Undercurrents and aspirations

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Towards a National Government

In a way, it is a very crucial time that our nation is experiencing. People gave a verdict that they cannot stand high handed behavior of the politicians anymore. For the first time the whole nation participated in the process. Another important aspect that was established during the last Presidential Election was the consensus that had been achieved. Except for aggravating adventurism and the mistakes committed due to over enthusiasm, on the whole, there have been positive developments.

Visible barriers
In the face of uncertainties, which are understandable, the commitment of a faction trying to bring back the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa into the scene is a justifiable development. Taking past experiences into consideration, the negative attitudes exhibited even by the present Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, for whom liberating this country from terrorism was a joke, and the present Finance Minister who ridiculed movements by the army and another minister who felt that any bull could fight, it is understandable that very negative impressions have been left in the minds of people. Now when such persons are in the centre of activities and their affiliations had been very clear in the past, it is unavoidable to have such attitudes among some who would feel that our nation would be better off if a person like Mahinda Rajapaksa is back in the political scene.

Electing someone rejected
Although it is mentioned by some that the former President didn’t obtain votes only in the North and East, such a notion cannot hold as it insinuates that the votes of those areas are not relevant. How about the votes he lost in the South and the new voters who voted against him? Therefore, it is clear that he was not elected. By promoting him, the way is paved for further division only, which is a contradictory position In the face of uncertainties created by the latest developments connected to anti-corruption move, it looks like an all out effort to see that Mahinda Rajapaksa factor is neutralized, at least as far as SLFP is concerned. It has given rise to the sentiment that Mahinda Rajapaksa should play a major role in SLFP, but if he is not qualified to represent SLFP, what will happen? Then he will be representing another party. But, it will widen the cracks promoting further fragmentation of SLFP.

 However, in the present context, SLFP is already a divided party. The resentment of the key persons who have clearly opted to support the present President, would not like to experience the same agonies which they say they were compelled to suffer under the former President. There is already a faction that feels SLFP should have its own sense of independence and should not play such an unrealistic role while having larger numbers in their favor. It boils down to one simple truth that Mahinda Rajapaksa should become the Prime Minister. Although the figures point to a logic like that, what those who promote former President do not understand is that his very integrity has been questioned and the unanswered allegations point towards guilt. That way, in the name of the unity of SLFP, what they are trying to do is to prop up a leader who has got his image spoiled.

If the image of the former President and his family members has not been cleared first, the promoters would be propping up a wrong figure and shall cause further erosion of trust in the party. Rather than promoting the former President, if they voiced their concerns more on the national Unity and Territorial integrity within a united Sri Lanka it would have been a more realistic development and strengthened the SLFP.

When even criminals are reformed, why cannot some politicians, who committed mistakes, also be reformed? If they have realized the gravity and have decided to change their attitudes, what harm can come from them? If they have become seriously involved in preserving Sri Lankan Unity while promoting national prosperity. They deserve to be taken seriously and respected for what they are trying to achieve.

One positive signal the present Prime Minister has given is the ‘National Government Concept’. It is a very logical step towards stabilizing the honest politics in our country.  This is possible if the National Government Concept is going to honestly represent all factions in Sri Lanka. In such an environment, there cannot be any major factions left out. For example, a National Government without JVP, TNA and any other faction that can be justified as representative of some numbers in our society cannot be a real National Government. Such a government should not be one like what we have now, occupied by UNP only. Instead, all the parties should be represented. Of course the ministries shall be subject to the minimum numbers allocated to parties and the knowledge and experience of their nominees will be looked into so that only those who are qualified will undertake such responsibilities.

Change of attitude
The beauty of such a National Government shall be the change of attitudes.  In the past we saw how each others’ policies and strategies were ridiculed. With the proposed change, it will be a case of running the government within a National Framework to achieve National Objectives.

What important are objectives and not persons or individuals. The cult that people changed through a vote ruined our nation in the past.

If it is not based on the principle of National Government, then all will try to maneuver and manipulate to use the public opinion in their favor, leading to the same kind of unhealthy practices that promoted and preserved political tribalism and personal cults. This country needs serious and committed politicians who’ll serve people. This country does not need political opportunists and speculators who try to achieve things by hook or by crook, more for their own personal benefits.

As such, the concept of a National Government is in the best interest of our land and people who need a better deal.

While all the major parties will be engaged in drawing up a National Plan it cannot miss or ignore any important aspects. Regional Development can become more meaningful and at the same time Project Planning and Implementations shall be more transparent, avoiding malpractices.

 ‘Absence of an Opposition’
It is a wrong interpretation that there shall not be any ‘opposition’ in an ‘Environment of a National Government’. In a way, as all the members can be against or for any issue, it ensures the opportunity to be against too. Let all the development programs and promoters of such programs be above board, so that there shall not be any need for opposing.

Since all are responsible for the future of the nation, it will not be a case of blaming someone for all the downfalls while the peoples’ representatives will learn and get used to developing mutual trust and reliance that will be the beginning of the best framework for a unified nation.
Ministers and Deputy Ministers appointed to form the new government, following the last presidential elections, pose for a picture. Critics point out that a future ‘National Government’ is a very logical step towards stabilizing the politics in the island  (File photo)

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