By Sunil J. Wimalawansa –
Part 18: Sri Lanka—Changing Pillows to Cure Headaches: Anarchy and Abuse of Power by Politicians
Most people are struggling to meet their ends. Since people have other priorities in life, it is natural that they quickly forget the current issues to face new issues. Politicians explicitly exploit this well-known weakened metal phenomenon. Politicians globally are playing cat and mouse games by giving false promises before elections or returning to power and staying in power during their terms in office.
Abuse of power by wretched politicians
Historically, Sri Lankan politicians (who opt to contest elections), irrespective of their education, age, and upbringing, soon get corrupted and greedy and become part of the problem once they see the unlimited opportunities for themselves. In an escalating manner over the past few decades, they have been primarily concerned about perks, resources, and benefits to themselves, disregarding the voters’ needs and the country’s advancement and sovereignty.
Sri Lankans are finally grasping these facts, as seen with the Aragalaya, but the progress is too slow to make a meaningful difference. The more the delay in achieving a System Change, they will face more difficulties, tactical delays, and roadblocks by crooked and shameless politicians to strengthen their grip on the society further.
The public must understand that politicians always get together to defeat public needs and protests irrespective of political parties. Almost all have contributed to the current mess and engage in dishonesty, bribery/commission, and abuse of powers. Examples include selling car permits, (ab) using police, administrators, and leading business-persons to get what they want). Consequently, the people will continue to suffer under the current rotten Political System.
Politicians exploit the minds of the people to get what they want
These are done not with their money but at the expense of the public. They uniformly use the mentioned chronic false culture, deceit cand giving false promises to the public, and once they come to power, refuse changes to maintain the status quo and drag burning issues important to people and the country.
As currently happing in Sri Lanka, politicians vehemently resist changes: they are happy to be in a failed situation in a country. They frequently used the tactic of diverting attention from them to something else. It can be a series of cricket or soccer matches, musical shows, or creating religious or ethnic conflicts. Sri Lanka and India have witnessed the latter types of unethical actions increase in frequency over the past decade.
They also routinely use divide and rule schemes borrowed from the British colonial system. These are done partly to camouflage their failures, ignorance, conflicts of interest, and the inability to govern properly. They use these episodes (crises) and new situations (e.g., easter Sunday massacre) to distract and divert people’s attention from them elsewhere. The deliberate dissemination of fake news, fear-mongering (seen during the COVID pandemic using the police spike persons and army commentators) and religious or ethnic disharmony.
The endgame for politicians and high-ranking government administrators is to stay in power and embezzle resources. They have been doing these efficiently, hoodwinking the public. Despite these well-known phenomena, hardly any politicians or senior government administrators
made accountable for their wrongdoings through a court of law.
Unlawful use of the police by politicians
The use of lethal force through political thugs as on the 9th of May, instigated by the government representatives, and use the police and military to harm, injure or kill unarmed peaceful protesters is a crime against civil society and humanity. Nevertheless, to date, none of these culprits has been brought to justice. The police should have used their brains and restrained them from taking unwise and harmful actions as the army did.
Also, not following such ‘insane’ and illegal orders by politicians and subsequently illegally arresting innocent people for political reasons. The people are entitled under the democratic system to protest non-violently, virtually anywhere in the country: the country belongs to them, not politicians. Instead of protecting people, the police continue to harm the public, violating human rights and the country’s laws.
Although under the country’s laws, there is no immunity for the police or the military for using forces against the public and horrific behaviour, as seen in the past seven years, none have been arrested or prosecuted. They cannot harm and murder people and get away with it. People must demand justice.
Arresting citizens without a court order or a warrant is ridiculous and illegal: such only happens under dictatorships and extreme abuse of power. Instead, the job of the police is to protect people— not only protesters in Gall Face green but also throughout the country—from government brutalities and abuses by politicians and the mob they mobilise. This is yet to happen, as no one speaks these truths, including in the parliament or binging motions to sanction responsible politicians, police, and military personnel.
Politicians are supposed to create laws and abide by them—instead, they originate valence
Politicians instigate violence, send ‘chits’ to the police illegally, and unlawful arresting of people. These crooks and the heads of police who give orders to arrest innocent people because of their political views and protesting peacefully (in Aragalaya) also must be brought to justice.
All responsible persons mentioned above should resign, and lawyers must bring them to justice. Just talking only by the Barr association and other lawyer groups is of no use: they need to take the lead and join the handful of attorneys who are already defending the public and the Constitution in various Courts of law. One cannot expect justice from the president-appointed attorney general(s), as he/she is in a deep sleep and only wakes up to protect the president, politicians, and the violent mob (preventing the arrests of lawbreakers). No wonder there is no law and order in Sri Lanka.
The police have the duty to protect the public
The police and the armed forces are paid by the taxpayers’ to “protect people” from the mob and the government itself (misbehaving politicians and thugs). People saw the blatant failure of the police during the political mob-instigated violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators at the Gall Face Green on the 9th of May 2022. Politicians at the highest and lowest levels are ostensibly involved in initiating these brutalities.
The backing from some high-ranking police and (ex)army fellows was reported via hundreds of videos circulated on social media. Irrespective of the perpetrators, all law-abiding citizens must condemn such actions, remain peaceful, and instigators must bring them to justice. Unfortunately, the actions from the lawyer’s associations, especially the SL Barr Association, are less than optimal: much talking and letter writing, but few actions. We hope that they are not just white-washing perpetrators. Nevertheless, no arrests were made, and no cases were filed against hundreds of those offenders. Even though they have been identified: no wrongdoers have not been brought to justice to date! Who is responsible for preventing this fairness?
The need for re-establishment of law and order
Meanwhile, the misfortune of this nation only disappears when the country has a new Constitution approved by the voters: one without loopholes that eliminate all privileges given to all politicians, not by patching up with additional flawed amendments. Special privileges the public does not enjoy are the root cause for enticing crooks to come to politics and become involved in fraud and corruption. Until that stop, robbers will continue to occupy the parliament.
Everyone must follow and respect the laws of the country. Especially the president, prime minister, ministers, members of the parliament, and government administrators, must portray honesty and openness and be role models in providing good behaviour. No one is above the law, certainly not even the president of any country. Unfortunately, some pretend to be they are.