20 January, 2019

Blog

After Sirisena: Task Is To Reverse Decay In Public-Life & End Moral Corrosion

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

After Sirisena: Task is to reverse decay in public-life and end moral corrosion – Constitutionless-governmentless anarchy

Corrosion of public morals started well before Sirisena though his drollness gave it comical colour. The last six weeks may have outraged some; others may have split their sides in mirth. Corruption is not new – in an interview posted on Facebook and YouTube Sirisena blurted out that the going rate for the purchase of MP’s had risen to Rs 500 million! This time however there is a crucial difference; never before has the Constitution been so barefacedly dishonoured. Previous leaders were no angels but never would DS, Dudley, SWRD, Mrs B, JR, Premadasa, DBW or Chandrika have clung to office after not one but six consecutive defeats in parliament. Do we need seven judges of the Supreme Court to tell us that a dunce is abusing the Gazette, or a two judges Appeal Court bench to conclude that a would-be autocrat and this comical coot of a crackpot have conspired to plant a fake government?

Paksa, greedy for power and frantic to avoid prosecution of kith and kin, sought to manipulate the coot. But can a whole goddamn “Cabinet” be filled with wretches? Has anyone seen anything so bizarre anyplace, any time, in the history of parliamentary politics? This is not a rhetorical question, I ask in earnest. Vasudeva, Wimal, SB, Amunugama, Johnston, Thonda, Gammanpila, Lokuge and Bandula can hardly be called men of moral worth or integrity, but the whole freaking 29 of them! We need a name list of this motley crew for when the country reawakens we must recount these freakish tales to our grandchildren. And it’s time a gifted dramatist did a musical comedy. With 23 state and deputy-ministers the mob totals 52 outnumbering the Ali Baba pack by 12. Of the 90 who desecrated parliament 52 were brawling to protect profits looted from the public purse.  

The loot is as follows. Salary: Ministers and State Ministers draw Rs.140,000 a month (increased from 65,000 in January), while deputy ministers draw Rs.135,000 (up from 63,500 in January). All, as parliamentarians draw corresponding allowances and benefits as well. Residence and office: Ministers get an official residence, an office and personal staff. Travel: Ministers get three vehicles, including an official vehicle and security vehicles provided and maintained by the state; domestic air travel – Air Force helicopters. Security: Provided by the police; military units during emergencies. So, you see, it’s not for nothing that these rats scream obscenities and overturn parliamentary furniture.

This carnival of deceit and sleaze is not the worst of it. More lasting is the damage to institutions of parliamentary democracy and to constitutional propriety. Whatever one’s partisan view vis-a-vis Ranil and Mahinda or UNP and SLFP-PP, it is to repairing this damage that we must first set our minds. What can we do to prevent a disgrace of this magnitude turning our country into a theatre of the comic again? First comes resolve; determination “Never again!” Intervention by political party grassroots will be useful; who are these crappy “leaders” without us? Party cadres must shame thug MPs; people at large must step in and give every slime-ball a bloody nose at the elections. These are obligations that go beyond party loyalty – we can return to party politics later but let’s get the job of banishing dishonourable MP’s and reversing corrosion in public morals first. We will have time enough later to press forward our favourite economic policies and social programmes. This opportunity must not be foregone.  

But let us not be simpletons; Court Orders, parliamentary defeats, public outrage, admonition from overseas, collapse of the rupee and economic ruin have never stopped fascists on the march. MR has challenged an Appeal Court order in the Supreme Court not because he cares two brass farthings for the courts but to buy time to plan the next move in his power-grab. Sirisena asserts “Even if all 225 MPs vote for Ranil as PM, I will not appoint him”. Remarkable! Not the Japanese Emperor, Queen of England or President of India has such powers! Possessed, or in cahoots with Rajapaksa who sought to exploit what he thought was simpleton naivety to find an albatross round his neck? Thakshila Lakmali Jayawardena has filed a petition in the Court of Appeal seeking a Writ of Mandamus to inquire into the state of mind of Maithripala Sirisena under the Mental Diseases Ordinance. It’s very timely.

Fascism has to be smashed, it has to be uprooted root and branch; the lesson of history is that there is no other way to eradicate the scourge. I have shouted myself hoarse begging people to learn from the genesis of fascism elsewhere. Proto-fascism (proto means emergent or early) grabs power by foul means or fair and grips it like a limpet. It will not loosen its grip come what may. If forced to step back for a moment it will claw at every institution (legislative, judicial or executive) till it has recovered its grip. This is what is going before our eyes. The limpet fastens its grip at each stage and inches forward. The last resort of SLFP-PP proto-fascists and the MS-MR rogue-regime will be to incite violence (loot Muslim shops, “reveal” hidden Tiger cells) as a pretext to declare a state of emergency. But beware M&S! This is a daring game; who may eventually be strung-up from a lamppost is not foreseeable!

