Yahapalana Backers Back Off

Yahapalana Backers Back Off

Strong supporters of the political coalition that ousted Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed dismay about the Yahapalana Government during the popular TV show ‘Face the Nation’ telecast by MTV.

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, a strident voice in the anti-Rajapaksa camp who was the Secretary of the Consultation Task Force of Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTF) appointed by this government and Prof Rajiva Wijesinha, one of the first to break ranks with the Rajapaksa and support the candidacy of Maithripala Sirisena, were both highly critical of what the government has done and not done over the past two and a half years.

Dr Saravanamuttu said that the government has failed to live up to expectations. He said it was clear that the government was motivated by political expediency to postpone election. He added that having Provincial Councils that were not run by elected councillors gives a poor message to those who were hopeful that this government would move on greater devolution of power.

Prof Wijesinha expressed the view that things started going wrong on the day that Maithripala Sirisena was sworn, claiming that Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United National Party have stood in the way of the President’s manifesto being implemented.

Interestingly, the fourth panelist, Malinda Seneviratne, came to Dr Saravanamuttu’s defence when Prof Wijesinha questioned the integrity of ‘the sample’ of respondents whose testimonies were recorded by the CTF.

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Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist.

1 Comment

  1. As a Tamil I am with Yahapalana government. In comparative terms the present government is better than the one under Mahinda Rajapaksa. Tamil leaders are frustrated over the slow progress in forging reconciliation, releasing private lands occupied by the armed forces, release of political prisoners arrested under the PTA but not charged in courts for years, the lack of accountability and transparency over the enforced disappearances of thousands of civilian Tamils, the constitutional process to draft a new constitution is painfully slow. Yet Tamil leaders can talk to the President and Prime Minister directly to air their concerns. This is in contrast the way Mahinda Rajapaksa treated Tamil leaders in his time. He held talks with the TNA leaders 18 times, but it was sham to humour them. He never had the intention to solve problems faced by the Tamil people. He appointed retd. Military generals as Governors of both the Northern and Eastern provinces. He back-tracked on the promise to the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon to give more powers to the provincial councils by amending 13A. He encouraged and promoted fifth columnists among the Tamils to divide and rule. He gave 818 acres of private land in Sampur to Sri Lanka Gateway Industries for 99 years lease at the expense of over 500 poor families who have lived there for generations. President Sirisena and Prime Ministers cancelled the lease and gave the lands back to the original owners. Contd 2/2
    Of course, Yahapalana government has not lived up to the expectations of the Tamil people. They are disappointed and frustrated and their anger directed at the TNA. Protest rallies are held daily for the past several months by people over enforced disappearances, political prisoners and release of private lands. Two-third of private lands belonging to poor people is still occupied by the armed forces. The release of lands is painfully slow. Over 9,000 people are still in 42 camps for the last 17 years! Promise given by the President to these refugees that they will go back to their lands within 6 months was not kept! Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s reputation as a clean politician has been severely dented by the Treasury bond scam. His attempts to sweep the scam under the carpet were in bad taste. He is showing indecisiveness in making decisions till he is pushed to the wall. Both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe should put the country first and the interests of their respective parties second. If not the Yahapalanaya government will end as a one time wonder!

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