A quick solution, the hope of all | Daily News

A quick solution, the hope of all

The assurance given by President Maithripala Sirisena to Government officials that the current political crisis will be resolved within the coming days, no doubt would be received with a huge sigh of relief by the general public. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole country is today going through a surreal dream unable to grasp what really is happening in their midst. Political grandstanding has to take precedence over reason and sound judgement by all actors in this drama resulting in the country’s image being blackened. Hence the sooner the crisis is resolved the better it will be for all, particularly the health of the country.

Addressing Ministry Secretaries, District Secretaries, general secretaries and heads of public bodies on Saturday, the President appealed to them to ensure that the public sector is not crippled and to move forward effectively and efficiently. While asserting that the current political crisis will be resolved, he reiterated that it was the responsibility of government officials to uphold the administration and ensure its undisturbed continuation. While some ministry secretaries apprised the President of the practical difficulties they encountered due to the deepening political crisis, the President advised them to continue in the normal course. Above all he advised them to remain politically neutral. As officials engaged in serving the public it was important that they remain apolitical at all time, President Sirisena told the officials.

It is palpably evident that the effects of the current political imbroglio had seeped not only into the state administration but also enveloped the society at large and is having a deeply negative outcome. The general talk in the offices, in buses and the market place is about what is going to happen next. It is no exaggeration to say that the country is in a state of drift with the people looking aghast at the unfolding developments. The ugly scenes in Parliament over the last few days that were given live television coverage had also shocked the general public and is certain to have brought a bad reputation to the country.

Needless to say, the political unrest that, no doubt, had created a negative image of the country would also deal a body blow to the tourism industry and dent investor confidence. The tumble of the rupees against the dollar is continuing apace and is bound to have direct consequences on the economy. The cumulative effect of all these negatives will soon see this country pushed over a precipice if drastic action is not taken to reverse the trend.

It is in this context that the President’s assurance of a solution to the current political in the coming days has come as a breath of fresh air in an otherwise gloomy scenario. At the time of writing the President had scheduled a meeting with the party leaders represented in parliament in an apparent bid to reach a comprise solution, with some newspapers even speculating that former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too was due to meet the President along with the party leaders. In this respect the UNP has a bounden duty, as a party who had ruled this country, to agree on a comprise to end the stalemate, without sticking to its guns, since being adamant could only prolong the crisis.

The intransigence would also earn for itself the pubic wrath which would give vent to at a future election, since the public mood presently is for the political impasse to be resolved and the country returned to normality.

In this context Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa should be commended for offering to step down from his post if the No-Confidence motion brought against him would be presented in the proper manner, demonstrating that he did not want to cling onto power and was willing to take a step back for the greater good of the country. Speaking at a religious ceremony in Weeraketiya, Tangalle on Saturday the Premier said; if they (the UNP) take the vote in keeping with the Standing Orders of Parliament and show that they have a majority I am willing to step down”.

This indeed is statesman like declaration where PM Rajapaksa, who was twice head of state, is demonstrating his willingness to make a sacrifice for the sake of the country. Even in his address to Parliament on Friday Premier Rajapaksa, amidst the cacophony, made the point that he had been Prime Minister and President before this and that it was no big deal for him to forego his post.

It is not clear yet as to what form the solution to the crisis will take and what the parties will decide at the discussion. Whatever it is, it will be the hope of each and every citizen of this country that the political gridlock would end and the wheels of the state start moving in earnest. Religious leaders too have appealed to all concerned for a break in the current deadlock without further delay. It is hoped that saner counsel prevails and wisdom dawns on all to realize the dire need of getting the country out of the present political quagmire. 


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