14 November, 2018

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Rupee Is Down: So Is Siri-Wicky Regime

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

MahindapalaPoint No:1: The momentum generated by the historic January 2015 presidential election is being exhausted, and that the minority government appointed for the sole purpose of executing the 100-day reform programme is drifting aimlessly.

Point No:2: The current balance of power in the institutions of the state is incongruous and unsustainable, with a President elected in 2015 to undertake thoroughgoing constitutional reforms, on the one hand, and a Parliament elected in 2010 under entirely different circumstances, on the other.

Point No:3: The mandate (given to the President) requires not only substantive reforms but also a transformation in the way government and governance is conducted. It cannot be squandered because of political indecisiveness or expediency, repeating the mistakes of the past……

Point No:4: There is a rising perception of crisis and instability, which cannot be allowed to take root. The economy cannot afford this lack of political direction for much longer…..

These four factors read together means that the SiriWicky regime is well on its way to a political grave of its own making. But before anyone should jump to the hasty conclusion that I am the author the four points cited above please note that none of it was written by me. It was culled verbatim from a statement issued by the pro-Government NGOs, a.k.a Civil Society. The four critical conclusions were identified by a raft of NGOs including the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Radhika Coomaraswamy), Centre for Policy Alternative (Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu), National Peace Council (Jehan Perera), J. C. Weliamuna etc.

Sara JehanThese points are contained in the statement issued by the Civil Society under the title, The Urgent Need For Fresh Parliamentary Elections, on June 5, 2015. They are asking the President to hold elections because the “rising crisis and instability” cannot be resolved by the two arms of the state – the Presidency and the Parliament – as both are “incongruous, unsustainable” and dysfunctional.

In other words, the steam has run out of the Siri-Wicky regime and it is not going anywhere except into an unmanageable crisis which is bound to cause chaos. At the root of the current impasse is Wickremesinghe because he is the one who has been calling the shots while President Maithripala Sirisena is waiting on the sidelines, having handed over the government – a minority one at that – to him. At the best of times Wickremesinghe could not even manage a majority government. He was sacked by President Chandrika Kumaratunga when he was chatting smugly with President Bush. Expecting him to manage a minority government is like tying a single donkey to manage a carriage which is normally drawn by six thoroughbred horses. The Siri-Wicky regime is stuck in the present morass because the President is seated in this carriage drawn by a single donkey hoping to arrive at his destination called Yahapalanaya.

In any case, Wickremesinghe is used mainly to cheap juck-muck politics. riding in bullock carts, as he did once to protest against the high cost of living, banging pots and pans. He was never built of the solid Senanayake material for national leadership. Or for Yahapalanaya. Or even for national reconciliation. In the past he has managed to scrape in only for short term stints. Take for example his current position. He was appointed to head a minority government in a hostile Parliament. It was never going to be a viable entity. But Wickremesinghe made a bad situation worse. He began to act like the leader of a majority party persecuting the majority in the parliament. And then, predictably, he got what he deserved : a no-confidence motion.

The contrasting styles of leadership are quite apparent: Mahinda Rajapaksa is a dynamic magnet that attracts people even without power. Wickremesinghe repels people even when he has power. This sums up the fatal flaw in Wickremesinghe. The Siri-Wicky regime is undermined by the short-sighted, arbitrary, dictatorial style of politics of Wickremesinghe which always boomerang on him. Throughout his career he has consistently been a liability to the nation, to his party, to the people and now to his president. This makes him a born loser. He goes for short term benefits which blows back on him. He thinks he is smart but he comes a cropper each time he exceeds his capacity to handle power. His biggest crime was the CFA which he signed with Prabhakaran without consulting the President, Cabinet, parliament, party, or people. He thought it was a master stroke of a political genius worthy of a Nobel Prize. That was abominable misuse of power. Predictably and justifiably, he came crashing down and he has never recovered from that betrayal of trust.

With all that experience behind him one would expect him to act more cautiously and go for consensual and flexible politics. Instead, he leaps, with both his feet, to a Gestapo-type of rule, armed with a FCID ( Financial Crimes Investigation Department) to persecute and put in remand members of his own “national government”, though in the opposition, who are in a majority in the House. He was virtually cutting the branch on which he was sitting. How long can such an asinine rule last?

