Main bloc to Mahinda’s march to be a populist dictator is now Shirani, the CJ. After the genocidal war the main aim the government pursues, with no consideration for cost or consequence is to put Mahinda on a pedestal. Winning elections using any method; the replacement of the more democratic 17th Amendment with the 18th Amendment which enabled the President to contest again and again; the Leadership Training Programme, the Lotus Tower, etc, etc are all for that particular purpose. All fanciful projects are to increase power of Mahinda and enhance his glory. Therein we can observe a fundamental law of this rule. They always pursue chauvinist interests and their desires; they fight for this clan; supporting them, helping them. Thus obeying them is good; hindering them, questioning them is bad. Three opportunist left parties have realized this belatedly. They are in a struggle to display independence. Tamils also can change side and join the chauvinist clan and live in luxury. Ordinary Tamil detainees rot in jail, without even being charged, while KP a top man in the LTTE is allowed to function freely, with all privileges like a state guest. KP has considerable use-value for them and he pretends to serve them faithfully. Thus he is elevated above the law, while ordinary Tamil detainees, who have no such use-value, are deprived of justice. Funny thing is that Mahinda claims every blood sucking programme of theirs as a populist welfare activity. For instance, though the government says water tax is to help the down trodden and it will not tax wells used by ordinary people, once the groundwater tax is enforced, expanding it to include private consumers would be just a matter of interpretation.
Government claims that Divi neguma bill is to enhance the life of village poor. Contrary to the claims by government propagandists, the Divi Neguma Bill will render Minister Basil, super-powerful. However the government says,
”Divi neguma is actually a movement. In the past, there were family based self-sufficient economies. They did paddy cultivation. Likewise, they cultivated other food crops such as chili. With the onset of seasonal rain, they started cultivating them. Once the tanks were filled, they did paddy cultivation. They collected their harvests mainly for consumption. The harvest from other crops was sold for other needs. Also, they had backyard poultry. They had a few buffaloes and head of cattle. They used them for drawing their carts and to plough their fields. Also, they used such livestock for milk and making curd. Whenever there was a surplus of household products, it was released to the market. Besides, there were cottage industries such as weaving mats. The focus on developing such household economic units was mainly for domestic consumption but not for commercial purposes. But, in today’s society, this system alone is not sufficient to provide for a family income in many situations. Therefore, we have developed Divi neguma activities with a commercial purpose. As such we need the Divi neguma Bill.”
This is the point. The village today is already in the market and Divi neguma wants to come in as money lender replacing others. It is an activity with a commercial purpose without democracy. The Bill will create several layers of unelected organizations, from Grama Niladari level upwards, and endow these unrepresentative entities with many powers hitherto enjoyed by elected provincial councils. At the apex of this power-pyramid will be the Divi Neguma National Council, controlled by Minister Basil. It is huge political and financial machinery and he will also control the Divi Neguma Banks, Banking Divi Neguma Development Fund. The secrecy clause will give Minister Basil a carte blanche. The Divi Neguma Department will be allocated more money to play development-game with, than allocated for either education or higher education. Only good thing about it is that if it ever implemented Basil may get populist dictator illusions himself and create problems to his brother!
* Basil Rajapaksa – Photo courtesy Business Today