By Asoka Seneviratne –
Today, Sri Lankans are totally fed up with both political parties. Millions of Lankans have finally realized that together the two major parties ran our country to ground while protecting each other when laws were broken, and corruption was evident.
Thank to the contribution of the social media, an angry public who were deprived of the very basic necessities of life rallied together and managed to chase away a president who mismanaged the country, a historic first in our beloved island.
Two of his catastrophic decisions were giving a tax to the tune of around Rs 600 billion without figuring out how to pay for it (now RW has made the people pay for it with increased taxes) and later opting to go for organic fertilizer during a global pandemic thereby ruining the only healthy sector of our economy which was agriculture. Had Gota not been given the huge tax cut he might have had the money to buy chemical fertilizer.
Cudos to Gota, he ran away without using the police to stay in power. He realized he was most unpopular, and he quit unlike some who want to remain in power behind police line.
It is obvious that the pendulum has shifted big. Both major parties (or three parties, if UNP is still a recognized party since they have no elected MPs in parliament) realize that their hypocrisy is no longer a secret. Thanks mostly to social media, millions have politically matured.
It is extremely likely that Anura Kumara Dissanayake‘s (AKD) Jathika Jana Bala Wegaya will muster the largest number of votes in the upcoming elections or to that matter AKD might well be our next President. Why not? What other option do people really have?
Why not give a chance to the JJBV (JVP) and see?
Personally, for me, I really like to see AKD become our next President. More importantly, I would like to see AKD restore the Rule of Law so that those who violated our laws for decades can be brought to justice.
This is paramount
See how millions are elated to see Minister Keheliya being arrested! Imagine the joy of the nation if dozens of law breakers are arrested. People are hoping AKD will keep his promises.
Rule of Law is a Pre-Requisite, if we are to progress as a nation. Only the poor and the less privileged have been in jail so far!!!!! Amazing but true!
I am no political guru. Far from it, but it will help AKD big if he and his party start spelling out their economic and social agenda in detail. Yes, the public needs to be educated about the abuses and failures of past governments but by now millions of then know all that.
So the time has come for AKD to open up to the public their agenda in detail. What will their policies and programs? What will be their legislative agenda? What will be the priorities in their legislative agenda?
As a nation, we are fiscally bankrupt. We cannot pay our massive debt to the point that we have put a halt to debt service. Raising taxes and such band aids will not get us out of the hole.
We need to grow our economy. For that we need investments. Lots of them. Investments come only from two sources: public and private. Private investments come from local and foreign countries. Public investment comes from the government, but the government is broke.
So how does AKD plan to get investment? With the history of JVP as a red Marxist oriented party, they are likely to have a tough time to convince overseas companies to invest in Sri Lanka. Granted that recently they renamed the party and that was a smart move. But basically, the older generations remember them as the red JVP.
Like I said, my fervent hope is that AKD becomes our next leader. He earned it too by screaming in the parliament about misdeeds by various governments. In most times, AKD, his small group, Ranjan and General Fonseka have been the lonely voices exposing on behalf of the people. Ranjan has been silenced.
So, in the coming weeks and months, AKD and team should start talking about their agenda in detail. Enough of talking about the wrongs.
Dear Mr. Dissanayake, millions of Lankans are behind you and your party. They see you as our Moses!
But start opening up about how you plan to get investments, how you plan to turn unprofitable government owned business profitable, how you plan to restore Rule of Law, how you plan to address the drug menace, how you plan to reduce the mammoth expenditure of maintaining various ministries, perks, luxury living of former presidents, their spouses and the rest of unaffordable ugly expenses. (Note that millions of Lankans live in abject poverty).
How do you plan to get rid of useless and corrupt local councils, how you plan to fix the Tamil issues, what will be the constitution of your cabinet, how many ministers, how you plan to appoint judges, senior civil servants, chairman of incorporation etc.
How do you plan to create “TRANSPARENCY” in your government?
It all boils down to a smartly drafted constitution which should be your priority but with the full participation of our academia and the public.
Do not get rid of the Executive Presidency. Many highly advanced nations have executive Presidents but there is plenty of oversight over his or her power.
Make sure there is sufficient oversight over the executive Presidency by creating “Separation of Powers” and smart “checks and balances” This calls for abolishing the ill-conceived system of appointing ministers from the legislature. That clearly violates “separation of powers”.
And finally get rid of your Marxist stamp. Marxism is long dead. A free market system with correct legislation and oversights has proven to be the most effective engine of growth. Just look at the west and even the emerging Asian powers.
Your opponents will try to causticize you and your party with the past deeds of the 80’s. Be ready for it.
They will play to the sections of our country who still eat grass.
With the Best of Luck to you and your party, for the sake of our beloved mother land!!