By Sumanasiri Liyanage –
Spinoza after stated, “those who laugh last, laugh best”. People who voted to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa regime out of power on January eight may have celebrated their victory. Nevertheless, even ahead of passing magical one hundred days, numerous of them may possibly be pondering the modify is just a chimera. New Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Minister were sworn in creating the size of the cabinet of ministers to 44. If you add the number of state minsters and deputy ministers the total number may be closer to the quantity of ministers in the MR regime. As The Island reported, “The quantity of Cabinet, State and Deputy ministers rose to 77 yesterday as 26 SLFPers had been sworn in prior to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.” In this sense and in numerous others, Maithripala–Ranil (that I call MR II) regime has no much difference from Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR I) regime. Even in the climax of war, Sri Lanka did not have a national government, nor throughout the Tsunami catastrophe. So one particular may possibly justifiably ask: why now? For what? Prior to answer these concerns, it is crucial to raise two points.
Initial, if we reflect on some of the views expressed by men and women who wholeheartedly supported Maithripala Sirisena candidacy on January eight, a single thing is clear. All of them have currently disappointed over the overall performance of the regime. The MR II regime has currently shown political impotency, financial sterility and administrative incapacity so that it is extremely unlikely to materialize what had been promised by Maithripala Sirisena for the duration of the election campaign. Despite the fact that some prominent citizen oriented civil society practitioners hoped and anticipated that MR II regime would be primarily distinct from the MR I regime, in the context what has been taking place now it is clear that much more affinities than differences exist among the two. This convergence is clearly depicted by the formation of the so-named national government that is in fact a coalition among the UNP and the SLFP.
Secondly, it is required to comprehend the nature of the MR I regime and its technologies and modalities of governance. Let me concentrate only on crucial characteristics. Mahinda Rajapaksa preferred unipolar governance in a seemingly bipolar or multipolar political context. He did not want to crush the opposition, he in fact stated that he stood for a robust opposition. Nonetheless, he utilised both the carrot and stick in order to weaken the opposition by inviting opposition members to the cabinet. He had occasional coffee with the leader of the opposition. The presence of formal bipolarity was not an concern for him. This technologies of governance worked fairly well with neo-liberal financial policies place into practice in a nation in which democratic elections are a function with of great significance.
Three demands that created Maithripala Sirisena candidacy eye-catching to a wide spectrum of peoples are: (1) relief from economic hardships (two) democracy and democratization and (3) good governance. However, it is required to maintain in mind that these three demands had been understood by various segments of society in various way. The way in which democracy and democratization was understood by the Internally displaced individuals in the North differed significantly from the way in which it was understood and interpreted by Colombo civil society. In spite of preparing one hundred days or 180 days calendars, these 3 demand can not be implemented totally inside the neo-liberal financial framework. However, MR II like MR I has no selection. The class configuration of the MR II regime may not be in a position to develop an alternative financial framework. As soon as once more, it has resorted to loans from the private sector as nicely as from the international economic organizations. IMF has already warned that it will not lend cash to this regime till and unless it shows ‘fiscal discipline’.
The formation of the so-known as national government demonstrates how and in what way MR II regime has proposed its governance strategy. MR I weakened the opposition whilst MR II brought in both the government and the opposition below a single rubric of the government, the President and the Prime Minister (Subha and Yasa as I mentioned in my previous report). So it was quite logical to amend the draft bill of 19th Amendment specifically mentioning that the President would appoint each the PM and the Leader of the Opposition. As the Minister Rajith Senaratne informed us that the two parties would contest subsequent election separately but to form when again a ‘united’ government reshuffling the members of the Parliament into government and opposition. Hence MR II is organizing to strengthen the unipolarity that was one of the characteristics of the MR I regime.
Can the so-named national government guarantee democracy, great governance and relief for poor classes? In my opinion, the JVP Parliamentarian, Sunil Hadunneththi was definitely right when he told that this is an try to hide some of the malpractices and corruption of the politicians of the prior government and to prepare the condition for UNPers to engage in the exact same practices. The cabinet technique of government is preferred against the presidential technique of government primarily since the later brings in multipolarity into the method of governance. Democracy also demands independent MPs who do not belong to group politics. These two circumstances have been erased when the Second Republican Constitution of 1978 was enacted. JR had absolute majority in the Parliament while his successors had to maintain the majority in the Parliament by throwing carrots in the kind of minister posts. It began with President R Premadasa. Maithripala Sirisena is adopting a distinct approaches by bringing in each the government and the opposition under him using not only the Constitution but also the Constitution of the SLFP. Hence the national government is a naked try at redesigning neo-liberalist rule.
Soon following the announcement of the so-known as national government, company neighborhood seems to have responded favorably. Ceylon Finance Today reported: “The formation of a national government as reported in the lead story of this newspaper on its yesterday’s (Sunday, 22 March) edition will augur properly for the economy, market place sources told Ceylon FT.
A national government will give the needed political stability to attract that significantly wanted foreign direct investments (FDI) in to the country, the sources mentioned. That will lend stability to the beleaguered rupee, at the moment buffeted by depreciating stress due to a combination of import demand, foreigners exiting from the government securities marketplace and Government of Sri Lanka’s (GoSL’s) foreign debt servicing commitments.”
*The writer is the co-coordinator of the Marx School – e-mail: [email protected]