23 October, 2017

Entitlement And Misrule

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“When crimes begin to pileup they become invisible.” – Brecht (Poems – 1913-56)

Last month three members of Shashindra Rajapaksa’s security-detail died when their speeding vehicle clashed into a parked lorry[i].

Mahinda jumpWhy would Shashindra Rajapaksa – or any other chief minister/minister/parliamentarian – need security convoys?

The LTTE is no more. The government boasts that the country is at peace and demands that people vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa, again, for this reason. So why the ubiquitous sight of politicians and their massive security details driving at breakneck-speed, signals flashing and sirens screeching? Why speed as if Satan himself is after them, ignoring traffic lights and every other road rule, and endangering lives and limbs of fellow citizens?

It may seem an insignificant detail in a country mired with far more horrendous and colossal problems. But this unnecessary, illegal and dangerous habit is symbolic of a mindset which is responsible for many of Sri Lanka’s macro-ills.

Power not just corrupts; it also turns the heads of the powerful until they think they are a breed unto themselves. In functioning democracies, such politicians come down to earth when they are voted out. This was always the case in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Until 1977, almost every election produced a new government. Even afterwards, the term-limits provision provided an essential dose of reality to the powerful.

With the 18th Amendment all restraints vanished. Now rulers can realistically hope to rule for life.

Little wonder that their sense of entitlement is becoming so total and absolute.

Security precautions, however excessive, made sense so long as the LTTE was alive. Now the Tiger is gone and the rulers and their kith and kin do not face any serious threat. Logically, the extraordinary security precautions should have been scaled down post-war. Instead, against all logic, they remain. They remain because they no longer need a reason. They have become a way of life for the powerful (and their minions) – a symbol of their absolute sense of entitlement, an expression of the belief that they are a special-breed and a manifestation of fact that laws and limitations do not apply to them. The country is their legacy, their playground, their private cornucopia. They are the eternal, infallible adults; ruling over their eternally juvenile subjects is their right and responsibility.

Under Rajapaksa rule, dishonour is becoming honour, dishonesty honesty, indecency decency, extremism moderation and indiscipline discipline. But then is any upending impossible for a regime which turned the war into a humanitarian operation with zero-civilian-casualties and open prison camps into welfare villages?

Perhaps nothing highlights the appalling state of the new normal than the President’s public mention of ‘The Files’. The President is saying that his underlings have committed crimes and he will protect them so long as they support him. He has the evidence to be used against them, but he will not make use of the evidence so long as they stay with him. They will be punished only if they turn against him. So long as they remain his acolytes, they are safe.

The President has proclaimed that for him law is just a tool to be used to punish opponents and shield supporters.

This is our President, the head of our state and government, and our commander-in-chief! A man who, by his own tacit-admission, is devoid of honour or shame. A man who protects criminals and uses evidence as tools of blackmail. And this president wants a third term! If we allow it to happen, we should erect a Shame Pole for ourselves.

How can the rule of law survive in Sri Lanka under such a president?

What sort of new generation will this country breed, with such a leader at the helm?

Already we have a minister who states, publicly, that the electorate should vote for the UPFA because the UPFA has plundered to its heart’s content and does not need to plunder anymore[ii]. Going by the same logic, serial-criminals should be set free once they have committed enough crimes.

At a recent public meeting, Minister Janka Bandara Tennakoon recalled that once he complained to the President about the illegal conduct of a UPFA politician in his area. According to him the President said, “This man should be kicked out” (Mu thiyanne vatinne ne). But of course he was not kicked out[iii]. He remains a powerful being; he wallows in riches and privileges; he is seen by society as a success.

And the President keeps his files, not to prevent him from committing more misdeeds but to prevent him from crossing over.

The opposition may or may not be able to usher in good governance. But the Rajapaksas cannot. A third term will only serve to enhance their sense of entitlement and their belief that the national moral-ethical clock should be set by their own monstrous moral-ethical timepiece.

