Tuesday, December 8, 2009

JVP’s devolution dilemma - Island Editorial Dec. 8, 2009

Politics, to cynics, means poly-tricks. For, politicians practise the art of playing tricks on the hoi polloi and bluffing their way through. The two main parties in this country stand accused of pulling the wool over the eyes of electors to capture or retain political power. For them promises are like pie crust––made to be broken. The SLFP and UNP manifestoes are, in our book, like comics; they are there to be enjoyed and discarded. Therefore, when the SLFP and the UNP blame each other for 'broken promises', they behave just like two women of easy virtue engaged in a slanging match near a public tap.

Are other parties any different? The JVP always claims moral high ground and pontificates to others. It coined a very innovative slogan some years ago to cast the two main parties in a bad light and to project itself as a paragon of virtue. It read: unuth ekai, munuth ekai, which meant both the SLFP and the UNP were equally bad. But, the JVP's policies have been as inconsistent as those of the SLFP and the UNP.

On Sunday, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa whether he had agreed to a devolution model that went beyond the 13th Amendment. The JVP said the President had to do so since EPDP leader Douglas Devananda had put forth some conditions for supporting President Rajapaksa's candidature at the next presidential election and one of them was that the government should agree to go beyond the provincial council system in granting devolution to the North and the East. The JVP's right to raise that question cannot be questioned but strangely it has baulked at posing the same query to the Opposition's common candidate Sarath Fonseka, who is blowing hot and cold about the issue of devolution.

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