17 August, 2022


Hypocrisy Of Political & Religious Leaders

By P. Soma Palan

P. Soma Palan

I refer to two front page headlined reports in the Daily Mirror of 17th January:

a) “ If men can manage and work in Bars, so can women”, a statement by the Minister of Regional Development, Mr. Sarath Fonseka

b) “ Gazette withdrawn to respect Culture”, a statement by the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe regarding opening and closing times for Liquor Shops, and another earlier report,

c) “Extension of the closing time of Liquor Shops and Sale of liquor is against our Culture and values,” by the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero.

The statements by the Minister at (a) above  in support of women working in liquor Bars and the extension of the closing time of liquor bars to 10 p.m. are nullified by the withdrawal of the Gazette notification ,by the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. The statements of the two Ministers contradict each other. I will confine myself to this issue only, although there are several issues where the Government had made resolute decisions and then revoked them.

This recurring practice of the Government taking policy decisions and passing Regulations/laws and then backtracking, revoking or revising them is an habitual feature of this Government. This exposes the infirmity and lack of resolve and conviction of the Government on several matters.

Aren’t these Policy decisions and actions to be taken are discussed and approved by the Cabinet of Minister, in the first instance, prior to notification by the Gazette. It is only later it is discovered that such decisions/actions are not in accord with our culture and values. Isn’t this belated invocation of national culture and values, political hypocrisy to show the people their concerned commitment to national culture and values?

This ubiquitous verbal chant of our national culture and values, both by the Politicians and the Religious fraternity, sounds hollow, if our politicians and religious leaders take a walk in our streets ,to see at first hand the low level of our culture and values paraded, not only by the common man but even by those who are supposed to be educated and cultured. I would dare to say that 90% of them are uncultured and uncivilized.  The conduct and behavior of the motley crowd of pedestrians, all kinds of motorists, reflect the poor standard of our national culture and values. As a daily walker of the streets, I can say this with certainty and conviction. The day culture, values, civility are established on our streets and other public places, we can proudly proclaim of our national culture and values. Until then, it is nothing but sheer hypocrisy of our politicians and religious monks.

The statement of Minister Sarath Fonseka that “if men can work and manage bars, so can women” is absolutely correct. Isn’t prohibiting women to work in liquor bars discriminatory and a violation of a Fundamental democratic right? This is against our national culture and values, the politicians and our religious leaders say. But they have no qualms about our women working as House Maids in Middle East countries in menial positions, including the washing and cleaning of the toilets of the Sheiks. Only God knows whether they are strictly House maids doing household work or otherwise. Here money counts more than our national culture and values. Without the inflow of their Dollar remittances, our economy will collapse. Isn’t this utter hypocrisy of our Political and Religious leaders parroting about our national culture and values with an air of superiority, as if the cultures and values of other countries are degrading.

Ven. Atureliye Rathana Thero declared that the extension of the closing time of liquor Shops to 10 p.m is against our culture and values. It seems, it is in deference to this opinion of the Buddhist monk, the Minister Mahinda Samarsinghe had withdrawn the Gazette Notification, extending the closing time of liquor sale outlets, to respect our national culture and values, while retaining the sale till  8 p.m. There is a contradiction in the logic of reasoning. This means the sale of liquor between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m  is in accordance with our national culture and values and it is acceptable. Isn’t this a mockery of the concept of morality? Concepts of morals, virtue and goodness are absolute concepts irrespective of time, place and person. If something is immoral, debased and of low culture and values after 8 p.m, how can it be moral, good and acceptable culture  before 8 p.m? Is Morals, culture and values determined by chronology of time? Are moral values relative to time and mutable? On the other hand, if manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks is against our national culture and values, it is nothing but logical to ban it without our political and religious leaders being hypocritical, and pretending to be paragons of our national culture and values. Banning liquor is in accord with the Buddhist precept on alcohol. Where is the religious and moral courage to do so. Here too, money/revenue takes precedence over much bragged about national culture and values. The hypocrisy of our political and religious leaders is nakedly revealed. The reality is, as a Nation, we are more degenerate than moral, religious and cultured.

The first priority, if our national culture and values are to be conserved and promoted, is for our political leaders cleansing themselves of corruption and bribery, than being obsessed in fixing auspicious times for sale of liquor, and arrogating to themselves the moral authority to determine which jobs are good for our women and which are not.

It is high time, both our Political and Religious leaders shed their hypocrisy and jettison obscurantist views on, morals ,culture and values and concentrate on the secular development of the country.

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Latest comments

  • 4

    Sirisena acts like a baby, all his current acts and behaviours shows that he became a cheap politician instead of a great statement. He thinks people are fools, he is the head and chief of the carbinet, when these things were brought up at the carbinet meeting, at the very instant, he should have shot them down, rather than waiting for all to be gazetted, and to nullified them. All these acts done with ulterior motives to score cheap political gain and publicity. We never ever voted him to this position to do these cheap acts.

