Sri Lankans following four of the top faiths in the world though highly literate, have permitted their religious racists to make headway in politics in the past and with country in ruins formed the Unity Government in 2015 to take control of rebuilding the country. The political parties of the minorities without exception should support not blindly, but with open eyes the attempts by the government to regain their exterminated ethical and socio-cultural values. For three years the Unity Government has made mole hill progress of mountain size problems with the limitations of politicians’ at all three tiers of power and outside. These politicians that includes those of minorities are still dream glorifying their pre-colonial era without adjusting to global trends, a grave mistake they have been making for seven decades since gaining independence. It is time for politicians of all faiths in Sri Lanka, to put the country before their party or self and act fast; to avoid international communities interfering into the internal affairs and lead them by nose; this breach on an independent nation will only stop the day if Sri Lankans think and act united as one nation.
The Unity Government with all its limitations with same politicians’ at all three tiers of power and outside in opposition; has undertaken to repair the mess left behind by the previous regime not just the economy through massive waste, abuse of power and corruption; also the annihilation of ethical and socio-cultural values over three decades to deform the demography of the land. In the three years to 2018 with first time alliance of the two major political parties, the Unity Government has taken some prudent and difficult steps to resolve many problems with limited success. But with such mole hill progress made out of mountain size problems in three years, people promptly expressed their disappointment with their vote at the LG Polls concluded early this year and the previous regime were the main beneficiaries.
The bitter truth is that a third of eligible voters, who voted for the Unity Government in 2015 refrained from casting their vote at the LG Polls, not in disgust but more in disappointment over the negativity of double standards politicians mostly lacking political maturity. For all politicians across the country, no matter how long they have been in politics or which political party they represented were blinded by petty party politics based on race and religion, who even after seventy years of independence continue to disintegrate into smaller units. The veteran leaders of these political parties have failed miserably to understand a basic fact that in the international context Sri Lanka has no absolute freedom. For any responsible government having brought a cruel bloody civil-war to finish with international assistance in 2009, should have ruled the whole country democratically and provided immediate relief to those war affected and embarked on social and economic reforms to restore normalcy with the task of placing the country back on road to prosperity. But the previous regime that was authoritarian had other ideas to annihilate the overpowered minorities further, only to cause another external interference in 2015 that brought a change of wind and people voted the Unity Government to power.
The country would have been better off with at least a good percentage of new blood at all three tiers of power; but with people in all corners of the country lacking in political insight prevented them from understanding the necessity or importance of bringing in new faces and continued to elect back the same old veteran politicians. In fact at the 2015 General Election, they voted for most of the sitting members and the few they rejected managed to get in through the national list system. That included many legislators who benefitted directly from the corrupt administration of the previous regime with few green horns getting in to fill vacant slots. It is in this back drop the Unity Government attempted to find solutions to all the social and economic ills of the country and were supported by the leaders of the many minority political parties, including that of the affected northeast minorities in opposition.
A tall order for the Unity Government legislators of the two parties with all the past resentment between them, to come good from their murky past and take on the difficult task of bringing a painful discipline on public finances to a corrupt administration inherited from the previous regime. Sadly all political parties are only attending to and if at all their own vote bank members at the expense of others. This has not helped the high expectations of the war torn minorities to resolve their post war issues, which has remained unresolved, as their politicians in opposition are harping only on the ethnic problem; while the whole country looked for much needed reforms and rapid results to irradiate corruption, this too was taking long to produce positive results. Because of internal squabbles between the two major alliance partners in government fueled by previous regime members that prevented them to prevent waste, abuse of power and corruption. Most importantly the delays in reinstating massacred ethical and socio-cultural values have failed to create any trust on the government for the minorities.
Sadly lacking political insight of what goes on around in the international arena and it effect the people continue live in all corners of the country in political darkness are being exploited by the breakaway group formed by previous regime members, opted to sit in opposition to oppose every move the government made to erode away any public support to foment social unrest. Most of whom with religious and racial sentiments of pre-colonial past, inside the parliament and out in all corners of the country and supported by biased media opposing the government.
Though the government has set up a Presidential Task Force to expedite development of northeast with support from those legislators who won in northeast and are in opposition. Now almost a decade later with still no individual able to sleep in peace in northeast with new scandals replacing old scandals and these scandals worsening has given opponents in the warzone to judge the government negatively and they correctly feel the best solution would be for them to have a federal system of governance in the merged northeast. Acknowledging this the Chief Minister has told the legislators from northeast to support the appeal already made by the defeated politicians of minority parties. Who have become aggressive opponents against these development activities in northeast without a political solution; though delaying developments is not the best suggestion for it would put their people into more difficulties. They boycotting would prevent a holistic approach and only would help to keep the conflict unresolved and comfort the cause of those elements in society who wish for their own motives of benefiting from strife and human suffering. It would only continue the past heritage genocide in northeast that discriminated the minorities since independence.
Sri Lankans living in northeast with any interest for their motherland could serve the country better by giving their legislators encouragement to participate in the Presidential Task Force proceedings and expedite the development of the divided northeast region affected by the three decades of war that is lagging behind the rest of the country. These northeast legislators could serve their people to complete the rebuilding process utilising the opportunity from government to resolve the problems of their people and help consolidate the delicate democracy prevailing since 2015 to achieve in due course a multi-ethnic and multi-religious united nation for all to share.