22 July, 2019

Blog

Is It Going To Be The “Same Old, Same Old?”

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I don’t know where the title language of this piece originates but it seemed more appropriate than the probably more commonly used, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

If one continues to be shocked by the aberrations from democratic practice in those countries that continuously claim to be its protectors, Sri Lanka’s political shenanigans have reached the point where they have ceased even to amuse those with a wry sense of humour. They simply disgust.

And the reason for that disgust is the monumentally insulting behaviour that our politicians seem to insist on thrusting at this country’s electors.
We are internationally reputed as a nation to contain the most sophisticated voting population in the region and one, to boot, capable of navigating the shoals of potential dictatorship with an occasional running aground to keep things interesting. In final analysis, warts and all, Sri Lanka has been viewed, during its time post-British Imperialism as a land where the essentials of democracy were intact.

Is this still the case, or have we, thanks primarily to the infection of a “master race” virus, let ourselves slide down the slippery slope to despotism with the attendant rampant murder and mayhem?

Mahinda maithripalaSuffice it to say, at this point at least, that the indicators, at least for those who believe that the people’s will should prevail and power should not come out of a gun in the matter of governance, are not good.

We thought we were rid of the most violent and corrupt government in our recent history when the mild-mannered Maithripala Sirisena took on and convincingly beat Mahinda Rajapaksa at the beginning of 2015. However, it seems like that was not to be and recent developments amounting to what appears to be a complete capitulation of Mr. Sirisena, now the President, does not portend well for a country that was looking forward to some measure of democracy in practice and the return of the rule of law.

It seems like the malady that infected the Rajapaksa group which seemed to begin its political life as yet another mildly socialist agglomeration had entered the veins of the new Sirisena Dispensation.

The (thinking) jury is still out on the matter of the “Mahendran Matter” but, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ravi Karunanayake have enough political experience under their respective belts to have known that “perception” adds up to everything in politics and the whole mess has been made worse by keeping it before the public’s eye with vacuous statements that do little but sound like lame excuses and remind the public, again, of the sweeping accusations made by the most loud-mouthed of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s spokespeople, led by that unparalleled demagogue Wimal Weerawansa, truly a politician without shame!

Then we had the comedy of the “100 Days Program.” There was no way that the ambitious targets set could be achieved within the time frame set. If it was sloganeering that was needed, surely some achievable generalities could have been listed? Even the much-trumpeted passage of the 19th Amendment, while less than an unmitigated disaster, saw only an emasculated version of the original proposals pass into law. It offered the Rajapaksa Rump in the legislature a wonderful opportunity to grandstand, be as obstructive as possible and prove the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

At no point did it seem that Ranil Wickremesinghe’s strategists had so much as considered provoking the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of elections as quickly as possible. This, in a very real sense, would have been striking while the iron was still hot. I would submit (for the umpteenth time!) that this policy was driven primarily by those with the ability to influence UNP policy wanting to have their cake and eat it too: the “insurance buyers” who survived the Rajapaksa Presidency (and Chandrika’s too, if truth be told), were ensuring that should gold turn to dross, they’d be able to return to that same status if/when Mahinda returned.

Insofar, as the well-being of the “insurance buyers” is concerned, their strategy could well be proved dead right if/when Mahinda Rajapaksa regains the reins of absolute power. Laying anything resembling principle aside, can you contest the “success” of those who, win or lose, maintain their privileged positions in Sri Lankan society, even if slightly diminished, and continue to exercise the ability to mint money even if it is at the public’s expense?

The foregoing is not a case of being smart after the fact. I have, on several occasions, at risk of being a positive bore on the subject, kept repeating this obvious fact and it certainly gives me no pleasure to, probably, be proved right on this issue in the final analysis.

We need, for starters, to stop identifying symptoms as problems and to remove from the anti-Rajapaksa body politic those who do, in fact, constitute a political Fifth Column, doing little but ensuring their financial nests are feathered irrespective of the party in power and what it is likely to deliver in the matter of governance.

I am still optimistic that the Sri Lankan electorate has the capacity to see beyond the trees of the “insurance buyers” to the forest that threatens to envelop us with the darkness of death and destruction. However, it is going to take a significant number of people of decency and honesty and political skill to address that task.

