4 June, 2023


An Ordinary Citizen Looks At Two Years Of “Yahapālanaya”

By Leon Berman

In a few days time we will be celebrating two years of “Yahapalanaya” and maybe it’s the wrong word, “celebrating.” After all, what is there to celebrate as an ordinary citizen?

Two years ago, there was great expectation. A brutal government composed of family and friends had been miraculously overthrown by the ballot. A wave of optimism washed over all who voted to bring in a change. The hundred-day program seemed to herald a new day of transparency, accountability, economic growth and peace.

But, before we knew it, the “Bond Scam” hit us all in between the eyes. Transparency, accountability and good governance all went out the window and straight into the thrash heap. They were mere words, slogans at best, to gain a victory at the elections.Maithripala

And worse was to come. The August general elections resulted in no single party gaining a clear majority. The UNP, that should have easily won a majority fell short. In all probability, the Bond Scam took its toll and came back to haunt the UNP. Consequently, a hotch-potch coalition inappropriately called a “national government” was put together with the very rascals of the former government. This led to a mammoth cabinet and soon it was the same song but sung by a slightly different bunch of singers along with the old singers.

Since then, “Yahapalana” has become a joke, a sad joke. I have yet to meet a friend of mine that voted for “Yahapalanaya” in the August general election who expresses nothing but disgust at the government that he or she voted for. They are all disillusioned and see no hope of a change. Their only comfort is, “At least we don’t have any white vans and can speak a bit more freely!” This then is the greatest achievement of the present government; the absence of white vans.

The economy is largely stagnant and the cost of living rising due to unclear economic policies and corruption. I asked the manager at a large supermarket chain for his analysis of the Christmas shopping and his answer was, “People are spending the same amount of money as last year but we are noticing that the size of the baskets is definitely smaller!” So, the common man understands it no matter what the pundits say.

Then recently I read that the cost of building the highways is no different to what the former regime that was accused of mammoth corruption paid. So, this indicates that we replaced one corrupt government with another. As the Sinhala saying goes, “Kahina gahni dhila hotu gahin gattha” (You gave up the woman with a cough for one with a cold.”

We also heard a lot about bringing justice and about bringing to book all those wrongdoers and all we saw was a revolving door being installed in the prison that swung open and closed more frequently than that in a bar room. The people have grown tired of all these drams that are being played out because they now realize they’ve been fooled and no one, absolutely no one will ever be prosecuted. Even Karuna who allegedly killed 500 policeman is taken into custody for misusing a vehicle!

Finally, on the peace process, so far, it’s all talk. Mere rhetoric is nice but only for a time and soon the Tamil people and the Tamil politicians will get restless. It is said that as a country we lost USD 200 billion due to the senseless war but it looks like the government is prepared to risk that including innocent lives once again by dilly dallying about making a genuine attempt at a long-lasting peace.

And now we hear that Rajapaksa has stated that his goal is to topple the government in 2017. Well, does he have to do anything topple the government? Isn’t the government doing a marvellous job at toppling itself?

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  • 0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 8

    This is a the ground reality in the country and the reason government is reluctant to hold local elections!

  • 8

    One sane writer.

  • 4

    Yaha has not delivered.. the people who keep defending this circus are clowns. .

    The reason elections are postponed is crystal clear..

  • 2

    Today, I can’t find a single person who voted for Yahapalanaya !!!

    Funny, that !

    Anyway, why complain ? We got what we asked for and I am very happy about the wonderful new taxes that we have. Mahinda never gave us new taxes the way these guys are handing them out like toffee. All HE did was make new roads and improve the infrastructure.

    Any fool politician can do that !

    It takes True Genius to f..k up a country that was handed to you on a platter. Bodhi Sira and Batalanda have managed that really, really well !

    • 2


      “I am very happy about the wonderful new taxes that we have.”

      I haven’t got a clue about state finances. Is it possible for you to give us brief introductory lesson on state finances including why governments need to increase taxes?

      The solution is simple if you think about it and there is no need to raise taxes.

      Since Central bank is responsible for printing money, can’t it print more money and pass it on to the treasury?

      Please consult max moron if you find the above question bit difficult.

  • 2

    To Malumiris,
    There is a story about a politician who did not do anything for his electorate but got elected every time when there was an election. When he was old he decided to hand over his easy-to-do job to his rather educated son. The son got elected and he started doing all the development work: organized people’s awareness campaigns and created a really democratic environment within which people spoke and discussed many things freely. Roads, hospitals, schools were built and communication was improved. He managed to get this done within a reasonably short period.
    Then there was an election and he lost it!
    The Rajapaksa gave too much to the people in a too short period; he won the war and finished LTTE terrorism that his predecessors failed to stop for 27 years (he took only 4 years); he made Colombo the fastest growing city in the world (took only 4 years). He built expressways (that Sri Lankans had never seen in our 2600 year history) and he took only 5 years for that. He arranged language labs for schools (and even village kids started speaking good English! Previous governments had been trying for this for decades but failed)! Government officers had solid and beautiful buildings and ‘bugs-free’ furniture. Even today some bureaucrats are surprised how the Rajapaksas did it, but he sure did it.
    Then he too had culprits like in any government; they sure helped him when there was no one to help him at the height of the war! He warned them but that was not enough to stop them! A drop of cow-dung was more than enough to spoil the hardly earned bowl of milk!
    Now he seems to have realized his weaknesses. People too have realized that his alleged thefts and misuse of power are a joke in front of the Central Bank bond scam which is a twin misuse of political power and intelligence! Certain western and Indian political leaders have already accepted the fact that they were behind the campaign to defeat the Rajapaksas, and people are not too happy about such international interferences! Many people that I spoke to, believe that Hilary Clinton lost the US presidency due to divine intervention! (I did not say ‘yes’ or ‘no’)!
    Current Yahapalana leaders are engaged in much severe thefts, media attacks, nepotism, and misuse of state properties, funds, and resources. The so-called ‘Cival’ society (herd of jackals) now acts like a bunch of slaves from the mediaeval times. Their cry for justice has died with their late leader monk Sobhita. (Anyways, he had confessed from his deathbed that he had been sadly mistaken!)
    The only difference is that the current ‘thieves’ have not done anything for the country, nation, or the people, especially the poor but they take every opportunity to enjoy perks, loot the treasury, get salary increases and other allowances (an unbearable additional cost to the taxpayer in billions), sell duty free vehicles etc. Our New Year gift from Yahapalanaya is VAT and fine increases. We, as CT readers saw Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake’s Red Mercedes Benz with ultra luxury facilities for which he paid only US$13 which is equivalent to the price of a bicycle tire! That’s NY loot and, does he know how many people have starved and will starve with their families to pay for his Mercedes.
    I am surprised how these so-called Yahapalana politicians sleep at night without nightmares!

