4 August, 2021

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Bitterness Between The President & The Prime Minister Must End 

By Mohamed R. M. Farook

Mohamed R. M. Farook

People of a nation irrespective of their political party affiliations have the absolute common desire / right to expect how they should be governed – to be governed by showing respect and dignity towards them. The majority of Sri Lankans are usually divided into various political groups and during an election citizens wishing to vote cast their votes to the persons of their choice which eventually leads to the political party getting the highest number of people’s representatives forming the government. After some celebrations of the victors and also brickbats and hick-ups from the losers, tranquillity prevails and the processes of governance begin. From here onwards people expect deliverance of all aspects necessary to their well-being to start. The hard and soft promises made during the election campaign though remain in the thoughts of the citizens, yet these do not take primacy in their immediate outlook. The majority of the people, say 99%, wants stability of the government, peace in all parts of Sri Lanka and importantly a good rapport between the single person Executive and especially the Government side of the Legislature. It also must be mentioned that there should also be good rapport between the Government and the opposition though, in general, the people may not be much concerned about this mainly based on the conviction that opposition is there to oppose whatever the government does in ways justifying their opposition. The true purpose of the opposition is to check-mate the government so that the latter does not override the mandate given by the people. 

Apart from all the skirmishes the people have witnessed between the ruling party and the opposition at various times of different governments for the last four decades of Executive Presidential rule, Sri Lankans are witnessing now a different scenario where the political relationship or the ‘governance relationship’ between the President His Excellency Maitiripala Sirisena (MS) and the Prime Minister Honourable Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) has become sour of late after a healthy and bona fide ascension to the positions of President and Prime Minister in January and August 2015 respectively. In order to defeat the then President Honourable Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) who was a candidate in the 2015 Presidential Election, RW and his political cohorts put forward MS as the presidential candidate of the United National Front (UNF), an electoral alliance formed by the United National Party (UNP) et al, together with various civil society organizations and leading individuals at that time. MS won and was installed President. MS was ‘usurped’ from MR’s ruling government through strategically secret moves by the parties concerned and also the active participation of earlier President Honourable Chandrika Kumaratunga (CBK).  

The rationale on the choice of MS as the presidential candidate was essentially based on winning the Presidential Election and that was right and proved to be right. Was this decision impulsive and myopic? Didn’t the RW cohorts and others realise the many other essential personal and personality criteria needed in a Presidential candidate to be successful in the long run and be cooperative and helpful towards the ruling government? The 19th Amendment to the Constitution pruned many of the authoritative powers of the President; bestowed on the Prime Minister powers which hitherto were alien to Prime Ministerial authority and thereby strengthened the Parliament; established independent authorities devoid of political interferences etc. Then we come to some very pertinent and important questions: What are the reasons that would have made MS to agree to be the Presidential candidate?  Of course only MS can tell us – could be anything. Yet others can infer. Was MS against the MR government and therefore accepted the offering? He was not willing to kick off the offering? The prestige of the position of President? And so on. Whatever they were there are other factors that have caused the political confrontation between MS and RW which was incubating in the mind of MS for some time which got hatched on the evening of October 26 with the appointment of MR as Prime Minister while RW was the sitting and functioning Prime Minister at the time of swearing in of MR. Though there had been few outbursts for some time by MS against Yahapalanaya government and specifically on RW at various fora, the appointment of MR as Prime Minister gave him (MS) the added energy to personally attack RW further as RW repulsed the action of MS as unconstitutional and undemocratic claiming he is the legally entitled Prime Minister and stayed at Temple Trees. The rest is history due to judicial verdicts and subsequent executive and legislative actions. 

Be that as it may, the bitterness in the heart and mind of MS will not personally affect RW but will affect the governance of the present government. Openly shown or visible bitterness of MS towards RW will in fact produce a hidden form or type of bitterness in RW that will affect both without any doubt which eventually will be dysfunctional not only to their individual official duties but also to their personal well-being and health. So it is high time that both MS and RW shake hands, forget the past and get determined to work together for the welfare of all Sri Lankans – and if this is achieved – and that is possible – the people will keep you both honoured now and in the future. Since both MS and RW being Buddhists it may not be a difficult task as they could make use of Buddhist Meditation techniques / methods to achieve the said reconciliation. A few quotes: “Hatred ceases not by hatred, but by Love; this is the eternal rule”, Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha); “Out of Blows Friendship Grows,” Chinese Proverb; “Honour and Shame from no condition Arise; Act well your part: there All the Honour Lies”, Alexander Pope.

MS was elected to help governance and not to become a hindrance to it. So he has the duty by the people to work towards the smooth functioning of the present UNP government though he (MS) may not be an UNP member, but was brought into this position as President through a large percentage of UNP votes – he should not forget this. Both MS and RW must realize that confrontation between them is due partly to personality conflicts which in turn could give rise to negative imaginary notions about the other which if allowed to continue (that is what has taken place) will be detrimental to the personalities of both and finally the people are made to suffer. The remedy for this is effective communication and never allow communication breakdown. Another factor is personal biases – each person gets biased on their outlook through upbringing, belief systems, education, association, interactions and so on. Therefore, when one is in mutual dependence or relationships politically on another, it becomes incumbent on both to understand the other upholding tolerance towards one another’s personality differences and personal biases so that the masses are not made to suffer for no faults of their own except for electing you for the high office you are holding now.   

