Debacle of the UNP and the duty of the voter

President Maithripala Sirisena’s decision to dissolve the parliament sounds fairly prudent and timely since the country had plunged into anarchy and political wilderness due to the undemocratic statements flung by the Speaker in an attempt to harness ‘majority will’ in it to help Ranil Wickremesinghe to hold power of the Temple Trees. It is evident that Ranil Wikremesinghe does not seem to believe his own voters, and that’s why he wanted to convince the ambassadors from the West to impose their well-practised manoeuvres to manipulate the rein of internal political affairs of the country.

For the past three and half years, despite the flamboyant outbursts of the politicians, the economic policy of the country crippled its growth and hit the bottom of the economic stagnation. It was brought under tight international controls to such an extent that the country had to kneel down in front of the so-called international monetary bodies. This situation intensified the pressure on the already battered economy; and the currency, the real, collapsed to recorded low standards.

The prices soared for everything from the people’s daily provisions to the imported vehicles. Under these circumstances, President took the initiative to steer the country from the economic degradation it was heading for by appointing Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Prime Minister.

International community

Ranil Wikremesinghe was shrewdly aiming to focus the attention of the international community including the European Union to sanction the Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration using the diplomatic and economic clout around the West. What these institutions were looking for was not to help resolve the situation but to topple the administration. The goal of their instruction was nothing else but regime change. If not for the wise decision taken by the President, the country would have easily be taken by the tentacles of economic hegemony of the West whose ultimate aim is to coerce the country to move on its banking and financial policies. With Mahinda Rajapaksa taking the responsibility of putting the country back on the track, there appeared a steady climb of the country’s currency, but it came to a halt because of the adverse situation created by the Speaker.

What happened to the national pride with Ranil Wikremesinghe’s administration? The country was brought under regional ambitions, and as a result, the economically viable ventures which were started by the Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime were sold. This, in turn, raised fears among the general public of foreign influence because the harbours are directly related to the internal security of any country.

What is ludicrous in its foreign policy were the attempts taken to hand over the rest of the ports of the country to our neighbour in order to pacify them and to douse their dislike towards us for handing over the Hambanthota harbour to China. If this is the nature of the foreign policy of a regime, it, no doubt, raises the question of threat to the country’s sovereignty.

The real economic pain was felt by the poor when a more rigorous set of sanctions on the essential goods and the transactions was introduced. The measures taken by the government under the pretext of dealing with the foreign debt problem caused by the previous regime burdened the people and reduced their purchases nearly 50 % towards the end of the three and half years’ period. People found it very difficult to make their ends meet. The fact of the matter is the strategies adopted by the government such a fuel pricing formula forced the people to tighten their belts further and to watch how friendly alliances of the government empty the coffer through the frauds such as Bond Issue controversy.

It was right for the leadership of the country to worry and to do what was expected from him, that is, to think of the country before his political affiliations. His moves already appear to have an effect. Political analysts project that holding general elections will definitely pave the way for establishing political stability that will help the economy grow pulling it out from its present dilapidating state.

Fresh elections

With the politicians from the green hot on their heels seeking redress from the Supreme Court for what they term as unconstitutional moves by the President, and trying to cover their failure to improve the economy, the President’s sudden decision to call for fresh elections will strengthen democracy allowing people to decide what they can do to safeguard their country from political and economic chaotic situation.

What is the sublime duty of the voter at this juncture? Should they let those politicians who took them on a ride trick them again? It is the supreme duty of the people of the country to elect those who are truly congruent and genuine in their thoughts and deeds to serve the country. The development gained by pawning the country to the international community or institutions must be understood as a political hara-kiri. We all must lobby for an independent state devoid of the visible or invisible strings of the West with which they trap us either covertly or overtly.

Though we are torn apart by political colours, we must be intelligent and modest enough to understand with our social consciousness who have displayed over the years their immaculate love for the country, its environs and its people.

The lessons learnt in the recent past of the country when it was gripped in a civil war can guide the people to realize who the real leaders are to take the country into the future in order to turn it into the miracle of Asia in all its splendour and glory.

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