With Christmas round the corner it is already time to bid adieu to another year. It’s also time to look back on the “Year of the Yahapalanaya” and to ask ourselves Citizen whether our fondest aspirations were met within this momentous year and if the coming year will presage good fortune or more of the same old, same old (albeit in a new bonbon).

Let’s review what the “Year of the Yahapalanaya” bestowed upon us:COMMON-SENCE-01

• On a positive note the advent of the Yahapalanaya has released the country from the shackles of totalitarianism. To a great extent we can publicly condemn our Representatives and their actions without the fear of abduction, execution or financial ruin hounding us. We can subjectively state our dislike of the Leaders and still rise to see another sunrise and even the sunset!

• Initial steps have been taken to straighten out our judiciary and to institute national independent judicial mechanisms. The appointment of Honourable Justice K. Sripavan as the country’s 44th Chief Justice has been hailed as a positive move. I believe that very few of the Citizenry will ever decry the loss of a predecessor! In addition, the process of conduct of the Mohamed Shiyam murder trial is another positive. However, there are many miles to travel down the road of judicial reform before we can proudly claim an independent judicial system.

•Arrests and investigations into malpractices, frauds, abductions, bribery, corruption, murder etc. are being carried out with more still in the pipelines. This is indeed excellent news. Can we Citizen be “investigated” instead of “apprehended” if we were accused of say… using alms collections from our temple/church/mosque to buy designer shoes? One does begin to wonder doesn’t one Citizen?

In the UK when a minister is accused and “seen” to be guilty of that accusation, they are expected to step-down. Should we not expect the same thing Citizen, when we too claim to follow the Westminster Parliamentary System?

• Do you think Citizen that a Leader will intervene on our behalf to give us “clearance” to travel abroad (let’s say for a quick shopping trip to India!) if our passport has expired? Should we not expect the same “facility” if one of the Representatives whom we sent to “represent” us is provided such a useful service? I believe that I would like to avail myself of this service, wouldn’t you Citizen?

• Well, our Finance Chief came with a bag in his hand last month like Santa Claus to deliver goodies. The Citizen thought there were many Christmas gifts in his bag. He yearned to own at least a second hand car to take his family for the midnight mass. Shattering his dream, the Finance Chief said that only rich buys cars and jacked up prices.

• The Year of Yahapalayana looks good for some in that Chamber at Kotte. They are said to be planning a cross over. The numbers are reported to be over ten. So they will get ten duty free vehicles while the Citizen lost the opportunity of at least purchasing a second hand car to go to midnight mass. That is how fortune smiles on prodigal sons in the Year of Yahapalanaya.Some say these men in Kotte use common sense at the year end  to begin the New Year on a happy note.

As you can see Citizen, if I continue listing the negatives of the “Year of the Yahapalanaya” this column will far exceed my allotted space. It is therefore more prudent to say that the Citizenry will have to adopt a “wait and see” attitude for the coming year and read each week’s column for a dose of Common Sense Politics!