Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) American Author and Journalist
“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” ~Ernest Hemingway
This missive or column, whatever you may call it, is intended for all those who claim to represent the broad masses of the land: Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and all others. In a context of political parties, it is directed at the United National Party (UNP), Democratic Party (DM), Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (CBK wing), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and any other political entity identified with resistance to ‘Familiocracy’, nepotism, corruption, racism, religious disharmony, financial bungling, wasteful State-sponsored carnivals, economic amateurism, ill-planned infrastructure building and all other anti-societal mechanisms and election gimmickry and to their leaders who are at present embroiled in a distressing dilemma as to how to displace the current governing coalition led by the Rajapaksas.
In short, they have two major concerns:
1. what is the common platform that all of them can get on?
2. Who is the ‘best’ candidate who can deliver the election on that common platform? The more you ponder, the more distressing it gets as the leading parliamentary Opposition has failed, over a period of twenty years from 1994 to 2014, to wrest the national agenda from the Government.
So long as the control of the national conversation stays with the Government, the Opposition’s role becomes exclusively one of reactive response as opposed to proactive; instead of dictating the flow of events of national significance, the Opposition becomes a virtual prisoner of the one who controls that flow of events, losing the political initiative which is vital and crucial in the process of recruitment of new members to their ranks. People do not get attracted to an alternative political agenda by random; they do not join new political trends without thinking twice or weighing advantages over disadvantages.
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