This is a time for those who believe in justice and good governance to stand up for those principles and do whatever they can, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to restore Sri Lanka to its status of “the beacon of democracy in Asia!”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Finally the Balls of [magic] Mahendran Percyvel Jarapassa has worked on President Sirisena.

    So now better to let the Mahendran Percyvel Jarapassa to squeeze the balls [of magic] more time.

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

  • 2
    0

    A good thought provoking article and only time will tell if Sri Lankan voters dig their grave by voting for MR or not

    Please be ready to listen to some comical comments from our dear joker K A Sumanasekera with his usual key words such as “elites,anglicans,surendran,Vellalas,Diasporians etc” give the fellow some slack as he depends on the crumbs thrown by his handlers for writing nonsense!

    • 1
      4

      P… Lover,

      Not sure whether this is good or bad news for you…

      Indian Mano and his Dalit party TPA is now under the UNF.

      Not sure whether they are going under the Green Elephant too.

      Now you have Ven Rathne, Abiththaya Chamipka , non Vellala TPA, and
      Wanathamulla Beauty Queen too ,

      And Arjuna Ranatunga.

      What a formidable gathering to give you Yahapalanaya.

      Soon after giving the last rites to the old UNP, Ranil declared that the TNA will get all land and full devolution to the Northern and Eastern Provincial Governments. from his UNF Government.

      Wonder what is in there for the Dalit party TPA.

      Will the Monk and the Abiththaya spoil it yet again, like what they did to Ranil’s current Yahapalanaya?.

      Or one more thing.

      Duminda and Dr Mervyn Sylvas are still available if you have any spots open in the UNF.

      • 0
        0

        from your reply you seem worried please take a tot of your favorite Single Malt and soothe your fears

        Of course if you want to be more down to earth then drink kassipu like the rest of us!

  • 2
    2

    Pooty

    why dont you contest , you have a loyal band of about 10 admirers (koha , crazy old mans and your many fake avatars ) [Edited out]

    Abhaya

  • 0
    3

    The oldest party and the bastion of the Elite, Anglicans, Vellalas and the Muslims is kaput..

    How sad,

    It was even more sad to see the UNP Christian Faction Ranil taking the vote and announcing the death of the UNP.

    What is left is only the Green Elephant.

    And who made that happen?.

    It is none other than Reverend Rathne, and Abiththaya Ranawaka, because they were sort of shy to go to the electorate under the UNP banner.

    Now it is UNF..How cool.

    Focusing on more serious issues which Mr Poorten is interested in ,like speaking proper English and putting it on paper as Shakespere did,here is a nice observation of Elites’ proficiency .

    It was immensely embarrassing to watch the Video of young Senasinghe, the Junior Minister trying to tell the DM journo that Mahendran and Alousious are squeaky clean and have done nothing wrong.

    And threatening to sue old Dew Gunasekera who produced the COPE Report.

    ( Wonder whether Senasinghe is Mahendran’s Private Attorney as well ),

    Embarrassing it was for two reasons.

    One the bullshit coming out, And the Singlish speak of Senasingham.

    The manner in which the supposed to be one of the gun UNP Ministers trying to white wash Wiggy’s Nephew Mahoendran and his SIL Aloysious. was really pathetic.

    Even the Muslim Journalist who was trying to get to the bottom of the rort , would have been depressed by the rubbish which Senasingha was throwing at him about how the Bond Trading is done.

    I had to switch off after watching/ listening to only 10 % of the interview.because it was an insult to the intelligence.

    And it was so sad to see these supposed be the future guardians of the Elite struggling to cover a lump of shit which stinks to high heavens.

    Perhaps Mr Poorten should conduct accelerated Spoken English classes to these budding Elite Politicians who have to look after the Elite , and even their grand kids until the 9000 Billion Mahendran Bonds matures in 2045.

    • 5
      0

      Sumana, your line, “.. and it was so sad to see these supposed be the future guardians of the Elite struggling to cover a lump of shit which stinks to high heavens “, is most appropriate to describe your own efforts in covering up the turds that stink beyond the heavens and even to the depths of hell.

