Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A National Government?


It’s one of those things that have always had much ‘public support’ in this country, but many times when such an opportunity has presented it self, Sri Lankan politicians has shied away. It remains to be seen whether this latest opportunity will be examined in earnest or paid only lip service. I am quite expecting the latter.

A potential ‘National Government’ has many benefits, one being the possibility of a much eluded national consensus (and not necessarily a ‘southern’ consensus) on the ethnic conflict; another of course is the availability of expertise and skill currently idling in the opposition from Prof. GL Peris, to Milinda Moragoda to the big fish himself, Ranil Wickramasinghe. Yet another advantage would be the annihilation alienation of the obstructive JVP/JHU parties.

The request itself by His Excellency, much like most things in his administration, is not without its ambiguities. The official word seems to be the president requested the UNP, and other parties to ‘Support’ the government in its efforts to solve the ethnic conflict. Now, ‘support’ can be tendered in various ways and not necessarily through the potentially dramatic step of a ‘National Government’. The local press though, seems to be of the view that the request is along the lines of a National Government.

Whatever the case, the country and its government are in need of clear and direct action along the avenues a negotiated settlement to the present crisis situation. The Rajapakse administration has proven that it’s incapable of handling the situation anything short of all out war. In this light, Ranil Wickramasinghe as the Prime Minister may offer hope in breaking this spate of violence and forcing the LTTE into negotiations once again. His methods might not be terribly inclusive, but he - at least when in government, has proven to be a GTG (Getting-Things-Done) politician, very much a breed in demand. After all these supposedly ‘inclusive’ initiatives like the APC (All Party Conference) and that advisory council of experts has achieved nothing much tangible. Their very existence, particularly of the APC, seems to be for mere cosmetic purposes than for any honest effort to solve the larger or the immediate conflict.

Despite these facts, the UNP is likely to demand the government spell out its parameters for solving the ethnic conflict before saying anything remotely closely to ‘I Do’. It’s always safer to get a concrete compromise out of the President than to just commit blindly for the sake of greater good. Additionally I’m sure, like any ‘good’ party, they would consider factors like the number of cabinet portfolios in the offering, and the bigger picture of the war situation Mahinda has created, which in time may be beneficial for the UNP.

The ‘war’ may be popular and even easier to start but is not so easy to sustain, both in itself and in terms of its popularity. When the heat of the war enters Colombo and the surrounding suburbs, and when the prices of everything from petrol to peppermint inflates, and when the government tries to squeeze for every penny, rupee and dollar to save itself from bankruptcy, and when the ‘masses’ who voted in favor of the present president find that the fertilizer subsidy is no more, they will think twice, thrice and many times and may heed to a future UNP plea to make things right, once again.

The above thinking of course, is along extreme partisan lines and hopefully the UNP is above that. If in fact this offer from His Excellency is to form a National Government, and is genuine, and if (and only if) the government is willing to compromise on some its positions and drop its fake nationalist rhetoric, and if it is genuinely willing to solve both the immediate and the larger conflict, then I think the UNP has a duty to accept it.

However, His Excellency and his government must realize they cannot have all things their way; it’s a pipe dream to think of a National Government if they still wishes to be in bed with the JVP. The government must make a solid decision on which way it wants to take this country. If the government decides to take the JVP route, then it will be a matter of time before they strangle themselves.

Deane.

8 comments:

Maestro said...

Does Rajapake think Ranil's a fool? This is a big(but lame) trap to entice more UNPers (Traitors) into the SLFP fold. Ranil has firmly put the ball in Mahinda's court by replying possitively. Mahinda is shrewd (or is it his brother Basil) but Ranil is a better thinker.

Let us assume for a moment even if the offer is genuine, the UNP should never join this government(a bastardisation between the southern terrorists and sub urban newly urbanised thuppai low caste hacks). Ranil shouldn't be foolish enough to jump on a sinking ship. Indian leaders are counting the days till this government collapses (which will happen in the near future).

