By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
Thinking Into The Future
Love him or hate him, of all the political leaders we have today only Ranil Wickremesinghe seems the one who can peer into the future. That is saying a lot. His own political success thus far has been partly do to that farsightedness. SJB (less Harsha De Silva) and the JVP-NPC (I’ll have to ask God what that combination means) are grovelling in a political landscape taken from the traditional past- holding elections, the price of eggs and petty issues of everyday living. A future orientation is crucial for leaders who want to govern a country in a world characterised by rapid geopolitical changes that show up the need to set sails according the treacherous winds.
Perhaps, the more serious issue is that our political leaders don’t realize this need at all.
I was reminded of this upon reading the FT report about a zoom conference with Harvard scholars. States the report, “President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday articulated his vision for Sri Lanka and on-going efforts to bring stability followed by socio-economic growth during an interview organised by Harvard University on Friday, through Zoom technology.
He also said that Sri Lanka’s access to the growing Indian and African markets should not be disrupted by any big power rivalry or conflict.
The President also highlighted the rising competition between China and the Quad, which has been further aggravated by the newly formed ‘Aukus’ pact between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Additionally, he stated that Sri Lanka supports ASEAN’s vision of the Indo-Pacific region and is committed to ensuring the freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean and the security of undersea cables, as it is essential for the future of the country.” [Unquote}
Like to know if our vociferous and fiery Opposition leaders know what Quad is? What “Aukus Pact” is? Sajith, are you there? Anura Kumar, are you there. What the Ukraine war means to Sri Lanka? Do they know of our potential in Africa?
Domestically, do the Opposition understand the vital need for solving the Northern issue? For keeping Sri Lanka free of fraction? For joining all ends amicably in an equal society? For the need to clear government engagement in trade and business? For the crucial need to stimulate a GNP and per capita rise from the seats of private enterprise? Such and many others are issues that extend our focus into movements in the future.
Traditional Opposition Style goes on
Our broken opposition juggernaut keeps rolling much in the same way they have done over the last three or four decades. The focus in their issue presentation is about basic food, eggs, kerosene oil, home gas etc. They roll out huge protest meetings in a matter of days and they metaphorically tear the government down.
Corruption is important but has any in the Opposition been able to do a private study of political corruption and come out with substance? It is just about ‘that man is ‘dooshithayi; ‘this man is dooshithayi.’ Okkoma athulata damanna ona.” Catch the devils and get the robbed money and run the country with that, says persons like Comrade Tilvin, Marikkar and Mujabbin and so on. Have they been able to identify any one ‘dooshithaya’ with details where the theft is hidden? Do the Doosithayas conceal their largesse in boxes and cupboards?
“Our kids do not get eggs to eat.” Our young adult girls don’t have tampers.” ‘Babies have no milk food” Yes, yes.. al that is right. But at least why not start thinking from that point at least. Why are we unable to provide these basics? Why did we lose our dollars? Why did our balance of payments suffer until the economy burst into bankruptcy?
And how are you going to set things right when you get to power? What are your plans? The JVP/ NPP) cannot show any plan on an immediate or urgent basis -leave alone a longterm plan. The basis of their plan termed
”Rapid Recovery” is the false analysis that our economic problems stemmed from the open economy that JR started.
Sajith seems to be picking up projects that can be knotted again into some sort of plan, some time in the future. The problem is that Sajith and his Opposition rivals-both- have no understanding of reasoning out from the micro economy onto the macro economy. Except for solitary souls like Harsha that party hasn’t a clue.
Politics must stem from macroeconomics. With the Red Shirts and SJB their politics are stuck with micro issues. It is the cloak and dagger that they are after
At least and at last we have an internationally guaranteed agreement now (IMF) in black and white. Here is Ranil Wickremesinghe at his best. No doubt the IMF can put us on the winning trail provided the government has the backing to go ahead with it. Walls of contrived Opposition criticism will come up. Sarath Fonseka, once serious hero, the other day said that this IMF amount is a “sochchama” (insignificant) and stated that his electorate has 54,000 culverts to repair. Fonny also stated on the same ‘media conference, that Ranil is joking when he said that our country is out of bankruptcy. Please explain to our war master what the technical definition of ‘bankruptcy’ is.
The funny (not Fonny) thing is that the Opposition initially villified Ranil’s IMF effort saying: “We will never get that..it’s a hallucination.” Now Fonny and the Comrades in Red Shirts say there are many flaws in the agreement. The SJB reportedly goes to the pathetic extent of meeting the IMF after the agreement is done to have a shot at blocking the agreement.
In the old days we used to call this treachery. In some countries such leaders are summarily executed; but let’s not do that as we need some ongoing comedy.
*The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org