politically correct decisionSri
Lanka Muslim Congress decision to contest the forthcoming elections under
the PA banner is politically correct. Need of the hour is to support a
political and just solution to the ethnic conflict. A formidable alliance
of those supports the Constitution Bill is historical necessity. A
pro-peace political alliance is essential in view of the fact the UNP has
caved into Southern Extremist Preassure. SLMC leaders letter to the UNP
leader Ranil Wickremasinhe should be an eye opener to those who have been
taken in by UNP hype on their volte-face on backing the new constitution.
Bearing couple of issues there was agreement between the PA-UNP on almost
all provisions of the new constitution. The PA even agreed amend the
transitional provisions relating to the Executive Presidency, which the
UNP entertained some observations. The UNP thinking is that it could make
some electoral gains by mindlessly opposing the Constitutional Bill.
We call on the UNP to rethink its destructive course of action.
There is no getting away from the fact that the solution to the ethnic
issue should be a just one and the new constitution promises just
or red herrings?During
the six years of PA government public attention has been diverted from the
pledges the government were committed to implement.
The PA started with pledging to expose bribery and corruption
during the 18- year UNP rule. The Special Bribery Commission tied itself
in knots with one commissioner resigning allegedly for the failure of the
government to act on the first report submitted. It is said that the coup
de grace came when the commission commenced investigating activities of
big wigs of the present government. Staffs attached to the commission were
transferred out. Two of the gentlemen chosen for the PA's 'Dooshanaya'
bashing were Mr. Ravi Wettasinhe and former UNP Min. Vijepala Mendis.
Mr. Wettasinhe fled the country. Mr. Wijepala Mendis was hurled
before a Special Presidential Commission for illegal land transfers. The
PA gained much mileage on this issue. The bitter irony is that Mr.
Wettasinhe is back in business and Mr. Wijepala Mendis now a prized
political asset. Presumably the assumption is that the Sri Lankan public
is suffering from acute amnesia. For 'Beeshanaya' (Terror) an outstanding
example was former Minister Nada Mathew, he was accused to be responsible
for much publicised 'Mass grave' of school children at Sooriyakanda. Now
he is a frontbencher of the PA, the PA leadership does not feel that they
owe an explanation. There where allegations of conspiracy behind the
assassination of President Kumaratunga's husband, no conclusive evidence
has been unearthed. The Richard De Soysa killers remain unknown although
his mother identified one of those who abducted the journalist. Now the
Batalanda issue has surfaced with the appearance of a police officer. A
prominent journalist Chandraprema is being questioned. With the
dissolution of parliament and elections to be held, there is much
political speculation whether there is nexus between the re-surfacing of
the Batalanda issue and the elections.
right action though belated
encouraging to note that even late the UNP is attempting to do the right
thing of formulating its own alternative proposals for constitutional
reforms. It would have been much better if the UNP had reopened its talks
with the government to explore the possibilities of reaching agreement on
the few contentious issues that remained agreed upon. However the
possibility of this occurring remains very bleak in the present context of
the vituperative and destructive election campaign. The stage of
conciliatory, constructive and cultures of democratic politics has passed,
shattering the nations hope. It is the UNP's bounden duty, as the main
opposition hoping to wrest the power at the forthcoming election, to put
forward in concrete form its own package. Parties need not bother about
formulating their policies because people know well that all their
impressive promises and pious intentions incorporated in election
manifestos, very rarely find actual implementation. The tasks will not be
easy for the UNP because it hopes to please two groups, which have taken
up positions diametrically opposite to each other. Would they be able to
bring the LTTE and the Maha Sangha to agree on a common policy? The
solution to the present problem lies in narrowing this ever-widening gap
between extremist groups in the country. The PA government should re
examine the draft constitution bill they had wisely presented in
parliament. The infamous Batalanda Affair that the government has managed
with sensational disclosures through an affidavit submitted by former SSP
Douglas Pieris is about to bring out a lot of mud against the UNP.
there anyone who looks into the grievances of farmers? It was
reported that two members of the clergy had joined the fast to death
campaign launched by Farmers at Hingurakkgoda along with two aged women
and couple of farmers. The demands of the fast are to purchase a kilo of
paddy at Rs. 15 a kilo and asking the government to implement an
agricultural policy so that the farmer could decide on the selling price.
Sri Lankans use rise as their staple food, there are also farmers who
cultivate vegetables but problems of both of these types of farmers have
been swept under the carpet for a long time. We have heard on several
occasions' farmers committing suicide unable to pay their loans. Farmers
wouldn't have to fast if all government which promised to usher an era to
flourish had implemented their promises. There are politicians on the both
side of the divide over the last 50 years who gave enough promises to
farmers. Although the government promised Rs. 14 per kg of paddy,
businessmen purchase paddy at a rate of Rs. 9 -Rs. 10 per Kg. We have
highlighted the need for the government to purchase paddy through SATOSA
if the government sets the price. There is no difference in the fate of
the vegetable farmer too. We
should not forget that our lives depend on the produce of the
who know the best in farming should be provided with their requirements There
should be paddy field in a country where the staple diet is rice. There
should be farmers too. For their sustainability of the produces should be
marketed. If there should be market for local produce, the stores of
SATOSA or the stores at the Mahaweli Zones should no be stuffed with
foreign rice. The agricultural policy of the nation is in conflict with
the economic policy. The government has been watching this situation from
the day it was elected. They watched the demise of the potato and the
onion farmer. As previous governments the present government has turned a
blind eye on the farmers of the country. Now the Farmers fast to death.
Formally farmers committed suicide individually but brainless politicians
of the area disgraced the deceased saying that it was due to a family
matter and not a reason of agriculture.
The present government went on stage promising to make the 'farmer'
a 'king'. Stores are filled
with imported rise, government has no provisions to purchase and store
paddy at the moment. Businessmen have a field day exploiting the farmers
at their own mercy. These farmers' wants to talk to the President there
request the government to secure Rs. 15 per kg of paddy, and they want an
authority to set the prices for them.
report of the pa government The PA
government celebrated its sixth years of existence yesterday. The
Parliamentary election to elect the next government is round the corner.
This is a good moment to evaluate the progress. People who were fed up of
the UNP regime elected PA with lots of joy.
The right to live, which was garbed from the people in 1977, was
returned back in 1994 with the electing of the PA government.
In 1977 soon as the UNP was elected it unofficially declared
holiday to all police stations for two weeks to attack all its political
opponents, destroying life and property. UNP supporters feared that they
will also face it, but President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her PA
government totally rejected that violent route taken by the UNP. The PA
government was not only awarded with the terrorist problem but also a
corrupt and unjust economy. At
the time there was no value for humanity. The international community
identified the nation as a country, which harmed its minorities.
Foundations were laid for a long lasting peace. This impeded the progress
of the extremist Tamils and the chauvinist Sinhalese of the South.
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