Sri Lanka: heroes to save the nation
We raise our hands to salute the young people who are tirelessly agitating to bring about the change that the country and its people deserve.
by Helasingha Bandara
Except for a small minority of the population, the majority are not heard or seen to celebrate the arrival of the new rescue team made up of the elements of the old group popularly known as the crooks.
Is the symbolic outcry “all 225 must go” literal or metaphorical? It’s metaphorical in the sense that the outcry is an overwhelming clamor for system change. Although not about individuals, a change of individuals in a complete overhaul of a system is inevitable. The outcry is literal because no politician who grew up in the existing corrupt and inefficient governance system can think outside the box. Some argue that not all 225s are bad. As good as some of them are, they are forced to find solutions within the existing system, unable to see, hear or think beyond it. In a system change, which Sri Lanka needs, these people become superfluous. The best example is the NPP which should be progressive, wasted over an hour lighting the traditional coconut oil lamp by over a hundred people before the start of their inaugural Uva executive committee meeting . They too know nothing beyond hackneyed and deceptive traditions.
We need an overhaul of the system, and it must be foolproof, because no one in the current political system or any future leader who grew up in Sri Lanka can be trusted. The system must be changed to be stable and tight, to prevent anyone with the potential to change for the worse from doing so. Take the case of Sarath Fonseka. Many people do not doubt his sincerity. However, this writer noticed three occasions in which SF hinted that he couldn’t think outside the box either. At a rally, he said Ranil failed to get a vote because his doctrine of equal treatment of people, regardless of party affiliation, lost votes for the party. He meant that if their party was to win, they should treat their party’s supporters favorably. This means his thinking is no different from the usual political suspects who are constantly devising strategies to mislead voters. On the incident where four pairs of motorcyclists in army uniforms ransacked protesters near parliament, he said he strongly condemned any harassment of people in uniform. His loyalty to the military and the idea that the military should come first made him realize that he could not understand the fact that any thug could be sent in a military uniform to commit murder and a chaos. On the third occasion, he said he was not against paying compensation to MPs who lost their property following the May 9 attack on unarmed, non-violent civilians. The author’s intention here is not to say that SF is unfit to be given any responsibility in the governance of the country, but to emphasize the need for a tight system with no loopholes so that whatever it either goes wrong. Simply, in the new system, parliamentarians should be limited to legislating. Policy implementation should be decentralized. Constitutional amendment is not the alpha and omega of system change
Most people ignorantly raised their hopes that Ranil would get the country out of the trap it fell into. The simple logic could have been this, a person who has not developed the country while in office five times before, will he deliver the sixth time? A senior doctor in the health sector said, “Ranil will feed the people even at the expense of the country.” An engineer said “there is no one else who can do something. He’s going to do something.” A retired director of education said she was not interested in politics. At a press conference, a lawyer whose name I forget but would like to call Maha Kalu Singhalaya said that Gotabhaya invited Ranil to take the post because he is the only leader in the country highly regarded by the leaders. international. This is a sample of comments from the so-called educated elite. Maha Kaluwa has no idea about international leaders and what they consider to be a quality leader.
6. Ranil the Shameless
The forward-thinking majority of Sri Lankans expelled Mahinda in 2015 for his complicity in embezzling public funds and escalating corruption and nepotism despite his claims that he, and he alone, had won the war and launched all major development projects. Ranil’s four-and-a-half-year coalition rule yielded nothing tangible other than feuds between him and Sirisena. Less than a year after his administration, the Mahinda Sulanga began to blow without any obstruction because Ranil and Sirisena were committed to their personal agendas and disregarded people’s expectations. Ranil should be ashamed to come back preaching new economic theories and suggesting better governance.
He has been identified with the most defeats in Sri Lanka’s electoral history which peaked in 2020, being denied his own seat. Then and many times before, a humiliated Ranil announced that he would rescind his leadership and let the youth carry the party forward. Characteristically, he then found himself in parliament as a petty MP. He is the embodiment of shamelessness in Sri Lankan politics. Are the people complacent enough to bring him back to power?
