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.
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.
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.