Parliamentary elections will have to be held in 2020 at the latest. The crucial question is whether before or after presidential elections. If presidential elections come first, Ranil (or Karu or Sajith) has better than even odds not because he is a much loved but for two other reasons. First the SLFP-PP has no credible candidate; second the havoc the Rajapaksa gang created in recent weeks has devastated its standing. Who are its likely presidential candidates? Mythree cannot poll ten percent, Mahinda cannot run and Gota has lost his shine but not yet his American passport. If presidential elections are held before parliamentary elections and before the bitter taste of recent events is forgotten, Ranil is a lucky bugger with improved chances of winning thanks to the Mahinda -Sirisena suicide pact. 

Parliamentary elections are harder to predict if they come first because the “big candidate” issue is absent, UNP economic policy has been a flop, racism is more easily swallowed on small canvases, and rigging and violence are more likely. This is the calculation motivating the SLPP’s frantic campaign for parliamentary elections. The thuggery on display in parliament may work against some MPs but we are on new ground in such matters. How is the electorate responding, Lanka is not known for its political maturity? The UNP if it forms a strong alliance may still do well; we have to wait and see, etc. etc.

Trends in the last 10 days have moved against S&M practices and both, in my view, are in contempt of parliament and the former is indictable for treason. The government, in whatever form it is reconstituted after the Court rulings, will be subordinate to parliament which can now flex its muscles over Prime Minister and Cabinet. In theory it’s good because, in principle, in Lanka as in UK and India, parliament is supreme over government and executive. Let us rephrase NM’s question to JR: Say he had asked: “What if a string of madmen one after the other ascend to the executive presidency?” The realistic answer is ‘Abolish the prevailing presidency and replace it by a ceremonial alternative’. People have now arrived at that understanding thanks to the postures and positions of S&M. 

I have asserted many times in this column that proto-fascism with a rogue-regime under its control is a mortal danger to democracy, the body politic and even the corporal body of some of us as the conflict intensifies. Though there has been a push back thanks to rising public anger from which the Courts have taken courage I don’t want to leave you with the idea that danger is past. Though the unconstitutional Gazette has been stayed, the illegal administration unpacked and no significant foreign countries except China have given the fake-government a nod, the game is not over. At this time of writing the Supreme Court and Appeal Court judgements are still pending but the rational part of my mind conjectures that the judgements are unlikely to go well for Sirisena and Mahinda. Even if that be the case it will give only temporary respite from multipronged attack that has been launched on democracy by proto-fascism and the rogue-state. There are slew of court cases initiated by the Rajapaksa side with the motive of pure harassment, the Daily Mirror reports that Sirisena is instigating Wimal and Vasudeva to campaign for  referendum demanding immediate parliamentary (not presidential of course) elections and the atmosphere is one of constitutional anarchy. To clear the air the people must mobilise and wipe the Lanka’s political clean of this neo-Mussolini threat.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    A social debate on future state of the country and who should lead the transformation efforts is always key, but a chaotic situation is particularly risky not only for the countrys stability but also for its external perception; Just weeks after the announcement of Sri Lanka as top travel destination one can oly wonder how much current political turmoil could sadly have negative repercussions on tourism.

  • 6
    1

    Reversing this decay is like reversing old age.
    *
    Look at those waiting in the wings to grab what they can. I do not need to name names, they thrust themselves forward when opportunity came their way.
    *
    The author, as a one time revolutionary, I hope will seriously brush up Marxist lessons on Bourgeois Democracy, and be realistic about its prospects in the Third World.

    • 0
      1

      SJ- “….and be realistic about its prospects in the Third World….”
      SJ are you implying Sri Lanka is a Third World country.
      ….tell that to you pal Mahinda ….hew thinks Sri Lanka is “Miracle of Asia”.
      …we have a dysfuntioning and empty harbour, a dysfuntioning and empty Airport, A lotus tower….and a port city that the Chinese are now worried is going to be empty as well..except for chinese prisoners !!!!

      • 0
        1

        R: “…are you implying Sri Lanka is a Third World country?”
        Sorry. I do not count beyond 3 in classifying countries by development.
        Some go up to 4: SL is not quite there I hope.
        *
        “…tell that to you pal Mahinda”
        Which Mahinda?
        *
        As for the Port City, if anybody badly wants it to work, it is the UNP now.
        *
        Using uneducated guesses to attack others onlys expose your daftness.

