21 July, 2024


Mahinda Has Got Alzheimer’s

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

The Ada Derana of February 27th this year reports a speech made by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa where he stated that, “not only politicians but their wives and children have to be safeguarded from the government now, as they are being harassed one by one by one.” Rajapakse was referring to the recent arrest of former Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s wife, Shashi Weerawansa, on charges of falsifying documents to obtain a Diplomatic Passport. He was speaking at the Colombo National Hospital after having visited Mrs. Weerawansa who was warded in the hospital.

Rajapaksa condemned this act as being “hateful politics,” or the politics of revenge. “I believe it’s wrong to do such things to extract revenge from politicians,” Rajapaksa added. Capping it all the former President reportedly said,” I didn’t do that. No one can point the finger at me. This is why I can point the finger at others”

Mahinda’s Alzheimer’s

Mahinda Rajapaksa has got Alzheimer’s. Most pollies do; but this statement by MR represents the peak of a variant of Alzheimer’s disease known as political Alzheimer’s.

Mahinda_Cell_PhoneThe disorder known simply as Alzheimer’s disease is defined as a progressive degeneration of brain cells that causes memory loss, thinking skills, emotions, behavior and mood. In the political version of the disease there is no physical damage to brain cells. The memory loss and the stultification of emotions is virtually unconsciously generated to overcome guilt for heinous misdeeds. The misdeeds can include lying, cheating, bribery, theft of public property or of the spouses of others. Most politicians live on promises they know they cannot fulfill. They lie. Members of Parliament are entrusted with power over us and many do abuse that power or utilize that power to gain advantages for themselves or their families or parties. They lie to conceal the abuse and thereby pretend innocence. In all instances they conveniently forget the specific offence and the lie and get along without batting an eyelid. Quite cool, they are.

Even exercising great caution to be fair I don’t think Sri Lanka has seen any leader who has taken revenge on his competitors and opponents as Percival Mahinda Rajapakse had done during his ten years of rule. I say “rule,” and not stewardship deliberately as Mahinda exercised the considerable power he received from the Constitution and added still more powers just in order to rule lie a monarch. He thought he was entitled to ownership of the country and his whole style of management was based on such an implicit assumption. By extension, other key men and women of the executive shared the sense of entitlement.

Two Examples

Take the start of his rule after the war had been won. Soon after the war President Mahinda Rajapaksa praised General Sarath Fonseka as ‘the greatest army commander in the world,” thereby acknowledging the decisive role that the General had played in winning the 27-year-old war. General Fonseka decided to contest Rajapaksa at the following Presidential elections. Rajapaksa won. It is particularly easy for a victor to show generosity toward an opposing competitor. Evidently, Rajapaksa had no reserve of generosity in his breast. He got the Fonseka jailed on a framed up charge. The normal procedure is to have the civil courts hear the charges because such a court has a high standard of rigour with regard to evidence and the accused gets a fair chance. But Rajapaksa wasn’t interested in that. He placed the case before a Military Court. Fonseka complained that some of the members of that Court were his former subordinates in the army whom he had punished. That preliminary objection was overruled and the Military Court proceeded to convict Fonseka. Rajapaksa did not stop at that: He took away Fonseka’s hard-won medals of honour and even his citizenship. The records at military headquarters where Sarath Fonseka was army commander were deleted, leaving a ludicrous situation where the war had been won without an army commander.

While SF was in this state of incarceration Rajapaksa went after his son-in-law over some trifling issue. The son-in-law now states that he was pressurized to give some damning ‘evidence’ against his father-in-law. The young man, Danushka, fled underground as the only option.

The third case was that of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, our 43rd Chief Justice. CJ had turned down the Rajapaksa sibling- Minister Basil’s Bill on the Divineguma. Down came the sword of the High King on CJ and she was impeached violating due procedure. Rajapaksa government did not stop at that point. It went further by framing a controversial case for bribery against Shirani. Here was a helpless woman being seemingly harassed.

Fourthly, multiple cases are reflected in former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’ “files” story. During the elections Rajapaksa brazenly claimed that he had the files of those who jumped or would jump and suggested that he can do damage to them. This claim implied that Rajapaksa had the practice of keeping files of corrupt and wrong-doing Ministers/MPs and that he would use them (revenge) against anyone trying to leave him.

