17 August, 2017

Four Brothers Who Ran The Country…Avarice Personified

By Vishwamithra1984

The lust of avarice has so totally seized upon mankind that their wealth seems rather to possess them than they possess their wealth.” ~Pliny the Elder

The guns fell silent. Victory cries echoed in the skies while jubilant Sri Lankans celebrated the war victory with Kiribath (milk-rice), Lunu-Miris (chili-peppered onion-chutney) and plain tea. The country at large, those who lived south of Vavuniya, claimed, in all rightful sense, a historic military victory over the forces of Tamil extremists who brought unspeakable terror, anguish, pain and death to many a Sinhalese-Buddhist community. The celebrations were justifiable; the claims were authentic and lofty hopes for a dawn of a new era with peace, prosperity and stability reached beyond the frontiers of reality. That was May 19th 2009. Now it looks so far and distant and the victory’s gleaming rays have paled into the dim-light of time.rajapaksa_brothers

People’s priorities changed; victors were rejected by the very people who hailed a modern Caesar who did not fire single bullet nor stopped one to shield the brother-soldier behind; the field commander who marshaled his men, the commander who planned and designed every single attack and counter-attack, the commander who led his brave soldiers in the trenches, the commander who nearly died from a suicide-bomber attack, became the first victim of the peace. While the siblings of the Commander-in-Chief claimed ownership of the victory, not of the war that consumed hundreds of the children of ordinary families of our nation, the Army Commander was found guilty of flimsy charges and put behind the unkind bars of Welikada prisons. Such were the great and cruel ironies of our times that followed the so-called victory.

From 1994 to 2014, twenty long years, on the military side, were filled with stories of great bravery; yet they were filled with unspeakable grief for innocent masses of our land who lived on the south side of Vavuniya. They tell a story of a nation, at times meandering between what to do and what not to do, sometimes making advances on the battlefield and retreating other times, a story of utter disbelief when their children didn’t come home on time; of tormented residents along border villages not knowing whether they would live or die the night they go to sleep, these were the years some would like to forget, yet they would be etched in their memories for a long time. The political leadership provided at that time switched from a Bandaranaike to a Rajapaksa.

But the pattern of politics did not change. The SLFP carried on with their caravan of populist measures on the economy and ultra-nationalist on the socio-ethnic issues. The policies and postures so adopted portrayed a regime hell-bent on teaching a lesson, not only to a terrorist army, but also to a segment of our own people, Tamil civilians. These are the years in which an emotion against terrorism turned into a war against a whole people. The divide between the Sinhalese and Tamils took root and those who controlled the coffers of the country controlled the mass psyche.

The tragic feature of this period is that no politician, no pundit, no NGO, no state institution, no civil organization, no media outlet, no segment of the clergy, took notice of the fact that the nation’s character is receiving irrevocable alteration, its culture is being debased, its inner soul is being consumed by the marketplace, its education is being neglected beyond any chance of a ‘correction’ and its role- model politicians were wining dining and in five-star hotels in the company of that new class of crony-capitalists. It was indeed a spectacle of macabre consumerism.

Those political leaders who used to pontificate about the purity of our cultural values have discarded those very values like early morning spit. And when the Rajapaksas assumed the mantle of power after Chandrika Kumaranatunga Bandaranaike, all focus was on the war in the North and thanks mainly to the incredible leadership of the commanders on the field and adequate political leadership at the center, the dreaded Prabhakaran and his Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam passed into history.

