Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 19 July 2015





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Demeaning the Presidency

The Presidency is the highest position one can hold in a truly democratic country. When a defeated President contests a General Election, let alone a Presidency, as a ordinary contestant, not only is he demeaning his own position but also denigrating the hallowed position of President of the country, which only one in 20 million people aspire for. Imagine those who previously called him Sir and bowed and scraped before him, now calling him Machang.

Is it not the duty of the present President to ensure the post of President is not completely sullied due to the rapacious greed of one person and his hangers on, for the sake of past and even future Presidents and that the post of President be preserved as an honourable and hallowed title!

Also, the question arises if President Maithripala Sirisena is willing to sacrifice the goodwill and support of all those who risked their personal and political lives, such as Rev. Sobitha and Rev. Ratana and the numerous other politicians of his own party and civil service organisations, leaving them dejected and feeling let down in return for ensuring the victory of a group of corrupt and arrogant political ' has beens'.

If the President reneges on his promise not to tie himself to one political party, then how can he claim to be the President of the whole nation? Would it not enable him to run the Government more democratically, transparently and with justice equality and fairplay, if he allowed all political parties to contest on an equal footing by not backing any one political party, so long as 'clean' politicians are voted in regardless of political affiliations?

Keeping in mind that there will be a great deal of back stabbing and ganging up of dissidents within his own party by allowing defeated President MR and his cohorts to contest within his party, would President MS not be committing political 'Hara- Kiri'? If ex President Rajapaksa and his cohorts want to form a break away party and contest separately they will not be able to muster any public support and will forever be consigned to the dustbin of political history, leaving President Sirisena to govern the country without hindrance.

The country heaved a collective sigh of relief when Minister Maithripala Sirisena was declared the President of Sri Lanka on the 8th of January, this year defeating the incumbent President and we, the ordinary citizens would have been enslaved for a few more years, helpless to stand up against the corruption, waste and the sheer abuse of power that took place in the previous regime. However, hardly six months have elapsed since then, when a massive political bomb has been exploded by this very same President Mithripala Sirisena by agreeing to ex President Rajapaksa being given nomination on the SLFP ticket to contest a seat at the coming General Elections, much against the wishes of his supporters. Those who risked their lives and their well being to openly support President Sirisena are left high and dry, without a leg to stand on, so to speak.

All they can do now is repeat those derogatory words his opponents used then 'aiyo Sirisena' and say goodbye to 'yahapalanaya'! Words are easy to be spoken but deeds are what's required, raising hopes of the country becoming politically stable, with law and order being established and the country gaining the goodwill of the international community.

Now these hopes appear to be completely dashed. President Sirisena not have an iota of knowledge that the political stability within the nation will be completely destroyed, with political bickering and back stabbing being the direct result of his accommodating the ex President and his lackeys into the forefront of Parliamentary Politics.

If he declares himself the President of the nation and avoid directly supporting any political party, would it not be better to allow the UPFA to split into two factions, the pro Rajapaksa faction and the anti Rajapaksa faction. Without his direct support, the Rajapaksa cohorts will never win as most of them do not have a true voter base.

This would leave the pro Sirisena factor to gain many seats and with the coalition of all the other parties to form a 'clean' government which he could guide in the right direction. He has to keep in mind if the pro MR faction gets a foothold in the government he will be faced with eternal squabbles Within his own party, demeaning his own position and the exalted position of the President

Desmond Z. de Silva




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