14 July, 2020

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Emergence Of Two New Elite Circles

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

One of the reputed digital media organizations in the world; Ranker has recently come up with a list of most important characteristics of a politician. Accordingly, there are about 32 attributes ranked according to the number of votes received by a worldwide readership. Interestingly “Honesty” is ranked number one quality and “Experience” is the last and 32nd quality. Judging by the policies, actions and recent tongue-lashing given to the hierarchy of sleeping beauties of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka the above ranking fits very well with the Nation’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Among his traits honesty is number one policy and it is a foregone conclusion that the voters of Sri Lanka have confirmed political experience as an irrelevant factor in the Presidential election. 

Desired qualities of politicians   

Then what about the other qualities that a good politician must possess? The top five qualities expected by the average citizens are; 

1) Honesty 

2) Integrity 

3) Intelligence

 4) Diplomacy 

5) Determination 

Ironically, none of our political leaders and their “manufactured” party representatives of the last parliament of Sri Lanka possesses any of the five qualities endorsed by a worldwide readership. Obviously, our politicians have the determination to remain in the parliament forever either by hook or by crook. Also the statutory laws collectively sanctioned by these men and women in politics have nurtured nepotism, corruption and highly lethargic civil administration service in the country.  

Lack of honesty and integrity has been the basis of corruption but it is unfortunately the hallmark of overwhelming majority of Sri Lankan politicians vying to be the representatives of the next parliament. Apparently, the  nation spends about Rs.44 million to elect one of these rogue elements; the total bill for 225 of them is estimated around Rs.10 billion, what a waist to produce a  “manufactured”  bunch of representatives claiming to be the members of parliament.  

Gentleman of politics

Once Hon. Dudley Senanayake said; “I will not barter the rights of any community for the glory of political office”. What a beautiful statement of a real statesman who devoted his life to uplift the living standards of every citizen of the nation. Throughout his tenure as Prime Minister, he stood against public funds being utilized for the private use of a public official, residing at his private residence and financing all expenses incurred through his private funds. 

Among all political leaders who occupied the highest seat of power in the past only D.S. Senananayake, Dudley Senanayake and John Kotalawela possessed the above virtues; Honesty, Integrity, Intelligence, Diplomacy and Determination.

Fortunately, after the demise of Dudley Senananayake, we are witnessing another gentleman with similar qualities occupying the seat of power; “Gotabaya Rajapaksa” has shown to posses the above five qualities and proven them with actions.

In contrast, certain political leaders including former Presidents/families, Prime Ministers and Opposition leaders have shamelessly become a major burden to the taxpayers; their maintenance bill along may be sufficient to maintain few hospitals or build a new University. 

In the absence of credible parliament of virtuous representatives the implementation of people friendly policies of Gota will be constrained undoubtedly. Even the next parliament will be occupied by vile and corrupt parliamentarians driven by vested interests and greed. Furthermore, these politicians will be aided by equally corrupt and lethargic civil service and other senior officials in the government run institutions. Recent revelations of Avant Guard Chairman Nissanka Senadhpathi confirms the extent of corruption within political circles and related institutions in the country. 

Yet, Gota has to deliver the promises he made to the people in the November elections. Tongue-lashing given to CB senior hierarchy produced some positive results within 12 hours and similar results can be expected from other government agencies but they surely lack commitment and they are not driven by empathy for the poverty stricken citizens of the country. The quick positive response can be interpreted as a survival tactic of a corrupt CB gang because these were the very same bunch that was on guard during bond scam, The Finance and ETI debacle. 

Certain section of the citizenry argues that tongue-lashing session for the CB senior hierarchy has failed to invite Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as he is responsible for the financial affairs of the country. 

Our nation’s affairs have been beleaguered by unholy traditional political forces since the death of Hon. D.S.Senanayake. Manufactured political representation in the parliament was carefully orchestrated and implemented by a few conniving individuals or godfathers controlling dynastic and/or patronage politics in the country. For example these godfathers are one hundred percent opposed to any electoral reform that would ensure the true people representation in the parliament. Two Third majority and national list concepts were introduced to prevent election of patriots of with above mentioned desired virtues of a politician and to undermine the application of principles of true democracy. It seems that voters have forgotten how scheming politicians successfully managed to outsmart Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero in 2015. 

