30 June, 2022

Blog

Is The 21st Amendment Dead On Arrival?

By Vishwamithra

“Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.” ~ Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight

Sunrise on the Galleface Green is not as spectacular as sunset. It is the essential distinction between the West and the East. Man rises to another day in his life with sunrise. When he is deprived of the delight and splendor of the intrinsic enchantment of a ballet, which sunrise usually is in the East, his morning’s enthusiasm and energy has every misfortune to turn into uncertainty and anxiety.

However, sunset on the Green is totally different poetry in celestial movement. The kaleidoscopic display in the distant horizon could mesmerize even the most poised and becalmed mind in a Vedic trance, driving it to the ends of physical pleasure and joy. This natural flow of the universe may well be playing its repetitive choreography day after day, yet man’s pursuit towards a dynamic equilibrium in his chosen life has not been consummated. Nor will it ever be the quintessential achievement of man for he is never contended with what he is and what he has. As Pearl S Buck, the Noble laureate, said: ‘when man demands no more the earth too shall die’.

Today’s Galleface Green, Aragalapitiya, is poised in between these two natural phenomena of the universe. In the wee hours of the morning it is silent, calm and forlorn, but not deserted. Yet the crowds that gathered at the beginning of the Aragalaya movement, almost one and half months ago, to demand change and total transformation from a rotting status quo, look utterly tired and fatigued. The initial passion and gusto of a movement led by the youth of the day seem to be fading away. The numbers are declining although the need and necessity for such change and transformation remain just the same or even more so now.

The usual letdowns, betrayals and retreats have had their nasty fallouts. Encounters with the law and physical conflicts with the law keepers have had their consequential effects. Absence of political leadership, which appeared at the outset as a sign of things to dawn, is now having its reverse effects. No political movement in human history has succeeded without sound and decisive leadership; Napoleon, Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Min and Castro all succeeded in their respective ventures because they lent their selfless leadership to their respective movements. Events that cascaded in the wake of success of each of those revolutions is another matter altogether. Leave that to historians, super-grade storytellers who are experts in hindsight-analysis.

Nonetheless, reviewing the stories and events that followed the encirclement of Gota’s residence on April 3rd is not a very challenging task. But what’s consuming all matters in the end is not fatigue and exhaustion; it is that intrinsic quality of all humanity, ravenousness and avarice which seem to be unquenchable and insatiable. It is indeed tragic that all our mainstream political leaders have succumbed to this dreaded trait.

On the other hand, what commenced as a selfless struggle for law and order, for justice, social integrity, negation of nepotism and political reform cannot be allowed to fade into history without achieving its desired results. If that were to occur, it will be a great misfortune.

Nevertheless, after the Rajapaksas were subjected to crippling inactivity during the first three to four weeks of the struggle, a flurry of activities drew more than cursory attention of all following the infamous attack by the Mahinda Rajapaksa-hooligans who suddenly decided to unleash their own venom and hatred on the Aragalapitiya. What followed had the effects of semi-insurrection dimensions covering almost the entire country. The spontaneous reaction to the Galleface attack had its two-faced consequences. It frightened the government politicians and also triggered a fuse that was kept so concealed in the psyche of the protesters.

The social media and its thrust into the mindset of the average Sri Lankan voter continued its incessant inroads to reveal a tale that is more than a mere display of the wild side of anarchism. Yet the decline of passion and its spellbinding elements amongst those who still were engaged in the ‘Aragalaya’ assumed more than palpable proportions. This is the space the governing men were waiting for- amongst whom was Ranil Wickremesinghe whose appointment as Prime Minister, as successor to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Godfather of the current socioeconomic and political debacle.

Overnight the subject of conversation shifted from sloganeering at the Aragalapitiya to whispers inside the Cabinet Room. While the conventional media resorted to its characteristic hobnobbing with nuanced aspects of governance and its operational subtleties, the shrewd and cunning politicos indulged willy-nilly in bartering their falsely-assumed respect for a ticket to the halls of power. Passion, enthusiasm, steadfast belief in a fresh approach and a fresh school of thought of politics flew out the window. Instead of ruthlessly pursuing the original ideals of the Aragalaya, even those who were most ardently participating in a looming revolution-like uprising, began their futile discussions on matters of Cabinet appointments and lubricating of the cogs in a stagnant and un-turning government wheels.

All eyes and ears were riveted to the proceedings in Parliament. Television medium spent so much of its time on interviewing those so-called hopefuls for Cabinet posts and the same old patterns assumed their uneven fox-trotting.

In the midst of this wildness and loss of acute attention to details and macro-portrait of the need of the hour, the 21st Amendment to our Constitution lost its glimmer and significance. Gota-go-Gama and Mina-go-Gama were founded on the premise of the 21st Amendment. Abolition of Executive Presidency and removal of Mahinda Rajapaksa from the post of Prime Minister were the most appealing demands of the Aragalapitiya. With the other crook, Basil Rajapaksa having resigned from his post of Finance Minister, the exit of Gotabaya and Mahinda was of paramount importance in the minds of the Youth.

A delay or non-submission of the 21st Amendment would be the unkindest cut of all. Those who argue that the country’s economic salvation should be priority number one are using that argument itself to prevent any meaningful sociopolitical and economic transformation during this time. There cannot be any economic recovery if the powers continue to dwell in the houses of the Rajapaksas or Wickremesinghe. While Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed in the last two and half years, Ranil Wickremesinghe never succeeded in his entire political career that’s spanned five decades and five times being Prime Minister. Ranil’s priorities are totally different. Completely devoid of empathy and overly attentive to his cute friends, he has managed to survive in politically chaotic situations by wheeler-dealing many a bargain with his friends and foes. His history on these activities is disgusting and most unbecoming of the high offices he is trying to step into.

An expectation of greatness, honesty and reconciliation from Ranil Wickremesinghe is not only a wasted exercise, it would be utterly preposterous. Only idiots and ignoramus would pray for such futility. Yet when one ponders the gross betrayal committed by Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara, the shelf life of the Aragalaya seems far less sustainable. To the average observer, the infidelity to the cause displayed by both Harin and Manusha might be disheartening and depressing; but the naked exhibition of political naiveté a self-centered approach to the current crisis on the part of these two has exposed their true colors.

When the crunch time arrives, it’s only the hardest and strongest that would prevail. Harin and Manusha were not the first to surrender and they won’t be the last. Those who exchange arguments among themselves may get bogged down in the insanity of the egg or chicken situation. The economic crisis has turned into a political one of mighty proportions. To resolve the economic crisis, a diffusion of the political mess is an indispensible prerequisite.

There is no way in which the country can survive this multifaceted crisis with both Gotabaya and Ranil sharing the helm. For the sake of the nation’s good name, for the sake of her men, women and children, both have to depart before they make it even worse than it is today.

Anton Chekhov, in The Cherry Orchard wrote thus: “We just philosophize, complain of boredom, or drink vodka. It’s so clear, you see, that if we’re to begin living in the present, we must first of all redeem our past and then be done with it forever. And the only way we can redeem our past is by suffering and by giving ourselves over to exceptional labor, to steadfast and endless labor.” Surely, we are still left with some labor and foresight, aren’t we?

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

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Mr V
    Can you accept the fact that the Aragalaya efforts to get a SYSTEM CHANGE should include minorities RIGHTS in addition to getting rid of corrupt uneducated politicians from the SL politics.
    Tamils still feel threatened by the huge presence of Security Forces in North and East of SL.
    We need the Buddhist Monks to come out in force and request the GoSL to find permanent solutions to the minorities and to get rid of thuggish uneducated corrupted politicians

    • 1
      0

      “Instead of ruthlessly pursuing the original ideals of the Aragalaya, even those who were most ardently participating in a looming revolution-like uprising, began their futile discussions on matters of Cabinet appointments and lubricating of the cogs in a stagnant and un-turning government wheels.”
      Does the author think that a “revolution ” would have been a good idea? We can see the aftermath of a violent change of government in Afghanistan, where most of the population is short of food. Yes, we need a change, but mob rule isn’t the answer.

    • 0
      6

      Naman,
      “…SYSTEM CHANGE should include minorities RIGHTS…”
      ===
      When Sinhalayo accommodated Demala and Muslim people from Hindusthan in their country they were given citizenship with same rights enjoyed by indigenous Sinhalayo.
      In addition to the rights enjoyed by Sinhalayo, Demalu in Yapanaya were given the privilege to retain ‘Thesawalamei’ which is a customary law from Malabar region that Malabars brought to Yapanaya.
      Muslims were given the privilege to use their family laws such as marriage and divorce laws.

      What more rights minorities want?

    • 0
      6

      Naman,

      • What is it that the Sinhalayo are enjoying that the other communities are not enjoying because they are not Sinhala?
      • What is it that the minorities do not enjoy because they are the minority which the majority enjoys because they are the majority?
      • What is legally, constitutionally and legislatively given to the majority that is not given to the minorities?
      • What is it that the Sinhala Buddhists are enjoying that the other communities are not enjoying because they are not Sinhala Buddhists?

