Needless to say people are not very happy about the yahapalanaya neither would they like the earlier regime. The main reason why yahapalanaya is no more yahapalanaya is because, the president, in spite of being a sincere, trustworthy, good intending person is struggling between two contradicting roles.
While being the president of all the citizens of Srilanka he is also trying to fulfill his role as the leader of SLFP. Obviously this is going to cause conflicts. While sincerely trying to be true to all his promises he made as a presidential candidate, he is also trying to keep the strings of one political party within his grasp. This is what made him bring in all the unwanted elements into the government, not punishing the culprits of the previous regime and allowing all what he abhorred to continue in his own regime, undoing all the good he could have achieved.
A President, once elected is the president of all the citizens, irrespective of the party affiliation and irrespective of who voted for him. In fact every politician must realize this is the correct attitude they should take. They may have been elected to a particular post/ electorate by some, but they are supposed to serve the whole area to which they are elected. This used to be the case long ago but then the party politics overtook the democracy and the politicians publicly refuse to serve those who did not vote for them – or even may have voted for them, but their cronies tell them otherwise.
A president is even more duty bound to serve all the people, since there is only one president for the whole country. He cannot afford to serve or favor one party or one group of people in contradiction to some others.
Since our present president does not even aspire to come to office again, he must try to be a good president rather than the leader of a particular party. He may want the party he belongs to do well, but he cannot favor it over another party and he can always elect another leader for that party who will be do the job well.
Unless and until our president recognizes what these conflicting roles are doing to him, there can never be yahapalanaya.
He has to choose whether history will remember him as the best president of Srilanka ever, which he is capable of being, or who struggled to keep SLFP alive and failed in both roles.
One head can wear only one hat at a time; if two are worn that will become a tragedy and a comedy.
Let’s hope common sense will prevail.
Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai,
23A, Auburn side, Dehiwela