What followed this historic war victory is what destroyed the political victors. This war victory, the ruling family assumed, was an open license to use their political power to use it to accumulate wealth, to suppress the media, allegedly eliminate political critics and generally run amok with unlimited power. The notorious 18th Amendment was a byproduct of this great avarice the ‘Four Brothers’; their vulgar pursuit of physical pleasures manifested themselves in midnight race car rallies; their crude indulgences were of the ‘other worldly’ sort . The first decade of the Twenty First Century represented some of the best and worst in our short history from Independence to present. The beginnings of the winds of victory are lost in the reeking mists of corruption, nepotism and cruelty. This land of ours has a long history, a history that is rich with magnificent kings and reasonably steadfast democratic rulers; her history could boast about being magnanimous in victory because her victorious kings decreed that her subjects adhered to noble rituals of respecting defeated enemy-kings, her history built colossal stupas upon the sacredness of the teachings of the Thathagatha, the Enlightened One. For the first time in her long and cherished history, she submitted herself to the rule of ‘Four Brothers’. The eldest was the Speaker of the House of Parliament; next was the President and the other two controlled the most vital sectors of the country, Defence and the Economy. Among themselves was disbursed nearly 70% of the country’s budget.mahinda-family-1

When the President undertook overseas visits, his cavalcade of henchmen and court jesters were in hundreds. When the Minister in charge of the economy travelled outside Colombo, his super-luxury vehicle went ahead of him, not on road on its own wheels, but in a separate container. When the guy in charge of Defence was criticized, those who were suspected of the deed have allegedly disappeared suddenly, sometimes never to return. The ‘self-righteousness syndrome’ had infected all these individuals, from skin to the bone, to the marrow. They really thought that they could get away with anything. More often than not, they in fact did.

Meanwhile the country was being buried in a stampede of propaganda. A leader elected by the people was being promoted as a Monarch. Some media-henchmen in fact addressed him as such- ‘Your Royal Highness’. The country’s intelligentsia went to sleep; religious leaders, barring a handful, deified President Rajapaksa; his family, the ‘First Family’, and President’s siblings were, not revered, but feared; the greatest irony of democracy had occurred in Sri Lanka. A democratically elected political leader ruled the country by decree; his siblings ran it for him and the subject people succumbed to a fantasy of deliverance, a fantasy that the ‘king’ and his ‘royal family’ would do no wrong because they ‘liberated’ the country from its ancient, traditional enemy- Tamils. The era of the rule of the ‘Four Brothers’ began in earnest. Those who willingly pandered to that gory fantasy today have ended up as the ‘Joint Opposition’ (JP).

Bereft of any traditional values, these ‘merchants of corruption and dishonesty’ could no longer keep trading; the real value of their ‘stocks in trade’ began diminishing. Provincial council elections were held in Sri Lanka on 20 September 2014 to elect 34 members in the Uva Province. Sri Lanka Freedom Party, led by the Rajapaksas retained control; however, the UPFA recorded a loss of votes in the province, clearly providing the United National Party with a probable chance to make an unfamiliar comeback. Despite this unusual setback, President Rajapaksa decided to go for Presidential Elections in early January 2015. Such was the arrogance of power of the ‘Four Brothers’. Their cockiness knew no bounds.

Who is responsible for the emergence of, perhaps, the most corrupt and avaricious ruling clan in our history? There is no answer pointing to one single cause. We mundane folks are merely looking for one single reason, one single phenomenon. But history has shown us that it is utterly futile to look for such single answers. For the Roman Empire to fall, for Hitler to lose the war, for the collapse of the Marxist-Communist world, for that matter, for occurrence of any significant event in history, a combination of multiple reasons and causes is imperative. While one single cause may not be indispensable for occurrence of the event, the absence of that particular cause also might be significant enough not to produce the ultimate effect in history. That is why history has proven to be a graveyard for amateurs. I do not want to dwell amongst them.

It would be apt to end this the 1st part of the ‘Four Brothers’ with a quotation from Zeno of Elea, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, whom Aristotle called the inventor of the dialectic: “The avaricious man is like the barren sandy ground of the desert which sucks in all the rain and dew with greediness, but yields no fruitful herbs or plants for the benefit of others”. The ‘Four Brothers’ are such avaricious men.

