20 July, 2024

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An Election Like No Other

By Fr Chryso Pieris SJ –

Fr Chryso Pieris SJ

Our discontent

For the last 46 years, we have been watching the Sri Lankan society slowly and steadily going from bad to worse. We saw with tears in our eyes the dream of NM Perera; the dream of making this country advance in local manufacturing and industrializing and becoming a global player (maybe small) producing for the world market; going up in smoke.

Our people did not understand that every country which is now developed and rich began with small workshops and initiatives with hard work and sacrifice. Our people were not motivated as a nation to face, strive and gain economic independence necessary to make political independence meaningful. We got our independence cheap. We did not shed a single drop of blood or sweat. We had no idea what to do with independence, we did not value it, we had no vision, no plans. The socialists tried to do what they could to bring the country onto the world stage, but failed.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake | Photo Anuruddha Lokuhapuarachchi

JR, the terminator, dismantled, sold or gave away all the factories making everything from pencils to tires. He imported from Japan and Germany sleek and glistening goods like TVs and cloths mesmerizing the people with them and deceiving them. And we began to take loans and went on taking bigger and bigger loans even up to the current government. After even bankruptcy Ranil the bank robber, the default president, still takes loans. Our unborn third and fourth generation will be paying back these loans. How unfair we are to our own children!

Corruption is so chronic and so widely spread, one does not know where it begins and where it ends. It is a whole culture, a whole nation that is affected and the system itself is sick unto death.

Our response

When people began to fall dead in queues and scarcities increased, our patience reached the breaking point. By April of 2022 the frustration and anger reached its nadir but also, thank God, an awareness of the roots of the problem was becoming clear. The youth and some not so young began streaming towards the Galle Face Green. The great and unique Aragalaya was born and peaked by July in a human Tsunami.

Many said the Aragalaya was a failure and it misfired. Very sorry; it wasn’t a failure. However tragic and sad we needed the Gota mess to wake us up and realize the mistakes we have made and the frightening situation we are in. As a result of the Gota mess Aragalaya came into being and consolidated as the Grand Alliance of Good People (GAGP). The presidency of Ranil Wickremesinghe was also a necessity. The bank robber and the born loser only made the Aragalaya become a political force. We needed some time for that. We need this hiatus to make the GAGP become a people’s movement for total overhaul of the country and the system. That is what the NPP and AKD are doing. The values that emerged in the Aragalaya continue to inspire and motivate the decent citizens’ movement. The Aragalaya is alive and racing the last lap to victory.

The current political situation

The politics of the old rotten system seems to be completely disoriented and lost its way. Nobody knows who belongs to which party anymore. They are mixing and remixing the alliances and party affiliations so often nothing is predictable any longer. And that is how it should be. In fact, and seriously speaking politics in this country is becoming polarized in a new moral and ethical mode that never happened before. Polarization is no more between parties or ideologies. Forget socialism and capitalism or any other ism; forget so called national leaders like maina, samanalaya or kaputa; forget their traditional political parties too. It is simply between good and bad, right and wrong, beautiful and ugly, honesty and dishonesty, justice and injustice. On one side of the fence is the GAGP (NPP) and on the other side is all who belong to the old rotten evil system. All the other political entities except the JVP are on that side of the fence. The choice people have to make is distilled into a clear, powerful, life or death, Yes or No.

An election like no other

We cannot afford to miss the bus this time. This is the last chance we have to put this country, democratically and non-violently, on the right track to become a developed country. As we have hit rock bottom not only economically but in every sense; we have nowhere to go except up. We have to let go of all the past irrelevant ideologies, inhuman attitudes and ugly practices we are accustomed to and tread the new, clean and straight path of freedom (nirpakshika paramadipatya) fraternity (brotherhood, sisterhood and samanatmatawaya) and love (respect, affection and service) leading to the joy of life of all the people.

Therefore, this election will be like no other. This election is going to be a historical turning point of a nation. Truly only with this election are we going to form a proper nation. A nation with a proud identity, a clear vision and the motivation to make this country take its rightful place in the world.

All those who belong to the GAGP or sympathize with it have a grave duty to perform at this crucial moment. There is approximately a 30% floating vote base. These votes must be canvassed for the NPP in the next election. It is the responsibility of the decent good people of this country. This election is going to be a fight for the soul of Sri Lanka, our motherland, our nation. This is going to be a gladiatorlike fight unto death. The other side, however divided or chaotic they may seem to be, will flock together as they are birds of a feather and strive their hardest, by hook or by crook, to defeat the GAGP. But our determination to win will become stronger as days pass; yes, we shall overcome.

