5 July, 2022


Is Sri Lanka Descending Towards Kakistocracy?

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

On the eve of Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948 and in the immediate aftermath of that landmark event the island was an envy of many of its Asian neighbours. Domestic harmony and economic prosperity with a democratic polity was a rare combination in the Asian region at that time. Sri Lanka inherited from the British a healthy economy with a strong foreign balance, a robust democratic constitution reflecting the country’s pluralism and an efficient civil service. When Lee Kwan Yew visited the island in the early fifties he was amazed at the standard of living of the Sri Lankans and the level of development of the nation, and wondered whether the Singaporeans would ever reach that level. However, the very same Lee turned around later in the 1980s and warned Singaporeans, as soon as he detected symptoms of Chinese political chauvinism raising its ugly head, and pointed to them the way Sri Lanka was descending fast into an ethnic morass because of chauvinist politics.  In a strange twist of history, the late President JR Jayewardene after instigating the 1983 Tamil pogrom aspired to make Sri Lanka another Singapore. 

The historic political tranquillity and cosmopolitanism that prevailed even before colonialism has been shattered by deliberately cultivating and nurturing ethnic nationalism. In spite of the military victory over the Tamil separatists, Sinhala-Tamil-Muslim ethnic nationalism has risen to a new crescendo today thwarting every attempt at achieving national harmony and returning to the pre-colonial cosmopolitanism that enriched this splendid island. No amount of re-written constitutions is going to bring peace and political sanity unless the political leaders and their think tanks give up their parochialism and believe in the fundamental truth that this country belongs to all its people irrespective of their ethnic and religious differences. Numerical strength and weaknesses should not be allowed to stand in the way of recognising merit, talent, skill and enterprise. Nepotism, corruption and the fear of the other have become the bane of this nation in recent decades. 

When political aspirants with mediocre talent and questionable personal integrity are eventually empowered to become rulers in a plural society that is a recipe for national disaster. This has been the sorry tale of Sri Lanka’s political destiny over recent decades. Although there had been nominal changes in the personalities of ruling regimes the qualitative decline in their talent, integrity and dedication to the nation has been an observable trend. One should only have to read through the parliamentary Hansards to note the declining quality of the parliamentary debates. What was once a delightful and enlightening source of reference to political observers and university undergraduates and independent researchers have become an embarrassing document of riotous cacophony in print. Is there any better evidence to prove the decent towards a kakistocracy (a Greek term for a government by the most unscrupulous or unsuitable people) than to listen to a foreign minister who pleads total ignorance of foreign affairs?     

What can one expect from a system where at the apex institution of the country’s monetary management, the Central Bank, the governor is chosen not because of his or her managerial and financial expertise but because of political allegiance? What can ordinary citizens benefit from a public service in which public servants are underpaid and are therefore more keen to augment their income through personal favours and bribes than to provide dedicated service to the nation? What justice can citizens expect from the national judiciary when the judges themselves are political appointees? The judiciary and the security forces that are supposed to maintain law and order has become totally impotent even to arrest and punish thugs in saffron robes who have become a law unto themselves. Aren’t these evidence of a descent towards Kakistocracy?                   

On the economic front, while nature has been abundantly kind to this nation justifying the legendary description of a ‘pearl in the Indian Ocean’, that nature’s benevolence has been recklessly squandered and mismanaged with scant regard for costs and benefits. Populist politics has been the driving motive behind many of these projects in recent years.  Several development projects have enriched the politicians and their advisors more than the people who are supposed to benefit from them. This may be the reason why in one of the Middle Eastern countries politicians are compared to cucumbers because both quickly get fatten. Mega development projects with substandard professional input and funded by borrowed money have not only turned Sri Lanka into a huge debtor nation but also have endangered its natural environment. The Uma Oya irrigation project is a classic example of this calamity. The people of Bandarawela have been forced to sacrifice their drinking water to quench the thirst of Hambantota farmers. In a latest revelation, this project is proving to be a disaster to the ancient Mahayana Buddha statue at the Dowa Rajamaha Viharaya. Like Uma Oya the Lakvijaya or Norocholai power plant is another fiasco.

