20 September, 2021

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Moral Relativism Of The Maithri Presidency

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

The American philosopher Eric Hoffer once wrote: “It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.”

That seems to be the condensed quandary of the Maithripala Sirisena rain bow coalition. Color enriching, vibrant splashes everywhere. A new beginning. Alas! Rainbows don’t last.

In its first 150 days of a few achievements and plenty of blunders and absurdities, the Maithripala Presidency has proven Abraham Lincoln wrong and Joseph Schumpeter correct. Our democracy is not rule of, by and for the people but rule by politicians plain and simple. The President’s stoic silence on the Bond scam has demonstrably defined the dangers of our naiveté in seeking to convert ideals to expectations.

The combination of the arrogant Omni competence of his Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the incendiary cupidity of his adversary Mahinda Rajapaksa has exposed the glaring deficiencies of his capacity to survive in the great game. He is no weakling. By challenging the tyrant he has proven his mettle. Yet, in office, he has settled in to the role of an innocent abroad. His predicament is similar to that of Mark Twain in Paris.

“In Paris they just simply opened their eyes and stared when we spoke to them in French! We never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”  It seems the Presidents language is similar to Mark Twain’s French in Paris!

MaithripalaThe UNP administration seems either incapable or unwilling to learn the language of Maithripala Sirisena the President who stands for good governance.

Frankly, this President has pissed off many of his followers, the present writer included, for his determined effort to remain aloof on the Central Bank Bond fiasco that has given renewed hopes to the Rajapaksa restorationists. An announcement by the President that the new Parliament would take up the probe halted by the dissolution would take the wind off the sails of the rickety canoe of Bandula Gunawardane, the ridiculous Ricardo of our times.

Both Ranil Wickeremsimghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa are elitist politicians who share a common presumption of the inadequacies of the average citizen. Conversely the citizenry does not hold the pair accountable for their fickle politics. Their core convictions are remarkably identical. Dysfunctional democracy is their principal vocation.

They divide their universe between political entrepreneurs and the masses that the entrepreneurial elite could manipulate at will. Neither believes in ideology. Both depend on passive and inert followers whose allegiance is secured with the promise of spoils.

Joseph Schumpeter summarized the strategy. “The democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.”

In the afterglow of the epochal upheaval of 8th January, the nation has failed to take note of an organic menace that lies ahead. A Recent photograph featured the Judge and the Judged of the ‘Helping Hambanthota scam. The duplicitous duo were listening to a Poya day sermon with mock piety writ large on their chubby cheeks. No doubt flushed with the excitement of the coming battle. It was a prophetic preview of the peril that awaits the caravan of good governance.

Restoring democracy within an intrinsically undemocratic political culture can produce political outcomes that unmistakably tilt towards the undemocratic.

A day prior to the Esala Poya day, the former President and his brother, former Defense Secretary and Security Czar attended a much publicized religious ceremony at the historic ‘Sunethra Devy Pirivena’. It was officiated by the Militant monk Medagoda Abhyatissa thero who likened the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to a death warrant to the Sinhalese.

The lavish ceremony was to invoke the blessings of the triple gem on the patriarch prince and to invoke the assistance of the deities to reclaim the throne. Said Venerable Abayatissa “Our detractors accuse us of performing ‘Gathikum‘ but let it be known that these are our ‘Yuthukam.” The head priest of the Historic seat of Buddhist Learning was making the distinction between ‘servility’ and ‘duty’ to the monarch on the Poya day which according Buddhist legend was the day that the Buddha delivered the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta ( the wheel of truth) to the five ascetics Kondangna, Wappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji at the Deer park of Isipathanaya and exhorted them to spread the Dhamma.

“Go forth, o bhikkhus, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, for the good, for the happiness of gods and men.”

The venue and the significance of the day would have escaped notice of the political class. But it certainly sent a powerful message to that part of the Western province that bucked the trend on 8th January and gave Mahinda the edge in Homagama, Horana and Kaluthara.