  • 4

    Mr. Leon Berman!
    “And now we hear that Rajapaksa has stated that his goal is to topple the government in 2017. Well, does he have to do anything topple the government? Isn’t the government doing a marvelous job at toppling itself?”

    Well said Sir!Thank you for writing on behalf of all of us!

  • 1

    This writing on two years of Yaha palanya rings true ,,and the disillusion goes beyond imagination .The only comment I would like to make is that I do not like the Sinhala saying cited in this writing , for we have come away from this type of statement where a woman is bought ..whether a coughing one or one with a cold ,,a very sexist statement now in the bin like those that refer to colour and race .. So lets move forward from the posturing Cabinet all enjoying their perks .Lets abide for the day when we can show that though votes in the House were bought with perks and a sense of gratitude , that too is feudal and speaks of the day when the Lord patronized the lowly beings for his power ..Hopefully 2017 will enlighten our Leaders ,if only they listen !

    • 1

      Thanks Dot, appreciate the feedback. Apologize to anyone who may get offended, it was not intended as a sexist comment.

  • 2

    The RW cohorts who together brought down the UNP administration in 2004, comprising of RW, Malik Samaraweera, Ratwatte and Paskaralingam will do the same this time round too, unless God in His mercy protect this country. Even the civil society, that was so vociferous has clamped-up.

    It is still not too late. Address the ISSUES concerning students, those who were treated unjustly by the MR group, and ammend the following.

    1. No duty free vehicles to ANYONE including the President.
    2. Hold Mahendran and his S.I.L accountable.
    3. Investigate and act against the horrors of the previous government.
    4. Explain the status of the supposed tucking-away of funds by the previous Administration.
    5. Remove all “Ministers” and appoint experts to run the affairs of the State, like t=Churchill did in 1940.
    6. Ensure transparency.

    IF these radical steps cannot be taken, dissolve Parliament and go for fresh elections.

    Sooner than later, the balloon will burst. That will be chaotic.

  • 1

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. You have successful captured the reality of what is going on and what everyone is thinking. As a voter of ‘yahapalanya’ I looked forward to a positive change. Instead I am constantly disappointed with the way things are being handled. I see no difference between this regime and the former one.

  • 1

    Spot on, you have explained the plight of the commen man very well, there is absolutely nothing to disagree on. Citizens of Sri Lanka so desperately needed change and as you said “good governance” is just an empty slogan that was fed to us.
    It is a process to have a country free of corruption and to stabilize the economy etc.. but we can all see how well yahapalanya is embracing the worst of the Rajapaksa regime. Yahapalanaya has been a dremendous let down and I see no light at the end of this tunnel!

  • 0

    “I see no difference between this regime and the former one.”
    I do see a difference in a different way.
    The former did many things (finishing the war, building highways, roads, high-rises, cleaning Colombo, taming the underworld, etc) while simultaneously stealing, cheating, setting fire to media institutions, and cocking up a lot of ‘inexcusable’ stories. The current regime does nothing for the general public but all kind of anti-people things (from Bond Scam to VAT increases, perks, duty free cars, salary increases for themselves up to millions) without any shame and but openly, while the poor is begging for concessions. These bughers lie and get caught immediately; they cheat and the next day it is on news; they contradict each other but don’t accept it even if all the proofs are produced. PM does not know what the Prez is doing though both are in the same Cabinet meeting discussing the same cabinet paper! For me, this is a real joke!
    Many people in villages now ask “is this a government or a patient suffering from malnutrition” (MEKA ANDUVAKDAKDA? PANDUVAKDAKDA?)

  • 0

    Topple the Joint Opposition instead.

    Joint Opposition leaders

    1. M Rajafucksa
    2. B Rajafucksa
    3. N Rajafucksa
    4. G Rajafucksa
    5. Viagra Weerawansa
    6. Nimalk Vasudeva
    7. Hirunika Gembanpillai
    8. Hora Rajafucksa

    Don’t bring them back to power.

  • 0

    defeat the UNP/SLFP at the next election but never give it back to the rajapaksas.. instead give it power to the JVP and see what they have to offer, after all UNP and SLFP have been in power simultaneously for the past 69-70 years and we’ve seen no progress worthy of talking..

    so let’s rally around the JVP and find new solace

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