20 July, 2019

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Will A Third Political Force Emerge From The Current Instability?

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Disgusting and despicable political crisis triggered by the sacking of  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister on 26 October 2018 demonstrated the need for a third political force to save the country.

The irony is that this crisis was sparked at a time when the country is already passing through political and economic instability. Thus the pressing need of the hour is for a political leader like Dr Mahathir Mohamed who within three months after assuming office arrested former Prime Minister Najeeb and his wife.

The mere fact that of the three-President Sirisena, sacked and reinstated Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the illegally appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, did not show any flexibility  to  end the  crisis  showed that they were only keen on grabbing  power and not the interest of the country and its suffering people. 

Long before the October 26 disaster people in general have lost confidence in all three leaders-President Maithripala Sirisena who tricked the people and took the entire country for a ride with his false promises, sacked and restored Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who was accused of involvement in the multi billion rupee bond scam and disgraced prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who together with his family members were accused of widespread crime and corruption.

Thus the mood in the country was overall disillusionment. It was under such gloomy atmosphere President Sirisena triggered this unwanted political crisis.

At the beginning the entire country was shocked. However Sri Lankans, especially professionals, responded promptly and spoken out against the violation of the constitution demanding the restoration of democracy. This included Sinhalese. Tamils, Muslims and all others.

With its unanimous verdict the court restored people’s confidence on the judiciary. In an article Professor Jayadeva Uyangoda pointed out that;

“In two judgments delivered in two consecutive days, Sri Lanka’s supreme court has sent out a firm message to the country’s quarrelling political leaders: constitution and democracy first. The judges have also assured Sri Lankan citizens that in their fight to defend Sri Lanka’s endangered democracy, the judiciary is now a reliable arbiter. The Supreme Court has also said a firm ‘no’ to a narrow and personal agenda of President Sirisena who has, by a series of bizarre words and deeds, repeatedly proved himself to be a liability to the whole country”.

The overall message is democracy has come to stay in the island. Though distorted and projected as victory for Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, it was really a victory for democracy and the people. In almost every UNP public meetings people in general said” we are not here for Ranil Wickremesnighe but for the restoration of democracy.

Summing up the situation a Sinhalese professional addressing a small gathering at the Baptist Church premises at Liptons Roundabout on the day the court issued the verdict on Thursday 13 December 2018 had this state;

 ”We have not come out to make Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime minister, but to ensure democracy is restored. Our struggle is for our rights and democracy. He said this country was brought to this disastrous position due to three different factors;

1 – Short sighted racist politics since independence in 1948. These politicians never thought of the country, its developments and its people. With their divisive and destructive racist politics they divided communities and turned this country into a killing field. We cannot allow this to continue.

2 – Monks who, in violation of Buddha’s message of peace and harmony, support these corrupt politicians for personal benefits. They aggravated racist hatred and divided the communities and corrupted politics. This should end in the larger interest of the country.

3 – Irresponsible and disastrous role of certain section of the media serving as tools of racist politicians sowing seeds of hatred and conflicts within communities. This needs to be curbed.

What has come out of the October 26 disaster is the realization that the two major political parties – United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom party – have miserably failed and were responsible for the present plight of the country. Thus the need for a third force with a new leadership which thinks for the whole country and not for one community.

The UNP Deputy leader Sajith Premadasa said that now Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as Prime Minister that the new government will go ahead with its development program. This is wishful thinking, judging from Mr. Wickremesinghe’s past performance from notorious Batalanda allegations to bond scam and the related no confidence motion against him. The question is why did he fail to concentrate on developments during the past three years and what made him to protect criminals?

It is also worthy to note that experiments of constitution making has only brought disaster to the country.

Late Prime Minister Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike’s 1972 Republican constitution, detrimental to the interest of minorities, brought together disappointed Tamil political parties under the umbrella of Tamil United Liberation Front-TULF.

Late President JR Jayewardene’s draconian constitution paved the way for an all-powerful executive presidency and turned the country into a dictatorship. Minorities were almost wiped out.

Executive presidency has proved a disaster and it is a positive sign that moves are underway for abolishing it. JVP has initiated the move and the draft legislation has already been presented in Parliament as a private member’s bill by JVP MP Vijitha Herath.

Some call for parliamentary elections to solve the ongoing political crisis. The question is whether the country could afford another elections to elect the very same crooks, frauds, criminals and gangsters?

Civil society has woken up and discuss the possibility of a third political force.    

It is worthy to note that during the time of independence, Sri Lanka was one of most stable countries, often described as the role model, in the entire third world. There was political and economic stability, sufficient foreign reserve, health care and education systems, communal harmony and peace. Those were the days one could walk from Matara to Jaffna without the fear of being waylaid. Instead one may have been treated for a free cup of tea or a meal as human values were cherished then. 

Rights and privileges of all were enshrined in the constitution. People respected one another’s religious and cultural values. Politicians, professionals, intellectuals and all others were respected by the society. Corruption and crime were relatively unknown.