Patriarchal Patrons can promise prosperity and deliver ruin. Explaining the good intentions of their patrons is the business of the priest. The saffron shroud has become an instrument of appealing to emotions and to advance political ends.

The Cope subcommittee that probed the Bond scam had two young articulate parliamentarians who represent the future promise of the United National Party- Eran Wickremaratne and Sujeewa Senasinghe. Eran advocated the release of the Committee proceedings claiming that his party had nothing to hide. Sujeewa unleashed a diatribe against the distinguished Economic commentator and former Deputy Governor W. A. Wijewardena accusing him of mudslinging. As Jeffrey Archer the brilliant story teller who was jailed for perjury and perverting justice would say “Thereby hangs a tale.” Calvinist ethics versus Karmic apathy to the truth.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    The recent history after independence tells clearly both SLFP and UNP have the same base, and the ideology. Whether you agree or not Fundamentalist Buddhism is common base they built their politics. If you look at the leadership of both parties over the time (SWRDB,DSS, JRJ, Mahinda, Colvin R De Silva, NM PErera, SJVC, GGP) except few have been part of Christianity and Buddhism. They are not hardcore Buddhits, all were converted to Buddhism not on their will but they can’t do politics without the support of Buddhist Fundamentalism. Even the so called left movements whether it is communist party or LSSP or JVP couldn’t escape from this fundamental truth. They nedded this base as a vechilcle to come take power. They compete each other who is the best to establish the wishes of the Buddhist Fundamentalism. The Buddhist Fundamentalism is not bothered about corruptions, violence, law and order, democracy, human rights and so on.
    Who is Maithiri? I don’t know. Has he got some good things to offer? Even if he has some good ideas, will and dreams to bring change, has he got the power to do what he wish to do? No, because there is no alternative other than to go with either SLFP or UNP. There is no third way for not only Maithiri but also for people.

  • 10
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    The writer says: “Both Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mahinda Rajapakse are elitist politicians who share common presumptions of the inadequacies of the average citizen”. Absolutely correct. Yet I see a difference, in that, Ranil had that presumption from the very day of his “introduction” to politics while Mahinda “developed” that trait over a period of time with the TASTE of power he “acquired” from the days of being an MP to the President. Also the pair operate in two different ways; Ranil does not deploy craftiness but scum to crooked associates while Mahinda uses all the ingredients of craftsmanship to hoodwink the masses and build his own family empire. In all respects both are not fit to be handling public affairs and they have proved that to the citizens who have put them to power. This is the truth and nothing but the truth that Mr. Maithripala sirisena the President has to realize in the coming days, months and years of his tenure in office. The CITIZENS, especially in the category of the “YOUNG” have realized it and hopefully the change will take place.

    • 2
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      We clamoured for a Sri Lankan Lee Kuan Yew.. when we got one, we realised that in addition to his Yew’ly characteristics, our Benign and Autocratic Dictator had a very dark side and a bad habit of putting his family before nation

      Now we have some other guy, whose performance so far is lacklustre to say the least.. coupled with a PM who tries to be of the Common Man but clearly is not and a FM who is.. well I dont know what, we are are rudderless once more.

      PM is busy directing his new toy the FCID to catch Small Fish while the Big Fish are swimming freely. Meanwhile the country’s development is at a standstill, being brought to a screeching halt by a the desire to undo everything the Rajapakses did, both good and bad.. Truly a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      What is the President doing ? He is still AFAIK, an Executive President possessed of all the powers of that office.. he should probably wield it

  • 5
    1

    Sarath De Alwis –

    RE: Moral Relativism Of The Maithri Presidency

    “The American philosopher Eric Hoffer once wrote: “It has often been said that power corrupts. But it is perhaps equally important to realize that weakness, too, corrupts. Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.”

    “In its first 150 days of a few achievements and plenty of blunders and absurdities, the Maithripala Presidency has proven Abraham Lincoln wrong and Joseph Schumpeter correct. Our democracy is not rule of, by and for the people but rule by politicians plain and simple. The President’s stoic silence on the Bond scam has demonstrably defined the dangers of our naiveté in seeking to convert ideals to expectations.”

    Idealism, Expectations and Reality.

