By Visakha Tillekeratne –
Dear Mr Sirisena,
Reigning in Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe and others in your government team while watching your own moves
A group of women, to whom I too belong, wrote to you publicly on several occasions. But we cannot see you taking action on any of those issues. Our first letter to you was when you were being sworn in. This letter was titled “Do not betray our trust Your Excellency”. We are happy that you subsequently shed the “Excellency”. None of the leaders in this country can be deemed Excellent so far. On the second occasion we wrote to you asking “Yahapalanayak Thiyenawada?“. Here we were genuinely asking a question as almost in the first 5 to 10 days, there were wrong moves on your part as well as your team. We wrote to you publicly and privately since then, on a variety of issues. BUT YOU ARE NOT TAKING NOTE!! You too are behaving arrogantly as if you know it all. Though you are not so bad, already you have the makings of a Raja. You know whom I mean? This was amply demonstrated recently at a gathering for civil society, where you arrogantly brushed aside the protest against the Port City as a “show”
We have now come to the conclusion – Yahapalanaye thibuu beejath Nathi weegena Yanawa (the seeds of Good governance attempted to be planted are destroyed). Main contributing factor – you have no control over your own dictat, your PM and your team of Ministers at different levels. After all the apples in the bag are mostly rotten ones. Only difference is that they are piled on your side.
Why do we ask you to control your PM, Ranil? Listed below are only some of the reasons.
- He is cockily going about his activities, as though he got you and this government into power. Not correct. He and his team came into power because of Sobitha Thero’s brilliant idea of the common candidate and the principles and policies the Thero and team stood for on the Platform – Sadarana Samajayak. CBK and Jayamapathy Wickramaratne were major players among others, who brought you in. You and a few others formed the common platform. People liked the platform with you at the helm. So you actually brought Ranil in. Not the other way around, If Ranil was left on his own, nobody would have glanced at him.
- His wrong suggestion No 1 – Finance Minister – Ravi Karunanayake. It is not a matter of brains, but Ravi being under a cloud. If and when the cloud was removed he could have been appointed. Considering seniority in Sri Lanka is a bad move. The bureaucracy is in a mess because of seniority. Eran W should have been Finance Minister – he actually ran a bank successfully and is honest.
- His wrong selection No 2 – Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. Who is this boy? Akila lacking experience and insight, has already made many wrong moves and the government has lost total credibility in the education sector.
- His giant wrong selection No 3 – Arjuna Mahendran (AM). A baby googling not gurgling would know enough about the conflict of interest of AM. Ranil’s partiality to Charlie Mahendran, the father of AM, nor AM being erudite and articulate is not a criteria for selection, despite Harvard qualifications. Many crooks have been nurtured in such hallowed institutions. AM leading the important sectors of banks such as HSBC and Credit Suisse might make him an eminent banker, but Conflicts of Interest must be considered as top priority, when selecting people for key posts.
- His wrong move No 4 – appointing not so competent and not quite independent persons onto the panel examining the bond issue in which Mahendran is implicated. Chandra Jayaratne has proposed an excellent panel instead of these persons.
- Not honouring his emphatic stance on the Port City. The following appeared in the Daily Mirror of 16th December 2014. “Opposition United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremsinghe said today the new government, which would be formed by the joint opposition after the current regime was defeated at the January 8 elections, would scrap the Colombo Port City Project. Mr. Wickremesinghe told tourist industry leaders who met him today that the project would be scrapped because it would end up destroying the coastal belt from Negombo to Beruwala.” What is Ranil saying today? Furthermore it is difficult to rationalize with him as he knows it all and is emphatic and dogmatic at times. At a recent discussion with civil society he brushed aside the port city staying there are some substantial penalties. But why couldn’t he say so on the 16th of December? At best he could have stated that it would be scrapped after review. Today the whole government is looking like a pack of fools on this issue.
- Friends especially old Royalists being appointed to key posts. There was a ripple even today that a relation of Ranil has been appointed to a post at Sri Lankan Airlines. At the time of writing this piece, it could not be verified.
These are only some of the reasons as to why he should be managed properly. Of course to do so, you must also be seen to do right. If not he could turn around and ask you about the moves you make. So we hope Sir that your siblings will not be given more high posts. It is enough that you have Mr Kumarasinghe Sirisena among a some others close to you, in high posts. Even this is too much.People are now fast getting disillusioned as evinced by the number of phone calls from distant places on the wrong doings of the Yahapalana Anduwa. We will not wait so long to get rid of a regime that does wrong, as we waited last time.