19 November, 2019

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Can Things Ever Get Worse? 

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

As a promotional gimmick, airlines reward their good customers, with the status of “Frequent Flyer”, entitling them to various facilities like airport lounges, automatic up-grades etc. With their economies for truth, and an insatiable appetite for being airborne, some of our representatives should lobby for the title of “Frequent Liar”.

Our generation may seem to be out of step, having been taught about discipline, honesty and truthfulness. There were things that simply were not done. Lying was one and disloyalty to your fellows was also “not the done thing.” Are we an extinct species or at least, an endangered one? The ease and unconcern with any rectitude or fairness and the protection afforded by unworthy immunity, is astonishing. An ‘earlier’ PM (they cannot be called “retired”, because they never do) declared, with undisguised glee, that Party Manifestos are not meant to be true, but merely devised to win votes of the gullible. That is a rare but depressing truth from a politician.

Let us remember two incidents (from the decadent West). John Profumo whose glittering prospects, were wrecked by a disclosure of a dalliance with a lady of easy virtue, who was simultaneously servicing a Russian Diplomat – and thus constituted a security risk. He initially denied, but was later led to confess. He resigned in disgrace – not on narrow moral grounds, but because he lied to the House of Commons. The Harley Street Doctor who turned out to be the pimp, if I remember right, committed suicide. Profumo (perhaps as penance) buried himself in social work.

President Bill Clinton (an Oxford Wrangler) and brilliant man, tried to obfuscate with hair-splitting legalistic jargon, bitter truths. He faced almost certain impeachment. Here too, the issue was not about his peccadillos (from which one suspects that this is a contagion that afflicts many politicians), were of trivial concern. The offence was willful lying. How do we measure up? 

In the run up to the last Presidential Elections the most preposterous claims were made. Where pray are the golden horses, many Presidential Palaces, Lamborginis for crown princes, Hundredweights of gold surrendered by (or stolen) from terrified ladies of Jaffna, the lavishly appointed underground bunkers beneath Queens House, the golden swords found inside Temple Trees, the Billions of public money allegedly squirrelled away in foreign accounts. One of today’s lily white Ministers, even blandished files in which he said he had all the evidence which he will expose “at the right time”, as will the defense of our Armed Forces, wrongly accused of War Crimes by the UNHCR. Billions of Dollars to buy luxury hotels in Dubai which would be confiscated and adequate to wipe off all our debts, ownerless luxury houses in Malwana, London, Hanguranketha etc. etc. etc. This is just a sampling to show the state of our country’s finances. The “Yahapalanaya” (a cynical presumption) champions have done equally well. The (James) Bond Scam, unsolved murders of Lasantha Wickremetunge, Waseem Thajudeen and Prageeth Ekneligoda, one guy even had the brass to come up with the novel statement that he and his wife have 400,000,000/= in their Bank Accounts and therefore, will not need to rob (will Inland Revenue follow this up?) etc. etc. etc. These far exceed the evidence necessary to damn the whole of our Political structures. Small wonder that more Bullet Proof vehicles and heavily enhanced security details have to protect our humble, honest and stellar politicos. Even more startling are the matters unearthed by Mr Nagananda Kodituwakku about the Duty Free import of luxury cars (including one for the MP for Polonnaruwa). One recalls the alleged imports, by the State, of top of the range, opulent “Jaguars”. What was their destination and destiny.

I do not think it improper to recognize these, as they are not news to those who adequately surf the Internet. Actually it is a civic duty to expose these commonly whispered gossip, if nothing else, to allow the slandered a fair chance for rebuff. One cannot, of course take all that is presented on the social media as gospel, but some things do smell bad. But the reckless waste and pilferage from the poorest and gravely neglected sectors of our country, have to be exposed. There are the disadvantaged, voiceless rural society that need help, and are normally known to be timid and docile, who are showing menacing signs of revolt, and  that the plastered-over boil may soon burst. Have they no right to have water, roads, bridges etc. that we have learnt to take for granted? This is simply not right. Let a healthy and fair debate permit us to lance this carbuncle.

That politicians (and especially the MP’s) who have so completely debased themselves, draw only cynical disgust (that easily drowns the prefix “Honourable”) will show in forthcoming elections. I have written on several occasions (to The Island and to Colombo Telegraph) Should anyone be interested, they may address me at pethiygodau@gmail.com when I will dig up some of the relevant ones on this theme.

Significantly, one sees that Ukraine has elected as their President, a stand-up comedian, who did not hold a single meeting, professed innocence of any knowledge of politics, and by implication, would allow competent administrators to do the best for their country. Nothing new, our irreverent wit declared, we have never been short of clowns!. When told that Mr Modi had won the recent Indian election, again noted, “nothing new, we have had several Modis in our time!” 

Then there was the President of a South American country, who chose to continue to live in his wood hut on his farm, getting around in his battered old Volkswagen Beetle, often accompanied by his pet pooch!

In  contrast, a Video clip showed the incident when a bunch of enraged civilians (in Ukraine?) waylaid one of their business suit-wearing and over bearing “Leaders”(President or Minister?) and heaved him (and his briefcase) into a rubbish bin and held him down, until several loads of garbage was bucketed on top of him. This is not to be emulated, because we have enough of real garbage, for it to have become a huge problem.

Interestingly, it can be noted that most of our political successes (from the voters’ point of view) were individuals who have, in their own right, excelled in something (Professions or Sports). The poorest (but not in wealth) performers are those who could not claim an exceptional past, beyond “experience” in politics. To such, politics is a flexible bonanza. They have never had it so good.  

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    Can things ever get worse ? We hope not for the sake of future generations. But with extremist elements in the Sri Lankan society, good for nothing politicians only interested in looting the country, religious leaders playing games and dabbling in politics , ordinary folk getting polarized, things can for sure get worse.

