One main surprising difference is how both his admirers and even some of the distractors, largely the youths irrespective of petty ethnic, religious and class differences got together without any directions from the top started making the cities and the villages beautiful on their own initiative. I am not sure if such a reaction happened even once we gained the Independence some seventy years ago. The youths seem to have some “hopes” for the first time in Sri Lankan politics I guess. Hope Mr. President won’t ignore this commendable gesture by the youth and act against their fresh hopes down the line. (The youths also should not get carried away by overstepping their limits by painting the walls by erasing road signs.)
Some people think that appointing ex-military personnel to state institutions would create a military style government in the long run and you can’t totally ignore that, can you? But, my point is that the state machinery is too slow, lethargic and outdated, they should run in an effective manner and if the military is the best option, let that be for some time and see the difference. The large number of government servants are not contributing to the nation productively at the moment. They will have to work hard to retain their jobs but there should be a system to check and balance the status quo in the public services to prevent a communist style bureaucracy that took the economy of the former Soviet Union backward to a point where the once mighty empire crumbled unexpectedly.
The president has clearly stated that the devolution of power won’t happen under his regime and the ethnic minorities are obviously upset about this. Since this is not the right space to talk about devolution of power in detail, you can read my post on the same at my blog by clicking this.
Regulating and monitoring the NGOs by the Ministry of Defense has come under heavy criticism but what I think is the good NGOs who work for the needy won’t have to worry about this measure as long as they keep their financial records transparent and don’t step beyond their limits. The national security of a nation is of paramount importance and the last thing we want to see is that the hard-earned peace we achieved after decades of terrorism couldn’t be put at stake to satisfy some NGOs. We saw well how big moneys flowed to local shady initiatives that created the Muslim jihadist terrorists who staged a massive attack on civilians last April in the guise of relief aids and religious education aid to Sri Lanka. The same happened during the Tamil terrorist war and a lot of NGOs were directly supporting the terrorists. One should understand that nobody is above the law of a country.