Making Us Complicit

Many compulsions can make a collective opt almost instinctively for silent compliance. Fear is not just fear of repression but also the fear of violating dominant opinion, the ruling commonsense. David Hume pointed out that the many are governed by the few and citizens willingly submit to their rulers because the rulers have ‘opinion’ on their side. “It is, therefore, on opinion only that government is founded, and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments as well as to the most free and most popular.”[iv]

And the Rajapaksas are trying to cajole/force us to accept a set of opinions which are beneficial to none but themselves. Their offering to us is a pill, consisting of abuse and illegality of every sort, and covered with a rich marchpane of patriotism. They are telling us scary stories about enemies and threats so that we become too frightened to look beyond the rhetoric and glimpse the truth.

For example, of how they really treat real-life ‘war-heroes’.

Early this year, a group of disabled soldiers filed a case, asking the army to pay the salaries they are legally entitled to. Initially the army promised to do so. But this week, the army filed objections asking the judge to dismiss the case. As the head of the Disabled War Heroes Association, PVS Shanta, said, “This is a great injustice. We are the real war heroes.”[v]

So why are these disabled soldiers not being paid the salaries they are entitled to legally? It cannot be lack of money – after all this is a government which is spending Rs.54,000 million (Rs.54 billion)[vi] to build an expressway between the deserted Rajapaksa Airport and the Rajapaksa Port which would have been deserted, if not for the vehicle-carriers compelled to berth there, by government orders. The truth is for the Rajapaksas ‘war-heroes’ are nothing but a necessary means to their sole end – power for family, for life.

Rajapaksas are power-addicts; and they will sacrifice anything/anyone to keep feeding their habit.

How a post-Rajapaksa government will conduct itself is uncertain. But there is no uncertainty about what will happen if the Rajapaksas win. Their ethics and morality will go national. And we will have a new generation incapable of seeing anything wrong in corruption, repression, abuse or impunity because that is the only normal they know.

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  • 6
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    Tisaranee Gunasekara –

    RE: Entitlement And Misrule

    Vacancies exist for pasting posters
    THURSDAY, 04 DECEMBER 2014 09:31 0 COMMENTS

    http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7914:vacancies-exist-for-pasting-posters&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

    Despite millions of posters have been printed, heaped and stacked for the campaign of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, it has been difficult to find people to paste them.

    Posters that were pasted about a week ago could be still seen on places where they were pasted. They too had been pasted deploying employees and resources of Urban Development Authority.

    After media exposed with video clips posters being pasted by employees from ministries under Messrs. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa, the employees from these ministries have refused to carry out the mission of pasting posters for the Rajapaksa campaign.

    NEEDED: MaRa Shills to Post MaRa posters.

  • 2
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    Tisaranee Gunasekara –

    Common Sense Pamphlet . Can you complete this phamplet. You have enough materials.

    ~Sri Lanka 2014 Rata Peraliya – Family Dictatorship Vs. Democracy. By Anonymous Author(s)

    Chapter 1: Introduction Common Sense Sri Lanka 2014 – Author 1

    As long and violent abuse of power , and as the President of Sri Lanka has undertaken in his own right , to support the parliament in what he calls theirs, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have undoubted privilege to suppress and abuse the citizens rights given by the constitution. The cause of Sri Lanka is in a great measure the cause of all Sri Lankans.

    Who the Authors of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the public, as the object of Attention is the Mahinda Rajapaksa Family Dictatorship Doctrine and Proposed dynasty Itself.

    This Pamphlet has 8 Chapters by different authors. Use Common sense and make the choice between Family Dictatorship and democracy in the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Chapter 2: Of the origin and Design of the The Democratic Socialist Republic o of Sri Lanka in general, with remarks on the Constitution. Author 2

    Tisaranee Gunasekara

    This is our President, the head of our state and government, and our commander-in-chief! A man who, by his own tacit-admission, is devoid of honour or shame. A man who protects criminals and uses evidence as tools of blackmail. And this president wants a third term! If we allow it to happen, we should erect a Shame Pole for ourselves.

    How can the rule of law survive in Sri Lanka under such a president?

    What sort of new generation will this country breed, with such a leader at the helm?

    Chapter 3: Of Monarchy, Dictatorship and Hereditary Succession. Author 3

    Rajapaksas are power-addicts; and they will sacrifice anything/anyone to keep feeding their habit.

    How a post-Rajapaksa government will conduct itself is uncertain. But there is no uncertainty about what will happen if the Rajapaksas win. Their ethics and morality will go national. And we will have a new generation incapable of seeing anything wrong in corruption, repression, abuse or impunity because that is the only normal they know.