  • 6
    1

    Best article I have read for a long time.

  • 5
    2

    I could not help remembering Humpty Dumpty.
    Not all the sellotape and superglue can put the shattered parliamentary democracy together again.
    The case is for a different kind of democracy oustide the parliamentary system

  • 7
    1

    Dr. Kumar David
    Beautifully written. The biting humour conveys effectively the outrage felt by the people against the travesty of democracy staged by SIRA-MARA since 26 Oct.

  • 2
    0

    According to Blake Gota has not lost his shine, in fact, what’s happening now is what Blake has recommended, huh silent talks with American partners, an ex-American President for Sri Lanka, now that is a headful.

  • 3
    1

    WE the People must demand a post-mortem into the fiasco that atrophied the country. The culprits must be named and shamed. Instead it looks like we are back to square one. Business as usual.
    Will we never learn the lesson that bad governments are bad for the country!

  • 1
    3

    Can we conclude that New King has been more excessive than Don Stephan who cheated Tamil Ministers to get consent for Soulbury Constitution and immediately, with a surprise move disenfranchised Tamils or SWRD Sinhala Only Racist or Sirimavo who with many, two out of them, implemented Standardization on Tamils & killed 80,000 Sinhala youths or any others on the leadership list, until Old King? All easy methods are, unfortunately, only judgmental. Yet I can suggest a more accurate way. We need to assign Fascist Index to all leaders from Don Stephen to New King, considering the bad things they did. Then we need to plot the year of the leader in the X axis and the Fascist index on the Y. If the connecting line is straight with an ankle to X axis, then New King did not do anything different from others. Even if the graph is parabolic, then determine the function of the curve; differentiate it. Then plot the Dy/Dx on the Y axis. If the growth rate’s growth is constant, then New King didn’t something different from others. I believe the appropriate growth after the notorious selfish 18th & 19th amendments is dismissing the PM ignoring the constitution. Now, all blame Modaya voters. Aren’t all these intellectuals supported New King hoping he will replace Old King and bring democracy? If these intellectuals could do anything better what the Modaya voters supposed to do? Anyway, that is a dead talk, so let us brush it off for the time being.

  • 0
    2

    The interesting thing is, a proposal of SLFP putting up again National Unity Government with UNP has a good chance of coming from Old Royals’ camp. Of cause the Old Royals, or the Slap Party or even the Joint Comedy Club will be sitting in the opposition. But their problem is, “Can they take the hand of TNA (& JVP) defeat a Budget of the UNP government”? They cannot even dream about that. If they do it then UNP will be having only one way; adjust the budget the way TNA want and have it voted for it. They cannot force UNP to go to an election. Then what are they going to do from the opposition bench, when Mavai had confirmed in the parliament that TNA will be sitting there too? Are they going to give some addition votes to TNA to remote control UNP with its 14 members? If they want to do that then there is no restriction. Then is that what Old King said in his last speech? “He said TNA is holding the remote control and going to hijack UNP in the future”. After all the 50 days of trial and error experiments, they still can nothing about it, but only one exit exists? That is SLFP supporting the UNP so UNP can keep protecting them all, all over aging, with its impunity and defeat TNA’s Secret Solution to make UNP forming a federal government. Further then UNP beat the UNHRC in March, 2019. That is how they can snatch the remote control of UNP from TNA and control it, like in the past 3 ½ years. .

  • 3
    0

    Task Is To Reverse Decay In Public-Life & End Moral Corrosion. Oh sure that’s going to happen.

  • 0
    1

    “The loot is as follows. Salary: Ministers and State Ministers draw Rs.140,000 a month (increased from 65,000 in January), while deputy ministers draw Rs.135,000 (up from 63,500 in January). All, as parliamentarians draw corresponding allowances and benefits as well. Residence and office: Ministers get an official residence, an office and personal staff. Travel: Ministers get three vehicles, including an official vehicle and security vehicles provided and maintained by the state; domestic air travel – Air Force helicopters. Security: Provided by the police; military units during emergencies.”
    ————————-
    David, you forgot to mention the ‘Pension’. This is why UNP MPs decided to protect ‘Maha Benku Hora’ so that they can enjoy this comfortable life for another one and half years. If Parliament was dissolved, lot of UNP MPs lose pension. MPs are supposed to be representatives of people but after they get elected they think only about themselves.

