29 November, 2020

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Maithri, Mahinda & Ranil: Three Aces Or Three Jokers?

By Vishwamithra

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” ~ Aristotle

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote thus: ‘Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will’. if one examines how each of these players, Maithripala Sirisena, the President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President and 50-day Prime Minister (PM) and Ranil Wickremesinghe the current PM, at least on the surface, look more like jokers who did not know when to play and when to quit, except perhaps Ranil Wickremesinghe who chose to wait it out allowing the others to continue to play their suicidal game. Barefaced violation of a country’s constitution is no game of cards. 

Yet, when her current and former Chief Executives have opted to indulge in such unabashed acts of defilement, one is always prompted to find metaphors to describe the bizarre situation that results from such violations and corruption. And if one parallels what was enacted on October 26, 2018 to a cruel game of cards, one is seldom detracted from the fact that history abounds with some unmistakable precedents of numerous incidents wherein ruling clans had resorted to unsavory deals and conspiracies in order to lengthen and strengthen their tenure in the throne. Whether when Ceylon was ruled by Kings and Queens or during the five hundred (500) years of subjugation by colonial powers or even after so-called Independence in 1948 as a sovereign nation up to the present time, the pages of history tell us how and why our rulers resorted to such brutish alternative means of usurping political power. But history is useless unless one chooses to learn from it. 

History apparently has not taught our leaders anything. Anyway that history is dead. But today we are experiencing some events which are palpably unusual, yet when our own history tells us that such unusual events had occurred in our past, then only we learn that we have failed to learn, period. Rarely do I quote Marx, yet in this instance, am compelled to be reminded of one of his famous quotes: ‘History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce’. The political farce that was played out before a docile public during the infamous fifty (50) days was indeed a tragicomedy enacted by our leaders. Some displayed incredible stupidity in their total lack of understanding of constitutional confines within which an Executive has to exercise his powers. Having been elected to office on a platform of accountability and transparency, been voted in by an angry public who was disenchanted with the previous regime’s lack of the same in addition to a definitive tramp towards an autocratic family-rule, he decided to unclothe himself of that ‘Yahapalanaya’ garb. In the game of political cards, he, instead of playing his Ace, decided to play a joke and thereby became a joker himself.

Come Mahinda Rajapaksa, being assured by some political vagrants that he, Mahinda, could muster the required 113 in the Legislature, by hook or by crook, by offers of money and portfolios, by cajoling and corruption, the first joker, the Executive, took the extraordinary step of swearing him in as Prime Minister of the country. He must have guessed that it’s another perch of land in the historic dry zone city he (mis)represents. 

When the other joker, Mahinda, stepped into the arena, all the vile and avaricious character that was kept under control was unleashed inside the most sacred of the House of the People’s Will, Parliament, by Mahinda’s own loyal disciples. Entangled in the web of greed woven by Mahinda Rajapaksa himself over the past  two and half decades, these unruly and uncouth loyalists made a total mockery of parliamentary traditions so closely followed and held aloft by its founders and Mahinda’s predecessors. The second Joker opted to disregard the ostensible desecration of our values that have been passed down by our parents to their children. Any semblance of decency and decorum was the obvious victim.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the 2nd Joker did not have any other card to play. Having discovered to his immense grief that he did not have the required 113, he had allegedly instructed his loyalists to prevent a vote being taken in parliament. They failed. In their attempt to prevent the vote inside parliament, they let themselves loose to the astonishment of all who watched the proceedings in earnest and showed what animals they could become in the face of certain defeat. It was in this act of uncontrolled conduct of vandalism they exhibited their intolerance of justice and fair-play; it was in this frenzied behavior they unfolded the hidden side of their demented character(s). 

For these loyalists, defeat was no option. Having sucked out the flesh and blood of our economy during the 2005 – 20014 period and being seriously alleged before the courts of law in the country, they saw no way out other than grabbing power by whatever means and allowing the court cases to vanish with no trace left behind. Well, it was not to be. As American science-fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein wrote: ‘Never underestimate the power of human stupidity’. The Rajapaksas were not only corrupt and autocratic; in fact they were also stupid. For them to risk and gamble their political capital they built on the successful conclusion of a 30-year war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) is plain stupid. What demon possessed them in the period from October 26 to December 16, 2018, one may never know. But the sheer sense of insensibility is colossal. At least in the short run, it may cost them dearly, not only for Mahinda, but also for any other member of that family. Who destroyed whom, whether it was Maithri did unto Mahinda or vice versa, one might never find out, for eventually both suffered irrevocable damage to their standing in society, their dubious incongruity in political principles and most of all their very core of character.

