(From Lanka Web)
Three years has passed since the heroic armed forces eliminated terrorism enabling Sri Lankly to proudly go down in history as the only country to have eliminated terrorism and an internationally banned terrorist organization. With that achievement the country looked forward to a future that should have been strategically planned by our legislators in governance. The baton is now with the legislators to lead the country. It was a pastime of previous governments to use the excuse of the conflict to explain their inability to solve issues that plagued the nation. The war is now over yet we are a nation concerned about where we are heading.
Sri Lanka’s development was at a standstill as a result of the conflict but legislators should have demarcated all areas that needed to be addressed and set up strategies to handle these with contingency plans as well. It is these policy plans that should have immediately been taken out and revised with a proper international policy in place. If the West had disappointed us the West needed to be reminded so. If India had betrayed us India needed to be reminded so. If new friends emerged not only did we need to acknowledge it, never more was it important to decide whether we were to look West, or East, to only India or remain neutral. Whatever, our decision we needed to have a policy in place and this policy is not meant to be subject to monsoonal changes nor the whims of any Minister in Charge like it has become a practice with all Ministries! Sri Lanka cannot and should not afford to float with the tide thinking the Gods would protect us. Now we are in a far dangerous terrain and the situation is far more dangerous than Prabakaran or the LTTE. At least Prabakaran’s unsatisfied lust for territory helped Sri Lanka remain without a piece divided or devolved.
With the LTTE elimination it was expected that the Government would deal with all elements that were associated with terrorism which included the TNA. Democratically and legally the Government would have been within their rights to force all political parties and politicians towing the line of separatism to forthwith stop such claims. Our constitution is very clear on this and there is an oath that all parliamentarians must uphold as well. Yet, what is stopping the Government from taking actions against people who continue to voice and promote separatism, devolution and working with nations attempting to divide our country? This is no time for niceties or remaining on anyone’s good books. The country must come first. Has this not given rise to issues like the “white vans” “grease yakkas” and other such controversies which appear to take place by more than just one group to advance agendas?
Is it not because we have not articulated ourselves diplomatically that India continues to think it can dictate terms to us whenever it gets knee jerks from Tamil Nadu prior to elections? The maximum India can do with threats is to send an Indian army to Sri Lanka – no Sri Lankan is going to allow India to take over Sri Lanka that easily. Our Government and all our politicians must have faith in our people that we would not allow our country to fall like other countries have whatever ways our politicians have disappointed us. The secret behind this is that the people value its country and do not depend on its politicians. What is puzzling is that whilst the country is pretty much aware that India had no choice but to become associated with the final stages of the war in view of friendly nations coming to Sri Lanka’s assistance, we know that every statement during those times, every visit made to India and every appraisal of the situation made to India had nothing to do with India’s concern for Tamils. India was naturally concerned that its 30 year covert plan was coming to a close and India wanted to find ways and means of somehow sustaining that plan even if it meant the end of the LTTE.
India is well set now with its ultimate plan being to annex Sri Lanka to India satisfying Tamil Nadu yet denying Eelaam. It would serve India well to createa protectorate of Sri Lanka and we are even helping India to realize this objective by giving our blessings to a ferry service knowing we have been having thousands of illegal Indians arriving whilst LTTE was in control of the North. It is why there is much reluctance to carry out a census and why it is necessary to find out how many of the Northern Tamils especially in the Wanni are our own. Are we going to do something about illegal Indian immigrants or are we going to remain mum just to please India? Knowing what India has on the back of its mind and promoting these through “goodwill” gestures of ferryservices, electricity from India etc…do our politicians not read enough to understand the bigger picture. Are our politicians satisfied with simply shouting their hearts out on political stages and going for opening ceremonies without becoming aware of international politics and the affairs of the world?
It has served India well to push the Tamil theme which has enabled it to appoint itself as supervisor in a sovereign nation and we are just looking on while India and Indians are slowly taking over from North to South economically. They are investing in infrastructure, they are taking steps to educate the Northern Tamils, provide employment opportunities, housing and we are simply watching these take place. The answer is not only to invite other nations more powerful than India to create a counter balance. We need to have our own plan against the odds that would protect our territorial integrity, the sovereignty of our nation and more importantly the future of its people.
When countries knowing and wanting to take a stake in Sri Lanka make offerings that our leaders do not hesitate to refuse should these not be accepted after we have divulged a plan of our own on how to use these funds effectively? Should these funds not be used to sustain us and thus be primarily directed towards improving our agriculture, an area we know that we are good at and we have history to prove so. Why should we develop an export-oriented economy that does not benefit our local industries when we know how talented some of our craftsmen are? We need to tap the talents of our people not depend on foreigners. We all know that most of the loans and grants given by the IMF and the World Bank are given with conditions that force Governments to kill its local industries, deny the people education and health benefits and grow crops that are meant solely for foreign consumption while locals may as well starve. Knowing these dynamics why do Governments, the politicians and most of all key officials fall for these traps without planning ahead?
Besides why would IMF or the World Bank insist on waving concessions given to the masses when they can easily insist the closure of state entities that are doing no service to the nation and MPs who are functioning as mobsters – these are the provincial councils. The nation would be saving a lot of money by ending the provincial council systems and brining back district councils.
Ministries are not the personal coffers of a Minister, his spouse or his family. Officials appointed must in the least desist from being “yes” men and Ministers must either learn facets of the Ministry given or pay heed to advice and advice should be sought from several sources as advisors too can make mistakes and there are plenty of “advisors” and “consultants” nowadays.
Similarly, no politician in government or opposition can expect to feel the pulse of the people surrounded by bodyguards, traveling in speeding SUVs and not knowing what a grocery bill looks like or how much an ordinary family earns and the daily expenses that family has to incur not to mention the incidental expenses. Which is why officials must seriously be wondering why they could not think of alternatives than raising the prices of milk powder and other essentials which has sent shock waves amongst the entire populace save a few thousands who do not feel the pinch whatever is increased. Are these prices increases to test how far the public can bear the burden while still remaining loyal to the Government?
In the eyes of the ordinary if the country is without money why is there money to spend on lavish excesses and rightly they need to be answered. It is obviously clear that the economic mavericks are not providing the answers that suit the needs of the people because it is the people that brings Governments to power and keeps governments in power.
Let any Government not forget this and in the present scenario with the US backed resolution against Sri Lanka a Government needs the backing of the people unless a Government wants to commit hara kiri by following western economic dictates, foreign influences and foreign agendas completely ignoring the people.
That the West continues to target the President and makes references to the triangular powers that lead Sri Lanka foretells that not only are they a threat to their plans but assures the nation that the future too can be properly steered by them and now more than ever they need to re-evaluate every angle of their governance, move the boulders that obstruct, keep those that are loyal, pin-point those that are conniving with foreign interests and restructure Sri Lanka’s strategy moving forward.
Nothing is permanent as Lord Buddha has said. We have been a resilient nation despite decades of terrorism. We have withstood much and despite the odds the public do not have any of the divides that politicians enjoy promoting for their own survival. This alone will weather us through the storm. It is now the turn of the politicians to do what is right.