By Sarath Wijesinghe –
It is a wonder that Sri Lanka is still an independent gifted Island with a unique culture, religion, and identity despite the presence of mighty, powerful, and ambitious India few miles away which is an economic and world power aspiring to be a member of the Security Council and a leader of the region with control over the Indian Ocean and armed with a giant and vibrant economy. All the attempts to overrun Sri Lanka historically were unsuccessful except Emperor Asoka’s great gesture by sending his loving daughter and son as emissaries to introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka resulting the dawn of a new culture based on the principles of Buddhism. We were safe from outside influence and forces due to our correct and friendly foreign policy coupled with religious, cultural, and personal bonds maintained uninterrupted with neighbours and the world at large. Currently Sri Lanka is going through the most difficult era in the history with full of political uncertainties due to infighting among the political parties and the power struggles therein and within. In this world what is certain is uncertainty and future of an individual or a nation depends on the conduct future plans and strategies of the people in power and responsible for policy making. In Sri Lanka uncertainty is cemented in the political culture due to uncertain man made political pickle created by local and international players. There is a minority government in power and the premature general election is round the corner leading the nation to uncertainty politically and economically.
Good news is that the local players are genuinely interested in the development and wellbeing of the country and the subjects despite their political affiliations to different parties and respective ethnic religious and other groups based on varied considerations. They believe in their strategies and beliefs in the development of the country – respective ethnic groups and religions. But the strategies of the International players, local and international non- governmental organisations and monetary groups are long-term based different and selfish. They have political, geo – political and many other long and short term intentions, interests and considerations against the interest of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is full of INGOs NGOs and International organisations with ulterior motives and agents of Embassies working on the sly with different agendas. Currently Indian, UK, USA, EU and other foreign agents and countries are directly and indirectly interested and involved in the Sri Lankan election which is wholly an internal affair. In this sense India is careful handling NGO’s as India a no go area for NGOs and INGOs and managing their political culture extremely carefully based on pro – India Policy aiming at the preservation, improvement and enhancement of Indian interest. They have full control over the Foreign Embassies whose territory is only confined to the Conventions based on diplomatic relations and instruments on international law binding the world family on the best practice on international law and relations. They are not subjected to bullying tough some say they do not hesitate to bully small countries and neighbours. Embassies in India are confined to international relations based on the parameters of International Law. India is firm and means business with them with the seasoned and experienced Foreign Office. Some Embassies in Sri Lanka have invaded the professional organizations civil society and day to day life of ethnic areas encroaching into internal issues of the host country. Some Embassies have heavily funded professional organizations and non-governmental organisations. Any human being is selfish. It is a pity that Sri Lanka is not following and implementing “Pro Sri Lanka foreign policy” rather than following the concepts and instructions from international political and economic blocks waiting to exploit the needy and financially weak members of the world family. Nations consist of human beings and they are selfish for the benefit of their countries. Local players may be wrong and misguided – yet their exercise is not the destruction of the nation. Strategies of the international players could be and will result in complete destruction of nations and regions as has been in the Middle East which once oil rich developed prosperous and powerful areas now in rubbles and pieces due to external intervention and involvement – sometimes on regime change process. Today in the Middle East substantial portion of the land is either in the hands and control over or under influence of ISIS- the richest terrorist organization in the world fast expanding their territory encroaching into other nations in turmoil due to external intervention? Now there is a danger in our door steps after a Sri Lankan was found dead as a combatant in the fight for a future Muslim World based on ISIS concept. There are reports that his family have bolted to Pakistan and nobody knows how far this danger has spread in Sri Lanka. West started destruction of Middle East with Iraqi – a developed rich and stable country currently in turmoil and previously headed by an Iron fist ruler Saddam Hussain who was accused of investing on and preparing for nuclear power threatening world peace. They got the world body too involved in and invade the peaceful, stable and one of the oil rich countries in the Middle East looking for nuclear armaments which they never found after the destruction of the entire nation and massacring over one million innocent civilians in the name of world peace for “Regime Change” which they were planning for years. Culprits responsible for the plight of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and many other countries in the Middle East and other parts of the world including Sri Lanka are well known. Sri Lanka once – most stable and peaceful is in turmoil today unstable economically and politically unsafe due to the direct and indirect intervention backed by international national and regional organisations, and foreign forces backed by some foreign Embassies and countries. Peace enjoyed since 2009 is shattered now. 75 capsules of cyanide found and white vans hovering in the heart of Colombo with number plates changed are bad signals. All the developments and mega projects have stalled and noting is moving and no new developments industries or projects have commenced. Government servants are living in fear and no decisions are taken. There is a direct and indirect censer of the entire media institutions. Foreign forces in Sri Lanka are active under carpet protected by NGOs, INGOs and some Embassies and International organisations.
