By Shanti Wijesinghe –
Percy Mahendra’s purse has been getting bigger and bigger, starting even before the tsunami money going out to help Hambantota. Hence his change of name to Pursy.
Pursy is best known for his Cintanaya, and actions based on that. He wants us to think he is as great as Chairman Mao, the founder of modern China, because Mao had his Cintanaya printed in the form of a Little Red Book. Everything that China ever wanted was in that book. Likewise, everything Lanka needs in the Pursy Cintanaya. His four legged servants like the pathetic G.L. Pieris keep quoting the Pursy’s Cintanaya even at the UN. Incidentally, plagiarizing Mao’s idea was an early symptom of an illness that Pursy is now seriously afflicted with, namely the compulsion to sell Lanka to the Chinese. The medical term for this illness is Acute Manic Sinitis.
The term “cintanaya” has two quite obvious meanings. One refers to ANY thought that even animals obviously engage in. The other is reflective, coherent, intelligent thinking. Pursy is only capable of the first kind, which functions to (1) ensure that his purse keeps fattening, and (2) to keep the people opiated with talk of saving the motherland. When it comes to reflective, coherent, intelligent thinking, Pursy is simply not up to it. That’s why he needs prompters to answer questions except those asked by journalists with laptops.
Pursy’s Cintanaya is pre-modern, although he tweets, and in other ways uses modern amenities like flush toilets. He acts like a feudal lord. He is above the law, and habitually lifts his family and friends above it as well. Officials of the state including the judiciary are his vassals, and must carry out his wishes. He can hire and fire at will.
Pursy has a grin permanently pasted just below his moustache. This makes him resemble the wide mouthed demon, the Gara Yaka. It is as if he is always wearing a Gara Yaka mask. This is a deception, but it works on the vast majority of Lankans. For the sharper wits however, it both covers and reveals the thief inside. Like Cassius, Pursy is a smiling villain. A born liar, Pursy will lie to anyone, to his cabinet, to parliamentarians, to officials, and to foreign leaders, without blinking an eyelid.
Pursy’s feudal Cintanaya leads him to protect his fellow thieves. He pretends to take action on the crimes of his fellow thieves, like Vermin Silva, descendent of Dutugamunu. But within a few weeks they are reinstated, and are back in dirty business as usual. Pursy will device new and ingenious methods to come to the rescue of his fellow thieves. When they commit murder, they feign illness, go abroad for treatment, and are eventually free to go back home with no questions asked, all under Pursy’s guidance and protection.
Pursy’s economic Cintanaya is first and foremost a way of practising a habit he is adept at, corruption. On state contracts, he and his brothers are reputed to demand commissions of 20-40 percent. For this reason, building infra-structure is Pursy’s favourite economic activity. To launder his ill gotten money, he has opened a Bank of Ceylon branch in the Seychelles . Most of these infra-structure projects are contracted to the Chinese to whom he is therefore greatly beholden. Pursy is willing to accommodate any project his Chinese masters are telling him to. Thus we have an idling harbour, an idling airport, and a sports stadium where grass grows. He is about to construct the tallest tower in Southeast Asia. He takes great pride in highways that are of much use to him and his fellow thieves, but useless for the people.
Pursy is planning to reclaim 500 acres from the sea south of the Colombo harbor. The idea for this comes from his Chinese financiers, who have been promised some 90 acres free of charge. He wants build a “Port City” in the reclaimed land in which he is dreaming of having a shopping paradise for tourists, and a car racing track for his son. All this is with money borrowed at commercial rates. Pursy’s economic Cintanaya also includes the manipulation of figures to show the GDP he wants, and in other ways getting the Central Bank to do his bidding. For this purpose he has appointed a four legged gambler as the Governor of the Central Bank.