    Chapter 4: Thoughts on the Present state of Sri Lanka Affairs 2014. Author 4

    Chapter 5: Of the present ability of Sri Lanka 2014 with some miscellaneous Reflections since Independence . Author 5

    Chapter 6: Rights of the Citizens of Sri Lanka. Author 6

    Chapter 7: Dangers of Dictatorship Sri Lank 2014. Author 7

    Chapter 8: Bribery, Corruption, Nepotism and Crime Sri Lanka 2010-2014. Author 8

    You can get a Free Copy Pdf of the Common sense by Thomas Paine here..
    http://www.forgottenbooks.com/search?q=Common+Sense+Thomas+Paine&t=books

    • 11
      5

      Can someone please help roll this common sense pamphlet and shove it up Amarasiri (where he was born from), so that we don’t have to read this crap again?

  • 3
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    Tisaranee Gunasekara –

    Common Sense Pamphlet is NEEDED NOW!.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

    Govt. scared of live TV political programmes

    http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7912:govt-scared-of-live-tv-political-programmes-&catid=36:top-stories&Itemid=124

    Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage who was participating in the ‘Wadapitiya’ live programme telecast by ‘Derana’ TV yesterday (3rd) suddenly left the programme. Mr. Ramesh Pathirana who participated with Minister Aluthgamage representing the government too left with him.

    A listener posed a question to Mr. Ramesh Pathirana and instead of answering the question Minister Aluthgamage together with Mr. Pathirana left the programme.

    The listener while asking his question said the President who talks about having files with him gets thieves to participate in TV programmes.

    The government is following a ploy to boycott TV programmes held regarding the presidential election. The government has put forward various conditions to participate in live political programmes in TV channels. As ‘Satana’ in Sirasa TV and ‘Janahanda’ in TNL TV continue their programmes despite conditions from the government representatives from government avoid participating in them.

    The government is attempting to pressurize ‘Balaya’ programme telecast by Hiru TV and the incident that occurred during ‘Wadapitiya’ programme yesterday night could be a part of government’s move to sabotage such programmes say political parties.

  • 1
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    TG,
    `¬The opposition may or may not be able to usher in good governance. But the Rajapaksas cannot. ¬`

    then to hell with both till the sky falls on them all- Buruvas.

    `“This is a great injustice. We are the real war heroes.”[v]`

    No bastard won a war by dying for his country but by killing the other bastard- General Patton.

    “”Their ethics and morality will go national.””

    Just like Theravada Thailand- never conquered by foreign force but let the fascist Japanese kill the buddhist neighbours Burma and they have a series of Army and monk rulers.

    “They remain because they no longer need a reason.¬`

    Modi’s wife asked for it too though she has never lived with him from the time of marriage and she has been given. (there are no turban terror units anymore)

    Modi Mooth Maro (Marthi doing the pipee:like his father figure auto urine therapy Moraji bhai)

    Satakaya Hato! (hang’em high)

    Sarema Hato!

    Lungi Bajo! (short)

    Pungi bajo (pump up the music)!

  • 6
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    Common sense Common Candidate…

    “Momentum against executive presidency is unstoppable” – CBK

    http://www.ft.lk/2014/12/04/momentum-against-executive-presidency-is-unstoppable-cbk/

    Love her or hate her, ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga is a force to reckon with. Coming out of a nine-year retirement last month, the former Head of State has joined forces with a broad opposition movement attempting to abolish and reform the presidential office that she once held for 11 years.

    • 0
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      Amarasiri,

      You are regularly blasting away socialist propaganda.

      Fonny wanted to be EP to get back the gifts taken away and more.

      Video Watti Amma wanted to get back the golf link lands, defenders etc and more over there but UK are her lilliputs (she made them via charity directors/labour party seats) Stupid MR went after tea-taster saying he was going to pump the billions and he left the Oil scene.

      If her man wins and a labour coalition runs UK.
      Both the sihal and tamil can keep on keeping on with no end in sight.

      Enjoy and dont forget to learn Putonghua because they will own you more. Across the palk straits the Goa man from IIT Pawai won’t get the subs he is looking for to keep China at bay.

