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People look for Good governance

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People are talking about many things these days. But public does not forget about 100-day program. Where are we now in 100-day program? Earlier it was said that 100-day program was a concept of a party, then it was changed to collective responsibility, and now it has become no one’s property. Does it mean the pioneers behind this concept are trying to distance themselves, or does it look a difficult task. Any rational thinking person understands that this has many complications as the stakeholders have started to realize and feel the heat of this nature. As per the 100-day program, the following will give a brief note on the scheduled tasks.

It looks like that the 100-day program may get extended to 200 day due to the time factor on stipulated constitutional and electoral reforms. As you can see from the promised 100-day program plan, the government is way behind schedule. Rational thinking citizen could ask you, why did you give promises on technically impossible tasks?. This has created a bad impression among the masses. Thereby, this election manifesto has become another election GUNDU. Realizing this fact, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is pushing for election after 100 days even the promises are not met. This is because RW has realized that UNP minority government is becoming unpopular for many reasons.

Earlier, the government said that Cabinet will be restricted to 30 ministers. This was a promise in 100-day program under the theme GOOD GOVERNANCE. Now this amount will be increased to 45 for the formation of National Government. So, the so called good governance is slowly vanishing away from the present government. Already the government is a minority government, and people allege that this is not a people-elected government. If president Sirisena has made pre- arrangement with UNP and other parties, that cannot be taken as a part of people’s mandate. People’s mandate is very clear that they selected Maithripala Sirisena as President and not Ranil  Wickremesinghe. If Ranil W contested this time, he would have been defeated very badly. RW has a bitter experience of defeat in 2005 as well. So, if President Sirisena wins the election, we made to think that there is a big contribution of Maithripala Sirisena himself for the victory.

Therefore, it is not ethical that the UNP is trying to dominate the scene by demanding the full credit to UNP for victory of President Maithripala. But, there were other stakeholders in the victory. We can clearly see there is a tug-of-war between different parties to get the full credit of the victory. This is not a healthy process. Further, this cannot be an accepted practice under GOOD GOVERNANCE.

Will have to wait and see.

Controversy
 The SLFP said it will not rush into constitutional reforms. They also insist on parallel presentation of both scrapping executive presidency, and changing electoral reforms. But  the UNP has other ideas.

The UNP recently said that the next general election would be held after the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe Government had completed its 100-day program by April 23.

Deputy General Secretary of the UNP and Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, addressing a news conference in Colombo, said that it was the UNP that had contributed the major share of votes to ensure that Maithripala Srisena was elected President and it would have a big say in deciding the date on which the parliamentary poll would be held.

But the SLFP keeps on insisting that 100-day program should go beyond 100 days since some of the 100 day tasks are complicated, and practically cannot be accomplished within stipulated period. Common man is also looking for benefits from new government. But it is not coming out due to internal rift. Further, 100-day program has not shown any constructive progress in the recent days. Under this context, if 100-day program fails, common man would blame the ruling minority government for inefficiency.

Corruption
In a turnaround of events , complaints were made against Minister Rishard  Baduideen who is a Cabinet minister in the ruling minority government .Latest news is that the Governor of Central Bank appointed by the new government is also in this boiling soup.

 The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP and former Minister Mahinda Amaraweera recently lodged a complaintwith the Bribery Commission against Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran over the alleged irregularities in the sale of Central Bank Bonds. Amaraweera said the Governor should resign so that the investigations could be carried out in a transparent manner.

These above situations show the need of a new political culture which should protect the true values of democracy. The PAFFREL being a long time election monitor brought up eight important points on March 12 Declaration recently. It is expected that political parties will consider these points when selecting the candidates or present nominations for the future elections. This declaration clearly showed the basic pre-requisites of a standard person. The PAFFREL and citizen’s organization have landed in a genuine effort to create a healthy democratic political culture. Many leading political parties endorsed the declaration. But we need to wait and see how many political parties will implement this declaration whole heartedly.

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