Moreover, the godfathers have no interest in reconciliation or making one nation and one law for every citizen irrespective of their ethnicity. Hence they do not subscribe to what Hon. Dudley Senanayake said; “I will not barter the rights of any community for the glory of political office”.

Godfathers of politics spent 70 years of mismanaging the nation’s economy and making every possible ploy including legislative measures to embed corruption in the administrative, judiciary and security apparatus of the country. Introduction of new constitution in 1972, subsequent replacement in 1978 and all other amendments have been designed to pay lip-service to the concept of sovereignty of the people. Those legislative instruments seem to have ensured the sustenance of hedonistic regimes dreamt by the godfathers of dynastic or/and patronage politics. What a shame?  Not a single godfather has claimed responsibility for the lapses in security, loss of innocent lives, hunger/malnutrition, unabated crime, prevalence of narcotic drugs, sky rocketing unemployment, officially sanctioned slave trade and astronomically declined value of the currency. They have become masters of passing the buck in the world.

Emergence of a new alternative

Godfathers and their cohorts were totally engrossed in activities that make them very affluent and unbelievably rich, it is alleged that they have accumulated wealth through bribery and commission earnings to last many generations. Due to their preoccupation with self-interests, needs and values of common man were neglected. This vile bunch of men and women seem to have considered dynastic/patronage politics as an entitlement bestowed upon them by some unseen mystique universal force. Some have openly vilified religions and religious institutions in order to please minority voters.  

Finally the preoccupation of godfathers on accumulating illegal wealth appears to have created a silver lining as result of the shaken foundation of the rotten political milieu due to the election of the current President Gotaabaya. Though “Political experience” is the mantra that the traditional politicians would love to recite, overwhelming majority does not concur with them any longer because Sri Lankan politicians do not command any noticeable respect among voters today.  

Another significant change in the political base appears to have taken place since Gota came into power; Emergence of two powerful elite groups trusted by average citizens. They are the professionals and military. These two elite citizenry groups are the children of working class; farmers, teachers, fishermen, soldiers and others employed in the estates, banking, transportations, tourism /hotel etc. None of them were born with silver-spoons in their mouths. These elites consisting of Doctors, Engineers, Academics, Lawyers, Accountants, Senior Military officers are unique and they enjoy a considerable wealth and status. They demand change in the political, societal and economic systems of the nation. They cannot be marginalized any longer by the ploys (throwing bones strategy) of dynastic/patronage politics of the country. For example GMOA is willing to take  more responsibilities in the decision making process of managing health and safety of our people, Similarly retired and incumbent military officers have come forward to ensure food security and to eliminate narcotic drug menace.  

Interestingly these two elite circles have originated outside of Colombo and possess a common denominator; they have come mostly from the Sinhala Buddhist communities duped repeatedly by the traditional politicians. But it should not be a factor to make other ethnic groups to worry about. Because these men and women posses the virtues of honesty, integrity, intelligence, diplomacy and determination we must expect from every politician. 

Emergence of these two circles is an unexpected outcome of the thirty year war and they have won the admiration and respect of the people of the country. Despite the bickering made by members representing a dead parliament, men/women of newly emerged elite circles have come together and implemented a very effective control/monitor/preventive strategy to stop the spread of covid-19 virus. It is remarkable and commendable and the nation owes them a big “THANK YOU”. It proves they love our nation and the people more than the politicians; they took care of every person affected by the pandemic irrespective of their ethnicity or religion. 

Time has come for these two new elite classes to not get trapped by the “bones thrown’ by the traditional politicians and rally around the vision of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to transform our nation from  present economic malaise and misery to be a great place to live, work and raise our families. In this context, appointment of the Presidential Task Force to build Secure Country, Disciplined, Virtuous and Lawful Society is a momentous initiative and it addresses the need of the hour. Can we expect such an initiative from godfathers of traditional politics? 

