13 December, 2017

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Mr. President & Mr. Prime Minister; People Are Hearing What You’re Not Saying!

By Vishwamithra

“When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.” ~Pearl S. Buck

The biggest issue before us is not that we are not listening. But that we are hearing what we don’t want to hear. The people tend to pay more attention to the President and Prime Minister. They represent the respective partners of the coalition. President Maithripala Sirisena is the de jure leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The question is whether or not he has the confidence of all the SLFP parliamentarians. On the other hand, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe seems to be the undisputed leader of the United National Party (UNP). But the majority of those who voted for Maithripala at the Presidential Elections and the UNP at the General Elections are palpitating with a tremendous amount of disgust and disappointment today for valid reasons. They cannot be disregarded, for the expectations raised at the Hustings were sharper and more cutting in the context of the alleged corruption and nepotism related to the former first family and their kith and kin.

The disappointment is even blunter as the very platform that was made to be understood by the voter at both elections was ‘eradication of corruption and nepotism’. Each time one of these leaders, President or Prime Minister, goes on stage and delivers an oration, whether political or not, the audience had been waiting to hear something else, something more positive, especially relating to the findings of the numerous investigations and their likely consequences. Yet the audience came back home without hearing anything positive. That is a letdown. Lack of aggression on the part of the Prime Minister is understandable. He could be quite belligerent in parliament; at times he is quite an engaging public speaker although he is way behind the UNP’s brilliant public speakers in the likes of Dudley Senanayake, R Premadasa, Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake the United National Party (UNP) can boast about. Yet Ranil Wickremesinghe’s lack of aggressive prosecution of the Rajapaksa’s miscarriage of political and financial justice is looming large.

Maithripala Sirisena’s approach should be viewed through a different prism. He is an accomplished speaker, whether in parliament (when he was in parliament), at a public rally or addressing the media personnel. His problem is one of strategic genre. Knowing very well that he possesses a remarkable ability in articulation of profound political themes in simple vernacular, Sirisena fails miserably in putting that ability into practice, if not for the good of the country and the coalition that he leads, at least for the sake of his own political survival and continuation at the helm of the current government. Whether you are the President, Prime Minister of a member of the Cabinet, the one brutal reality in politics glares at him: you have to blow your own trumpet because no one else is going to do it for you. And you must not shy away from that prime rule in politics. ‘Blowing your own trumpet’ should not be taken literally. One can blow one’s own trumpet by engaging a professional outfit consisting of media professionals. In the absence of such an exercise, a politician at the level of President would look amateurish and unambitious. Ambition, if steered well and with ruthlessness, can make an unsustainable politician travel a long way.  But ambition, if unclothed and without constraints, could lead to disastrous consequences. It is so for the subject and more so for his or her surroundings, family and friends.

Ambition aside, it is elementary political physics that the gravity of all criticisms and innuendos is towards the foot of the Head of State, in our case both President and Prime Minister. President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe cannot run away from that reality. In today’s context, the country’s main complaints are multilayered and two prime categories are 1) unaggressive pursuit of corruption-dealers of the Rajapaksa regime 2) Inaction on such dealers in their own government. If Maithri and Ranil are of the opinion that other issues such as rising cost of living and almost-daily demonstrations and strikes quite successfully launched by various anti-government forces, then their opinion is sadly misplaced and in fact detrimental to the execution of the program that they introduced to the country on the election platform.

Time is not on their side. Agitations and demonstrations are not only organized by the so-called Joint Opposition, they are also being initiated by those who voted for this government. Such protests and street-parades, if not focused on issues that matter to daily lives of the masses, at least seem well-organized and throwing up a segment of population that is most vital and drawing the sympathy of them- young men and women pursuing higher ideals. Whatever the protests that have since of late become an order of the day, especially within Colombo suburbs, are a byproduct of the frustration the people sense as a consequence of rampant corruption; they are an extension of the public opinion that is building up directly as a result a) the lack of action taken by the current rulers against the Rajapaksas who were alleged to have been enmeshed in a tangle of illicit money-making and naked nepotism  during their own regime and b) some Ministers in the current government who are alleged to be betrothed in corruption themselves.

