The Way Out of the Present Crisis

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 23 2021

It is about one-and-a-half years since we were confronted with the unprecedented in recent history health crisis of the Coronavirus disease coupled with the concomitant economic crisis that gradually crept in giving rise to a mega epidemical disaster assuming near famine proportions, being a threat to the lives, not respecting age of our beloved countrymen, ranging from toddlers to those in their dotage. 

Those invaluable citizens, include medical doctors; other health staff led by members of the nursing profession; philanthropists from whose vast wealth flows down capital by way of the trickle-down effect, et al. Howbeit, there are the new super-rich failing to pay their due taxes accruing on assets, lying here and abroad, as and when required by law: the State not requiring to fish for black money. 

Incidentally, this is one of the reasons for the economic crisis, to handle, which the Government recently passed legislation through the Finance Act. However, symptomatic of the political malaise, which is even worse than the Coronavirus disease, itself, all in the Opposition opposing it any and all measures taken by the State in ameliorating whatever ill, whether it be the Coronavirus disease, itself, or the economic ills, is shocking, especially, well-knowing that the practice of demonetisation has been one resorted to internationally: used not long ago, cancelling the monetary unit of the Rs 500 note, by the current regime in India, and closer at home demonetising the Rs 50 note by Dr. N.M. Perera, within living memory of most. 

Anyone of sufficient maturity can never forget then ‘poor’ orange growers in Bibile sleeping in hordes on bank corridors keeping gunny bags of notes for pillows! It is, nevertheless, tragic if the Government creates a suspicion of its credibility and equally or more than mean for the Opposition to unduly suspect the Government’s motives and actions fishing in troubled waters which is not a virtue by any measure. The rulers, no doubt, have to be circumspect in whatever they do with the welfare and wellbeing of the people in mind. 

Equally, those of the Opposition must not repeat the historical mistake of putting iron in the works as when J.R. Jayewardene was denied a third term thus prolonging the war, by well-nigh two decades: that whereas would have been ended by the IPKF! Political hopefuls as well as the politically blind have out of sheer hopelessness failed to realise that no Government worth its salt will commit economic suicide by ignoring sources of good revenue at a juncture such as this when it is cash strapped to the hilt or by willingly losing popularity adopting non-people-friendly measures.

However, it is beyond question the Government not incurring wasteful expenditure importing luxury cars for parliamentarians when even utility vehicles are not, engaging in projects such as leisure facilities when the people find it difficult to have a square meal. Most importantly, interfering with irrigation works of ancient origin, designed by the likes of our irrigation engineers of Jaya Ganga or Yodha Ela, which has a gradient of only six inches per mile, for the first 17 of its 54 miles, has to be cautiously done with meticulous care and extreme circumspection. 

It would augur well for the country and the people affected by the twin-crisis of health and economy only if the Government acts with people-friendliness and responds positively to the constructive criticism of the Opposition. The opposing political groups and trade unions ‘blessed’ with their backing should also do well to desist from being so crass as to land on rulers’ backs a ‘barrage of destructive molten lava’ in the form of innuendo and letting loose harsh abrasive criticism on unfounded charges vis-à-vis every move it makes, may be more often times without any justification, whatsoever. 

Neither the Government nor the Opposition has the voter-public’s carte blanche to do as they want in self-interest rather than for public good! So, just as the people grudgingly bear up restrictions on all activities such as religious, cultural, educational, entertainment, legal, medical – relating to all illnesses other than the current health issue – ceremonial and other public events, private functions etc., it is appropriate that the vast majority of the people are apparently not very happy about the Opposition political camp being not bona fide in their agitation activities both in relation to the Government handling of the economic cum epidemical situation and particularly the alleged recent past administrative lapses vis-à-vis not meeting trade union demands in time providing excuses even for those practising the ‘noblest and the most impecunious profession’ of being pedagogues, to take to the streets and misbehave like ordinary hooligans, nay scum, throwing to the wind, all decorum and hallowed traditions of this Thrice Blessed Land! Now that the Coronavirus disease is fairly under control after over one month’s restricted economic activity the ‘Economy First’ policy has to be followed in earnest, hopefully albeit cautiously, to gradually restore the economic status quo ante. 

The bottom line is whether it is by the Government or the Opposition political activists there has to be transparency in anything and everything done by them pro bono publico: they have to be people-friendly, strictly honest, magnanimous, selfless, above board and beyond suspicion and reproach in all their intentions and actions. Look out to see how nations have achieved developed State!

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 23 2021

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