He was ‘the Shameless’ then and even more so now. Unfortunately, Sri Lankans believe in myths. Whether it’s the country or its people, the spread of a myth ignites instantly. Ranil is such a myth. Ranil is believed to be highly educated, an economic expert, an internationally recognized leader and speaks English better than anyone. The educated and intelligent Sri Lankan diaspora would know that none of these answers are exactly true, but are exaggerations to inflate their image in the same way Gotabhaya’s image was amplified.
His education was restricted to the University of Colombo which ranks 1001+ in the World University Rankings. Economics was not his subject at the university level. None of Sri Lanka’s past or present politicians has received international recognition except Sirima Bandaranaike for her involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement and her role in ending the Indochina War. Ranil has accomplished nothing recognizable to be internationally recognized other than being charged with murder, deception, mismanagement and being an accomplice to financial embezzlement. He speaks English but his proficiency is not at the level that people assume. For example, in one of his speeches in Sinhalese, he kept repeating the Western Minister pattern. It is possible for someone to claim that English is not their native language. Being six times Prime Minister and having inherited the British system of governance, he must know that it is Westminster and not the Minister for the West, if he is to live up to the reputation that people have falsely attributed to him.
He returned to serve as Prime Minister with a goal that burned forever in his heart. It is to occupy the big chair with full force. People disgust him for regularly pointing out that the country is currently in a sorry state, a well-known fact. Has he ever said how it happened, who is responsible for it, who should be held responsible for the disaster or his strategy to rectify the situation in the short and long term?
Ranil’s skill in twisting facts is remarkable. Unfortunately for the country, there is no one in the opposition to see through his stealth instantly and challenge him on the spot.
When asked if Prasanna Ranathunga could no longer function as a minister after being sentenced to prison, his response was that he was not guilty as he had appealed the decision. The real fact eluded most of those present. The truth is that after a court verdict found him guilty, he was a guilty criminal until proven guilty by a higher court. In the meantime, he should be suspended from his parliamentary duties. He twisted Rasamanikkam’s speech with bad intentions. Rasamanikkam attempted to explain what caused the death and destruction in the aftermath of the May 9 attacks. While the whole country was burning with anger for the unimaginable hardships they had had to go through, all that was left for them to do was get agitated. When they decided to protest democratically and peacefully, Mahinda Rajapaksha, being an unintelligent person, let go of his goons to attack the peaceful protesters. In the dry season, even a half-burnt cigarette is enough to cause a forest fire. Rasamanikkam tried to educate members of parliament not to repeat the same mistake. Ranil being the biggest distorter in the country gave an entirely different interpretation.
The only time the Sri Lankan masses have come remarkably close to establishing a pro-people government was in the current “struggle” that has bent Mahinda. Ranil will go down in the annals of Sri Lankan history as the greatest traitor to the Sri Lankan people. Ranil lies like a Trojan or rather like a Sinhalese, in the words of Robert Knox (“I never saw anyone better lying than a Sinhalese”), is a champion of deception, is cunning as a jackal, unethical like a slave master and a person devoid of dignity, self-respect or self-esteem.
Although it was not included in my initial dirty dozen, the date of its inclusion is not far off. He’s a two-tongued monster no different from Ranil. It’s still fresh in people’s minds how he waved his tongue against the 20th Amendment and ultimately voted in favor of it. His goal is very similar to Ranil’s, that he wanted the position of Minister of Justice at all costs when justice is a foreign concept to him. His staging of the verbal fight between Gotabhaya and himself was just one shameless episode in his signature rise. He is another humble and unworthy person whom Sri Lankan politics can afford to get rid of.
Harin and Manusha
Did they accept ministerial positions to save the country? I ask people. Harin once said that he was involved in a political game. A person who considers politics as a game is only a gambler and not a sincere person who works for the people. Manusha has no knowledge that could be applied to tourism development. He does not know the value of $100,000 when he asked people to send such a sum in twelve months. How about appointing “Loke Wate Sudanthaka” who has traveled to more than 150 countries in the world and who has lived in a developed country for more than 30 years, as Minister of Tourism? He would know better than a humble person like Manusha how to develop the tourism industry. Many others who are from Pohottuwa and few other parties who have betrayed the “struggle” deserve to suffer under popular government. We raise our hands to salute the young people who are tirelessly agitating to bring about the change that the country and its people deserve.
Long live the “Fight”!!