonial rule in relation to the ethnic issue where they have been doing a few random tasks, but mostly have just fooled around; they have not accomplish much, but have had lot of fun at the expense of the lives of the people in particular the ethnic minorities. When you monkey around, you waste time, you often fiddle with it in an attempt to fix it or figure it out. In the Sri Lankan context the legislators have been monkeying around on the ethnic problem; only possible if they irrespective of their political affiliations stop monkeying around and change their mind set to start serving their voters instead of serving themselves. To this end it is about time the people by using their vote correctly put a stop to this and replace this sluggish attitude representatives with better ones to all elected bodies.
Another year has ended for the Unity Government formed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP), the two major political parties in coalition with few other smaller political parties and are expected to continue to govern till the next General Elections due in 2020. The New Year 2018 is likely to be a vital year especially for the planned economy growth drive, where the benefits of the restoration of Generalised Scheme of Preferences, known as GSP Plus on exports to the European Union and lifting the fish import ban which had been imposed during the former regime, have begun to bear fruit for the government’s vision 2025 programme to create a peaceful, just and all inclusive society.
Sadly corruption has continued into the period of this new government and a Presidential Commission had to be appointed to probe the alleged bond scam in the Central Bank, that forced a Senior Minister to resign due to allegations made against him during the Bond Commission sittings whose report was handed over to the President to act on and more commissions are expected to be appointed in the coming year to investigate allegations against the former regime’s corrupt practices, the cases are likely to be taken up in the New Year as it was decided by the government to appoint special High Courts to hear cases relating to corruption, fraud or other political crimes. While majority of the population are struggling for a decent life particularly in rural areas and the situation is much worse for the families directly affected by the manmade war and many natural disasters. But to create a peaceful, just and all inclusive society the government must address the longstanding issues from both manmade and natural disasters; it prerequisites them to change gear to advance the drafting of the new constitution which is moving at snail phase, for no economic progress is feasible without first resolving these basic issues of the people.
On the other side of the coin in the legislature the Joint Opposition (JO) made up of previous regime members opposed to the government are playing monkeys in and outside the legislature aided by a corrupt system of administration left behind by them to disturb every action of the rulers with the aim to regain lost power, while the Janathā Vimukthi Peramuṇa often called the People’s Liberation Front or abbreviated as JVP, movement that was involved in two armed uprisings in the past against the ruling governments. The movement has entered democratic politics by participating in the elections as a political party, and has been a third party in Sinhalese Sri Lankan politics is the only worthy opposition party in parliament playing a watch dog role to enable the government to sail on the correct path. Regrettably the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) the major political party of the Tamil speaking minorities made up of moderates and militants are not playing an active role in legislature from the opposition benches, as per their ancestors, who had from the days of independence parted their ways with the government to concentrate on the struggle for self-rule. With talks with successive governments failing were driven to wage a war against the state leading to a brutal bloody civil war over a period of three decades resulting in gaining with a heavy cost of lives a devolution package. Unfortunately, the rulers has kept them apart from participating in governance activities by never fully implementing the devolution package. TNA are today playing a passive role in opposition supporting the government they helped to form and are calling for the full implementation of the devolution package and address grievances caused to their people by the bloody crude civil war, while their voters are disappointed with the progress made in the three years.
All activities in the legislature would be delayed with the members paying more attention to the long delayed Local Government Elections due on 10 February 2018. At this LG Polls candidates will be elected on a new mixed system with a possibility of 25 percent representation of women among the elected candidates. It will benefit the poor majority rural population in the villages more if the two major political parties worked together in the Local Councils as in the center. But very unlikely as the rest of the political parties in the legislature and those not yet in the legislature are all set to fight like cats and dogs for the votes and as to who take control of the Local Councils is yet an open game and may popup some new surprises; but people must at every elections vote right to rid of representatives monkeying around with the issues of the minorities to create a peaceful, just and all inclusive society.