President travels from village to village – dangerous aim?

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has also started visiting villages to identify the problems of the people and provide immediate solutions. He has already gone to Haldummulla in  Badulla district on 25 September  and Wilgamuwa in Matale district olso . This is reminiscent of the beautiful stories of the kings of ancient times who travelled from village to village in disguise to seek the misery of the people. President Gotabhaya, who has vowed to revive the old heritage, should find out exactly what is going on and for what purpose.

The executive president is already enjoying unlimited powers. As president, he has a lot of work to do. Even so, going from village to village to find out the problems of the people may be done with an underlying purpose. President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has a strong state machinery debt, including military personnel, as never before. Apart from the Ministry of Defence, all government institutions that handle the media, identity card department, including all District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, Grama Niladharis, Agrarian Services Officers and the Government Press, are now under the Ministry of Defence of the President. The Secretary to the Ministry of Defence is Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, a close ally of the President. In such a situation, there is no reason why the President should not be able to know the grievances of the people through his representatives from village to village.

If previous presidents go to a village far away from Colombo for any purpose, it is with some of their ministers or the MP of that area. However, the ministers in charge of the subject and the provincial councillors rarely attend Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s visits. What is the reason for this? In general, it is the ruling party MP in the area who benefits from the development of the village Or the Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha. But President Gotabhaya does not seem interested in giving that opportunity to members of his own party. In fact, it is Mahinda Rajapaksa, not Gotabhaya, who has the popular base among the rural masses. Gotabhaya has no organized political power. The political power in the village is controlled by the People’s Front formed by presidentant’s and prime minister’s own brother Basil Rajapaksa. Could it be that Gotabhaya has some doubts about the PA? Every dictator wants to have a power of his own, the lower people or the Lumpen people. So far, Gotabhaya has organized 100,000 less educated youth in a battalion under the   army. They are recruited by government officials, not public representatives. There is nothing that MPs or ministers can do when making appointments to state institutions. It all happens with the intervention of the President’s Office. In addition, he was trying to make the rural people feel that he was the Messiah. Here, in particular, he hopes to enlist their support in securing international agreements to pledge the economic policy he hopes to pursue in the future. His aim is to weaken parliament and the ruling party as much as possible in the event that his age is not as successful as expected.

In this context, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is gradually pushing away the group of nationalist young monks who supported him before the election and is trying to win the support of the elite traditional monks of Asgiri,Malwatta ,ramagngna and Amarapura sects as possible. There is no opposition from the imperialists or the Sri Lankan bourgeoisie to those monks. The direction is clear but it is too early to tell where to stop.

We are waiting.

Let’s get ready for the danger

Niel Wijethilaka