21 July, 2024

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Prelude To Elections

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“What are we supposed to do when the system consistently yields terrible candidates?” ~ Nanjala Nyabola (The Kenyan Kakistocracy – The Nation – 12.8.2022)

Most politicians have a questionable relationship with reality. The Rajapaksas operate in a reality that is all their own. Asked why brother Gotabaya fled the country, Mahinda Rajapaksa replied, “Who accuses him of fleeing? He went for a medical check up.”

So the SLPP, that quintessential Rajapaksa party, acts as if the recent popular uprising happened in a parallel universe. As poverty engulfs new swathes of population and malnutrition ravages the young, the SLPP is planning to present a cabinet paper authorising the payment of 117million rupees to favoured ex-officials (civilian and military) on the spurious grounds of political victimisation. This in a land where the main children’s hospital is making urgent appeals for orthopaedic surgical supplies. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa might be fleeing from country to country; his family has learnt nothing from his fate. Sons and nephews remain as clueless as fathers and uncles. Namal Rajapaksa sent a letter to the Minister of Environment recommending two names as CEO of a subsidiary of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau, one a Pradesheeya Sabha member and former secretary to acolyte-politician DV Chanaka. (Ranil Wickremesinghe set up a committee to review and approve appointments and transfers in the upper bureaucracy probably in response.) When outrage ensued, the Rajapaksa scion clarified matters by explaining he gives such letters of recommendation frequently! 

The SLPP has submitted a should-be-ministers list to the president. This roll call of favourites sounds (in most part) like the broader populace’s index of undesirables. (Whether President Wickremesinghe accedes to that request will say much about his ability to chart a path that bypasses some of the worst Rajapaksa excesses.) Unfortunately, if an election is held today, SLPP faithful will ensure that many on that list are back in parliament.

The SLPP will not gain a majority in the next election. But it won’t be wiped out either. The Rajapaksa family party is likely to command a significant minority with around 20% of the vote, especially if Mahinda Rajapaksa leads the campaign. The diehard Rajapaksa voters, the kind who sees a national threat in every Tamil and every Muslim (and Christian too), will vote for the SLPP to save the Motherland from these encroaching enemy-aliens. And their preference will go not to the least objectionable but to the most deplorable.  

Commenting on the upcoming US midterm polls, Senator Mitch McConnell warned that rival Democrats are likely to retain the senate due to ‘candidate quality’; the fringe-nature of Trump-approved Republican candidates may propel many moderates either to vote Democrat or abstain. In a first-past-the-post system moderate voters have a considerable say in deciding the winners. In a preferential vote system, it is the died-in-the-wool party faithful who determine who’s in and who’s out. 

If the next Lankan election is held under the preferential vote system, many of the most unsavoury characters on both sides of the aisle will be re-elected. The kind that had other priorities on the day the parliament was to debate the state of the economy. The debate was cancelled for lack of a quorum with a majority of SLPP and SJB members busy elsewhere; this in February 2022 when the economy was freefalling and a sovereign default looming. Then again, given the abysmal quality  of the current parliament, the debate would have degenerated into a slanging match. It is hard to imagine a sober, well-informed, fact-based discussion of the economy or any other subject in this parliament.

Down with 225 is a popular cry. But we elected 196 of them. If the next election is held sans a change in the electoral system, we’ll be back ere long shouting, Down with 225! 

This counter-meritocratic polity

Almost every job imaginable requires some basic qualification or skill set. Politician is perhaps the sole exception.

“The purpose of government is not to look after the gifted minority,” Eric Hobsbwam argued, but to care for the ‘ordinary run of people’. “Any society worth living in is one designed for them, not for the rich, the clever, the exceptional, although any society worth living in must provide room and scope for such minorities” (On History). In other words, a meritocracy which is committed to ensuring a liveable life to the ordinary majority. 

Lankan system has been engineered and habituated to look after not the ordinary majority nor the gifted minority, but a supremely mediocre political caste and its business, professional, religious, and societal satellites. Ours is a counter-meritocracy where the worst own the earth (and pass it on to their progeny) while the better are forced to leave.

In our political culture brawn trumps brain and willingness to violate all norms of decency is a prized quality. The preferential vote system amplifies this twisted ethos. Non-partisan voters may decide which party wins how many seats, but who adorns those seats is decided mostly by the hardcore of each party, via preferences. And the hardcore of whatever hue prefer loud-mouths to sober minds, slavish loyalty to knowledge or capability. 

