Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Open Letter to Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe MP leader of the Opposition

Dear Sir

What you have predicted has eventually come true, and the gall of it, Columbians are blaming you for that too!! So it is time for you to bury the hatchet, and forget your dislike of the Media in Sri Lanka, and come out and make the speech of your life, as a true Statesman, who has endured ridicule with fortitude. You can show your detractors that you have been correct all the time, and all that was needed was some patience for the effects of bad policies to come home to roost. You are the only Statesman left in Sri Lanka who understands both the people and the economics and social dimensions of the country as well as the Rule and Implementation of the Law to be applied equally to all the citizens of Sri Lanka with no fear or favor.

The main fault attributed to you was that you were out of touch with the people, and did not have their pulse. It is no point having the pulse, if that only leads to winning elections, because you can then tell the voter what he or she wants to hear. Mahinda Rajapakse was one up on the pulse, but that amounted to a hill of beans if that could not be combined with good governance and sound economic policies to ensure continued and sustainable growth for all. Your natural intellectual exuberance and the fact that you do not suffer fools gladly, may put many people off wanting to support you, but in your wisdom, you realized that it amounted to show on the exterior and no substance on the interior, something your principled intransigence would not compromise on.

If I am permitted, I will forgive those faults, if you can find it within your inner strength to come out of your shell, with the greatest speech of your life to the nation, explaining in simple terms, why it was that people hitherto were not able to understand your logical interpretation of the missteps of this administration, and that your assessment of what would happen if present policies continued have in fact come to pass, with many more along the way to overwhelm the citizens, unless some drastic policy changes take place immediately to break the destructive cycle, obtain the confidence in the international community which has been shattered and eventually come up with the prescription to overcome the present crisis.

While it is understandable that there was internal squabbling within the party as regards leadership, due to the string of election defeats you suffered, it is now clear that there is no alternative, who is in all senses of the word, ‘better’ than you to take that mantle, especially now, when the times call for true statesmanship.
We must save this country from a further dose of strangulation at the hands of a bunch of amateurs leading to unnecessary chaos on the economic and jobs front, both of which you can reverse if you had the mantle of power. It is therefore imperative that you throw down the gauntlet and make a statement in no uncertain terms, that you can form a government of National Unity, with the support of current members of government who are sick to their stomachs, at seeing the wholesale daylight robbery that is being committed and will conditionally give you support based on a platform of policies, which you may have to stick to save the country from a further downward spiral due to the loss of confidence and credibility in the present administration to manage the country.

Approximately 70 members of parliament in the present government are prepared to back you as Prime Minister and support a no confidence motion in Parliament. The constitutional question is whether the President will dissolve Parliament as he has the right to and call for a fresh election in this period of uncertainty and turmoil. At present you will not have sufficient support to impeach the President, mainly because there are a number of people in Parliament who are only there due to the munificence of the President. They are unlikely to support you in that cause.

The power of the executive Presidency is what is at fault here, as you well know when Chandrika Kumaratunge dissolved your Parliament when you were the Prime Minister and called a fresh set of elections. The same could be used against you repeating the earlier scenario if you are able to form a National Unity Government that is not to the liking of the President as you will no doubt wish to clip many of the powers of the President.

The President, bless his soul has no clue how to handle the economic crisis, and he does not have able and competent people to advise him on the right course of action. It is therefore important that for the sake of the country you call a spade a spade and appeal directly to the people, to finally give you a chance to save the people from a worse fate. You must convince them that you have an alternative that will win the day and reduce the pain, and that there is no free lunch for anyone. We all must suffer the consequences of our profligacy as it is the Electorate that tolerated the wholesale raid on the treasury and borrowing powers of the nation that has never defaulted on sovereign debt.

We find that there is NO support for the government amongst people who understand a modicum of what has transpired these past few days and why. It is therefore your duty to explain to the people at large, what it is this administration has done to get us into this unenviable state. Prescribe your remedies in general, and assure them of your good faith in being able to implement them if you are given the powers by Parliament so to do,

Please do so without delay.

Yours faithfully

Patta Pal

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