Last Friday the Daily FT carried a review of the UNPs performance at the halfway mark. All in all, it has been a total disappointment for those people who voted the Sirisena-UNP combined team to office.
The UNP, having been in the Opposition for over 12 years, is now demonstrating it has lost touch with the realities of the new world. It is clearly trying to start from where it left in 2004. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that people of the past have been reappointed to key post in the new Government.
The world is now a very different place and managing such a set up like we have now requires people who are current and experienced. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has been a total disappointment. He has been totally at sea. He is no match for the Finance Ministers the UNP has produced in the past. The late K.N Choksy PC despite being a lawyer conducted himself so well.
The way the Finance Ministry is run, it won’t be too long before we become the laughing stock of the business community and the lending agencies. So far the current Government has changed the Budget proposals over half a dozen times. Surely Ravi K should know that one must do their homework before they go public. The UNP has never been caught up in such a sorry state of affairs.
People now say the Nivard Cabraal, Dr. Sarath Amunugama and PB team was far more progressive, decisive and current in their thinking than this current team of Ranil, Ravi and Mahendran. Furthermore, Ravi K is no patch on Dr. Amunugama, the savvy and experienced civil servant. Eran Wickramaratne, former CEO of NDB Bank, would have been a good choice as Finance Minister.
On the law and order side led by John Amaratunga, the Government has gone after small fish and left the big guns out of the action. There are serious allegations that the UNP hierarchy is going after soft targets, leaving out the important targets for vested reasons. The EPF, Greek bonds and the purchase of properties by the Central Bank has so far not even got media attention.
With the conflict of interest Mahendran has, as alleged by many brokers, nothing much can be expected of the EPF deals. It would therefore be best for the new President to mix up his Cabinet and appoint a Cabinet consisting of all the parties until the constitutional changes are brought about. At least that way he could apprehend some of the wrongdoers of the previous administration and bring them to justice and his good name will not get tarnished.
If Prime Minister Ranil Wickeramesinghe does not get his act together fast, he has only himself to blame. Surely having been in the Opposition for over 10 years, he would have had sufficient time to put together a game plan to run a government?