Affairs of State
Last week we urged in this space that the Prime Minister meets the President to discuss issues that she may want raised at the UN, so that Sri Lanka speaks en-voce before the world assembly.

But close on the heels of that we learn of the reality, which is that when the PM obtains an appointment to meet the President and seeks to meet her, the President becomes "indisposed" and is unable to meet him to discuss matters of State.

She then reiterates her indisposition the same day when the Norwegian peace delegation is in town. But the same day she finds herself quite disposed to be present at the ceremony to issue a postage stamp in commemoration of ex-Minister Ashraff.

This is a clear case of the President flagrantly giving her political agenda priority over the agenda of State. Our news pages also have the story of her refusing to meet the Pakistan Joint Chiefs-of-Staff saying she was "indisposed" when on the same day she addressed party supporters for over an hour. Again, a case of indisposition for affairs of State, and a disposition for affairs political.

The defence of her official spokesman is worse than the offfence. He says that the President could not disappoint hundreds of party supporters who had come from all over the country. Here was a very senior military officer who had come from another country.

Pakistan has been a steadfast friend of Sri Lanka through 20 years of continued strife in this country. President Musharaff and his predecessors have all supported this country in the darkest hours, particularly during the LTTE's April-May 2000 campaign when it captured Elephant Pass and was poised at the gates of Jaffna.

This was when President Chandrika Kumaratunga was for all intents and purposes running the country. Her conduct is not what ordinary Sri Lankans would want from their Head of State, who insists she is also the Head of Government because our Constitution says so.

There is nothing achieved in blaming the Government for the security situation in and around Trincomalee, which no doubt is somewhat in jeopardy, and then proceeding to abandon one’s role as Commander-in-Chief and Head of State with such flimsy excuses.


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