20 April, 2019

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UNP’s Astounding Complacency & Sirisena’s Callous Disregard For Government Functions

By Rasika Jayakody –

Rasika Jayakody

President Maithripala Sirisena sent a strong message to the UNP when he took a group of SLFP MPs with him as part of the Presidential delegation while on an official visit to the Philippines this month.

Accordingly, Dilan Perera, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, Sarathi Dushmantha Mithrapala, Lakshman Perera, Angajan Ramanadan and Sriyani Wijewickrama were the recipients of an textravagant holiday in the Philippines at the expense of the taxpayer.

The President’s actions indicated to the UNP that he remained unrepentant about his decision to oust Ranil Wickremesinghe from the Premiership on October 26, 2018. He also demonstrated his callous disregard for the UNP and its Cabinet ministers whom he appointed in December 2018, after the constitutional coup he instigated backfired.

But can the UNP blame the President for acting in absolute contempt of the party? Certainly not. In fact, the UNP that earned this treatment by acting in an opportunistic and expedient manner after the reinstatement of the Prime Minister and the UNP-led government nearly a month ago.

The UNP did not raise objections to the lambasting speech by the President after the re-appointment of Wickremesinghe on December 16, 2018. Several prominent UNP ministers who were highly vociferous during the political turmoil pandered to the President’s irrational behavior by passing off his jibes as “mere critical remarks.”

They lauded UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa—who colluded with Sirisena in this ignominious exercise—as a “noble peacemaker”. They craftily turned a blind eye to the fact that Premadasa’s ‘puppet masters’ were the same people who advised Sirisena during the 51-day political turmoil.

During the 51-day battle for the restoration of a legal government, the UNP repeatedly promised they would hold President Sirisena and other co-conspirators accountable for their actions. They also demanded the appointment of a parliamentary committee to probe “black media “ that supported the  chain of unconstitutional actions and the functioning of an illegal government.

Ironically, on the day of Wickremesinghe’s re-appointment, Sajith Premadasa subserviently reassured Sirisena that there would not be an attempt by the UNP to bring an impeachment motion against the President. By making this statement, Premadasa quashed the hopes of all pro-Democratic forces that took to the streets against the President’s unconstitutional and despotic conduct. Without stopping at that, some UNP State Ministers did a 180-degree turn and stood on the side of “Black Media”, unabashedly defending its conduct.

Earlier this month, Sirisena excluded Wickremesinghe when he flew to Laggala to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the ‘January 08’ revolution’, which he himself reversed, in a perverse manner, by appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa the Prime Minister through a spate of unconstitutional actions. Instead of protesting Wickremesinghe’s exclusion, UNP Ministers, led no less than by Premadasa, gleefully attended the farcical anniversary event with the President.

President Sirisena then appointed a committee to vet the resumes of all heads of state institutions nominated by Cabinet ministers. The appointment of the committee, according to the President’s office, was to ensure that there were minimum qualifications and standards for everyone receiving appointments as heads of state institutions. Although there were strong doubts about the President’s true intentions behind the move, the appointment of a committee to vet high-profile state appointments was a step in the right direction.

A few days after the appointment of the committee, however, Sirisena circumvented his own procedure by appointing two former Governors, Niluka Ekanayake and Reginald Cooray, as heads of state institutions. Cooray was made the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewelry Corporation while Ekanayake received an appointment as the Chairperson of the State Timber Corporation.

The President’s Secretary’s circular to all Cabinet ministers clearly stated that persons nominated to head state institutions should be university graduates with strong track records in the fields of administration and management. Both Ekanayake and Cooray did not meet the criteria stipulated by the circular. Cooray, a senior politician, was a school teacher by profession while Ekanayake was an astrologer.

The UNP conveniently looked the other way when the President undermined his own committee to appoint his supporters as heads of state institutions. No UNP MP had the backbone to question the President’s actions, as they all wanted was to be in the good books of the President. The Prime Minister, the man who is supposed to lead the Cabinet members, also looked the other way for reasons best known to him.

When President Sirisena visited Mullaitivu on Monday (21) for multiple ceremonies, he did not invite the Prime Minister, who is also the subject minister for Northern Province Development. Several events attended by the President fell within the ambit of the Northern Province Development Minister, but neither the Prime Minister nor his Cabinet seemed perturbed by the exclusion, and some ministers were even seen merrily hobnobbing with the President during the tour.

Taking a group of SLFP MP as the Presidential delegation to the Philippines is the latest incident in that chain of events. It would be naïve to expect the UNP ministers will have the gumption to raise objections to the President’s move. The UNP has repeatedly indicated that they have little or no regard for the battle waged by socially and politically conscious citizens for the restoration of democracy. For the top-tier of the UNP, the struggle for democracy came to an end the moment the party leaders regained their lost positions.

By the time party bigwigs realize the price they will have to pay for their astounding sense of complacency is too hefty, it will be too late.