To be continued next Wednesday…

*The writer can be contacted on vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 22
    2

    I do not give any credit to Mahinda for getting rid of good old Prabakaran. Mahinda, his father, and most other SL leaders (“Sinhalese,” “Tamils,” …… ) down the decades, were a part and parcel of a collective “political-play” responsible for creating Prabakaran (and Wijeweera too) – violence, in all its facets, is not a sole monopoly of a government; others might get a taste for it too. You don’t give a man credit for getting rid of a monster he himself help create. You create; you dispose.

    Just imagine what type of monsters decades of Rajapakses’ continued rule would have created, if people couldn’t have got rid of them through the ballot!

    What most “Sinhalese” don’t realise is that, unwittingly, Prabakaran fought for the Sinhalese too! During the “war” “Sinhalese” leaders had to keep the “Sinhalese” population on-side and they were on their best behaviour towards the “Sinhalese subjects.” The “Sinhalese” – especially the apolitical (the ones who didn’t suck up) – got a good taste of “Sinhalese” rule sans Prabakaran after May, 2009. It’s not hard to see, if one can momentarily discard the “racial prisms” we are conditioned to look through.

    It’ true, Mahinda withstood a lot of pressure from outside to stop the war for Prabakaran to escape. But the truth is, at that stage, he couldn’t have stopped the war even if he wanted to; he would have been shot by his own troops. No Lankan leader – even the “West-accommodating” ones – could have stopped the war at that stage, even if they wanted to. They would have been shot by their own troops.

    All credit to Mahinda for making a great virtue out of necessity! Then came the bloated chest, 60 foot cut-outs and the Monty Python Circus. Don’t get me wrong, I like fun as much as the next guy. It’s zany human-theatre if one doesn’t get swept away by it all.

    Never a dull moment in the Sunny Isles.

    • 15
      2

      “I do not give any credit to Mahinda for getting rid of good old Prabakaran. Mahinda, his father, and most other SL leaders (“Sinhalese,” “Tamils,” …… ) down the decades, were a part and parcel of a collective “political-play” responsible for creating Prabakaran (and Wijeweera too)”

      I forgot to add the following part,

      The Sinhalese don’t realise, or have the intellectual-honesty to admit. It’s not only Wijeweera first, and then Prabakaran/Tamils that revolted. There was also a greater silent-revolution by the Sinhalese-Buddhists by emigrating to Christian countries en-masse.

      The wonderful self-governance since independence, by the Sinhalese rulers, forced Sinhala-Buddhists to abandon their beloved Sinhala-Buddhist motherland en-masse and emigrate and settle down in White-Christian countries that they so rabidly despise. Any rabid Sinhala-Buddhist living in a the Christian-West want to show their face and argue their case? Once in our sorry Sinhala lives lets have some honesty here. I am just sick of this crap!

      It’s not Prabakaran and the LTTE that chased us out of our beloved Sinhala-Buddhist country but our own goddamn bloody Sinhala-Buddhist leaders. We don’t have a country not because of the Tamils but because of our own Sinhalese!

      And when they are not in power to ruin the country they join the exodus too!

      Bloody Monty Python couldn’t have thought-up this stuff.

      PS

      The threat from the LTTE was always temporary – the natural/violent life-span of Prabakaran. Prabakaran was the LTTE and the LTTE was Prabakaran.

      The threat from our own Sinhalese leaders are permanent and never ceasing.

      • 7
        4

        Vishwa, much of what you rightly say about greed and avarice of Mahinda Jarapassa brothers applies to Bond Scam Ranil W-Ravi K. and Sira and cronies in today’s Jaraplanaya govt.

        The fact of the matter is that Sri Lanka would not be at the lower depths if Ranil had not collaborated with MR all those years while in the opposition. Ranil took over the corruption mantle from MR that is the truth.

        Today Ranil’s economic hit men team is not doing any DE DILIGENCE on so-called supposed Chinese and US “investments” for which massive tracks of land are being appropriated and people being thrown out of their homes. This is criminal and I think we need to focus on this and Ranil’s behavior NOW, rather than cry over spilled milk.