President Sirisena is constantly engaged in capturing the moment in politics. Instead he needs to pay greater attention to building a whole new scope of strategically planned dynamic in politics. Mere existence from moment to moment as a philosophical paradigm is utterly dreary and unexciting and in the event of a circumstance in which the moment is not captured and flown away before one could grasp it could be disastrous and tragic. The President would be judicious to shed that mode of navigation. Leaving behind a repetition of capturing the moment, which has been a lifelong habit that may have served him well in the past, is neither valid nor possible today. The sands of time will sweep him off and dash him on ground before he realizes it. His approach to the SAITM issue, being embroiled in the internecine politicking in the SLFP, his utterances regarding changing social phenomena such as young girls jumping on stage of a world-renowned entertainers are but a few such moments that he managed to arrest and lost in the long run.

Failure to distinguish between strategy and tactics is an acute deficiency in a politician. Maithripala Sirisena took a grave and patriotic decision when he left the corruption-ridden Rajapaksas and contested the last Presidential Elections. The country, more than he, was rewarded for such a momentous decision. But that is history now. The people have already forgotten about it. A more difficult road is before him and to his constant dismay, he discovered that running a coalition government between Ceylon’s traditional arch-rivals, the UNP and the SLFP, is not as smooth as ascending to power. One must be extraordinarily skilled to undertake such a task. Sirisena cannot assume power on a ‘partnership’ platform and surround himself with ‘yes’ men and expects to traverse on stormy seas. Of course, he is the presiding head of the Cabinet of Ministers who are de facto and de jure executives of government policies. In the wake of the passage of the 19th Amendment, in clumsily arranged state machinery, conflict of interest, domestic political rivalries, facilitating Ministerial portfolios for candidates who were defeated at the elections, the credibility of President Sirisena suffered an irreversible twist. One consequence of this process was the expansion of the Cabinet to an unmanageable number of forty eight (48). One may argue that in the context of a coalition government, one has to choose between pacifying those who demand lucrative Cabinet positions and risking a damaging political dynamic when those whose demands are not met choose to defect. But that is an insubstantial argument in that the sheer weight of the Cabinet is more than capable of causing a stagnation in the state machinery under the very weight of such a massive Cabinet!

In the case of the Prime Minister, it is totally a different phenomenon that is at play. Unlike Maithri, Ranil seems to have total control of his party. But he too failed to take some timely action when such action was called for. One conspicuous issue is the Central Bank bond scam. As soon as the details of this horrendous scam surfaced, Ranil, should have asked for the resignation of the then Governor along with all other politicos even were even remotely connected with the scam. By not doing so he allowed a wound to fester beyond remedy. Now both, Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe are bogged down in a perpetual damage control and crisis management mode. That is not the way to steer the ship of State. The masses are watching and hearing, and they are more eager to hear what the leaders are not saying!

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com                                 

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    Excellent analysis of the circumstances facing the big two. Is it a lack of trained, capable, committed personnel on the one-hand, and a total lack of discipline, morals and honesty on the other-hand, that is crippling any and all attempts at a turn around.

    A sane person can see the progress made in certain fronts. As the authors details, the man on the street is not interested in the intangible freedoms he enjoys today. Rather, its the cost of living and the unbridled corruption that is continuing that seems to get everyone in their throats!

  • 4
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    You are right on the money mate …… Evil people have parked at Central Bank and the Treasury for sure…….. Wonder where Malik and Kabir park?……..

  • 3
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    I heard today (Tuesday) the Deputy Minister Mr. Ajith Perera very categorically stating that the subject Minister of Justice “DOES NOT WANT” to expedite the Legal Proceedings against those charged in courts for Mega Corruption and Theft of Public Funds. This he revealed, participating in the “SATANA” political debate aired by “Sirasa” on 1st August. It is available in “Social Media”. He further explained how he took this matter up with both the President and the Prime Minster. He said, “HE” (Minister of Justice) does not have the “WILL” or the “DESIRE” to set up special Tribunals within the existing Legal System to make a quick finish with the cases pending against Mr. Basil, Mr. Namal and others. He (Mr. Ajith Perera) mentioned those names. He, Mr. Ajith Perera also in answer to questioning said, there is a large group within his own party (UNP) that agree with his statement. So, when this categorical statement, compared with the “snail speed” these cases are proceeding, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister aren’t the PEOPLE , “HEARING” what two of you are not saying? Mr. President and Prime Minister, let me remind you of our village saying: This is “APAYATA HENA GEHUWA WAGAI” (like thunder truck the hell) Is this the BEGINNING of the END?

    • 3
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      Oh man, oh man…the Sinhala idioms say it as is..Apayata Hena Gehuwa..lightening strike in hell is exactly what it is. And may I add, the poor voters have exchanged the Kehi geni for a hotu geni (a phlegmy woman for a snotty woman).

