As the Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe completed reaching its second milepost without much ado, accusation and resignation seem to be the only options left with the two leaders to keep the unity within.
Columns News - CEYLON POLITICS
It completed 12 years on Saturday, since the country lost one of its finest Foreign Affairs Ministers Lakshman Kadirgamar to a bullet of an LTTE sniper. It remains a fact that his successors were far from being on par with Kadirgamar in executing duties as the Foreign Minister or gaining international as well as local respect and recognition. However, the office once treated as one of the prestigious institutions in the country, today faces a crisis of finding a suitable head to take the reins.
In his 1953 play 'The Crucible' American playwright Arthur Miller says 'there are wheels within wheels and fires within fires in this village'. This seems to be the case with the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government where none seems to take the responsibility of what is happening around them or even in their very own families. From everything that took place last week, from the alleged statement issued by the government condemning North Korea testing missile to best Finance Minister in the Asia-Pacific region not knowing who paid his rent for a penthouse he was living in, it is quite evident there are wheels within wheels.
On 29 July 1987, Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayewardene and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sat together at old Parliament building (now Presidential Secretariat) facing Galle Face Green to ink the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord with the objective of resolving the Sri Lankan War by enabling the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the Provincial Councils Act of 1987.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pledged that the Local Government Elections will be held in January 2018 when civil society activists led by Puravesi Balaya met him at Temple Trees, Friday evening.
As President Maithripala Sirisena was praised in Bangladesh for making a 'revolutionary transformation in Sri Lanka', the visiting UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson, warned that the progress in achieving the key goals set out in the Resolution is not only slow, but seems to have grounded to a virtual halt due to lack of commitment from the side of government.
The most heated Cabinet meeting ever since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in 2015 took place last Tuesday at the President's Secretariat with the impatient President cracking the whip against his UNP coalition partners for inaction or rather lethargy shown in taking action against the former First Family.
The day after the masses took to the streets of Bandarawela and staged a sathyagraha against Uma Oya project, the 125th Anniversary of Highlands College, Nuwara Eliya was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the D.K.W. Weeratunga Cultural Centre in Hatton. Speaking about the matter, he said the government expects to get the assistance of foreign specialists to seek the possibility to take forward the Uma Oya project by preventing the trouble caused to the people.
There is no secret about President Maithripala Sirisena looking up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in many instances, be it doing yoga to mark International Yoga Day or following his dress-code during pre-election campaign. This time it was about ministers using mobile phones during Cabinet meetings.
During the last six months of the year 2017, a total of 63,987 suspected dengue cases have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island.
With back to back terror attacks rocking London and Manchester, British Prime Minister Theresa May called that time has come to say 'enough is enough'.Britain came under three terrorist attacks in the last three months. Premier May said that as terrorism breeds terrorism and perpetrators are inspired to attack, not only on the basis of carefully constructed plots after years of planning and training, and not even as lone attackers radicalized online, but by copying one another and often using the crudest of means of attack.
President Maithripala Sirisena was at Arantalawa International Buddhist Centre to mark the 30th anniversary of the Aranthalawa massacre when he emphasized it is the responsibility of all to act in a way to prevent recurrence of such a disastrous situation in the country, as the country recalls the sorrowful memories of a three decade long, brutal war.
If there is anything the incumbent Yahapalana Government is good at doing, it is to make a mountain out of a molehill. This was proved when the much hyped Cabinet reshuffle was finally staged last Monday (22). Even though, all successive governments opted for Cabinet reshuffles from time to time to divert the remorse the public felt towards them, this was the first time the public, civil society and progressive forces in government and in Parliament stood without division demanded the removal of certain ministers who were widely accused of as being involved in corruption.
The government commemorated the fallen war heroes on Friday (19) near the monument erected at the Parliament Grounds under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena who vowed the government is committed in strengthening the Tri-Forces enabling them ensure national security.
The Tamils of Indian origin of the hill-country, treated as the children of a lesser God, for many decades, finally were able to grab the attention of those in the North, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting them on Friday (12).
A week after President Maithripala Sirisena allegedly proposed a special committee to tackle the trade union mafia and appoint Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka its head, trade unions led by the Government Medical Officers' Association (GMOA) held another massive token strike, last Friday (5).
President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have stirred the hornets' nest by suggesting a top military post to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who is also a Cabinet minister in Maithri-Ranil Unity Government of Yahalapanaya. While factual clarity of this 'suggestion' remain unconfirmed with various members of the same Cabinet issuing contradictory remarks, it is clear that Minister Rajitha Senaratne's official statement made in his capacity as the Cabinet Spokesman led to all hell break loose. Even though, many opinions have been already expressed on the matter, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is more experienced in governance than President Sirisena by serving in the same office on two previous occasions, remains silent or rather has not issued any statement on the issue. This also leads to question the clarity of the suggestion vis-a-vis the said appointment.
Much has been spoken about in the aftermath of the Avurudu tragedy that took place at Meethotamulla in which over 30 valuable human lives were officially lost, while few still remain 'missing'. Like in any other incident or recent calamities, members of the tri-forces and relief workers rushed to the scene fulfilling their duties (they still are) while politicians from all corners continue to trade charges against each other.
Tipped to go for a Cabinet reshuffle in the coming weeks and a May Day rally that would once again gauge the true powers of the incumbent President, versus the former, President Sirisena last Tuesday (11) made some dramatic changes in the Kurunegala District party hierarchical order.
A group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party Members of Parliament (MPs) who came to meet President Maithripala Sirisena at his official chamber in Parliament had to wait in anticipation for almost half an hour as the latter was engaged in a discussion with a group of Joint Opposition members led by Dinesh Gunawardena.
President Maithipala Sirisena clearly states that he, as the Head of the State, does not want foreign judges or would not allow the setting up of a Hybrid Court in the accountability process where Sri Lanka is under international scrutiny for alleged war crimes committed by government's very own military forces in the final stages of 4th Eelam War.
If there were any allegations about President Maithripala Sirisena and his Yahapalana Government aligning towards the West, in total contrast to the Rajapaksa Administration, he took it upon himself to clear the air during his Russian visit.
With Somali pirates seizing a Comoros-flagged oil tanker which had eight Sri Lankan crew members
on board, the first hijacking since 2012 has once again revived the necessity in ensuring maritime security in the Indian Ocean, and other regions.
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