As the nation prepares for two weeks away the LG polls, time is ripe for the voters to roll on with the forced wind of change of 2015 to look beyond the political parties and select the right candidate to clean up the bottom level in the power pyramid. Always needed in Sri Lanka was a relationship based on mutual respect and affection between communities living in the country and the size and the importance of power of the political parties representing the majority community should not have a disproportionate influence on the numerous parties of the minorities. This concept apply equally well to the Local Government bodies to be elected at the LG polls, where the majority group gaining power to control the body should influence the politics benign and sincere with no ulterior motives to dominate or undermine instead respect the rest, who as a watch dog are entitled to and would oppose them; failure to do so would only destabilise functioning of the Local bodies. In this context nominated candidates of two important Local bodies were reviewed and right candidate selected to vote enabling people to roll on with the change introduced in 2015.
Bitter Truth is there is no need to bring party politics into election of the Local bodies, though it has been used as a training grounds for new members joining any political parties in the country. Desirable if the parties select the right person at this level first and then they could graduate themselves in time to serve the people from the higher levels in a corruption free climate, one of the main objective of the wind of change introduced in 2015. Unfortunately, this is a point not clearly understood by the political parties even after three years of making the change in 2015. The Yahapalanaya government’s objectives when they came to power in 2015 were to abolish the executive presidency and to bring about electoral reforms in addition to finding a durable political solution as an answer to the long-standing Tamil question. But it is proving to be a challenge to achieve majority consensus in the new constitution making process; though today many accept that the corruption and fascistic terrorism were the direct result of executive presidency and therefore are supportive of the abolition of it; yet there are few demanding not to abolish executive presidency. Whereas, all the political parties without exception have done since the change was to see what is there for them while continuing with their earlier mindset in a corrupt environment. At this juncture finding a durable political solution to the long-standing Tamil question still continues to pose a problem. While these are problems best left with the legislature to resolve; people in all corners of the country must get on with their life and it is mandatory to have all the local bodies as the lowest level of administration in the country operate efficiently without corruption.
At the top in this level of power is the largest Local Authority in Sri Lanka and one of the oldest in South Asia is Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), where Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP) the two major political parties in the coalition government are contesting each other to take control of it. Whereas with Colombo being the business capital that attracts investments the Mayor of Colombo has the responsibility to maintain a corrupt-free environment favorable for its citizens while ensuring the positive development of the City, as such the two parties should have come up with a common candidate to help CMC to provide better service to the people and to help the government to accelerate its reform process to the country as promised by the President in 2015. In the same way up in the North at the top is Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) has a different picture, for it has almost been three-and-a-half years since the Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) elected council ended its term; it was dissolved at the end of August 2014, longer than the other local government bodies in the island and those who expect some excitement among the local populace of the possibility of finally having an election would be disappointed; but all agree JMC require a corruption free council and the better way would be to get a fresh new candidate for the post of Mayor.
Accepting the all-inclusive plan for the country the President, should place himself above party politics and choose Mayors for these two councils to roll on with the change, gather strength to pursue with his efforts to seek and punish the fraudsters who have ruined the country moving freely now. If an SLFP or UNP nominee become the Mayor, due to the animosity between the partners of the 2015 political marriage of convenience, that caused them to fight each in the legislature and outside for over two years will force them in all probably take their fight into the municipality. With a third party member as Mayor the President would save the time otherwise spent to solve issues at CMC had SLFP or UNP nominated person takes the post; get more time in hand to act against corruption. In the same way in JMC, based on past records there is no doubt the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader would accept that a third party candidate with a vision would be able to build Jaffna Town without the corruption seen in the past.
The Colombo city voters divorced of party politics should cast their vote correct to pick Dr. Ranil Jayasena, a genuine leftist as the fit person to be their City Father and is capable of holding the port at CMC as his goal is to have a very transparent and non-corrupt administration with a vision to have a clean and green city and be able provide better value service for their money to the rate payers and an excellent service to the millions visiting Colombo City without weakening the government. Thereafter the President placing himself above party politics make Jayasena as the Mayor of Colombo. In the same way in Jaffna town out in the northern periphery the voters divorced of party politics should cast their vote to pick Attorney at Law V. Manivannan, who is the best Mayoral candidate for Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) with a vision to build corruption-less clean Jaffna Town. This approach applied to all Local bodies will give strength to the President to investigate all frauds committed in the past, to seek and punish the fraudsters and help reach national unity under true democracy.