Our Executive President
The prevailing political situation in Sri Lanka, in my opinion, is unique, thanks to the JR Constitution. We have an Executive President of one political party and a government of another party. Within the government, which is a coalition of parties in itself, there are "tails that wag the dog". Added to this, we have the "rebels" or "separatists" of the North-East, fondly referred to as the "Tigers", who are holding the country to ransom. As a result of the ceasefire and the MoU between the government and the Tigers, the "war" has for all purposes stopped. But the recurrent question is, "is there peace?"
To make the situation more exciting, the Tigers openly and blatantly contravene the provisions of the MoU. Smuggling of arms, conscription of minors into their forces, elimination of political rivals and "government informants" has been the order of the day, from day one. More recently, the setting up of a camp in an area under the government’s control and now the restrictions have been imposed on government Ministers visiting the North-East. While the government seems to be helpless or reluctant to do anything positive about these violations, the opposition is keeping up a mounting barrage against the government for its ineffectiveness and inaction to Tiger aggression and demands. The Norwegian Mediators and the FMM have not escaped the opposition wrought.
On the other extreme, our Executive President continues her balancing act-yes, she is all for a political settlement to the ethnic issue, she is supportive of the government peace process, she is agreeable to cohabitation with the government, etc.,etc. Then the turn around - she is the Executive President and has powers of the "almighty", she will dissolve parliament and call for elections, she is against the government’s conceding anything to the Tigers, etc. Her position seems to be that the government must do what she wants and not what the electorate voted the government to do. Or in other words, the electorate does not count. Damn the electorate, it is only her party that should govern the country.
The Tigers no doubt, are revelling in the situation prevailing "south of the border". If it has been said once, it has been said a thousand times - the solution to all these ills, including that of the "dog wagging tails", is for the two major political parties to get together. The President and the opposition parties knows only too well that even if the present government is ousted, the situation will be the same for the succeeding government - especially with those "dog wagging tails". In this situation, wouldn’t the patriotic thing to be done for the two major parties to get together at least for the purpose of settling the conflict with the Tigers? Once this is achieved, they could revert to their original positions - as happened in England during the Second World War. Unfortunately, in our country, personal interests supersede patriotism.
It is also of interest to consider the extremely high cost of maintaining the Executive President - all from taxpayers’ money. Considering the attitude of the President to the elected government and the fact that she is merely talking and not contributing anything worthwhile towards the electorate, isn’t the high cost of maintaining the President a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money? Is the present Executive President worthy of this expenditure? I don’t think so. What I see is that she is on a continuous warpath with the government and obstructing the elected government from carrying out its obligations at every turn.
My view is that as the Executive President, she should use
her executive powers to ensure that the elected government implements its
mandate to the people while keeping a sharp check on wasteful expenditure
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