Duminda Drama

The most dramatic case of political Alzheimer’s, however, comes not from the former President himself but from one of his key government members, namely Duminda Silva, Member of Parliament. Duminda, whose name has been associated with drug trafficking allegations, was accused of murdering Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, Kolonnawa SLFP leader. In the shoot -out that took place, Duminda also suffered gun injuries and was hospitalized. He later transported himself to Singapore for treatment on the claims of brain damage and memory loss. When he returned, he was questioned in court and his response was that he cannot remember anything. Discharged from court the man laughed his way to meet the President at Temple Trees. He has now ‘recovered’ fully and was politically rehabilitated by President Rajapaksa and put in charge as the Supervising MP for Defense.

Underlying Amorality and Low Emotions

Something especially dangerous about those afflicted with political Alzheimer’s disease is that the affliction seems to be rooted in an individual psyche that is essentially amoral. Politicians who “forget” their wrong deeds do not entertain a counter guilt about having done something unethical. The emotions don’t touch their nerve. Ethical considerations don’t prick such persons for the simple reason that they are amoral or are insensitive to moral considerations. Moral issues do not occur to them at the point of the offence and associated emotions do not spring in their hearts. Such persons are called amoral persons. Being emotionally hardened, they are a sure danger to society. Serious killers and rapists are known to be low on emotions or have the capacity to switch off emotions. “Psychopaths lack empathy and possibly even the most basic understanding of human feelings,” states Paul Bablak and Robert. D Hare in a study paper entitled, “Snakes in Suites: When Psychopaths go to Work.” In similar vein, well-known pioneering writer on emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman, states that “the heart of the psychopath’s coldness seems to lie in an inability to make anything more than the shallowest of emotional connections.”

Particularly in view of the previous consideration the question arises as to whether personalities predisposed to grave political Alzheimer’s are suitable to hold responsible leadership positions in a country. A leadership position in a country is essentially a position of public trust. Public trust entails qualities that include integrity, fairness, accountability and responsibility.

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Shyamon Jayasinghe,

    You assert that all politicians lie and cheat. I happen to agree. According to you this means that all politicians are demented. Yet you question Mahinda R’s suitability for leadership of the country. Why are the other politicians immune from this rebuke? Do they somehow suffer from a different form of dementia ?

    • 3

      Yes MR has his own faults but actually it looks like the writer Shyamon Jayasinghe is also a pathetic victim of Alzheimer’s coz so far its the MaruSira and the clan who says one thing, denies it, says another thing, does something totally different, not even knowing whether they are sitting or standing (probably suffering from the same disease).

  • 2

    Dear Concerned of Motherlanka, That is what we have acheived after decades of free education. Scotland had a referndum a few months back to decide whether to secede from UK or not. There wasn’t a single incident of violence and everyone accepted the will of the majority. Imagine what would happen in case of a similar exercise in 90% literate Sri Lanka.

    • 7

      Edwin Rodrigo;

      90% Literacy does not equate to 90% Wisdom!

      • 5


        “90% Literacy does not equate to 90% Wisdom!”

        In the case of this island Literacy rates seem to have inverse relation with wisdom.

        • 5

          Native Vedda and Rationalist

          ” 90% Literacy does not equate to 90% Wisdom!”

          Here is some data in support of your hypothesis.

          National IQ Scores – Country Rankings


          ——– Country
          ———————– %
          ————- IQ Literacy
          1 Singapore 108 > 99%
          2 South Korea 106 > 99%
          3 Japan 105 > 99%

          28 Sri Lanka 79 96%

          That is why Sri lanka Needs Common Sense Pamphlets.


        • 4


          Yours is one of most profound statements made in this website for a long time!

          • 1

            justice & fairplay RE: NV Comment

            “In the case of this island Literacy rates seem to have inverse relation with wisdom. “

            Wonder, if this is called the Para-Effect, unique to this Island, where the Sinhala and Tamil called each other Para-Sinhala and Para-Demala, being Dravidian Paras from South India?

            “We Do Look Alike & Probably Are Both Dravidian”-
            Mano Ratwatte


  • 8

    There should be a special Presidential Commission to investigate Mahinda Rajapakse. Not only his corruption allegations but also his various abuses. There are stories that he had a special room in Temple Trees where he takes some persons who talk back and beats them. That is a punishment room. Loku Athula alias Nimalasiri Jayasinghe is said to have been murdered there. Not even a coroner enquiry. Every evidence that Mara was criminal. See how he visits serious criminals in prison.