    Well, said and put.

    So, which is better ? A few Corrupt individuals or a large fraction of small and medium size corrupt individuals, along with big corruption? Under Rajapaksa, we had the latter.

    If you look at the individuals who were there with Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa, at Medamulana, where Mahinda, MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa, announced that he will contest the election, there were cheers.

    They were happy that they can be corrupt again.

    It is like water buffaloes being happy yo get back to the water.

    MaRa MaRa Chatu MaTa Amana MaRa Mee Harak Baiyyo

  • 1
    1

    Sarath De Alwis –

    “Both Ranil Wickeremsimghe and Mahinda Rajapaksa are elitist politicians who share a common presumption of the inadequacies of the average citizen. Conversely the citizenry does not hold the pair accountable for their fickle politics. Their core convictions are remarkably identical. Dysfunctional democracy is their principal vocation.”

    Succinctly put. Both came out of the soil of the :and of Native Veddah Aethho. Both are Paras. They both suffer from inadequacies, trying to govern a people whose average IQ is 79. Their IQ’s are not not far from that number, and those MPs, 43% of them who have not even passed the GCE OL have similar or below average IQ’s.

    MaRa MaRa Chatu Mara amana MaRa …

    National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    Rank
    ——– Country
    ———————– %
    ————-
    1 Singapore 108
    2 South Korea 106
    3 Japan 105

    28 Guatemala 79
    28 Sri Lanka 79
    28 Zambia 79

    41 Cameroon 64
    41 Gabon 64
    41 Mozambique 64
    42 Saint Lucia 62
    43 Equatorial Guinea 59

    • 1
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      Ado Gon amare

      How did you measure the IQ of countries . did you use your tool ?

      Cheers

      Abhaya

      • 0
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        P.hD Abhaya ,

        Ado , yako ,tho etc are the vocabulary you use in your house hold ? it must be ! which school did you go when you were young ? may be it’s your up bringing and whom you associate with , either way you have proven which class you belong to (3 rd class)beyond any doubt. please be mindful this is a public forum ; hence at least try to control your self and to be civilized.

        PS : how is your lunatic family friend Nalin silva , he is another nut case who needs some urgent counselling , both you and your buddy need professional help in public speaking . try Toast masters for a start.

        • 0
          1

          “Ado , yako ,tho etc are the vocabulary you use in your house hold ?”

          This is culture Rajapakshes introduced to Abhaya et al. Remember the words Rajapakshe publicly added ” that he has proved to have succeeded 3 times -pointing at his own 3 sons – in the same time attacking RW for not having own children ?
          So this kind of men (Rajapakkshes are not worth to get elected again)

          • 0
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            SUN ,
            Absolutely , what a pathetic statement for a head of state ? he thought it was OK to utter such low level gallery talk in public domain ! fathering a child and then challenging his opponent to do the same , what went wrong ? how could possibly we sri lankan people elected such a man as our president ? Mahinda shouldn’t have left to live in a decent society , he even doesn’t know the meaning of it , MY3 let us all down , i’m bitterly angry and disappointed about MY3’s conduct , If MR were allowed to enter parliament ever again , that is it , mark my word , he would ouster MY3 one way or another , before we know he will declare that ” i’m the leader of the country ” then as expected all the investigations would be halted and killings would be resumed as before. what a mess we are in again ?

      • 0
        1

        Gon Amare is thousand worth than a man who is only licking Rajapakshes.

        Srilal@, Abhaya is just a graduate from Pera – that is it. He has no idea about PhDs. We know from his previous talks .. the bugger went on saying that PhDs cant be completed within 18 months or less than a year – but I know few colleagues that have completed their dissertations within a short period as 18 months ( Some of them are chemists, others are German litriture students)

        • 0
          0

          Leelagebelli

          True I only have been to pera . but I have never heard of this German litriture you are talking about .

          Cheers

          Abhaya

          • 1
            0

            bla bla blAbhaya

            “but I have never heard of this German litriture you are talking about .”

