Thursday, January 19, 2012
Sri Lanka today is served by a Government that just does not seem to get anything right, are unable to take the responsibility for any wrong doing and are happily day dreaming in a world where its subjects too seem either to be too apathetic or so servile, that they are capable of accepting any nonsense as sense.
The cost of living is sky rocketing and there is not even a murmur. The state has slapped increased duties on basics such as sugar and dhal as well as garlic just last week and it passed by without even a whimper! So what gives? We Sinhala people are behaving like a frightened cowed down exasperated but impotent race that has permitted an effective dictatorship to emerge uncontested for fear of further reprisals by a heavily militarized state machinery, that does not tolerate dissent.
When it comes to international pressure to seriously enact the recommendations of the LLRC it is seen as an LTTE plot by the Diaspora. Even the demonstrations by the University students are ALSO seen as an LTTE plot. Yesterday’s visit by the Indian Foreign Minister was placated by the promise of 13plus going further than the original 13, but does one think that after he has gone they will do anything about it? NO is the simple answer to that. It is the way the game is played.
Hot on the heals of the plastic crate fiasco, which after the 15th reintroduction is a flop as the state will not dare challenge the transporters, the state is merely resorting to cartoon ads to persuade people to buy only food transported in plastic, something the consumer, the one who reads the paper has no clue about.
Then earlier there was the abortive private pensions’ bill which was withdrawn due to outrage, and a very slimy EPF amendment bill was passed yesterday, with hardly a debate or chance for the public to study its contents. This was done as the Private Universities Bill had to be shelved, due to student backlash, only to be brought back at a future date to an unsuspecting Parliament and Public.
The really unforgivable event lately was the A level results fiasco, that has completely shattered any confidence that the students and their parents had on the efficacy of the A level results. Now all are questioning the results and the Z scores, with the opposition clamoring to do away with the Z as an anomalous calculation that is not transparent as no one knows exactly how it is calculated, more so due to the significant variation that has emerged. The President who has washed his hands off this and walked away reflects the real state of the country where ONE man takes credit for the positives and the same man walks away from all the negatives leaving them all to his hapless and unhappy ministers to shoulder.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I expected the election of the office bearers on the 19th December 2011 would have put to bed the in-fighting in the party, once and for all. The UNP could then perform the critical task of being an effective Opposition, against an increasingly dictatorial Government, something which is sorely needed at the present time.
Sadly this was not to be case as those on the losing side, instead of contesting the process before hand, have now resorted to doing that after the fact, which to an untrained eye smacks of sour grapes. They hoped for a different result, being sure of their outcome at the time of contesting. They were so shattered by the result, that they now blame the process and numbering of ballot papers insinuating that it was a back door way of finding out the way each person voted. This by implication is “those not in favor of the Leader would be outed and harassed by the Leader of the Opposition”. The secret ballot therefore was void, as they were forced to vote for the leader and his nominees if they hoped to keep their positions or other perks.
Instead of debating it within the party, the so called rebels began a concerted media campaign to attack the Leader directly using all forms of media, against the Constitution of the UNP. This last action has now created a situation of forcing the Leader to isolate and if possible banish the rebels from the party, for acting in a way contrary to the Constitution. He must act fast and not threaten to fire them but actually do so. The problem is that it will be entangled in another court case of preventing the leader from withdrawing the party membership of the rebels.
These unresolved problems are what keeps delaying the UNP from achieving its targets and so leaves the leadership NO alternative but to get rid of them. The thorn in the side is that Sajith Premadasa is the Deputy Leader and he is taking the side of the rebels, a very inconsistent position, which inevitably will challenge his right to be the Deputy, and also result in his loyalty being called into question.
When those who imply that they have power at ground level without proof of that fact, and the fact that they bring the party into disrepute, does not leave the leader much option but to un buckle them from the train and let them wallow in the wilderness; until of course they wish to be found or change their direction by their own steam. Once they realize the folly of their ways they will return to the UNP. This is the only practical way to go and I urge the leader to act without delay.
