Is it fair to blame Mahinda for govt’s monumental blunders? – G.L.Peiris

Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday asked whether it was fair to blame ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa for all the monumental blunders of the present government.

Prof. Peiris said “Robert Blake blames MR and branded him a “spoiler” with regard to the reconciliation process.

This is entirely unjustified. The reason for lack of progress is the total absence of any strategy, any sense of purpose or commitment.Take, as an example, the constitutional reform process. Government has put forward no proposals at all, not even the basic outline of it. No decision even on the basic elements.

Is the Executive Presidency to be abolished, retained with structural changes, or kept intact?

The Government’s mind is a complete blank. Conflicting views within the government. No common position, no clarity, even at the basic level.

After two years, no progress at all. Is that the fault of MR?

The Government, to pay back political debts incurred during the Presidential Election, has made irresponsible and treacherous commitments in the HRC in Geneva in October 2015, and reaffirmed these in 2017.

Because of the inevitable opposition to these proposals in the country at large, implementation is impossible. Ben Emerson now threatens the govt. with dire consequences.

Bill introduced by PM in Parliament on 7 March 2017 to implement, in Sri Lanka, the provision of the International Convention on Enforced Disappearances. The government singed this in Dec. 2015 and ratified in March 2016. US, UK, Canada and Australia have not even signed. India singed in 2007, but has not ratified it for 10 years. Sri Lanka by contrast, has signed and ratified – all in 4 months.

All this is done without any regard for the national interest. Faced with predictable and entirely legitimate opposition, the government has no option but to change course. The legislation is irresponsibly brought, withdrawn or placed in cold storage.

The government now says it needs more time to study a dangerous Bill, approved by Cabinet, presented to Parliament, and listed for debate. This Bill, obviously prepared overseas and rubber-stamped by the Cabinet, should never have been presented in Parliament.

Does the Cabinet even read legislation before approving?

Is MR to blame?

What we have is the collapse of government altogether – lurching from one position to another, without any consistency.

The consequence is a state of near anarchy.

Is MR to blame?

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