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SRI LANKAN ELECTORATE GIVE BENEFIT OF DOUBT TO  RAJAPAKSAS’

Congratulations to Rajapaksas’ for the victory in the election and  the fervent hope is that they would not repeat the mistakes of the past and provide quality governance to Sri Lanka, which the Sri Lankans deserve. 
Rajapaksa  brothers  has gained majority in the Sri Lankan parliamentary election.  Photo courtesy: bangaloremirror

As predicted by several pollsters, the ruling Sri Lanka  Podujana Peramuna party   (SLPP  or People’s party)  led by Rajapaksa  brothers  has gained majority in the Sri Lankan parliamentary election.  This verdict is no surprise, particularly considering the  anxiety  of Sri Lankan citizens, who want  strong leadership .

While Rajapaksas’ have gained overwhelming majority , this does not really mean that  majority of the people are  entirely satisfied  with the  style of governance of Rajapaksas’  during the last few years.

Obviously, Sri Lankan people , owing allegiance to different religions  and life style,  must have carefully  weighed the options before them and must  have decided that Rajapaksas’ are the best option in the given circumstances,   though they very well know that Rajapaksas’ are not blemishless leaders.

It is a fact  that  most of the Sri Lankans  including Sinhalese and section of Tamils feel grateful towards Rajapaksas’ for decisively defeating  the secessionist forces and restoring the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. What Rajapaksas’ achieved is  what several Presidents and Prime Ministers before them could not do. Perhaps, this gratitude of Sri Lankans  will be there for all time to come.

The fact is that majority of people have voted for Rajapaksas’ giving the President and Prime Minister brothers the benefit of doubt, inspite of  their nearly unimpressive governance.   Obviously, this will be the last time that such benefit of doubt would be given to them and certainly people will not react in the same way in the future elections , if Rajapaksas’ would not deliver in the coming years.

As it happens in several democracies , many political leaders  win elections by securing negative votes, as the votes in their  favour may really be more  the votes against their opponents in the elections.

One conspicuous factor that one   should not miss  about the politics in Sri Lanka  is that the leaders of the political parties in the Tamil region  were not united and were more fighting the elections against each other rather than against Rajapaksas’. This too has helped Rajapaksas’ to some extent.

Certainly , people are deeply aware that Rajapaksas’ have reduced the government of Sri Lanka virtually to a family rule in the past.  This “family ownership”  of the government may  become even more obvious and cause concern, as one brother would be the President and the other brother would be the Prime Minister. Both these brothers would be accompanied by a few other family members in the pivotal positions in the government.  This may  lead to a disturbing situation , where  no one can  get  top positions in the government or government owned institutions or even in judiciary , if they would not show their loyalty outwardly to the family of Rajapaksas’.

People who have given the benefit of doubt to Rajapaksas’ in the election would be keenly watching the emerging scenario   and would view the scenario disapprovingly , if Rajapaksas’ family members would become the be all and end all of Sri Lankan government.

In the past, it is a fact that Sri Lanka has not  been governed   at the best of standards and Sri Lanka has been made into a debt ridden country, inspite of the several advantageous resources that the country has and the talent  at individual level that many Sri Lankans  possess.

With  the poorly managed economy due to misgovernance , Sri Lanka is now facing a debt trap, with Chinese government hanging like a Democles’ Sword over  the country. Sri Lankan government has been forced to hand over the Hambantota port  to   Chinese company over 99 year lease and this means that Chinese government would be occupying the port for many many years to come and would be breathing down  the neck of Sri Lanka. Like putting all eggs in the same basket, Rajapaksas’ have  entertained several projects with Chinese support and money, which is bound  to  cost Sri Lanka’s sovereignty dearly in the coming years, if corrective steps would not be initiated.

 In the present situation, when it is obvious that Sri Lankan government would not be able to repay the debt  to China in the foreseeable future, it is a big challenge for Rajapaksas’  and one wonders whether they would be able to extricate Sri Lanka from the  vice like grip of China.

Rajapaksas’  should clearly understand  the challenges before them  and  understand that  hard and intelligent work needed to make Sri Lanka realize it’s full potentials, instead of rejoicing over their victory in the parliamentary election , assuming that the family can be in power for all time to come.

The primary requisite now is that Rajapaksas’ should erase the impression that it is  family rule in Sri Lanka.

They should also clearly ensure that they would not continue to appease China  and continued appeasement  would inevitably mean sacrificing the interests of Sri Lanka in favour of a foreign country.  China is already deeply  entrenched in one way or the other  ,

Congratulations to Rajapaksas’ for the victory in the election and  the fervent hope is that they would not repeat the mistakes of the past and provide quality governance to Sri Lanka, which the Sri Lankans deserve.

Taking  along all Sri Lankans including Tamils  in governance is a compulsive need to make Sri Lanka a vibrant country .

Opportunities before Sri Lanka are plenty and what is needed is a long term and lofty vision for  the leaders in the Sri Lankan government.  Rajapaksas’ have the  challenges and opportunities  before them and they will be tested.

Published Date: Saturday, August 8th, 2020 | 09:00 AM

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