Split in Govt inevitable at one point - Wimal - GOSSIP9.WORLD

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Split in Govt inevitable at one point - Wimal

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QHow do you view the political trend after the recent outburst by President Maithripala Sirisena?
For a long period, we, along with other groups and organizers, pointed out that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) has been a body set up in contravention of the law of the country. We said for a long time that the Bribery Commission is used deliberately for the witch-hunt of political opponents. After much time, the President, the Head of State, has come to realize the veracity of what we said.



Be that as it may, there is a fault that lies in this instance. The President, as the Head of State, should be in a position to correct any shortcoming in governance as and when he notices it, instead of lamenting. If President Sirisena feels that these two bodies are steered with narrow political interests, he should step in to correct them. Rather than addressing the matter at hand, his mere lamenting would not serve the intended purpose. All in all, we said right throughout that the governance is in the hands of the Prime Minister, not in the hands of the President. It is proven along with the President’s outburst. The President is indirectly referring to the Prime Minister with an accusing finger. Today, these bodies, driven according to a political agenda, might have turned up even against those with the President. That might have prompted him to lash out in this manner.


However, the President responded in a similar manner when the VAT Bill was introduced. He vowed to thwart any measure that would burden the general public. But, the VAT Bill has been evolved with provisions for unprecedented burden on people. As a result, we can go by what he does, not by what he says.



In the real sense of words, this is a mass web of confusion (Andee Hath Denage Kenda Heliya Wage). The President has one taste of things and the Prime Minister another. The Ministers are cocooned in their own. It is a politically volatile situation. It can explode politically at any moment even over a minor issue. The government is fragile in the aftermath of this outburst.



Q How will it impact the stability of the government?
Prior to the Presidential Election, we said governance would be caught in a mass web of confusion in the event of President Sirisena’s victory. It has become a reality today. In the real sense of words, this is a mass web of confusion (Andee Hath Denage Kenda Heliya Wage). The President has one taste of things and the Prime Minister another. The Ministers are cocooned in their own. It is a politically volatile situation. It can explode politically at any moment even over a minor issue. The government is fragile in the aftermath of this outburst.


Some assumed that there would be a flood of foreign investments once a government led by the United National Party (UNP) was installed. They thought businesses would flourish. Instead, investors withdrew a colossal amount of money invested here and left the country. The rupee value dropped drastically. The economy has been on a downward spiral in terms of all indicators. It shows the government has no solution to the issues confronting the country. There is only squabbling within the government, and the situation has taken a turn for the worse as was obvious in the latest incident.



It is not the JO forming the new party. Such a party is to be formed by the SLFP. Once it is formed, it would team up with the other parties in the JO to forge a new political alliance. We would face the next election under that alliance. I cannot make statements. But I know it is progressing well.



QThere is a perception that the President threw this political bombshell as a ploy to cover up the Night club incident allegedly involving his son. What do you feel?
If someone comes to that conclusion, one cannot find fault with it. Actually, there was no proper space generated for any debate in the public domain on the incident. The media crew were blocked from capturing the scenes of the incident. The injured person was barred from voicing to the media. People were barred the access to reach truthful information. So one might think these remarks were made for the distraction of public attention from the incident.


I do not think that way, because the public outburst opened the door for a novel crisis to emerge. The night club incident could be covered. But, the door is open for other crises. For the whole world, it has become apparent that the President and the Prime Minister are in conflict with each other. If it were done to cover up the night club incident, it would be even foolhardy.



QIn your opinion, how will it end up?
The latter part of this year and the early part of the next year will be decisive periods. We should not air out certain interpretations right now. An internal explosion of the government could be visible within the next few months.


President Sirisena, though unwillingly or not, might be forced to take certain decisions due to his politically helpless situation. The background for a change of government is in the making through parliamentary process.



Q How certain are you about it?
Today, we find quite a number of UNP MPs distraught with the present government. Likewise, the SLFP MPs hold similar views in the government. They wait for the opportune moment. We never know when that moment arises.



