18 October, 2017

…And Our Rulers Smile

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“..That one may smile and smile and be a villain.” –Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1

Paul Babiak and Robert D Hare published a book titled, “Snakes in Suites- When Psychopaths go to work.”

Take a look at our ruling political elite in Sri Lanka from the top, right through the hierarchy of tail-wagging, incompetent Ministers, to the lowest Pradeshiya Sabha ranks. Look at the Para-political levels, namely the myriad hangers-on- of this mainstream elite: servile lowly monks who confer exalted and inflated religious titles on corrupt leaders; opportunistic Public Servants willing to concoct bogus statistics to boost the government; media personal who are recipients of royal patronage; the kind of artist that announces that Mahinda Rajapakse belongs to the lineage of the Buddha; the kind of artist who sings the anthem for the  rowdy and beefy Bhikku brigade that is going round the country blasting churches, mosques, meat stalls etc in the name of the Great Compassionate One or even the simple naïve men and women who go to Lanka and return with stories of “great improvement” or “miracles,” as the ancient Arab traders did.

In repose, all these guys smile, and smile, and even hug. One of the most disarming and charming psychopathic smiles I’ve ever seen is that emanating from the high profile politico under suspicion of raping a school girl, trafficking of drugs, and the daylight murder of a rival politico of the same side.

Even our President smiles while smelling rot goes on under his watch? Why all these smiles? It is not as mysterious a question as the Mona Lisa smile. Babiak & Hare have done an exhaustive study of psychopaths. “Callous and manipulative, adept at conning people a psychopath relies on superficial charm, makes great first impressions….they never feel bad about anything they do that is shameless.”

To say that you can spot a law-abiding psychopath is an oxymoron (i.e. something weirdly self-contradictory). Psychopaths are by definition masters of emotional disguise. If there were an Olympics for impression management our psychopathic leaders would be exultant medalists. Sri Lanka’s ruling politicos have proved themselves to be deceitful and shameless and masters of lying and subterfuge. At the same time, our general public including some formally educated types have proved to be gullible, naïve peasants.

The litany of shameless things that have been happening in Lanka under the watch of the government is very long. We remind our readers of just a few that would be enough to establish our perspective.

One can go back to the jailing of the one who the President himself described as “the greatest army commander in the world.”  That is now old hat although an unforgivably shameless and ungrateful act.  The removal of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was declared by the Supreme Court to be plainly unconstitutional. The installation of Mr Mohan Pieris to that position is consequently unconstitutional.  The case challenging the latter’s constitutionality has been heard by a panel picked by the accused and predictably dismissed.

In this way, Sri Lanka’s once prestigious and proud judiciary, manhandled and mutilated by politicians has today lost its credibility as a body that can hold the scales evenly. The new incumbent in the high office of Chief Justice apparently didn’t have a prick of conscience to accept an inappropriately engineered installation that hits at the bottom of the sovereignty of the people and turns the island into a Mugabe-like comic opera. From the days of Magna Carta we know that the independence of the judiciary both in real and manifestation is a prime requirement for democracy. Rule of Law and democratic governance is inconceivable without that.

Again, buying members of the Opposition to strengthen the hands of the President (Deth shakthimath karanna) was an act of shameless public bribery. Creating thereby a Parliament that is ready to raise hands for anything the government wants-good or bad or ugly- was a brilliant way of working out the democratic system to convert it into a dictatorship while retaining the surface of Parliamentary governance. Parliament which should be the voice of the people and which should be the forum for public debate over public issues affecting the people is now a docile instrument. MPs are looked after by an elaborate system of inducements and threats. Many MPs are having corruption claims on them kept under the carpet to be resurrected if they dare challenge the government.

With Parliament and the justice system now emasculated, it is an open field for the government and its lackeys to literally play hell. Play hell they do. The Auditor General who should be free to investigate financial transactions of the executive is also rendered docile in similar fashion. The Police now takes orders from the local Pradeshiya Sabha member. The COPE  headed by a government MP, DEW Gunasekera, has reported that over 40 Corporations and Public agencies are neck-deep in corruption to the tune of hundreds of billions while wastage takes place in other places to an equal amount. But who cares for the COPE?