Despite various interpretations and criticism leveled against Gota by certain spin-doctors favoring traditional politicians, it is appropriate for the people to endorse this executive decision. Some media spin-doctors have interpreted this as an omen to an impending authoritarian rule. It is laughable, they seem to have conveniently forgotten “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”. Anyone who could read and analyze our political history of last 42 years will come to the conclusion that our dynastic political leaders have never followed norms and practices of true democracy. 

Litmus test

Are we ready to accept these newly emerged elites as an alternative formidable political force wholeheartedly? It may not happen in the proposed general election of August 5th due to various constraints but there will be a real litmus test in Kilinochchi, Northern Province. Let’s wait and see whether our peace loving Sri Lankan brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grand parents of Tamil origin are ready to elect Lt. Colonel Ratnapriya Bandu, a Sinhalese Buddhist as their representative in the next parliament.  

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Latest comments

  • 39
    5

    “Fortunately, after the demise of Dudley Senanayake, we are witnessing another gentleman with similar qualities occupying the seat of power; “Gotabaya Rajapaksa” has shown to posses the above five qualities and proven them with actions.”

    Yeah right.

    You really believe he has Honesty, Integrity, Intelligence and Diplomacy? My arse.
    Determination? Maybe. To steal an election and escape prosecution.

    For one who carries the name of a god, I’m shocked at what you’re smoking, Vishnu.

    Being paid to write mate?

    Shameful.

    • 2
      3

      W. Vishnu Gupta
      you type:

      “Moreover, the godfathers have no interest in reconciliation or making one nation and one law for every citizen irrespective of their ethnicity.”

      Please define and explain what exactly is your “One Nation model ” on theoretical level as for practical purpose.

      How does your model differ from Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (‘One People, One Nation, One Leader’) given your undiluted love for Gota (self proclaimed strongman) and blessed by Asgiriya?

  • 26
    5

    A big ha ha ha the joke of the century to call this criminal MIG fighter and pet man-eating pet shark rearing moron of a kallathoni to be the most virtuous human beast on this planet of ours.?
    =
    The more he holds the position as the big bad wolf [ nariya ] the more the curses that will be cast on him, his next of kin, the rest of the rajapuka criminal gang and all their loyal hora boru goons.
    =
    The sooner the better it will be for the whole wide world is for all these buggers to be exported lock stock and barrel to either the Bahamas or the Swaziland where they can pass away their time plucking coconuts and deflowering the topless virgins.
    I am jealous of this gang’s lottery wins.?
    Some are born lucky and in the right planets.?

    • 14
      1

      Has Mr. Gupta taken over from C.A. Chandraprema (author of “Gota’s War”), the sacred task of licking the nether regions of the Great Redeemer, now that said Chandraprema is an ambassador somewhere?
      But still, comparing Gota to Dudley is a bit over the top, isn’t it Mr. Gupta? Rather like comparing your good self to William Shakespeare.

      • 6
        0

        “survival tactic of a corrupt CB gang because these were the very same bunch that was on guard during bond scam, The Finance and ETI debacle. “
        Does Mr. Vishnu Gupta not remember who was on guard when Ceylinco collapsed? Or when Sakvithi did his Ponzi scheme? Or when Cabraal hedged oil and bought Greek bonds? Much bigger debacles in my opinion.

        • 1
          1

          old codger

          What’s wrong with Lankies, who are suffering from partial, selective or complete amnesia?

          I was going to ask if Vishnu was looking for a job, just like Dayan until I saw Got’s B***s authors name in your comment.

          Why Chandraprema and Dayan are lucky to get plum jobs while Shamindra Ferdinando isn’t.

          Are there any measures with which one can compare effectiveness of one’s services to their chosen master, such as boot licking, singing hosanna, carrying b***s, ………. to the extent of canonizing the leader?

          • 1
            1

            It is simply that DJ would do anything low work to the manner Wimal Buruwanse would do, if he intended to get posted to somewhere.

            All these men in limelight have much in common – that is connected with selfish gains. They talk about the poverty but when it comes to wastages of poor mans taxes, DJ would be happy to produce himself without his ” Dr Title”: Now being back from Russia, next target it twist the young Premadasa group and like a parasitical worm, … destroy group but enjoying his perks. These men are the curse to this country actually.
            :
            Shamin Fernando is a doggy man who would not see it beyond but stay washing the dirty as was displayed by his activities during last 4.5 years.