  • 0
    1

    “To clear the air the people must mobilise and wipe the Lanka’s political clean of this neo-Mussolini threat.”
    ———————-
    Neo-liberal Ranil is a greater threat to this country than neo-Mussolini threat. People should mobilise to get rid of Ranil before he and his ‘Royal Gang’ do further damage to the country.

  • 0
    0

    Thanks for that My Guru! Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that the cost of holding parliament sessions is Rs 5,700,000 (57 lakhs) per day. That works as an average of approx. Rs 25,000 per MP per day. I suppose that this includes the special fee for attending the session, subsidized food etc.
    .
    May, I suggest that this be changed to Rs 25,000 per MP per day if he/she does not attend a session. That should save us a lot of money. Here, one has to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages of my proposal:
    .
    Advantages: (i) The damage done to the economy, culture etc. (ii) The Carbon footprint of the Parliament is reduced by less fuel consumed, less food consumed and (iii) lower level of Methane and Sulfurous fumes emitted by them after eating so much food.
    .
    However, the biggest advantage is that we will be able to go through our lives without any hindrance from these baboons.
    .
    Disadvantages: We lose the entertainment value.

  • 0
    1

    Prof Kumar David wants to ~ “………….End Moral Corrosion”.
    Morally corroded Marxists emasculated and finally killed Marxism the world over.
    .
    In mid sixties in the then Ceylon, like hyenas, morally depraved Trotskyites sold their souls. Colvin wrote the infamous Constitution. The left left-overs accepted language/religion-divide and are living off crumbs thrown.
    .
    Oh DEW, Vitharna, Oh…Oh… Oh…..Vasu
    PS: Kumar David always drove on the right side
    PPS: Exception is Bahu

    • 1
      1

      KP
      Do you endorse Bahu’s clinging on to Ranil?
      *
      Tamil nationalism has, as always, a blinkered view of the world

      • 0
        0

        Do you SJ, agree that we have a Hobson’s choice of two bad teams?
        Bahu pointed out the bad bad-team. That is not clinging.
        Bahu has not changed at all – the same Bahu.
        .
        This term ‘Tamil nationalism’ is straight off MR-team lingo.
        .
        As an aside, who suggested that the Pakistan civil war had strong aspects of genocide?
        Who maintained that the plight of Rohingyas to be genocide long before UN did?
        Who suggested that the incrassation/internment of Uighurs is genocide.
        Who maintained that we have had a coup d’état?
        Are these ‘blinkered vision? Of a ‘Tamil nationalist’?

  • 0
    0

    “The last six weeks may have outraged some; others may have split their sides in mirth.” For your information, there are many who were inspired by the events of the last six weeks, and encouraged. Surely you must be aware of this, you do not like it, that is the problem. You do not like the other side to this, you are intolerant of dissent, like some dictator.
    Let’s also end insulting political opponents and name calling. No one should call the other party ministers or anyone else names or label them through there are quite a few labels that will qualify. Anyone who dares to challenged the Superiority of the Minorities, both English and Tamil, are labelled and name called. I respect all 225 MPs as is required. If there is anything to be said of their behaviour the relevant authorities will be contacting them soon.
    Intolerance for opposing views is as bad as racism as is any other prejudice. Except for reference to dogs, I see nothing really uncivilized in what for example Minister Wimal or Minister Udaya Gamanpilla say, it must really hurt to hear an effective attack.
    It is also ironic, and shamefully disengenous, to claim that it was MR and not Ranil W who hung on to his Prime Minister ship after he had been removed. Who refused to vacate Temple Trees? Even the JVP said he should leave. How do we know he was removed? By just watching the swearing in ceremony – pray tell, what was he doing swearing in there if he was always Prime Minister? Or was it a fake swearing in? It must have been!
    When it comes to voting time, such a twisted sense of right and wrong eclipses anything in Jayawardanapura, and I confess will be a real problem for the country. But that is democracy, and that is wild assery.

  • 0
    0

    Can someone please explain to me why there have been no arrests and charges filed?
    *
    Overthrowing an elected government is SEDITION and TREASON!
    *
    Selling out your country for money (Rs. 500 Million) also fits the definition of TREASON!
    *
    Why are the people of Sri Lanka allowing these people to escape Justice?
    *
    The only reason these people failed to seize power is that they underestimated the cost of buying MPs. They will be better prepared next time unless they are charged and imprisoned.
    *
    Prof. David sees Fascists everywhere! The attempted take-over has nothing to do with Fascism imho.
    *
    The attempt to seize power was simply the only way out for a group of people facing Corruption and Racketeering charges. It’s nothing more complicated than that imho.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.