      • 0
        3

        Good effort Matty.

        Wonder how Mr Poorten is going to mark it……

        • 2
          0

          Gee thanks, Sumana. Glad you liked it!

  • 6
    1

    I do not believe in astrology – but if a soothsayer were to say that Ranil Wickramasinghe has, in his stars, never to become the leader of this country, I’d believe it. Facts, and Ranil’s performance in the recent past, seem to prove it.

    The 180 day rule under Ranil exposed all his defects. Rather than showing a sharp contrast to the previous regime in terms of governance, mainly in absence of corruption and nepotism, Ranil’s interim government showed that it is no better than the Rajapakse regime. The unsavoury acts indulged in the six months of power, projected to 10 years, could have equalled the UNP regime to being no better than a Rajapakse led government. This fact was not lost on people.

    If there is one single person who should take the blame for undermining President Sirisena, it is Ranil. He surely is a better person than Rajapakse. However, the January 8 defiant voice of the people against corruption, against abuse of power, against family rule, against the power of drug dealers and rogues, was muffled through the dismal performance of Ranil.

    Had Ranil focused on the long term and showed that his government was beyond even perceptions of corruption, that it too was determined to improve the economy, that the rule of law would prevail etc, Rajapakse would have found it difficult to come back. All what Ranil was required to do was to show that he was different to Rajapakse and that he can deliver on an economic miracle while maintaining a democratic rule and good governance.

    Those who read history will know that the return to power by Rajapakse to power could possibly plunge Sri Lanka to the kind of rule Trujillo practiced in the Dominican Republic, close upon a century back.

  • 1
    0

    I think Prez. Sirisena knows what he is doing..

    The UNP and Ranil is a big part, indeed, the other half, of the crisis of democracy in Sri Lanka.

    The fact of the matter is that Prez. Sirisena has to chose between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea when it comes to working with either Mahinda Rajapaksa or Ranil Wickramasinghe as neither one is clean or honest and hence Prez. is silent and neutral.

    Most of the investigations of crooks in parliament are stalled because Ranilwas only interested in calling elections as soon as he thought that SLFP would split and UNP would win. Ranil pushed for elections rather than complete electoral reforms and see the 20th amendment passed with was Sirisena’s preference,.

    Finally, the biggest reason for Sirisena to call out with RW is Ranil’s Central Bank governor is a crook and everyone knows it. So too is Ravi karunanayake.

    Ranil is and was UNP dictator who has lost countless elections and refuses to nurture a new generation of leaders in the party, just as MR is the dictator of the SLFP which today is a party for Criminal Clowns, tugs and scoundrels.. So the Democracy show among the corrupt politicians and people’s representatives goes on in the Miracle of Modayas!

  • 2
    2

    Emil van der Poorten,

    I have always been saying it is “appe aanduwa” pure and simple. They will never change.

    Racism to gain power, and to hold it too!

  • 6
    0

    Hi Sumane,

    Did I read between your lines a phrase “INSULT TO INTELLIGENCE”.

    The greatest insult to intelligence is the fact that you people who claim to be intelligent, fail to understand MARA FOR WHAT HE IS and going behind a rogue and a criminal he is to hand over the reins of a Nation.

    Starting from TSUNAMI FUNDS TO MURDER,ABDUCTION,STATE PLUNDERING AND A PROTECTOR OF RAPISTS,DRUG BARONS,SWINDLERS AND THE LIKES.

    It is that simple isn’t it Sumane, to judge who is intelligent and who are fools. A person in the street would know that. That is the malady of intelligence in Sri Lanka, pathetically.

    BTW, where is your pal Dayan the D….., haven’t heard his nonsense for sometimes. Please tell him that we miss his INTELLIGENCE.

  • 6
    0

    Abhaya (aka?) Sumaney:
    Oh dear I will have to continue to live in the hope that SOME DAY we will have something comprehensible from either of these pseudonyms even if they both belong to the same individual and continue to spew abusively-intended incomprehensibilites.
    In the meantime, please don’t judge everyone by YOUR standards that require pseudonyms to accumulate some kind of a fan club.