  • 1
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    Vishwamithra,
    Your title is
    “Mr. President & Mr. Prime Minister; People Are Hearing What You’re Not Saying! “

    Looks like you have completely ignored the facts that the President, & PM have collectively passed the responsibilities to the IGP to say to the people in Jaffna, Kankesanthurai, & Killinochi , what the President & PM did not say to them directly . IGP was doing the in both Sinhalese & English.

    North is going to be occupied more by the forces because IGP says terrorism is not defeated and they are going to do that .

  • 1
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    The President & PM did not say to the people to whom they should call when the they need to complai or need help. But the President & the PM have instructed the IGP to give the phone numbers.

  • 3
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    Legendary Guru Wishvamithra who lived in India in the 6th century BC was a famous and renowned royal advisor. He was one of the teachers of prince Siddhartha but he never blew others’ trumpets. He gave the correct advice to rulers of the day. When he said that prince Siddhartha was more inclined to a spiritual life than a lay life King Suddhodhana was not too happy about his findings. King thought Guru Wishvamithra was supporting prince Siddhartha’s ideas and immediately terminated his service.
    This writer who tries to blow the trumpets of RW and MS won’t be fired like that, but readers will make a timely decision if he continues to hide truth from the public. (The current situation in SL is much more tragic than what this fake Wishvamithra portrays in this article!)
    I trusted both RW and MS like the other 6.2 million in Sri Lanka and thought that those severe allegations against the Rajapaksas might be true and provable. I thought the country’s budget deficit could be bridged with allegedly stolen money during the Rajapaksa regime. I wanted Yahapalana regime to prove those allegations, recover the money, balance the budget, and put the Rajapaksas behind bars. It did not happen because those allegations were baseless lies and imaginary fairy tales concoct as part of a hateful political strategy to grab power. I remember how Ravi Karunanayake spoke about the Rajapaksas’ allegedly looted money at political rallies and in parliament; this shameless man now tries to avoid the commission inquiry. Today, people know who the real thieves are; specially Bond Scam allegations against Yahapalana leaders have been already proven before the people’s ‘Supreme Court’!
    I don’t blame MR when he asks jokingly: “Venasa Sapada?” (Is change cool?)
    These fake Wishvamithras et al can continue to sing hosannas and blow trumpets until something tragic happens! We all know the legendary last emperor of Rome, Nero played the fiddle while Rome was burnt. What else can we say about the current self-serving political hedonism?

    • 0
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      What to do men, the west and India helped with the regime change by creating the lies about a non existing US$18 loot to get rid of the pro-cheena Rajapaksha’s, then the My3and RW bought votes at the general election by promising an across the board pay hikes to state employees and pensioners, in paying the piper (the voters), the duo had to go in to debt many times more than what MR borrowed for development, and the pay hikes increased inflation but had not positive effect on production, to pay for the pay hikes the My3 and RW duo had to increase VAT etc, burdening the people and since that was not enough they had to sell the grand mothers jewelry to keep the creditors at bay, and so they ended up being more pro-cheena than most Chinese. So India and the west has gained nothing, the Sri Lankan people have gained nothing and the Chinese have gained a Port which they probably don’t really need. What to do men!!

    • 0
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      Gema: Vishavamithra is an Indian living in Sinhale and he is promotimg multi-colour country. I think MS-RW is their product. They cannot atch their product failing. That is what is happening. The problem is there is no alternative coming, except the same old lot, govern the country. I don;t think Maithripala Sirisena as the choice. Ranil should go for sure.

  • 4
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    Ranil’s top priority is new constitution. I get the feeling that probably Erik S. would have told that he and MY3 will be given Nobel Prize for Peace if they come out with a constitution that provides a Federal solution. Whether that will bring peace is immaterial to a rascal like Erik. It will please the Wellala politicians and they will keep quiet for a while and then come out with Separate State solution.

    • 2
      2

      Eagle Eye

      “I get the feeling that probably Erik S. would have told that he and MY3 will be given Nobel Prize for Peace if they come out with a constitution that provides a Federal solution.”

      How about a Nobel prize to each of the clan members, starting with Gota?