His idea of Yahapalanaya was to create negative headlines through his persecution of those whom he described as members of “a national government”. He was, on the one hand, wooing all parties hoping to get their support for his “national government”, ONLY with him as the Prime Minister. On the other, he was summoning them before his FCID – a.k.a., the Fascist Centre for Indicting Dissidents — and packing them off to remand. He didn’t have the slightest idea of bringing a divided nation together with a more humane approach to politics at all levels. If he had shown half the sympathy he showers on Uncle Sam to the people of Sri Lanka he would have been on an immoveable branch at the top of the proverbial Murunga Tree. But in his own stupid way he went for hate politics at a rate hoping to win the next election by painting Mahinda Rajapaksa black.

So far his hate politics has backfired on him. His massive campaign to denigrate the Rajapaksas has not brought him any appreciable dividends. On the contrary, the more he does that the more the people flock to Mahinda Rajapaksa. There isn’t a single notable “difference” (when-a-suck) he has made to impress the voters that they must switch over to him either. He couldn’t even get through his pet project of transferring the presidential powers to his prime ministerial office. The 19th Amendment is still twisting in the air like a carcass in the butchers stall. The reform of the electoral system (20th Amendment) is still in limbo. So what has he achieved other than a no-confidence vote from those whom he persecuted?

Besides, the entire rationale on which the Yahapalanaya slogan won the presidential election was on the promise of creating a new moral order. All claims for a new moral order collapsed when he appointed his protégé, Arjuna Mahendra, to the Central Bank. When the proverbial hit the fan his protégé cried : “I am clean.” So is my toilet. It’s very clean.

Under Wickremesinghe’s stewardship the nation has experienced in the main only “political indecisiveness or expediency, repeating the mistakes of the past…… “ (Civil Society statement). “To make matters worse”, yesterday’s Sunday Times Political Editor said, “the UNP-dominated Government has also been somewhat tainted with allegations of bribery and corruption against some ministers and officials. This is at a time when there is some bad fallout on the economic front. The value of the rupee is fast depreciating in dollar terms. Prices of imported consumer goods are therefore increasing. Construction companies have laid off hundreds of workers after projects were stalled or were being re-negotiated. No substantial Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has been recorded and the stock market remains sluggish”.

The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. Even the pro-Siri-Wicky Civil Society which embraced the Yahapalanaya agenda with both hands are now singing a different tune. They are now predicting instability, crisis and chaos caused by “political indecisiveness or expediency, repeating the mistakes of the past…… “ They no longer talk of the “ideal society” promised in the manifesto of the Siri-Wicky regime. At the end of the 100 days they are wringing their hands in despair. Radhika Coomaraswamy must be putting her head on her hands and tearing her hair in despair.

This then is Sri Lanka’s Arab Spring that did not bloom with a single flower. On the contrary, it became a carbon copy of the preceding regime, “repeating the mistakes of the past”. (Civil Sociey). To the cognoscenti it was obvious from the word go that those who spearheaded the campaign for Yahapalanaya (good governance) could neither fulfill the 100 promises in the 100 day program, nor could they deliver “the ideal society”, as promised in their manifesto. Drunk with the spirit of their own propaganda they assumed that the transition from the prevailing presidential to a parliamentary system was a cake walk. What they refused to calculate in their obtuse way was that the clash between 2015 Presidency with the 2010 parliament. In short, though Sirisena won a majority from the electorate he could not even carry his own SLFPers with him in the Parliament.

Furthermore, they never expected Mahinda Rajapaksa, though defeated technically at the polls, would remerge as a formidable force wielding the people’s power outside the parliament and the presidency. More importantly, though Sirisena managed to the unite the minorities with the UNP he failed to unite the majority within his own fold in the SLFP. In numerical terms, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 5.8 million seems to have undercut Sirisena’s 6.2 million won at the polls. Sirisena won the nation but lost the Parliament to an illegitimate minority.

His duplicitous politics forced him to create his own minority government when he had the opportunity to legitimately rule with an elected majority. In politics practically every man comes with his own spade to dig his own grave and Sirisena came with egg-hopper politics that became his spade to dig his own grave. He is now dependent on a minority government which is dragging him into the morass of “political indecisiveness or expediency, repeating the mistakes of the past…… “ His alliance with the UNP split the SLFP into two and weakened his own base in the parliament and the electorate. Eating egg hoppers and undercutting his leader was a piece of cake compared to going to bed with Wickremesinghe. It was like sleeping with porcupines. The SLFP seems to be rising from the ashes.

