(Lanka-e-News – 21.March.2018, 6.45PM) The no confidence motion against the government aimed at ousting Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime minister (P.M.) of the United National front supported by the government group of president Sirisena together with the Rajapakses’ alliance including Weerawansa and other groups is to be handed over to the speaker in a day or two.
Though various views are being expressed in connection with collection of all the signatures by those who are engineering this ,the factual situation is , just one single charge by a single individual would suffice for the no confidence motion . The requirement of more than 50% of the signatures is unnecessary to hand over a no confidence motion. Such a requirement has to be fulfilled only when an impeachment motion is being brought against a president ,and which has to be adopted with a two third majority when a vote is taken.
A no confidence motion against the government is unlike that . Even a single individual based on a single charge can hand it over to the speaker. The latter can then include it in the agenda book to call for a debate , and at the voting if there is even a single vote for it over the 50% voting in favor , then the motion is successful. Otherwise it is defeated.
In case the no confidence motion is successful , the entire cabinet including the P.M. is defeated , not only a new P.M. , a new government and under a new cabinet another P.M. shall be appointed. Under article 19 of the constitution the government cannot be dissolved until 4 1/ 2 years have elapsed. Hence the collection of signatures by those for the proposed no confidence motion is only to be construed as just a betrayal of their own lack of faith in their own groups.
Be that as it may , what we are trying to reveal by this report is , this no confidence motion is a blessing in disguise to the UNF and the people who voted for it. According to our assessment ,whether the no confidence motion is successful or is defeated , the UNF is a winner.
Reasons for that …
The fact of the matter is , the UNF is now relegated to an unofficial opposition in this consensual government. Yet because it has to carry on as a government , it is not able to articulate its woes to the people.
It must be recalled president Sirisena and the UNF received the same people’s mandate, yet it is by now a well and widely known fact Sirisena dubbed Sillysena is now on the road to perdition after shamelessly and ruthlessly kicking and trampling that mandate. When he should respect it he had instead defecated on it in public thereby incurring the wrath and curse of the people.
Baser instincts and inferior double crossing traits of turncoat Sirisena became manifest about a year ago, yet the UNF leadership did not make a proper evaluation nor took steps to oppose those standing alongside the people. The dire peril to which the UNF is now driven into is the outcome of those lapses. ( When the no confidence motion is at the doorstep vis a vis a weak UNF leadership , let us hold back the discussion until after the motion)
How the government slid to the unofficial opposition position
It is common knowledge by now how during the period of the last elections the UNF led itself into the unofficial opposition status and to the present dire peril . The no confidence motion steered forward along with the support of Rajapakses and with the blessings of Sirisena is most decisive in the circumstances.
It is an incontrovertible fact Sirisena within 48 hours of his becoming the president changed colors so fast he even beat the proverbial chameleon. Instead of discharging his onerous duties as the president in accordance with the solemn election pledges and promises he made , did a most detestable and despicable pole vaulting act casting aside the people’s mandate. That is , most shockingly began stooping to the lowliest levels to rescue the SLFP party which he himself moved heaven and earth to defeat. Finally he courted disaster so much so his popularity has now plummeted to a disgraceful 4 % .
However Sirisena through dubious and devious calculations arrived at a figure of 52 % vote base after adding SLFP’s 4 % , 8 % of UPFA , and Rajapakses 40 % to claim and proclaim he is a winner with a majority. If the resentment of Basil’s of Rajapakse’s group against joining with the double faced double dealer Sirisena was not there , undoubtedly many things would have changed possibly by now. It seems Basil’s personal animosities would not go far due to his power greed , which is the view of those who are well versed in politics .
It is a well known fact after the local body elections , Sirisena the political opportunist began acting counter to the aspirations and hopes of the people who voted for him at the presidential elections.That was why he obstructed the program of the UNF to distribute computer tablets to students and even suspended the economic management committee of P.M. In other words , he drove the UNF to the position of an unofficial opposition based on his 52 % illusionary calculations. If only there was no constitutional bar that the parliament cannot be dissolved for four and half years , by now he would have dissolved parliament , and in keeping with his characteristic unscrupulous and turncoat ways joined with the corrupt criminal Rajapakse brigand and gone for elections in spite of his grandiose loud promises he made during the last presidential elections that he would flush out every crook and crony of the Rajapakses from the nooks and crannies , and mete out exemplary punishment.
Unfortunately for this renegade , that step could not be taken by him because he cannot oust the P.M. using his official powers . Thereafter , he tried every trick in the book including getting a cabinet reshuffle done ridding the UNF members to suit his ends .It is a matter for rude shock , the president even at the time of writing this article had not gazetted the subjects coming under the purview of the ministers which at least he should have done duly.