  • 12
    2

    W.Vishnu Guptha: One question to you: Doesn’t “GOTA” represents ” Godfather controlling dynastic patronage politics of the country? Please note I used your own words to frame this question. In regard to those “Five” (5) qualities of Leadership, I have read in the latest book titled “The Truth About Leadership”, published after decades of study and research, stating “Credibility Is The Foundation Of Leadership”. The authors of the book are two (1) James M Kouzes – The Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavy School of Business at Santa Clara University and one of the leading executive educators in the United States (2) Barry Z Posner is Professor of the same University where he served as Dean for twelve years from 1996 to 2009. Do you really KNOW that GOTA possesses the quality of all-encompassing criterion of “CREDIBILITY”? You say he has “SHOWN” and “PROVEN”. Could you please trace a little bit of history from 2005 and tell me that fantastic story of his “CREDIBILITY” shown and proven. Thank you.

  • 10
    1

    “Let’s wait and see whether our peace loving Sri Lankan brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grand parents of Tamil origin are ready to elect Lt. Colonel Ratnapriya Bandu, a Sinhalese Buddhist as their representative in the next parliament. “
    Is it for the minorities to prove their love for peace?
    *
    The piper seems to be over-fulfilling his contract.

    • 0
      1

      SJ,
      “Is it for the minorities to prove their love for peace?”

      Of course! A privileged minority out of the ‘Minorities’ is responsible for ruining peace in this country after British left.

  • 10
    2

    Mr. Gupta the answer is in article written by Krishantha Prasad Cooray. It is amazing to see how people could differentiate GR from MR/BR/CR , and still expect a different result.(Keep in mind they were together ruling for years, with different titles.) Mr.Gupta have you not heard the traits of a person can be measured by the company he keeps with. Do you realize 90% of portfolios are under the siblings/family and yet you want us to believe GR is going to give us a different result. It is like saying in human body heart functions independent of Lungs and vice versa. Mr.Gupta if one fails the whole system fails

  • 11
    2

    By the way didnt we hear the same (the messiah has arrived to save us all )when MS was elected ???? After becoming President he promptly brought all the discarded crooks and rogues through back door. Also tried bringing his family members too . The guy still has not given up. Few days ago he told in election publicity, “Easter was planned against him, because he was tough on drug mafia???? “GR is singing the same music in a different tune. Mr. Gupta, are our our people actually naive or are they pretending to be one ????

  • 8
    2

    Ranker – is a American digital media company located in Los Angeles. They specialise in consumer opinions and of course voter opinion. Here is the truth – these US based opinion producing media companies have been woefully inadequate. During the US Presidential elections they all got it wrong by a big margin. They predicted a comfortable victory to Hilary Clinton. They were embarrassed and humiliated. Now these same companies are vying each other to please Trump. One can easily discern that this characteristics ranking mirrors Trump’s qualities. Shameless media company. Let the SL President swallow this rubbish!

  • 8
    0

    Well said Vishnu Gupta

    1) Honesty
    2) Integrity
    3) Intelligence
    4) Diplomacy
    5) Determination

    Yes,It is necessary, but is it sufficient?

    If I may add another 5 for a necessary and sufficient conditions

    1) People friendly inclusive polices
    2) Leadership qualities
    3) Team Sprit
    4) Decision making skills
    5) Positive attitude

    You may add or delete and make a comprehensive list.

    Then it will an ideal.

    In the real world, we will never get an ideal situation.

    If we wait for Godot to come, we have to wait eternally.

    We have to be satisfied with what we get.

    The country gets the leadership it deserves.
    Sri

  • 6
    1

    Vishnu Gupta, (Can you ask yourself these questions)
    Honesty: Ask Gota who killed Lasantha?
    Ask Gota who ordered to kill Surrendered tamils after the end of war?
    Ask Gota who gave illegal passport to Karuna to travel UK?
    Ask Gota what is the deal with KP? I don’t know how many Sinhala voters know about KP?
    Ask Gota what is the status of MCC now?
    Threat is not economic development. Violating law is not democracy.

