By Arun Kumaresan –
RW –It should not be said you were the cause for the defeat of the good governance movement.
Local government polls have finished and outcome is clear. Yahapalnaya rule has suffered a setback, irrespective of the attempted statistical interpretations otherwise. It is time the main partner of the regime – UNP – takes stock of the last 3 years. It will be clear this resembles another squandered opportunity for failing to have ears firmly on the ground and disrespecting the mandate given in Jan 2015. The political fallout and impasse continues to date.
It was also sad to see former President Mahinda Rajapaksa making a statement post Feb 10th to the effect “Territory of Eelam reduced”. It was presumed the de facto claim of Eelam ended on the day in May 2009; when he knelt and kissed the tarmac at BIA. Was it then an act of theatrics and whether he is repeating it now again? This makes one to believe that he and his party SLPP is steering an agenda of “Ethno Nationalism” as a tool to regain power.
Hence, UNP and PM as the current leader need to take a serious look of the changing environment for the sake of the nation. In this backdrop, it was heartening to see you at least now; belatedly taking responsibility for the Bond Scam during your address to the nation yesterday.
Questions to Prime Minister:
Will the act of taking responsibility neutralize this massive daylight robbery? NO. The reasons for these are narrated below: Mr Prime Minister;
· It was surprising to see you turning a blind eye from the day when this became to the notice of the public eye. Any reasonable minded person would have known that Arjuna Mahendran ; when he came out and told the media – kindergarten cover up story – Arjuna A resigned as CEO of his fraudulent entity on the day he took the reign as the Governor CBSL, in fact, was a lie. With your experience, you should have known that there is something known as stakeholder interest that is different from being a CEO.
· Why you did you not check with CBSL what happened and also the reasons for the bond tender closing time was extended by 5 mts and who was the eventual beneficiary? It was again Arjuna A. You could also have cross checked with the state banks with regards to the flurry of activity to get the funds organized. You failed even to do that.
· Why did you appoint three lawyers, who were your “Party loyalists”? Does it conform to the ideals of “transparency”? Why you did not taken any action as even the three lawyers indicated state banks needs further investigated as they too felt something “funny” to put it mild.
· The dissolution of the parliament on the eve of publishing RKW’s COPE report isn’t it too funny?
· In the mean time you permitted the Arjuna Mahenderan to do another Bond auction?? At least you could have implemented a transparent procedure, which you failed to as the subject of CBSL was under you. Why you did not you do this??
· Do you remember you were on the footsteps of CBSL; 14 odd months since the scam and the last day of the Arujuna M’s term of contract, to intercept the President and prevent him announcing the name of new Governor and make a last ditch attempt to get an extension?
· It was also surprising to see – it may be said it was a co incident – a UNP member resigned in midst during the second COPE inquiry; to be filled by one of your loyalist (It is presumed he wrote the famous “Attha Nattha” – All are awaiting the Part II; post PCOI!!!!). Why???
· Why Malik S, Kabir H & you failed to present fully at the PCOI in front of the able counsels of the AG’s Department?
SriLankan Airline Fiasco
Mr Prime Minister; Leaving the “Bond Scam” at this; another issue that merits mention was the 2nd “SRILANKAN” airline fiasco post Jan 2015. It required creating a profitable business model. You appointed a person who happened to be the brother of your buddy at an exorbitant pay & perks. He did not have any compatible experience to lead an airline. The board was appointed on political affiliations of the two parties in the government. Without going into details of the continuing monumental losses; it took two plus years for you think to attempt to restructure. It is also a well known fact that the Chairmen and CEO even did not respect the subject Minister. You never intervened. There are many similar issues of former finance minister& the Highways minister – both who were your crossest confidants.
There have been even allegations that UNP ministers were protecting corrupt individuals of the past regime. Examples being; Wijeyyada R’s episode led to his resignation. Also, the reasons that led to the Tilak Marapana’s hood winking resignation. Then the minister under your nose protecting fugitives; giving instructions not to arrest one to IGP and sheltering another? Mr Prime Minister those who believed you as Mr Clean; no more thinks you are; may be not due to your active complicity; but due to your passive inaction.
The above makes it clear it is time now for you to take a break. Hand over the reign. Yesterday you looked a broken man attempting to cling on to the constitutional provisions and conventions. However, convention of morality supersedes legality of any action. Quote: “Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law is written on the tablets of eternity.”
Your positives as a liberal democrat will always remembered. To put it nutshell; your over reliance of the inner circle has led to your down fall. Please go out with respect; No one will object you being appointed as the Senior Leader for UNP for life. You absolutely deserve that respect.
Hence, as an interim option support the appointment of Mr Karu Jayasurya as Prime Minister to form a UNF government. Only MP’s from other parties who are willing to work under UNF umbrella needs to be accommodated. He has all the credentials for the job as PM. Appoint Mr Sajith Premadasa as National Organizer and No 2 for the new PM. This will facilitate him to reorganize and energize the party for 2020.
It is also prudent your inner circle be disbanded from key portfolios and appointments. Those among them who are MP’s may be relegated to strengthen the backbench. It is totally unfair to burden Mr Sajith Premadasa for the duties as PM for the remaining term as his priority is to work with the grassroots for 2020 to spearhead the party to victory. It also will be most appropriate course of action considering a long political career ahead for him.
Mr. Prime Minister; Please let go the reign. If sanity prevails; you can make a comeback with the popular support; that is the name of the game in politics and time only will decide. However, you will remain the grand patriarch of the one of the two great political entities that had ruled Sri Lanka -UNP.