  • 4
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    There is two key issues currently challenges of the ground reality of political-economic-social sphere of life that effects to majority of people of Sri Lankan. None of key issues confront by Sri lakan society has been address by MS, Ranil Wicks and CBK since last 32 months 2015 January.. 8th…..
    1 Right to Vote has been suppressed. The People voice in no longer here.
    2 National Economy is on Sale to Any country as long as UNP-Ranil Wicks and MS, CBK get their shares.
    All political involvements and Investment deals are committed to corrupted links by the ” helm of so called governances of Good”. And the “Rule of law” in our land an uncertainties are due to remained in power that assured and back by USA UK, EU Japan and Indian blessing.
    Well called that present governances of regime which that remain in the of power- state guarantee by USA, UK and Indian Embassies in Colombo . They(three countries) back and closed RIGHT to votes for People for ever !
    Western has an open new “account of democracy” norms to an Island without Right to Vote for the FIRST TIME after an 1948 Independency. This is a new wave of the tragedy of anti- democracy tendencies an apply by UNP Ranil Wicks .MS and CBK s.
    The Policies implemented by UNP leadership of so-called “Rainbow Revolution> Current regime in power discarded 70 years of Local Council elections and Provincial Councils Elections . An Economy in doldrums that an investments & Trading terms and conditions are dictated by foreign power on their revivals’ in Indian Ocean !

  • 2
    1

    Gema,
    I don’t blame MR when he asks jokingly: “Venasa Sapada?” (Is change cool?)
    These fake Wishvamithras et al can continue to sing hosannas and blow trumpets until something tragic happens! We all know the legendary last emperor of Rome, Nero played the fiddle while Rome was burnt. What else can we say about the current self-serving political hedonism?

    Of course Venasa is truly of 100% freedom and no white vanning, burning and bombing of Tv stations and murdering innocent journalists and brutally killing the rugger player.

    • 0
      1

      Mudson,

      The kind of ‘Wenasa’ you talk is only for ‘Colombians’. For the ordinary folks ‘Wenasa’ is sky rocketing inflation, rice at exorbitant prices, taxes, increased bus fares. 100% freedom is no use for people who are struggling to survive.

  • 2
    1

    Mudson totally agree with your comments!

    As usual MS is a spineless head of state and RW is a cunning fox and both of them are going in wrong directions.
    I hope at least by now appoint SF as the Minister in charge of Law and order and most importantly MR mole Dealdasa Rajapaksa should be dealt with for scuttling Jarapakasaya investigations.
    Once the changes are made everything will fall in to place!

    • 1
      2

      Berty Gunathilaka

      “I hope at least by now appoint SF as the Minister in charge of Law and order and most importantly MR mole Dealdasa Rajapaksa should be dealt with for scuttling Jarapakasaya investigations.”

      Well, well well, we have had 10 years of white van culture under the national chief hangman Gota now you are proposing law and order to be given to the racist who promised to drag the clan and cronies to Gall face to punish them on the green.

      It appears stupid people seem to opt for easy solutions. When are the voters going to be educated because they vote in draws.

    • 0
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      Berty Gunatilake – How much I am in line with your thinking.Wijedasa should be sent home from there to his favourite spot close to my place of residence.I live near Mulleriyawa.

  • 0
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    Both are biting the cheese on either side and putting up a drama. The gullible people are paying more attention to their antics wasting funds and time. The country will do better without them or other joker pack of 225, including the police force.

  • 0
    0

    Lankans (the silent majority) will agree with Vishwamithra, “Mr. President & Mr. Prime Minister; People Are Hearing What You’re Not Saying!”
    We have stopped paying attention to what they say (usually recycled stale stuff) but speculate on what DO NOT say. This applies to all the leaders – for example Wimal, Basil, Gota and Gnanasara (May his Mr Universe muscles increase!) are silent and this worries us.
    On 08 January 2015 the President and PM undertook to bridle corruption, nepotism and culture of impunity. We feel that these evils remain untouched. We thought that they are trying to breakdown a structure. We have reasons to believe that the structure is being used. Are a few being protected thus unwittingly protecting all the corrupt?
    Increasingly we feel despondent and helpless.

