09 January 2018

Citizens must oppose Political solutions: They do not solve People’s Problems - They solve Politicians Problems

We can all agree that democracy has become a farce in practice. Political parties will go down on their knees and beg for people’s vote promising to deliver the sun & the moon but after elections voters will see only a convoy of cars, bodyguards, advisors & be greeted with ‘Minister is too busy, come later’. The same can be said of the UN that was formed to stop another world war but only 10 countries in the world don’t suffer a conflict. However, every official is globetrotting, holding peace talks, ceasefires but conflicts continue, arms manufacture and sales continue & citizens end up having to foot every bill. Political solutions in reality are designed to share and distribute powers among politicians & other stake holders so that they can remain in power with a subtle understanding that they do not mind taking turns to be in power!

When the first JVP insurrection started in the 1970s the ‘solution’ was to kill and many thousands of Sinhala Buddhist youth perished. The same insurrection was planned to kill another set of Sinhala Buddhist youth plus people who were earmarked as future leaders. The ‘solution’ was to put to eternal rest these talented people and curb nationalist tendencies against the warped system of governance. Do you see the larger picture?

When with foreign assisted training and funding armed Tamil militancy was hijacked and turned into a mega global project with multiple agendas which began another wave of murders again wiped out not only promising Sinhalese leaders, armed forces personnel, civilians but also Tamil moderate leaders leaving only the remaining racist lot. The choice of targets, provide clues to the one’s kept alive to carry out the next phase of a larger plan in a scheme of logic that equates ‘you can remain in power so long as you politically agree to our conditions’. Do you now see the larger picture of things?

What good was the Indo-Lanka Accord when India did not fulfill the obligations of the clauses that held the mutual contract together? LTTE was never disarmed & India never closed its territory to LTTE cadres. So this agreement served no purpose to the citizens who were subject to LTTE terror.

However, the Indo-Lanka Accord did pave way to legitimize falsehoods & myths of a ‘traditional homeland’ combining both North & East, it even gave official language status to Tamil without the consent of the people. Clearly it was inserted for India’s advantage as Trincomalee Harbour was located in the East however other vultures were using India to advance their own designs. Why did the then UNP Government agree to sign and accept falsehoods? Who was the supposed Tamil king that ruled an ‘independent’ East Sri Lanka if such an independent state existed? The then Government & officials did not think of the damage caused by agreeing to sign against lies simply because they wanted to remain in power.

Every political solution has been arrived to address not the citizens wants or needs but to satisfy the political goals & objectives of politicians & their henchmen. None of these political proposals are what citizens have demanded. All of the political proposals are demands that cater to what politicians want and not what ordinary citizens want or need.

Therefore, the international community & the UN the supposed guardians of world peace are making a major error in thinking that political proposals are designed for the benefit of the People and are clauses demanded by the People.

These political proposals are most certainly not what the ordinary Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims want & these people comprise over 95% of the total population of a country.

By agreeing to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord, the then government made another faux pas by introducing the 13th amendment and with it the provincial council system dividing Sri Lanka into 9 provinces. The tax payer ends up footing Rs.600billion to run these 9 provinces – how have they benefitted except helping create political clans with PCs functioning as grooming schools to recruit favorites and families of politicians.

There were other agreements that brewed more trouble. Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam pact, Dudley-Chelvanayagam pact were to address the whims and fancies of the politicians making & advancing the deals to advance their racism and agendas. Devolution and similar proposals have no value to the citizens in practice. They are just fancy words thrown into proposals and quoted by political pundits and promoted by entities who need proposals for their job survival.

Thimpu demands by LTTE, Oslo Declaration, Regional Council proposals, Draft 2000 constitution were all framed not to fulfill what the people wanted but what a handful wanted falsely claiming it was what the people wanted.