QHow does the Joint Opposition, which you represent brace for it?
We can manage the whole scenario in the best interests of the country. We act in this regard even now. While engaging the general public against the government, we work on managing internal fissures for our end at one point.



Q How do you manage the situation?
If I cite examples here, I may have to disclose some names. It took a long time for internal fissures of the last government to emerge. Yet, we already see cracks within the current ruling structure. The arrogant attitude of the Prime Minister is a reason for the internal split. In the public domain, people do not have a positive attitude towards the government. People see more and more negative outlook of the government. Normally, a government gets both positive and negative responses. This government receives only negative responses. As a result of this, the Government politicians are left in a precarious situation. They know how the government has been demeaned in the public eye. Numerous government MPs are in touch with our MPs. They exchange views with each other. They would act decisively at one point.



Q Do you believe this would pave the way for the President and his erstwhile colleague, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to patch up differences and unite politically?
We cannot rule out such a possibility totally. Also, we cannot accept the possibility. In politics, there are no permanent friends or foes. Individuals have to take decisions in politics as warranted by the circumstances. As such, this eventuality could also arise. I do not mean by saying this that the President acts with such an approach in mind at the moment. In politics, individuals are again compelled to take decisions even unwillingly. We do not rule out such a possibility. However, we do not undertake our political path targeting it.



QOn previous occasions, you said there were international forces at work behind this government. How do you expect them to remain silent leaving room for any split in the government?
Even now, foreign intelligence services are at work. Yet, the intelligence services cannot manipulate and determine everything in this country beyond a certain point. There are possible and impossible factors. They are unable to offer solutions to fissures within the government. It is the responsibility of the government leaders to iron them out. Yet, the government leaders are obliged to do what they committed to the international segments and the Tamil Diaspora. For example, a Constitution-making process has been undertaken. That is to please the sections of the international community and the Diaspora. When steps are taken in their favour, there are others in the country displeased with the process. If any war crimes tribunal is set up, the government will face displeasure even from within.
The government has to appease those forces that helped in its installation on January 8, 2015 while facing displeasure from some of its own members. It would result in the widening of present cracks. Therefore, a split is inevitable at one point.



Q How is the process of forming a new party?
It is not the JO forming the new party. Such a party is to be formed by the SLFP. Once it is formed, it would team up with the other parties in the JO to forge a new political alliance. We would face the next election under that alliance. I cannot make statements. But I know it is progressing well.



QWhat is the role of the NFF, which you represent in this case?
Since our days in the JVP, we took the position that our motherland should be resurrected from the imperialist agenda which tried to direct its course. We took to the streets against the Ceasefire Agreement on that stand. We worked for the defeat of the UNP regime because of that. Also on that basis, we worked to ensure victory for then President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005. The JVP has abdicated its responsibility in this regard. But, we pursue our policies in the greater interests of the country from a different front.


It is our fervent hope as the National Freedom Front to direct the policies of the proposed new front according to a nationalist agenda. The current government acts according to the interests of alien forces. That is the reason for them to replace the Prevention of Terrorism Act. It is not in the national interests. It is in the interests of Diaspora groups.



Q Such policies alienated the minorities from the previous rule. It caused the defeat of that rule to a certain extent. What is the plan to win them back?
We cannot deceive Tamil and Muslim people merely for gaining votes. For the sake of securing votes, we cannot give into extremists’ demands either. If we accept such demands for electoral gains, we would have to implement them upon return to power. Then, the country will be in jeopardy. We cannot become part of such a national crime. If the ETCA is signed, Sri Lanka would end up being an Indian colony virtually. Moderate Tamils and Muslims are realizing this. If jobs are lost due to ETCA, it would affect not only Sinhala employees but also employees from other communities. Indian fishermen loot the northern seas. It is not something favourable to northern fishermen.

Encroachment of Sri Lanka’s territorial waters happens on a large scale today. Northern farmers do not get fertilizer subsidy. When the economy collapses, the businesses of Muslims also get affected. One day, the circumstances would prevail upon the minority communities to embrace nationalist politics.

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