By Cassian M Fernando –
When Ronald Regan started his campaign to be the President of Americas he choose a theme and slogan that was both mesmerizing and inspiring. He told the American Citizens that it is Morning in America.
When we are saying good bye to another year most eventful one where we Sri Lankans are concerned can we repeat that mesmerizing wish it is morning in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka started 2015 embroiled in unending controversies and the country plunged into a ruthless anarchy, complete and total family rule. Mahinda Rajapaksa craft fully used the popularity he gained with the defeat of the world’s most maniac terrorist organization to his maximum advantage to remain in power. Regular scare campaigns he launched to whip communal feelings that the Tigers will raise their heads again gave him what seemed to be almost permanent stranglehold in the Sri Lankan political arena. By 2009 Rajapaksa family had extended their hold over all political and civil institutions undermining the whole fabric of Sri Lankan Society. Seventy five percent of annual budgetary allocations were shares by the three Rajapaksa brothers giving a pittance of 30 percent to other over 100 ministers and their deputies. Not a word was raised against this monopoly. No trade Unions dared to get down the streets in fear of what will be their pathetic plight if they did so. He was confident and up beat that he will rule for another 20 years. That ego compelled him to go for another mandate two years before his term was over. Due to near anarchic conditions prevailing in the country Sri lankas relations with many significant and important foreign countries deteriorated and we were isolated
All these came to a catastrophic end in January 2015. The age old idiom that Power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely was proved unmistakably correct once more. Maithripala Sirisena with the support of all other democratic elements put together a front that ultimately put an end to the ambitions of this Maharajah of the present era. Having claimed that it was the northerners that defeated him Rajapaksa made another claim to political power by contesting the general elections as the Prime Ministerial candidate. People of the country thrice blessed by the visit of Lord Buddha thought enough was enough and the Maharajah had to retreat once again. His total strategy was to drive a fear psychosis in to the minds of the majority Sinhala Buddhist community that without him the country will be given on a platter to the Tamils. Half of his stalwarts who stood by the Rajapaksa have already deserted him of the 96 parliamentary seats he won only 42 are with him now. Some more are to desert soon Only the extreme communalist elements are sticking and hanging around him for the only reason they have no future without the Maharajah.
Much waters have flown through the rivers of this beautiful country since the acrimonious defeat of the Maharaja.
With the Maharajahs defeat democratic norms of government are slowly but surely returning back into this country. From a position where Rajapaksa ensured that he will be the president for ever with the 18th amendment. Mr Maithripala Sirisena announced clear and loud that he will stay in authority only for one term of office, all independent commissions have been reestablished the judiciary is functioning independently without what so ever interference from the government. The white vans which abducted media personal and all opposition stalwarts had disappeared
One may say that it has been replaced by Black Defender van like that of Hirunika. But the law enforcing authorities unlike in the past trace them down and take them to task CCDV views are shown this never happened before. The press is free to criticize the government people are free to demonstrate against the government and in several other ways things have turned round. And a visible departure from the rotten past is seen Government has brought in a balanced approached to its foreign policy without giving into any particular force. They have embraced the good will of all nations whether it be from the States from Europe From India or China.
GSP Plus and export of fish products to the western counties are to be restored soon. Saner council has prevailed and the government has decided to go ahead with the Chinese financed Colombo Port City Development Project. Elections to the local government bodies will soon be held on new conditions where the people will elect their local representatives on a ward basis. And more importantly the elections will for the first time come under an elections commission. The entire parliament is to sit as a Constituent assembly to draft a new constitution to the country. In accepting several proposals to the annual budget the new government has very clearly indicated that it believes firmly in counting of heads and not breaking of heads when it comes to decision making corrupt and bribery takers as well as criminals who plundered this nation are being taken to task.
So when we say good bye to 2015 and on the threshold of yet another new year can we all Sri Lankans in one voice say and believe truly that a very good morning has dawned on our loved country.