The following were comments received in the BT email poll: On whether 100 days is enough to resolve all these issues: – After making an election promise, it is up to the public to decide or not whether 100 days is enough. – Yes. Unfortunately no action has been taken with regard to corruption apart [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Postponement? No, polls should be held as promised, BT respondents say


The following were comments received in the BT email poll:

On whether 100 days is enough to resolve all these issues:

- After making an election promise, it is up to the public to decide or not whether 100 days is enough.
- Yes. Unfortunately no action has been taken with regard to corruption apart from recording statements. It’s highly unlikely any action will be taken to mete out justice to the real culprits. The sprats will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, conveniently leaving the sharks out. The interim budget did grant relief but did we actually need a price reduction for the likes of sardine? Was the method of raising funds for these concessions really thought out? For example why was the mansion tax threshold changed? What about the hybrid tax increase for those who had already opened LCs and the vehicles were on the high seas? Was the 100-day action plan another election gimmick? If not, 100 days should be enough to fulfill the promises.

Respondent Hasantha Gunaweera says this time period is sufficient as Ranil and Maithri are mature politicians and this is not a youth parliament.

- It’s impossible to undo a decade’s worth of mistakes in 100 days. While the 100-day plan contains some notable aspects, it’s extremely unrealistic in terms of timelines.
- This was not proposed by the voters but by the politicians. Thus it is the responsibility of the government to fulfill the expectations of the voters.
- Respondent Kumar David says one must be reasonable about what can be done in a short time.
- Reforms to clip presidential powers need to enforced as soon as possible and at the same time legal action against corrupt elements in the former regime is essential to prevent them contesting the next poll. Until this is resolved, people are still afraid to speak. In such a situation full freedom is still elusive.

On whether parliamentary elections should be postponed:

- Respondent Hasantha Gunaweera gave an emphatic NO saying he believed this is aimed at buying time for the ‘buddies’ of the former dictator.
- I do not think the SLFP has a right to postpone elections. Holding an election is a must to overcome present uncertainty and ensure stability.
- The Government came in with a mandate to have general elections early. A postponement would raise questions.
- Postponing the elections will only lengthen the ‘comedy’. The people have been laughed at for too long. If they can’t do the job then someone else should take over.

On tackling corruption:

- Respondent R.M.B. Senanayake said this has been Ineffective saying they must call for the explanation of the Secretaries to Ministries on the allegations as they are the Chief Accounting Officers and bound to observe the Financial Regulations. Ministerial orders unless in writing are not an excuse. There must be a law making Ministers liable for any loss or damage caused to the government by their failure to follow the Financial Regulations. Laws are necessary to hold Ministers and the Executive President responsible for financial losses. It should be made retrospective from 2002 at least.
- Respondent Hasantha Gunaweera says there is a need to set up a more effective and efficient legal systems to make the process more effective.
- Ineffective. There’s been a lot of media attention of smaller players being caught while the bigger fish are very much still at large and seemingly kept under wraps.
- There seems to be a willingness (by the authorities) but ineffectively done possibly to save some of their friends on the other side.
- Tackling corruption should be the responsible of a system and process accompanied by laws to prevent corruption and ensure a free and fair judiciary.
- Respondent Kumar David says he believes things are moving too slow but also endorses the argument that prosecutions must be built up methodically.
On speedy decision-making:
- Respondent R.M.B Senanayake says there is a lack of administrative experience with the solitary exception of the PM.
- The process is slow.

On abuse of power being minimised:

- There are some instances where the new President appears to have violated the Constitution.
- Yes it has been minimised for the most part but we need to wait and see.
On the cost of living:
- My grocer says sales have risen because prices have come down
- Not really. The fuel reduction has benefitted a few bus passengers.
- Fuel prices have come down but what about electricity costs?
- The intention was good but the trickle-down effect to the consumer is taking a long time.
- While the price of bread has been reduced, the prices at small restaurants remain the same. The trickle-down effect is slow.

Slow progress on dealing with past corruption is unsatisfactory, RCB respondents say

The following is a synopsis of the comments received in the RCB poll:

n To reduce corruption within 100 days requires a joint effort by the Government and the
n Polls should be held as promised.
n The Government is ineffective. Hence it is better to start new with a fresh election.
n The cost of living has come down to some extent.
n Elections should not be postponed just because targets in the 100 day programme cannot be met.
n If things are done systematically, all these promises can be
accomplished in 100 days.
n First change the laws and then hold elections.
n Although the cost of living has come down it is unsatisfactory.
n The benefit of the cost of living needs to filter to the small man. Only entrepreneurs have so gained.
n Gas and sugar prices have come down but the price of a cup of tea remains the same.
n One must be reasonable: All this is not possible within 100 days. However the main issues like corruption and executive presidential powers need to be addressed before an election.
n Investigations on allegations of bribery and corruption are slow which is raising public concern.
n Allegations of corruption must be dealt by the law otherwise there won’t be good governance.
n Private sector workers have not got the benefits of the budget similar to state sector workers. Furthermore the prices of all the commodities have not come down.
n Parliament must be dissolved (as promised) to weed out corrupt elements.
n A National Government would marginalise the people. Everyone will be on one side and reap the benefits without any opposition.
n The JVP needs to be strengthened as the main opposition in parliament.
n A new political group needs to emerge since there are rumblings of discontent in both pro-government camps.
n The JVP has some practical ideas that need to be considered for good governance.
n Sri Lanka has an overdose of elections. We spend too much on democratic elections.
n Let’s go for an election, the
Government needs a majority.
n The ideas of the new Government must be put to practice without killing time. The Government should listen to the JVP more often as they have good ideas.

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.