      • 6
        1

        As I have always maintained;
        Interference by Unqualified Politicians, during the last 30 Years of Sri Lankan Government, is the reason for Efficient Public Servants Leaving the Country in Droves, Not only Tamils, but Sinhalese Buddhists too.

        This leaves Public Servants, who are Willing to Toe the Line of Bribery and Corruption with Politicians, in Charge of Development Projects! …A Sad Situation for Sri Lanka!

      • 10
        2

        nimal fernando “The threat from the LTTE was always temporary ..”

        “The threat from our own Sinhalese leaders are permanent and never ceasing. “

        Nimal – never heard this from any politician/commentators/analyst.

        Very thought provoking statement

    • 6
      1

      “It’ true, Mahinda withstood a lot of pressure from outside to stop the war for Prabakaran to escape. But the truth is, at that stage, he couldn’t have stopped the war even if he wanted to; he would have been shot by his own troops. No Lankan leader – even the “West-accommodating” ones – could have stopped the war at that stage, even if they wanted to. They would have been shot by their own troops.”

      The West and India played a key role for the war victory over LTTE.We should remember LTTE was banned by West and India only after 2001 when there was a ceasefire and peace talks resumed. Both LTTE and the West wanted LTTE to be defeated and that is why they were silently helped Srilanka through reducing the financial and arm supply capability and any resistance from Tamil Nadu.However, the West and India did not expect that Srilankan forces will target civilians to this extent and the murder of all those who surrendered to the military. Rajapakse’s motive was to completely wipe out any further demand for the rights of Tamils whether it is militarily or democratically and he assumed that by celebrating the war victory he can continue to rule for ever. HE ignored the contribution of the West and India and challenged them. The west and India who who wants to keep their image as peace makers and human rights protectors could not justify or defend the illegality of war and intentional civilian massacres. He wanted to win the war at any cost not to defeat LTTE terrorism but he wanted to be the king of Sinhalese forever. He continued with another form Terrorism and he was defeated in that war not with violence but with people.

    • 7
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      nimal fernando

      “It’s not Prabakaran and the LTTE that chased us out of our beloved Sinhala-Buddhist country but our own goddamn bloody Sinhala-Buddhist leaders. We don’t have a country not because of the Tamils but because of our own Sinhalese!”

      The 4 Crooks who made it out, at the expense of the people, the modayas.

      This is what happens when one race , Para-Sinhala Citizens are given preferential treatment over other Para non- Sinhala citizens, and Para-Buddhists are given preferential treatment over non-Sinhala Buddhists citizens, and the rule of law, democracy and equality under the laws are compromised, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      This this vacuum, the politicians jump in and thrive.

      Everybody loses, the discriminated more that the non-discriminated, and there will be counter-reactions.

      The politicians win at the expense of the populace.

    • 1
      0

      These are facts about the fund abuses
      [Edited out]
      I dont think if RS would not have the documents, he would ever add them …

      The number can be varied, but all these are peoples funds.

    • 0
      0

      You have to give him credit for getting rid of the LTTE.

      Otherwise it is wrong.

      VP did a great service to Srilanka. If not for him Hindus would be 16% of the population. Thanks to him they are only 12% and Muslims are 10%.

  • 9
    0

    The corrupt period of governance nearing a decade is legendary and nauseating.

    • 9
      0

      Why is corrupt Ranil-Sira Jarapalanaya protecting these corrupt brothers?!

      Corruption in Sri Lanka is bi-partisan because majority of politicians in UNP and SLFP are corrupt morons.

  • 10
    1

    Chamal is the most tolerable among all Rajapakshes. I dont think he would have been abusive in the sam manner GR, MR and BR.
    That is why people even today respect CR more than others. Specially the silent communities respect him more. THat is what I feel.

    • 7
      1

      I hope that die-hard Rajapaksas digest that! We have good reason for hating the others in the clan!

      • 3
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        “I hope that die-hard Rajapaksas digest that! We have good reason for hating the others in the clan!”