Our elections are billion rupee affairs. The source of this money is as much of a mystery as how it is spent. Campaign finance is lawless territory. The resultant absence of limits, oversight and transparency has turned elections into corruption hotspots. Where do parties and candidates get their money? If the money is their own, how did they earn it? If the money is donated, who are the donors? What are their affiliations and interests? None of these are known, since there is no law to compel parties and candidates to reveal how they got and spent their money. All we have is the reasonable assumption that a donor would give a bunch of money only if the potential return is high enough. 

Ending this dangerous opacity through the introduction of a campaign finance law before the next election will go some way in correcting the distortions inherent in our electoral system. A related priority is to change the electorate from district to constituency. As long as district remains the electorate, money, family connections, political and muscle power will play a disproportionate role in deciding winners. 

A hybrid system which combines the positives of proportional representation and majoritarian (first-past-the-post) systems might give moderate voters a greater say in electing our next lot of representatives. Incidentally, all professional politicians (including retired ones) should be banned from the national list which should be for people with knowledge and expertises. Such a hybrid system together with a campaign finance law could weed out some deplorables and reduce the oversized role money plays in our elections. If the opposition does not want to join an all party government, it can perhaps focus on electoral reforms and the abolition of the executive presidency in the six months between now and the earliest constitutionally possible date for a dissolution. 

Given the enormity of the challenge we need parliamentarians who can think beyond the old shibboleths of the left and the right. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and former World Bank chief economist, has been a harsh critic of the IMF for decades. But his stance has changed in response to the IMF’s own shift away from the neo-liberal Washington Consensus. He has praised the IMF’s 2022 agreement with Argentina for its non-insistence on austerity hoping it “may set a precedent for dealing with debt restructuring and financial crises” in other countries (Argentina and the IMF Turn Away From Austerity – Foreign Policy). In its official proclamation, the IMF stated that the Argentine deal included the government changing its spending priorities to accommodate “higher energy subsidies and appropriate social assistance to protect the vulnerable from the food price shock.” 

In this post-Washington Consensus climate, a deal with the IMF need not lead to austerity for the people. The choice of who tightens belts and how much will be made in Colombo. For instance, if the government hikes defence expenditure or re-embraces the failed infrastructure-led development model, budget deficit will be controlled by axing health, education and social welfare. 

The ball is in the national court. Much will depend on whether the government can stand up to vested interests, be it politicians, business class, the military, monks, or state-sector trade unions. The role played by the first four in pushing through policies harmful to the national economy needs no belabouring. But the last might need a word of explanation.

The recent hike in electricity has been justly condemned for imposing a greater burden on low income consumers; the exception is the CEB. The hike might compel many old and new poor to lose access to electricity. But the CEB’s beef is that the hike is not high enough. It demands more rate-increases to reduce a 45billion annual loss while insisting on its right to bonuses. If this is not a vested interest that works against common good, especially the good of the poorest of the poor, then what is it? Are state owned enterprises which burden the budget, and thereby ordinary people, national assets or national liabilities?  

An election sans electoral reforms, may land us where Lebanon is. There, no party got a majority, former PM is caretaker PM, politicians are trying to cobble alliances, and the president is busy promoting his son-in-law. The people suffer. Sounds familiar?

Motherland returns?

The brutal attack on Salman Rushdie reminds us again what obscenities the marriage of religion and politics spawns. As writer Adam Gopnik said, the attack “is horrific in the madness of its meaning and a reminder of the power of religious fanaticism to move people” (Salman Rushdie and the power of words – The New Yorker)

Religion and race played a decisive role in the 2019 and 2020 elections, and here we are. Minimising these deadly influences is necessary to ensure that the next election produces a parliament that is more moderate and more rational. 

The unbanning of some Tamil Diaspora groups has created a hype among Rajapaksa supporters and other extremists. The Rajapaksas initially banned the Diaspora organisations in 2014, five years after the war ended, to shore up their waning Sinhala-Buddhist support. The ban was lifted by Mangala Samaraweera in 2015 and re-imposed by the Rajapaksas upon their return. The ban was always a political gimmick. Now it will be used by majoritarian extremists to raise the Undead Tiger in all its striped glory. The decision to sing the national anthem in Tamil at the upcoming 75th anniversary of Independence and the proposed return of some of the military-occupied lands to their original owners will be further grist to the Motherland-in-danger mill. 

