By Nishthar Idroos –
It’s somewhat comical if not disgraceful to see intelligent, mature and knowledgeable people with grand academic credentials behave in the most puerile manner when lot is expected, especially at a time when the nation is impatiently seeking results in the aftermath of a major socio-economic trial that impacted most Sri Lankans in an adverse manner. It included a gargantuan heist, accomplished with immaculate precision by the brothers. The dreary legacy also accompanied major lapses in good governance. People were reeling with high inflation and a steadily depreciating rupee insidiously eating into the purchasing power. We‘re still not out of the woods. The road is long and the servants have to work hard.
These are not normal times, these are exceptional times. Poverty and general economic difficulty are raining down on the people. They’re being overwhelmed and crushed from every possible angle. Instead of putting all efforts, energies and resources to resolve issues of people we see two “thotta baba’s” whining and nasal complaining apparent discontent not worth the effort and time of the President to intervene and make resolution. When will these guys grow? I wish I had the ability to portray the disgust of the people in poetry and place it before professor Rajiva Wijesinha, the one who is at the centre of this silly case involving his supposed resignation over an even sillier bureaucratic bungling.
We want our legislators to grow up and not just come of age; there is a huge difference between the two. I am reminded of a typically Sri Lankan witty idiomatic phrase which goes like this “Uncle and Aunty are quarrelling, when asked why they are quarrelling? It’s said they’re quarrelling over the stem of the tobacco leaf. Oh servants of the people get one thing straight. There is nothing more deserving of your attention than the burning issues of the people. Finding ways to feed Punchi Manike’s three kids is more important than your ill-smelling tobacco leaf.
Professor Rajiva Wijesinha should have resolved the issue with Minister Kabir Hashim more professionally and in a dignified manner without bringing the whole saga to the public domain. The good professor had to say just one thing to Minister Kabir Hashim and the whole issue would have been resolved, “Kabir please make sure this does not happen again”. Instead the naughty boy waits near the principal’s office inconsolably sobbing to lodge an official complaint, not before he upstages a plethora of infantile tantrums and engages in creative bouts of self-pity. The people of Sri Lanka did not give a mandate for this kind of infancy. We are fast approaching the 50 day mark of the 100 day program. A lot has been achieved and lots more have not been achieved. Let’s try and disengage from the wrangling and the petulant, peevish arguments and focus on deadlines and deliveries. This is what matters.
I seriously wonder if any of our ministers have had the opportunity to fully fathom the magnitude of the expectations reposed on them. The general folk may not fully comprehend why a national government is necessary but they certainly know what will come out from one. Good governance behoves that personal and ministerial aberrations are not allowed to exacerbate. Hence arresting them within the very confines of the establishment is sine quo non. If democracy is simply the bludgeoning of the people, by the people for the people? Sri Lankans have been mercilessly bludgeoned in the last ten years. They can’t take it anymore. In Sri Lanka it certainly looks like that while one administration steals the other reels, yeah it certainly stinks. This shouldn’t be the case. Those that cannot work for the people should be shown the door and escorted to it.
As for the Former State Minister of Aviation Faizer Mustapha he has an irresistible propensity to globe trot soon after every apparent disagreement with the administration. Singapore has proved a favourite destination for him. Without summoning all the courage he has as a successful legal eagle, the young former minister indulges in his beloved pastime – escapism. Perhaps the idyllic and salubrious climes of Singapore inter-alia coalesce to engender a psychological ballast for the former minister to recompose, reinvigorate and rejuvenate for better oratorical performances both in the august assembly in the Diyawadana Oya and in front of the press. This kind of behaviour is the very antithesis of good governance. Representative democracy dictates that you fully devote and utilize scarce resources including time for the good and welfare of the people.
Good governance is accountability, Good governance is transparency, Good governance follows rule of law, Good governance is responsive, Good governance is equitable and inclusive, Good governance is effective and efficient, Good governance is participatory, Good governance works solely for the people amidst constraints and hardship. Let the boys get back to their respective classes and start working sincerely for the people.