            Have you heard of any Sinhala litature such as the ones that Totagamuve Sri Rahula Thero wrote in 15th century,

            Kavyasekhara and Salalihinisandesaya?

        • 0
          0

          Leelagemalli ,

          You must have seen how i trapped this Abhaya geezer , first i let him to huff & puff and then let him to swallow the bait , i had used his own words and justifications as a counter argument , guess what , this so called hot shot had no answers , instead of directly answering my straight forward question , he goes on insulting me and name calling which he is accustomed of , so my advice is , next time when you see this racist scum uttering nonsense , quote his own statements and then raise questions , take my word , all most all the time , this loser would have no answers , expose him whenever possible ! remember the other so called hot shots David Blacker and Dayan J , what happened to them , where are they today ? we had given them the same medicine .

          • 1
            0

            srilal

            “David Blacker and Dayan J , what happened to them , where are they today ?”

            You have missed one or two,

            Wee Thamihz Senior Journalist Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon d:

            sach

            Taraki

            Janz

            ….

            ,,,,

            • 0
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              NV ,

              I have never bothered to read any those nit wits’ comments before , actually i’m after this new kid on the block ” Champa” character who seems to have fallen in love with our Mafia king , Mahinda .

  • 1
    6

    Mr Amarasiri

    You poor senile, demented soul..So, which is better ? A few Corrupt individuals or a large fraction of small and medium size corrupt individuals, along with big corruption? Try as you may, justifying Ranil’s prospects will be in vain?

    Would you like to take a bet on the result of next elections?

    Mara Mara Mara Mara

    • 5
      1

      Roshan

      “So, which is better ? A few Corrupt individuals or a large fraction of small and medium size corrupt individuals, along with big corruption? “

      You go to a store to buy mangoes, and assume you are a mangoe addict, just like the drug addicts. There are two baskets, MaRa Basket and Ranil Basket. One (Ranil Basket ) has moderately rotten mangoes, and the other fully rotten mangoes,(Mara Basket) and you know very well, by eating the fully rotten mangoes from the MaRa basket you will vomit and become sick.

      So, as the mangoes addict, you eat the moderately rotten mangoes and not become sick.

      MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa .. Baiyyas should not ear fully rotten mangoes..

  • 1
    0

    Arjuna has been the scapegoat for what the UNP high command wanted ! ie increasing the issue from 1 billion to 10 billion. Maybe they should look at links between Malik and Perpetual more than Arjuna s connection through son in law !. circumstantial evidence definitely is strong that Perpetual knew that the bank was going to issue 10 billion but insider trading is difficult to prove in courts without direct evidence. That’s probably why in US too they allow wire tapping . Tamil American Sri Lankan Tamil Raj Rajaratnam was nailed on a tapped phone call . Eran and Harsha are the good future, but Eran is from the privileged rich class and does he feel the pain of the masses when he was so rich to get his education in England ? Harsha is the real future and can become PM like Manmohan Singh in our motherland.

  • 2
    1

    @ Madam Amarasiri,
    Who gave u the right to decide that MARA’s basket is full of rotten mangoes… the biggest rotten mango, bond scam, the cost of first four months loss equivalent to Matala airport. Imagine for 30 years…. proven fact unlike the aledged stolen 18 billion dollars claimed by Mangala. MR must be richer than the richest person in Australia (12 billion), or 1/5 the wealth of Bill gates. RUBBISH…..

    • 0
      1

      maya

      “The biggest rotten mango, bond scam, the cost of first four months loss equivalent to Matala airport. Imagine for 30 years”. MaRa Ego Mattala was an Environmental Disaster. If Sri Lanka has money, I assume Sri Lanka can buy back the Bonds.

      Actually, Amarasiri Calculated the Extent of the damage for the Rs 10 Billion with 3% interest difference for the next 30 years. Look under Amarasiri’s Comments to Raja. However, that was what the market was offering at that time. That is the way the treasury and Bond Auctions work. Sri Lanka Could have offered only Rs 1 Billion and got 9.5% interest rate. How much money did they need?

      http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/current_issues/ci11-2.pdf

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/bond-scam-i-was-asked-to-head-central-bank-dr-wijewardena-responds-to-senasinghes-allegations/

      Raja “Mahedndran should not go back to Singapore. He should remain Sri Lanka but not as Governor of Central Bank but in Welikada jail”

      Mahendran can:

      a) Go to jail for the Next 30 years, or

      b) Get his son in law to accept 3% Less. for the next 30 years.