There are countless grounds on which the Ranil Wickremesinghe presidency can be criticised, starting with the ongoing repression targeting Aragalaya activists, a practice even the courts have questioned. The inclusion of poet Ahnaf Jazeem in banned people’s list is both silly and dangerous. Using the PTA to clamp down on democratic dissent will create a deadly precedent (This abuse is the best argument for the abolition of the PTA). Rising inflation, non-appearance of the promised social security net, the continuation of corrupt practices such as giving chairpersons of dissolved provincial councils and their attendants thousands of litres of fuel – all are condemnable and should be condemned. 

The SJB is currently not playing the race-religion card, but the advent of the Weerawansa-Gammanpila group and the Dulles Allahapperuma group into the oppositional space might change this. These grouplets are likely to use the Motherland cry out of necessity (to cut into the SLPP base), inclination or both. Even if they fail electorally, they will shift the political discourse to the extreme, making ethnic and religious racism fashionable again. 

When Pope Francis visited Greece, a Greek-Orthodox priest called him a heretic. That charge would have led to a gruesome death by fire in most of Europe just a few hundred years ago. If that past seems not just another time but another universe, it was thanks to the work of Christians and Catholics who struggled for religious reforms and the secularisation of politics, often at the risk of their lives. It is the inadequacy of such struggles or their failure that creates spaces for fatwas against authors and their brutal implementation. 

The Rajapaksas regained power by riding on the collective back of Sinhala-Buddhist monkhood. Their disastrous performance discredited religion-in-politics for a brief moment. Political religion regained credibility and relevance by changing its tune. It is now back in its self-appointed role as supreme guide in all matters secular, from politics to economics, from marriage to why girls are born (A monk called Mahamewunava Saddaseela preaches that daughters are born to parents as punishment for the sin of lying. He obviously lack the gray matter to understand that going by his own logic, if all Sinhala-Buddhists eschew lying, the race will become as extinct as dinosaurs in one generation). 

In times of national distress, when a secular path towards political, economic, and social justice is absent, the door opens for political-religions. If the idea of common good cannot be pursued, society will fragment and into the resultant chasms irrationalism will creep. That is why in this interim time before the election, the more moderate parties should form an understanding about not giving nominations to clergy of any religion and keeping religious symbols out of politics in general and electoral politics in particular. Allowing extremism of any kind a role in politics will take us not to a better future but to the worst places in our past. Those who believed in the Kelani cobra are still with us. 

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Latest comments

  • 28
    9

    Sinhalese are a cunning lot, so said Robert Knox,
    Sinhalese politicians are more cunning than the people and they fool the masses.
    Ranil is the most cunning of the foxes of Sr Lanka. Imagine a fox becoming the king of the jungle? What will the lions do? They cannot outwit the foxes.

    So, Sri Lanka is a den of foxes, can they straighten their thinking?
    I say no, for another 100 years!

    • 21
      2

      Dear Thisaranee,
      .
      The genes of the Rajapaksa’s have been made shamelessly. The vandalism of DA Rajapaksa’s monument came as a karmic reward. Had it been not worked that way, it would have been caught by thunder and lightning next, because even the divine powers can’t stand it anymore. Never before has a mob vandalized a parent’s monument of a leader. There, Mahinda Rajapaksa was branded as the most abusive politician born by Lankan Mata. So a man of that crook nature, to respond to media that ” his brother left the country for medical check-up” is just normal. The kind of mlechcha men be further seen in world politics is a sorry sight to entire humanity.
      .
      If they have any shame, they should have stopped nominating for the presidential election, Gotabhaya proved that he is still an American citizen and nominated that mouthy Rajapaksaist Mahinda Deshapriya. Mahinda’s booty knows full well that Sri Lankans (majority) are dumber than they look. As someone who has been involved in Sri Lankan politics, he knows the Sri Lankan mind inside and out. That is why I keep saying that the real face of Tompachaya (Mahinda Rajapaksa) is still far from people’s knowledge.

      I am fully agreeing with SENIOR Lawyer Kodithuwakku to have taken up the case against falsified nomination against former MACO Deshapriya, but in a world – MALWANA land property- was aquitted as the most known suspect be released, serving due justice is like ” pigs might fly”

      • 23
        2

        LM , reportedly this week 30 ministers and 40 state ministers are nominated by RW to form so called multi party govt. The numbers most probably may go up with time, as needed That is 70 out of 134 voted for RW. You think our politicians heard Aragalaya??? Worse is yet to come , ” the names of those who are nominated “.

