F ormer Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was recently joined by several parliamentarians to protest the fuel shortage in Sri Lanka. Current President Maithripala Sirisena faces criticism for deflective claims putting the onus on people rather than being solution-oriented and determining a way forward.
The latter behaviour by Sirisena parallels that of our own leadership – or those who call themselves ‘leaders’ but do nothing more than point fingers here and there crying, “it wasn’t me” and “he did it.” Rajapaksa, however, demonstrated positive character which we certainly do not find in Pakistan by politicians. Specifically, one would never find a wealthy politician riding around on a bicycle to protest any point. The politician would instead probably send his or her goons to riot in the streets so indeed; things are done very differently here when it comes to protesting a matter.
Smog forces locals onto the streets
Sri Lanka’s fuel shortage has tested its people’s patience for several days now with restrictions on distribution. Pakistanis are familiar with such grievances as they have experienced them many times. Livelihoods become affected owing to employees being unable to reach work and facing pay cuts as a result, not to mention resultant job insecurity for poor attendance.
Green energy has a long way to go before being adopted on this side of the world. Until then, fuel is a necessity. The Sri Lankan government is culpable for allowing the sudden shortage to occur. The suspension of an oil tanker carrying substandard fuel is curious and demands that a better supply and demand record be kept so that there are fuel reserves to use in the case of shipment delays.
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The former president’s bicycle protest sets an example for our rulers to follow. Rather than presenting melodramatic, unintelligible speeches on television equivocating their accomplishments and complaining, they should be listening to the complaints by the people and working to fix them.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2017.
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