1 July, 2022

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Straying Far From Promise Of All Party Interim Government

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

The country appears to have reached a position of stability. But this is deceptive. Every day the price of food increases. Less can be bought with the wages earned that day. The anticipated food shortages have manifested themselves though the sufferings and deprivations are private and personal for the most part. They come out into the open when an office worker may say that they have no money to go back home on the bus at the end of the working day. Or it manifests itself in the statement of the UN representative Hanaa Singer-Hamdy who has said that 22 per cent of the Sri Lankan population or 4.9 million people live in need of food assistance at the moment. She said there is a 40 to 50 per cent reduction in paddy crop harvest in this period.

The sense of dissatisfaction within the general population with regard to the lack of economic progress continues to seethe. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative for Sri Lanka Vimlendra Sharan has said in a recent interview that the Sri Lankan farmer is one of the best he has seen, highly-educated and very receptive, so he did not think there is any blame lying with the farmers. FAO understands that some fertiliser, through bilateral sources like India, is reaching Sri Lanka, but it is still in the pipeline and yet to come to Sri Lanka, while the season has started. This disaster alone for which the Rajapakse administration has to take full responsibility justifies the call of the Aragalaya – Gota Go Home.

Ironically, the appearance of stability in the political domain has increased in the aftermath of UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s appointment as prime minister. Under him it appears to be business as usual. He has stolen the thunder of the Aragalaya. The promise of an all-party interim government with a core team of 15 ministers to reboot the country’s economy has become a mirage. The government has continued to add to the number of ministers, the latest being Dhammika Perera, who is a businessman of wealth and repute as financial counsellor to the ruling politicians. The expectations of a collapse of the government, which were heightened with the breakdown of law and order and mob attacks a month ago, seem to be no longer considered a threat. But the fly in the ointment is that the economic situation continues to worsen by the day.

Political Reform

The causes that gave rise to the Aragalaya protests continue in full force. The main demand of the Aragalaya protestors has consistently been that the president should step down on account of the serious errors of judgment he has made using those powers. The worst of these was to ban the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides overnight in pursuit of a utopian vision of organic farming found nowhere else in the world. At the UN General Assembly, he stated that Sri Lanka would be the first country to become fully organic in farming. There is no evidence this folly was highlighted to him or his team in the halls of the UN, which could have prevented this catastrophe.

The Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) has issued a statement demanding that “The government must acknowledge its loss of legitimacy. A credible interim government should be established. The President should immediately resign. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe working on the basis of support from the SLPP is not a viable option.” Seeing the attitude of business as usual in their colleagues, some more percipient political party leaders in the government coalition have warned that unless the situation improves fast there could be a worse outbreak of violence than took place a month ago. Former minister Wimal Weerawansa has said, “Last time the attackers set only the politicians’ houses on fire. Next time they would target affluent and rich families too. They will attack everyone using luxury vehicles and those living in luxury homes. That is the inevitable future if the government keeps playing games with the crises.”

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe may have successfully eroded the support base of the protestors by negating the need for them. There has been no crackdown on protestors since his ascension to the premiership. But the practices of the past that have spelled ruin such as the appointment of political favourites and rigging of contracts continue. In these circumstances, the civil society focus at present has shifted to the promotion of political reform through the 21st Amendment to the constitution. But notably, it does not significantly reduce the president’s powers in the manner that was originally anticipated. This makes the entire debate and hullabaloo about the 21st Amendment a moot point.

Interconnected Issues

The FUTA statement observes that “The current economic crisis is the combined outcome of the failure of long-term economic policies and economic mismanagement of successive governments. The current regime’s alleged corruption, their preoccupations with familial and dynastic rule, and their disregard for democratic and participatory governance coupled with their colossal failures in policy and implementation are also to be blamed. Any attempt to pull ourselves out of the crisis therefore, requires that we treat the spheres of politics and economics as connected. Politically, we should hasten to transform a system where the centralization of power enabled corruption at all levels of governance.”

Civil society needs to focus on economic issues also. The government is seeking to get an IMF loan that would give it breathing space to get the economy back on track. The IMF in turn expects the government to come up with a plan in which its revenues correspond to expenditures. This would require downscaling of government expenditures. At present the government appears to be targeting social welfare for reduction. The health sector is the clearest example. Doctors in the state sector are appealing for medical supplies. The supplies are available with the private sector but at an unaffordable price to most people. These medical supplies are unavailable to them, as the government has not provisioned for them. Its priorities lie elsewhere such as building new houses for parliamentarians.