Sons of high profile politicos can disable DIGs by assaulting the latter and dispatching them to hospital. Once cajoled, the Cop meekly announces he has hit himself. Another high profile politico runs night- time motor races in the heart of Colombo, closing down all roads. Luxury racing cars are being imported when ordinary people can hardly pay their water, electricity and gas bills.  Pradeshiya Council Chairman and Councilors appear to be specializing in raping women and young girls. One guy in the Hambantota District is alleged to have raped and killed a British tourist. He was arrested and released whereas General Fonseka was kept in jail for three years for nothing. The PC member in Aanamaduwa had ordered a lady school teacher to kneel down for admonishing an undisciplined son of his. His

B-I-L  is given nomination again for the current election.

The case of DIG Vaas Gunawadena is a recent shocker. This big cop is suspected of carrying out assassinations for influential ruling party persons. It is alleged that he has even charged a fee for this service. We desist from going into the truth  or otherwise of these serious criminal allegations. On the other hand, our interest is in the aspect of criminal suspicion about a top-level Cop who is expected to uphold law and order. Dr Merv is more a shameless joker than an effective criminal. He once tied a Public Servant to a tree as punishment to the latter but when the outcry came he got the poor devil to say that he has tied himself. Our psychopaths either have a sense of innocent humor or they believe people are brain-dead. The case of Duminda who had been suspected of first degree murder of Bharata Lakshman (besides allegations of drug trading and rape) was an even worse shocker that preceded the story of Vaas Gunawardena. Duminda claimed he was almost paralyzed and got bail. Immediately after release he merrily trots away to meet His Excellency the President. He has resumed his position as Supervising MP for Defence! Duminda must be having a hard time supervising himself!

And then came Weliweriya! Hundreds of residents in Weilweriya, Gamapaha District, had been complaining bitterly to authorities that a plastic factory belonging to a political bigwig had been contaminating the ground water supplies. Many persons in the village depend on well water for their living. The pleas had been ignored and the residents themselves organized a public protest on the main road. In came the army and opened fire killing at least three innocent youths. The actual number dead is said to be more. The big questions are why the army and not the police had been called in? Who gave orders? Why was the army assault out of proportion to the provocation? What effective action have the authorities taken to address the complaint?

Nobody knows the answers. The President is silent. The Defence Secretary is silent. The District Organizer, Basil Rajapakse, had to speak because everybody knew he had not lost his tongue. What did Basil say? He decried the act and said “sorry,” like Kevin Rudd saying sorry to Aboriginals. He had a simple route, namely to go to his brothers and seek answers.

Dear reader, I can go on with more and more illustrations that only reveal the psychopath residing in the psyche of our ruling politicians. But let this be enough to prove my point about the sad state of our once resplendent isle where we were born, nurtured, and where we breathed. We have a totally unaccountable government that wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t care. Why care and why listen after the 18th Amendment? One thing it loves to do is to engage in big ticket expenditure items. This is called development. We are yet to see the development that resulted from building an International Airport in Mattala or a Port in Hambantota, or International Sports Stadium in Hambantota.

Birds still fly there unimpeded, we are told. At least the birds are free.

(CONCLUSION)

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Latest comments

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    Why, you conveniently forget the marauding monks of BBS spawned and funded by the government to split the country into majority minority camps, to boost their chances of riding to election victory on the majority vote alone, (the famous chants of Apet lay Singha lay, Apey rata Bauddha rata, Apey jaathiya rakaganimu rhetoric), stoning of Muslim business houses and Mosques, whilst the law enforcement police officers stand still and watch the carnage without lifting a finger to help the oppressed. Ah so you don’t think that is worthy of comment after so much that has happened in the recent past. Doesn;t register in your mind when you consider all that has happened to bring this country to the bottom of a sink hole? You are probably convinced that it was the only good thing to happen to our country. To frighten the minorities out of their skin. Probably, good thinking by the country’s leadership. Unfortunately though, this is an extension of the same old stinking rot, that we have to put up with in our daily lives.

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    The man with the broadest smile of all,
    Malinda Seneviratne – one of the media personal who are recipients of royal patronage should read this article in shame!

    Well written piece with a sense of humor.

