This was after all only a local government election, primarily to pick who will look after and nurture each ward, under the watchful eye of the local PS, UC, or MC, although pre/post-elections generated much political heat.
Newspapers have concentrated mostly on victories of Pradeshiya Sabhas, mostly ignoring MCs.
Municipality Areas (MCs) are pivotal in view of their extents, location and of course the populace they serve – mostly the more educated and discerning public who have unanimously voted with the UNP – examples being Hambantota, Galle, Kandy, Negombo, Wattala, Panadura, Dehiwela/Mt. Lavinia etc. and the plum of Colombo.
Not all doom and gloom
Reverting to yesterday’s results, no doubt Mahinda Rajapaksa and his JO would be elated with the strong showing at the LG elections with his hastily patched up political party garnering 45.31%.
Yet, it’s not all doom and gloom for the UNP+UPFA, the constituent parties of the present Government which together combined to get 45.72% – technically higher than the SLPP of MR.
You may recall the group of parties that got together in support of President Sirisena’s candidacy in 2015, namely the UNP, a section of SLFP, JVP, SLMC and TNA. Now if the number of those who supported these very same parties are to be totted up, it adds up to 53.1% at yesterday’s LG poll.
The group that opposed the despotic regime of MR should realise that they still have a majority.
Therefore, the major constituent party, the UNP and those moderates of the UPFA/SLFP should not overreact when MR and his motley group are trying to go for the jugular of the Government by asking it to be dissolved.
What a preposterous suggestion! On what basis should a democratic government resign on results of a lowly local government election? This was not an exercise and/or referendum of ‘regime change’, period!
The UNP/UPFA/SLFP must be calm and look at these issues objectively and dispassionately, not overreact!
Of course they need to take stock and ensure that the promises/pledges they gave the people back in 2015 at both elections are fast-tracked and implemented as far as possible.
Govt. must get to work
All sane and balanced citizens of Sri Lanka are indeed grateful to the Government for ensuring a free, fair and relatively trouble-free election. One need not labour the point of the absolute chaos and near state of anarchy associated with earlier PR system elections where each candidate and his ‘helpers’ (mostly goons, really!) attacked each other, smashing homes, burning political offices of rivals and creating a fear psychosis everywhere!
Before even the dust settles after the 10 February LG elections – all concerned representatives of each ward must get to work – have ‘pocket meetings’ with groups of those in each sub-section of each ward and really listen to each person’s woes, concerns and suggestions and then act on them and thereafter monitor progress.
The true meaning of ward representation as opposed to the despicable PR system could bear fruit within a few months if each ward member enthusiastically does the work he/she is expected to do and responsible for.
Media playing games
Seriously, most of us forming the ‘silent majority’ are sick and tired of political games played and replayed by the media whose only concern is to sell more newspapers or attract more TV times with mostly slanted, exaggerated news or simply put: the new scourge of fake news – that poisons the social fabric and virtually paralyses folk.
We want the Government to govern effectively and that means create by their examples a disciplined society – with law breakers promptly dealt with without exception! Let us really appreciate the precious freedom that this Government has given us; do not let this hard-fought aspect be fritted away due to ignorance and trivialities!
Yet we need to, nay insist that decisions carefully made are implemented expeditiously. May we appeal to the Government to minimise the time-wasting practice of handing over even simple issues to a ‘committee’ – they say that if you want a job done – just do it! If you want to delay and not do a job – give it to a committee! There were/are concerns that various committees formed are simply dragging their feet unmindful of the urgency of the issues creeping up – so please be more dynamic and decisive – time and tide wait for no man (or woman!)
Harking back to the LG poll and its aftermath one can deduce that a compelling factor that emerged was that it was a ‘show of protest’ at the slowness of implementing what needed to have been done months ago.
The people want tangible action/improvements to quality of their day to day living. We need to listen and act!
We want the Government to demonstrate that it is fair, yet firm in dealing with lawless elements. We don’t expect the Government to resort to expedient gimmicks of giving ‘freebees’ to people – at the end of the day someone has to pay for it! Already SL’s economy is improving vide global ratings – hardly acknowledged by media whose main preoccupation is to sling mud at the Government incessantly and with impunity!
We want the Government to be stern with those of the media, especially the creators of fake news much like many countries that will brook no such rubbish. We don’t have to look far – look at governments and societies that have flourished by a no-nonsense ‘fair/firm’ policy – look at Singapore!
We wish the Government all success as it continues to govern this beautiful paradise of Sri Lanka