Opposition's moral liability for the APC

That the President has decided to summon the APC after a long break, is great news. Apparently, even he has got tired of the studied inaction of the Committee appointed by him at the beginning of this year to report on the implementation of the 13th Amendment. This time around, the chances appear to be that all stake-holders would be summoned to the confab.

It is unfortunate that the first meeting had to be fixed for the day of the late Major General Janaka Perera's funeral. Presumably, the President wanted to ensure that his Peace Package did not lag behind his War Package even by a day. In that spirit, the President should keep the Committee in session, actively and productively, negotiating the negotiables, until it reaches a consensus that would provide the optimum satisfaction to the maximum possible number, thus silencing the marginal rabble-rousers.

There have been a few notes of protest to begin with. The General Secretary of the UNP is reported to have asked, why the government needed to call an APC if the war was being won. Hopefully, the question reflects on his own capacity to think rather than on any anxiety of his party to dodge the issue. Now that the President has put his own card on the table in the form of the 13th Amendment, the main opposition party has got a golden opportunity to achieve its much avowed target of bringing about ethnic amity.

The more serious criticism of the Opposition however, is that the Government has made the APC a password to get past the international community in camouflaging the ravages of the war, only to pass it on to a convenient committee, to carry the baby until the next crisis. It is sad that the Opposition does not see its own moral liability for this 'deception'. They have been elected by the people to enter the arena and fight on their behalf, not to run away at the drop of a hat and draw attention to themselves from outside the theatre through cat-calls.

Let us hope that once the APC gets going this time, all political parties would do their best to keep it on course on a plausible time-frame and achieve its objective without further prevarication. It is up to the Opposition to make it clear to the People that even a President could not fool all the people all the time.

Somapala Gunadheera,Via e mail

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