It is sad that both Dayasiri Jayasekera and to a lesser extent Karu Jayasuriya are unable to face the facts. They are not as popular as they think and blame the system for their inability to rise. It is ironic that despite the leader being flawed, he has been able to survive due to the incompetence of those who claim that right. Just get real, all the pretenders to the throne are far worse than the leader, and that is the reason he survives all these tin pot uprisings which only do the party more harm.
I say Dayasiri and Sajith factions do the party more harm than the leader. The sum total of the harm is unbearable to the party faithful. They are desperately trying to hang their hat, but the media blows the trumpet of Sajith and Dayasiri and so people get conned into believing in their infallibility and also leadership qualities.
This campaign of insulting the leader must stop!! And stop now!! Otherwise the UNP as the Grand Old Party will be reduced to permanent opposition. It is the Government who benefits from Dayasiri’s behavior or Sajith’s behavior and if there is anyone who one can construe as being in the payroll of the Govt. it is those two individuals. There cannot be any doubt of that, as it is inconceivable despite the many rantings to the contrary, that it is Ranil who is in bed with the Govt.
The fact that public are unable to think about what they read and instead believe what is fed, is where the ultimate problem lies. It must be changed hopefully by a few thinkers in the blogosphere. It is up to them to show reasoning and use an analytical process to prove the point I am trying to make in this scenario.
There is a mature way to go about discussing problems, even if it means dealing with obstinacy. The real problem has been the inability of the pretenders to pierce the armor of the leader due to lack of strategy, thought and implementation, which goes to show they are unable not just to govern, but also to lead a party to victory.
A simple process of inward reflection is what the usurpers need to correct their strategy and stance to better serve the greater good, which is to promote honesty and good governance, and NOT use the same tactics that the present regime uses to gain power. They make the fundamental mistake of using the old adage if you cannot beat them, join them. It does not work as you are always playing second fiddle to the barbarians and to be a true Roman you must have a point of comparison that is better and therefore inevitable. The speed with which you ensure the inevitability is the need of the hour, and to that end, rushing like bulls in a china shop breaking everything in their path is not the way to go. I therefore sincerely hope the rabble of rebels are able to see through the error of their ways and correct themselves first.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I am really sad to know that a person who lost a contest fair and square by a huge margin, is now acting like a sore loser again after being stripped off his Deputy Whip post in the UNP. I was an admirer of his, as so many in the country are, but if any man has any common sense anymore one would change their minds when one looks at his behavior these past weeks after losing the contest to be the National Organizer. He has been reckless in attacking his own party leader, something one should not do, as it smacks of a person’s inability to respect those who have authority over one.
So where does he go from here. I believe the leadership was correct in stripping him off this post as he has attacked the leadership and one cannot tolerate someone in the team who has attacked the leader. There are now questions over the behavior of Sajith Premadasa, but I will restrict my points here to only Dayasiri as that is the point of this entry.
Just think for a while. This man has great PR and is popular amongst the rank and file. However just consider his ability to act not just talk. Here are the incontrovertible facts of just one incident to prove the point about his “words speak louder than his actions type of issue” he is bedeviled with.
When the rally was being organized in Hyde Park, he was given the task of organizing the stage for the event, which he accepted with glee that he would complete. Two days before the event there was no sign of the stage or Dayasiri. He was away in his Panduwasnuwera constituency in Hettipola. He was nowhere to be seen. The General Secretary had to at short notice organize alternative party members from the Colombo area to come to help with the stage and they managed to finish the job in time. Then Dayasiri was asked to organize the distribution of the leaflets notifying people of the campaign. Here again he was MIA, missing in action and some other people had to perform this task.
I need not go into further detail, but just to highlight that he is all mouth and no substance. The UNP just cannot have gas bags that are popular if they are unable to perform a task that they are committed to perform. That is the long and short of it. So I will just request this gentleman if he still is a gentleman to refrain from acting like a spoiled child because his favorite toy has been taken away and is pouting at the back of the classroom refusing to cooperate and worse trying to find lame excuses about a wrong done to him. He just deserved it no matter how many ignorant Dayasiri supporters who think butter would not melt in his mouth!!!!
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
If ever this government wanted an excuse to subsidize with much less money, the Education system it is now a reality. This is thanks to the mess up by the Examinations dept. as became increasingly apparent on Monday 26th December 2011. They could have nipped the problem in the bud if they had any common sense, by cancelling the results and informing the public that they will reissue them once the problems were sorted.
This would have once and for all shut the critics up and would not become an issue. Instead, a litany of reasons was given for the errors, and also for not cancelling the results. These excuses grew at the same speed at which the criticism grew to cacophonic proportions, until now it is unbearable to hear how upset people are about it. The students who received the results are not sure if they are accurate and many have opted for the scripts to be re-corrected something that almost never happens in the UK O and Level systems which have now given the latter more credibility and the SL A levels a permanent black mark that will never be erased. Hence the automatic help this has given the International schools who teach children for foreign A levels.
One reason given for not cancelling results was that many students required results for their applications to overseas universities and inevitably these students have the wherewithal to go overseas. This is a political hot potato as it can be construed that the Govt. stranded local students in order to give a safe passage for rich students to enter foreign universities.
A committee has been appointed to look into this which does not bode well for any concrete outcome as blame will apportioned to some minor staff, such as 3 data entry operators as is the case today, with no proper action plan to tackle any recommendations. I am therefore against this waste of time and energy, as it will not lead to any proposals which are likely to pacify the thousands of students and parents who are really very upset about what has happened.
What can we do now? It is simply a case of making this a national issue, getting across to all walks of life to get onto the streets and express their displeasure to put the government on notice that they cannot act in this cavalier manner, and treat the lives of innocent kids in a very heavy handed way. Blame must be accepted at the top. The President of the country has been strangely silent. He is only vociferous when there are bragging rights. When there is criticism of the state he is strangely silent. That is something the general public MUST be apprised off.
Monday, January 2, 2012
We begin the New Year with a Government firmly in power, but completely out of control. In that I mean, the President who governs by decree is being dealt a body blow by incompetent buffoons manning every Ministry. If I may refer to some of these incompetents by name they must begin with the Prime Minister, bless his soul, who makes stupid statements that the Government hastens to say, are not policy but the opinion of an individual. He should be in retirement enjoying pleasures and pastimes instead of making comments on subjects on which he knows nothing.
Then there is the long list of others all failing in their tasks, from Johnston Fernando and his plastic crate fiasco, to Maithripala Sirisena for putting price controls on all pharmaceuticals, without fully understanding the market forces and trade names, where the same drug can command different prices depending on the Brand name and its considered reliability. Then there are those like Champika who tries to let the mud slide off of him and washes his hands from blame despite the gross ineffectiveness of the public power projects with disasters such as Norochcholai, which is now a white elephant. Wimal Weerawansa is now engrossed in blaming the govt. for lack of more free university places, and is vociferous in his opposition to the Private Universities Bill.
Need I say that Bandula Gunewardena is together with SB Dissanayake embroiled in the A level result fiasco along with their respective deputies, whilst the cross over Grero looks more like the joker in the pack. Then there is Janaka Bandara Tennekoon on the case of the revision of the Local Authority election processes to include first past the post and a hybrid of proportional representation in a new Bill.
Disaster Management Amaraweera is trying to blame the lack of accurate weather forecasts on the inadequacy of the equipment and not the incompetence of the departments. Mahinda Samarasinghe has been tasked with presenting the LLRC report to the external community, and is finding it difficult to even make an appointment to present this report in the international arena.
Basil as Tourism minister is trying to explain how a Rajapakse favorite is now known as an underworld thug who also happens to moonlight as the Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha, and who in turn has killed a tourist putting the industry into a tizzy!! Ghotabhaya now has to explain how this thug was permitted to carry an AK47 to shoot in the air for Christmas Eve or for any other purpose.
With a cast of characters like this running or should I say ruining this country, the opposition is fiddling!!
We wish the change we expect is a dynamic rise in a man of vision and competence to rise up from the ashes and sweep this rotten basket of Apples right where it belongs, as compost never to see the light of day!
Best Wishes for all your simple plans and let us hope your ideals will be fulfilled in the name of the land of our birth so that she may have the strength to steam roll this band of thugs once and forever.