*The writer may be reached at rasikajayakody2@gmail.com 

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Latest comments

  • 12
    4

    ranil is a disgrace to the premiership
    the backbenchers who support him are worse
    the gop has no future

    • 2
      0

      UNP’s own complaceny can lead them to an another coup in next days.
      :
      Rajapkashes have been abusing so called PRE-DRAFT issued to the parliament on a new constitution. Their black media have been making every effort to paint it as a draft (what they call ketumpatha in secret).
      :
      I dont see any genuine efforts being my BY UNPrs against the BLACK MEDIA ‘s continuation, yet today.
      :
      In between President seems to be not wanting to publish the recommendations of PC on high profile crime investigations yet today. Repeated requests have been made by JVPrs rocking the boats, but nothing seem working.
      :
      Why CANT UNPrs do the job properly ? Yet today ? They can for example bring AH from Singapore to show that their part is being done in terms of 1% of BOND BANK losses to have been noticed during the last 3 years. If RW would do so, things would have turned to a positive direction, I woudl say, then the pressure mounting on President would surely go up – so that we can achieve something.

  • 10
    1

    The behavior of these UNP MP’s is simply disgusting. They are a subservient, docile cringing, laid-back, servile, and slavish bunch of hypocrites. A disgrace. Sajith’s agenda is devious.

    • 1
      0

      Craig,
      .
      I am one of the CT commenters that would fight against anti-demo acts in my home country.
      .
      Unfortunately, it is not all its cracked up to be. I am so fed up of seeing that UNPrs’s Complacency towards those values. It has now vanished to thin air once they got their positions back.
      Not a single loyalists , that headed the parliamentary brawl demolishing all the assets and damaging speaker and his office paraphenalia on that day, are neither interogated nor interdicted yet. So why should we further discuss about tha law in this country. We now paved the leaders to get back and form a govt, but they just take things granted and obviously, not moving an inch. All what we expect is them to take the maximum against those high criminals. Instead of doing so, got to see that PM was amidst their wedding ceremonies rose me up my heart palpitations yesterday.

  • 8
    0

    As always, excellent points from Rasika J. UNP big wigs are spineless and hopeless for the people. They keep pandering to Gamarala as if nothing happened on October 26. They just want their ministries back to plunder the country as much as they can before the next election.

  • 7
    0

    Couldn’t agree more with Rasika. Both parties are the two sides of the same coin. The country will never be served by this rotten lot, no matter what party they belong to. I know it’s wishful thinking but the country needs a new beginning with fresh people and fresh thinking in the political class.

  • 3
    0

    Rasika Jayakody: One can ‘feel’ that RW cannot depend on the loyalty of the Uniformed Services.
    Remember the IGP saluting GR within minutes of the 26 October putsch?
    RW’s has no option but pretend to be complacent and often astoundingly.
    All our Past Presidents callously disregarded proper government functions.
    MS is no exception.
    .
    ‘Self survival’ has become the day job of our leaders.

  • 6
    0

    Well written piece endorse every word. Thumbs up!
    It is unfortunate we have a President who is Mentally Deranged and a Prime Minister who goes into Mental Paralysis! And we the people are supposed to be governed by this Mental Double!
    God Help Sri Lanka!

    • 2
      0

      NonResident – you said it, buddy!

  • 1
    0

    CT readers,
    Please keep this article as evidence for the postmortem of the minority UNP government which will happen sooner than later, (most probably within this year). Sajit will testify first at the postmortem and put the entire blame on RanilW and his Royal circle including RaviK, Sagala, Malik, Akila et al. UNP backbench men and women will join with Sajit to hammer everyone who allied with Ranil.
    This will go on for a while until the UNP is split to two (as two parties like Pohottuwa and the SLFP) after the UNP’s humiliating defeat at the next general and presidential elections.

  • 1
    0

    Mr Jayakody, the author; Sri Lanka’s politics has no good top players. It gets better only thru gradual removal of the worst – and thereby clearing space for new blood to find feet. Splattering hot oil on all and sundry is easy writing – but not very useful.

    You point to a mess, but careful not to point at the author of the mess. Ranil is way past his prime – and that is punishing on the UNP. But Pissu Sira is the worst curse that befell on our country for a very long time. He introduces enough lunacy in the field, I don’t think anybody has enough respite to see any goal-posts.

  • 3
    0

    Brilliant Rasika

    Need a fresh start. No more Rajapaksas, Sirisenas, Bandaranaikes, Wickremasinghes, Premadasas.
    All rotten and expired stuff. I hope someone like Justin Trudeau will govern our country in 2020.
    Enough with this dirty stinking lot.

    Also our media especially Sirasa, Derana and Hiru should be banned.

  • 2
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    0

    No surprises. UNP shit heads wanted to be back in power at any cost and for that they were willing to do any thing. That includes kissing and sucking ———– of MS. Next time around it will be vice versa . This is what is called as political prostitution. I remember how our Lankan retards use to laugh and make fun at our neighbors (politicians). Now in Lanka you have corruption,crime, murder,sexual affairs/favors, broken system, uneducated morons in house, two governments/PM, constitutional rape,horse trading, back stabbing,switching alliance ,Wimal and list is endless.Thanks to MR who convinced the public, this to be the norm. Where as in India where there are still politicians who are corrupt, but get exposed due to RTI, media and civil activist. Quite a few like Jaya, Lallu, Raja were put behind bars. But poor ignorant Lankans still keep making fun without realizing that they are in sewage.

  • 2
    0

    My darling Rasika

    It is not complacency but fear. Yes Ranil is dead scared of Srisena. he does not do anything to antaganiise the brute

    (no no I’m not Daisy Aachchi with a menik malla)

  • 1
    0

    Dulci Aachchi,

    You are spot on

  • 1
    0

    Dulci Aachchi,

    I’m glad you are not Daisy aachchi with menik malla as previously I reallly thought so

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