The pundits of the Civil Society, who constantly claims that they alone are in possession of the final solution to all the problems of the nation, have also fallen in the same hole as Sirisena. Remember how they proclaimed that their formula of appeasing implacable and intransigent Prabhakaran was the only road to peace. That theory, of course, went down to the bottom of Nandikadal. Then they came up with theory that regime change was the answer to the authoritarian regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now they are crying that the Siri-Wicky regime is “making the same mistakes of the past.” Obviously, they do not know whether they are coming or going. Prof. Carlo Fonseka is an example of the confused thinking. One day he says that the appointment of Wickremesinghe with a stroke of Sirisena’s presidential pen is an expression of “the will of the people”. The next day he challenging, quite commendably, the Financial Crimes Investigating Department, a.k.a. Fascist Centre for Indicting Dissidents, headed by Wickremesinghe, in the Supreme Court as a violation of the rights of the people.

Trapped inside a regime change that is running like a wild ass without a head or tail the Civil Society is now complaining that “the reform process itself has become mired in an ambiguous and perplexing morass of competing political self-interests”. Of course, they do not acknowledge their role in creating “the ambiguous and perplexing morass”. They are now trying to distance themselves from the genie that came out of their corked bottle. They encouraged, propagated, directed from behind the scenes, with the backing and finances of their foreign masters operating through Western diplomatic missions, the creation of the political demon that is “running aimlessly”, heading nowhere. First they crowed about their success in bringing about regime change. Now they are backpedalling. It is unlikely that they will acknowledge their stupidity in bringing down a regime without knowing what should replace it. This is the Arab Spring that they were yearning for and they have now got it, bellyful.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    9

    Ranil has thrown a challenge to MR to contest against him for the PM post at the next general election. For this Maithripala must name MR as the PM candidate from UPFA/SLFP. Over to you Mr: President and let MR contest against RW for PM and see who wins. Who’s side would you take Mr: President?

    • 8
      2

      Why do people need a rejected dictator to rule us again. Remember Sri lanka was his family business. I said was.

    • 4
      0

      Not Rupee but the head of the Modapala is down.

      Else, he would not have added this way.

      He may be on his head so that he can see things upside down. Man will not ven be decayed – since even those creatures would not like him.

  • 11
    4

    The difference between Jehan’s and M’Plalas Articles shows two different schools of thought. Whereby JehansJehan’s talks sense without being impolite, M’Pala is downright insulting…Foe example…Ivalling most members of this Government “Illegitimate”.
    Why is it that most of the Palimantarians are against the 20th amendment?. Why don’t they want an early election?.
    Why because they know with these changes they will lose their seats and therby privileges. This is one of the main reasons this Government has problems. M’Plala and M’Rajapakshe should realize that the result of the last election was a result for change, meaning that the nation had had enough of MR clan.
    My thinking is that the UNP will win between 85 to 90 seats at the upcoming election. A coalition or national government is imperative for the country.
    I do not agree with all that Ranil or MS is doing but they are definitely better than what we had.
    MR is political history and should remain so.

  • 11
    6

    I wonder if Colombo Telegraph conducts a quality check prior to publishing biased opinions like this!! Specially if they stress on the fact that “In Journalism Truth is a process”

  • 9
    6

    If the performance of this government is slow and lacklustre, that is mainly due to the non-cooperative attitude and obstructive conduct of many of the staunch MR supporters and allies who continue to remain in parliament and the government bodies. After the next elections, all the saboteurs in parliament will get kicked out by the people, following which a massive weeding out operation will take place in all the ministries, boards and government departments. Thereafter, the country will be able to march forward unhindered to attain peace, prosperity, development and conciliation.

    Despite all the current failings and shortcomings of the government, things are still very much better than what they were during the Rajapaksa era!

  • 7
    4

    M’ Pala

    Point No:1 thru 4 if they are failures as per your view then blame it on
    Vermins that still want to bring the Murderer and Dictator MR back.
    MS and RW are still washing the thick leftover mud from previous regime.
    As long as there are scoundrels acting on ill gotten opportunistic nature the transition from good governance is going to be difficult.
    What we need is a spring cleaning with mass uprising to weed out the few remaining elements.

