According to the calendar we all use, the New Year 2019 has dawned. When a year ends and a new year begins, we wish each other ‘Happy New Year’; send New Year cards. Despite this tradition of wishing each other at the dawn of the New Year being continued for ages, it has not gone beyond a mere wish for many of us. In reality, the past years have not been auspicious for a large majority in our society. This was the truth. It is not a question about the honesty of those well-wishers but what is linked to the broader socio-economic-political construction.
We wind up the old year 2018 and enter the New Year 2019 carrying with us the socio-economic-political crises and a number of challenges that have burdened us for 70 long years. The economy of the country that doesn’t create new means has gravely deteriorated. The rulers who have no vision of building the country burden it with more and more debt while the masses are fatigued with the burden of taxes and the cost of living. National assets are further plundered with the greed for ministerial portfolios and prestigious. The defeated former rulers strive hard to prevent legal action being taken against them for plundering public assets during their term. This is what exists as an unholy axis.
Fraud, corruption, thieving and waste have spread from top to the bottom of the society and the media has reported that Sri Lanka is ranked top in the latest list of the most corrupt countries in the world. Now, would the new year become auspicious when wished with hollow words? This is the factor we all should ponder in the New Year.
Last year ended with a challenge to democracy in the country. As such, we also have, in this New Year, the responsibility of setting up an administrative system that strengthens democracy instead of continuing with a constitutional dictatorship.
However, we need not be pessimistic. There is a path before us to make the New Year auspicious. It is by getting away from the futile socio-economic-political path we have been following and resolving to enter a new political journey. We firmly believe that the new year, as well as the future of our people and the country, would be definitely auspicious if the masses in this country are capable of taking a new political decision in the New Year. For this, we should be bold enough to look at the society anew and take decisions with new ideas and attitudes after casting away old ideologies and attitudes.
This new year dawns with an omen for a new beginning. We wish all Sri Lankans, who are getting prepared to cast aside everything antiquated and futile so that they would think anew to take new decisions, courage and strength and a genuinely auspicious New Year.
New Year is for change. Let’s make change happen!
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna