28 September, 2020

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Is There Any Hope For New Faces In The Coming Parliament? 

By Rusiripala Tennakoon –

Rusiripala Tennakoon

This is a question raised by many who aspire a change for the good. And by those who feel enough is enough. But will this expectation be a reality? Let us examine the Pros and Cons. 

I wish to refer to a renowned playwright and a theatre director from Norway who lived between 1828 and 1906, called Henrik Ibsen, came to be known as “the father of realism”. He produced many literary masterpieces. A film which was an adaptation of Ibsen’s play “an enemy of the people” became very popular mainly because of its highly social theme.

Many issues addressed in his original play by IBSEN appear to be highly relevant to us in today’s context. Matters he dealt with covered a wide spectrum of the society as delineated in the following quote,…. “such as environmental issues (versus economic interest), professional responsibilities (of experts in policy debates) and, last but not the least, the moral dilemmas and tensions involved in whistleblowing”-unquote.

The few lines quoted below from his original play will indicate how relevant his thinking has been to what we experience today in the politics here.

Quote….. “The majority never has right on its side. Never I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the Wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible, overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.”

With these thoughts in the background let us take a quick look at the circumstances related to the forthcoming General Elections.

Status encircling the General election round the corner gives forth to several issues intermingled with a number of factors impossible to be evaluated with any certainty. The entire election process has turned into a battle field of the likes who have been dominating the arena over a period of time. This has caused an invoked anathema in the new comers who would otherwise have desired to take the plunge of entering into politics. 

Consensus and expressions of concern that were much in vogue, such as the need to replace the entire lot of the sitting 225 MPs, has now vaporized into thin air. Same bunch, (some have decomposed and disintegrated, some gone into allied groups and certain others formed into new coalitions) have entered the fray. With heavy splits in the once strong UNP and integration of diverse elements in the Pohottuwa, the current scenario has become a complete hotchpotch beyond any comprehension. 

Expectations of the voters to end up with a clean political culture are thus extending beyond reach. Old wine is being served in new bottles. The dawning of a new era of actual good governance- the fervour of adding new values to energize the dormant political process, all seem to be fleeing through the back door. Expanding horizons of hope towards a change for the better, has added to the growing disappointment. 

Some of the questionable placements of various characters to high positions that require excelling competencies, have become shockingly frustrating, giving an impression of a reverse direction march towards a repeat performance of a sordid bygone era, that the people desired to end. In this state of affairs when the IBSEN’s hypothesis quoted above is applied, the most natural reaction of the free thinking eligible is to withdraw and abstain.

 In this country according to the prevailing sequence of events, unless one could be a man driven by a fantasy for breaking the ice in the river to go swimming, no one can enter politics outside the established system. Hobson’s choice would be either to join the band wagon overcoming the repugnance or to keep quiet and be away from it all.

However, there is still hope for alternate possible choices, which can be extracted from the present state of things. But one has to collect, scrutinize, and appraise facts from the present situation. There appears to be some kind of divergence continually increasing in the opinions among the ruling block about a need to introduce a new façade to their outlook. They are also under pressure to yield to public pressure. The extent to which this idea will be pushed forward is unknown yet to be surmised.

We saw this in several instances during the current short spell of governance. Firstly, the choice of a Cabinet became highly problematic. Precarious and rather hilarious claims from those aspiring ministries including some seniors appeared as public statements. Country enjoyed seeing how these personalities eat the humble pie! 

Certain questionable appointments to highly controversial places Eg. Board of SriLankan Airlines became the subject of public discussion. Sudden changes and re-appointments soon followed adding to the confusion.

Several Ministers were found to be taken aback, even now, about the choice of personnel to head various institutions coming under their purview. The selections were left to a body supposed to do independent evaluations however, comprising of persons considered undesirable by the many, and so criticized by some. Ministers continue to harbor their dissatisfaction for failing to have their own choices.

In a more realistic sense some of these doings and happenings seem to be consequential to the weak power base. In a short lived Government without a majority of its’ own such manifestations become unavoidable. Nevertheless, avoiding of glaring accusations such as accommodation of family members to generate a bad name or reputation for being unfair should have been considered more seriously.

The choice of some ministerial portfolios too appeared to be due to the same handicap situation. The prop up support of the different constituent party groups required to survive being the prime consideration. All these point towards one conclusion specially breeding among the not so fluent or analytical. That is the consternation, are we back to square one with the same bunch?

Now this brings a factor to be focused seriously by the Abstinent. The time ahead is too short for them to grow up to a power to form a government. But they should not forget that there is a significant sector/stratum in the society who yearn to see the prevalence of value even under desperate situations. Green parties have started very small but due to their catalytic effect in many countries they have become a formidable force to be reckoned with. This is a good example. 

