May democracy prevail in the days to come
Daily Mirror Editorial
Jan 2, 2011

Year 2012 dawned amidst loud and sparkling fireworks, bringing with it many aspirations and expectations like a New Year usually does. There is commonness in the wishes that are exchanged back and forth; there is a hope for happiness and good health. There is also a wish for prosperity- an aspiration that needs to be achieved not only individually but also as a nation.

A New Year is time one makes resolutions to do things right and learn from the past mistakes. Looking back at the departing 2011, as a country, there may be a lot of positives we can take on in the New Year, yet there are many issues that were left unattended; many predicaments that were not remedied and many questions that have been left unanswered.

Going into the third year in the post war Sri Lanka, the government’s priorities should be shifted to sustainable development that directly benefits its people and give them the opportunity to taste the freedoms ensured in the Constitution. The policy-makers, before implementing mega-million development projects that hardly help the general public, need to take stock from the failed poverty alleviation strategies and shift their focus on methods that are more feasible. In fact, the rulers should realize that they ought to treat people with dignity and use public money wisely, for, at the end of the day, it is with them the country’s sovereignty lies. However, if the government’s development goals for 2012 is as genuine as it sounds, the loopholes where people resort to bribery and corruption should be barricaded; be it by a high head in the government or a principal in a rural school, actions of such nature should be publicly condemned and the errant persons should be brought to book.

The state also has the responsibility to provide maximum protection to the ordinary citizenry who cannot afford to travel with an entourage of security personnel as the privileged minority seems to be doing. With the spiraling crime rate, the unarmed ordinary man seems to be more at a risk than those that go in bullet-proof vehicles. Therefore, it is imperative that, instead of wasting public money on useless projects, a mechanism be implemented to recognize and rehabilitate the security personnel who seem to be suffering from post-war frustrations; a fact that has directly contributed to the high number of crimes in the recent past.

While state responsibility is thus been called to do its duty, there are also many obligations that lie in the hands of the people. It should be people’s call to demand justice when injustice prevails and safeguard democracy. It ought to be they who should stand against the dangers that pose the natural eco-systems Sri Lanka has been boasting about. One cannot always depend on the government to look into children’s and elders’ welfare that had long been a part of the country’s tradition.

Peace came at the expense of many lives who belonged to all communities. Hence, without waiting for the political solution that is yet beyond the horizon, it should be people who unite and stand as one, without leaving any space for extremists to fan the flames. After all, one should remember that war against terrorism was to live in peace.

We wish our readers a year devoid of natural disasters, wrong exam results and drastic price hikes in consumer goods!

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka