25 October, 2021

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Obstacles To Ranil’s Destiny

By Somapala Gunadheera

Somapala Gunadheera

Somapala Gunadheera

I was tempted to write this piece by the outspoken remarks of an Island editorial under the title “O tempora! O mores!” After highlighting a list of failures by a young minister holding an important portfolio, the editorial raised the question, “If it (the Government) had been really serious about developing vital sectors … it would have got very senior Cabinet members to helm the relevant ministries without turning them into playpens for politicians still wet behind the ears.”

It is public knowledge that the level of performance of the current executive is below par. Youth and inexperience, as pointed out by the above editorial, is only one of the reasons that have downgraded its output. While some operatives are ‘wet behind their ears’, at the other end of the scale are found some others who are ‘long in their years’. Listening to their trembling voices on the electronic media, one wonders how they could deliver the goods expected of them effectively. While all other vocations have an age of retirement, politics has become the exception in which one can stumble up to his death. It is hoped that the promised code of ethics, when it appears at last, would fix an inviolable upper limit to those who live by their votes. Fixing a minimum age limit for ministers and deputies would also control the scramble for portfolios, bringing our mammoth Cabinet within civilized standards. In addition, the move will act as a barricade against greenhorns who aspire to use their connections to handle portfolios in which they are out of depth. ranil-pm-media-newzeland

There are yet other Ministers who continue from crisis to crisis but they carry on unchecked in the face of sanctions and criticism. They appear to depend on old school ties. A fourth category is supposed to be under a cloud but they are allowed to continue in office without any visible investigations and indictments. These shortcomings have left a negative impression in the public mind, depressed by the belief that nothing positive happens, despite the immensity of the management team entrusted with a distribution of duties that has many gaps alongside duplications. The only activity that is conspicuous to the man in the street is a plethora of arrests and remands of prominent members of the last regime. Not one of those thus exhibited in public have been convicted by a Court of Law, so far. People are getting fed up with this exhibitionism and if any prosecution is successfully concluded at some future date, no one would take the matter seriously. A typical case, in which the process defeats the purpose!

All these hiccups point to one failure of the new Government. After nearly two years in office, they have failed to get their act together. This failure appears to stem from two main causes, one structural and the other personal. So far the Government has not been able to gear its machinery to achieve its targets efficiently. Although there may be certain shortcomings in the machinery available to Government, it has failed to put it right under an effective organization. A conspicuous example is the amateurish handling of prosecutions against the aforesaid politicians. Leaders are heard blaming the public service for this situation but what they do not understand is that the basic cause for this awkward lethargy is the failure of those in power to make prompt and effective decisions to replace incompetent officers and to introduce effective systems and procedure.

Now that Ranil Wickremesinghe has become the principal decision maker under a coalition with a weaker partner, the onus of decision making falls squarely on his lap. The speed of Government is set at his pace. He cannot afford to forget what happened when he was in power last. Placed in a strong position after the general election at the turn of the century, it looked as if Ranil would soon capture the slender vestiges of power still left with his opponent. His supporters were pushing him hard to act fast and impeach the President out of power. But that was not to be. With Hamlet like hesitation, Ranil was dragging his feet until the carpet was pulled under his feet, unexpectedly, at the opportune moment. All his grandiose plans to make the country a better place to live in fell by the wayside and RW was exiled to the political wilderness for many years. Back in power, he cannot afford a repetition of that debacle. He has to act ‘come or go, Chicago’.

The immediate cause for the current hesitation appears to be the oncoming local government election. The mood of the electorate may have changed for the worse after the last general election due to added financial burdens and stagnancy. This time around however, the rival configuration is such that inaction cannot put RW completely out of power, though he might lose his two/thirds majority. A few electorates may be lost to the Government, if a local government election is held and that number will increase in proportion with the delay to hold the election. However, that cannot have a substantial effect on the ruling coalition. It can confidently settle down to implementing the economic programmes that RW is trying to create, running all-over the world. If that could be done effectively, even some members in the Joint Opposition may decide to cross over in due course. With a self-satisfied electorate and its adversaries subdued by economic gains and successful and impartial prosecution of the corrupt, the governing coalition can confidently retain its power.

The latest debacle of the Government is the Bond Scam. Things have got so much out of hand that even the role of the proverbial Mr. Clean has come to be challenged. Although the general public may not be convinced by that allegation, it is in RW’s own interests to prove his innocence before a delayed defence gives credence to the charge levelled by his critics. We are told day by day, that the matter would be referred to Courts for a decision. That is not all. There are other proposed alternatives like appointing a Presidential Commission to make recommendations. Parliament would pass the final verdict but it would be inoperative until the investigations are over. Here again the government’s fault lies with its habitual tendency to drag its feet on burning issues.

The allegation against RW is centered on his alleged cliquish tendencies. However, prompt investigation may reveal other motives for the alleged scam. Was the instruction to deviate from course, if any, made by the urgency to meet commitments undertaken with the change of Government? Did any unlawful benefit accrue to the instructor from his instruction? The bona fides of RW can be established only by a proper investigation held into the matter expeditiously. Coming to think of the Government’s recurrent problem of procrastination, the solution appears to lie in the Prince of Lanka acquiring the resoluteness, the persistence and the detachment of Lady Macbeth.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    1

    Good comment sir! Hope and pray Ranil reads this article.

    • 5
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      Ranil has failed to carry out some of the major reforms promised even after almost two years.

      1 prosecuting former regime MPs
      2 pension reforms
      3 subsidy reforms
      4 SoE reforms
      5 one million jobs
      6 trade agreements
      7 reconciliation efforts

      Three more years to go and hope he gets a new team who can deliver

  • 17
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    Its quite simple. Ranil and Sirisena are the men at the top. They must take responsibility for the people they have appointed. All they are doing at the moment is paving the way for the return of Mara.

  • 7
    1

    Somapala, your succinct observation that “the solution appears to lie in the Prince of Lanka acquiring the resoluteness, the persistence and the detachment of Lady Macbeth”, is most apropos – as the following quote clarifies:

    “Analysts see in the character of Lady Macbeth the conflict between femininity and masculinity, as they are impressed in cultural norms. Lady Macbeth suppresses her instincts toward compassion, motherhood, and fragility — associated with femininity — in favour of ambition, ruthlessness, and the single-minded pursuit of power”.

    Sounds like Ranil, no???

  • 5
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    Mr. Gunadheera

    An excellent article , again.

  • 8
    1

    Good observation. There is no difference between executive Presidency and executive prime minister. Both are idiots. If SL is to see lesser head aches, parliamentarians have to be relieved of their responsibilities and statutory bodies take over the roles. Ranil will act till then as Mr. Bean, regret the remark.

  • 9
    2

    If Ranil has learned the meaning of the words ‘Accountability’ and ‘Responsibility’, from his much respected Alma mater or from the Law College, he would have stepped down from the post of PM, the moment COPE Report was presented in Parliament with unanimity, recommending action against CB it’s Governor and Perpetual Treasuries.

    Some Cabinet Ministers had made it public, that at the time of appointing the Governor they objected to Arjun Mahendran’s nomination but it was the PM who insisted that Mahendran must be appointed.

    The loss of good name of the Central Bank and tarnishing the image of the Country being a major financial scandal, when compared to the Brexit debacle in UK faced by David Cameron is much more trivial in relation to the nature of the incident.

    The UNP members should not think that Ranil is indispensable. In the Contrary they must assess as to how much their Party lost in terms of opportunities for advancement from the time Ranil took over the leadership. Wickramapala

  • 2
    5

    His destiny should not be our concern.

  • 6
    1

    Nice one Mr Gunadheera.

    It is a sad anomaly that a hard working, productive, man or woman has to retire, if lucky, at 60 (max), while politicians of none or variable productivity can go on forever (or until they are carried out feet first). I have wondered long and hard about this; is it because politicians are late developers? Or, just slow developers?

    Our Ranil is in fact long past his use-by-date. (I say this with heavy heart because our family will always be grateful to his father for his support at a difficult time.) But truth cannot be held ransom to emotion. Ranil, can still go, gracefully. Ride into the sunset! Spend time on his memoirs (like wily Uncle JR did), chew cud with the many other ex-world leaders he has got to know, give talks to all who would listen.

