The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 1

Saturday, April 25, 2015
5 Sections Volume 9 No 46
LKR 40.00
96 97 98 99
100
Days program
CHANGE or SHORT-CHANGED?
Between dream and wakefulness
In a context where the most powerful man in the country and the Leader
of the Opposition are from the same political party, relations between the
two are as confused as they are confusing. Are they not on talking terms?
Are they at odds? Are they discussing the 19th or the 20th Amendment?
Only they would know.
The much talked of 100 days of
the ‘100 Days Program’ that was part
of President Maithripala Sirisena’s
election campaign is now completed.
The President himself has come out
with a statement which can be read as
‘observations on progress’ (see pages
4, 8 and 9). The Government claims
that much was done. Others claim
that it’s mostly talk and that nothing
significant or lasting was achieved.
There are two ways to assess
performance here. The first is to go
with items, divide the ‘done’ by the
‘promised’, multiply by 100 and come
up with a percentage. The braggers can
gloss over the importance or otherwise
of each line item. They can ignore
sustainability. For example, the cuts in
fuel prices can be marked as a ‘plus’,
but only if it translated into significant
drops in prices of related goods and
services (e.g. bus fares, school van
fares, vegetables and other goods that
require transportation). Factor these in
and the brag loses its punch.
The other method of evaluation
would begin by giving weight to
measures that correct flaws in
structures and processes so that
lasting value accrues to things
such as the rule of law, citizenship,
democratic freedoms, transparency and
accountability.
Right now there is a palpable
sense of greater freedom when it
comes to expression, movement
and association. Right now there is
confidence that more value has accrued
to that which is called ‘due process’.
However, the rosy picture has been
compromised by the selectivity that
has marked investigations. It is, as
of now, bordering on vindictiveness
and has taken a witch-hunt character.
‘Influence’ moreover still counts at all
levels when it comes to the affairs of
ordinary citizens. This is evident in state
institutions including police stations.
More serious is the unprecedented
and scandalous matter of the
Central Bank bond issue. The home-
investigating-home kind of process
that the home-owner launched in this
regard could not find evidence that
the Governor had indulged in any
wrongdoing. What the investigators
said was ‘He was not directly
involved’. However, they found that
the organization owned by his son-
in-law had ‘behaved strangely’ and
recommended that the Bank of Ceylon
(which facilitated a deal that helped
him) be investigated. Banks are
supervised by the Central Bank.
Impact of Euro
depreciation on
exports temporary
By Arthur Wamanan
Economists state that the depreciation in
euro would only have a temporary effect on Sri
Lanka’s exports to the region but have urged the
country to expand and diversify its exports to
avoid setbacks. The World Bank recently stated
that the depreciation in euro would have an
impact on countries which export to the region.
Continued on page 3
Sri Lanka Freedom Party Parliamentarians stressed
that they need the resignation of the Central Bank
Governor Arjuna Mahendran. Plans are already made to
apply pressure on the government to meet their demand.
A letter, regarding this issue and signed by MPs, will be
handed over to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa this week.
MP Dinesh Gunawardane told the media that the
much talked about 100 Days is over but, nothing much
has been gained by the general public. “At least, they
have failed to dissolve the parliament as they promised.
Amendments to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution
is longer than the original document,” MP Gunawardena
added.
SLFP readies to pressure government
Sonali Samarasinghe,
widow of slain
journalist Lasantha
WIckramatunga has
been earmarked for
the post of Sri Lanka’s
Minister Counsellor at
the UN Headquarters,
New York, according
to sources close to
the Foreign Ministry.
The Ministry, which
recalled all ‘political
appointments’ to the
country’s missions
abroad has remained
tight-lipped about
Samarasinghe’s
credentials to warrant
such a posting. During
the UNP Government
of 2001-2004, she was
‘politically appointed’
to Sri Lanka’s High
COmmission in
Australian.
TALKING POINT
Sonali to
the UN?
Colombo Magistrate Court issued notice on Friday evening
for 27 identified persons including nine United People Freedom
Parliamentarians to appear before the courts on May 08 on the
charge of contempt of court. The court had issued an order
banning the protests in front of the Commission to Investigate
Bribery and Corruptions on April 23 when the former Defense
Ministry Secretary was due at the Commission for a questioning.
Protesters face charges
The Cabinet is to deliberate on a draft
20th Amendment to the Constitution that
seeks to reform the electoral system. ‘The
Nation’ learns that if approved the draft
Amendment will be gazetted on Monday,
April 27.
There are five salient features in the
two major proposals presented at the
parliament recently, with which minority
parties can easily agree to. First of which is
increasing parliament seats from 225 to 255.
20th Amendment
Mixed electoral
system on the way
Continued on page 3
Continued on page 3
Continued on page 3
Continued on page 3
Pics By Ravindra Dharmathilake
Those that
fell by the
wayside
How mini-budget
proposals perform
in the market
Living with memories
of unfulfilled
promises
confusion
remains
100 DAYS
PAGE 8-9
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