At the end of the war Pursy had a historic opportunity to bring about national reconciliation. All he needed to do was to address the issues that the minorities were concerned with, to express regret for mistakes made, and embark on a rational plan for ensuring the political, social and economic rights of all citizens. Had he done this, he would have been honoured in the history books as the greatest head of state the country ever had in its long history. But the idiot Pursy is, he failed to see this honourable and feasible prospect. Magnanimity in victory would have earned Pursy the gratitude, affection and respect of the Tamil people. Instead, he decided to enjoy the spoils of war. He embarked on a nauseating splurge of triumphalism, making the Tamils feel that they were part of a conquerer’s booty that he could use for his benefit as he pleased. Instead of national reconciliation, Pursy’s actions have led to inter-ethnic mistrust and fanning of ethnic flames.
Pursy’s religious beliefs are primitive. His soothsayers determine the dates and times of all his activities. The date of the presidential election is determined not by the Elections Commissioner as the law says, but by his astrologer. Ordinary Buddhists worship the Bodhi as worthy of respect as the tree that gave shade to the Buddha during his Enlightenment. Pursy worships the Bodhi to get magical benefits, which makes it an act of primitive tree worship. He holds in his fist some sort of charmed object wherever he goes. Like a primitive cave dweller, he thinks that this object gives him power and success.
A couple of years ago burglars stole the regalia of the last king from the National Museum. Despite guards on duty 24 hours, and TV cameras recording people going in and out, no one has been arrested. Why? The rumour goes that this is Pursy’s work. In Pursy’s primitive religion, the king’s sword is auspicious and will help him quell enemies and remain in power. This primitive belief also explains the numerous thefts at archeological sites. Pursy is not satisfied with just any royal sword. He is looking for the sword of Dutugamunu.
In Pursy’s Cintanaya, the diaspora, the NGOs and the West are plotting to destabilize “the Motherland”. These are Pursy’s bogeymen or gonibillas that he uses to frighten the people and justify his abuse of power. Invoking these bogeymen and violating every election law, Pursy has managed to win all elections for a decade or longer. But in the recent Uva provincial elections, his majority was drastically reduced. He knows it’s as good as a loss. This has given him the jitters of his life. His fears are made the worse because, contrary to his expectations, the opposition has united. Both Ranil and Chandrika are willing to be the common opposition candidate, but are not asking for it, which is a sign that they are not in it for power, but to save the country from Pursy’s misrule.
Pursy’s allies like the JHU have abandoned him, and the monks Aturaliye Ratana and Madoluwawe Sobhita have had successful talks to strengthen the common opposition. Even Champika Ranawaka has given Pursy an ultimatum. Due to Pursy’s support of the BBS, the Muslims will not vote for him. And, he has been deceitful about the Pope’s visit, so he is not getting Catholic votes either. Both the JVP and the TNA are partners in the common opposition. So the January election is going to be landslide victory for the opposition and Lanka’s equivalent of the Arab Spring. Pursy with his usual cunning, is trying every trick to sow dissension in the common opposition. But this time that’s not going to work. Pursy will be going home.
At least, let’s hope home is where he will go. Because, however despicable Pursy is we harbor no ill will towards him. But we cannot predict or prevent what the ordinary people might do in their understandable rage at the crimes he has committed. They have been at the receiving end of his vulgar Cintanaya and criminal activities for a long time. They cannot be expected to forget threats, abductions, white vans, torture, murder, grease yakas, corruption, nepotism, land grabs, night races, indirect taxes, and the overall demolition of democratic freedoms, rights and institutions. Crowds may well get out of control and give Pursy a taste of his own medicine. They know what medicine the people of Libya gave their dictator Gaddaffi, one of Pursy’s bosom friends.
There is another possibility. In Buddhist literature and lore we have stories of evil-doers being dragged to hell live, by the soldiers of Yama Rajjuruvo, the king of the Netherworld. Pursy’s crimes are such that this is a distinct possibility. The earth will gape open, and amidst raging flames, the soldiers of Yama Rajjuruvo, will emerge saying, “Pursy, we have come for you”.
Next morning’s the Divayina toilet paper will have a front page photo of the soldiers of Yama Rajjuruvo emerging from the flames, with Pursy wearing his Gara Yaka grin, with the bold caption, “President Meets Envoy from the Netherlands”.