By W. Vishnu Gupta –
In retrospect, majority of citizens including our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers thought there will be an implosion of oligarchies of Ceylon mainly consist of elites of the country or popularly known as “Kalu Suddas” (English educated selected society who were more British than the British Royalty) in the period between 1948 and March 1952 and expected innate structural forces binding the Ceylonese oligarchy to disintegrate. Seventy-five years later, it is astonishing to note that Children of the same “Kalu Suddhas” are wielding power and have made the country a beggar bowl in the world and bankrupt. The only real achievement they have made thus far is the changing of the name of state from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. One of the remaining men, alleged to have been the mastermind of Centra Bank bond scam and belonging to this infamous clique had the nerve to make the following statement as reported by family owned “Daily Mirror” on January 26, 2023: “President Ranil Wickremesinghe said today that Sri Lanka must celebrate the 75th Independence Anniversary, if not, the world would say that Sri Lanka is not capable of celebrating even its independence.”
What a farce, there is nothing left to celebrate many hundreds are dying due to lack of food, essential medicines, and hospital care but this purported unelected President wants to throw two billion rupees to have most likely his final TAMASHA at the state expense. Sinhalese call this type of extravaganza “Gedarata Maragaathe Loketa Parakaase”.
Sri Lanka is a failed state, that is the only conclusion that can be arrived based on personal knowledge of the country, her people, and our own experience that spans over seven decades. Yes, it is more than seven decades of knowledge that all political parties responsible for bringing oligarchies into power are refusing to acknowledge. The psyche of Colombo centric oligarch, which considers the poor should continue to be poor and accept subservience to the rich as the only way of life for the survival. Otherwise, how can one justify lavish lifestyle of rich people of the country, when government Ministers are asking poor people to limit their three meals a day to one or two, in fact research conducted by external agencies have revealed that there are families without food for four or five days. A casual visit to dining halls of five-star hotels or restaurants during any mealtime will reveal the truth about how rich live in Sri Lanka, for them, all western cuisines, delicacies and delectables are simple daily necessities. Also, spending Rs. 100,000 or Rs. 200,000 a night for the family or few friends is nonsignificant whereas the poor beg on the streets to feed the family and the middle class is struggling to feed the family with meager monthly salaries.
Custom-made Laws and the Constitution
The main enemies of the state of Sri Lanka have occupied the parliament since 1948 until now, wearing different guises and representing a fake democracy, the most prominent among them can be named very easily, SWRD, Sirima, JRJ, Chandrika, Mahinda, Maithripala, Gotabaya and Ranil. Also, the families of these leaders have equally contributed to the destruction of the state along with the sidekicks representing chauvinist political parties based on communists/socialist ideals and others based on ethnicity, religion, and language. None of them have acted to preserve and develop the state as these men and women have been driven by the desire to grab POWER to rule the state. Once the POWER to rule is grabbed with grand schemes of deceptions such as fraudulent electoral system (JVP appears to loves this fraudulent mechanism of electing MPs) they have swindled the state systematically by appointing their political henchmen/cronies as judges, attorney generals, and hiring their friends as central bank governors, police chiefs, ambassadors, heads of ministries and other critical government institutions in financial, trade and energy sectors. The legitimate power to govern should begin and end with people, but the power gained by successive governments since 1950’s in Ceylon and Sri Lanka thereafter were not legitimate, because of fraudulent schemes launched by the politicians such as SWRD, Sirima and JRJ to deceive voters of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankans appears to have very short memory, or they must be suffering with “Selective memory” or “Selective amnesia” syndrome otherwise how can they forget the background and reasons that lead to the first civil uprising of 1971 launched by disenfranchised Sinhala youths and second civil uprising started by marginalized Tamil youths in late 1970’s. Dishonesty and corruption of all politicians were the main reasons for these uprisings which the conniving politicians in the political corridors of the state branded them as terrorist campaigns of certain misguided youth to destroy democratic institutions and sovereignty of the state. To begin with Sri Lanka never had true democracy that represents will of the people, it is fake or virtual democracy, and the Tamils must understand that the total number of Sinhala youths lost their lives in 1971 and late 1980’s uprisings exceed that of the Tamil youths killed during their uprising which lasted nearly thirty years. The time has come for ordinary Sinhalese and Tamils to unite and get rid of every Sinhala and Tamil speaking corrupt politician in the legislature and ban them forever from entering politics in the country. People must demand electoral system reforms as the first step to introduce real democracy. The fear of loosing power has made Sri Lankan politicians ruthless and diabolic, anyone or any object standing against or questioning their practices will be castigated and jailed under the “custom-made” PTA which was devised to eliminate resistance to the reprehensible conduct of the oligarchy system practices, for instance arrest of student activist Wasantha Mugalige for demanding system change.
There are only two main political parties namely UNP and SLPP in the country today to protect and nurture the remnants of oligarchies responsible for ruining the state of Sri Lanka. These Two political parties and SLFP under Bandaranaikes have been unquestionably responsible for economic crimes and for bankrupting the state of Sri Lanka.