  • 1
    0

    Sri Lanka will go down the Venezuela path sooner than later

  • 0
    1

    To Mudson S.
    1. Freedom for whom? Robbers, underworld thugs, drug dealers, and criminals enjoy it and freely harass every single citizen of the country today. Yahapalanaya uses the same ‘free-damn’ to assault university students, trade unionists, and bystanders.
    2. ‘No white Van’? You must be kidding Mudson! Didn’t you see the recent saga involving the thugs and white van operated by the Police in front of the Court premises?
    3. ‘Burning and bombing TV stations’: the responsible attackers are with the Yahapalanaya today and don’t point the finger at the Rajapaksas, anymore. If you are talking about LTTE bombs the Rajapaksas stopped it decisively in 2009 at Nanthikadal. Please salute him for having saved your life and the lives of many thousands.
    4. Murdering innocent journalists: answer is the same as above.
    5. Killing the ‘rugger’ player: what the hell has this Yahapalanaya been doing for the last two and half years without hearing this freaking case and putting the criminals in jail? I’m fed up of listening to just allegations without proper action. RaviK was doing the same; he always pointed the finger at the Rajapaksas and secretly cleaned up public coffers directly and indirectly. Yesterday, he has said he knew nothing about the luxury penthouse Monarch residence bought by Arjun A for the Karunanayakes’ use! Mr. Mudson, who are you trying to fool?
    Mr. Mudson, read this from Asian Mirror today: “In a startling revelation, the Attorney General’s Department today informed the Bond Commission that it had extracted 8600 pages of data from Perpetual Treasuries head Arjuna Aloysius’ mobile phone. The AG’s Department said several text messages in the database refer to two individuals called ‘RK’ and ‘PM’. RK, incidentally, are also the initials of Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
    Mr. Mudson, can you tell us who the PM is? I don’t think the two letters stand for ‘Post Mort em’.

    • 1
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      Gema at no stage i have defended PM or RK and whoever it may be The law should apply to all. It seems you are getting too excited and trying to whitewash the Jarapaksas. Credit over war victory in 2009 should be shared by all the tri forces with the support of India, pakistan,iran,china,usa. Denzil Kobbekaduwa, Vi
      Conveniently you have forgotten Raviraj, Pararajasingam, Lalith-Kugan Ekneligoda, lasantha, sivaram many many more journalists fled srilanka got assaulted mercilessly ratupaswela asking for clean drinking water, roshen, do you need more???
      Whatever said and done, one officer who was keen to crush the LTTE was General Denzil Kobbekaduwa. Unfortunately, he was killed in a bomb explosion, along with Brigadier Wijaya Wimalaratne in Jaffna.
      Other than this officer, the only other person who waged a war against the LTTE was Lt. General Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. At the height of war he visited all the camps, spoke to his men and encouraged them.

  • 1
    0

    Faceless and nameless Visamithra you have stated the following about your sponsor Ranil W.

    ” But he too failed to take some timely action when such action was called for. One conspicuous issue is the Central Bank bond scam. As soon as the details of this horrendous scam surfaced, Ranil, should have asked for the resignation of the then Governor along with all other politicos even were even remotely connected with the scam. By not doing so he allowed a wound to fester beyond remedy.”

    It is bloody humbug. Mahendran was sponsored and brought in by RW to rob the nation following the model used by MR. MR brought in Cabraal and stole the wealth in grand-scale without leaving any trace. One can achieve robbing a nation’s wealth only with the help of Central Bank. People know these politicians are thieves, MR masterminded the art. Ill gotten wealth subsequently can be used to retain power. RW wanted the same in order to gain power in future Presidential election, No money … No presidency. RW is only a very sharp schemer but not a tactician. MR was the President and Finance Minister but RW brought in RK for the job of finance minister sidelining Harsha De Silva. the difference of the models used by MR and RW is ; MR ‘s scheme had “two heads” but RW’s scheme had THREE-HEADS”. So Visamithra don’t assume we are naive and gullible to believe your baloney.

  • 0
    0

    (Another text read To Arjun Aloysius, quoted from the Presidential Com of Inquiry):
    “Social media is a strong weapon these days. Allow us to start our gossip column. We can give a massive support to Hon Ravi K. I am going to cover the cost for two months. 3 to 5 million. Let’s do this boss.”
    Mudson! you too can contribute to this mud-column with other boot-lickers who support this Y-Pala’s government. I’m sure there are ‘certain’ CT writers too on this proposed pay roll. The more you lie the better it is for your wallet! it’s tax free and you have a chance of winning a luxury penthouse in Colombo. Just say, if an inquiry is held, you don’t know who paid the money but your wife had found it in her safe!
    Warning! Don’t drag Sarath Fonseka to RaviK’s shit again because it was RaviK who ridiculed him in Parliament when SF was commanding the army. Unlike RaviK and Mudson Sri Lankans remember these words: “instead of Alimankada Sarath Fonseka goes to Pamankada; instead of Killinochiya the army goes to Medawachchiya”.

  • 0
    0

    The president and The prime minister,promised during the election campaign that when they form the goverment,they will solve the problems faced by the tamils but upto now nothing is done.A promise is a promise,but instead they now have a policy of divide and rule.Especialy in the east, tamils are deprived of developement by the goverment and the guillible TNA, turn a blind eye.Now,this the time for the tamils to ignore all these fools and use their heads to go ahead.

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