30 May, 2024


Changing Landscape Of Local Politics

By Suren Sumithrarachchi

Dr. Suren Sumithrarachchi

Calling themselves Ceylon National Congress

Local elite during British rule

Later to become the UNP

To fight for freedom from imperial rule.


First to govern independent Ceylon

No differently from the British times

Though initiated some positive changes

Also earned the ire of masses. 


Came 1956 and the Bandaranayaike rule

Politicians were from many a school

Used office to change culture anew

Elitism to the backdrop flew.


Peons in offices, even street vendors

Into the hallowed hall allowed

Not realising its sacred status

The speaker’s chair they desecrated.


Changes made all across the board

Language policy, Sinhala alone

Nationalised the port and busses

No fear or concern for causing losses.  


Gradually to grow culture of impunity

Politicians to have all supremacy 

In every matters of public domain

Over administrator, public to claim.


Public administrator not to give up

Followed strictly the rules up tight

Soon to earn the politicians’ wrath

To be stifled by regulations tight.


Initially broad-basing the CCS

Later abolition of the PSC

Gradually brought the administrator public 

Under the political arm to grip. 


To make decisions not based on merit

But instead, on the political will

To satisfy the needs of party

Supporters so they will.


Ensure the vote at next election

Supportive to those in power

To sustain themselves in power further

To aggrandise themselves for ever.


Comes 1977, PM Jayawardena J

The 5/6th majority in his hey day

To turn parliament topsy-turvy

Usurping its power all the way.


Making himself country’s President

The only all powerful man found yet

Claimed he had the powers needed 

To do anything with what God provided.


Other than to make a woman a man 

Or conversely a man to woman

Above the law in matter all local

No court can question however legal.


Drove fear in minds of parliamentarians

Taking in hand their resignations 

Ruled the country with an iron hand

Opening economy in his mother land.


To import everything, pins and clips included

Progressively ending everything manufactured

Encouraging people to abandon thinking

To adopt open economy biased towards trading.


Textile mills making quality materials

Gave way to cloth imported

People began to dance their way

In everything imported having to pay.


From the sparse foreign currency resources

Eating into nation’s wealth

Making country poorer by the day

No concern for the coming bad day.


At the doorstep, deceit and corruption

All bi-products of profit orientation

Of an economy moving towards trading

Not realising the disaster growing. 


Contribution from agriculture drops

Industry contribution also drops

Next casualty becomes employment

Those unemployed then take to corruption.


Other social evils also rise

Family values at a price

The serenity of culture that prevailed

Soon appear to have derailed. 


As time goes by, might became right

Taking hostage those unable to fight

Rights become the preserve of the powerful

For all others right only slight.


The country has now come the distance

To peak in practices corruption, deceit, 

Ruling the roost with thuggery and impunity

Politicians enjoy the power of inequity. 

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Latest comments

  • 1

    3 nations, 1 island.

  • 2

    It’s totally INCORRECT for the Democratic Country to be used to totally SERVE the majority Sinhalese Buddhist. Sovereignty should not be an excuse to suppress and subjugate the minorities and deprive them Equal chances to get tertiary education and Government Jobs. This attitude of Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalists had brought the country’s pathetic debt ridden under developed country.
    In addition citizens are being deprived of real Justice from unbiased Judges.
    Media is controlled by the Government and their supporters. There is self censorship practiced in order to avoid the wrath of the RULERS.
    It’s totally unfair to have 70% of armed forces in the North and East of mostly Tamils areas that are practically an open prison. I do hope that the GoSL will bring changes to the country by following the RECOMMENDATIONS of UNHCR.

  • 2

    Multiple Ethnic groups;multiple Religions; multiple Cultures—> In United Democratic SriLanka
    AND NOT a Unitary country

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