5 December, 2023


Politics, Games & Gambles 

By Rusiripala Tennakoon – 

Rusiripala Tennakoon

These days we are reading about dreadful endemics, global political hypocrisies, prophetic apprehensions, and such likes. People have time to read. The local scenario too is full of dramatic media performances where question prompted expert opinions are galore. Fitfully at nights people watch with  gazing eyes highly alarmed, the debates about things accessible in black and white but colored green and blue during the course. I thought better listen to some light music. So I tuned in to an old song which I loved very much, sung by ABBA in 1979. The lyrics of that song are akin to what I am going to write, hence reproduced here;

                                                           I have a dream, a song to sing

                                                          To help me cope with anything

                                                      If you see the wonder of a fairy tale

                                                  You can take the future even if you fail

                                                                    I believe in angels

                                                      Something good in everything I see

                                                                    I believe in angels

                                                      When I know the time is right for me

                                                       I’ll cross the stream- I have a dream

                                                               I have a dream, a fantasy

                                                              To help me through reality

                                                And my destination makes it worth the while 

                                              Pushing through the darkness still another mile

                                                                       I believe in angels

                                                            Something good in everything I see

                                                                       I believe in angels              

                                                           When I know the time is right for me

                                                           I’ll cross the stream – I have a dream

                                                           I’ll cross the stream – I have a dream

Nice song! I felt sleepy. In the tranquility of the lovely music I soon fell into a slumber. I saw a dream, and one which is closer to the madness we see around these days. Politics, proclamations, dissolutions, constitutional crises et al. May be my mind also being boggled like  many of us. I thought I should share it. Let us get on to it to see what it is.

It was a dream to do with two fairies. Like the ones we have read in our early primaries. One was looking fair and the other with a mother-in-law face. They were floating in the air dancing like. The scene was that of a serene beach. I could see the horizon far far away. Ripples lapping the sandy beach silently in the still of the night.  I was lying down in the beach wondering into the horizon. The fair fairy stopped and with the hand held in a gesture of blessing on me signaled me to get up. The hard faced fairy then came above me and waved a long sheath looking paper taken out of a golden casket she was holding in her other hand. Thinking that she was trying to give it to me I held both my hands up like in supplication. But to my great surprise the fairy started flying away from me with the document still dangling. Looking up at them I ran along the beach to keep pace as fast as I could till I could not run any longer. I fell on my knees panting. Then the fair fairy stopped, snatched the paper from her colleague and threw it on me and disappeared. I sat down on the sand and started to read it with shivering hands. In carved letters embedded like, on that sheath was the following message; 


“Promoting  methods to madness that now prevails in Sri Lanka;

We, the people of Sri Lanka bestowed with a constitution guaranteeing an inalienable sovereignty to the people over and above all others,

With the expressed powers to exercise such, in so far as it concerns the legislative power, to be exercised by Parliament, consisting of elected representatives of the people and by the people at a referendum,

And the Executive power of the people to be exercised by the President of the republic elected by the people, with an exercisable franchise at the election of the President of the republic and members of Parliament and at every Referendum by every citizen;

Affirming the rights of the citizens as granted under the constitution,

Recalling the several instances of misconduct, misbehavior, unbecoming and unacceptable dispositions of the elected representatives, while engaged in the day to day affairs of  conducting  business in the parliament,

Welcoming the decision taken by the President to dissolve the parliament in the first given opportunity in terms of the constitution of the country,

Endorsing the action taken by the President in this regard is very much in keeping with the sentiments expressed by the large majority of the citizens entitled to exercise the franchise, to replace the entire 225 MPs with suitable peoples’ representatives,

Ratifying under the powers of sovereignty of the people that the President is duly empowered under article 150(3) of the constitution to withdraw and spend sums from the consolidated fund during the  period when the parliament stands dissolved as he may consider necessary for the public services up to a period of 3 months from the date of summoning of the new parliament, 

Observing that the President is also empowered under Article 33(f)to do all such acts and things, not being inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution or written law, custom or usage he is required or authorized to do ,

Noting the accepted doctrine that the terms  ‘constitutions’ and ‘constitutional’ law can be and often are, used in a wider sense, to describe matters which are thought to be of constitutional importance in understanding what lies behind and beyond the ‘constitution’ so that the ‘constitution’  can be understood as a central feature, but not the sole feature, of the rules regulating the system of government.

Also noting the gross misrepresentation made out to be by parties engrossed and involved in their political interests to show that the removal of the then PM and appointment of the new PM in October 2018 was null and void before the law, whereas the actual basis for the judgement of the SC  was  only about the  irregularity of the dissolution of the parliament ,

Considering the extremely unpredictable nature of the events faced by the people in connection with the endemic situation associated with the Corona Virus infection due to which the executive has to uphold the principle of necessity to make lawful all acts done for the benefit of the people and to arrest the situation to safeguard the human lives over and above all other considerations as a transient phenomenon,

Appreciating the reasonable apprehensions taken into account for not reconvening the old parliament except [ if necessary under article  70(7)] on the pressure brought in by certain parties influenced by sectarian, biased and inward looking interests with ulterior motives,

Emphasizing the need to act with due diligence and care in the context of the actions motivations and the display of parochial partisanships above the national and public interest as experienced before in the parliament by those who now ostensibly pledge support,

