Country at crossroads, needs a visionary, not an individualist - DEW | Daily News


Country at crossroads, needs a visionary, not an individualist - DEW

Communist Party Galle District Secretary G. Deneththi presents a memento to DEW Gunasekara, at the event. Picture by Mahinda P. Liyanage, Galle Central Special Corr.
Communist Party Galle District Secretary G. Deneththi presents a memento to DEW Gunasekara, at the event. Picture by Mahinda P. Liyanage, Galle Central Special Corr.

At this critical juncture of the political history of the country when the nation is confronted with a political, economic and social crisis, the focus should be on a national strategy with farsighted policies and not on individuality, Communist Party General Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekara said.

He was speaking at the felicitation accorded to him by the Galle District Committee of the Communist Party at the Galle Municipal Stadium in view of his completion of 60 years in Sri Lankan politics.

Today, Sri Lanka is trapped in the quagmire of grave social, economic and political issues. At the moment, there are over 60 political parties. Traditionally, as an election is nearing, various fronts and coalitions are formed for mere gain of political power. Achieving political power is not a difficult mission. However, the major challenge is the resolving of deeply rooted social, political and economic problems of the country, the CP stalwart said.

For the last seven decades, the two main political parties which emerged as rulers in successive turns have failed to rectify the deep national crises of the country. Hence, at present the country needs a practical national policy covering every fabric of society. The factor of individuality does not count for the future of Sri Lanka, he said.

“The upcoming election platform will be a unique battlefield. Both main political parties are involved in a harsh political war in selecting their respective Presidential candidate. However, we hope that the existing conflicts over the Presidential candidature will be solved by the end of August. The future election victories will be determined on genuine vision and correct strategies, and not on individuals, swiftly formulated opportunistic election manifestos, or so-called fictitious election pledges. Without rectifying national issues, any election victory would not be beneficial for the country and the people,” Gunasekara said.

“Nowadays, election victories are not easy. There is a massive contingent of new young voters registered after 2015. There are 2.2 million new voters. The number will rise further. These young voters do not rely on the print and electronic media for information, rather their ideologies are fostered by social media. It is difficult to judge or assess the motives of the youths.”

“The power of changing regimes which was held by the print and electronic media is lost by now. This is a worldwide phenomenon.”

“Present-day youths access social media to shape their thinking. No one can predict their political choice. Today, social media caters to over 25 percent of society. This drift should not be underrated. Every leader who aspires to compete in future elections should comprehend the current tendency of the younger generation,” the Left veteran said.

“Future elections would be quite different from those we experienced earlier. All parties, groups and factions who contest the forthcoming elections should have a trustworthy vision and precise political strategy to overcome the future social, political and economic challenges,” he said.

The CP leader said he still remembers the belligerent move of removing the then Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and branded it as a most unrefined act against a prestigious post in the judiciary to which he had vehemently protested, urging the then government not to do it.

A similar attempt was made by former President J.R. Jayewardene during his rule. He had also tried to arbitrarily remove Chief Justice Neville Samarakoon from his post. However, at that stage, late Parliamentarian Sarath Muttettuwegama objected to the move in Parliament.

He launched an isolated struggle against the move. Subsequently the J.R. regime appointed a committee of retired judges to investigate the allegations against the Chief Justice and the report was submitted to Parliament, Gunasekera recalled.

Owing to the way the case of Shirani Bandaranayake was handled, the reputation of Parliament was badly undermined. Some of our Parliamentarians interrogated Shirani Bandaranayake, a woman of prestige. I refused to take part in that despicable move as we have always upheld our integrity,” he said.

Senior journalist Mohan Samranayake delivered the keynote address, Galle district Parliamentarians Ven. Dr. Baddegama Samitha Thera and Dr. Ramesh Pathirana also participated.

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