Ranil Wickremasinghe, the other card in this game might not be a Joker, yet the Cabinet he proposed in the wake of the melodrama played out in the open gives more than an indication that he too has hardly learnt anything beyond the fact that he could certainly withstand the stupidity of the other two Jokers. Whatever one might accuse Ranil Wickremasinghe of, one cannot say he is stupid; insensible and insensitive to the masses, may be; but stupid, no. When Maithri and Mahinda were behaving as there was no tomorrow, Ranil played a waiting game to its exquisite end. What baffled everyone’s mind during this crisis was how and why Maithri and Mahinda engaged in a sequence of events, which they presumably thought was not ultimately consequential of the original decisions they entered into. That tells of an untrained and inexperienced mind. Being veteran politicians, both Maithri and Mahinda displayed a remarkable lack of strategic thinking, a hurried and consequentially faltering execution and a stupendous absence of patience. 

Ranil, on the contrary, played somewhat a strategic game, without showing his cards and displaying a grim countenance, which he usually has irrespective of the circumstances. In this political poker game played out from October 26 to December 16, 2018, Ranil was no Joker, nor was he an Ace.  American novelist cum journalist said: “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well”. Ranil did not have a good hand; the President was opposed to him; Mahinda was with the Opposition; but he knew that the Speaker and the Supreme Court were waiting on the threshold of some momentous decisions and they, the Speaker and the Supreme Court, were the Aces, as trumps, so to speak. Ranil gambled and played his cards like a seasoned gambler. The false notion of ‘the people are with us’ enunciated and repeated with Goebbels-like Mantra by the Rajapaksas was proven wrong. The people at large- not the fringe elements on both sides- were docile and unmoved. They too waited patiently and with an extraordinary sense of balance when, come December 16, exhaled an audible sigh of relief.

The Aces that were the Speaker and the Supreme Court combined to trump the stupid and the avaricious. Once again it was proven beyond any shadow of doubt that lack of basic understanding of our Constitution and the laws and regulations that flow from it is more than a must when governing our Democratic Socialist Republic. Governing the whole nation with divided power as the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary is no joke. It’s not over a limited land mass that contains within it just a couple thousand inhabitants and one or two village tanks and townships. R Premadasa, the President elected from the United National Party (UNP) in 1988 had no university degree; by conventional standards, Premadasa was an uneducated politician who came to power through the power of the UNP. The truth is far from it. Though Premadasa had no formal education, he was a tremendously focused man whose attention to details of governance was bettered only by JR Jayewardene. Premadasa Exceptionalism, which has not cascaded down to his son, at least yet, was a working, living organism. It has not manifested itself yet and is tragically unlikely that it would.

A brand new year is upon us. 

Happy New Year to everyone!

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com   

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Latest comments

  • 15
    0

    You are very careful not to bring down Ranil. What has he done with whatever assets you think he has-to the country,UNP and Central Bank ?

    Who looks and acts like Me Beans ?

    • 5
      0

      Three jokers.

      One with dissolved balls.
      Two with rotten balls.
      It is their Egos that keep them going as jokers and the entertainment that follows. The show by the three jokers is not over yet.
      Can you write about the French Revolution ACS the three jokers as well?

      • 0
        0

        Amarasiri,

        For sometime now I notice you have a fetish with Balls. In your earlier writings you were generally polite, decent and far away from vulgar language. You had sufficient material in your wide repertoire to express yourself with grace and elegance. How come? Is it a health or mental issue – or both? Keep well, dear chap. It is always good to read you and your careful observations.