Regime Change in the Middle East
They gradually spread this process to Middle East forcefully aiming at the rulers they are targeting at and planning to get rid of. Majority of oil rich Nations with long great and ancient histories running beck to thousands of years are in flames, rubbles and pieces today due to the de – stabilization process. Change of governments by external interventions is generally known as “Regime Change” which is widely practiced today aiming at fast growing nations considered to be a threat to the power blocks and regional groups. In the present world order rich and powerful countries manure to have control over small countries with natural resources which are strategically situated. They want the rulers of such countries of the choice to be under their control for long and short term economic and political benefits. They want to have control the natural resources a long term political strategy. General Wesley Clark during the Yugoslavian war in 1999 said,” We are going to take over seven countries in five years- Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Ironically Iraq, Syria, Libya once rich and stable countries are now battle grounds having gone through destruction and loss of human lives at a rate. Iraq the first victim of the Regime Change as a result of the western democratisation is partially controlled by ISIS which is now a threat to the west and the entire human race.
World Policeman in Regime Change
World policeman’s regime change process is not confined to Middle East. Historically it is in the agenda which has been successfully implemented directly and indirectly during the cold war and thereafter. Interest on the Asia and more particularly South Asia is shown by the West and USA mainly after China has emerged as a world political and economic power whereby the west too had to look for them for assistance and investment. Historically and traditionally Sri Lanka is nonaligned and fearless and independent decisions are taken in the international political arena .Sri Lanka was victorious in the eradication of the terrorism which the world thought unwinnable based on a theory that terrorism cannot be militarily supressed. Sri Lanka proved it otherwise to the amazement to the west and those who wanted to have an indirect control over Sri Lanka due to the pathetic situation in Sri Lanka subjected to terrorism supported locally internationally. With no foreign forces and the assistance of few friends including China, Pakistan and Israel Sri Lanka achieved peace and stability by winning the unwinnable war the entire world said cannot be won militarily with the help of the committed and dedicated security forces and few friendly countries such as Pakistan, China and Israel when many others declined to assist us to eradicate terror groups which the world and even USA considered most dangerous and ruthless. Peace was dawn after three decade and political stability set in with economic stability and developments until Colombo was considered the fastest growing and most beautiful capital with the infrastructure right round the country with Expressways and bridges with unimaginable developments.
Regime Change in Sri Lanka
It is a fact that 63 lacks of people voted for Sirisena for a “CHANGE” and good governance, as against the 58 lacks of votes for Rajapaksa who was in power from 2005 and prematurely called for elections with overconfidence when he had two more years to continue. Victory has been a surprise even to Sirisena and the UNP backed him with utter disappointment to Rajapaksa in power nearly two decades having won 29 elections continuously over Ranil Wickremesinghe who took Sirisena’s cover to defeat Rajapaksa with a negative vote. Unwinnable Wickremesinghe was made the Prime Minister unconstitutionally when former Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne was still in office. Sirisena- the former Health Minister and the General Secretary of the ruling party crossed over and won with the majority of UNP votes in his vote bank of 63 lacks. Whether these vote banks are still intact is to be tested on 17th general election. Few SLFPrs followed Sirisena who won mainly from the UNP vote base, North East and the disgruntle voters on the fence. Removal of the former CJ Justice Mohan Pieris mealy sending a letter from the Presidential Secretariat is unconstitutional and illegal. It is a pity that no lawyer or a civil society vociferous raised this issue of utmost public interest.
