• The UNF government’s internal battles comes at a price, it is costing an entire nation

    Sri Lanka is indeed a nation of surprises. And today, sadly, I say this not in a positive manner but instead with sarcasm after reading the recent several clashes which have erupted within the UNF government since they were re-elected to power last month.

    When Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa was appointed Prime Minister in October, the UNF remained hell bent in clinging on to power at whatever cost. Despite President Maithripala Sirisena, requesting my father for help to pull the country out of turmoil which we are currently plunged in, the UNF government headed by Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe did everything thuggish possible to remain in power. The very group which held endless demonstrations in Colombo, demanding for ‘democracy’ and those who pledged to work for the nation all over again, have today forgotten their very words.

    They have gone back to what they are most famous at – giving false pledges to woo the public but when in power work only for their own gain.

    Today, we have entered a new year and the political situation within the government cannot get worse. According to recent statements made to the media by the so called ministers, deputy ministers, non cabinet members etc, it is evident that the UNF have become nothing but a mere joke once again. And that too at the cost of an entire nation.

    It is with great disappointment that we have read the statements made in the media recently, starting with Ministers Champika Ranawaka and Sajith Premadasa who have both tried to reason out as to who has constructed the most number of houses. While both leaders claim their numbers are higher than the other, both leaders are forgetting that their aim should not be fame, but instead it should be the development of the people. When visiting several areas around the country, Sri Lankan citizens have a different story to tell and that is not who the winner of the number game should be, instead their story is one of pain and suffering. It is suffering from lack of jobs, a rising cost of living, undeveloped areas, no clean water, no electricity, no livelihood, un-maintained roads etc. Both Minister Ranawaka and Minister Premadasa had four years to serve the nation, but their failures are so great that they seem to gain satisfaction only through petty arguments. They seem to have nothing to talk about the future.

    It is also surprising to note that, Minister Premadasa had been issuing loans on interest for people to construct houses. But it is astonishing to note that his ministry spent an approximate Rs.300 million in 2018 towards the promotional campaign of his housing scheme project. If only this money had also been spent on the masses. It would surely have made a difference in the lives of our low income citizens.

    We have also seen a verbal battle erupt between Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka and Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma. While one claims the other wakes up at 11 am, the other claims work is done only for publicity. Then there are also the senior and junior UNF members who are pressurizing the President for portfolios. They seem to think that work can be done for the nation only by gaining a portfolio. This my dear friends is the true governance pledged by the UNF government.

    Now let me tell you of the strong work and vision done by my father when he was in government. First of all he, along with our valiant tri forces ended the civil war against the LTTE terrorists. After the war ended, Sri Lanka welcomed peace and prosperity and Hon. Rajapaksa and his government worked immediately to attract foreign investments. Today, we are seeing the construction of the Colombo Port City, the Hambantota Port, the dams which will provide water to needed areas, the new star class hotels, highways etc, which have all benefited each and every citizen. In addition our north also received a much needed boost with the construction of clear roads which now makes travel easy.

    In addition, the masses received jobs, the cost of living was controlled, roads were well maintained etc. My father also raised the per capita income from 2000 US dollars to 4000 US dollars, the first such surge since Sri Lanka’s Independence.

    However since the UNF government’s victory in 2015, their members only managed to live each day by discrediting the work of Hon. Rajapaksa. Showing their resentment towards his work, they even went as far as to change the names of the projects which were initiated by Hon. Rajapaksa. For eg, Colombo Port City was renamed as the Colombo International Financial Center. However it was only the names that were changed. All projects are continuing to date and these projects have earned Colombo a tag line as South Asia’s fastest growing city.

    The UNF government seem to be satisfied only by living in the past and wanting power. When they were re elected last month, they promised a stronger Sri Lanka, forgetting the fact that they had four years to achieve that. While within a month they seem to have forgotten their pledges once again, Hon. Rajapaksa has only continued his work for the people. His doors for the Sri Lankan citizen were never closed. He never needed a position to work for his people.

    Sri Lanka expects a futuristic government, but unfortunately with the UNF government we see no hope.

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