  • 0
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    Lovely article Shyamon! Hats off to you for a very realistic assessment of existing affairs. Bravo!

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      Shyamon I also painfully suffers like you. But this marauding sycophants will continue to hold the rein of the country many more years with “buying members of the Opposition to strengthen the hands of the President” to “raise hands for anything the government wants-good or bad” with “elaborate system of inducements and threats” No hope for a Colombo Spring with a Brain Dead Buddhist Sinhala Majority. How unfortunate the people of this small country.

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    The teachings of Machiavelli have been frequently exercised by modern leaders.

    1. Emphasis on strong nationalism,
    2. The use of the military as a path to power.
    3. The lack of moral restraint on the use of that power.

    All these points hinge on human nature, which Machiavelli saw as unchanging through the ages. He believed that the same human passions move people at all times and places.

    A crafty ruler will manipulate these unchanging passions to produce desired benefits. The love of country and need for security can be used to obtain authority, and respect for (or fear of) government can sustain it.

    http://www.ucumberlands.edu/academics/history/files/vol2/JohnLaster90.htm

    Machiavellianism is defined as the political doctrine of Machiavelli, which denies the relevance of morality in political affairs and holds that craft and deceit are justified in pursuing and maintaining political power.

    Machiavellianism is one of the three personality traits referred to as the dark triad, along with narcissism and psychopathy. Some psychologists consider Machiavellianism to be essentially a subclinical form of psychopathy, although recent research suggests that while Machiavellianism and psychopathy overlap, they are distinct personality constructs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavellianism

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    Agreed that our leaders are rotten, though they smile. They smile because they are satisfied with the wealth they have accumulated. The people smile too but they smile through weariness and hopelessness, and it is good that they are able to smile through adversity. There are many servile commentators who smile thinking of the money they earn on every piece they criticize. You can find their oblique nastiness hopefully on this very page. They smile despite knowing that they betray the poor and the destitute. They smile when they put one over the writer. They do not care. But they smile. Their smile is meaningless, without compassion, and without humanity. Like the smile of our country’s leaders.

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      Even at the time, victimised mother who lost only son he had through the army fire ordered by MR on that day, people of the area peacefully protested asking clean water, whether the teenboy joined that marches were not clear – but had been present their either to collect her mother,
      PRESIDENT AND OTHERS IN THE BUNCH WERE SMILING. How can one with sanity feel about this kind of leaders ? He seems to benot listening to his conscience rather trying to copy Gadaphi, Sadam, moder dictators like the leader of Belarus, whose common enemy is UN human rights chief:

      As it moves forward, I have no doubt, that CW summit will be a meeting for them to rather discuss about the actions that they need to marginalize MR than asking him to take over the leadership of the CW for the next two years. As TG clearly pointed out, the greater impact of Pillay´s visit and her due report to be discussed (oral dabate) in End of September in Geneva sessions will fully affect on the success of the CW summit that will be held in island in November.No means the summit will be successful. Looking at the manner, how parentless, childrenless,siblingsless families weeped out, in a form of funeral parade in nother areas yesterday, opened the eyes of millions of people accross this globe – what a disaster against the humanity it has been. There is no excuase, Rajapakse should be investigated for the charges this and other locals together with international communities made,against their provable inhuman nature during the last phases of the war end in 2009. If this would properly be addressed only, these people would feel, that they can comfort themselves thinking justice is done.Nothing else, like giving live to infrastructure projects alone cant help in healing the frustration of this people.

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      This is the reason why CBK named them as ” uneduated, uncultured rascals”. None would go against her analysis in that regard. This is the wrong side of democracy actually,many that make up the majority of the country are naive masses in this island. They are the vote base for these politicians to pave the way to parliament. So long one sided biased, far wrongful information are fed to those people through state handled media instituation, those gawky people would stay trust what majaraja and the co. has been preaching is the mere truth LEAVING fact and figures let alone the checks and balances aside.

      How many of those poor people are informed about Belarus, if not some western leaders are not aware of that particular state ?

      How many of those poor people are informed about the CW summit ?

      What members are going to attend it ? Whether the leader of island nation fulfils all qualifications to hold the summit ?

      What media`impact in the prevalence of rulers in a so called democrasy such as ours is huge than the majority of the island nation just guess at.