What were the government and municipal administrators were doing for years when Colombo, the capital city, was fast converting into a garbage dump in from of their eyes? I am aware of the clean-up campaign undertaken by Gotabaya Rajapaksa under the former regime. Why was that campaign discontinued? What is the use of crying now about the invasion of dengue mosquitoes after allowing rubbish to flood the environment? Doesn’t a stitch in time save nine?       

The question now faces the nation, like in many other nations, is how long can the citizens tolerate this descent? Gone are the days of revolutions. They are more destructive than constructive. What the nation now desperately needs is a more activist democratic electorate which instead of waiting for the periodical elections to change rulers must, through peaceful and organized protests through citizen groups and local NGOs, bring democracy to the streets. This is a huge task but is the only way to bring about systemic changes in this otherwise neo-liberal globalized world ruled by the moneyed class and which is prepared to tolerate kakistocracies.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Scholl of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia                              

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  • 4

    Bank Robbers, Drug Peddlers, Crack Smokers, Commission Agents & Big Ass Liars are the Yahapalana Rulers of Our motherland…, Does this Kakistocracy cover them all?……Where is the Black Widow…..!!!!!..

    • 3

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Bank Robbers, Drug Peddlers, Crack Smokers, Commission Agents & Big Ass Liars are the Yahapalana Rulers of Our motherland…, Does this Kakistocracy cover them all?……Where is the Black Widow…..!!!!!..”

      You led us believe you are a keen observer of contemporary events, do care about heritage, want to pass it on to the future generations.

      Yahapalana Rulers of your “motherland” are doing exactly what you wanted in your wish list. They are passing the heritage what they were given by the previous regime to the next generation.

      My Elders tell me they have been aware of crooks taking over the state apparatus since 1956, could only warn the consequences but was unable to stop the transfer of absolute centralised state powers to a handful of crooks, murderers, fascists, drug smugglers, criminals being elected to parliament and awarded ministries, automatic impunity is being made available to all crooks aligned to parties, b***s carrying state functionaries, ….. tsunami horas being elected to the highest office, war criminals wanting to become head of the state, ……………………. all because they are tough on minorities, the only quality which provides them automatic license to abuse, and impunity.

      Your stupid nationalistic and fascistic rage help them steal, murder, …. hide all sins behind Sinhala/Buddhism.

      And you think you are a clever punter.

      • 1

        Dear native,………..Tough on minorities………Are you serious.?????……Dr Mahendran and Aloysious are still counting the Cash……..Rajitha ticks off Baththudeen clearing our National Park to setlle Wahabis , even among ancient Buddhist Ruins………Abraham and Sambandan are meeting the Yahapalana Boss Duo to finalize their demands……Mel and Oneliya are living in super luxury in Kollupitiya, watching our Dalits busting their asses, working for the Chinese……….Sivajilingam has taken the 12.000 ex cadres under his wing to train them in Democratic Practices of Tamil Eelaam…………..And the War Heroes are marched in to Yahapalana courts on a regular basis on trumped up charges……….While the whole Army and Navy Intelligence Units are kept under lock and Key. by the Yahapalana UNP Police………Poor Intelligence dudes are lucky that Dr Batalanada Ranil’s “mate” is no more……..

        • 1

          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          “While the whole Army and Navy Intelligence Units are kept under lock and Key. by the Yahapalana UNP Police”

          Please ask your Ambassador Bandula Jayasekera to confirm your typing.

    • 5

      “Descending Towards Kakistocracy”?
      What nonsense? Are you jet-lagged?
      We landed in Kakistostan on 4th February 1948.

    • 2

      Dr. Ameer Ali

      RE: Is Sri Lanka Descending Towards Kakistocracy?

      “What the nation now desperately needs is a more activist democratic electorate which instead of waiting for the periodical elections to change rulers must, through peaceful and organized protests through citizen groups and local NGOs, bring democracy to the streets.”