That is he has not created the official environment for them to perform their duties. Deliberately he had put a spoke in the wheel.
Sirisena who did entrust the law and order ministry to Field Marshal Fonseka in compliance with the UNF request , planned to soil the image of the P.M. before the minorities by foisting that ministry on the P.M. temporarily , and stoking racial violence during that temporary period.
With that sinister objective in view , he incited the racists to attack the Muslim minority .On top of that he went to Japan with Gnanassara the racist rowdy monk who is always behind every racial violence and against whom there are umpteen criminal cases .Even before the racism flames have died down it is this same Sirisena who propelled a no confidence motion . His hope was, following these diabolic maneuvers of his, to tarnish P.M.’s image , and ensure P.M. does not receive the support of Muslim M.P.s and that they would not come to his rescue.
As Mahinda and Basil Rajapakses were not prepared to take over the government temporarily at this juncture , Sirisena the notorious opportunist aligned himself with Gotabaya . The no confidence motion is the product of those manipulations and machinations , which is going to be handed over to the speaker in a day or two. Little wonder , being driven by political opportunism and cutthroat-ism , the no confidence motion is most inapt , out of place and out of time.
Victory for winners !
Why do we say the UNF which has currently slid to the position of an unofficial opposition and with nominal government powers are winners if the no confidence motion is won ?
If the UNF emerges victorious in the no confidence motion , it will receive the blessings which will create an environment for them to form a separate government jointly with the Sirisena group that is with them leaving out the pro Sirisena group . It can also detach itself from the consensual government and with a limited cabinet of 30 members form a separate government while exposing the president , and serving the interests and earnest desires of the people who voted them into power.
During the period of one and half years before the next presidential elections if that cabinet works together as one and at accelerated pace, the people’s mandate of today can be turned in their favor. There is not a trace of doubt villainous president Sirisena will be a stumbling block , but by hitting back his evil power with power , the journey can go on while clearly proving to the people who the loquacious ‘animal’ is .
Primarily , towards that end , the people’s force that is with them should be taken into their confidence. Hostility should be met by hostility , and overpowered because it is by that it can definitely be demonstrated it is a government and not a used raiment.
The no confidence motion is providing the best climate to determine who are the enemies and who are friends .If only the UNF moves in the right direction following the no confidence motion success , it is then and only then the UNF is on the road to victory. On the contrary even after the no confidence success if it is still to continue in the fold of faceless, rudderless and unscrupulous Sirisena safeguarding him , then 2020 will only spell doom to the UNF.
How to win if the UNF faces defeat in the no confidence motion ?
In that event the UNF should come out of its cocoon of silence , and from the unofficial opposition corner it is now driven into , and take the role of the official opposition.
Sirisenas and Rajapakses ought to be allowed to run the government . If the new mandate has wanted that , Sirisenas –Rajapakses cannot say the government cannot be run. Taking over the role of official opposition is infinitely better than be the unofficial opposition and remain as effeminate eunuch while there is one and half years more for the next presidential elections.
If Sirisenas-Rajapakses are to run a government, undoubtedly comparison if any will be with the UNF government of Ranil that is the closest rival. Hence if the Sirisena –Rajapakse government is to function following the characteristic despotic ways of Rajapakses : shielding and safeguarding crooks , committing robberies, acting lawlessly , suppressing the media and ruling the people oppressively , they will during the one and half years earn the wrath and resentment of the people to the point of rejection.
If the leadership issue can be resolved internally , and through proper tact and vitality the opposition’s role can be duly performed , and certainly at the next presidential elections the UNF can march to victory . If Sirisenas and Rajapakses jointly run a government , there are many instances where the TNA , JVP along with UNF took the opposition position . Battling and winning is simple .
The UNF which already has a 31% vote base joined with the 15 % vote base of the minority parties will have a total of 46 % people’s support . The period of one and half years is long enough to organize and build the vote base to 50 % and over , if a president of its own is to be appointed. ( The 5 % vote base of the JVP has not been considered) In all probability contesting the presidential elections while being in the opposition will be far better than contesting while being with the government . What is paramount is picking a sure ‘horse’ accepted by the country and one that can win hands down. Therefore it is our analysis ,losing the no confidence motion is more advantageous than nursing hopes relying on a not too far away future which is uncertain .
Under the circumstances , the UNF if it wins is a winner in the no confidence motion to be handed over in a day or two ,and is still a winner, even if it loses .
By Wimal Dheerasekera
Translated by jeff