By Malinda Seneviratne –
I do not come to bury Yahapalanaya or to herald the blossoming of the pohottuwa. The Yahapalanists are burying Yahapalanaya and that’s not cause for celebration but lament. As for the fortunes of the pohottuwa, again it appears that the Yahapalanists are doing the honors and this too is not a cause for celebration.
Let’s not talk of burial and resurrection or their relative merits. Let us, contrary to all logic, assume that we are ruled by or sought to be ruled by honorable men and women. Let us seek some answers, in the name of honor, from them.
Let us begin from the top. President Maithripala Sirisena who, according to that honorable lady Chandrika Kumaratunga was the only honorable man in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s cabinet. Let him tell us why he has undertaken a crusade against one particular brand of flavored milk and not the rest? He will, I am sure, also tell us why his campaign against the pure, white and deadly substance called sugar hasn’t included all sweetened fruit drinks and fizzy soft drinks. The honorable president will also in due course take with him a convoy of containers loaded with all unhealthy and unethical products in the market, educating the public about their ills. He will tell us why he accommodated via the ‘national list’ those who had been rejected by the voter. He will tell us because he’s an honorable man.
The Prime Minister. Honorable. He will tell us what part he played in the Central Bank heist, for he is an honorable man. He will reveal all the deals ministers of his party made so that loyalists, friends and family could prosper, including certain budget decisions scripted by Ravi Karunanayake (another honorable man). He will tell us what’s with that honorable man Sagala Ratnayake who in turn will reveal to us the underside of ‘Law and Order’.
The Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has implied that the Attorney General misled him into signing a declaration that circumvented a Supreme Court declaration regarding the postponement of elections. When will this honorable man tell the full story, explain why he hopes the Supreme Court will overturn his decision and resign forthwith on account of losing confidence in the Government, his party and the party leader?
Dr Harsha De Silva has claimed that there’s corruption everywhere. His resgination on account of not wanting to be associated with corruption may have been delayed due to personal reasons, but he will very soon do so for he is an honorable man.
Honorable Mangala Samaraweera will admit that ‘nothing is cast in stone’ contradicts the assertion ‘non-negotiable’. Samaraweera will acknowledge that he forgot to consult the line minister Mahinda Samarasinghe when proposing measures that would destroy the local shipping industry. He will moreover admit that the basis of free enterprise and liberalization are in fact negotiable as they have always been.
He will go on to state that he deliberately scuttled the nation’s sovereignty by co-sponsoring a UNHRC resolution with the USA and honorably exit for backing constitutional reform that are scrappy and are marked by pernicious designs to cheat both Sinhalese and Tamils while making for inter-religious tensions through favoring all religious communities at the cost of Buddhists. He will resign, along with every single MP who articulated endorsement. They will all recover their honor.
Rajitha Senaratne, honorable to the core, will tell us why the Cadmium factor has been studiously left out of the CKDu debate. He, like other honorable academics and health officials will tell us why the investigation of possible causes has been shoved aside and why the focus is on purchasing filters and dialysis machines. Duminda Dissanayake will weep copious tears for forcing the Treasury to pocket out 21 million rupees every month since April 2016 for a building that will not be occupied.
Fellow ministers Ravindra Samaraweera and Thalatha Athukorale, both honorable individuals, will likewise resign over the former implicating the latter and himself in a tender scam in a telephone conversation caught on tape. Eran Wickramaratne will protect his honor by tendering his resignation in disgust. Others in the cabinet will admit to corruption or incompetence or both and thereby protect their hard-earned honor.
Ven Athureliye Rathana Thero who has the singular honor of being the first to break ranks with the Rajapaksa regime and thereby set things in motion for its defeat, will no doubt speak his mind without issuing neither-here-nor-there statements. He will do the honorable thing and voice his disappointment and disgust at the way yahapalanaya was scuttled by yahapalanists.
There are other honorable ladies and gentlemen. They are members of the TNA, JVP, JHU and the SLMC. There are honorable officials. They will admit to their crimes of omission and commission. In fact the entire legislature, executive and judiary will all gather at Galle Face next week hang their heads down in shame and say ‘Nagananda Kodituwakku was correct, we are all complicit in divesting the citizen of his/her sovereignty through multiple means.’ They will because they are all honorable people and their erring is but the product of human frailty.
The Opposition. The honorable people that make the Opposition will confess to all their crimes while in power and admit that they are cheering the imminent burial of the yahapalanists as well as yahapalanaya because they benefit from the former and are accessories after the fact of the latter.
The corporate sector will admit to being the bribe-giving half of bribery and that for all their fat CSR files they are only about profit and assurance of love and caring are nothing more than brand-positioning exercises.
We are an honorable people. We are all human beings and therefore frail. We err. We forget. We forgive ourselves more than we forgive those who do us wrong. We shall join the honorable ladies and gentemen mentioned above at Galle Face (or at any street corner or kadamandiya) and hang our hands in shame along with them. We will confess to our servility. We will say the following: ‘we will forgive but will not forget; you are history but can be present and future by shedding dishonor as we do now, rejecting political parties and politicians and taking notice of individuals like Nagananda Kodituwakku and Rohan Pallewatte. We do not come to bury Yahapalanaya or to herald the blossoming of the pohottuwa, but to resurrect the former and rescue the latter from Yahapalanists and Pohottuvists.’
*Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.malindawords.blogspot.com