Last Presidential election saw the emergence of many new comers in the arena with a spirit of prophecy. It was a pity that they were too divided into smaller groups. Among them there were some who had a candid expectation to contribute to the life of the country. If we consider it to be only a show of emergence of such elements, forgetting the harvest, this is the ideal time for many of them to come TOGETHER with a common understanding to effectively take a course of action by participating in the Election process to promote and achieve a reasonable representation in the legislature of the country. A genuine interest in this direction displayed by a group of persons with integrity, capacity to positively contribute and above all a clean unblemished corrupt free background would most certainly receive the due acknowledgement of a fair section of the society, unbiased voters committed to see the realization of the purpose of an action.         

The need to maintain the Independence nature of the group will ensure the unification of like- minded personalities who would strive for something the people demand in the interest of the country. 

“We have to learn by other’s mistakes- while they go by their own”

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Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    Parliamentary elections in my view should be DELAYED until some limits are placed on who can contest. Anyone with pending criminal cases are excluded until justice has been served. Being an MP should NOT be a pensionable job. Their educational background too is important. Once elected they need continuing EDUCATION to be a good mannered/civilised person.
    Election campaigns not based on religious/ethnic differences

    • 7
      0

      Of course there is plenty of hope for the new faces in parliament because there is scope to continue murder and fraud. Veterans like Mahinda can coach them to become experts.

  • 3
    0

    We saw this in several instances during the current short spell of governance. Firstly, the choice of a Cabinet became A Majoritarian Representative This opens a whole range of possible systems, globally The world Majoritarian learns this from sri lank and apply considering the world majoritarian objective in voting in united nation on global vote majoritarian system then some country will be in minority position to avoid such all representation is a necessary for progress activity, After winning the war The prime minister announced that official victory speech only two kinds of people, those who love their country and those who don’t. Now it is not the case Abide by majority is the stance

  • 5
    0

    There will be new faces but all with the same last name Rajapaksa. Is that ok with you Rusiri ????. Plenty of In laws /new members are now added to the family including Newly married Wives, girl friends old and new, there close and extended family and relatives. There is plenty to go. Do not worry.

  • 1
    0

    There will be new faces but all with the same last name Rajapaksa. Is that ok with you Rusiri ????. Plenty of In laws /new members are now added to the family including Newly married Wives, girl friends old and new, their close and extended family and relatives. There is plenty to go. Do not worry.

  • 2
    0

    When Mahinda Rajapaksha and Ranil Wickramasingha entered parliament
    for the first time , they were new faces in seventies . If Mahinda crushed
    L T T E , so did Srimavo and Premadasa crush J V P . Going a little beyond
    towards the creators of the troubles , D S , S W R D and J R J all are proud
    founder members of disunity among communities . Where are we standing
    today in facing the challenges created and maintained by the older
    generations for the younger generations who unfortunately grew under the
    shadow of those same old generation ? If unity is the undisputed force ,
    what is disunity then ? Only the faces will be new , heads will roll the same
    old routes for long time to come .

  • 3
    0

    Had the Sinhala majority produced a TRUE Statesman, SL [CEYLON] would not be state–begging for loans from Chinese & World Bank. The hard working plantation workers were sent back to India just because they were Tamil speaking. Making ‘Sinhala only’ was the most disasterous act in bringing the country down.

  • 0
    0

    What a shame Rusiri. Rathana is requesting MR to retire from politics because he is too old. The in party fights have begun. Within all patries SLFP,SLPP, UNP and even the smaller parties with just 1000 or so members are no exception. This Corona is much more contagious than the real one. Silly Lankans.

  • 0
    0

    These days to be elected as a Sri Lankan parliamentarian is like winning a lotto and you are set for life. and there is no limit how much money you can make as a politician in this country. If you look around there is no one in this parliament who have a genuine desire to serve the people who elected them at the last elections. Even the one’s who pretend to be good politicians soon forget all the promises they made and soon join in the party and along with their leader soon start to rob and plunder the country of it’s resources. This is one profession where there is no necessity to have educational qualifications to be a Sri Lanka politician. No wonder unlike more than two decades ago we have drug traffickers, crooks, murderers and rapists elected to parliament using religion and ethnicity as a bait to fool the voters promising the moon and the stars. There is no law and order in the country anymore and the law enforcement officers like the police and the judges are too scared to carry out their duties while the media and the journalists fear for their lives to report the truth. This is the sad story of Sri Lankan politics a country that is fast becoming the Banana Republic of the Indian Ocean.

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