Felicitations for the First anniversary
of the UPFA.
In Personal matters, as well as in political matters one has to take
risks. Without risks there is no progress.
It is one year since SLFP and JVP formed the UPFA. I extend my warm
wishes for giving the people of Sri Lanka hope and relief. Relief, from
what the people and the country went through at the helm of a leadership
that laid the foundation stone for the division of our country. They
undid many social moves the previous governments with socialist leanings
had taken for the welfare of the Nation.
In life whether, it is personal and individual or collective and National,
an element of risk is necessary for progress. Otherwise we will continue
an uneventful mediocre existence, bored and an unfulfilled life. In
taking a risk one has to carefully evaluate the situation and foresee
likely, pot-holes, dangerous mine fields, and hazardous
encounters. But nevertheless it is a necessary evil. I mean, taking
Sinhala Maha Sabha claimed independence from the all powerful Colonial
masters. That put ourselves in the position of being on our own, to
shape the destinies of our Nation the way we want. We were still not
on firm ground. We did not deviate from the path that had been traced
for us by our foreign Masters. The first political risk
was however, the disposing of a white Governor General and replacing
him with one who was a shade darker. We built the Yoda Ela
and the Laxapana Dam. Then came a more forward looking experience in
launching the free education system. But yet the ordinary people were
still what they were, and the blacksahibs of the ruling
class, were still the imitations of the whites they replaced.
The Leftists were in the forefront of the trade union movement. But
they depended too much on the urban workers for a revolution, leaving
out the peasant farmers and villagers. Despite their united working
class movement, at elections the Tamils did not take them too seriously.
They were therefore without a popular support either from the larger
Sinhala electorate, or the Tamil and the other minor electorates. They
too did not take measured risks, and failed to become a political force
in the Independent Sri Lanka. Later on realizing their error, Philippe
Gunawardhane spearheaded the United left moment the MEP, which was a
major event, which left its mark in the political history of Sri Lanka.
But the movement came too late to make any impact on the political scene
at the time.
With the disappearance of the old guards of the Independent Sri Lanka,
we came to a period more comic than serious, and finally a measured
risk was taken by S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike, which changed our leisurely
walk on the well traced paths of our colonial masters. There was a change
of accepted values, and the ordinary peoples voice was at last
heard. The atmosphere became different, there was a sense of real freedom
for all. Sinhala Mahasabha and the UNP the guardians of the British
heritage, became aware of a Native heritage, that had been
ignored and allowed to decay and disappear.
Thereafter the things changed for Sri Lanka, even the LTTE would not
have been thought of before the real independence that came about, after
1956. LTTE was one of the dangers of the risk. However, there were movements
which were positive for the country. The movement against Catholic action
started by Mr.Mettananda, the land reform bill, the green revolution
encouraged by Mrs.Sirimavo Bandaranayake, giving a proper place to Ayurveda
, the CTB the public transport system were some of them.
In politics we do not always go forward, for there are the reactionaries,(
from the point of view of the forward movement of the have nots),
who are also prepared to take risks. The well programmed UNP march organized
by JR Jayawardhane, changed the situation. Perhaps the revolutionary
youth moment of the JVP contributed to this change of events. However,
JR Jayawardhana was an astute politician and an able manipulator of
the masses. He came into power and destroyed the social progress the
country had made that far. He neutralized his chief opponent by taking
away her civil rights.
After that the UNP headed by Ranil Wickramasinghe, with the castaways
from the PA of Chandrika Kumaratunga, almost drove the last nail into
the coffin of a progressive Sri Lanka, that had been lying in a coma
for a long time.
It was late, but nevertheless in time, that Ms.Chandrika Kumaratunga
decided to take things into her hand, and drove away the UNF and formed
a Government with JVP as a coalition partner. That was a risk but taken
with a measured foresight. Now one year has passed but very few things
have been done.
Ranil Wickramasinghes MoU with the LTTE was an illegal document
, prepared by a foreign Government and a terror group and not a documents
that binds a Democratic Government. Even an International Court of Law
may not accept it as a legal document that binds a Sovereign State.
The scrapping of that document would have been a risk, but it could
have been replaced. It was because of the fear of taking risks, that
the government lost a golden opportunity. The people were behind the
Government and the Americans were waging a war against world terrorism.
The situation was ripe for taking a risk.
UPFA is now starting its second year in office. Is it not a risk to
give into all fancy and favour of the terroists ? They keep on asking
things as if they are a separate State, and any proposal of the Government
is rejected or changed. Who is in Command in Sri Lanka ?
It is true that after the death of more than 60 000 in a stupid war,
one has to be careful in taking decisions. But how long can a government
keep postponing things hiding their heads in the sand like ostriches.
Isnt it time to ask Solheim to go home ? If Norwegians cannot
be got rid of, as LTTE has trust in them, the other alternative would
be to form another Monitoring Mission with representatives from some
other countries such as India, China, and Russia. That would be a risk,
but it is worth trying nevertheless.
Karuna was a part and parcel of the LTTE. But he has now parted company
and is seeking political respectability. Even in Buddhism one who genuinely
regrets what had been done and seeks amends is pardoned and shown the
way to liberation. Is it not what all those who fight terrorism is also
seeking to do ? If the terrorists were to give up arms against the establishment,
and agree to toe the democratic line, should not they be accepted ?
After all, they are a misguided part of the population.
Therefore, why cannot we (if necessary in consultation with the big
powers),accept Karuna as representing the Tamil freedom moment of the
East. If we have accepted LTTE as such for Vavunia, we have more than
a right to accept Karuna, as he says he is not against the establishment.
Karuna does not want the Tamils in the East to be the fodder
for Prabhakaran and Tamil Selvam and others, living a life of comfort
and safety some of them living in utter luxury, with government paid
helicopter rides, travels abroad, staying in five star hotels, meeting
European Government dignitaries, signing contracts for heavy arms with
foreign arms dealers, and who knows what else!