God won’t change your destiny until you change yourself

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The leaders of the two ruling parties, the United National Party (UNP) and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) for obvious reasons are arguing that the local government elections which are scheduled to be held on March 9 would not bring solutions to the economic issues that the country is currently faced with. 

They are not totally wrong in a way, as these elections would not change the government that is largely responsible for the current mess as well as for the rectification of the situation. At the same time these elections, if held, would definitely be a referendum on the current government and would show the retrospective capability of the people of this country and how much they have realized their problem. It also might send the politicians a strong message which would be a great pressure on them to find solutions to the problems of the people. 

More importantly, this would become a trendsetter for the future national level elections – Presidential as well as Parliamentary. Hence, with their pressure on the government not to postpone the elections, Opposition parties seem to expect a huge victory for their parties while the two ruling parties playing various tactics to postpone the elections indicates their extreme nervousness.  

Of the various arguments by the two ruling parties against conducting LG polls at this juncture, spending nearly Rs. 10 billion for local elections, while the Power Minister is threatening to disrupt power supply during the Advanced Level examinations for want of Rs. 5 billion is in fact a strong contention. However, they themselves seem to negate their argument by appointing more and more ministers. 

However, now the date for the elections has been announced by the Election Commission. Despite the fear among Opposition parties that the government would use the Regulations of Election Expenditure Act that was adopted on last Thursday, to scuttle the elections, the Election Commission’s Chairman Nimal Punchihewa had stated that the conducting of elections would take precedence over implementation of that Act. If they can rely on it, each political party must take this opportunity to explain the real situation of the country to the people and place before them a credible plan that would be comprehensible to them, to come out of the current economic mess, without diverting their attention with covert bribes and mudslinging against the opponents. 

Former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, the father of Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) leader Sajith Premadasa providing weapons to the LTTE or former President Mahinda Rajapaksa giving monetary bribe to the Tigers on the eve of 2005 Presidential election or ridiculously talking about the mole on JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s face would not help anyone. In fact, the past matters in politics, especially when it comes to the contribution of political parties and politicians to large-scale corruption and destruction of the economy. 

This is a very good opportunity for the leaders of political parties that contributed to the current economic catastrophe for the past several decades to show that they have changed. People would be able to realize this now by reading through their lists of candidates. They time and again during elections have promised to adhere to the basic criteria set out by the election monitoring groups such as the March 12 Movement when nominating their candidates. 

The March 12 Movement set out eight basic principles for candidates in 2015 – candidate should not be a criminal and abusing authority, should be free of bribery and corruption, anti-social trades, abusive financial contracts, should be environment friendly, close to their electors while parties should provide adequate opportunities for women and youth. And almost all political parties publicly signed a document pledging support to those criteria and majority of parties failed to adhere to them. In fact, it was after this pledge that the gravest economic crimes were committed. 

Therefore people also have to show that they have changed. The saying that the ‘God would not change your destiny until you change yourself’ has been proven by the history. Hence, the major part of the responsibility lies with the people when it comes to changing their own destiny. If they fail to be well informed by what has happened and what is happening and to take bold and prudent decisions at the forthcoming elections, if held, they have to take the full responsibility for the destruction of the future of their children.

Courtesy Daily Mirror

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Disclaimer: God won’t change your destiny until you change yourself - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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