  • 1
    5

    President sole agenda is to instal in a UNP government. President should leave and join the UNP, who side is he on? Is he an agent of UNP? If you can’t back your own party just leave.

  • 1
    5

    The hundred day programme did not deliver its promise to Tea plantaitons. They promised Rs.80 for a Kg of raw tea leaves but that never happened.They paid (only some selected factories) Rs.70 for a Kg but are looking for the highest quality leaves meaning two leaves and the bud.Before the factories would buy any un mature leaves naming single leaves and benches if they are tender.So the pluckers are unable to pluck a substantial amount for the day and are getting less money and the owner is left with half the crop threw under the trees just for Rs.70 per Kg. During the previous Government they paid up to Rs.73 or more than that per Kg for tender leaves whether thay were single or double and it was not necessary for the factories to have super quality two leaves and the bud. Now pluckers are leaving the jobs and we left with a plantation minister who never knows what he is doing.The previous regime by using export taxes made Rs.$ billion to pay for subsidies and Ravi took Rs.@ billion to treasury leaving people who re-plant tea dry and poor. MR made Rs.90,000 per hectare to Rs.300,000 per hectare for re;planting as subsidies but now this government has no money to pay.What a mess we are in now thenks to Rw and Siri.

  • 8
    2

    Carlo Fonseka used to call this guy as Madapala because this guy is only good at slinging mud.

  • 4
    1

    Anyone know from when Mahindagepala’s dong been down?

  • 1
    3

    what a mess Sri Lanka is in with the [Edited out] Ravi bringing the rupee down and his pal Ranil holding on to a premiership that he got for helping the gamarala alias puppet of the new regime. MANGALA is airborne with his boyfriend ….oh what a sorry state. I feel embarrassed to say I am a Sinhalese. This country is going to pot. Mahinda rajapaksha is the only man who can save this country before it becomes ‘Elam’

  • 1
    1

    This is interesting. The NGO crowd backed the opposition at one time crying dictatorship.
    Now the stale water has been replaced with fresh water.
    The NGO crowd is still unhappy.

  • 6
    1

    By H. L. D. Mahindapala:

    I thought I heard a Crackle and I didnt realize it was you the Cheenavedi , the blast from the past January the 8th to be exact.
    Pongal came early for the Tamils this year.

    1) Point No:1: The momentum generated by the historic January 2015 presidential election is being exhausted, and that the minority government appointed for the sole purpose of executing the 100-day reform programme is drifting aimlessly.

    *** You are right that it is a Minority Government and the reason why they are drifting aimlessly is because they are in no mans Land.

    2) Point No:4: There is a rising perception of crisis and instability, which cannot be allowed to take root. The economy cannot afford this lack of political direction for much longer.

    *** Because the THUGS CRIMINALS and the THIEVES are still at large.

    3) These four factors read together means that the Siri–Wicky regime is well on its way to a political grave of its own making.

    *** You are wrong Moron . It was a still birth.The baby was born Dead.

    4) But before anyone should jump to the hasty conclusion that I am the author the four points cited above please note that none of it was written by me. It was culled verbatim from a statement issued by the pro-Government NGOs, a.k.a Civil Society. The four critical conclusions were identified by a raft of NGOs including the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (Radhika Coomaraswamy), Centre for Policy Alternative (Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu), National Peace Council (Jehan Perera), J. C. Weliamuna etc.

    *** Do you think people are daft to think that you have any Brains. Two of the Authors are Clever Tamils and the other one Portugese and the last an Alien.

    5) At the root of the current impasse is Wickremesinghe because he is the one who has been calling the shots while President Maithripala Sirisena is waiting on the sidelines, having handed over the government – a minority one at that – to him.

    *** Because he is the only one with the Gun.

    6) He was appointed to head a minority government in a hostile Parliament. It was never going to be a viable entity. But Wickremesinghe made a bad situation worse. He began to act like the leader of a majority party persecuting the majority in the parliament. And then, predictably, he got what he deserved : a no-confidence motion.

    *** It was the Mandate given to him by the Tamils. Tough to stomach isnt it.

    7) The contrasting styles of leadership are quite apparent: Mahinda Rajapaksa is a dynamic magnet that attracts people even without power.