      Thanks for the write up on Sri Lanka Descending Towards Kakistocracy. Why?

      Sri Lanka is inhabited by Paras ( Parsadeshis from Bharat, India) , and the average IQ of the Paras is 79, and that has not helped. The British with an average IQ of 100 left Ceylon with decent administration and structures, to continue without wrecking it up. Unfortunately, the Paras, with average IQ 79, wrecked it up ever since the British left.

      The Singapore Prime Minster, visited in early 1950’s before the Paras wrecked what was left by the higher IQ British.When, the Singapore Prime Minster visited again in 1980’s , he could see the wrecking done by the Paras, especially by the Para-Sinhala-Para-“Buddhists” and the Para-Tamil, Para-Hindus, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      In the case of Singapore, the average IQ is 108, and that is 29 points or almost 2 Standard Deviations above the means foe the Paras in Sri Lanka. Of course. Para-Sinhala “Buddhism”, and Para-Sinhala Language has not helped much either, complicated by the Para-Tamils, even before India intervened.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      Rank Country IQ

      1 Singapore 108
      2 South Korea 106
      3 Japan 105
      4 Italy 102
      5 Iceland 101
      5 Mongolia 101
      6 Switzerland 101
      7 Austria 100
      7 China 100
      7 Luxembourg 100
      7 Netherlands 100
      7 Norway 100
      7 United Kingdom 100

      28. Sri Lanka 79


    • 0

      (PART 1) Dr. Ameer Ali, Let me begin by quoting your own words…. you have penned in the last line of the last para….saying “This is a huge task but is the only way to bring about systemic changes in this otherwise neo-liberal globalized world ruled by the moneyed class and which is prepared to tolerate kakistocracies.” This is the ONLY PROBLEM that no one could or can give a direct solution or a clear cut approach to the TRUTH to the concerned helpless CITIZENS of this unfortunate country of ours to untangle the twists and turns of a confused system which is being FORCED UPON us by the WESTERN ZIONIST ENTITIES. Let’s take on the local political scene to figure out WHATS LYING BENEATH THE SURFACE giving fire to the pot boiling ABOVE. SINHALA BUDDHIST SUPREMACY is the EVIL which is lying beneath. It is supplied with fuel needed for it to burn throughout a span of 70 years and beyond -the RACIAL SUPREMACY-SINHALA ONLY ( NAZI/ZIONIST Fascism) which is in the pot above.
      HOW DID IT ALL BEGAN????……… The 1800’s is the ERA the Jewish Supremacist got hold of everything in the world from the NON-Jewish world population with WARS and DESTRUCTION implemented through cunning manipulation and with subversive activities by INFILTRATING the enemy camp fielding their SPIES and CRYPTO JEWS who live A DOUBLE LIFE, as OPENLY OTHER RELIGIONISTS or OTHER RACE but SECRETLY maintaining their ZIONIST JEWISH ROOTS and their secret agenda. These people are called “THE DONMES”(Sabbateans)……… and the SRI LANKAN DONMES are the present day RULING ELITES coming from a certain RACIST , PSYCHOPATHIC SET of FAKE “Sinhala Atistrocrats”- belonging to the GOVI SECT. They are rich, corrupt, racist, brutal criminals who have no EMPATHY towards anyone but for their own BRETHREN (Kith and Kin) in the SOCIO-RELIGIOUS POLITICAL set up controlling everything IN THE LAND. In your own words they are the “MONEYED CLASS”……

  • 6

    K A Sumane 24/7 – 24 hours commenting on CT way to go!
    MR cant find a better cheer leader than Sumane cheekayya

  • 4

    Don’t worry too much, Sri Lanka has company: Even the US people have elected a Trumpian Kakistocracy by the working class whites, ill informed, fascist and the racist lot. Sri Lanka is leading in this type of ‘governance’ for nearly seven decades.

    If you look around there are plenty of them in the third world countries.

