By Gamini Dullewe –
Every one of the 6.2 mil who voted Yahapalanaya, is in a quandary why PM Ranil Wikremesinghe nor President Maithripala Sirisena, did not take to task the Rajapaksas for Murder and Fraud with an abundance of evidence displayed in the Media, for the last three and a half years. Majority is dismayed and is despondent, why the Rule of Law was not applied to any one of them, thus allowing them to go scot free. It is my belief, that some hand, very, very powerful, restrained them from taking any action against the Rajapaksas, let alone to convict them but even to try them. This is my conclusion, that possibly, it is a foreign force that twisted the arms of the PM or the President or both of them, not to take any action.
This force is not difficult to be identified as that of China in whose Debt, Sri Lanka is trapped, after China invested heavily in this country under President MR, who expected to continue the business dealings, but for the sudden removal of MR from power in 2015, with a half a million majority voting to end his term abruptly. It was no secret that China and Sri Lanka under Yahapalanaya, the relationship was not cordial as before, during the time of MR. Some projects that had commenced during MR’s time, were suspended and recommenced again after a lapse of time. Sri Lanka was selected by China under their Road and Belt programme currently in progress.
In addition to the construction of the Hambanthota Port and the Mattala Airport, China had shown interest in the East side terminal of the Colombo Port which is adjacent to the new Port City that is under construction by the Chinese. India too had shown interest in the East side Terminal, due to significant Chinese presence in Sri Lanka, as a counter measure to safeguard their interest in the region. To discuss issues, PM Ranil Wickremasinghe met up with Modi the Indian President a couple of weeks back. This action of RW seems to have obviously infuriated China to take quick evasive action, to negate the proposal of the East side Terminal being handed over to India. The result was the Constitutional crisis that was created when MR was appointed as the Defacto PM in order to stall the process, until MR consolidates his position to regain the lost Political power. Many were bewildered why MR suddenly decided on the onslaught, when there was an opportunity anyway, to topple the Yahapalanaya Govt. with the impending Budget just round the corner. The indecent hurry to usurp power even violating the Constitution is the direct result of Chinese involvement.
If MR did wait for the Budget to topple the Yahapalanaya Govt., he certainly would not have been the care taker PM as RW would have held the post and the govt machinery, till the General Election that would be held under RW. This would not have suited the desired plan of China, fearing that MR would not secure a comfortable win, to fulfill the Chinese agenda. Therefore to be certain of a comfortable win at the general election, MR necessarily had to be the Care Taker PM. Hence the Constitutional Coup d’tate. Next week when the Parliament meets, one way or the other, if MR as PM is defeated and removed, the President will dissolve govt and call for a General Election in three months. However if the UNP can avert the govt being dissolved by the irate President and reinstall RW to continue as the legitimate PM, what I foresee is mere conjecture. Three months will give ample opportunity for MR to consolidate his position, to romp home with a landslide win at a general election as the caretaker PM. What he will do is what he has already announced with no economic working or plan, that he will bring the prices of fuel and essential commodities down immediately without even batting an eyelid. MR will even reduce the taxes. This would be made possible from the financial assistance that he will receive from China, may be as a very long term loan on easy interest or sometimes gratis.
People will heave a sigh of relief to enjoy the Christmas and the Sinhala & Tamil New Year. The $ will revert back to Rs. 160/-. MR will then appeal to the Sinhala Buddhist Patriotism and it will be an uphill task for the minorities to make a dent in his victory. Many will be very critical of RW for his style of governance and I feel the UNP will face an ignominious defeat, that none in the UNP could avoid such. This will result in RW leaving the Political arena and I wonder how long the UNP will take to recover if at all. MR after victory will consolidate his position with a two third majority to amend the Constitution once again to qualify, for him to contest the 2020 Presidential Election to become the President again with all powers restored to the post. The UNP will disintegrate with a Leadership crisis and fast lose appeal to the masses. MR will sit as President long enough till his son is ready to take over. The only impediment I see for this sequence of events to run off the rail, is a manmade calamity or a natural calamity. If not, a stable govt will continue for quite some time under MR, sans an Opposition.
The demography of the country will change after a while. There will be no demands from the Tamils for homelands, self-rule or separation, as issues will be addressed with an iron fist. Then the Sinhala chauvinists, backed by the Buddhist Sangha will also be put in place. It will no longer be an attraction, for the laity to take to robes, once the shackles of bondage that exists now of the poor masses, who don the robe merely to avoid poverty. When the living standards improve from the levels of poverty they are reduced to now, with more opportunity for them to engage otherwise, the present practice of mass ordination of poor children will cease. In place of the Sinhala Buddhist culture, we will have a Cosmopolitan culture with Mandarin being added to the existing Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher. There will be more money in rotation, that all will be busy involved in the process of development.
Here I should mention that the West and India, the other stake holders of Sri Lanka, although diplomatically have not acknowledged MR as the new PM, will eventually have to. These Western forces with India was once involved in making MR the President in 2005, pulling the carpet under RW’s feet and presented the LTTE on a platter for MR to annihilate to end the war, after nurturing the LTTE for over 30 years. Currently they must be of the belief that they could wield diplomatic pressure with Travel adversaries and embargoes. It will matter very little to MR as China that has a population of over 1400 bil of which figure a 300 mil tourists leave every year on holiday. So if China decide for a 10% to be diverted here, will amount to 30 mil tourists, whereas the current number visiting our country is in the region of around just over 2 mil. Besides China will get more FDI to invest here to boost our economy that will result in a stampede from the Investors from the West not to miss out of opportunity. There will be more accommodation afforded to wealthy foreigners to settle down here to help the growing economy. All in all the masses will benefit. Then the masses will not care, if the Politicos rob or even kill any who defy them. All news will be censored.
This is exactly how China was developed. In 1949 after Mao Zedong took control of China and renamed the country as The People’s Republic of China with a Communist ideology. The first thing they accomplished was to wipe out the Capitalists in the country and take over all Private sector owned Industry and property under State control. Here in Sri Lanka also in ’56, after SWRD Bandaranaike established a Socialist Govt., the cry was to wipe out Capitalism and Nationalize Private Enterprise. The situation in China did vary, compared to the Sri Lankan situation, where the former pursued Communism and Sri Lanka pursued Socialism. However in both countries the govts consisted of the Poor Politicians as the majority and after fifty years of them in governance, they have become the ultra rich in society today. Otherwise how can one account for China to have the highest number of Billionaires today, if they had pursued State ownership in preference to Private ownership? Today China has become a very rich country if not the richest in the world. China today has lent Loans to most countries from Africa to the Far East. China has invested in trillions of $ in the US, Europe, Australia. The latest country to enter China funding is Pakistan. It was only the other day there was a news item where China has opened three Police Stations in Nigeria. Chinese investment in real estate in most of the developed countries is alarming, indicating the strength of their hegemony. Here in Sri Lanka too, the Chinese debt trap will not spare us from their dominance and interference as, is very evident in the current Constitutional Crisis.