    • 3
      0

      Ajit
      The first four questions concern a criminal element of sorts in them.
      The fifth?
      Is it a crime to dither about a deal with the US?

    • 3
      0

      You know nothing about how to fight an unconventional war. Also, you don’t have a clue how a small country survive from the influences of big shark countries. Ask Courts who killed Lasantha. Ask Americans why they killed unarmed Bin Laden and family. Ask Karuna how he gave intelligence information to Government to catch LTTE. Ask KP how he provided international LTTE network information to dismantle it with the help of foreign governments. Ask Americans why the insist on giving free money through MCC because their tactic is different what we see on the surface and a small country can not survive as India supports it to keep Geo-political balance in the region against China. Ajith.. your are a kid in this game. More you write, your intelligence level is exposed.

    • 0
      0

      Ajith,
      “Ask Gota who killed Lasantha?”
      Ask Ranil Wickramasinghe. He gave the answer. It is in Hansard.

      “Ask Gota who ordered to kill Surrendered tamils after the end of war?”
      Can tell the truth to the don key but cannot force the don key to accept the truth. I gave the answer to this question few times. So no point in repeating the answer.

      Ask Gota what is the status of MCC now?
      Read the report submitted by Prof. Sandaruwan on MCC.

  • 4
    1

    There are not two groups but three groups that have emerged in the recent past. As the Author says Professionals and Military have emerged, but the Religious Leaders is the third group that has emerged. We have seen how the Buddhist Monks emerged to support Rajapakses and after the Easter bomb blast, the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has joined the religious leaders group and make statements in favour of Mahinda Rajapakse.

    Carindal Ranjith has tactfully created a new voting base, in addition to the traditional bases Sinhalease, Tamils and Muslims. Although Muslims are based on a religion, past politicians created Muslims as a base to assist the “divide and rule policy” against the minority Tamils. Although most Muslims speak Tamil and were in the Tamils group with the creation of Muslims as a voter base it has changed. Similarly Cardinal Ranjith has now created Catholics as a base. Prior to the bomb attack Catholics were either in the Sinhalese or Tamil base, now they are a separate voting group. Cardinal Ranjith due to his bias political involvement and his closeness to Mahinda Rajapakse and may be for the “santhosams” he got from Mahinda took the Catholics from the Sinhalese and Tamil voting bases and created a new voting base. This action of Cardinal Ranjith will be written in the history books of Sri Lanka as a treacherous act of a religious leader.

    • 1
      0

      Mr Buddhist No. 1
      He didn’t create a new vote base – charge against him is he BROKE an existing vote base. (He is not even entitled to that credit – Easter bomb and Yahapalana pre and post reaction to the bomb did that.) Remember what Harin Fernando said? 80% of Catholics are UNPers. It is their vote base and this man messed it up.
      .
      Machinations were active for quite a time to create yet another permanent hate group against Sinhala Buddhists. This great man would have none of that. My regard for Cardinal Ranjith is boundless for two reasons:
      1)
      When the discussion on privileged position for Buddhism in a new Constitution was hotting up he declared that we acknowledge that this is a Buddhist majority country and hence it is not an issue for us. Thus he averted an ugly (planned) confrontation and saved the country from a permanent division between Buddhists and Christians.
      2)
      He singlehandedly saved this country from a another 1983.
      .
      Now you hate him more, isn’t it?

      Soma

      • 1
        0

        somass

        “Machinations were active for quite a time to create yet another permanent hate group against Sinhala Buddhists.”

        Actually machinations were/are active for quite some time to create yet another permanent hate group within Sinhala Buddhist fascist tendencies.

        “My regard for Cardinal Ranjith is boundless for two reasons:”

        Malcolm is a cross dresser.
        He is in the wrong vocation and wearing wrong clothes, instead of cassock he should have opted for saffron, and joined saffron brigade.
        It’s not too late.

  • 2
    0

    It will be great if the readers remember “not to shoot the messenger”. Given the actions of every failed governments since 1953, the emergence of the two new elite circles is natural and inevitable. Finally Ranil has acknowledged, the politicians are not trusted by the people this week. I hope others too have guts to acknowledge the very same fact. It does not mean we should give another chance to those involved in every failed government of the past including those of the breakaway parties.

