The consensus is that functioning without the Parliament Sri Lanka under direct Presidential control have managed to get people locked down in their home with the double blow of COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and impact caused by wasteful economic mismanagement of many decades. In this scenario, the crisis had forced people to comply with the lock down imposed by the health authorities within a government machinery with systemic deficiency.
True, it took other authorities a while to adjust to the curfew imposed for health reasons and considering the short period the crisis has been in the country, the authorities involved have been able to get the COVID-19 situation essentially under control.
Even though there is a long way to go in terms of total containment that has certainly caused a calamity for the sick, disabled, daily wage earners, the cash starved middle class in addition to children and senior citizens. This crisis is expected prolong up to six to 12 months that is expected to take the country into a deep recession.
With the COVID-19 pandemic taking over, the authorities had to postpone the election indefinitely; for prior to arrival of the corona virus in March into the country Sri Lankan dissolved parliament and were geared up for the general election, that was scheduled for April this year. With the need to improve the quality of legislators most political parties had prepared their list of candidates to contest on behalf of their party.
Bitter truth was that every time there is a new regime in this country , they usually reset think tanks for political reasons, it happened again this January with the present government. The role of a think tank is for critical thinking and analysis, to assist the government to make sound policy decisions based on expert advice and public discourse.
These Think Tanks are there to bring out the truth from evidence-based research to the policymakers; unfortunately, such critical analysis is seen most of the time as bad news. If the Government wishes to have a think tank to say everything that they do is correct, then it should transform the think tank into a political propaganda office of the Government .
Thus local expertise is not valued nor appreciated in many instances, this was clear by the former President, who claimed that all reports related to the last year Easter Bombings were not presented to him made him wonder how do they get this job for retirement? Whereas, it is said the government would have prevented the attacks if it had acted timely on the reports.
The public need to understand these systemic deficiencies do exist and the bureaucratic inertia within the system keep on blaming each other. These systemic deficiencies need to correct to ensure that such errors do not occur in the future.
Therefore those in government must act intelligently; learn as much as about the risks the country could face from local and global threats as what took place with a local threat during April last year and a global threat imported into the country since March this year.
Thereby be better prepared to avoid, minimize and neutralize the harm not a section of its citizen as it happened last April; or be prepared with a holistic plan as the President is guiding the state authorities to neutralize the harm from the global threat in COVID-19.
Despite the hard work and efforts, the country may someday come face to face with blunt choices on national security and people must appreciate different possibilities. As a responsible ruler, the President did not ignore or wish them to go away on its own, instead was prepared to check and correct all deficiencies in the system for the corona virus COVID-19 control programme.
To make a success of their fight against COVID-19 every citizen in the country must follow the curfew rules for lockdown, until authorities decide to lift it. Perhaps, while at home all eligible voters could make an effort to study the list of candidates contesting in their electorate and pick a quality candidate to vote at the polls, that would be called on successful conclusion of the present crisis. As it would help to weed out the waste legislators considered as corona virus in parliament. Possible by bringing in quality candidates from any political parties in place, than voting in a waste choice of their party to provide the island with GOOD GOVERNANCE!