    MR, The Great Liberator, too could go down this altogether happier route. MR is credited with having found the political will to end our nearly three decades of violence. What more does he need to secure his place in our history?

    The old fogies who bumble on are blocking those who might just change our country for the better. I would confidently declare that 80% of our ministers are NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE. Ditto, 75% of all our politicians. If they were, Ranil and Maithripala will be jumping like a pair of cats on a hot tin roof.

    We must encourage more young men and women of good calibre to enter politics. This is the ultimate call; To SERVE the nation (and not to pilfer our wealth).

    Where are the young Turks when you need them?

    • 8
      1

      “”We must encourage more young men and women of good calibre to enter politics. This is the ultimate call; To SERVE the nation (and not to pilfer our wealth).””

      It never was a guarantee even in the west where law and order is valued.
      Politics is all about wealth, fame, power and in a broke nation is what you see.
      The poor man would always steal to be with society of the world.
      We saw `big steal` of Dr N.M Perera, Colvin, Vasu, Banda JR, Preme you can’t have better examples of `good calibre`.
      Lanka has no right wing of old rich as it never had.
      Lanka has no real resources except labour market for export bogged down by a middle east Islamic bent.
      If Trump pulls the plug on defense sphere then Lanka would become communist or like Pakistan even worse than EU fears if US pulls out of NATO funding.(75% of funding and at times more to balance the books)800 billion.
      Lanka must get rid of dynasty CBK, Ranil, Rajapakse MS etc like Trump did to Clinton and Bush.
      One can only aim for 40% of similar thinkers and cultivate them to reason
      Or be doomed by being hijacked by fascist skin heads- common candidate.
      If you need to make then make it right and not let the wrong of President hang on.(100 days- get rid of all power to yakoo culture – be practical)

      Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. Lord Byron

  • 4
    4

    Ranil’s destiny is located behind bars………
    Mr. Dirty has no Bond salvation……….

  • 5
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    Every comment and observation made in the article is absolutely correct. All those who have lost hope to the last shred in the last 20 months, will agree with you.

    The inordinate delay in inquiries that matter, is un-understandable.

    Even as I read I constantly recalled a Tamil proverb ‘Those having an abscess

  • 0
    0

    Every comment and observation made in the article is absolutely correct. All those who have lost hope to the last shred in the last 20 months, will agree with you.

    The inordinate delay in inquiries that matter, is unintelligible.

    Even as I read I constantly recalled a Tamil proverb ‘Those having an abscess

  • 0
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    Why is Sivathasan’s response duplicated? What explains the gap within the letter?

  • 2
    0

    Mr. Gunadheera,
    You are a retired public servant and you know how to play the ball in this type of analysis?
    However, the general public is not like you or me! They have nothing to gain by protecting Ranil or Mythree or Arjun Mahendran at this juncture; people expected them to be exemplary characters of Yahapalanaya but now that hope no longer holds! What they see is a clear scam; many suggest ‘a day-time robbery’ by Mr. Clean and his men.
    As the JO and JVP suggest the robbers are identified; the money they robbed has been located; some say a main political party spent lavishly for the parliamentary elections. The former General Secretary of that party has said he was struggling to pay the electricity bill of the Party headquarters when he was the GS prior to the Presidential election. Where did this money come from to party coffers he openly questions? Dubiously the Party chairman was also involved in some CB discussions during the ‘scam’! Executive president told Prime Minister several times to remove the CB governor but it did not happen. Finally this particular ‘Governor’ was virtually dragged out of the CB. Interestingly, then he was given another top position under the PM. Now the ill-gotten money is said to being used to buy stocks, shares of commercial banks, launch media institutions or buy the existing ones etc. etc. There are a lot of stories and SL’s very active social media were very busy for the last few weeks especially because of the ‘foot-notes’ attached to the COPE report. In short, Mr. Gunadheera! people seem to be more awake, concerned, and knowledgeable than you and me!
    Now, the latest development is a poster appearing every corner of the country depicting the PM’s face half covered with the famous ‘robber’ symbol!
    If this scam has actually happened the general public has every right to believe that this stolen money belongs to them; they have every right to demand the government authorities to take action immediately to recover the money; they have every right to demand justice being done and if not …… things will be really serious and we may probably not know the gravity of its consequences.
    Who will be the public going to turn to for this ‘Avanaduva’ or injustice if the Exec Prez fails to listen? Though the Prez pretends he is impartial and has taken action, the majority Sri Lankans are under the impression that he actually cannot take any action. This is not only sad but dangerous too!
    If Mahinda makes a comeback do you think JO will forget this CB affair and sweep it under the carpet? I don’t think so; Mahinda will be under tremendous pressure to investigate the matter thoroughly, recover the money fully and completely, and punish the culprits as a lesson to every politician and every high ranking officer. And he will do it not only for his own political survival but also as an effortless way to be the most popular politician once again in Sri Lanka.

