Five things Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Government needs to do save its reputation

Thursday, 31 December 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Much was expected from the Sirisena Government. So far, the achievements have been unsatisfactory. The Prime Minister is good at promising the earth and the moon with his high-flying vision for Sri Lanka; nothing more so far. Committee after committee is appointed with limited results. What he does not realise is that people want benefits and visible performance. 

The President is more pragmatic than the PM. He does not go around the country talking about making Sri Lanka a digital economy when 40% of the people have an income of less than a dollar day. The track record of the Government can be summarised; Sri Lankan incomes have reduced by 20% because of the rupee depreciation. The Bond fraud was never properly investigated. SriLankan Airlines is in a mess.

The Finance Ministry and Central Bank borrowed over $1.5 billion at 6.875% when Sri Lanka can borrow at very much less. Corruption or stupidity? The one million jobs the Government promised look like it will never happen with the current Government. The Budget proposals were changed under pressure. The Prime Minister is on overseas holiday according to the newspapers. Until Sirisena came along and gave him a new life, the PM was a lost cause for the public. He owes it to the people to protect Sirisena. Mahinda is slowly making a valiant effort to raise his head again, because no action is forthcoming. 

All in all, 2015 has only been talk only. If the PM and President are to achieve anything worthwhile in 2015 and save their reputations they need to do the much-hyped reshuffle and appoint good ministers for finance (Eran Wickramaratne), export and investment (Harsha de Silva), law and order, education and higher education and tourism development.

Conclude the investigations (Rajapakse accounts in Dubai, murder charges and corruption allegations). Clean up the State enterprises by appointing proper people to head these institutions. Distribute the institutions properly among the ministers. Having 80-plus institutions under one minister is the stupidest thing this Government has done.

Investigate all the allegations against the current lot of ministers, especially the Bond fraud and clear the Governor. Appoint an independent director general for bribery.

Focus on getting three or four big projects off the ground. That can pave the way to create one million jobs.

The honeymoon for the PM and President was over a few months ago, but they appear to be asking for more time to honeymoon!