  • 5

    Innocent people’s curses, has brought them this downfall. More to be seen and heard. Mara, his family, siblings and henchmen must be lashed in public and then sent to the gallows.Astrologers had been their Gods not Lord Buddha. They will be reborn vul ooras, meeyas, nayas and yakas the whole lot of that mentally sick crowd. They have been cursed. If they were still powerful people will have to be eating off dustbins while they and their goons will live a life of mentally sick ecstacy, and luxury and riches which they claim as their right in their kingdom. Heil Hitler.

  • 3

    “To be or not to be,(President) That is the Question.
    Whether it is Nobler in the Mind to suffer the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, or by opposing end them.”

  • 3

    People talk mostly about Mahinda’s but what about the frauds committed by his all family members. very recently I visited Gowers Street Kirulapone to meet a friend and I found a huge house with the a 30 foot parapet wall. This is owned by Namal BABA. My friend said this is the “Anthappura of Namal Baby”Worth of Billions.From where he got this money ? The other women is Kumari Balasuriya,former Governor of Southern province who was appointed by MARA for the simple reason that she was his close relative.She robed big public money and resources and bought acres of lands in Kegalle district { Gonagaldeniya)Why Mithri Government is reluctant to investigate this fraud.

    • 2

      The day they can add all blantlies would not stay that long. Once Amds are passed sooner than later they have to get caught. Not long to go to see the days of justice against all these criminals.

  • 2

    Mr jayasighe beraytes that Mhinda Rajapakse ha dementia.He disingeuously does not mention Ranil’s irrational , insane personality where he contradicts himself whe it comes to what he doe and also what he says.
    In his second tenure as pime minister he went berserk in downsizing the public sector irk by forcing them to retire on pension prematurely at the behest of Imf and world bank at a great cost to public purse. Now he summersaults and instigates an interim pre-election budget to increase ad hoc the salaries of all goeverm=nment servants by a fixed anount of 10,000/ rupees. so a lowest paid manual worker earning 12,000 rupees would get 22,000/ and a qualified teacher or a nurse who has worked for 20 years and earning 20,000/ will receive32,ooo. There is no proportionality.
    Secondly, any 8th form pupil knows that raising wages would stoke up inflation, and, in a few months, prices of goods the same people buy would rise proportionately., simply because cost of production rises in a linear relationship with the the wages.
    Thirdly, the money to increase the salaries has to be found from the same public. This not money is not handed out free by IMF or world bank, or the countries of the west, or our former colonial masters, Ranil , the prime minister of this country, cowers at. The hard working honest people have to subsidise this pay hike. It will go on record as Sri Lanka the only country in the free world in recent memory to have inveigled the private employers, , who are the back-bone of our economy, to raise the wages of their employees by a the same fixed amount and imposed a retrospective tax on the most successful companies who have payed by the rules.
    `We have seen the demise of command economy, and was last seen in Romania, Albania and Bulgaria. China and Russia, the pioneers of command economy , have long abandoned this practice because they learnt to great cost that this was never sustainable.. For Ranil to turn 180 degrees is either lunacy, dementia, imbecility or shameless political expediency. This is the man Mr Jayasinghe and his ilk promote to lead this nation to prosperity.

  • 0

    Mahinda showed revenge and pursued it against his opponents. On the other hand he coddled his corrupt supporters with influential positions so that they can make money. Sajain Vaas is an example. MR created bogus positions withoin Ministries called ‘Monitoring MPs.’ This is to give space for racketeers to creep in and make money

  • 1

    What Shyamon says rather tongue in cheek is apt, as Percy was very guilty of exacting revenge on even small perceived slurs from lesser people.

    It was an era where many ordinary people were afraid to speak out or show dissent towards any government policy or action, for fear of harsh reprisal.

    Politicians are by nature dishonest, as they often ascend to these heights through manipulation, back-stabbing, betrayal, espionage and disinformation campaigns.

    The people need to become more aware of facts, avail themselves more of information and less of emotional reactions only, and make educated decisions when electing their reps in government.

  • 1

    Our prisons are not enough if we are to jail the former Royal Family and their cronies who climbed their backs and made money, raped etc. Shall we export them? Or outsource our jails to other countries?

    • 1

      Stanley Weerasinghe:-

      Here is a Solution.
      Change their name to Rajapaksham, harass them, repossess their ill-begotten Lands and Money.

      They will then get on Leaking Boats to another Country, and maybe get lost at Sea in the process.

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