That is why this election is going to be like no other.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    4

    Finland is the happiest country in the world for 7 years in a row. Lanka is 10 places from the bottom.

    Hope AKD can provide the tonic we need to be happy. :))

    • 6
      4

      “Hope AKD can provide the tonic we need to be happy.”
      AKD should be a leader who cannot be bend his knees to anyone including maha sangha. But he depends on them for votes.

  • 9
    1

    US and its Allies are in Ukraine in the form of their weapons and Russia docked
    its Nuke Submarine in Havana . Many unpleasant incidents in world hotspots
    are being ignited and can we stand isolated and think only about ourselves like
    before as if what is unfolding elsewhere has nothing to do with us ? We have an
    established centuries old Social, Political and Economic connections , busy with
    some and not so busy with others . Those who are busy with us will not want to
    lose us not only because of our Trade connections but where we are sitting on the
    world map . So , our frustrations alone will not decide our future . Heads might roll
    but no signs of the system . Gota departure will prove a historic lesson that System
    Change Is Not Walk In The Park . Some Racists Thought They Can Do It With A
    Man Like Gota . And They Also Thought , Minorities Are The Hurdle Towards
    Their Goal . The level of their hatred was manifest in the Burning of Muslim and
    Christian Covid Dead bodies . We need new definitions for system change
    because system change has been hijacked by only one Group only for their goal .
    This has to be immediately reversed .

    • 8
      1

      Everybody sings the song, ‘system change’. It is a big chorus.
      Is there any meaning?
      There was nothing wrong with the System, until we became bankrupt!
      In fact, there is nothing wrong with the system. We were unaware of the actual dangers we were causing ourselves. We were complacent.

      • 1
        1

        Nathan,
        “In fact, there is nothing wrong with the system. We were unaware of the actual dangers we were causing ourselves. We were complacent.”
        Absolutely. The voters are also to blame . It’s like getting into a bus with a driver who promises to beat all the other buses.All we need is a competent driver, not a different bus.

    • 6
      1

      “Russia docked its Nuke Submarine in Havana .”
      Without protest from the US!

      • 0
        0

        Hello SJ,
        It’s OK it’s only Nuclear powered. They have no Nuclear Weapons on board.
        Best regards

    • 3
      2

      whywhy, if US and Allies are in Ukraine and Russian submarine is in Havana and Putin visited North Korea Un and Vietnam and Israel is finishing off Hamas tunnels and war weapons in large quantities, we can have a fair vision of where the world is going. In our own parliament, the President is appointing a committee to check whether the judiciary is taking the correct steps, showing how ridiculously interfering and dominating our government can be to the legal profession, RW himself having studied it earlier. This must be the new system change.

      • 2
        0

        davidthegood ,

        RW’s behaviour , with an election round the corner , is sending
        mixed signals about holding an election . Anyone standing a
        re-election will not take the risks he is taking . He is playing
        ‘ tough guy ‘ against the public opinion about him . Coming months
        unpredictable .

  • 5
    1

    … every country which is now developed and rich began with small workshops and initiatives with hard work and sacrifice.
    One crucial factor missing is Government incentives.
    .
    Storytime:
    A friend of mine owned a small scale Aluminium factory, in Jaffna. It was flourishing.
    Then came the blow.
    License for the import of the raw materials was delayed or denied.
    The factory had to close.
    My friend elected to become an MP!

  • 6
    3

    People still haven’t realised the magnitude of the damage JR had done to Sri Lanka’s economy, territorial integrity, Buddha-Shasana , SOVEREIGNTY, environment, law and order, Sirima-shashtri pact, and education.
    /
    Since 1977 Parliamentary Election, the quality of the candidates and elected politicians have declined. They form a coalition before the election, break the coalition after get elected and again form another coalition with a different name and symbol before the next election. So it continues.

  • 5
    1

    … The socialists tried to do what they could to bring the country onto the world stage, but failed.
    I have met NM, as a student.
    .
    Storytime.
    NM addressed our College assembly.
    His wit:
    An expert gets to know more and more of less and less.
    Eventually, he gets to know everything of nothing!

  • 6
    0

    … Nobody knows who belongs to which party anymore.
    Nobody belonged to any party at any time.
    They were all ONE BIG GANG, showing us a face, -aka Party name, to fool us.

  • 4
    3

    If the Leader of NPP is someone who was never a part of JVP, my vote would be for NPP.

