PRESIDENTIAL DICHOTOMY In his speech to mark the opening of yet another session of parliament on 8 February, President Ranil Wickremesinghe conveniently failed to address the vexed issue of tackling corruption and proceeding to punish those who have either mismanaged the economy or robbed the nation (or both!).
There is a belief in some quarters that this is inevitable since he continues to rely on many of those who have been accused of wrongdoing. If the president wants to pass legislation and implement the painful reforms that are underway without becoming a lame duck head of state, this state of oblivion is inevitable, they say.
Whether or not there are viable solutions to this dilemma, there’s also the spectre of ongoing and unbridled corruption in most places that represent the state, together with the unfathomable greed among our political fraternity whereby those who have made millions if not billions in dirty money seem to want even more!
Given the extreme sacrifices that ordinary people from all walks of life are enduring at this moment in time, let us say again that paying lip service to the cost of corruption would only mean more misery – and more debt – and a return to where we found ourselves at this time last year.
That Sri Lanka is in desperate need of visionary leadership is a given. Who will satisfy this need of the hour is therefore, a matter of conjecture.