    In so-called democracies what people want is what they get including their governments!
    Sinhala Buddhist priorities and wishes are taken care of very well indeed.

  • 2

    Ameer Ali “Is Sri Lanka Descending Towards Kakistocracy?”
    We are past this stage Ameer. We are well into Kakkuscracy.
    By the way the Dutch word for latrine is kakkus.

  • 2

    Do not blame any for this except ruling parties and some crook leaders…look much money and Wealth have been looted by some politicians in SL. We know much money is accumulated in some in foreign banks and how many properties are bought by these people in SL and abroad by public money ..
    Simple way to know this is ..
    Read history of some politicians in SL .
    Some of them are really coming from families but with a few of of coming to politics they are supper rich .
    Look all from Hakeem to Richard
    From Mahinda to Goata..
    From sampathan to Thanda .
    From …
    All accumulated wealth from public money ..
    So ..
    We will be poor..
    Sorry Lankan public
    Very sorry for you
    Sorry for Sri lanka
    Let us God punish them all?
    Let us all curse all bad people
    Let us be united against corruption
    By the way Ranil& M3 are not good people at all..
    They hide all thieves?
    They should take responsibility for this ..
    Vote JVP..
    Only party that can be trusted for all communities
    Vote and see
    Give them a chance and see ..

  • 1

    NEws said, that Sir Oliver gunathilke who came from a Poor, father or mother was the post master of a village post office, had a properties in French riveira and he lived last part of the life there. So, venerated D.S. Senanayak and SWRD were typical brown Sahibs aka Kalusuddhas. Then JRJ legalized thefts by legislators. We thought Mahinda Rajapakse was the thief. Yet, yahapalana is so incompetant and they could not find much. Instead, Ranil became the bigget thief it is because his capitalist party, leaders worhipping the west and India did not have money. So, had to rob the poor It is said, they borrowed Rs 20 billion via the BOI and sold it back to the govt and the profit is Rs 59 billion. there times what they lend. Even Shylock should be ashamed for his stuipidity in making money.

  • 2

    Good write up Dr Ali. We descended to Kakistocracy decades ago when the “Kokisto”, aka the Kokkiss and Kavuum devouring modaya’s of the country were given the pass to govern after 1956. Since then, the political cesspit has been brewing like an illicit den of Kassippu. One thing that this government has very diabolically proved is that the minority politicians are no better when given the chance to govern. This includes Viggi in the North and East, as well as the Yahapalanaya clan that is making a mess of things elsewhere in the country. We now find ourselves at rock bottom. Escaping from this “crush dept” that we put ourselves into by our monumental STUPIDITY and immorality now seems impossible. If we do not find a benevolent dictator like Lee Kwan Yew to pull us through, we are crushed and doomed for ever.

  • 1

    The Quran contains at least 109 verses that speak of war with nonbelievers, usually on the basis of their status as non-Muslims. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter

    As such what rights this Muslim Amir has to speak on behalf of humanity. .

    • 0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0

      ranjith, have you got a brain in the head or shit? The topic is about ” unscrupulous or unsuitable people” ruling the country so what religion has got to with this?

      • 1

        Ralli Ameen

        “what religion has got to with this?”

        Its about crooks, rapists, murderers, thieves, fascists, ………………………. conveniently hiding behind religion, nationalism, patriotism, linguistic nationalism, ………………

        By the way I am not a fan of scatter brain ranjith (sprrw).

        • 0

          Native Vedda, you have veddas brain. Crooks, rapists, murderers, thieves, fascists, ………. conveniently hiding behind dictators, politicians and weak laws of the nations. Religions are only in mosques, churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples. So don’t blame religion for human greediness, selfishness and no concern for fellow human beings.

  • 2

    ranjith (sprrw) the scatter brain

    Congratulations. A new Quranic scholar has born.

    You must be a student of the famous mufassir, muhaddith and faqih scholar Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Abu Bakr al-Ansari al-Qurtubi.

    Keep up the good work.

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