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Post-Election Thoughts 



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We now have a new President. To many they have got the president they wanted and to others the result has been a disappointment.


I write this to share some thoughts and lessons we all, and our politicians in particular, should learn from all that went on over a number of weeks.


At the very outset we must recognize that this was indeed one of the most peaceful elections conducted in this country. To many this was an election which enabled them to replace the Yahapalanaya President they did not want. I am of the view that to so condemn President Sirisena is unfair. I too wanted him to go, but I will acknowledge many good things that happened under his governance. If indeed we had a very peaceful election this was largely due to the changes that were made since he was elected in 2015. Many promises made by MS and RW before they were elected in 2015 may not have been delivered, but many good things did happen, a greater sense of freedom, freedom to criticize and speak out against even the head of government; media freedom as we have not had for a long time, (some of us sometimes felt there was too much freedom, when media institutions acted without any restraint), an independent judiciary and so on. We must never forget these changes that took place. If the government did not deliver on many of its other promises, RW was equally to be blamed.


Next I want to refer to Sajith Premadasa’s action of stepping down as the Deputy leader of the United National Party. A leader stepping down from his position in the party after losing an election has not happened in this country for a long time. I am not sure if it ever happened. He lost not because people could not trust him to lead this country, but because the government he was part of had just failed in many areas. But he stepped down without blaming others. This is something our leaders must follow. For Ranil Wickremesinghe too, it is time to go. Our politicians are thick skinned, but you have been defeated.   


Whether we voted for him or not, all of us now have a new President. When we voted on the 16th, we did so thinking of the future of our precious country. Mr. President, we trust that you will bring together a team of competent people with integrity and the required skills, the best people who will be selected on merit, in order to deliver the promises you have made.


EKSITH FERNANDO


Dehiwala


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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