Defeating a Stable government
How Sirisena defeated stable and powerful Rajapaksa regime is interesting and suites a detailed political discussion. No external force could defeat a leader of a nation as long as he is loved by the majority of the population. People wanted to teach a lesson to Rajapaksa and Sirisena was voted a negative protest vote to teach Rajapaksa a lesson. Are people happy with the performances of the 100 day rule and the developments is a moot issue to be decided at the nest general election on 17th August this year. Elections nowadays are free and fair and there is no doubt people voted Rajapaksa out democratically. Rajapaksa left Temple Trees on the following morning – few hours after defeat which is to his credit and statesmanship. To his credit Rajapaksa gave the Presidency of the SLFP to Sirisena few days after the defeat for which he is legitimately entitled under the constitution of the SLFP.
Sirisena’s campaign for Presidency was short and well targeted. He was backed by the International and local non-governmental organisations with enormous sums, and number of Foreign Embassies and international organizations gunning at Rajapaksa with the worldwide network of Diaspora awaiting to take revenge from him for winning the unwinnable war which benefited illegal trades and human smuggling. Tamil and Muslims in North and East are the main beneficiaries of winning the war on terror apart from the peace dividends enjoyed by the entire nation. Regime change mechanism was fully active and forceful against the main enemy Rajapaksa backed by the Sri Lankan political forces united to defeat Rajapaksa. Main enemy LTTE was replaced by common enemy Rajapaksa and they were united as a united force to topple Rajapaksa Regime. Wickremesinghe and Samaraweera visited USA for discussions and seminars. India too closely studied the situation. Sri Lanka was traditionally backed by China, USSR and the socialist bloc in fields of economy and security. Media was well organized and a part of the civil society linked to INGOs and NGOs became vociferous. Sirisena’s gifted oratory and deep voice with ability to make a point clearly is his main advantage to convince the public on matters which are controversial. Most of his accusations during the campaign have been proved otherwise including the nonexistence of any “Lambogani” cars and “Golden horses imported from the Buckingham Palace of USA”!
Is Sri Lanka Politically Stable and peaceful any longer
It is undisputed that Sri Lanka have been a most stable and peaceful country in the world which is a prerequisite for invest and development until the recent “Changes” for good governance. As a peace dividend the country was reaching to be main hubs on Maritime, Knowledge, Education, Shipping, and Trade, being strategically situated on the historical “Silk Route” in the Indian Ocean. Investments were pouring in and the infrastructure which is a requirement of prosperity was developing at a tremendous speed aiming to be the wonder of Asia. World family is full of jalousies and complications, especially when an emerging small nation in next an ambitious world power. Sirisena’s minority government of UNP was unable to continue the government with the overwhelming majority of SLFP many of whom are Rajapaksa supporters, though technically Sirisena is still the President of SLFP. Rajapaksa was so magnanimous to relinquish power as President within hours and as the Chairman of SLFP in few days which is extraordinary. Sirisena too should be credited for being flexible in approving nominations to Rajapaksa and the supporters, touch he made a controversial speech denouncing any assistance to Rajapaksa. Sirisena is a seasoned politician in politics over 40 years mainly under Rajapaksa as a Minister and the General Secretary of the ruling SLFP and defected few months before the Presidential Elections. Now country is in apolitical pickle with no politely party if stable and no direction or vision for the country and the political parties for development and good governance. No Political party or group may get a clear majority of 113 MPs to the side unless the electorate take a collective firm decision to change the change promised by Sirisena. Is the electorate happy with the 100 day rule is a matter for them to decide on 17th of august at the general elations. Sri Lankans are smart and correct in taking joint decisions which they are experiencing for over 80 years of adult franchise from 1935. To the credit of the security forces there have been no terrorist incidents since 2009 though previous three decades we lived in the midst dead bodies destruction and fear. Now we enjoy the fruits of peace and holding free and fair elections in peaceful environment. People will never forget ow JVP and LTTE killed thousands of innocent citizens destabilizing the normal day to day life. It is time for the face book youngsters to study the dreadful history we have passed through with fear and sorrow. Are we physically and mentally peaceful and respected by the world is in doubt.