        Backlash

        • 2
          0

          Backlash,

          Ever since the formation of the Yahapalanaya, good governance, all three have have earned merits to be called balls, rotten balls etc. However, Amarasiri withheld, and conferrrd the Titles of Traitor, Sevalaya, Mala-Perethaya, Patholaya, Pachaya etc.becsuse they did earn some merits. However, the Illegal and unconstitutional actions of Sirisena, Mahinda, and the appointment of Ravi Penthouse by Ranil, clearly indicated that calling them balls and jokers may additionally, better describe them.

          After all we should call a spade, spade, a duck, duck and a skunk, skunk.

          The three Jokers are taking citizens to be jokers, and assume that citizens will always elect them, because they have limited alternatives.

        • 2
          0

          Backlash,

          Amarasiri does not suffer from any mental or physical ailments.

          It is that for the time being, the three jokers are somewhat better described as no balls and rotten balls. They are protecting each other. Go and ask especially, the people in the tourist industry and other industries how they have been affected since October 26th. They have better words to describe them. Their livelihoods have been disrupted.

          Ranil and Mahinda won’t impeach Sirisena. Why? Because they belong to the rotten ball tribe or club.How would you describe the three?

        • 2
          1

          Backlash,

          Just listen to what JVP is saying about the President, the PM and the current leader of the opposition, the Fake PM, occasionally referred to as no balls, dissolved balls and rotten balls. On you tube search under JVP and go to lankatruth.com

  • 8
    1

    I am not a politician but a person who could think rationally. How can anyone with some commonsense could consider these three persons as of some value or use to Sri Lanka. They are absolute and unimaginable clowns with utmost stupidity and selfishness who are hell bent on ruining the country and in fact they have already succeeded in doing so. Their behaviour is unbelievable and for power they will say anything and do anything. The worst tragedy is that they claim themselves to be the saviours of Buddhism and Sinhala language and culture. Oh what a shame. But one thing is certain and that they are so think skinned and nothing can penetrate their skin. And they are not alone and there almost 225 in the parliament and numerous others in various stages of destruction around them. Do we have any hope at all?

  • 9
    0

    Ranil has a dismal record of very poor planning in advance. A poor record of little or no intuition to act fast and furiously when the iron is hot and a hopeless penchant for very poor selections for cabinet, non cabinet or whatever posts. On the other hand many UNP MP’s resort to blackmail when not rewarded, and offered or given posts to flaunt their flaccid personalities. How can this be contained?
    The other two “jokers” have been well and truly exposed here.

  • 8
    0

    Vishwamithra,

    “Maithri, Mahinda & Ranil: Three Aces Or Three Jokers?” – Come on, I can hear the trio laughing at your question. How conveniently we forgot that they have been making us the JOKERS for decades.

  • 6
    0

    Maithri, Mahinda & Ranil: Three Aces Or Three Jokers?

    All three talk like Acess and relay other one is joker, joy-stealers faultfinders we saw that and people are confused, continues orgy of disorder.

  • 2
    1

    No doubt MS, MR and RW are playing cards. MR and RW are holding the cards close to the chest like professional poker players. MS is still learning. He must stop wagging the tail whenever MR calls.

  • 2
    1

    The Glasses on the Table: Srisena’s (RED LIQUID IN GLASS) shows he is about to suck the blood of the people, Mahinda I/2( Green Liquid) IN GLASS shows that he has finished 1/2 of UNP and Ranil ‘s almost Empty Glass with Water shows he had washed away both. Good Luck to all.

  • 0
    5

    As the author describes so eloquently, the Simhala leaders have been just idiots playing the political game as if they children playing a game of marbles. There is no future for those who are ruled by this set of idiots. My question is why should the Tamils suffer because of the incompetence and stupidity of Simhala rulers? We have had enough. It is time to break away and go our own way. Let us start with the Northern Province. Give it to the Tamils to rule and we shall show the Simhala how to rule.

    • 6
      1

      Palani Supramaniam

      ” There is no future for those who are ruled by this set of idiots.”

      True.

      “My question is why should the Tamils suffer because of the incompetence and stupidity of Simhala rulers?”

      The Tamils tried with their best brains for about thirty years look what did they get, they are left with less population than when they started, wasted life and resources, forgone development, land is being occupied by war criminals, societies have been torn apart, 95,000 war widows, communities divided, ……………… all because of one man who was allowed to enjoy absolute power, like in the South.