    • 6
      5

      CT Editors, Why not a picture of US puppet bondscam Ranil here?
      Can things get worse?
      Bondscam Ranil and his Royal club-hub are both more corrupt and more diabolical than Sira!

  • 7
    0

    “With their economies for truth, and an insatiable appetite for being airborne, some of our representatives should lobby for the title of “Frequent Liar””.
    What a brilliant suggestion. Let me re-phrase your percentage from ‘Some’ by 99.99% of representatives for sure and the top three contenders as MR, MS & RW.

  • 5
    12

    Sirisena must remove Asath Sally, Hizbulla and Bathurdeen immediately before anything happens to Venerable Ratana Thero and the entire country engulfs in flames. Do it now. Why protect them so much? Worthless.

    • 14
      4

      Sirisena removed former defense secretary for telling the truth and sent former IGP on compulsory leave to cover up the crime. Both these actions were done without batting an eye lid. Why is he trying to protect Badurdeen, Hisbullah and other Muslims when there is widespread demand to remove them, unless he is on their payroll.

  • 8
    0

    “…Ukraine has elected as their President, a stand-up comedian…Nothing new, our irreverent wit declared, we have never been short of clowns!
    +
    Good humor is a rare asset.
    And, sadly, we have many clowns, but no comedians.

  • 11
    2

    Can things ever get worse? They used to ask that question when Mrs B’s socialism meant that you had to eat a piece of jaggery with your tea as sugar was rationed. Looking back at that time, things got a lot worse. They could get even worse than that if MR and the car racing ‘lowyer’ return.

    • 8
      1

      Taraki

      ” They could get even worse than that if MR and the car racing ‘lowyer’ return.”

      How about his brother the former national hangman came back as president?

      We will have lot of fun dodging bullets, white vans, …………………. Duminda being appointed Chief Justice, Weerawansa as governor of Central Bank, Dayan Foreign minister, Basil ………… ?

      • 6
        0

        NV- You should add the name of our GCE (OL) failed synthetic ‘lowyer’ Namal Rajafucksha to the portfolio of Minister of Women’s Affairs!

    • 0
      2

      Taraki: So, what is your solution, proposal or the Demand ?

  • 7
    0

    Sri Lanka will be a failed nation soon. Then all sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims will pay the price. Each community fights for piece of cake.. each fights and then someone will come take away whole cake. Wait and see.

  • 7
    1

    “……………..…………………………………wrongly accused of War Crimes by the UNHCR……………………”
    You have never been to the North and the East, & you have not even heard of at least the “Trinco Five” – never mind the hundreds loaded into buses at the end/final day of conflict, to disappear forever.

  • 6
    0

    Dr. Pethiyagoda: You mentioned the case of “John Profumo”. Did you remember, when this case was unearthed and finally resulted in his exit , the British media reported the case using a new word added to the English Dictionary as “PROFUMATION”. If this is to be applied to Sri Lanka, in the present situation, we will have one more such word as : “SIRISENIAN” .

    • 4
      1

      How about being Wickramasinghed when you are cheated by crooks you blindly supported.

      • 5
        1

        Taraki

        ” They could get even worse than that if MR and the car racing ‘lowyer’ return.”

        How about his brother the former national hangman came back as president?

        We will have lot of fun dodging bullets, white vans, …………………. Duminda being appointed Chief Justice, Weerawansa as governor of Central Bank, Dayan Foreign minister, Basil ………… ?

  • 1
    0

    Upatissa Pethiyagoda puts, what may appear to be simple, question {“Can Things Ever Get Worse?”}
    President of Trotfusius Inc. say “Yesh”.
    What is it? The response “No say……..no say”.

  • 1
    0

    First of all, what happened to these Sinhalese live in Canada, US, UK, EU, and Australia? are they already dead mentally before physical death occurs?

  • 2
    0

    Ivory Coast, Somalia, Guinea, Haiti , Burundi. These are all failed states. Where do you stand Sri Lanka?

  • 2
    0

    Upatissa,

    Can Things Ever Get Worse

    *** The answer is very simple. When you are at the bottom of the Pile the only way traffic can move is up. How much things can get worse? It depends on how you define “Worse”. In my view it is OK for the majority. You dont have to serve a long time in Jail because your President will pardon you.. But if you are a Minority and if you are taken in you will never be seen again let alone given the chance to defend youself. You are condemned to death from the moment you are handcuffed.

  • 0
    0

    Looks like we have hit the bottom. I love what MR said about manifesto. “Promises are made to fool public”. When country is in crisis RW is concerned about MR,s security ( not the public ), MS continues to lie ,holiday and busy planning his future prospects. Gotha the very next day announced his candidacy standing in front of dead and mutilated bodies, Wimal is busy with his usual antics in parliament, Rathana is on fasting to remove Richard but not MS, Ganasara is pardoned and out there to take up his favorite theme, Cardinal is running around making peace gestures only to earn his share of benefits, rest of the monks do not want to be left out and are jumping into fray, Mangala tried to make peace but was too intellectual and message got lost , Public on their part are busy disseminating myth and fake, In general lawyers, doctors and other upstanding citizenry, is in dead silence. Media including social media is having a field day , security recently turned into spectators in the mean time hatred and violence continues as before Another tragedy sure will help in forgetting the present and we as a nation are getting ready for our next Democratic ???? elections.

  • 0
    0

    Before Sri lanka becoming another Thahiti or Somalia change the 15th amendment. Even Ethiopia this year grows at 8.5% rate. Ethiopia is lucky because it is not in the middle of the Indian Ocean and Ethiopians have suffered as much as they can, so they want to change.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you Moderator how worse cat it get.

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