Changes and Good Governance – “YahaPalanaya”
Good governance is an ambition and a vision and may not be a reality. Where on the earth do we have an utiopian country with accountability, transparency, conformity with rule of law, responsive, efficient, equitable, inclusive, and participatory?. Good Governance is a concept initiated by IMF and funders to the world for transparency and accountability of the funds given and not necessary to be applied to countries. USA – a main proponent of theory of good governance mooted by IMF and UN act do not act in conformity with the aspirations of good governance. History has answered the question in detail based on the conduct of the west and corrupt NGO’s and INGOs. Do UN, EC, IMF, and international NGOs following the principles of good governance though they expect the other members of the world family to follow suit. Reports and world news prove they are the most corrupt more than the corrupt regimes. They are no angles as much as the vociferous Sri Lankan politico calling others thief, thief “HORA HORA” when they are the most dangerous and treacherous slinging mud and stones from glass houses when they have nothing more to say politically having exhausted all the trump cards. Now that Rajapaksa has come forward to the political arena with a new moto and a phase having learnt bitter lessons on mistakes made due to some members of his clan and, not taking appropriate steps to clamp down inefficiency and corruption. Will people trust him again will depend on his past on development and firm rule and the performance of the current regime and the extent of the fulfilment of the principles of good government including efficiency, Commitment and forward vision for the Nation.
Please Look Round
Please look round- Do we really and sincerely enjoying good governance in Sri Lanka. Developments, Port City, Investments, Expressways, Harbour, and Port are stand still and the public and private sector is inefficient headless, inert, inactive and just waiting for increments and promotions clamouring based on the election pledges given. Is the process of decision making and implementation is based on a set of requirements and how transparent and efficient is doubtful when the largest scam of Central Governor took place amounting to 60 billion and continuing every day for 30 long years with a loss of billions. The company in question belongs to his son- in -law and he was aware if the transaction. CB Governor is still in power despite President Sirisena’s request to Prime Minister to remove him, while President himself has power to remove him. He is still organizing collecting funds for the United National Party according to reports. It is a worst crime if the funds are raised to the ruling party as suggested by some reports. In the UK Prime Ministers were in trouble on scams on fund raising campaigns from multinational companies. Does it not show inefficiency incapability and ineffectiveness of Sirisena who has power to take the decision to sack the Governor who is accused of the largest scam ever? With a stroke of a pen? A leading civil right leader and a person speaks of Yaha Palanaya investing 7 million in Golden Key Scam and a leader in transparency movement and a proponent of law and order professional ethics and refusal to issue a receipt for which he is bound to charging 3.5 million rupees of public money for an enquiry conducted for a governmental institution during his vacation on the alleged Sri Lankan air Lines , Invitation to Shell company back to Sri Lanka, sending home the former Chief Justice by meaty sending a letter from the Presidential Secretariat, appointment of the Leader of opposition as the Prime Minister when there is a duly and constitutionally elected Prime Minister may not be a good start of the Yahapalanaya system of governance. The lawyer in question is a human right lawyer from a poor village from Hambabtota who has become a milliner and in the forefront on the good governance band vegan. Extravagance, inefficiency and misguidance of the public are not in conformity of good governance. It is cheating the public to reduce the number of lanes and minimizing the bridges to reduce expenditure and to show the public of a different picture for political gains. No new investments no developments and the public servants and in fear to take decisions and proceed for the development process as before in fear of reaccessions. People are in a shock and uncertainty and it is time to revert back to the development mood in order to meet the challenges of the modern economic and political order.
