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A letter to the President

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00


Dear President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,

Happy new year to you and FT readers. I thought of writing to you because you seem to be doing the right things. 

I was very sceptical when you got elected given the issues that preceded your election. Now that you have been elected, the past is history. What is important is the present and the future. We can surely pin our hopes on you because you are a seasoned man at 71 years. You are a parent and a grandfather and you have served in the military which gives you the discipline. You have lived in the US. So you are not like a frog in a well. Like most of our politicians.

I am particular impressed that you appointed people with capability to run some of the important institutions. Governor of the Central Bank – a respected professor who calls a spade a spade. We all hope he does not get politicised like some of the people in the past. 

Some of the other appointments have been good – the Governor of the Western Province, the Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Corporation, EDB Chairman, NSB Chairman, SriLankan Airlines Chairman. Of course people with questionable conflicts, a past history poor performance, questionable past of mismanagement of public institutions have also found their way into certain important institutions from financial to others. I am sure those appointments are coming from elsewhere. 

Test some brand new people for a change. Give them a chance. But there is now a lot of hope in you. What you do now before the next Parliamentary Elections in April will decide how you perform at the General Election, because we Sri Lankans have very short memories. Please investigate the forensic bond report. Punish all. As citizens we would like you to be successful, so Mr. President please could I suggest the following:

1. Please don’t waste valuable Government time going after people on flimsy charges and witch-hunting distracting yourself from the main issues. The failure of the last Government was simply that. Nothing was achieved.

2. Manage the cost of living and get exports going.

3. Focus on citizens’ success rather than politicians’ success like in the past.

4. Get politicians to work to an agenda.

5. Avoid appointments to key institutions that leave a very bad taste. 

6. Get the public sector to perform and get them to face the media regularly.

If some of these things happen, your tenure will be very different to the last President and the country will look a very different place in 2025. Yes you can.

Good luck Mr. President!



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