2 December, 2020

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The Challenges Of A 100-Day Government

By Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

The common opposition probably shot itself in the foot when they declared the 100-day plan and made it their winning slogan, during the Presidential election campaign of January 2015. The promises of a small cabinet, concessions to the people, end to bribery and corruption, introduction of the independent commissions, abolition of the 18th amendment, revamping the executive presidency and constitutional reforms are laudable tasks for a coalition that did not even command a simple majority in parliament, when it contested the elections. The majority of the crossovers are seen as political vultures that did not crossover for the love of their country but for pure and simple survival. Few can live without the power of executive office if they are forced out of government, hence their need to join the winning side. This then becomes the single most threat to the Maithri-Ranil honeymoon.

The show of support to President Sirisena from a wide spectrum of SLFP loyalists after his election win was overwhelming. Some, who were rumored to crossover but changed their minds due to whatever reasons, would be the most repentant, while others probably want to save their souls from the impending witch-hunt of their excesses, hence the bandwagon. The President needs their support to pass the constitutional reforms in parliament. The pressure Maithripala Sirisena has to endure to keep the balance between his newfound friends in the common opposition and his old friends from the UPFA, who have pledged to support him to steer through the reforms that were proposed in his manifesto, is immense. His ability to accomplish this while sticking to his commitment to address corruption, nepotism and rule of law will be the real test of our cool president.

Maithripala RanilThose who crossed over before the elections expected their perks and privileges to remain the same or increased, while juniors saw this as a step into the cabinet of ministers or ministerial office. How then will the Maithri-Ranil duo steer their coalition in the 100 days and beyond would also be the challenge to their partnership. Beating Mahinda and sending him home may look like a cakewalk compared to the challenges of keeping the coalition boat afloat. Dissent is bound to surface and Mahinda Rajapaksa will be out with his strategies to destabilize the budding administration, so that he could attempt a come back into parliament, take over the opposition leadership and eventually the premiership. It is certainly doable for a seasoned politician of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s stature, unless Maithri-Ranil government is smart enough to bring enough pressure on corruption charges and other questionable affairs of governance under the former president’s administration, which would compel him, not to test his luck. The charges piling up against the former president, his men and family, if brought forward will make Sarath Fonseka’s ordeal after his presidential bid look like child play.

The irony is that, both Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena have a country to resurrect and run and may not pursue the Rajapaksa clan or their loot. They probably will conveniently leave the onslaught against the former regime to their coalition partner, the Jathika Hela Urumaya and the coalition’s secret lover, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

While Champika Ranawaka is on the offensive against the corruption of his former bedfellows under the Rajapaksa regime, the respected monks Ven. Sobitha Thero and Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero are demanding the immediate arrest of the drug lords, ethanol kings and the vice mafia that have taken this country towards hell. The rhetoric is high, and the country is yet to see who is going to bell the cat.

The JVP, with their hugely successful grassroots and urban campaign that contributed immensely to the downfall of the Rakjapaksa regime while not being a formal party to the coalition is now challenging the Maithri-Ranil administration to bring the perpetrators of crime, corruption and violence to justice. This is also an opportunity for the JVP to start their next parliamentary election campaign on this note. Their stand would, in all probability give them the exposure needed to add a few more to their representation in parliament. It also offers them opportunities to barter a better deal either in electoral agreements or ensure that they would be sought after to become coalition partners of the UNP, SLFP or a newly formed UPFA, which may have hopes of contesting under a Mahinda Rajapaksa leadership.

These well-meaning champions of good governance and rule of law will need to ensure that they do not take the law in to their own hands. While they have taken the right course of action in making the necessary complaints to the relevant authorities, the delays they would face should not misdirect them to break the law. The large volume of information that has come in to possession of various groups may become a weapon in the hands of unscrupulous persons who may use it to intimidate and hold people to ransom, hence it is important that the government immediately sets up the necessary mechanism to ensure that vigilante groups do not take control of bringing justice.

The dilemma faced by President Maithripala Sirisena with regard to the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is pathetic, to say the least. He was forced to take over the leadership of the SLFP because of the threat posed by former President Rajapaksa to take control of the party. On the other hand, he cannot lead a campaign for the parliamentary elections against his new found mates in the United National Party (UNP) who propelled him to the position of President, which would not have been even a dream for him, a few months back. Yet, he cannot sit back and relax as the leader of the SLFP when his cadres are battling it out with the UNP. The choice left for him is probably to quit the SLFP leadership and make sure that his presidential rival Mahinda Rajapaksa is blacklisted from taking over. This probably would need changes to the SLFP constitution, which he would need to address within the limited time, left. The best option would be to find a mechanism for former President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike to take over the party formed by her late father, SWRD Bandaranaike and take the lead in the parliamentary elections. She could become the Sonia Gandhi of Sri Lanka. As a proponent of good governance and rule of law, President Sirisena needs to make sure that he doesn’t compromise.

Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe is probably the best person to steer the country out of the economic mess that has been created during the last decade by the Rajapaksa regime and their bunch of opportunistic bureaucrats. This is a formidable challenge, and to deliver on the promises of the campaign, while ensuring the stability of the economy is no mean task. It could cause further pressure on the administration due to the impending parliamentary elections towards the end of the 100-day programme. President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinge and the cabinet of ministers would need to be exemplary to ensure that Sri Lanka will not return to the days of misrule, nepotism, corruption and violence, if they fail in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    A well thought out, comprehensive, well presented analysis, with pointers as to how the New Government can proceed towards the target. It is obvious that politically paralysing the Medamulana Gang is a must before anything can be achieved. Use the JVP in this essential endeavour without regard to the cost. That is the least harmful recourse.

    The mountains of corruption files accumulating on a daily basis will provide the material to the more than eloquent Anura Kumara to explain to the masses the billions of dollars that have gone into the pockets of Mahinda Rajapaksa, his family and his cronies will be one sure one. That is sufficient to destroy the Gang for good.

    So without much ado, I hope corruption allegations will be investigated and proceedings given full publicity. Use the tv, newspapers, websites, facebook, twitter and co-opting the priests in the temple, for the education of the voters. Once they understand the magnitude of the crimes, there is no way the Medamulana gang will garner even 20% of the votes in a future presidential or parliamentary election.

    Good luck to the Government.

  • 2
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    Hilmy Ahamed –

    RE: The Challenges Of A 100-Day Government

    Can you compare this to the MaRa Challenges of 1,800 -Day Government pf Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2010 to 2015? Establish their MaRa Dictatorship and Family Dynasty and Corruption.

    One Good thing Mahinda Rajapaksa did was getting defeated.

    “The JVP, with their hugely successful grassroots and urban campaign that contributed immensely to the downfall of the Rakjapaksa regime while not being a formal party to the coalition is now challenging the Maithri-Ranil administration to bring the perpetrators of crime, corruption and violence to justice. This is also an opportunity for the JVP to start their next parliamentary election campaign on this note.”

    JVP is doing their Job.

    Now Remember, the French Revolution took 25 years to get settled.

    The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783. So, be realistic in your expectations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

  • 1
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    Hilmy,

    The slide down the slippery slope has already begun if you failed to notice it.

    MS has appointed his brother to a cushy job. If this is not nepotism what is.

    MS is seen praying to a tree, an act of idol worship, something that Lord Buddha abhorred, just because his former boss did. This is clearly aimed at hoodwinking the gullible Sinhala masses.

    MS is doing the religious rounds visiting Mahanayakayas and the like with a retinue during working hours wasting public money doing private religious practices.

    MS has appointed RK to head the Ministry of Finance when there is a corruption case pending against RK. Conflict of interest one may say.

    MS is still mollycoddling the CJ the corrupt Mohan Pieris who is least qualified for the job.

    The mega fraudsters of the former regime are still at large doing business as usual. I wonder if MS being part of that clique before has anything to do with such inaction.

    Well we must stop expecting much from MS, he after all is a through and through Sri Lankan politician.

    And Hilmy stop trying to promote Chandika. She stole money out of the hands of the Tsunami orphans just like MARA did.

  • 3
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    It is not mice that are trying to bell a few cats. Powerful dogs ( no pun intended) are trying to do it. If JR could deprive a relatively innocent Srimavo her civic rights what is there to obstruct the present government from pinning down the likes of MaRa, Gota Weerawansas with very serious charges of corruption and other crimes?

    Sengodan. M

  • 4
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    The people of Sri Lanka voted Maithri to stick to his promises of ending corruption and bringing in good governance, but sadly he seems to embrace every crook from his previous regime. The only crooks he has left out are the Rajapaksas and Duminda Silva. There should be no room for Johonstons, Silvas and race king sumathipalas. Let us build a Sri Lanka without these monsters destroying our children. The country will forgive him if he cannot implement his promises because of the Rajapaksas and their band of crooks, but will not forgive if the president flirts with crooks. Investigate and send the owners of illegal distilleries, gambling dens and brothel owners to welikada. This should include the spouses and partners of weerawansa, hulugalla, etc. They should also investigate the lies uttered by the wife of Vaas Gunawardene and send her to hell for the brutal attack on the student in Malabe

  • 1
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    The majority of the crossovers are seen as political vultures that did not crossover for the love of their country but for pure and simple survival.
    Rajitha Senaratne messed up the fish business with EU and fled.
    Hakeem, Bathiudin, Mustapha, Kabir Hashim are all opportunists.

    Unfortunately, and sadly the record of the man for the BOI does not bode well. Hilmy.

    Yahapalanaya would see fruits if there was a MR/RW combination as both can bring in the much needed money to revamp & is a good balance.

  • 1
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    The good governance slogan has been thrown to the dustbin by the judicial coup by Shirani Bandaranayake. Is this the good governance that we demanded. Yes, Mohan Peries had to go, but i should have been done through proper procedures. This kind of action by the bar association is as bad as Gota’s white van or Mahinda’s acquisition of opposition parliamentarians for dirty lure. When are we going to learn about good governance. Old wine in a new bottle.

