Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Cultural Affairs and Wayamba Development Palitha Thewarapperuma said he is only working for the welfare of the people of this country but he is fed up with politics. He said the post of Deputy Minister should be given to the Minister’s wife and the people cannot be served in this manner. However, he said he will serve the people one way or the other despite the pressures he faces. Thewarapperuma spoke further on the current state of politics in the country in an interview with The Sunday Leader.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q. You have expressed many views about the Good Governance regime. Why have you been so critical?
A. Our politicians use various slogans to come into power. Mahinda Rajapaksa used the slogan that he would make Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia. Well, we need to exaggerate on the wonders he did during his term. They aroused racial and religious tension.
Then the Good governance regime came to power to correct the wrongs done by the previous regime. Some stayed within the governing party, others stepped back paving the way for some others to come in to set up the consensus government. However, today the people at the grass root level are very disappointed with the government. It is the very people who destroyed the good governance that are still in ministerial and other prominent positions.
Good governance is a good concept, but it must be led by a proper leader who understands it well. There should be a proper mechanism to work towards the betterment or best interest of the people of this country instead of trying to satisfy their supporters or friends and relatives or even using their positions to fulfill their own needs. The people’s minds should be put to rest creating trust in the good governance. Similarly, those working against the main policies of good governance should be severely punished. This is the only way that real good governance can be achieved.
Q. Minister Dilan says you should be given the broomstick whack not the highways deputy minister post. What is your response?
A. These persons trod on good governance even then and they are still engaging in low grade politics. Wrong doers should be severely punished. It is the government officials who take the most amount of bribes. Nothing happens in these state departments without bribes. The whole country is plagued by these drug dealers and Casino operators. Where can you find good governance? It is heart wrenching to see the suffering endured by the people in the villages. What is being implemented is all unnecessary stuff while what really needs to be done is being ignored.
Q. But no matter how much we talk about these, nothing will be done?
A. That is what I say in order to achieve that, we need to have people who are compassionate and kind hearted. If not the world should end and begin all over again.
Q. Are you implying that the current leaders are not strong enough or do you think new leaders need to come up?
A. The current leaders have the desire and the President and Prime Minister wants to do things but the others from the other side are pulling them by the leg. Even for the slightest thing they instigate the people to get on the streets. From doctors to the farmers they are bringing them onto the streets to protest and derail all efforts taken without giving the two leaders time to implement their strategies.
Q. So is there any purpose in continuing to be together for the next three years as well if this is the case?
A. When you look at people like Dilan I don’t know what to say. We cannot reach for our goals with people like that.
Q. Under these circumstances isn’t it a red light for the government at the next election?
A. As for me, I have no intention of pursuing politics in the future. That is the red light. I can’t bear to see the people’s struggles. Like many, if I were to hand over the phone to the security or switch my phone off and ignore the people’s problems, then I too can continue in politics. But that is not my style of politics. I always believe that I was elected by the people to serve the people and that is my only desire.
Q. Does that mean you will leave politics?
A. I feel that there is no point. It is the media that runs the country and manipulates politics. Moreover, there is no unity among even the politicians or officials. Under these circumstances you cannot engage in politics in this country.
Q. With people like you leaving politics, only the useless ones will remain in politics. Don’t you think this will only take the country further down the gutter?
A. This is like when the dog had gone to Colombo and back and he was asked how his trip was, he said it was his own kind that had bitten him. The reason for our failure was the lack of unity among us and we are all not having the same goals and intentions. All are selfish and their only intention is their own progress and making money for themselves.
Q. Now what is the situation with regards to your disaster relief work?
A. At the state level there is a consensus happening, but these are processes that drag on. Politics now is all about catering to their own needs. There is no collective plan. There are no people like us who have feeling and caring about the country, our religion and our people. No matter how much we work for the people, there are times that we feel left out. The people’s problems cannot be resolved by giving them gas and goods. Politicians cannot escape from their responsibility to the people.
Q. How do you see the SAITM issue?
A. Numerous left wing parties and getting these children out onto the streets. They target the poor man collectively. The doctors, police and magistrates are the ones who put the people in trouble. This country cannot be rectified.
Q. Regarding Gnanasara Thera and the various allegations of extremism, how do you see this situation?
A. Extremism is definitely a crime that needs to be punished. But there is no point in even talking about it as nothing will happen and the authorities will do nothing.
Q. If you think nothing is going to happen, don’t you feel that the Cabinet reshuffle and changing of ministries etc is also another futile exercise?
A. By safeguarding the parties that brought crowds to the May Day Rally, they are all helping their friends. These politicians are not interested in appointing those who truly love the country and the environment. This is all a part of the dirty politics.
Q. Are you disappointed that you have not been given a proper position within the party?
A. We need not go asking for positions. I protect the general public. That way everyone is protected. As a public representative I don’t need praise or positions. I will do the right thing for the country one way or the other. The Deputy Ministerial post should be given to the Cabinet Minister’s wife.
Q. In this current trend, do you thinks politics in this country will ever change?
A. If there was a party that would suit my policies, then I would certainly join them. But unfortunately, there is no party in this country that would suit my policies. There are only those who create parties simply to fulfill their needs.
Sources : thesundayleader
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