    • 1

      Sandeya: can I correct you please.Sirisena, the man with no charisma is attempting to build a backing for himself. He is the man, who under the Rs 1800 hood on taking oaths promised to leave the Presidency as fast as possible. Now he wants 6 years, 6x 366 days. What humbug.

      He promised to lead a simple life.Watch the caravan of vehicles that moves with him when he travels.

      Athureliya Ratana who should be in the dust bin is now dictating the duties of the president.

  • 2

    “Gazette withdrawn to respect culture.” This is typical of the bullshit that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is spewing out all the time. He has a very insincere smile too, I have noticed.

  • 8

    Our religious leaders are no better than the 225 idiots in parliament and hence don’t take them too seriously.

    Easiest thing is to take care of them and then everything is fine.

    A few examples given below.

    1 can remember how the Catholic clergy was looked after issues were raised on Norochcholai plant?
    2 can remember how the Catholic clergy stopped shouting about Port City?
    3 How a diplomatic posting was given to the niece of a Christian religious leader?
    4 How all issues relating to Kandalama hotel was resolved after Buddhist monks kept shouting?
    5 How new Merc BENZ were given to Kandy temples to resolves some contentious issues?
    6 How Ratana and other monks sold their car permits and made Rs 40 milli each?
    7 The current Elephant case involving a monk is to be resolved on similar lines
    8 Money laundering Litro chairman was hiding in a temple before he was caught
    9 How Abayaramaya temple monk is accused of pocketing compensation paid for road expansion
    10 Kotte temple is in court battling leadership issues after the death of monk Sobitha

    Decide for your self whether these fellows are better than the 225 in parliament

  • 0

    The Mangala Excise Notification was rescinded UNANIMOUSLY by the cabinet and this included Sarath Fonseka.
    The matter is before the courts and the petitioners are NOT worried about White-vans.
    We have hit upon a governance model which, given our plight and circumstance is better (stress BETTER not ideal) i.e. power in the hands of the two main majority groups which seems to have checks and balances. In due course the minorities may play a part.
    CBK stood alone, pummeled by the parliamentary majority. Remember she could not act on 2004Tsunami Aid issue.
    MR governed with a servile parliamentary majority.
    We are getting closer to the enlightenment that language/religion-divide is a mask.

  • 1

    Soma, your article is very moot. The main thing is to get a job done, to rule a nation, to stop corruption, to deal with law-breakers, to promote investments and infusion of funds, start-up of businesses, ensure good health and education for all. That is what is important, not these “women buying liquor, extended hours etc. We saw pictures of Chandrika singing and dancing to “She’l be coming down the mountain in silk pyjamas”, Raknil dancing the “crab”, and My3 with a glass and “bites”. So what the heck?! . What use is a President who walks away from the Cabinet Room, just because some ministers and media are being critical? For one thing, why did My3 leave room for the media to criticize and the other, why wont he just “kick ass”, as Donald Trump would have?

  • 0

    SOMAPALAN: How many liquor shops i n YApanaya. do you approve when Tamil Hindu working in Liquor shops. What do you say about it ? You can write sensational articles. Apply it to you and see. If you live in Australia and talk right and wrong, then you are a hypocrite.

    • 2

      Jim Softy
      My article is about a National issue. My views apply to all the citizens of the country. You seem to look at things with communal lens. Laws/Regulations applies to all, irrespective of race, religion and social status.My approval or disapproval of Tamil Hindu working in Liqour shops does not arise. You are given to imagination to assume I am a Australian citizen

  • 0

    Somapalan You can accuse Political leaders. I think Religious leaders accusing is wrong. IT they talk the articles you wrote would be about BBS type over reaction. In Sri lanka, Tamils, muslims, Chritsians are all very active politically. Sri lanakan buddhist civilians are silent. IF monks talk you all come against and scold monks. Don’t you think you took a cheap shot, a low blow below the waist. You people are scolkding monks saying extremists even for triflinf matter. Remember that.
    In reality politicians are the owners of liquor shops. Even the Hingurana is owned by a UNP – politician. Johnston Fernando is anothee rliquor businessman who has distilleries all bought with LTTE money. Another one is Arjun Aloesisus. There are many politicians who owns liquor shops, liquor manufacturing.
    both Pohottuwa and UNP support those in their previous govts..

    • 0

      Jim have to agree with you.These are Bluffers – both the Politicians and the Buddhist Priests.

    • 3

      Jim Softy
      If Monks remain in their religious domain, no one will blame them. When they make hypocritical and irrational statements on mundane matters, it has to be pointed out. It is disagreement and not irreverence, as you think. You are judging me by your deplorable low standards to issue ‘cheap shot , hit below the belt’. This shows the validity of my views.

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