The ruling party continues to enjoy a comfortable majority in parliament which was demonstrated in the course of the controversial vote on the Ceylon Electricity Board bill. With a comfortable majority, parliament decided to do away with the need for competitive bidding when it came to renewable power projects. The atrocious practices of the past that brought the country to its present plight continue. Elections and a fresh mandate are needed. The economic crisis and the way forward need to be discussed with the people. There is a need to wipe clean the slate, and also hold provincial council elections that devolve power to a level closer to the affected people. Elections need to take place sooner rather than later to provide people with the government and sincere problem solvers they deserve.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Jehan, However much I wish to stay away from your articles, I cannot help reading the Titles.
    This comment is solely related to your title:
    Straying Far From Promise Of All Party Interim Government.
    .
    What a shattering revelation?
    .
    Straying is harmless, compared to its record of broken promises!

    • 5
      0

      Sunil Handunetty

      Here is a twitter message:

      Tweet
      See new Tweets
      Conversation
      Secretary Antony Blinken
      @SecBlinken

      United States government official
      Good call today with new Sri Lankan Prime Minister
      @RW_UNP
      Wickremesinghe. During these economically and politically challenging times, the U.S. stands ready to work with Sri Lanka, in close coordination with the International Monetary Fund and the international community.

      Let us hear the reactions from smart ass Sinhala/Buddhist patriots and Mao loyalists (or ***** carriers).

  • 4
    0

    Straying Far From Promise Of All Party Interim Government.

    Will PM voice recognized globally as he was appointed on stray by not by people not from the people for the people he don’t have the sri lankan peoples power so how can the world recognize him that’s why japan is requesting guarantees from all political parties, The world know as he appointed they can disqualify his post. There is no goals, targets is to borrow the global knows that The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Politician are on crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed.

  • 6
    1

    Gotabaya did not give up his US citizenship for the people of Sri Lanka or at the request of people but brought by Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family after they lost elections because of their corruption.
    There was also number of cases against Rajapaksa family regarding number of crimes including corruptions, murders, abductions and they need to clear them, otherwise they can’t escape from the justice.
    The bond scam, October 2018 coup and Easter Bombing during the previous Ranil- Sirisena regime, Viyathgama programme etc. may be part and partial planning and implementation of this political coup to bring back Rajapaksas rule again.
    Buddhist Fundamentalism is well routed within Buddhist Sinhala Community and they wanted to maximise that option to make sure that Rajapaksas are hero’s or Kings of this island and to get their international support they wanted to show the world that they are the first leading country in the world in organic farming.
    Unfortunately, they ignored the farmers, the people and what is in their govt.pot other than that in their personal pot and unfortunately, the Economic Impact of the world and the invasion of Russia in Ukraine added further economic crisis in the world along with the impact of Easter Bombing in the tourist income and low productivity destroyed their dream.

  • 9
    0

    Promise what promise? All Sinhalese-led governments, from the time of independence, have always broken promises. Before independence, they promised the Tamils that if they vote for a unitary independent state, the country will be truly multi-religious. multi-ethnic society, where all are equal. however, had already planned the destruction of the Tamils and thereby the destruction of the island and everyone living there. We all know what happened soon after independence, around a million Indian origin estate Tamils, who had lived on the island for generations were made stateless and had no voting rights. Then the large-scale colonization of Tamil areas with Sinhalese. deliberately alter the demography of the Tamil north and east. Starting with Pattipalai Aru now renamed as Gal Oya now the laters is Kurunthoor Malai in Mullaitheeve. Then can Sinhalese only systematic discrimination against Tamils in the field of employment, higher education, and language rights. Then the pogroms of 1956, 1977, 1983 and ended in May 2009 war crimes. All pacts broken local and international BC pact Dudley Chelvanayagam pact, the international 1987 Indo Ceylon pact to grant just Tamil rights, with land and police rights to the Tamil provinces. In May 2009 the Rajapakse government promised India and the west that if they helped the Sri Lankan state to defeat the LTTE, just Tamil rights and a federal solution will be granted and this was also broken.

    • 0
      8

      Rohan25,
      “All Sinhalese-led governments, from the time of independence, have always broken promises.”
      —-
      No.
      SWRD Bandaranayake’s Government promised to make Sinhala as the official language and they did it.
      Rajapakshe Government promised to eliminate Tamil terrorists and they did that.