      I have seen first hand southern and eastern EU members join with the enthusiasm of treasure at the end of the rainbow mainly with the poor/middle class. In eastern europe close to russia even after the breakup the directors of big companies like Silos for storage of grain belong to ethnic russians still and their children have now migrated to Australia and starting bottom up casual labour to get the feeling and setup or go back.

      Let the game begin!
      If Cameron wins he would keep his word- no fear (he is a relative of her majesty)

      • 1
        1

        Javi.

        “You are regularly blasting away socialist propaganda.”

        Sri Lanka is Suppposed to be The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

        However, the Medamulana Mara and his cronies have turned it into

        The Medamulana Dictatorship of Sri Lanka.

        So, Amarasieu wants The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

        Work towards that…

  • 9
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    I would say – best article ever on CT! Sadly, still the website is only accessible using a proxy. In reality half the urban and all of the rural population of Sri Lanka is informated solely via “state media”.

    • 3
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      Tisaranee Gunasekara –

      “Sadly, still the website is only accessible using a proxy. In reality half the urban and all of the rural population of Sri Lanka is informated solely via “state media”

      This is precisely why you need to tale the leader shipo and get a 10 page leaflet or phamplet printed and distributed ASAP

      Just blabbering on CT ot Other median where the average citizen cannot get it, makes it more urgent..

      Why is that the Sri Lankan writers do not get it?

      There are 140 Meeting Opportunities to distribute it. “මෛත්‍රීගේ ජනහමු 140 ක්‌ “

      http://www.divaina.com/2014/12/04/news05.html

  • 9
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    I would like to add to the article the fact that everyday dozens of helicopters are flying over Colombo doing exactly what? Apart from polluting the sky with noise? Whom are they transporting? And on what budget?

    Even in China the people have gone mad by politicians passing by in security convoys behaving like gods on already congested roads.

    You could accept it knowing they are in such a hurry because they have tons of important work to do at their ministries making this country a better place, but once you enter one of – how many? – ministries, usually they are as quiet as a temple as if literally nothing is going on there.

    One thing of our society that worries me most is that the people have gone to accept that a road, a busstation, a marketplace, anything coming from the government is “gift from a politician”. They way people are thanking MR for “him giving us a highway” is just as wrong as politicians considering themselves a higher kind of people.

    Foucault wrote about how doctors and patients both have a role to play. People and politicians in Sri Lanka are playing a similar role-play.

  • 11
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    Rajapakse has 2 years to plan till MR is to leave his seat unless he accepts defeat and concede on the 9th or 10th Jan 2014 which is very unlikely. I am assuming M3 will win, in all fairness MY3 should win for the sake of country.
    (I maybe wrong here I don’t know the rule whether he stays in power till end of his term or he has to leave, I am assuming he will hang on disgracefully till last day)

    This 2 years in office MR has ample time to plot his and his family members exit. Cover up or maybe ammend some laws to protect the MR baba & 40 thieves. This is why Rajapakse are not panicking in my opinion. They know they still have time on their side.

    I listen to a video where MR says 8 months old baby said “Jayawewa” when he carried the baby. Who believes this kind of crap ? the catch is their are people in SRI LANKA who believe in such lies. It is the vote of this lot which can be decisive in the election. Eternal carrot eaters of Lanka matha.
    M3 and Team should work hard on this lot, I listen few days back M3 & SF said we have put aside individual benefits if we are to prosper as a nation.

    Rajapkse don’t know the meaning of honesty, decency or discipline. They have become richest in Asia by breaking all those values.

  • 3
    2

    Entitlement and misrule; someone has beaten Namal to it.

    ‘Grace Mugabe has since grown into a powerful businesswoman and sees herself as a philanthropist, founding an orphanage on a farm just outside the capital, Harare, with the help of Chinese funding….The 49-year-old is believed to have earned her sociology PhD in two months from the University of Zimbabwe’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30307333

    • 4
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      That is Nothing Compare to Our F KIng And HIs Mongol Son.

      Both Are LOWYERS, graduated from Low college of Sri Lanka.

      BUT DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS THE LAW IS???,
      [ Everybody knows how they got it by cheating].

      AND give Daana every day at the president’s abode at the expense of People’s stolen wealth and ill-gotten money from Own mafia.
      Calling themselves GREAT PHILANTHROPISTS in sri lanka,
      donated pilfered millions of $$$$$$$$$ to Palestine Rascals.