Ranil can form his own government very soon and thereafter advent to the throne in 2011. Then he can take revenge from all the people who played lip service (and jobless bloggers) in slinging mud at him. Oh and not forgetting the northern terror mastermind Prabhakaren who screwed his chanves in 2005.

The Colombo elite (the real elites = UNPers not the riffraff who support leftists..maybe Bandaranaike supporters are an exception) can breathe a sigh of relief then. Then we shall go back to the "Golden Colombo Era" which we enjoyed till the early 90s.

Maestro said...

Sane, patriotic, sensible, people like myself will only agree to a national government if these conditions are met

Mahinda, Ratnasiri - Go home
Ranil - President
Karu - PM
The only SLFP MPs who get to stay in the cabinet are Dilan Perera, Fowzie, Amunugama, Anura, Ranatunge, Wijeydasa Rajapakse, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Fernandopulle, John Seniviratne and a two or three more.

The rest will be from the UNP, CWC, SLMC, WPF, UPF.

~CC~ said...

Machan,

Your disregard for anyone else other than the pro-unp Colombo elite is worrying. if UNP is to stage a resurgence it must emerge as the part of everybody - the rich, the poor, the sinhalese, the tamils, the muslims, the Burghers, the malays, the boras and everybody else. it certainly has the credentials for it.

it needs to remarket its ideology and take it to the masses. it's possible and is a necessary condition for a UNP victory. UNP will have to live with the reality that in the future, the JVP is very likely to contest under a single banner with the SLFP even if the JVP decide to remain in opposition after a possible victory.

The National govermment proposals seems to have been fake, their cannot be a JVP in a national government. that's one too many cook, a bad one at that.

p.s - aluthgamage is an idiot. in the caliber of Shripathi.

~CC~ said...

meant party* earlier.. 'party of everybody' :)

Maestro said...

No you got me wrong. When I said we need usher in a Colombo Era I meant a time-line of events which we witnessed in the past.

The Colombo Elite I meant to say are firmly behind Ranil. The ones who hate him or don't vote for him are the newly rich tramps who have colonised Colombo from the villages. Moreoever the 30% of Colombo votes which go against the UNP are coming from the labourers, three-wheel drivers, carpenters, house maids, fisherfolk, kudu mudalalis etc.

Another branch who doesn't vote UNP are the sub-urban riffraff. They colonise/hijack Colombo schools and think they're some sort of reformers. Hell with their ideology.

Mind you ~CC~ the only reason UNP loses elections is because the UNPers don't vote. In average the Sri Lankan voter turn out is about 75%. Out of the 25% who don't vote 90-95% are UNP supporters.

Maestro said...

Cardboardwanse is eating up the JVP. He is said to be the one instrumental in trying to get Nandana Gunatileke, Lalkantha, Bimal Ratnayake, SK Subasinghe over to the SLFP.

I think he can also manage to get Prabhakaren also into that fold. Afterall Prabhakaren has killed all the UNP leaders when they were poised to win elections throughout history. I think Prabha can be made Patron of the SLFP since CBK was sidelined.

Aluthgamage is a good politician like his father. They were educated in Royal and have a rather good/acceptable background.

Don't get me started on that Sripathi character. He is unworthy to warrant even criticism from me.

~CC~ said...

labourers, three-wheel drivers, carpenters are people. they are also important. you cant brush them off as lesser human beings. that's pathetic.

And sri lanka has a rather high voter turnout 75%, i dont think you can expect any larger amount than that, realisticaly.

i donno how you conclude the rest is all UNP votes. But perhaps they should try to canvas some foreign Votes. lot of the expats favor the UNP. i donno if it's possible even via postal votes. does anyone know? something worth lookin into.

Anonymous said...

Read about mahinda rajapakse (3rd march 2007 issue of mawbima) and his history with the SLFP

http://www.mawbima.lk/articles/puwath/17.html