    The temptation to trace your genealogy is indeed tempting, except that I have too much respect for canines to do so.

    • 3
      2

      Emil: as a dog lover I do take offense at your insinuation. Can’t you find a more appropriate comparison?

      • 2
        0

        comparing Aabhya to any animal is an insult to the animal kingdom

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out]

      • 1
        0

        Waltzing Matilda:
        I deeply regret the fact that I did not make myself clear: I have IMMENSE RESPECT AND AFFECTION for canines and that is the simple reason I did not seek to defame them by associating either Sumaney’s or the other fellow’s ancestry with them.

      • 0
        1

        Hey, Matty,

        Pooty got it all mixed up .. What he meant was the Lion Genes,, get it.

        Because the Dogs came only after 1500 ,\

        We didn’t even have Dingos before according to our chronicle, Mahawamsa..

        • 1
          0

          Abhaya, Sumaney and the rest of the dingoes:
          You had to be in a state of more than minor imbalance to support the monstrosity parading as government that you did. However, do not fear you CAN change horses in mid-stream and join the pro-Ranil bunch because many of them have already paid pooja at the Rajapaksa altar in other days and you’d be in good company!

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

      • 1
        0

        bla bla blAbhaya

        “[Edited out]”

        Thanks for your interesting typing.

        You never disappoint us.

        • 1
          1

          NV Nitwit

          I cant help it , your uncle who runs CT is afraid I will hurt pootys feelings , poor baby .

          [Edited Out]

          Cheers

          Abhaya

    • 0
      0

      Mr Poorten,,

      Did dogs come to Srilanka with Portugese , Dutch or English invaders?..

      Because there is no record in Mahawanmsa of Prince Vijaya bringing any with him in the boat.

      My Elders tell me Dog wasn’t a Native animal in South Asia .

      Perhaps our genes expert Native Vedda may enlighten us..

  • 1
    0

    Really enjoyable perception from within SL for us economic emigrants. Thanks. If I were an opportunist which party should I carry my bags of cash and donate to for future favors? What’s your gut feeling about winners?
    .
    Recall in 2005 ,after backing RW to win and putting full page ads, old Deshamanya Gold Key Hora sent flowers to MR who sent them back. Now he’s cutting deals with Galleon Ravi/Hayleys Ravi etc to get away from justice. His wife wants to spend billions back in Sri lanka being a born again devout evangelical etc.
    .

    So who should I kiss up to and send money to get favors from? I’ve I’ll gotten gains I only want to donate to the winning side.

    Who Sir, will win? Thank you for a nice entertaining article for us emigrant experts like myself. We love blowing gas with our bloviated egos from abroad .

    • 1
      0

      Mano:
      Despite my being a community- and social-activist throughout my life, I have to admit that I didn’t participate, even from abroad, in the 2005 business. Interestingly, the first major Sri Lankan politician I encountered in a post-tsunami visit to Sri Lanka was MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA whom I thought, at the time was a genuine populist go-getter with potential to make a real contribution to the progress of our homeland. You be the judge of my judgement at that time!
      The question, simply, seems to be which is the lesser evil among the choices we face in August and in the matter of “evil” the Rajapaksa horde don’t appear to have any challengers on the basis of PERFORMANCE!

  • 0
    0

    Dear Emil;
    Socrates forbade fools visiting his house. Please refrain from arguing with fools
    Hela

    • 0
      1

      Instead of picking Durian, and mowing the lawn, Yakkos now offer advice to Mr Poorten.

      And it is not how to set Rabbit Traps, but the Social & Political Etiquette of Ancient Greeks..

      Yahapalanaya must have kicked in well….

      • 0
        0

        Sumaney:
        PLEASE read up on the subject of “comprehensibility.” It’s very hard to laugh at what you have to say when NO ONE seems able to understand it!

        • 0
          0

          Emil van der Poorten

          “PLEASE read up on the subject of “comprehensibility.”

          It seems you are putting him under lot of pressure which is not right. He does not need to read anything after all he is a proud smart patriotic Sri Lankan.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.