    • 0
      1

      You have eyes but you don’t see tatte motte care worker turned predator.

      Mugabe Loves you sihala buddhist folk as you
      are one of them from point of origin.

      Go there than end up like the Diego Garcia’s.

  • 5
    2

    Another great article highlighting good points. When one reads the list, there is no doubt these criminals must go. We cannot afford another Rajapaksa term. There is corruption at high levels, mismanagement, and a record of bad decisions, including ports and airports to benefit someone’s bank account and vanity.
    Our poor war vets are deprived of what they have been owned, after being used, but the money seems to go for unnecessary security, night races, and lavish trips abroad, for the every mother’s son, who kisses Rajapaksa’s behind.

    The people are fed up of this dictatorship, and they must all unite, to kick these scumbags out.

  • 5
    1

    My favourite among the Sri Lanka banned jokes is as below and TIMELY,for the 10 Judges agreeing with MR to give its citizens a choice, 2 yrs.ahead:-

    ” President Mahinda Rajapakse walks into Bank of Ceylon to cash a cheque. As he approaches the cashier he says: Good Morning, madam, could you please cash this cheque for me? Cashier: It would be my pleasure,Sir. Could you please show me your ID? PRESIDENT: (utterly shocked) I did not bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need. I am Mahinda Rajapakse, the President of Sri Lanka! Cashier: Yes Sir, I know who you are, but with all the regulations and monitoring of the banks because of impostors and forgers, etc., I must insist on seeing your ID. PRESIDENT: Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am! Cashier: I am sorry Mr. President, but these are the bank rules and I must follow them strictly. PRESIDENT: I am urging you, please, to cash this cheque. Shiranthi has gone to America and Namal has, by mistake, taken the keys of the safe with him. I need some extra spending money urgently. Cashier: look Mr. President, this is what we can do. Some months back, Sarath Fonseka came into the bank without ID. To prove he was the ex General, he showed his tummy scars. With those scar marks, we knew him to be ex General and cashed his cheque. On another occasion, Sanath Jayasuriya came in without his ID. To prove his identity, he just went out and hit sixes. With that we knew for certain that he was indeed Sanath himself, and we cashed his cheque. So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as the President of Sri Lanka? PRESIDENT stood there thinking, thinking and thinking, and finally said: Honestly, my mind is totally blank ….. there is nothing that comes to my mind… I can’t think of a single thing!!! Cashier: There you are! That is enough. Now I don’t have any doubt that you are our President Mahinda Rajapakse. In what denominations would you like the cash, Mr. President? “

  • 2
    1

    “So why are these soilders not being paid their salaries due them legally”….. This is the cause –

    HAMBANTOTA DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS – 22 Nos. and costs Rs. 676 billion: For details see source Ms N.Wijeadasa Graphis in Sunday Times of
    30-11-14

    Even Sajith Premadasa a resident their may not know it!!

  • 4
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    [Edited out]

    The Colombo mayor and the Elections Commissioner are unable to remove cutouts and posters in the municipality – thus the flouting of election laws has already commenced.

  • 5
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    Thank you Tisaranee Gunasekere for a wonderful set of views, but you are preaching to the converted. I beg of you to publish it in the Sinhalese and Tamil media, to educate the stragglers, if there’s any still left. As already commented, my fears are that the Rajapakses will not relinquish power that easily. Their own puppets in the Supreme Court would find some excuse to hang on, but at the slightest inkling that they might loose, they will summon their ever ready goons to beat up the opposition. Even if that fails, they can still rely on the accumulated plundered wealth to spend the rest of their lives in positive luxury in their second home, USA., where they are already acredited citizens.

  • 1
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    .
    How about GoRa’s Swiss Dog? Does it need security when it goes out to piss?

    :-)

  • 1
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    Hi Tissaranee,
    Many thanks and gratitude to all those those enlightning I enjoyed of yours over long years.
    As you predicted Prabhakaran the sun god is no more, RW never won the presidency and Mahinda may be savouring his last days as the Prez of Srilanka.
    I’m throughly enjoying these days reading about the things MR says in the media, like the files, piles et al….
    They say some go mad before they die…I don’t wish death to MR but I really think he has gone MAD before he lose his power.
    The best example is that he has told the editors of your tribe that he was misquoted about the file story!!
    I think he is going insane!

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