It was Aristotle who said “All Earthquakes and Disasters are warnings; there’s too much corruption in the world.” We are on the road to show the truth of this thinking, especially with regard to a coming disaster.
Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United National Party are keen to show us that disaster is their path of politics today. It is a party that is united in paving the way for a National Disaster, in the name of what is claimed to be a National Government.
The forces of civil society that helped bring the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government to power in 2015, and stood strongly behind the UNP and Ranil during the ‘constitutional coup’ in October last year, must think of new slogans to prevent the overall defeat of their call for a fight against corruption.
The National Government that we had till October 2018 was certainly not in keeping with the promises and pledges given to the people. From President Sirisena’s complete mockery of all the pledges he gave when seeking election, to the contempt that the UNP and Ranil have shown to the call for democracy and honesty, are the threats that pro-democratic society has faced through the past four years.
There were some important changes achieved in the early period of this charade of democracy. There were some key restrictions imposed on the powers of the president, the 19th Amendment did bring some good changes in the path to democracy. But, what we see today is a lampooning of the search for democracy, and a rising political call against the 19th Amendment.
There is today an awful combine of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe, who are putting on a show of political rivalry, but are strongly together in putting down democracy in the interest of personal political gain. Sirisena is having his day with promises of the hangman’s rope that was not in the ‘Yahapalana” manifesto. Ranil is doing his best to move away from the people’s call for democracy, and present himself as the champion of autocracy, and even move to a rightwing dictatorship in this country.
We are rapidly moving back to the worst days of UNP rule in this country. Ranil his showing there is true meaning again in the old critical description of the UNP as the Uncle Nephew Party – moving from Uncle DS to nephew Sir John, to the more deadly Uncle JR to nephew Ranil. Democracy is the most distant concept in the UNP’s call and campaign for a National Government!
Can anyone in the UNP tell us how the public would benefit from this planned enlarged Cabinet of a National Government? Will those ministers in the expanded Cabinet not take their allowances and recently enhanced payments, luxury vehicles, foreign trips, and the trail of costly facilities they will be entitled to?
Is it possible for Ranil and the UNP to give the people one example where there was a saving for the people in the existence and functioning of the last national government of the UNP and UPFA – SLFP? Is President Sirisena, who is now against a national government, ready to tell us that his opposition is because of his own experience as head of a national government…which certainly was corrupt and crooked to the core, and not because of his current political opposition to Ranil?
Come on Ranil, Kiriella and all other backers of the National Government, won’t you admit the Central Bank bond scams took place under such a government? Have you forgotten that the huge forgetfulness of Ravi Karunanayake, involving millions in penthouse rents, took place under such a government? Are you not aware that the continued failure to bring speedy legal action against the corrupt members of the last government was part of the last National Government? Do you not know that last National Government had Cabinet members who made public statements opposed to legal action against Gotabhaya Rajapaksa? Have you forgotten that Cabinet members of that National Government had cruise delights with those accused in the Naval Weapons scandal?
Important………. how far did the last National Government take the state machinery to bring to book the murderer of Lasantha Wickramatunge, the abductors of Prageeth Ekneligoda, the killers of Wasim Thajudeen, and those who attacked many other journalists? What a poor record for National Governance.
These are some of the crooked realities of what we saw as a national government. There are many more to follow, such as why Udayanga Weeratunga, allegedly involved in the MIG deals, has still not been brought to Sri Lanka, and what upgrading of the Extradition Treaties with Singapore and Dubai are yet to be done?
Those who are supporting a national government with a giant Cabinet are trying to make us forget that the last Rajapaksa Regime had a near sixty member Cabinet. Are we being told that a 40 or 45 member Cabinet is an improvement on that, despite all the corruption that flows from such expansion?
Ranil Wickremesinghe’s attempted use of the 19th Amendment to achieve this corrupt goal of a Giant Cabinet, is dangerously building public opinion against this very useful amendment to the Constitution that has curbed the powers of the Executive Presidency. The voices against Ranil & Co today are even louder against 19A. Watch out!
The 12 members of parliament who were recently trapped in an elevator at the Diyawanna delight of political pleasure are making big noises today. They are giving us a warning that a National Government would put the entire nation in such a crashing trap, with no room for Democracy.