Only way forward for the prosperity of Sri Lanka today is to proceed with a political reconciliation and go forward with new Vision and vigour. For prosperity of a Nation vision, new thinking and a strategy is required based on respective cultural and historical values- not necessarily the western values and outdated principles of good governance which is not compatible with our culture and upbringing. We have principles of “Dasaraja Dharama” embodied in our history much more advanced and practical than Good Governance in the western jurisprudence. Israel’s first Prime Minister once said “Experts are on what was. There are no experts on what will be to become an expert on the future vision must replace experience”. He said agriculture in Israel is 95%techonology and 5% other. He attempted to pioneer electric cars in year 2000 with all world car leaders to be free from oil giants Israel is bombarded from all corners. Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia and Israel are what they are today due to the vision of their great leaders who are powerful dedicated and committed with a vision for their country. Rajapaksa had a vision and a plan based on Mahinda Chintana which is unfortunately set aside today by the 100 day rule. It is unfortunate but a fact that Rajapaksa is responsible for his own downfall for which the entire country is suffering more than him. Wickremesinghe’s strategy is pro – West policy which is tried before by the forefathers of the UNP has not been proven fit and suited to us. To his credit he believes in his strategy which to my view is not a model and a vision for Sri Lanka. We should not be followers of alien rules or visions based on different cultures and situations. West is not genuine and committed friends always assist others with ulterior motives. We need a vision and a visionary for us. I do not necessarily agree with President Obama that we should only strengthen institutions and not strong and powerful leaders. We need powerful leaders and powerful institutions. Secret of success in Israel- a desert 67 years ago with no resources and no water which was transformed to be a world power hub on technology, security , agriculture and economy is due to the vision and dedication of iron fist leaders in their democratic society based on human resources and modern technology. Israel has proved that a country can have “Iron Fist” leader while maintaining democracy and good governance. Sirisena is a simple and unassuming fine but weak and wavering personality ideally suited to be the Prime Minister under Rajapaksa’s Iron fist rule for development and prosperity. Rajapaksa made the biggest blunder by not appointing Sirisena the Prime Minister during his regime for which he was entitled and suited. Beauty in Israel is that despite the rough and tough rule she is blessed with a vibrant and practicing democracy upholding human rights and great values despite adverse news reports in the media which is not the actual position on this great nation with 15 Noble Prize winners worldwide of their nationals and a world economic power leading the world on agriculture and technology. Now both Sirisena, Rajapaksa and the entire country is suffering for the lapse on the part Rajapaksa of not taking proper steps to punish the wrong doers and clamp on corruption of some, at the time of opportunity. Rajapaksa is a fine human being and person with a vision, love to the Nation and the people with an iron fist character committed and dedicated. Now tables have turned and there is a danger of instability with a hung Parliament which cannot be dissolved for four years as a result of the 19th amendment brought in to safeguard Wickremesinghe – not to repeat the previous dissolution of Parliament under Chandrika Kumaratunga ousting Wickremesingha’s minority government again. It is well and good if the major political group gain a clear majority as there is a clear demarcation of two sides. SLMC, JHU, Upcountry Tamil Parties, Rishard Bathiurdeen’s group are with UNP and the traditional UPLF is intact as before with the traditional left and the nationalistic groups. TNA and JVP will go alone and most probably TNA will support UNP despite the presence of JHU- arch enemy of TNA, considering Rajapaksa who liberated the Nation the common enemy. Rajapaksa is always a crowd puller. Rajapaksa’s amazing capability to attract crows and taming the opponents is now put to test in the ongoing general elections as against the full international local NGO’s, government machinery, and the money poured from the west and international organisations to prevent Rajapaksa’s re-emergence of power. Impossible and unexpected happenings take place in politics. Who expected Sirisens to win and Rajapaksa to re-emerge within such a short space of time unexpected miracles do happen. Sri Lanka is not an unfortunate nation with wonderful human beings blessed with best qualities, character and breeding unique to Sri Lanka capable to take quick but sensible and correct decisions for the sake of the future generation and the great nation. We wish and pray people will have a vision and strength to take sensible decisions for a better future for the peoples and the Motherland.