  • 0
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    Well articulated and courageous. All said correctly.We know why the regime is fond of high expenditure projects. They get the kutti.What about Duminda’s smile? What lies behind that?

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    Shyamon forgot about our “elections”.
    We have never had a totally free and fair election since independence.
    Every election has spawned cutouts,handbills pasted ad lib,thuggery,intimidation,arson,misuse of state resources, and even murder.
    After 64 years of “independence”,we cannot conduct a peaceful lawful election.
    The three provincial elections are being contested with scant regard to elections procedure.
    The army is interfearing directly in the NPC election.
    Public servants are being intimidated to ‘back’ the UPFA.
    The EPDP goons are assaulting other partymen.
    How can the government say that we are a democracy?

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    Dear Shaymon Jayasinghe,

    Thank you. A very true summary of the Resplendent Island, the Dhamma Deepaya. The land of the Triple Gem, actually the Double Gem.
    We need to discard the Sangha and keep only the Buddhaand Dhamma.

    Do you really want to keep the BBS, Sinhala Ravya and the Mahanayakas in the third Gem?

    Well stated below by you.

    “Dear reader, I can go on with more and more events that only reveal the psychopath in our ruling politician. But let this be enough to prove my point about the sad state of our once resplendent isle where we were born, nurtured and where we breathed. We have a totally unaccountable government that wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t care. Why care and why listen after the 18th Amendment? One thing it loves to do is to engage in big ticket expenditure items. This is called development. We are yet to see the development that resulted from building an International Airport in Mattala or a Port in Hambantota, or International Sports Stadium in Hambantota.

    Birds fly there, we are told. At least the birds are free.”

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      amarasiri:

      buddha dhamma is for intelligent people and not for you like dumb animals living in human bodies.

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        Jim Softy:

        “buddha dhamma is for intelligent people and not for you like dumb animals living in human bodies.”

        Address the issue raised, you dumbo. Is there any proof for Nirvana, Nibbana, Rebirth and Sansara, other than the Jataka Stories? Come with data like the phases of Venus, to prove the Earth goes around the Sun. We all know you are an animal too. Check your DNA, but you will not find your Kamma there, only A, T , G and C, the bases.

        So you believe in lock, stock and barrel, the triple Gem

        1. The Buddha
        2. The Dhamma

        and 3. The Self Appointed Sangha? BBS, Sinhala Ravya etc.

        Do they follow the Dhamma?

        Somararama who killed SWRD is part of the Triple Gem? What about his Kamma? Was he reborn as a women, or an animal?

        Were you Somarama in your previous birth?

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    Like father the son – those cunning smiles – Read further:
    [Edited out] Please don’t post gossip links – CT

  • 0
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    You have explained only a very little. Greed, dishonesty has destroyed Sri Lanka.

    You talked about only the politicians, How about the others ?

    • 0
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      Jimbo,
      Not sure when you were here last in Sri Lanka
      The “others” as you call it are the favoured few who follow the politicians example.
      Do come and visit us Jimbo

  • 0
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    MR may be wanting to know that he is invited by foreign states and that is the reason why he has been on a visit to that country these days, while MS Pillay is on a week long mission to the country for human rights inspection.

    http://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=23868&mode=beauti

    Rulers smile, but they are being ridiculed out by entire world to this date.

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      it should be MR may be wanting to show… apologies.

  • 0
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    Shaman is big supporter and organiser in Australia for Sarath Fonseka, no wonder he is writing this type article , always opposition find faults of other party no one is perfect in the world

    • 0
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      Jay the question you should be asking or answering is whether the opinion expressed by SJ is correct or not?

      Well, which is it?

      • 0
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        Not Jay but my reply is directed to KK

  • 0
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    Nice write up SJ. Though a bit thin on the ‘racism’ aspect that is tearing the country apart.

    It is mind boggling how a small family can rule a vast majority with such disdain and comtempt and continue to do so with such impunity.

    There is no explanation, so I will smile also.

  • 0
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    What else can we do but to smile and bear the treacherous rule of the Rajapakse brothers? People vote a goverbnment to power on trust. These fellows have betrayed that trust and are a law unto themselves. What right have these good-for-nothings to assume dictatorial power?
    Did you see MR kissing the Bo tree?