Aung San Suu Kyi, in her message accepting the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1991 stated: “It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it … ”
Fear of loosing power has compelled Bandaranaikes, Jayewardene, Rajapaksas and Ranil to introduce “CUSTOM-MADE” constitutions, and various legislations to match their individual political dreams, lifestyles and above all the survival of their clans and cohorts; for instances; enacting a bill under the direction of Felix Dias Bandaranaike to send semi literate legislators to night law school to graduate as lawyers, even though many of them have not passed GCE O/L, Introduction of preferential voting system based on districts. Likewise, legislation was enacted to dilute the power of the state and independence of the civil service by bringing permanent secretaries directly under the control and supervision of Cabinet Ministers. In fact, that was the legislation which gave the license for the politicians to commit economic crimes with impunity. The transition of power from an elected president to a non-elected bystander with no legitimacy is best proof of “Custom-Made” constitution in Sri Lanka. The people are yet to realize many political pundits including purported professors in the parliament, high paid legal luminaries and SL media mafia who thrive on the survival of oligarchy families have habitually duped the voters by praising the ignominious achievements of Bandaranaikes, Jayewardene, Rajapaksas and Ranil. What is there to praise about killing our own people under the pretext of safeguarding democratic establishments that does not exist in the country or what is there to laud about robbing the central bank by installing personal friends as governors. Another custom-made bill is “Presidents Entitlements Act (No. 4 of 1986). Under this bill, even if millions die due to malpractices and excesses committed temporarily elected government led by incompetent and corrupt temporarily elected or unelected illegitimate executive presidents, the state is obliged to provide official residences, pensions, secretarial and security and transportation and maintenance of such facilities to all former presidents and their spouses.
Though what Madam Aung San Suu Kyi said is right; Fear of loosing power corrupts those who wield it, it is worst when it comes to Sri Lankan political leaders, loosing power means they may not find a place to hide on earth. Knowing alleged economic crimes committed especially by Chandrika, Rajapaksas and Ranil, no democratic country will accept them as political refugees or offer permanent residence visa to spend rest of their lives. Gotabaya could not find a place to hide, and it is safer to assume Ranil will also face the same fate.
Therefore, all political dead-weights and their spouses are compelled not to leave the shores of Sri Lanka, but they find solace in pleasures accorded to them through “CUSTOM-MADE” legislation; Presidents Entitlements Act (No. 4 of 1986)
shamelessly, sanctioned by themselves. What a crafty move even the bystander who became the executive president will be eligible for these privileges. A result of fake or virtual democracy have forced bankrupt state to bankroll hedonist lifestyles of six families so far at an enormous cost and it is a travesty because these very same families are alleged to have committed economic crimes and bankrupted the state of Sri Lanka. Judging by the mansions they owe these political leaders with questionable backgrounds have made enormous wealth, hence let Maithree go back to his palatial home in Polonnaruwa, Chandrika to ill gotten ancestral home in Attanagalla, Rajapaksas to Carlton and other mansions in Giriwapattuwa and Ranil to his inherited home “Arcadia” in Diyatalawa without inflicting further financial damages to the bankrupt state of Sri Lanka. Also, time has come for Sajith, though his mother enjoys these privileges, and other political leadership aspirants to denounce “custom-made” laws designed to protect, and nurture corrupt, and abusive political culture based on fake or virtual democracy in the country.
SJ / January 28, 2023
Can the author enlighten us on Modi’s favourite billionaire being accused of being the biggest racketeer.
Raj-UK / January 28, 2023
Why bother to live in exile when they can enjoy luxury housing, vehicles, servants & bodyguards at state expense? These punks are nobody abroad but in SL, they still have their admirers & all the perks. Rajapakses may have invested their ill-gotten wealth abroad but I am sure it would be the lackeys who will benefit in the end. CBK taught MR the basics of corruption. She used to have a low profile life in affluent St John’s Wood in London where even a studio flat costs millions. If I am not mistaken, she was supposed to have borrowed jewelry from her ‘inner circle’ pal, Padma Maharaja, for her inauguration as President but was able to buy the London property by the end of her Presidency.
No corruption charges will ever be brought against this despicable bunch, so I hope their conscience will trouble them at some point in their miserable lives in this world, even if they can sleep soundly now. As a Muslim friend used to say, ‘God gives but also takes’. I hope he is right.
SJ / January 28, 2023
‘God gives but also takes’.
He does. He gives to the rich and takes from the poor, like all bourgeois governments
Raj-UK / January 28, 2023
I believe the rich became rich on the backs of poor. There is no way any one can be filthy rich without exploitation, dishonesty (even borderline) & corrupts friends in high places. Therefore, its not god, they helped themselves but maybe god gives them enough rope to hang themselves. I’ll settle for that.
SJ / January 30, 2023
Since God is invoked by many in this giving and taking business, I was on;y wondering how He chooses sides.
davidthegood / January 30, 2023
SJ, God does not choose sides. He has all knowledge and foretells whats going to happen. Those who believe his truth are on his side. The rest are on the opposite side and lose out with their wilful thoughts not being accurate enough to receive his blessings.
vipuli / January 28, 2023
Bandit Queen took all of us for a ride. She could not afford to pay for a Taxi after her husband’s death but we all know how she managed to buy a property in England. However, she is alleged to be the mastermind behind the scheme that brought her lifetime friend Ranil to be the president of Sri Lanka. She killed two birds with one stone. She got rid of her real enemy in politics; Rajapaksas and installed lifetime friend who was vilified by many as the executive president. Now she is scheming with like minded brownnose, Welgama to launch another plot to retain power in the hands of those friendly to her. Most likely, this woman does not believe in God.
SJ / January 30, 2023
“this woman does not believe in God”
Something to admire her for.
SJ / January 30, 2023
Despite some bad blood between then in the early 1990s, CBK was kind to MR. But MR was unduly harsh on her after she stepped down as President.
The author of the book, BQ had an ax to grind and do not take his stories literally. He was very soft on MR for a long while.
CBK was not very nice to RW when thewy had to share power. She unfairly dismissed RW’s government. Is it an act of longtime friendship?
There are other interests like the US that brought them together to be rid of MR. Even India joined in.
Let not prejudice get the better of reason.