According to a recent report in the news media, Tissa Attanayake General Secretary of the UNP had made a very unwise and an undignified comment, on the invitation the General Secretary of the SLFP made to the UNP and the other Opposition Parties , to join with the government to carry out together, a programme of development for the country.
Attanayake had said that they would not join the corrupt regime. The regime of the President Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse as people knows has just delivered the country from a thirty year old terrorism . It is only now the government is able to look around to see what progressive moves it has to make to take the country out of the present economic , social and cultural difficulties. The government had not been able to attend some of these important issues due to the priority it had given to remove the heaviest burden of continued terror by the LTTE terrorists..
To speak of this regime, which faced the most barbaric problems than any other regime before, as corrupt, shows Attanake’s political immaturity. This regime is attending to each problem at a time, and having solved it to its entire satisfaction , sets its eyes on yet unsolved problems to take them up in their turn. In that effort it has rightly requested the Opposition Parties led by the UNP to give it a hand.
But if UNP is led by wise men, or at least by men with a modicum of intelligence, they would have agreed to join with the government to help it carry out its development plans. Even the devil has to be given its due. Therefore, the UNP even if it really believes that the regime is corrupt, has to accept that it has so far done well, first in getting rid of terrorism, and secondly in launching many ambitious development projects, which it has either completed , or are being carried out. Sri Lanka does not belong to the President Mahinda Rajapakse alone, therefore the development of Sri Lanka is the work of SLFP, UNP and all other Political Parties and their followers- the people as a whole.
It has to be accepted that since Independence one area that had been neglected for development, by government after government had been the South. It is only now thanks to the President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government that important projects had been initiated to develop the South.
Political corruption is not an unknown element even in the so called developed democracies. Therefore, corruption within a government cannot be the criteria to avoid helping it when it extends its hand for a concerted effort to work together, to develop the country as a whole. If UNP considers that it had not been corrupt when it was in power, this is time to join the Regime they think is corrupt to remove its corruptions, and bring it to the “pure” path of good governance to make them develop the country.
In not joining the Government when it invites the UNP and the Opposition Parties to join it, the UNP and the Opposition are letting down their own people , because every one no matter to what political party , each one of them belongs to , would like to develop Sri Lanka to make it a progressive, prosperous country, where every one could live happily together.
Tissa Attanayake knows very well that the Government is making a genuine and a sincere request for the Opposition Parties to join it to work together for the development of the country. But Tissa Attanayake, in refusing to work together with the government on the ground that it is corrupt, only shows that he is more interested in the political future of UNP and not of the welfare of the country as a whole.
Because, immediately after his refusal to join as he says a corrupt regime, he had said that the Government had started bribing the provincial level politicians to join the government. This is what irks Mr. Attanayake, and sees the political corruption of the Government in trying to lure away the members from his Party.
The solution to stop luring away the members of UNP, to the Government is not calling the Government corrupt, and refusing to work with it to develop the country. But the solution is in winning the confidence of its membership, so that they will refused to be lured away from the UNP. If the members of the UNP are leaving the party to join a corrupt regime, the fault is with the UNP and not with the Regime.
Now let us see whether, the President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Government is really corrupt. There had been verbal accusation of corruption, even of kidnapping and assassination of media personnel, improper use of government funds and material. But none of these accusations have still been proved to the satisfaction of the people. Some Army personnel and Police officers had turned out to be criminals but that could not be used to muddy the good name , the bravery, and heroism of the Army, or the Security Forces.
The Government while it was engaged in the greater task of elimination of terrorism, had also done lot of development projects which the UNP or any one of the Opposition cannot deny. To mention a few that I can think of are:
1. Weheragala Resevoir and the Dam
2. Fresh Water Aqua-culture in the North
3. Agricultural Development Programme in Kurunegala
4. Improvement to Meteorological Observation Net work
5. Production activities of the Elephant Pass Salterns,
6. Paranthan Chemical Factory
7. High-tech Language and IT Centre in Rajagiriya,
8. Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project.
9. Homagama Sports Stadium,
10. Hambantota Port Development Project Assisted by China
11. Moragahakanda Development Project Assisted by Saudi Arabia
12. Kukule Ganga Hydropower Project
13. Sothern Transport Development Project
14. Development of the Galle Harbour
15. Olivil and Kankasenturai Harbour Projects
16. Weerawila Air Port Project
17. Solar Power Street Lighting Projects,
18. High Way Project
19. Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery assisted by Iran
20. Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project
21. Kaju Plantation in the North
22. Coconut Oil Milling Plants in the North.
These are a few of the many more development projects that have either been completed, under construction, or proposed . If the government is corrupt as Mr. Attanake says, would it have been possible for it to carry out so many development projects despite a difficult “war” against terrorists ?
Now it is time for Mr. Attanayake to mature into politics, and see Sri Lanka in its global setting. It is not with self centred political ambition that he should look at our motherland. Sri Lanka needs every one to get together to keep away the foreign marauders from attacking our country with the sole aim of breaking it up and keep Sri Lanka poor and under developed going to the white West begging for aid.
It is time that every patriot who loves the country stop attacking the Government all the time. It is not up to the UNP or the SLFP to change the minds of the people to chose their governments. When the people will understand when a government should be changed they will do it at the correct time when they are called upon to elect their representatives to form a new Government. In the mean time the UNP and SLFP and the rest of the Opposition Parties should get together first to keep away the Western Countries who wants to bring disrepute to Sri Lanka and keep it poor, and secondly to make progressive development plans become successful, and be of benefit to the people of the country.
People cannot be fooled any more they have the intelligence to understand who could be trusted to develop Sri Lanka. Tissa Attanayake, Lakshman Perera Kiriella , and Jayalath Jayawardhana are working into the hands of anti Sri Lanka elements the UK, Norway, France ,American States Department, and the Catholic Church. The people are quite aware of this and each time any one of these people speak against the Government, there are more followers of UNP willing to change camp to join the Government.
The only possibility for UNP to win back its lost prestige and popularity is by first getting rid of Ranil Wickramasinghe and then by work with the Government. It is only in that willingness to work in partnership with the government for the development of Sri Lanka, that UNP can win over the trust of the people for them to accept UNP as a possible alternative to form another government.