The Sunday Leader

“If Anybody Wants To Resign Nobody Is Going To Stop Them”

- Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva

By Waruni Karunarathne

Some ministers of the government have been criticizing the government and threatening continuously to leave the government over differences of opinion and on the grounds that the government has not been able to keep its promises. Yet the government seems more confident of its stability and certain that its allies will not disintegrate as all those ministers will be concerned about their political survival. The Sunday Leader spoke with Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva about this issue.
Following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Several government ministers have been criticizing the government and even threatening to resign from the government. Is this a sign of instability in the government? How do you see this?
A: If there is anybody criticizing the government or threatening to leave, they have the right to do so. It is there own decision. We cannot keep people tied up like animals. If anybody wants to resign nobody is going to stop them.

Resignation is a unilateral act. If they want to exercise that it is their right. But I do not think any ministers will resign from the government now, because there is no reason to resign. Any person who thinks practically will not take that foolish step. The government is stable enough.

Q: There are others ministers who criticize those who criticize the government from within. For people outside, it looks like there is a rift in the government. Is it good for the state? 
A: Why do you have to talk only about the government? For example take the United National Party (UNP). They are criticizing each other. Some people act like enemies within the same party. Some ministers in the government also have their own interpretation of things which are happening but that does not mean that there is a big difference of opinion. It does not indicate that they will leave the government. In any political system anywhere in the world, people would not have the same wavelength always. Sometimes they differ but they agree on decisions of the majority.

Ultimately, they will stay with the government and protect the government when it comes to crucial issues. When it comes to the government there is a cabinet responsibility; when a decision is taken, ministers must fall in line with that decision, but there are certain instances where they violate that rule. Based on that, you cannot say that the government is going to fall apart. It all depends on the political culture of the people and discipline. Some people do not leave the party or criticize the government under any circumstances – they are the most disciplined people. But just because some criticize the government, it does not mean the government is going to fall apart.

Q: There is a concern among the UPFA members that the government has not kept its promises. How do you respond to that?
A: No, I do not think so. We know the amount of development and work that we have done for the people of this country. Peace was restored and thereafter in every sector we have done very well. There may have been certain lapses. There is no government in this world which has fulfilled all the promises within a period of five or six years. Being a minister who has been working for the people of this country, I must say that the people are very happy with our performance.

Q: Is the government confident of facing the next election with its current allies or would it look for a change of allies? 
A: The SLFP alone has 121 seats. Who needs allies? But all those allies who are with the government will stay with the government. They know that for their survival this alliance is necessary. If we disintegrate, people will teach those who leave the government a lesson. We already have all the allies we need. There is a part of the UNP and the JVP with us. We have the broadest alliance possible.

Q: Do you think there is a need for the government to deviate from the Mahinda Chinthana policy framework in order to address the current ground realities?
A: There is no necessity to deviate from the Mahinda Chinthana policy. We have to protect and safeguard the Mahinda Chinthana policy and move forward with that. It is the most practical policy for the country. We have Mahinda Chinthama Idiri Dekma, which is the refined policy which was introduced later and it is sufficient for the country.

2 Comments for ““If Anybody Wants To Resign Nobody Is Going To Stop Them””

  1. AJ Sydney

    you old man should go home

  2. Nobody in the government will resign from their post. President can shout at them and they have no back bone to resign. They all know our President is going to rule our country for next 20 years and they all want power. If anybody say they are going to resign from government they are lying to us.

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