By W. Vishnu Gupta –
It is obvious that the citizens were not flabbergasted or shamed when the Executive President was jeered and sent away from the parliament of Sri Lanka on July 5th, 2022, as he has lost public trust. It was a historical commotion lead by SJB within the legislature, the tyrant was grinning from ear to ear and was surrounded by few political turncoats whose survival depends on the survival of Rajapaksa clan and hastily exited the house of the legislature. The state is paralysed and dysfunctional due to the present illegal government appointed by the Rajapaksa clan and the judicial branch of the government must be equally responsible for the political and economic insecurity of the state of Sri Lanka. Because the judiciary has failed to step in to prevent the illegal appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the prime minister and ignoring the sovereignty of people. The approval rating of the government in “June has dropped to 3% from 10% in January according to Verité Research’s Gallup style “Mood of the Nation” poll.”, in other words, the government led by Gotabaya is in the deathbed due to mismanagement and corruption. It is well known that the STATE is bankrupt. However, the most unpopular duo, Gota and Ranil must realize that the STATE is not DEAD, and it will never DIE despite the dishonest and unlawful agreements entered with Indians, Americans, and Chinese since 1977. All three international forces vying to gain dominant geostrategic position in the ocean around the island nation will always rely on corrupt politicians such as Rajapaksas and Ranil to achieve their hideous objectives and jeopardise the economic security of the state.
The economic security of any state can be achieved only with political stability and not with political shenanigans or accepting handouts given by foreign countries and illegitimate contracts signed by corrupt politicians such Basil Rajapaksa otherwise internationally known as Mr. Ten Percent. Therefore, given the pathetic economic and security climate, Gota must transfer the state responsibilities to a transitional government without further delay to avoid many deaths, destructions, and mayhem soon. Blinded by greed, power, and own insecurity, Ranil and Rajapaksas will never favour an all-party interim government but that is the only and preferred option left for the people in the state of Sri Lanka. This option was proposed on April 16th, 2022, in a “Colombo Telegraph” article published under the caption “From Mirihana To ‘Gota Go Gama’, for the benefit of those who care to understand the concept of transitional government, the following is appended from the said article.
A transitional government is a system of law and leadership put into place during a change from one type of government to another, usually during a period of crisis such as economic insecurity encountered by Sri Lankans.
It seems that existing government of Sri Lanka will be overthrown and dismantled by public pressure. In the eyes and minds of people, the present leaders have lost credibility and people including children have throng to the streets demanding (225 +1) to resign and stop the political charade of last 72 years. Their demand is further reinforced by the economic collapse, Sri Lanka has ended-up being a failed bankrupt state. Hence a transitional government needs to be established sooner. Transitional government is not akin to shuffling the cards as some political novices and youtubers claim.
The purpose of transitional governments is typically to determine a new political structure, and sometimes even a new economic structure as well. The transitional leadership may be expected to establish a new constitution and hold elections and restoring a sense of justice. The existence of Sri Lanka as a country and the future of Sri Lankan children are at risk due to 72 years of self-centered actions of politicians, corruption, and mismanagement. The people need to take responsibility to make proposals to overcome the present impasse faced by the government just like the keen interest taken to oppose the leadership non-violently. The following political structure needs to be looked at seriously as an alternative, instead of scheming in the dens of politicians devoid of voice of people.”
Rajapaksas should have left in April
Furthermore, with the hope opening the minds of Rajapaksas and their cohorts the said compendium on transitional government was bold enough to suggest that, if Rajapaksas truly love Sri Lanka, Gotabaya must consider the following legislators in a transitional government, before his imminent departure, and he will earn respect locally and within the international community for taking such a courageous step to safeguard the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. The suggested names to the transitional government are not “Lily White Saints” but appears to be less evil, they represent every political party in Sri Lanka. Moreover, elimination of all State Minister portfolios is warranted to save billions of rupees spent on maintaining these political dead-weights. The caretaker all- party government is well within the constitutional framework of Sri Lanka and hence the international leaders, UN, IMF, World Bank and EU will not hesitate to recognize them as the representation of sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka paving the way to obtain much needed financial support.
Time is running out for Gota
Gota must understand his time is running out, Although the people are agitating peacefully right now, it will not last forever. He has only made blunders since becoming the president, clearly, he does not have what it takes to be a leader of the country, many have died, and millions have become destitute due to his ill-conceived policies and mismanagement. It is time for him and his clan members to retire from politics now and appoint an interim all-party government without contravening the constitution.
The interim all-party government must be led by a less controversial but a reticent and undemonstrative introvert but conforms to the statutes in the constitution of the state. Hence, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene, the speaker of the legislature fits the criteria perfectly. The interim temporary prime minister should possess similar personal traits but not driven by greed for power, someone like the late Wijeyananda Dahanayake. Obviously, the people will favor Rajith Siyambalapitiya as the speaker and Harsha De silva to fill the minister of Finance portfolio. Sajith, Sirisena, AKD must understand it is only a temporary government and they should avoid being seen as opportunists to benefit from the misfortune fell on Rajapaksas, but they should be in the cabinet with responsibilities to guide power/energy, foreign affairs, and agriculture respectively. Hakeem, Shanakiyan, Wimal, Vasu, Udaya, Gayantha, Jeevan Thondaman, Anura Yapa and GL Peiris should be given other cabinet portfolios to fulfill the requirement of an all-party interim government, and specifically G.L. Peiris must be given the responsibility to lead the Justice Ministry and responsibility to draft a new constitution avoiding Wijedasa Rajapaksa who speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
The mandate of the transitional government must be strictly confined to the following priorities of the people and to be fulfilled within eighteen months, hence our glorious protesters of Mirihana, ‘Gota Go Gama’, and other emerging nonpartisan civilian groups must remain hawkish, vigilant and monitor the progress of the elected transitional interim leaders every month.
Priority-1: Provide immediate relief measures to free the masses from economic insecurity.
Priority-2: Repeal 20th constitutional amendment and simultaneously enhance the 19th amendment with the inclusion of changes to electoral system that combines FIRST PAST THE POST (or single member plurality) voting and the PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION structure.
Priority-3: Abolish Executive Presidency and elect the president from the legislature. Introduced budget limits for the election campaigns with audit controls.
Priority-4: Cleanse the judiciary system and restore the credibility by retiring or reassigning present political appointees.
Priority-4: Conduct new General Election for the legislature under new election rules before December 2023.
Judging by the spontaneous reactions of the people, police and military personnel wasting valuable time in the gasoline, cooking gas, public transportation, fertilizer, and food queues, it is obvious that Sri Lankans have lost confidence in the government. The government may hold a different opinion and hide behind the flawed constitution. But people are not naïve anymore, it seems they have come to realize that the statutes in the present constitution are worthless before the ambitions of those in power.
Hopefully, common sense will prevail and all responsible parties for the present economic, financial, and political crisis, namely the executive, legislature and judiciary should feel the pulse of the people and take immediate steps to avoid a possible bloodbath in the state of Sri Lanka in the near future.