Petrol and federal versus the government

For over 30 years Sri Lanka faced its worst woes thanks to the war. But now, despite the war being over, Sri Lanka is faced with a complex situation where the government and the stakeholders cannot agree on a durable solution to the ethnic question.

The current government which came into power thanks to the minority, is currently facing a problem of satisfying the masses through coming up with a solution that would make everyone happy.

Unfortunately, one cannot satisfy everyone.

While the Tamil politicians are averse to the term ‘unitary’ the majority are skeptical about the term ‘federal’, which is what the Tamil politicians, the West, and India wants.  Naturally, ‘federal’ has more opposition than ‘unitary’.

The current government is already two years into power. One has to admit that it had pleased the minority through its accommodative approach. But, there have been times when the Tamil political leadership has expressed their frustration over its delays in implementing its own undertakings to the people, and to the international community.

On the other hand, when the government and the entire country was focusing on ‘federal’ and ‘unitary’, and all that is to do with Constitutional reforms, chaos hit the country in the form of petrol.

The situation was so bad that even trishaws which usually never kept to a lane were compelled to stand in a line for hours to pump fuel. One even removed the petrol tank from his motorcycle and stood in the queue.

A solution to the ethnic issue is indeed important. But, it should not divert the government from the burning issues faced by the people. It took seven days for normalcy to return.

Then there are other issues such as SAITM.

There is no point in blaming other organizations, or even the previous government. This government has been in power for over two years and has had enough time to understand the situation.

This country has seen more protests than progress, a sign not so healthy.

Published in the Nation on November 11, 2017

 

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