  • 1
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    I will bet my last penny that the Yahapalanaya lot will accept the ethanol, drugs and casino kings by the time the general elections are rolled out. This is the power of money in the hands of the unscrupulous bandits

  • 1
    1

    The threat of the BBS has not gone and Honarable Maithripala Sirisena will have to pass laws so that extremists from the majority community do not harass the minorities

  • 1
    0

    Very interesting article. Just a little reminder that democracy does not mean forcing everyone to support you and threatening the rest with investigations. Despite all the corruption dont forget MR got a large number of votes, so better listen to the voices that you don’t like. MR has the right to run for election just as the murderous JVP has now.

  • 1
    1

    Sirisena has not visited hindu shrines, and has not yet recruited astrologers. Good for him.
    His hugging the tree was to please the monks – he also may carry relics in the future.
    His brother’s appointment stinks, but the man is not a rogue & is qualified.
    Chandrika has a large corruption baggage to carry, and will drive away voters of her vintage.
    Ranil is the best bet to carry the combined UNP/SLFP cartel, through the governance of the nation until the parliamentary elections.
    The investigation of the MR family and henchmen needs to be fast tracked.

  • 0
    0

    Onlt till April, 2015…… You need not worry about this ‘jara palanaya” after that. LMAO

  • 0
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    The appointment of Maithripala Sirisena’s brother as the chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom is in no way an indication of straying away from good governance. It certainly is indiscretion. The new chairman of Sri Lanka Telecom was the general manager of the state timber corporation and was removed by Mahinda Rajapaksa when Maithri challenged him. The million dollar question is whether the GM was appointed because of the influence of Maithri in the former cabinet? If yes, his appointment to SLT should be immediately reversed. He could be re-instated in his former position or even appoint him as the chairman of state timber corporation if he has expertise in that field. Propelling him to the most lucrative position as chair of SLT is not appropriate. So, our president needs to walk the talk, and make sure that he practices good governance.

  • 0
    0

    Hilmy, you seem to take up everything but the most important thing for the Muslim community. You are a civil society leader of the Muslim community and you have failed to notice that no Muslim governor was considered under the yahapalanaya administration even though Maithripala came to power mainly because of the minority votes. Ranil wickramasinge is dictating terms and unto now no Muslim has been appointed to any significant position other than M M Zuhair who is an active politician.

    • 0
      0

      Fazeel Hussain,

      Are you aware of any Muslim, who wanted a particular assignment from the Government, and who was qualified to any higher degree, than the candidate who was appointed?

      If so please give details.

      Silence will not be in your favour.

  • 1
    1

    We need our leader the “king” to rule this country again. How can a weak “common man” lead this country?
    Sirisena is a man With no strong identity. Chnadrika and Rajitha informed him to wear the modi clothes and he did. Mangala and ranil told him not to get involved in foriegn affairs and he said yes sir! Ravi told him to butt out from money matters and he said ok. When India comes and put “parippu” to our land he will hide under his table.
    I was proud to be a Sri Lankan under Rajapaksa leadership and was willing to work for the development of this country. India and other western countries know that Rajapaksa is a patriotic strong leader, and will think twice and that’s what we need from a leader of a country.
    First,we need a safe and stable country to develop and only President Rajapaksa can do that. Corruption, drugs, ethanol have been in this country in all governtmnets while their was a civil war and that can come second.

    • 0
      1

      Lasanda, I have seen many suckers in politics and you are one of the worst. You seem to subscribe to the same thug mentality of the Rajapaksas and no wonder you suck up to them. What you fail to understand is that we are not frogs in the well and we too have international obligations that we need to honour if we want to be part of the world. Otherwise, we can stay inside the well and rot. You probably will need to get back in to your loin cloth and go hunting for your food. There again, you are not allowed to kill, so you could go yam hunting

  • 0
    0

    I don’t know about you , but we were not rotting during Rajapaksa Governtmnet. We were prospering. Do you really think inverters like Peker will ever dream of coming to this country if this country was rotting???? I don’t think so!!! If Sirisena has a better economic plan for this country show us???? we don’t need handouts but real economic gains to this country.

    • 0
      0

      Lasanda, I hope you have sisters and even if you don’t you have or had a mother. What James Packer and other gambling mafia does to a country is to bring all the vices including drugs, prostitution, alcoholism etc. where ever they operate their gambling dens. This is part of their investment and would you accept that your sister or mother works as sex workers for James packer’s gambling mafia. Do we need this kind of investment. If you are willing to sell your mother, sister or wife, then raise your hand for packers investment. The Rajapaksas raised both their hands to these scoundrels

  • 0
    0

    I don’t know about you , but we were not rotting during Rajapaksa Governtmnet. We were prospering. Do you really think investors like Peker will ever dream of coming to this country if this country was rotting???? I don’t think so!!! If Sirisena has a better economic plan for this country show us???? we don’t need handouts but real economic gains to this country.

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