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Mismanagement of govt. affairs



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The present government took over power with the election of Maithripala Sirisena as the President of Sri Lanka. He appointed a Cabinet of Minster. Sajith Premadasa was an important minister. Therefore, if there are disagreements from the ministers on the way of running the country, they should have disclosed such disagreements while they were running the country. Have the present leaders seeking nominations for the biggest post, done that? If they have not performed when it was required at its crucial times, can we expect them to perform as claimed in their manifestos? Sajith Premadasa has been a powerful minister in the present government and has he stood against the vital decisions taken by this government which were detrimental to the country?


After this government came into power, the constitution was amended with effect from 15th May 2015 in order to facilitate good governance. Were they beneficial to this country?


The first thing that the new government did was appointing a Prime Minister who didn’t have the majority of the parliament. At the time of appointing the Prime Minister, UNP had around 40 seats. Is it democratic to appoint the Prime Minister who does not have a majority in the Parliament?


By amending Article 46 (1) of the Constitution as promised in the election manifestos the Cabinet of ministers were restricted to 30. However, by introducing article 46 (4), the number of cabinet members and non-cabinet members were increased to unlimited numbers, where it is stated that such ministers shall be determined by Parliament. There is no justifiable reason to increase the number of ministers merely because it is a national government. The whole idea is to please the members of Parliament who crossed over to join the national government by awarding ministry status. The number of ministers will not be increased merely because there is a national government and this is an absolute waste of funds. Initially according to the manifesto, it is stated that after a period of 100 days, a general election will be held in order to select a new government. However, this promise was breached and this ad hoc arrangement continued for more than 200 days.


During the present regime, many disasters occurred but no responsibility was taken by anybody who was in power. Some of these disasters were man-made disasters. One of the first things the new government did was suspension of the Port City construction, which was done by a Chinese company.


When a country enters into an agreement with another country, these agreements are considered international agreements. Therefore dispute resolution mechanism is International Arbitration which is going to cost a large sum of money.


The government after suspension of the Port City project had to negotiate with the Chinese company and re-awarded Contract. This temporary suspension had cost Sri Lankan Government a substantial sum of money which was not even disclosed to the public.


Then there was the Central Bank robbery. When it was done the first time, there was a public outcry. However these were ignored by the government and the same person was allowed to cheat the public.


Civil society had a rude awakening to the truth of good governance, upholding the rule of law and transparency sans conflicts of interests under the leadership of the new Governor, when the dirt from the long term bond issue of 27th February 2015 hit the fan. This shock was compounded many times over, when a Committee of party affiliated lawyers issued a report whitewashing the key compliance and control weaknesses as well as deviations from best practices of governance.. Therefore, from the beginning of this government, it has shown signs of mismanagement.


The country also experienced the Meethotamulla disaster, where more than 30 people were killed due to the collapse of a garbage dump. Nobody was held responsible and very little compensation was paid to the victims.


Thereafter, the entire army camp at Salawa was destroyed with the surrounding villages, due to an explosion that took place in the army camp. Nobody took the responsibility for this colossal mishap and it was hushed up. No responsibility was taken by the government or a minister. People are still unaware about the real cause of the disaster and the loss the country suffered.


Therefore how can we expect that the promises made by the candidates will be honored when they come to power?


Dr ANANDA RANASINGHE


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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