    • 1
      0

      RICHMOND PEIRIS

      If you listen to how they talk in the parliament, they no longer use the word YAHAPALANAYA. They call it national govt because they know all are thieves. It is their feasting time. See how every one is importing duty free car permits. Ranil Wickramsinghe says he did not import his duty free car why ?

      Central Bank scam alone is enough so, he does not need more feces on his body. Besides, he works as an executive prime miniter. So, he only has to live and no need to collect wealth as Mahinda Rajapakse did for his family.

      Maithripala sirisena will not investigate properly the Central Ban Scam because of another day time robbery that Maithripala’s people did Read below.

      It made sensational news when certain authorities took out a lease on a building for a hefty monthly rent of some Rs.290 million to house a high office handling the country’s agriculture. They also had paid the film star owning the building a large sum of money as an advance payment as well.

      The authorities who had negotiated this lease transaction had failed to foresee the need of space for vehicle parking, which is not available in the premises taken on lease. As a result, they had had to acquire on rent an adjoining bloc of land to be as the vehicle park at an additional cost of Rs.3. 5 million a month. However, the story does not end here.

      The high office, for housing which the building was acquired at such a massive cost is yet to be moved into the new premises for want of adequate floor space in it, they say. Although the high office is yet to shift into the new building, the monthly rent for the building and the vehicle park continue as per the agreements.

      Besides all, they all have foundations and chrity organizations in their or wives names. These organizations are to avoid corruption and escape taxes. So, those are legalized corruptions.

  • 1
    0

    Somapala is asking ‘pena’ not from the thief’s mother….but from the thief himself.

  • 1
    0

    It is obvious that PM is using the iron fist to control everybody and anybody who is against him. This shows the way he address the parliament during in session. When a question is directed to him he takes it as a joke and act like a clown disrespecting even his position. Sri Lankans didn’t vote for him to be a joker in the parliament, but to do some constructive work to revive Sri Lanka. What he has so far done is the opposite what the people elected him to do. God bless SRI LANKA.

  • 1
    0

    I said it before on many an occasion and say it again.

    Ranil is past his ‘use by date’. He is inept, devious and often seen playing the proverbial fiddle when burning issues need to be attended to. He should have gone 10 years ago. Any UNP leader who would have emerged after a power struggle would be worth so much more than this parasite who continues to stifle the UNP, the masses and keeps paving the way for mass scale corruption and fraud.

    • 0
      0

      In the eyes of Ranil Sri Lanka consist only Colombo District

  • 1
    0

    No one knows what is happening in Sri lanka.

    Those who involved in the bond Scam gets 110% Salary increase.

    the President had ordered an amendment of the increase in salaries of officials linked to the alleged Bonds scam. He said the President’s Secretary had written officially to the Ministry of Finance on 11 February 2016 stating that the salaries of three Deputy Governors and eight Assistant Governors which were increased considerably since 2015 should be suspended and amended. However, despite the letter sent by the President’s Secretary, the salaries of three Deputy Governors have been increased by 110 per cent while the salaries of eight Assistant Governors have been increased by 107 per cent, Samarasinghe said.

    He further alleged that paying such hefty salaries to those who were directly held accountable in the CB Bond scam, contravening an order by the President, is another attempt to shield crooks in the controversial scam.

  • 0
    0

    Birds of a feather flock together: Likewise the swindlers, thieves, robbers, drug dealers are in the country to drain down all the wealth and stay in power for ever.

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