No citizen would ever ask to cut a country to pieces when it would mean they would have to take permission to enter each newly created state. No citizen would want to divide an island. Clearly all these divisions and devolutions and decentralizing proposals were not what people wanted or asked for but what a handful of people devised so that they could redistribute power among themselves and turn citizens into modern day slaves.
Notice how these politicians are tweaking laws & regulations to curtail our freedoms but give themselves immunity & impunity.  

The people didn’t ask for a ceasefire fire agreement in 2002 and the people certainly did not ask to include detrimental clauses that included placing a terrorist organization on par with the national army and giving legitimacy to a terrorist movement. No citizen asked that the army be kept in barracks but allow LTTE to roam all over the country armed! Ranil’s Govt gave LTTE 95% of their Eelaam and the rest the LTTE planned to secure through the ISGA/PTOMS with the former President playing Santa with Sri Lanka.

The ISGA proposals forwarded by LTTE in 2003 came with a USD5billion aid package. Elements of these ISGA proposals are now inserted into the new constitution. This is what R. Sampanthan, leader of the TNA and present Opposition Leader, said then “The ISGA proposal bears historical importance in the political history of Tamils in the island. The ISGA provides a base to find a permanent political solution to the Tamil national question”. This is what NGO maestro Jehan Perera commented “With its proposals for an Interim Self Governing Authority, the LTTE has given concrete form to its expectations in a manner that is essentially compatible with peaceful coexistence in a united Sri Lanka.” (2003)

Main elements of the present constitution were initially drafted by British solicitors in 1994 tasked Sri Lanka Peace Support Group formed within the Centre for Policy Alternatives. The names of those who sought the proposal and their current positions in the present government should shock all.  

The PTOMs was promoted by the Sri Lankan leaders at the time because it came with a USD3billion carrot. Both agreements were advanced when Chandrika Bandaranaike & Ranil Wickremasinghe held powers in the period 2002-2004. Nationalist organizations protested vehemently against the signing of the PTOMS “”…all warnings were ignored.

Leaving aside the political solutions/agreements the trade agreements have been no better. The officials and advisors seem to be as clueless as the subject Minister and prepared to sign against any dotted line if commissions and personal perks are promised.

Some of the trade agreements have reaped no advantage to Sri Lanka and have left Sri Lanka giving tax holidays, concessions, opening the country to foreign labor without restrictions & regulations etc simply for a one-time investment cheque and monthly profits going to the foreigners with nothing much remaining for the country-Indo-Lanka FTA (ILFTA), CEPA, ETCA to name a few.

Leaders and officials have no qualms about compromising national assets, environmental impact, issues resulting from approving ventures in close proximity to sacred and heritage sites so long as some figures with lots of zeroes are shown to them!

How many of our national assets have we privatized and given to foreign or private hands with no checks and balances or controls by the government! A small island such as ours we are now even allowing foreigners to purchase land and even own condominiums from ground level & above.

As a result the ordinary people are facing adverse effects from being pushed into rural undeveloped areas, increase in taxes and hike in essential commodities, spirally gas and other essential items which should have been kept in government hands and turned into profitable ventures. Had transport not been privatized all benefits would have come to the government. The Colombo Municipality has given parking fees to an Indian company which charges Rs.50 even for 2minute parking – why couldn’t the municipality have done this and taken the profits directly without opting for a commission and giving all profits to the private company? Many more ventures wherein the state should have turned into profitable ventures the easy option of getting a lump sum and passing the entity to foreign hands was opted. These are detrimental and leading the country to rely on an import-economy with zero manufacturing income.

How many pacts have politicians signed over the years? How many of these have proved beneficial to the general public & the nation? We have nothing much to quote. It’s a tragedy that people who come as our representatives, enjoying luxurious living from our money end up wasting the country’s revenue, destroying the little island that has an over 2600year history & heritage and ruining the lives of the people as well while inviting all the enemies to set up shop and hasten and worsen the chaos brewing in Sri Lanka.

When will sanity prevail?

Shenali D Waduge