Fresh hopes for a stable govt. | Page 131 | Daily News

Fresh hopes for a stable govt.

One would have thought that the sense of uncertainty that enveloped the country following the rift that developed within the Unity Government in the aftermath of the local government election results would by now have died down. The statements by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and UPFA General Secretary Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, in parliament, that the Unity Government arrangement between the UNP and SLFP will continue without interruption should have put paid to any lingering doubts in this regard. Yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle, too, should have reinforced the feeling that the parties had buried the hatchet, allowing the status quo to remain.

However there are still murmurings within the SLFP, that has created some form of ambiguity as to the fate of the Unity Government. Certain comments made by President Maithripala Sirisena have not helped in dispelling these doubts, adding to the state of confusion.

Meeting with a group of SLFP ministers, on Tuesday, President Sirisena has requested them one month's time to decide on a possible change in government, and, until such time to continue as a group. He has also told them that he had sought the opinion of the Supreme Court on the possible avenues available for a change of government and a change in the Premiership, and, until such time to proceed as a unit instead of taking arbitrary decisions.

This certainly is going to aggravate the sense of doubt and uncertainty that has been hanging over the country like a pall for the past two weeks. The President's remark, to the SLFP ministers, to give him one month to decide on the course he would be taking will mean that the country will remain in suspense for another one month. Already the rupee is taking a heavy beating vis-a-vis the dollar and the financial markets too have gone into a tailspin. Discussions in government offices today are centred on the fate of the Unity Government, and, talk in the market place too is focused on the current imbroglio. The state apparatus too has virtually ground to a standstill due to the prevailing uncertainty. State officials are reluctant to take decisions that they feel would compromise themselves. Even the law enforcement is in state of indecision going by reports of police inaction in the face of post election violence in certain areas. There is a general feeling of drift. Worse, foreign investors are bound to give a wide berth to the country, what with the stalemate to continue for another whole month.

Hence, it is extremely vital that the President makes a firm statement to the nation that would dispel the prevailing uncertainty and set the wheels of the state machinery, that is today stuttering on the brink of paralysis, set in motion once again, putting the country back on the rails. As the Head of State it is incumbent on him to send a clear message to all, particularly prospective investors, that all is well with his government.

The position with regard to the Prime Minister has been very clearly explained by constitutional lawyer and national list MP Dr. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, putting to rest any ambiguity. Premier Wickremesinghe, too, has informed the country about the constitutional position vis-a-vis his appointment. Hence, it is unfathomable as to why certain SLFP ministers still keep on insisting that the PM steps down. This, without the SLFP even having the required numbers in parliament to effect a change. Some SLFP ministers are also blaming the UNP's economic policies for the government's defeat. True, there had been lapses such as the poor implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programme, the high cost of living and the slashing of Samurdhi, which brought about a backlash in the rural areas.

However, those blaming the UNP's economic policies lose sight of the fact that the Premier's main focus was clearing the astronomical debt, the country is saddled with, which is a legacy of the Rajapaksas, and not pass on the burden to the next generation. This entailed certain cutbacks in the subsidies and increases in taxes that imposed hardships on the people, to some degree. Those blaming the Premier, therefore, had clearly failed to appreciate the larger picture envisioned in the UNP policies.

Be that as it may, yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle, hopefully, would herald a new beginning for the Unity Government, where it will continue unhindered, with all actors to the dispute ironing out their differences. It has two and half years more to complete its tenure, in terms of the mandate received from the people. Any attempt to scuttle the arrangement would only mean a betrayal of this mandate. The adverse results of the LG election, for the government, should not in anyway be an impediment to maintain the status quo. What is of paramount importance is to put up a united front, for the sake of stability. Bad mouthing each other in public should stop forthwith, lest this sends a wrong message, particularly to the foreign investors.

Above all President Sirisena should give a firm undertaking to the nation that the Unity Government will continue, as before, under his leadership. He should dispel all ambiguities in this regard. 


 

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No stable government nostable society. Cropping out more problem solving parties with hippo ratio personalities. All elected government must have ideas and values.poverty hunger crises se literacy and major problem improve reconciliation natiosl unity creation of employment improved psycho docial proliferation.prohibition of established religion.,liberal democracy rule of the law improved.every citizen expect a harmonious society

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