News 1st Editorial: The emergence of a people’s force

News 1st Editorial: The emergence of a people’s force

By Lahiru Fernando

Dec 11, 2016 | 8:32 pm

8th January 2015- The people of Sri Lanka were given a reason to be hopeful. But what fate has befallen this hope?

On this week’s editorial, our focus is on hope and despair, and the reasons for the emergence of a people’s force.

HOPE.

When there is no objective in life, people live life, only because they need to survive.

In simple terms, life is a fluid concept. When traveling and conversing with people it is common to see that they are trying to survive by making sure that they at least receive their daily meals.

Many farmers are stepping away from farming or they only cultivate for survival.

Office employees report to work only because they need to, and not because they want to.

Businessmen lament the uncertainty of what the future holds.

A sense of hopelessness and emptiness seems to have permeated the souls of people across the nation.

The flowers planted on either side of the road for beautification have wilted away and the pots are dilapidated. There is no mechanism to even clear these damaged flower pots or the debris.

When such scenes greet the eye, sorrow and discontent fills the heart. It certainly does not instill hope in the people nor does it inspire confidence in the current system of governance.

It would seem that no one is interested in such matters anymore.

The blooming plants placed in these flower pots have withered due to the lack of care, or one could also extrapolate from these scenes that the plants have withered due to a loss of purpose.

Bent and broken lamp posts are becoming an increasingly common sight across the cities and towns of our country. Light bulbs hanging from the wires that connect them, pose a serious threat to pedestrians on the pavements below.

What has happened to the maintenance of the infrastructure of our towns and cities?

In addition to the general public, officials and activists too are facing a dilemma regarding governance in the country.

All vestiges of hope and expectation are fading and it seems evident that this sense of hopelessness and despair has been caused by the rulers, who themselves have brought about this situation.

While the ruling class strikes deals with thieves and the corrupt, for the public, all that remains is the empty promise that was made to end the culture of impunity.

Public property is being stolen everyday and it does not seem that this trend will stop.

The thieves, the murderers, the racketeers, and the corrupt do not spend their jail time behind bars, they spend it at the prison hospital.

The reasons why they are admitted to the prison hospital are farcical, ranging from an incorrect body mass index ration to – as MP Hirunika Premachandra mentioned in parliament – testicular pains.

Sometimes it is because they have high blood pressure or diabetes.

When they committed the crime for which they were convicted, did they have the correct body mass index ratio?

Did they have testicular pains?

Did they have diabetes or high blood pressure?

The general public knows better.

Those who were accused in the past of being thieves, rapists and extortionists are now being called-in for friendly gatherings. 

When the friends thieve and extort- they go unpunished and unharmed.

People who were accused of having two birth certificates and two passports can still show-off their power to the general public.

The mere existence of the law is not enough.

It must be enforced, in full view of the people, if they are to have any faith in the rule of law.

Immediate steps must be taken to bring a halt to the culture of impunity and drive away the sense of despair, the hopelessness and the uncertainty from the people.

If this is not achieved, a new program, a new mechanism, a new force will soon emerge from among the people.

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