Daily News Editorial
“When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat.” Pat Riley (Quote googled and added by TW)
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is no friend of the government and is a sworn enemy of the UNP. It is also in the bandwagon of the groups opposing SAITM, is going hammer and tongs on the Treasury Bond issue and is fiercely opposed to ETCA. But when its leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that “toppling government to be replaced by whom”? he certainly has come to grips with reality. This sober reasoning on the part of Dissanayake no doubt is well grounded. The JVP has not known to be complimentary towards either of the two major parties, although, it once was part of the government led by CBK.
Responding to a journalist, at a media briefing, the other day, Dissanayake, who is also the Chief Opposition Whip in parliament, said there was no point in talking of toppling the government when there is no alternative to the present one at the moment. It must have been a bitter admission for Dissanayake, whose party is hoping to form a government of its own in 2020. Nevertheless the JVP leader has clearly addressed his mind to the ground situation, and, most importantly, the players in the field who are aspiring to form a government.
Theme Cartoon googled and added by TW
In other words, what the JVP leader is saying is, the Joint Opposition led by Mahinda Rajapaksa is certainly no alternative to the current dispensation although the JO keeps on talking of toppling the government within the year, or, as MR keeps saying, in another two full moons thawa poya dekai.
Dissanayake has good reason for his contention. To begin with, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is barely into its second year (it will be two years only in August) and the people are not prepared for a change in regime just yet – if at all. True, there are many things that have gone wrong for the government and it has not exactly endeared itself to the general public. Resentment is welling up due to the high cost of living and the slow progress in honouring election promises is certainly a major aspect that has made the government unpopular. Acts of profligacy such as the import of luxury vehicles for Ministers and the Rs. 100,000 allowance to MPs have certainly not gone down well with the voters who elected this government. There is also the spate of strikes and agitations that seems to have gone out of control with the public viewing the government as being impotent to tackle the issues that have given rise to these protests.
But, for all that, the people would not want to replace the present administration with a government where the Rajapaksas will be at the levers of power. They have shown the door to Mahinda Rajapaksa not only for misgovernance but also due his lust for power in trying stay put for another term by manipulating the constitution. That government became stale and the voting public desired a compete break from the shackles. Even the war victory failed to influence the voter. The public would not want to bring back a ruler they have already rejected. The peoples’ memories are not short. They drove away the power drunk Rajapaksas because they resented their arrogance and the impunity with which acts of corruption took place during the decade of Rajapaksa rule. The voters had enough of a decade of Rajapaksas at the helm. They will not want a repeat of the same. The murders and cover-ups under the former regime and use of the state apparatus to commit these crimes surely must have caused revulsion in the minds of the general public. The abuse of state property, the money laundering by VVIP brats, the free use of the national budget by the ruling family are all factors that will mitigate against a return to power of the Rajapaksas which must have been factored in by Dissanayake when he made the comment that an alternative to the present government is nowhere on the horizon.
The public may be enduring difficulties. But this will be a small price to pay compared to the terror and the white van culture that prevailed in the recent past. There is no denying that the people are today free of the siege mentality they were under. They will certainly not want family rule to return. Besides, the public would not want a tainted ruler to lord over them once again. The acts of mega corruption of the former VVIPs now being unraveled in all its details can only cause grave resentment among the public ruling out the likelihood of a return of the Rajapaksas. The JVP leader could well have weighed the pros and cons when he made his assessment. Besides, there is certainly no alternative to the present government so long as the UNP-SLFP alliance prevail. There have never been governments formed outside the two party system, singly, or in alliance. The return to power of a formation led by a ruler who was deposed barely two years ago is doubly impossible. (The editor seems to entertain complacency -TW)