One cannot expect failed rebels to become effective administrators MR

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By 2018-01-22

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa alleges that there is a Yahapalana Government as well as a Yahapalana Opposition in the country.

Issuing a media communiqué under the topic "The role of the Yahapalana Opposition," the former President made this statement yesterday (21).

Hence, the voting public should understand that what we have in this country is an incompetent Yahapalana government and an equally incompetent Yahapalana Opposition - both of which should be rejected by the people, he said.

Excerpts of his statement

After the August 2015 parliamentary election, the UNP Speaker refused to recognize the Joint Opposition which had over 50 MPs as a part of the Opposition, and gave the Opposition leadership to the TNA which had 16 MPs. The JVP which had six MPs was given the position of Chief Opposition Whip.

Hence, we now have a situation in this country where the Joint Opposition which votes against the Budget every year and opposes the Government both inside and outside Parliament, is not considered by the UNP Speaker to be a part of the opposition, while the TNA which always votes with the Government at the budget and cooperates with them both inside and outside Parliament is considered to be the main opposition party. The TNA and the JVP were included in the all-powerful National Executive Council which was formed over and above the Cabinet to run the country immediately after the 2015 presidential election.

When an Anti-Corruption Committee was formed under the leadership of the Prime Minister for the purpose of persecuting and jailing members of the previous Government, the JVP and TNA were once again given prominent roles in this set up. For example, the Urgent Response Unit of this Anti-Corruption Committee was placed under the personal supervision of JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake. In the first days of the Yahapalana Government, JVP cadres took over the functions of the police and raided various government and private premises searching for evidence of wrongdoing by the previous government.

When this Operation was formalized in the form of the FCID, the leaders of the JVP and TNA continued to function in the Anti-Corruption Committee which controlled the new police unit. While masquerading as opposition political parties, the JVP and the TNA have supported every anti-democratic action taken by this government in the past three years.

In August 2017, they helped the government pass a new Local Government elections law in contravention of the Constitution and the standing orders of parliament. A whole new elections system was introduced as committee stage amendments to a Bill that had been introduced in Parliament to correct some technical errors in the then local government elections law. For the first time in parliamentary history, the Bill that was passed at the third reading in Parliament was not the Bill that was debated at the second reading.

JVP's failed rebellions

In their failed bids to seize power in 1971 and 1987-89 through armed rebellion, the JVP banned elections and murdered voters who went to the polling booth. They killed hundreds of minor-Government officials such as grama sevakas to disrupt the functioning of the government. They killed hundreds of transport workers in an effort to disrupt the transport system. They killed policemen in a bid to bring law enforcement to a halt. They attacked army camps in the South to collect weapons for their campaign of terror when the entire Army had been mobilized for the Vadamarachchi operation to dislodge the LTTE from the Jaffna peninsula in 1987. They killed members of the Armed Forces and Police in their bid to capture power and even went beyond the LTTE by murdering family members of armed forces personnel as well. During the JVP's second insurrection in 1987-89, its main leaders were not hiding in the jungles like most leaders of guerrilla movements but living a comfortable life disguised as a prosperous planters and businessmen with the money and gold looted from banks and money extorted from businesses. Yet today, JVP parliamentarians stand before the people as the most incorrupt, innocent politicians ever to be born in this country. The TNA for its part supported the terrorism of the LTTE until the latter was destroyed by my government.

Organisations like the TNA and the JVP may excel at talking but are failures in administration. In 2004-2005 the JVP held four powerful portfolios in the Chandrika Kumaratunga Government one of which was the Agriculture, Land, Irrigation and Livestock ministry run by Anura Kumara Dissanayake with Bimal Ratnayake as his deputy. It was Minister Dissanayake who presented to the Cabinet paper No: 05/0036/039/002 dated 4 January 2005 to initiate the Uma Oya project. My government later implemented this project which had been under discussion by various governments for more than fifty years.

At the end of December 2014 just days before my Government was voted out of power, water began seeping into a tunnel being constructed as part of the Uma Oya Project. The incompetent Government that assumed power after me, failed to take remedial steps in time and the water seepage increased and caused a depletion of ground water in the entire area resulting in damage to buildings and crops. When problems arose in the Uma Oya Project the JVP dived under their beds and while concealing from the public their own role in initiating the Uma Oya Project, they tried to lay the blame for everything on my government saying that all these problems had been caused by my attempt to divert up-country water resources to the south. If the JVP is unable to stand by and defend or even acknowledge the role they played in the only large scale development project ever initiated by a JVP minister, and they dive under their beds at the slightest sign of trouble, how are they to carry out any kind of development work? The Uma Oya contractors have now brought down the necessary equipment and the water seepage has been contained. In implementing development projects, problems do emerge and they have to be solved - that is what administrators are supposed to do. The JVP does not have what it takes to deliver results. This is why over 70,000 young people lost their lives in the JVP's armed insurgency misadventures. One cannot expect failed rebels to become effective administrators.

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