There was an independent judiciary and police. Thus the country was blessed with everything required to move ahead to ensure a better future for all. Unfortunately majority community has failed to produce a visionary leader who could think above communal politics and guide the country.

The need of the hour is for a political leader and a political force which could restore the country to what it was during the time of independence.

However a third political force, representing all communities, will not be an easy task especially in view of existing corrupt, communalised, criminalised and commercialised political environment. Yet in keeping with the age old Chinese saying that a thousand mile journey begins with a step, it appears the wake up of civil society in the aftermath of October 26 disaster seems to be that first step for the country to regain its lost political and economic stability and peace for all citizens. 

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Lateef I agree with most of the facts. But I am curious to know who this Sinhalese Professional ???Name??? so that personally I can send a Thank You note.

    • 4
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      chiv,
      I understand your question? In our politics, there were number of good professionals like Dr. NM Perera, Dr. Colvin R.De. Silva in the past. Unfortunately, Buddhist Fundamentalism get involved in the politics so called Sinhalese professionals divided and most of them become opportunistics took part and partial of Buddhist Fundamentalsim and now they are the ones who encourage violation of constitution, violations of law and against to the justice. Some of them are GL Peries, Dayan Jayatilake, Vitharane etcc. I am sure Lateef is not referring these opportunistic individuals as professionals.

      • 3
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        Ajit.!

        If they can violate their own constitution,( which was not accepted by the Tamils) nothing shall prevent them from violating the Rights of the Tamils and Muslims. The irony of it is that the Tamils who did not accept the constitution had to fight tooth and nail to safeguard the constitution from Maithre and Mahinda. It appears, that the first causality of this episode will be the post of the leader of the opposition followed by many more to come.

    • 1
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      Can anyone please suggest a name for this enlightened and capable leader we are in search of? A.T. Ariarathna of Sarvodaya is too old. May be we should convince the Chief Justice ( Current one I mea, not that Silva) at least, as an interim leader. Former Auditor General should be good but he is too rigid to do the job that requires a lot of compromises to be made. Please dont say Sanga.

  • 1
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    There are no positive signs of a third force being born. Whatever the third force which may be ‘created’, probably be still born or born with deformity. It may be conceived with short lived enthusiasm. The reason being, almost all politicians whether they are Sinhalese , Tamils or Muslims they, are selfish, self centred and self seeking. Further a third force will not be forceful enough without a combined force all three communities.
    Unfortunately no Sinhales political parties will be willing to give equal rights to the Tamils and the Muslims. They are of opinion that the Tamils and Muslims should play second fiddle. Even if one party wishes to sort out the problems by sharing the ‘spoils’ the other party will insist that they should not only have the LION share but even Part of the Share which rightly belongs to the Tamils and the Muslims should be ‘pinched’. Not because they need it but because they wish to have both races under their feet.
    What do the Sinhalese lose by giving the language rights, religious rights and the right to their lands in the North/East under a federal set up? Only when these problems are sorted out the third force may be created. Until such time, the Tamils and Muslims will be useful only to sought out the ‘hell’ let loose by one party or the other. But the power of the minorities will not last the way the Sinhala governments are hell bent on colonising the Tamil/Muslim areas to eradicate the little power they may have.
    JVP who cries for democracy on whom the Tamils had a little hope of alignment has been dashed after reading the news item today, that they are against north and east being together as demarcated Tamil areas. In short except for some individuals all major political parties wish to score point over one another as far as the Tamil problems are concerned.

  • 2
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    People will coalesce into a single political force if and only if they share a common political goal.
    The nature of the goal will determine the intensity of the cohesive force that is essential for the stability and growth of this incipient political force.
    In 2015 there was a coming-together of such people from diverse political backgrounds.
    Unfortunately, their primary common goal was regime-change shaped by their common hatred for the then President. Once this was achieved, all the key players began focusing on their personal goals, which resulted in the weakening of the intra-party cohesive forces.
    So, “Will A Third Political Force Emerge From The Current Instability ?”
    Not unless there is a group of individuals whose love for their Motherland far, far exceeds their greed for personal glory, accumulation of wealth and for unbridled power.

  • 2
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    Will it be a Muslim one, like the UNP and the SLFP?

  • 2
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    Latheef Farook is presenting his wishful thinking via the question ~ “Will A Third Political Force Emerge From The Current Instability?”.
    Sorry Latheef, the answer is “No”. Maybe “Not yet’.
    .
    An unprejudiced observer will connect our present impasse to the language/religion-divide. To be ‘unprejudiced’ the observer needs nothing more than commonsense.
    SLPP has come up with this “Address the grievances of Tamils, is laying the path to separation”. This will be followed with the usual “Blah….blah……and…..blah”.
    ‘Others’ will not touch this issue. In fact SLFP may join the chorus.
    .
    To cut a long story short: Will voters reject the ‘divide’?
    .
    Yes Latheef, the political ‘crisis’ triggered by the 26 October RW-sack is ‘Disgusting and despicable’.
    PS: Do we have a Dr Mahathir Mohamed in CBK?