      I Prefer the option b) because it saves the Taxpayers

      Rs. 10, 000,000,000 x0.03 per year – Rs. 300,000,000 = Rs,. 300 million per year for the next 30 years or Rs.9,000 Million over a 30 year period.

      This is Rs.450 per Current Citizen over a 30-year period, or Rs.15/citizen every year.

      Pennies do count and add up. Is Ranil Wickramasinghe, a spineless, wimp or an idiot? Did Ranil and Mahendran go to Royal College? Do they produce spineless, wimps or an idiots?

      NB. The average IQ of Sri Lanka is 79.

  • 2
    0

    What a load of bullshit comments. No wonder SL is in the doldrums.

  • 1
    2

    There is one major difference between the Rajapakshas and the rest of the political Dynasties in SL, that is, Rajapakshas truly believe that they are the guardians of the Sinhala Buddhist nation and that they are prepared to scarifies life and limb for that. That is why they could defeat the LTTE when no other could. They have lots of charisma, at least MR does, but they don’t have the entitlement mindset of the Bandaranayakes, Jayawardhanas or the Wickramasinghe latter essentially belonging to the JR dynasty, Rajapaksha’s on the other hand make up for the lack of an entitlement mindset (or a strong sense of self) through autocracy and absence of transparency,and that was used by the pro-west, elitist RW/CBK to manipulate the masses aided brilliantly by fielding the common man MS as the presidential candidate (although I bet, RW/CBK duo act like the posh girls at the lunch table when they are with Maithree), All the above folks love power, but I doubt they love money as much as they love power, and if they do it is as a means to gain power…so trying to find the stashed away horses, billions or houses in Kensington would be a futile effort because they don’t exist, on the other hand, if one tries to find an ounce of conscience in any of the above mentioned, one may find some within the Rajapakshas.

    • 1
      1

      I know it must be “inconvenient” to act objective whilst still pandering to the Rajapakse Mafia, hence the “Truth” part of your psuedonym takes a back seat (waaaay in the back) when you have the gall to state that ” if one tries to find an ounce of conscience in any of the above mentioned, one may find some within the Rajapakshas”.

      What frigging “conscience”, when after all the massive stealing, corruption, mayhem and murder that they are guilty of, they are trying to get back to power aided by the dregs that have nothing of value to speak of without their corrupt leader? I guess that would include “inconvenient-truthers” like you who have to keep up the pretenses of being “truthful”.

      However, this by no means implies that I believe the other players have a “conscience”, it’s just that the Rajapakhas appear to have no conscience at all!

    • 1
      0

      InconvenientTruth

      ” That is why they could defeat the LTTE when no other could.”

      Here is an inconvenient truth:

      The preparation for vanquishing started in early 2005 by Hindians. Hindians approached Chandrika with a strategy and full material support. They saw the war through to the end and provided all the necessary political and diplomatic cover.

      MR & GR publicly acknowledged that without Hindia they could not have won the war. MR, GR and the village boys who stupidly sacrificed their lives were incidental to the larger game plan.

      MR clan profited from the stupid war.

  • 0
    0

    When everything is said and done, when all that is good and bad are analysed, the one resounding fact remains, that we are universal Modayas. What does it matter who rules modayas. Madamukalana Musalayas are working quite well using their ill gotten wealth to work themselves back into power. The modayas have neither the acumen to understand nor the tenacity to withstand the march of the dark powers once again. Sooner rather than later the weak ‘yahapalanaya’ chief Sirisena along with his inept cohort Ranil will be simply pushed aside by the dark forces. Lacklustre and weak ‘Yahapalanaya’ or tyrannical mismanagement of ‘Jadapalanaya’ – whoever the modayas choose, the result is the same.

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