      For people it is irrelevant who perpetrates misery, but the suffering and pain they endure are real. There is no difference between pain whether perpetrated by a Southerner or Northerner.

      By the way in case you didn’t know Tamils and Sinhalese share their stupid gene with South Indians.

      • 0
        2

        Native Veddah, it is better to be screwed by your own people than by aliens. That is what made colonialism palatable to the natives.

        • 3
          0

          Palani Supramaniam

          I understand your logic.
          It appears you love everything foreign.
          One cannot fight the locals who have been screwing them for 70 years for the fear of being accused of various things, traitors, neo liberals, working for this that and other, terrorists, …………….. you’re either with us, or against us, …………

          If you enjoy being screwed by your own people (the noisy minority) please feel free to continue your pleasure seeking adventure.

          • 0
            0

            I was just waiting with bated breath for your permission to be screwed by my people. Thanks.

    • 2
      1

      Palani Supramaniam
      “Let us start with the Northern Province. Give it to the Tamils to rule and we shall show the Simhala how to rule.”
      Vellala politicians led by Vigneshwaran ruled Northern Province and showed Sinhalayo how Demalu can rule. Out of the money allocated to NPC, only 35% was used, rest returned to Treasury but they tell their White Masters that the Government is treating them badly and seeking their support to create ‘Elam’.
      According to the sub-committee report on Devolution of Power, low caste Demala people in the North have told not to give Land and Police powers to NPC because they know very well that it will strengthen the caste based feudal system and they will be worse off.

      • 1
        0

        1) The biggest clown President in the history of Lankawa and probably within the last 2 centuries of the world.
        2) The biggest day dreamer as Prime Minister who thinks WI FI is more important than Oxygen
        3) A megalomaniacal mass murderer past President as the Leader of the Opposition.
        4) A parliament that is more entertaining than a Roman Amphitheater.
        .
        Yes, you Chingulays certainly have a lot to brag about. Tamils cannot even start competing in kind.

    • 1
      0

      Well the entire Batticaloa district and the Trincomallee district minus the Gomarankadawela area , where 90% of the Sinhalese live and possibly the Amparai district minus the Amparai electorate , where again 99% of the Sinhalese live in the district should be merged with the north. It is up to the Muslims living along the coastal Amparai district to decide if they want to be with the Tamils , with whom they share a common language, culture, heritage and ethnicity or merge with the Sinhalese and suffer eternally

    • 2
      0

      Palani,

      Tamils would have been better off with jokers rather with idiots.
      The mistake the Para-Tamils made is that they tried to imitate their Oara-cousins, the Para-Sinhala. Remember, the mean IQ has been measured to be 79.

  • 4
    1

    Quotes, quotes and more quotes!
    =
    Is it surprise that this man is no one’s mitra, but common man’s ‘shutra’ (enemy)?
    =
    Life expectancy should be shorter>

  • 2
    2

    Sirisena is undoubtedly the joker in the pack & MR is the knave. In this particular pack, Ranil could have been King but he failed to turn the threat to his opportunity. He was intelligent enough, unlike the joker, to put his faith in the legal system & the constitution (even though it seemed a calculated risk judging by the past record of our judicial system) but failed to capitalise on his victory by listening to the public, instead appointed corrupt cronies like Ravi K, Marapona, John Amaratunga (well past his sell by date), Malik S., etc, etc. back as Ministers. None of these Ministers have made a significant contribution in the past, instead, exploited the loop holes for personal gain. Such people, irrespective of their education & capability, are immaterial because at the end of the day, they are just crooks. In the past, RW opted to support his mates over his country he has pledged to serve, for which, he had to take flack from his opponents but either he is too arrogant or too stupid not to learn from mistakes.

    Does our constitution say that the Ministerial portfolios should be filled from the political arena? I am sure there are able & competent people outside politics who would make good Ministers & the MPs appointed by the people can be left to look after the needs of their constituents, perhaps, then we can do away with useless Provincial Councils too. We need respected people like the late Lakshman Kadiragama to head important Ministries, not yobs & educated crooks.