    *** Look where Dynamic Magnet ended up. In the hands of the wrong people. The Colonial Master India and that is why he was booted out and sent out on a 14 Year Vanavasam.

    His biggest crime was the CFA which he signed with Prabhakaran without consulting the President, Cabinet, parliament, party, or people.

    *** CFA Stands for Conditional Fee Agreement which he shared with the THUG.

    8) So far his hate politics has backfired on him. His massive campaign to denigrate the Rajapaksas has not brought him any appreciable dividends. On the contrary, the more he does that the more the people flock to Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    *** Who are these people who are flocking to Mahintha. Is it the Chickens in his Hambanthotta slumps.

    9) Besides, the entire rationale on which the Yahapalanaya slogan won the presidential election was on the promise of creating a new moral order. All claims for a new moral order collapsed when he appointed his protégé, Arjuna Mahendra, to the Central Bank. When the proverbial hit the fan his protégé cried : “I am clean.” So is my toilet. It’s very clean.

    *** If your Toilet is so clean do I take it that you open your Bowel in your Bedroom.

    10) The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. Even the pro-Siri-Wicky Civil Society which embraced the Yahapalanaya agenda with both hands are now singing a different tune.

    *** Man it is not the Alarm Bell you are hearing. It is the “Kovil Mani” like the Church Bell.

    11) This then is Sri Lanka’s Arab Spring that did not bloom with a single flower.

    *** Have you not heard the song ” Ayiram Malargale”

    12) Furthermore, they never expected Mahinda Rajapaksa, though defeated technically at the polls, would remerge as a formidable force wielding the people’s power outside the parliament and the presidency.

    *** What the hell are you talking about. He cant even wield his Pakaya let alone power.

    13) Remember how they proclaimed that their formula of appeasing implacable and intransigent Prabhakaran was the only road to peace. That theory, of course, went down to the bottom of Nandikadal.

    *** So did Mahinthas Kingdom. It Crumbled like a Cookie.

    14) Then they came up with theory that regime change was the answer to the authoritarian regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now they are crying that the Siri-Wicky regime is “making the same mistakes of the past.” Obviously, they do not know whether they are coming or going.

    *** Dont worry Siri-Wicki regime is underwritten by the New Colonial Master with a life time Guarantee. It is Stainess Steel

    15) Trapped inside a regime change that is running like a wild ass without a head or tail the Civil Society is now complaining that “the reform process itself has become mired in an ambiguous and perplexing morass of competing political self-interests”.

    *** This is normal when people have a Fractured Skull. You are having Nightmares.

  • 1
    0

    [Rupee Is Down]

    I understand that your Rupee Is Down. Ask MARA.

  • 1
    0

    the word crisis is not correct. maybe temporary instability. Mahinda wanted 3times, then got kicked out. now want to come to a lesser post. whatever it is the worst candidate will become prime minister. (murphy’s law)

  • 0
    2

    The people must drag Chandrika and her Gang of fools who brought this mess to this country and must stone them.

    • 1
      0

      Lasanda what end you have been using to utter this kind of gargage ?

      Your behaviour is pathological as we see it here.

  • 3
    0

    Lasanda

    “The people must drag Chandrika and her Gang of fools who brought this mess to this country and must stone them.”

    The people also must drag the clan for war crimes, criminal activities, rigging elections, bribing terrorists, corruption, nepotism, ……………. and expose them for what they did and send them to prison and throw away the keys.

    STF should be put on guard duty.

    • 0
      2

      Do not forget “the people” only wanted the terrorist eradicated . You will have to Drag the people to war crimes silly fool.

      • 1
        0

        Lasanda

        “Do not forget “the people” only wanted the terrorist eradicated . You will have to Drag the people to war crimes silly fool.”

        Don’t forget serious war crime investigation is being carried out by Bangladesh state almost 45 years after the war has ended.

        Let the war criminals have a few lucky charm which might give them some respite. They will be dragged to face justice.

        You will witness the whole proceeding on TV.

        • 0
          0

          As I said before they will have to drag the ‘people’ for for crimes. And before Sri Lanka don’t you think we must take US for crimes????

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] Mahindapala, Dont worry. We will look after the SL Rupee. Better look after the Australian Dollar. Any way, who in the world sought advice from a patent fool like you.?

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