  • 8
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    There is not any other force but JVP. JVP is only force that unite the country free of corruption. it can build sri Lanka in 10 years. It is clear Ranil, MS and MR all are thieves. all are corrupt. Vote JVP and you will see the difference. They have indeed, in the past 10 years now.

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      JVP has lost it’s credibility. Now, Ranil who two times tried oush his PResident aside and become the president because cannot get elected as president wants Executive presidency dissolved. that is even after man handling presentPResident to give in to their demands. Ranil is trying to desteoy JVP for good.

    • 0
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      Critical thinking

      “It’s clear Ranil.MS & MR all are thieves, all are corrupt”

      As a matter of fact

      “Vote JVP & you’ll see the difference”

      But JVP have to do essential adjustments to come as a political force to the country.

      Their vote base is still below 10%

      How can we give certificates as they’ve never been in power?

    • 0
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      JVP will never be able to unite the country with their Political outlook against the Tamils. The are another Sinhala only party like the left parties who changed their policies to gain power.

  • 2
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    Dear Latheef,
    Sri Lankans (including our fellow musulmans) don’ t trust third parities; the very adjective ‘third’ is a third class word in their vocabulary. However, they know the importance of a third one but would keep it always as the third. Please learn Sri Lanka’s history and culture before wasting CT space.
    For example, take your own religious tribe in SL or elsewhere in the world; would they change the marriage laws allegedly preached by prophet Mohamad. If a third party preaches against it we would find their beheaded body on the street the following day morning.
    Your point may sound valid for CT readers, some of whom may dream like you, but it becomes automatically and practically invalid when your own people are concerned.

  • 1
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    politics is a farce … another force will become another farce?
    as France is realising and UK realised with SDP!

  • 1
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    The term ‘Political party’ must be given a good definition.

    Some parties are very complex with units of different political concepts are together, just to grab power.

  • 0
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    It is not one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century that took place in 2009 nor the cries of relatives of disappeared that woke up this civil society from their slumber but it was Oct 26th – you know which direction the step is taken…as usual another elated individual, can you elaborate on this third force?

  • 2
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    We are with J V P!

  • 4
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    Latheef Farook:

    There is already a 3rd and a 4th Force waiting in the queue.

    3rd Force: Desperate Creditors waiting to collect arrears.

    4th Force: New and Drug Traffickers waiting to give more cash to clean their dirty money. Sri lanka which is a conduit is blessed.

  • 3
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    Imerging of a new party which can address the current all form of crises specially law and order,economy,divisive ideology in religion and language is highly regarded. A party who can disregard religion,language,social status,mythology and treat all people alike.
    No need religious blessings,auspicious time for the works. Only blessing it need is ” be a party of right and just”. Religion is a private and personal thing. Everyone should have the right to follow their religion but no nay relationship with government. Religion is not the business of a government.
    This party has to teat all people as Sri Lankan. Not by the names of religions and languages. No area should be demarcated under the religion and nationality backgrounds. Division of administration solely depend on population density and other administrative reasons.
    Time has come to think of a common language like English. If the present languages seems not capable enough to bond the whole country we have to think of a practical one. English is the global language. English is not the only foreign thing, how about most of our main religions?. If we think how many foreign things we use in our day today life , I do not think we can against English.
    Discipline of a party is very important. Party should be independent and should not be a puppet.
    In Sri Lanka we can make a party to address above things. We have eligible people for this task. I think before long they will come up and do their job.
    People who campaign individually and as small groups should come together. Keep the personal dignity aside and work for a common goal. Nothing is perfect , no one can expect everything when work as a team. Compromise ,give and take is the way to success.

    • 0
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      RP:
      I understand you have written in good faith and mean no ill will.

      “A party who can disregard religion,language,social status,mythology and treat all people alike.”

      Do you really believe the majority voter group which is SINHALA BUDDHIST will accept this concept?

      “This party has to teat all people as Sri Lankan. “
      In the current environment they don’t even want a Tamil to sit on the opposition leaders seat. Go figure.
      Did you take a look at the new cabinet composition?

  • 1
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    “Will A Third Political Force Emerge”

    a third force will arise but won’t be a political force.It is GSK force.Golden State Killer.Google it.Targets1.corrupt/unethical politicians2.corrupt/unethical judges and magistrates.3.unethical professionals.4.corrupt public officials.5.Those committing discrimination.6.underworld thugs.

  • 1
    1

    Will Sri Lanka lend money to the USA ?

    Will a Sri Lankan doctor find the answer to Aids ?

    Will Sri Lanka lead the gold medals at the Olympics ?

    Will Sri Lankans act with a bit of class ?

    Will a third force emerge to do good for the country ?

    The answer is blowing in the wind….

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