    • 0
      6

      Naman,
      “Tamils still feel threatened by the huge presence of Security Forces in North and East of SL”

      As long as Tamils in NE live peacefully, Security Forces are not a threat to them. North and East are parts of Sinhale/Sri Lanka, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. The Government of Sri Lanka can deploy Sri Lanka Armed Forces in any place they want depending on the need. Sinhalayo, Tamils or Muslims cannot give orders to the Government to remove Armed Forces.

      Only Vellala Tamil politicians and Tamil Diaspora want to remove Army from North. Low caste Tamils (Panchamars) want Army to stay because they feel more secure when Army is there.

      • 5
        0

        Eagle,
        “As long as Tamils in NE live peacefully, Security Forces are not a threat to them. North and East are parts of Sinhale/Sri Lanka, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. The Government of Sri Lanka can deploy Sri Lanka Armed Forces in any place”
        Well then, why aren’t the armed forces deployed where there is most violence and crime?
        Today 2 people were shot in Colombo. The other day, a 9 year girl was murdered. A Buddhist monk and a Navy officer raped a 15 year old girl in Colombo. Where were these armed forces hiding on May 9th?
        Isn’t Colombo part of Sinhale?

    • 0
      7

      Naman,
      “We need the Buddhist Monks to come out in force and request the GoSL to find permanent solutions to the minorities …”

      Buddhist monks do not have an obligation to find permanent solutions to each and every problem faced by the descendants of foreigners accommodated in Sinhale by Sinhala Buddhists. The permanent solution for those who have problems living with Sinhalayo is to return to their ancestral homelands leaving those who wish to live with Sinhalayo without grumbling. .

  • 3
    10

    “Is The 21st Amendment Dead On Arrival?”

    If it is dead it is ‘GOOD’.
    The reasons are:
    • We have a caretaker PM who has no mandate of the People, who has been rejected by his own party supporters, who unethically entered from the backdoor via national list.
    • We have a caretaker Government comprising people of different parties who are also not representatives of the People.
    • How can such a caretaker PM and caretaker Government draft legislation to clip the powers of the President via a Bill and transfer powers to a rejected caretaker PM?

    Those MPS who support 21a are idiots and they should be eliminated from politics at the next election.

  • 1
    0

    There is nothing much for anybody to think about the amending amendments to previous amendments in current amendments.
    Hence it wont take much time in rejecting it as an ineffective effort in solving at least some of the issues facing the country.
    First and foremost requirement is to break down, destroy and annihilate the ability of the parliamentary process to enable the corruptions and protect the culprits. That’s where the clipping of the criminal wings need to be done.
    Stop and discourage the criminals to be elected into parliament before even being contested.
    Get them to submit a proposal as to why they need to become an MP. An application. His asset declaration, police clearance and a resume. These should be in the public domain. So that people can appreciate.
    Then once elected must submit a yearly certification of assets declaration, for public scrutiny.
    Should not allow to them to change allegiance or else make them redundant from parliament within a week of changing sides.
    Avoid providing freebies, that other workers are not privy to.
    Un-elected persons should not be made MPs.
    Never a single person be given sole authority to act on behalf of all parliamentarians. Only a majority decision should be conveyed on behalf of the parliament.

  • 3
    0

    Aragalaya may be tired and exhausted. But it will be of no relief to Rajapaksas because soon the angry and hungry public will get to streets, and when that happens any thing is possible. The starving public will be more volatile, explosive and unpredictable without ant self made rules and restrictions like Aragalaya (nonviolence).

  • 3
    0

    Dear EE
    How right for once.
    “We have a caretaker Government comprising people of different parties who are also not representatives of the People.”
    Hence please endorse the call of the Aragalaya : Gota Go Home & 225 Go Home.

  • 2
    0

    “The initial passion and gusto of a movement led by the youth of the day seem to be fading away. The numbers are declining although the need and necessity for such change and transformation remain just the same or even more so now.”

    You cannot expect that “Aragalaya” alone can bring change unless the people come forward from all the corners. The powerful nations or super powers are real enemies of revoloution and they want the power on their hand. Yes, the people of Sri Lanka wants Rajapaksas and Ranils to go home and to bring fundamental changes but not the super powers who are the decision makers because they have changed us to Luxary life with Luxary cars, Luxary local and international travels, Luxary food, Luxary holidays, Luxary weddings and parties and so on.
    Sri Lanka under Sinhalese rule is laways very active. That is why we had continuous riots, wars, massacres and now lost everything but still we have not changed even under poverty we are happy to beg but not to stop kill each other.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.