    • 2
      1

      Nathan

      So would I. However, when it comes to the Presidential candidates, between AKD & current contenders, in the absence of a credible alternative, I would vote for AKD just on his promise to abolish the parliamentary perks & banging up all those plundered the country but when it comes to NPP forming a government, it is an absolute NO.

  • 2
    4

    I have heard somewhere that you should not trust a person who keeps his hand/hands in his pocket(s) while speaking.
    I googled:
    … can give your audience the impression that you’re hiding something.

  • 8
    0

    My mind goes back to the Cricket WC 1996. Eleven totally committed, gutsy young men from diverse, mainly non-English speaking, middle class backgrounds led by a master tactician routed the mighty Australians to win the World Cup. History can repeat itself, and I hope it will – at the next Presidential Election.

  • 1
    0

    NM was before my time but if he had a ‘dream of making this country advance in local manufacturing and industrializing and becoming a global player’, it was the ‘impossible dream’ because under the closed economy of Mrs B’s socialist regime, there was no competition & the quality was below par in whatever we manufactured, even for local consumption. In fact, the country went backwards economically. JR had his faults but the lifestyle of everybody improved under his watch & we had a garment industry. People voted for yobs & thugs but even MR had a vision for the country with highways, air ports & ports, tallest buildings, etc but it was corruption that is in our genes now, which is why we are in this situation. .
    So, which party has the strategy that will ”make this country take its rightful place in the world”? If the NPP has the plan, lets hear how they intend to achieve it.

    • 1
      2

      “If the NPP has the plan, let’s hear how they intend to achieve it “
      I don’t bother to hear from any of these leaders because I don’t know whether they had a plan in the past and whether they implemented them but the results is very clear that is the country is brought to bankrupt and the country was continuously in blood bath and thousands of people unnecessarily killed and thousands disappeared and displaced.
      This is an opportunity to try something different which may be good or bad. Blood thirsty groups are still in active politics and they are getting together to defeat the change and it looks like a two way competition rather than three way competition in this election which may lead to another bloodbath in this soil.

    • 1
      0

      Raj-UK ,

      Going back 54 years , the economy of the country was in the hands of
      UNP neither fully open nor closed but no food scarcity or other
      necessities . Sirimavo was used by the left to turn the situation in their
      favour by punishing the UNP and its support base which was business
      community mainly comprised of minorities . They were at the heart of
      imports and exports and whole sale . Leftist led Sirimavo policy
      jeopardised the whole supply chain and created instead monopoly led
      by widespread corruption . The consequence was goods scarcity and
      queues for everything . That was a new culture . JRJ used this to his
      advantage to advance UNP on his radical lines . Open Economy was
      born with the blessings of 5/6 majority of votes . After JRJ nobody did
      nothing to make even little difference to his approach . To say that
      MARA too had a vision , I feel it is too much . Highways started under
      UNP with a Flyover on Baseline Road . He was trying to make
      Hambantota a Replica of Gampaha which is Bandaranayaka Base .
      Hanbantota , A Rajapaksha Kingdom . Not Second To Banda !

      • 2
        0

        whywhy

        I was being sarcastic when I mentioned that MR also had a vision for the country. In actual fact, his vision was to get mega rich by any means. All Politicians talk of a land flowing with milk & honey but right now, it is the need for a decent life style for everybody, which we did have before the current bunch of yobs f****d up the economy with their selfish greed. With no credible alternative, the people are pinning their hopes on a bunch of ‘socialists’ but I fear it would be another era of austerity, probably, worse than under Mrs B that is to be expected.

        People should be asking all political parties how they intend to recover the economy instead of assuming the new brush will sweep better.

        • 1
          0

          Raj – UK ,

          Sorry Raj – UK , I was seriously into finishing my comment and missed
          your sarcasm . I took the whole stuff in one package and put into my
          bundle with no filtering . It was a nice one and I missed it . Thanks for
          reminding .

          • 0
            1

            whywhy

            No worries. I agree with your comment & I don’t want to see SL going back to another era of austerity, like under Mrs B. My conclusion, so far, as we say in SL, is that the ‘coming colours are no good’ under a NPP govt.

            The way I see it, the JVP will be calling the shots & with mixture of others, from ‘academics’ to Bhikkus & women’s liberators, it would be a pickle of all sorts. Would that inspire confidence among investors? We need FDI badly & the transfer of technology & skills it brings to compete internationally, as well as, friendly countries opening their markets with concessions for our products. I don’t see it happening under a socialist govt. with a partially closed economy, which, in my understanding, is the NPP model. It’s time for the economists & the pundits who are dreaming of the impossible dream to wake up.

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