        Here is a long typing by super patriot Shamindra Ferdinando:

        Foreign participation in war crimes probe reiterated

        island.lk

        January 10, 2017

        Please let us know your opinion.

      • 3
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        “I hope that die-hard Rajapaksas digest that! We have good reason for hating the others in the clan! “

        They will digest only after a few are hung fr theit crimes.

        Until then, there is no need to digest.

        The Truncoat, Traitor, Gona, Mala-Petetahya and Sevalaya, is in cahoots with the Rajapaksas. So, there is no need to digest.

  • 10
    0

    Nice write up Vishwamithra. “They really thought that they could get away with anything. More often than not, they in fact did.”
    Correct indeed! My frustration with the current government is that we are allowing avaricious PIGS to get away with MURDER! I guess the dialectic was cremated after 1956 and after we allowed the rot to settle into politics and every other establishment in the country. We are now reaping that harvest of that scum.

  • 5
    0

    “Absolute Power, Corrupts Absolutely”!

  • 8
    0

    Four clowns of DAR in one, Maha Ravana MR taking the stupid executive podium made by JR fitted very well for their avarice. Will our present leaders take it as a lesson or continue with the hosanna for executive power to continue. People’s wish to get rid of executive power, whether with President or PM. Chandrika boasting about her past role in drafting the Constitution, she thinks people have forgotten her objectives in the draft she prepared.

  • 11
    0

    The main culprit who paved disaster to Sri Lanka is former CJ Sarath N. Silva. He should be prosecuted for causing all the losses. If this is not done, Justice is denied to the people.

    • 3
      0

      Just as S.B. Dissanayake has mischievously suggested, in a Daily Mirror report, that “the Party” will insist on Maithri will run again in 2020.

      Can’t we do to the guy what he threatened Chandrika with?

  • 4
    3

    The most urgent priority is for PM RW to be replaced by a modernist leader who will not appoint cronies to positions of power and make a mockery of the good governance slogan. If the UNP does not have the foresight to do this, they,after being wiped out in the local government elections, will be wiped out also in the General Election with the return of the corrupt Rajapaksas. RW won’t care because he will be too old by then, but the UNP as a party will be in the wilderness for 10 years after the next GE, with the corrupt nationalistic group in the saddle to loot the country. Are there UNPers who will put the country first instead of pandering to this incompetent Mr. Bean who believes that a country can be run by old Royalists however incompetent and corrupt?

    • 4
      0

      For the first time ever, in my old age, I may vote JVP. I would obviously prefer to see a Left coalition – people like the heirs to the aged but admirable Bahu.

      • 4
        0

        Sinhala_Man

        “For the first time ever, in my old age, I may vote JVP.”

        That would be the last election people will be allowed to vote. They have not given up the idea from one party system, the one party would be their party the JVP.

        At this age you seem frustrated and hamstrung.

        You have one option, go to the polling booth (as a responsible citizen, cross all candidates, invalidate the ballot paper).

        I am sure all those nasty little nationalist will switched to JVP.
        Including Gota, MR, and Champika, Ganapathipillai, Wimal Sangili Karruppan Weerawansa, ….

        • 1
          0

          NV
          No chance they will get into JVP.

      • 1
        0

        SM
        That’s what I am now.

  • 2
    3

    Why don’t you write about the VW Hoaxwagen scam where Tiger fan Noel S got so much land, and government support for an Assembly plant that does not seem to know what it is going to assemble? Power, roads, lights, canals, fencing, water all given gratis for a Hoax. This is the problem with Ranil and his siblings and a lot of others around him. They get really excited and are easily fooled because all of them lived in Colombo 7 and have never done a real job outside Varuna Printers etc.. This is an easy chance for unscrupulous people to feed garbage and lies to them; they are also wanting foreign direct investments that are not coming the way they hoped. US is dangling the carrot but not feeding them; US wants the CIA to dictate terms via Development Alternatives Inc; a political arm of the CIA that works with USAID now. So far all they do is engage in projects that brainwash youth about how great America is and not any significant FDI.