  • 2
    5

    I totally agree with the writer about the interpretation of GR. You guys are forgetting the total ground situation of the war against LTTE. Whole country knew the crimes of LTTE but the court of law was not adequately equipped to deal with them as the Court of Law has been designed not to punish all criminals but not to punish as much as innocents. That is why as a percentage, innocents are sent to gallows is lower than sending the criminals to gallows. So, only option was to eliminate them for benefit of society. Why did Americans kill Osama Bin Laden and the family without taken into custody? He was unarmed at that time. So, don’t talk about killing LTTE not allowing them to surrender. GR allowed surrendering of lower ranks, not any leaders. He was honestly loved the nation.

  • 2
    7

    If anyone thinks GR killed Lasantha, get the court to decide it. He is not worried about accusations and he has a job to do for the nation. I agree the group he is going to get as MPs are corrupt, incompetent and inefficient. However he needs numbers to change the constitution. With that power in hand, he will change whole governance system and introduce e-commerce and digitial systems to exclude political intervention as the system is automated and balances and checks will be inherent to the system. The role of MPs would be to tap community needs and pass it to the governance structure to develop policies. GR will approve the policies. Under GR, role of parliament will be different and better.

  • 4
    2

    What a moronic writer!

  • 2
    2

    mentioning Dudley Senanayake and Goathabaya Rajapakse in the same breath; is the proof where this nation has deteriorated to

  • 1
    0

    Mr Vishnu Gupta

    I don’t disagree with the qualities required in a country’s leader as you have suggested but I have doubts when it is applied to GR. In my understanding,

    1) Honesty – A man accused of or even associated with massive corruption & fraud charges cannot
    be that honest. If I am innocent of any allegations, I would do my utmost to clear my good name
    but GR apparently decided to ignore accusations, expecting us to take his word, which, if we are to
    do so without question, is laughable.

    2) Integrity – Once again, a man’s integrity is questioned when he refuses to answer allegations of
    corruption, abuse of power & even murder. I would have faith in his integrity if he can have his
    name cleared in a court of law, not even if white washed by some biased commission appointed
    by his cronies.

    3) Intelligence – The jury is still out on this one. Intelligence can be street-smart (like most of our
    crooked politicians) but knowledge & competence in running a country is requires another
    form of intelligence. For starters, I would like to know GR’s exit strategy from the curfew/lock
    down, the revival & sustainability of the economy. Is the CB officials & economists
    incompetent or dumb, so much so, that a military man has to tell them their job?

  • 3
    0

    Rajash

    We live in a different era. Dudley’s time kilo of rice cost only 25 cts. It is better to compare the politicians against the virtues rather than speculations. Enemies of Gota has failed to prove every accusation in every court of law. And beside, you may have only read or heard about Hon. Dudley Senanayake.

    • 2
      0

      V
      Dudley started this “two measures of rice per week at 25 cts a measure (0.9 kg approx)” as an election gimmick in April 1960.
      Although he lost the election in July, the SLFP had to carry the baby until 1965. In Dec 1966 the the UNP coalition with Dudley as PM made it one free measure of rice. The PA to fulfill its election pledge gave one free measure and the other at 75 cts (which jumped to one rupee in Feb 73). With rice shortage that became half measure free and 1.5 measures at 2 rupees in Oct 1973 and so on, until JR pledged 8 kg of rice (but not saying that it will not be rationed at guaranteed price).
      Politics was about as cynical then as it is now, but less uncivilized.
      Both parties played politics with the price of rationed rice, but Dudley was rather cynical with his free rice idea.

  • 0
    0

    SJ

    You seem to remember the origin of politics around our staple food. Thank you. However, I may add the particular election gimmick ( based on two measures of rice per week at 25cts per measure) was the brain-child of J.R.Jayawardene; Finance Minister at that time. Dudley got caught again to the trap of this godfather of dynastic/patronage politics.

    • 0
      0

      V
      Thanks.
      That was not common knowledge but knowing the players I believe you.

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