When one is at the top of the political hierarchy of a nation he / she has a dual role to play –  first be a politician and simultaneously a statesman and this the Golden Rule of politics; and the person concerned cannot fail in either of the two roles to take the nation move forward. When a person in authority does a wrong, society in general will not come to their rescue by helping them to correct the wrong but impinge on them to do more wrongs and drive them finally into insanity – due care is necessary to safeguard oneself from such acts of oneself and reactionary forces of society. With all that has been said above, it is expected that the President and the Prime Minister will shed their personal difference aside and work together harmoniously for the progress and betterment of Sri Lanka and her people.

*Mohamed R.M. Farook – Chartered Engineer

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Latest comments

  • 0
    10

    Indeed, Bondscam Ranil and his gang of thieves, including Penthouse Ravi, Malik, etc must be impeached for looting the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the citizens of this long suffering country!

    • 7
      1

      Before impeaching Ranil, there is an urgent necessity to impeach Sirisena and Mahinda for illegal political coups and looting the country and creating a bribing culture.

    • 2
      2

      Mohamed R M Farouk,

      Sirisena got his balls dissolved in dissolving the parliament. Ranil has got rotten balls, as shown by the crook Penthouse Ravi in the cabinet. So, both stinking balls must be flushed out.

    • 3
      1

      Gurusha,

      Thanks for the article.

      Good to have a third force as a alternative to the guy with dissolved balls,Sirisena, and the guy with rotten balls, Ranil.

  • 5
    1

    Bitterness between the Sinhala Community and the Tamil Community & other minority community must end if Sri Lanka is to prosper.

    The bitterness between the President and the Fake PM and the PM is all a drama to cover up corruption among all three warring parties

    • 1
      0

      rajash,,

      “Bitterness between the Sinhala Community and the Tamil Community & other minority community must end if Sri Lanka is to prosper.”

      Yes The Paras from Bharat have been at each other’s throats ever since, the Paras came illegally by illegal boats, hora-oru and kalla-thonis ti the pristine land of Native Veddah Aethho.

  • 5
    0

    The corrupt politicians of different Political parties are making sure that no ruling party will bring Court cases against each other.
    We need a ‘Mahathir’ (of Malaysia) in SL. Young or old Statesman should come forward to drain the swamp in Kotte.
    All straight thinking SL citizens should get together and propose solutions to
    1) Ethnic problems
    2) Bribery and Corruption
    3) Unruly Buddhist Monks

  • 0
    1

    Mohamed R. M. Farook, C Eng: ~ “Bitterness Between The President & The Prime Minister Must End”.
    Should the title be ,”The mutual dislike of MS & RW must not influence governance”?
    On top MS is clearly partial towards MR, and by implication SLPP.
    SLPP mission is to revitalise the language/religion-divide.
    Did this ‘divide’ cause our present impasse?

  • 1
    0

    This is how President Sirisena reacts to PM Ranil now: (As I read in the Sinhala Press).
    The UNP brought a ministry list of 36 to the President who looked at it and said to Ranil “reduce this to 28 and bring it back to me. Ranil said “We have an agreement previously and we can increase the number of ministers to 36.” The President looked sarcastically at PM Ranil and said: “What previous agreement? Those things are now over. Your party along with you, through the Supreme Court has instructed me to stick to the Constitution. That’s it and ‘other’ agreements don’t apply here”. PM has apparently disappeared from the scene.
    Taxpayers in SL say “Thank you, Mr. President! You saved couple millions of taxpayers’ money. Don’t let these thieves to steal our money”.

  • 2
    0

    Why president is supporting Mahinda against Ranil both have equality faulted., corruption is the same
    If the plot to assassinate him prove it then take action.A journey of a Many miles must begin with a single step, Unity is strength, division is weakness. In another 50 or 25 10 years many of you and us sri lankan will be not living.

  • 1
    1

    For the citizens of SL, the in fighting between PM and President arises from their aim to take the country either to China’s way or the Indian (West) way. The bitterness is also due to the fact each one is closely watching the other one’s moves.
    In my opinion we need the Presidential Election NOW and the Parliamentary Election after it completes its 5year term. The UNP, needs to replace Ranil with a new uncorrupted principled MP /Minister as the next PM of SL.
    There is no need for the expensive Provincial Councils as it leads further unwanted wastage of TAX payers money.
    The SLAS and Government Agents could do a better job with less wastage. We do not need PC Governors as well

  • 0
    1

    “Bitterness Between The President & The Prime Minister Must End” – Who cares? We only need that it doesn’t affect their duties.

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