      • 1
        0

        Dear EE.
        …Rajapakshe Government promised to eliminate Tamil terrorists and they did that…..
        And now gone the whole mile and eliminating all Sri Lankans and have done that too – all bankrupt but all money with them.

      • 2
        0

        Eagle Dumbo Eye

        Forget, breaking promises.
        What has happened to his Sri Lanka Podujana Pperamuna Manifesto 2019 promises “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”

        We were unfortunate to see bonfire of Namal’s vanity, an array of very expensive motor vehicles on fire (for him Lamborghini for the people Badagini බඩගිනියි ).

        What sort of ***** carrying nutter you are?

    • 3
      0

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    • 3
      0

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    • 3
      0

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  • 9
    0

    Lester the lying Jester

    Where is soman?
    Where is Ravi Perera (the Sinhala speaking Demela)?
    Where is Channa?
    Where is Wimal?
    Where is Udaya?
    Where is Mahinda?
    ….
    ….
    Where is HLD M? Is he still gunning for Vellala?
    He shouldn’t have come back to Sri Lanka, where he not only has to eat Stalin’s rice but also his own words.

    Why is Sunil Handunnetti so anti Hindian and pro Chinese?
    Did he feed himself with Stalin’s relief package?

    • 0
      0

      Lester – Rajapakshe Man (extincting breed in the country today)@
      .
      NV, lester knows it pretty well that
      .
      Channa?
      Wimalwathi
      Udaya?
      Mahinda?

      are all under the bed of buddhagama monks. Very like that Mahanayaka who then publicly made a statment that Gota to become Hitler and save this nation….. unfortunatly what Gota understood was the upside down.

      BUDDHGAMA SIVURA ( sanga constume of buddgama monks- please dont mix i tup with that of buddhist monks – buddhagama and buddhism are far two different terms) is the life saver for RAJAPAKSHEs and all other criminals. Besides, sivura has become the costume of a prostitute as of today….. unfortunately the truth.
      .
      My wonder, what happened to Dadoriya (Ghanasara) and Madagoda Abehythissa as of today ?

      Dr Safi made ATHANA METHANA RATHANA eternally speechless.

      Thank you Dr Safi,…. you taught them a lession bravoooooooooooo… you the kind of ones are the real buddhists- that set examples to srilanken BUDDHAGAMA fools. xxxx
      .

  • 1
    0

    Damn the ‘interim’ or any government.
    If all funds plundered by the Rajapakse family and others are recovered, the nation can progress.
    Strange, but everyone ignores this requirement.

  • 1
    2

    Mark Alan King has confirmation, through his real gematria research, that inflation and shortages are being deliberately engineered by the freemasons.
    That humanity has to rout them out on all levels of society, and to seek the Most High YHWH (God).

  • 4
    0

    People are fleeing by air and sea,now govnt telling employees to go and work abroad, people are on the streets queuing up ….
    Am not fan of LTTE but it’s makes to think why Praba wanted to separate from unruly thick thadias,taking us with them to the sinking ship.
    Sadu sadu

  • 3
    2

    It is quite clear now that Ranil has come to rescue Rajapakses. He has done nothing so far. The talk about him having enough connections to bring in money has been proven empty talks. As soon as he came in he said Japan is giving 4 Billion USD, G7 and World Bankwill give us loans. In fact world bank twice denied the claims made by the government. IMF has said country has been mismanaged. Truth is so far Ranil has not brought in a single dollar to the country.
    Very soon we will have queues for rice and other essential commodities. Aragalaya may have been subsided at Gallface because the upper middle class support subsuded with Ranil taking premiership. But it will start again in the comming weeks as situation deteriorates.
    Gota has learnt to play politics with 21st amendment. No one will belive in any of the present set of politicians. They have all failed us. The state has failed. It is up to the citizens to see that the Nation does not fail.

    • 2
      1

      Thank you Jehan for this good article.
      Someone I know claims that Ranil is a Rajapaksa, related through Mrs. Rajapaksa. If true that will explain why he never brought the crooked to book from Aug. 2015 onwards when he could have.
      Can anyone shed light on their relationship.

      • 1
        0

        “Someone I know “
        Is the someone correctly informed and trustworthy?
        We have heard plenty from ‘reliable sources’ and people who ‘know for a fact’ that had to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.
        *
        JM, watch it: gossip is the staple of the intellectually bankrupt.

