By Primus Salgado –
Much discussion is going on in Sri Lanka into the perceived failure of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President by reflecting on his performance of the first year of his term. Sections of the Opposition in Parliament and the Social media is awash with scathing criticism. The overwhelming nod he received at the Presidential election and the General election that followed has been misread by the rulers once again. It is a common mistake made by successive rulers in Sri Lanka that they are elected to deliver on all promises made via the manifesto presented prior to an election. That may well have been the assumption during a time gone by. Not so now. Presently people do expect freebies but also buy into the inflated, but false propaganda of the opposition.
Has Gota failed? Most definitely he has thus far. Not only has Gota failed in his performance as President, he has failed to realise that the mass of people who voted for him was also a failed lot. Similar rumblings heard before the fall of the Yahapalanaya government echoes through the country once again. And it’s but just a year into his Presidency. Riding a wave of Sinhala Buddhism ( which he spawned) Gota has already lost a considerable section of the so-called Voice cut Buddhist Clergy. They may or may not be the majority. Yet they are the most vociferous. He has, according to that section, failed.
Blowing your own trumpet and believing the praises of fawning sycophants and not having realised that it has been a trait followed by our brethren over hundreds of years, Gota too seems to be failing. Consider the following,
A prosperous country, a working people ? Stuff and Nonsense! We want everything FREE from our government. Gota too promised freebies. Delivered some and withdrew swiftly too out of compulsion.
Gotabaya promised to bring a quick investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings only to constitute another Commission of Inquiry which is but a fancy dress parade. Our Eminence the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith for now, has egg on his face. Failed one more time. Remanding Rishard Bathiudeen may warm the cockles of the Sinhala Buddhist majority for the moment. Unless he hangs Rishard by his own petard the Sinhala Buddhist majority will scream blue murder. This too is doomed to fail as Gota has yet to deny officially that the Ministry of Defence during his tenure as Secretary paid Zaharan clan out of Ministry funds.
Made maximum use of the Central Bomb scandal to sweep into power. Another Presidential Commission in session which too will come to a dead end. Singapore is said to desist from repatriating Arjuna Mahendren. There has been no official response from the government of Singapore but they may have very good reason to do so, which I will state later in this article. Maybe it’s the truth or maybe not. Either way, it will help the Rajapaksha clan from taking action against their erstwhile mate Ranil Wickremesinghe. Gota will willingly fail on this.
Basked in self-glory during the early days of the pandemic together with his pet group within the Army and being late to realise that the second wave was in the offing according to medical professionals. Unable to accept a modicum of responsibility Gota places the blame on his people. Failed again.
Gota has yet to realise that he can not order the Army to point their guns at paddy fields, tea bushes nor vegetable plots and bring forth great yields. Nor can it be done to a virus. He is welcome to try it with a little help from the likes of And Doctor Eliyantha White. You get Doctors And Doctors. Therefore methinks Eliyantha White is a AND Doctor. Probably fail on this too.
Recall, every Government prior to this had a favourite Cabinet Minister or senior official in whom the President placed immense responsibility and faith. JRJ had three in Ronnie de Mel, Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali. Premadasa had Sirisena Cooray and Paskaralingam. Chandrika had Mangala Samaraweera. Mahinda had Basil and Gotabaya. These favourites were given large budgets on request. Way over the other Ministers and naturally they stood head and shoulders above the rest. Gotabaya was one within the chain of command in winning the war against the LTTE. Praise is due where it is indeed due. Again I reiterate that he was but one within the chain. He was credited as THE ONE who was behind the victory. So be it but let’s ponder. If he was the sole architect he must show that he had what it took to be credited with such accolade. Let Gotabaya resolve the following during his tenure. They are simpler tasks than the war which he prosecuted with great success or even containing the pandemic.
Solve the torture and murder of Wasim Thajudeen.
Bring back Prageeth Ekneligoda or solve that mystery. Is he dead?
Solve the murder of Lasantha Wickremetunge.
Solve the torture and assault on Keith Noyahr.
Solve the disappearance of Lalith and Kugan.
When Chief Inspector of CID Nishantha Silva defected a swift investigation was launched to uncover how he obtained a visa. Much publicity was given by the kept media. The Inspector had committed treason or so they alluded. Director CID Shani Abeysekera (now former), is in remanded and has contacted Covid-19. A swift strike on him too. Makandura Madush is killed and it does not take a Sherlock to suspect Former Director CID Shani may be in danger. Many think and say so.
Singapore refusing to repatriate the former Governor of Central Bank Arjuna Mahendren may be influenced by the reasons mentioned in the above paragraphs. Democratic governments will visit the track record of the recipient country prior to rendering someone. Gota has shown that he can achieve success when he puts his might and mind to work on a project. Praise is due where it deserves. He can reverse the current perception of failure by clearing the simple tasks mentioned above. Sri Lanka has a President who came into office from outside the established order ( though from the same stables) and tagged as a “doer”.
It is his responsibility to take the country by the scruff of its neck and bring it into the right path and pave the way for her people to reach their true potential.
Remember what happened to Humpty Dumpty?