Stressing the need to pay attention in all priority to matters connected with human life before the more mundane affairs that seem to worry some disgruntled elements,

Calling upon the President to strengthen and fortify the steps now taken to stop and arrest the spread of the endemic and to take all measures to provide the basic essentials without any differentiation to all the people,

Reiterating  the Peoples wish and desire to safeguard their supreme sovereignty under the extraordinary Circumstances the country is faced with ,

 Reaffirm their expectations for the President to exercise any and all, defined or undefined prerogative powers as a bridge builder that could be availed, in times of national crisis, in his role as a non-partisan Head of State,

Granting that when the normal machinery of democratic government breaks down in unusual circumstances President may have to exercise even undefined residuary discretionary powers justifiable as the least of evils,

 Call upon those ex-parliamentarians insisting on the reconvening of the Parliament on highly hypothetical grounds to view it in a more humane spirit and join hands with the care taker government to overcome this situation.******** 

I came back home having noted what was in the sheath. Dream ends.

When I got up in the morning I found the piece of paper where I had copied the message but the sheath that was given to me has disappeared.

The episode was so astonishing I thought I should write it down. In doing so my mind went back to a Shakespearean Play that we had studied, the “Mid- Summer Nights Dream”. Some excerpts of the play

appear to be of some relevance to the story. Therefore, I wish to include those, with courtesy to that great poet, before I end this writing.


*In choosing, if somewhat grandly, to hear out the amateurs (in a performance that might well have been picked for “Athens’s Got Talent”) he is perhaps submitting to another of the uses of imagination, the one that is connected to courtesy and its awareness of the feelings of others.*

It is the speech made by Theseus, Duke of Athens, at the beginning of Act V: 

More strange than true: I never may believe,

These antique fables and these fairy toys.

Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,

Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend

More than cool reason ever comprehends:

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet

Are of imagination all compact:

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,

That is the Madman: the lover all as frantic,

Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt

The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,

Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven:

And as imagination bodies forth

The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen

Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing

A local habitation and a name.

Such tricks hath strong imagination,

That, if it would but apprehend some joy:

It comprehends some bringer of that joy:

Or in the night, imagining some fear,

How easy is a bush suppos’d a bear!

[Act no.v   A mid Summer Nights Dream  William Shakespeare]

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Rusiri, looks like you found a new way to tell viewers , your stories. (as in form of dreams , at least that helps in clarifying you were all this while awake when you wrote all those previous one). Just a friendly advise . Now that you admit having so much of free time , if interested try reading Freud,s writing on Dream interpretation, where he talks about conscious and unconscious mind recreating two different versions of the same dream. I am pretty much sure which of that interpretation you have done done here for us,. Are you sure the mother in law looking fairy did not resemble any of those Rajapaksa family member. (you lucky guy, not many men see there M.I.L as a fairy even in their dreams) Bottom line if you are talking about our Lankan Constitution, I repeat what I had said here many times, “It is not even worth the paper it is written.. Our Constitution (or is it constipation) is handy to pack rice parcel. I hear Rajapaksas too have been having the same dream of yours, for years. You have anything to say.

    • 1

      Sri Lanka is a feudal society stuck in a culture of mediaeval hero-worship and fueled by mutual back-scratching. Some members of this society may be clad in fancy western clothes, hold fancy titles and even quote ABBA lyrics. Fortunately for them, the members of ABBA are still alive and are not forced to turn in their graves.

  • 4

    Endorsing the action taken by the President in this regard is very much in keeping with the sentiments expressed by the large majority of the citizens entitled to exercise the franchise

    “To release all the Sinhalese murderers who murdered innocent Tamils, Muslims, and Sinhalese who voted against Gota”

  • 1

    The satire of this article is at its highest level. I really enjoyed its reading. The author is thanked for time and effort in writing all this. In this hour of crisis my prayers to the almighty are that let sanity and unity prevail devoid of greed for power. After all, even in Israel, B. Netanyahu and B. Gantz finally decided on a unity Government in the wake of the Corona crisis. I, like the author, dream for selfless decision making to steer the country out of this pandemic.

  • 0

    This is what you call as the strange “Sinhala Intellectual species of Lankawe”.

    Let me put all what he toiled to bring out, short, in two lines:
    “Bring back the Yahapalanaya, which resigned itself seeing 7 Million Sinhala Buddhists had rejected them.”

    Entire world knows while Yahapalanaya was resigning, it did not want to put even a three months budget for vote on account. But sadly it had time to do for a full, one year budget. Why did they do that nasty thing? Yahapalanaya wanted the Minority Royals kneel to them for spending. As usual, Sinhala Intellectuals want to cut everybody else throats for nothing, unlike jihads who cut only infidels’ throats for 72 women. Yahapalanaya, by nature, is worse than Jihadists. Yahapalanaya was having hard time to put a budget because those horas had already robbed the Central Bank. They wanted to push the bankrupted treasury in to the hands of Royals and struggle with that mess. Now those rodded bank horas are crying that they want to fund the Corona Recovery & legalize the Royal government’s illegal fund drawing by having a voting in parliament. So this Bank Manager is recommending bringing back those thieves again!
    God please save Allah!

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