    Write about Hoaxwagen and Bonds with the same gusto and passion Vishwa. I dare you I dare you I dare you do not have the ball to do it because we know you are one of Ranil’s closest allies.

  • 1
    2

    Some media-henchmen in fact addressed him as such- ‘Your Royal Highness

    Not so fast man; Not so fast. MAITHRIPALA SIRISENA the current President who is so rich to send his kids to London to be educated ALSO CALLED MR MAHA RAJAANENI..openly. See Youtube clip

    “Oba thuma apita Rajek. Oba thuma apita Rajek athigaru Janaadhipathi thumani.”-Sinhala Maithripala Sirisena’s own words from his own vocal orifice.

    Greed is why MR did not make Sirisena PM. If he did, Sirisena would not have jumped(how much money was transferred to convince him to jump?)Sirisena resented that DM was retained as an useless PM.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQDxdi2Tu7Y

    Don’t censor this. Watch it yourselves. Sinhala people always backstab other sinhala people with relish. Tamils do not do that to each other. That is what Tamils are counting on; that is what the US is counting on to weaken SL and get access to encircle China.

    • 2
      0

      Natasha

      “Sinhala people always backstab other sinhala people with relish. Tamils do not do that to each other. That is what Tamils are counting on; that is what the US is counting on to weaken SL and get access to encircle China.”

      You are free to believe in any damn thing which suites your ill informed world view. All I ask you is pull your head wherever it is now and see the world as it is.

      FYI

      The closest distance between Sri Lanka and China is 3,909 km or 2,429 miles.

      There are two countries in between.

      Even if USA plans to encircle China would it matter to us? It is a matter between China and USA.

      By the way the shortest distance between USA and China is only 2600 miles.

      You sound like Vibushna’s (De Silva) sister. By the way why does USA want to encircle China in the first place?

  • 1
    0

    Truly a gem of an article. Vishvamithra you have forgotten

    to include the sons who were equal participants.

  • 1
    1

    How qualified is the SL High Commissioner to UK besides having O-levels and English speaking Colombo 7 elite relative to the Hon PM? How do so many people who are up close and personal getting top cabinet posts based on sexual orientation and partners? So why are you silent? Bond scandal?

  • 2
    0

    This 04 brothers are called 04 muskateers . did good to the country by fullest with the justice , police and the tri forces. any people of the country really appreciate and given respect to them and never forgets, but with they cannot take advantages like kings. that is good thing that they did to the born country as born southerners.after got that respect behaves like that their is no one on top of them , like they are the owners of the country .not only 04 of their families + the relatives , followers and the henchmens. Chamal is a silent actor with out others knowledge , MaRa is the dictator king that leads the gang and gives orders , Gota is the dangers one who is doing all licensed thuggish with the tri forces and their intelligence units to kidnap , torcherrings,and to eliminates the ones that giving troubles to them and cannot control the last one is the one who handles the country’s economy and state assets by doing all the corruptions and their princess are enjoying by doing motor racing , dominating the game of rugger and many more , that is why they are like dangerous animals with out meat .this is part of their life story when they are in top of the country .

  • 1
    0

    Vishwamitra, please write something on the My3/RW administration too, so we can compare the two; which is better or which is worse?

  • 0
    0

    Why Gotha does not wear kurakkan Shalwa ?

    • 0
      0

      Non PhD

      “Why Gotha does not wear kurakkan Shalwa ?”

      He wears Kurakkan tie.

  • 0
    0

    I totally agree with your writing except with a small correction, these brothers did not become what they are after the war, they were the same even before they entered so called politics, the war only helped in enabling their character defects, and the DNA/GENETIC lineage will continue on and on.

  • 0
    1

    Vishamitra

    I will vote for four brothers again for I am totally at a loss to imagine where would we be if they were not there in the year 2009.

    You know who inspired me to vote for them? : https://youtu.be/xIoqholH508

    Soma

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