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    Psychopathic behaviour in politicians emerge when there is no balance of power.

    Such behaviour emerged during 1970-77 when the governing coalition got 2/3 majority. It emerged again after 1977 when the ruling party got 5/6 majority. The then head of state declared that he could not do only changing sex of people. Current psychopathic tendencies are a result of again the ruling coalition receiving 2/3 majority.

    So is it the voters who are to blame? Is it the democratic opposition who do not have internal democracy in their political parties who cannot build sufficient mass base and continue to loose elections as a result that are to blame? Or is it the parochial agenda driven so called intellectuals to blame (for taking the masses up the garden path)?

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    Mahinda Rajapakse look at his smile. I can spot a stupid malevolency.Duminda’s is the most innocent and beautiful looking.He had a problem of remembering. Is that cured now?

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    Remember meeting and having a long chat – in the company of a common friend – with Shyamon when he was, I believe, Labour Commissioner. He spoke intelligently, articulate, humorous and was well informed of men and matters here and abroad. Typical of the earlier respected CCS men.
    But, Sir, your factual and interesting narrative missed a group of people of this country – still part thereof I dare say – who have suffered more and longer than anybody in this country – even in the tenure of the Rajapakse Royalty. Perhaps, you will do some research in this and make reference to some in your future comments – although I am aware of the polarisation between the two communities Down Under.
    As to the comment here you work for Sarath F. So what?

    If you will allow me to provide you with a hint of the tile. I borrow from an Indian journo – “the Smiling Assassin” in line with your piece here.

    Senguttuvan

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    Rajapakse is not welcome in any of the big capitals of the world. So he goes to visit petty dictators like the fellow in Bellarue. Then he signs memorandums.He has now covered all dictators to update himself on latest methods.

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      President Alexander Lukashenko is an out and out thug besides being an
      admitted dictator. The Council of Europe has debarred Belarus (Bylorussia) from membership. He has been illegally in power from 1994.
      He tried more than once to extend his term by bogus Referendums. Leading opposition leaders are arrested and beaten by the secret Police. People protesting peacefully against the rising Cost of Living State corruption and bad living conditions too are regularly beaten up and bloodied. Reminds you of something, eh?

      Jaadiyata moodiya in the Sinhala village idiom.

      Senguttuvan

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        This was what I was saying even before TG is coming up with the current article. Democracy index of Belarus is close to any dictatorships. And the name of the state is far unknown to many. What kind of agreements as GOVT reiterate are questionalbe to me. This tour has brought more worries to the international communities rather than plus points to the current govt.

        As you described it – Jadiyatata mudiya and Massa wahanne gomagodelu ne are both well match with his this behaviour.

        Surprisingly, this tour was accompanied by hand picked relatively smaller size of a deligation.

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          Many would remind that song ” api asarana wela apita therenawa buduhamuduruwane”. Coming colour for the island nation is not favourable :(

  • 0
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    Its high time the Americans swoops on Sri Lanka and liberates the country from Rajapakses.

    • 0
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      Daniel Thenuvara:- God Forbid! The Americans will create another War in Sri Lanka like in Syria, in order to sell their Military Arsenal and Chemical Weapons. The USA does not interfere in other Coutries for Love!

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    Sanjay, the Chinese will swallow us having recovered all their interest and not giving anyhting in return. But Americans are a better bet, I guess. Anything is better than Rajapakses. Good heavens let them be dragged out!MARA,GORA,BARA,CHARA,NARA and the whole shoot of parasites.Merv and Wimal can carry their baggage.

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    Sanjay, the Chinese will swallow us having recovered all their interest and not giving anyhting in return. But Americans are a better bet, I guess. Anything is better than Rajapakses. Good heavens let them be dragged out!MARA,GORA,BARA,CHARA,NARA and the whole shoot of parasites.Merv and Wimal can carry their baggage.

  • 0
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    It is so pleasing to read the reality of the poor state of a wonderful island.It is also more pleasing to know there are brave people like the writer who are willing to come out and let the world know the ground siyuation.
    What need to be done now is a translation of this article in sinhala language to be published in sinhala newspapers for the locals to know about these psycopaths leading to number their days

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