        • 1
          0

          JM,
          Ranil isn’t a Rajapaksa, but they are related by marriage to the family of Sam Wijesinha (father of Prof.Rajiva, Sanjiva, and Anila Dias Bandaranaike the economist. The Wijesinhas are from Beliatta, like the Rajapaksas, and are related to them by marriage. I wonder if the Rajapaksas too were Anglicans like Ranil’s and Sam’s families?

          • 1
            0

            JM,
            “Ranil is a Rajapaksa, related through Mrs. Rajapaksa.”
            Shiranthi is a Wickramasingha. Ranil is a Wickremesinghe. As different as a Rajapaksa is from a Rajapakshe.

      • 0
        0

        JM,
        .
        Who sacked that LADY who acted then as fearless in FCID ?

        I mean that Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe ? We all knew that former president, Sorysena unanimously sacked her overnight, shortly before all was ready to round up “gold biscuit queen aka Shiranthi Rajapakshe for that Thajudeen s murder” … remember ? We repeat that our people are the champions at losing their memories.
        .
        Was that RW or Sorysena ? Everyone knows it was SOYRSENA, who later appointed his godfather again as the premier of his 52-day fake govt.
        .
        Are these proofs not good enough people to clear their minds yet today, that RW was not the head of previous govt even if 19A empowered the parliament ?
        .
        And entire world knew that RW as a premier was not accessed to national security council sessions for several times AND Sorysena had abused his power again and again… .. it was not he alone but MAFIA boss Mahinda was behind his reactions. .and at the time, EASTER SUNDAY disaster occured, no acting minister for defence was announced by president, who was then out of the country ( now say, it was for a medical treatment …. my foot).
        :
        With this being the reality, yet today, people to put the blame on RW ? Think about, I would not do so. I am neither UNP nor a SLFP supporter.

    • 1
      1

      Yo man…..a voice in the wilderness…. a tectonic shift is happening as Hindians start history long before Lanakan imagination , when SL was part S India.
      History starts from a point of conveneince for one and all.
      Its love from Adani of North to South of their border.

  • 6
    1

    EE
    Thank you SWRD for making sinhala only. Resulted in half past six english speaking sinhalas migrating by hook or crrok to be toilet cleaners in the West and even in South East Asia.

    The real terrorists are the 6.9 million and their families who voted for Rajapakses in to keep the minorities down resulting in the minorities up and the sinhalas down. Good Job being beggars like the saffron robed crooks supposed to be beggars for alms but realy living of the bacjks of the sinhalas

    • 0
      2

      G
      Whom should Tamils, Muslims and Filipinos have to be thankful to?

  • 4
    0

    EE

    The Rajapakses won the battle but the LTTE WON THE WAR!!!
    This is why todays news says racist GL Peris wanna speak to the ceylon tamil (LLTE) diaspora begging help. Victors do not seek help from the defeated!. They “defeated” LLTE diaspora is being requested to assist the sinhalas, like toilet nadu rice happening now, and other Hindustan money for oil and medicines. It will take 100s years for sinhala land with its present economy even if dong well to pay back loans .LOOK FORWARD TO BEING DEBT BONDAGE FOR GENERATIONS while the RATPAKSE enjoy li=ing of the back of the sinhalas misery

  • 1
    0

    All those shown in your picture M/S Amaraweera, Ranil, or Siripala indicate what kind of politicians represent the people of Sri Lanka since none of them are honest, trustworthy, or dependable and who represent the other 225 Scapegoats. Under such circumstances, as most of the younger protestors island-wide calling for, there should be a system change to bring dependable and educated people to take over from these old monsters. Just amending section 19 from 21 or any other temporary measures would not all be workable.

  • 0
    0

    SJ

    A mother (living in an exclusive suburb her house approx USD 2million) of 5 professionals in the West who arrived circa after July 1983, all multimillionaires by dint of hardwork and wise investing (NOT BY RIPPING OF THE COUNTRY’s TREASURY eg RATpakses) and living without fear of being killed property looted and burnt et all – manifestations of sinhala (budhha) greatness, said need to THANK THE SINHALAS !!!

  • 0
    1

    When has Ranil delivered what he has promised other than protecting Rajapaksas? This was confirmed even when the “miriskudu kalliya” was protected by him as per Karu Jayasuriya. Even today Ranil is like a peon in the Cabinet meeting where Mahinda still sits and rules. In fact, Ranil leaves the Cabinet meeting halfway to allow Mahinda to run it. What a crook!

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