  • 1
    1

    A pack of cards have 4 suits.
    The fourth Joker is the Sri Lankan eelctorate.
    The Sri Lankan electorate always hold the trump card….its time to use it and kick out all these jokers

  • 1
    0

    The infighting going on about awarding Minister posts is like a cheap teledrama. Every bugger wants to become a Minister. Ravi is complaining for not giving what was promised. Kiriella grumbling for not placing enough Government Institutions under his Ministry. Sarath Fonseka says he will go to courts to challenge President’s decision. One guy even said he will kill himself if he is not given a Minister post. Some backbenchers were complaining that they did all the ‘Donkey Work’ but they were ignored.
    Biggest joke is, Ranil is trying to form a National Government with that Muslim guy to increase the number of Minister posts to 45. These two legged donkeys have forgotten that the poor people in the country pay for them.

  • 0
    0

    I heard the LASt year Country’s Remittences frpm those employed overseas was $ nione billion. Free Health Care is dismantled and it is mostly privatized. Free education is mostly dismantled and it is privatized. That is how every sector is Maithripala was from the same group. Yahapanaya is exactly the same thinking named changed from Mahinda chintanaya. But, what they do is different. At least. Mahinda Rajapakse finished the war. Ranil emptied the banks which incresed the in bank rates by 3%.
    Media is corrupt and they work for money.
    Sri lankan political went from corruption to corruption since 1977.
    What Internationl community says is we helped you. So, now you help us.
    The problem is we do not have a good system. Media is for money. Politicians are stealing in the open. VOTES CAN NOT SOLVE IT. DEMOCRACY IS A JOKE.
    Sri lanka has good LAWS. Everybody knows it. But, it is never implemented properly. That happened even with the constitution. Now, I understand Mahinda Rajapakse removing Shirani Bandaranaike was fair game. MEdia PRopaganda and lack of legislation changed everything there.
    MAithripala Tried to use Democracy. HE is in trouble.

  • 1
    0

    All three should go, chased out for good and we had enough of them. MR and Sirisena should be chased out for their illegal coup, 52 days chaos, and turning the country backwards. Rabil should be chased out for not taking action against the coup plotters- Sirisena, MR and their goons and all the officials who assisted them.

  • 0
    0

    MR taught us that just because we were successful in cheating a system once doesn’t mean we can keep dream about repeating it again.

    MY3 taught us that if you were picked as a guinea pig for an experiment then just leave the scene gracefully once the test it over and don’t ever think that you own it.

    Finally, RW taught us that reading history books won’t make anyone a charismatic leader!

  • 2
    0

    Definitely all 3 are jokers. Sadly the joke is on us.

    We as a country, loves to be entertained and no time for serious thinking. Hence only jokers can represent the parliament.

    Our ill-disciplined nation, has no hope in finding the right view as per eightfold path. Discipline is a must, to understand our selves.

    Without knowing much about us, how can we find the right view for the country??

    First change the view of your family and friends and then only we can hope for right action.

    • 0
      1

      Jokers? That is too good a description for these despicable creatures. No they are monkeys. The whole Simhala race are monkeys. It seems that when Rama invaded Shiri Lamka, Hanumantha was first sent in with an advanced party to prepare the ground for the invasion. This monkey must have freely fornicated with the Lamkan women, who even in those days had a very loose moral code.

      From the way these monkeys have been voting, governing the land and dealing with minorities, massacring them and indulging in ethnic cleansing, it is quite clear that there is more monkey blood in the Simhalas than the monkeys themselves have.

      The stupid Simhalas blame Tamils for having a caste system. See what has happened to them without a caste system! Panikkiyas are becoming Ministers. Dhobies are becoming super dhobies.

      No wonder the country is in chaos. Not every Tom, Dick and Harry can be allowed to hold such positions. They should be reserved for the high caste.

      I heard that even Lord Buddha selected a high royal caste to be born in to. Why?

  • 1
    1

    The rumor is more than 20 members of SLFP are planning to leave and join UNP. considering their political, economical future and all others they have decided to leave ship in mid sea. MS thinks he is the only smartest person in SLFP and he could manipulate and exploit as he wants. But him underestimating others ( stupid) makes him the stupidest.

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