Having completed five years and entered the sixth year after bringing an end to the armed conflict that compelled our nation to suffer, dragging our people of all ethnic backgrounds, through incomparable traumatic experiences, we still do not show any positive and convincing trends towards the era we all aspire as a nation with a promising future. We are still nowhere near the ideal solutions. Instead, we have given prominence to aspects which are more ornamental.
Alienation of economics
However much it may be said that the political parties which governed our nation, from the time the so-called independence, we are still looking for scapegoats or explanations to escape from responsibility when it comes to the real achievements. Taking over from a system from a Colonial Rule that maintained a ‘welfare based’ development strategies, the first government carried forwards the same activities, in order not to ‘rock the boat’ rather than assessing the true vital factors of our Nation that should have been addressed more seriously and logically. Naturally it became more or less a ‘Balancing Act’ than truly a ‘Development Process’. Depending on traditional economic practices the required national wealth was anticipated. The growing population increased the scale of complications on one hand while no futuristic approach was undertaken to link the available National Resources towards the unavoidable necessity to create a Resource Base which would be capable of meeting the National Challenge.
This led to the opposing faction to blame the first national ruling party of Sri Lanka for a variety of aspects, starting with the language policy down to principles involved in enterprises. That way the ‘nationalisation’ became a Noble effort initially but deteriorated into centers of inefficiency, nepotism and a kind of a shock absorber to release the pressure from the unemployed. Instead of promoting more and more effectively managed enterprises, it became a story of using such state sector corporations to become problem solving agencies of the ruling governments, both the UNP as well as the Anti-UNP. Is there any difference in that now ?
While UNP blamed those State sector enterprises for being white elephants, anti-UNP governments defended the government sector enterprises. Both rulers failed in understanding the necessity to have more efficiency instilled for the public benefits the solution. Instead of making such enterprises to contribute towards National Productivity, they tried to solve the current problems through ‘stop-gap measures’ and deals.
The global economy has reached a stage where, doctrines are becoming less important in solving problems faced regionally and locally, thus compelling all the nations to become more conscious about the internal necessities. That way, the political policies that have become important have become more related to realities faced. It is not a case for blaming capitalism or socialism anymore. Capitalist economies have embraced socialist principles in enhancing productivity within the very capitalist framework while the Socialist economies have blended their systems to acquire ‘profit orientation’ to become the main motivation. Therefore, now it is a matter of facing the economic realities as the base for political strategies.
Sri Lankan situation
From what has been happening recently, it is obvious that we are in a different planet, and that is why we do not understand the global truths. Regardless where our people are, whether they are in the South or the aggrieved North, the basic economic issues are the same and the deciding factors in our national development efforts. If the political parties which have entered the competition now have clearly examined the needs of our nation and offered their solutions, then it is ideally fitting and such a process would have looked more like a very serious and a highly justifiable competition to convince the voters. But unfortunately, what we witness are signs more of a dog fight to gain credit while discrediting the representatives of the opposing parties than a genuine dedication.
This has resulted in the strategies becoming more personal than professional in their approaches while leaving the key aspects and the most vital needs of the people of this country being left out.
What has become more important is the victory by gaining the majority of the people, but the fact that it has to be a majority of the whole country is yet to be seen. It is not a ‘poker game’ played for pleasure anymore. It is a highly important opportunity the people have got to secure the best. It is not too late to rethink policies and tell the people how the competing parties are going to solve the problems our people have.
We have known individuals who promised to deliver in the past but blundered. We have seen individuals who are not fit to be people’s representatives. The best would be a situation where people reject unfit individuals and vote for policies which answer the needs.