        • 9
          1

          Dear Chiv,
          .
          What is the alternative for us today who have no money to hold an election? It is believed that an election will have to wait until next February. Ranil does not comment publicly on elections, which means nothing about his disagreement. It could be a trick to show the world. According to me, if all the OLDIEs leave the next parliament, it will be a better positive than a negative for a new dawn. However, I think the situation will worsen if various protests arise in the coming days.
          .
          I think all parties should support it, at least until the IMF makes a decision on it. Ranil has to dance to the music of the SLPP criminal gang to please Bali’s sons. Although Dallas passed, he was elected because of their support.

          A veteran journalist like Viktor Ivan is attacking the struggle-rights today for not allowing Basil aka Basil to leave the country. Maybe he can still access it with the funds paid to him.
          .
          This is what some senior media gurus said. I think the struggle has been won more than what the politicians have done since November 2019.

          • 7
            2

            Dear Chiv,
            .
            Not only Sinhala voters, but minority Sri Lankan voters behave in the same or close ways with the Sinhalese majority. How can we change this donkey’s behavior? It should be an ongoing process. Even in this case, it must work, otherwise the rural mentality will not learn how to be an “impartial voter”: voters must be partial only to facts and figures.
            .
            I think it is even more difficult to improve awareness in the Northern Province compared to the Southern and Uva Provinces. The same is true of Muslim Sri Lankans in the Eastern Province. In each community, in each society, in each sector there are those who profit for certain reasons. It is a cancerous South Asian mind. If a witch gets close to a political thug, he or she will make every effort to win him over in the elections, forgetting and ignoring its enormous influence.

            • 4
              1

              Metaphysical question statements are not required to understand the level of corruption in the country and how it has developed. I think it will be clear even to young children looking back that Rajapakse used public money without boundaries. Soon Ajit Cabral publicly challenged that his intervention would settle all the debts, even if it was a glass, the exchequer had completely sunk. Why was it misleading? Is this person even proposing to go to court against the current governor? How can the boogers of that nation be allowed to make absurd public statements even after their behavior is the main cause of the bankrupt nation it is today? That is the level of fake media in this country.
              There was always a “surplus” in the reserves when all the other leaders dropped their terms, however, if a certain Rajapaksa took it, it got worse. That answers our question.

            • 0
              1

              Please, LM, stop generalising to the extent that you do. of course you can talk a bout trends, etc.
              .
              You’re in Europe and are inclined to think contemptuously of us in Lanka and in South Asia. Once more, I assert that I am a thinking individual, but what do we categorise me as? Don’t say that I’m some sort of “special case”. Please take accountof the fact that there probably are many others like me, whom you are unaware of, and who may not be commenting.

          • 4
            3

            LM: That “Victor Ivon” the “Oldest” living JVPeer says: “Ranil is the SMARTEST of all the politicians living today. He will pull the country to its glory”.

            So there you are. We have found another “Uncle” Ivon to replace “Gana Akka” and so many “Maniyos” who appear on many YouTube Channels.

            Nowadays I enjoy those “Gurukam”. “Haskam”. “Predictions” while another such “Maama” from my birthplace has been arrested for “Child Abuse”. Now that “Gurunnanse” has been arrested, the road to my house is free of all luxury vehicles and bosses to do a morning and evening walk.

            • 6
              2

              My dear Friend SIMON,

              Once upon a time only Viktor was able to see it right. Since he started working under Rajapakshes, he is no different to a raped woman. I dont have any respect to this guy anymore.
              .
              thanks very much for your post. Ur comments are very interesting to me. I had been awaiting to read from you. There was one another witchery man, emerged from Unawatuna last week. This man is more or less like Mahinda Rajapakshe backlicker, aka Raththaran, who was then arrested for rape allegations. However, srilanken media covered it because Mahinda Rajapakshe henchmen wanted not to dirve away his fans for the Nov 2019 election and other general election.. do you remember this ? These both are from Unawatuna and bussa galle, sons of bitch had close links with Medamulana animals. My wish is all these culprits are caught and put in a prison similar to Guanthanabe. Then only we could sleep well. Hillarious !

              • 5
                1

                Dear Simon,
                .
                Now a new campaign called “Gotha Come Home” is reported to have been started. ….there will be more slaves there that play “husanna ” welcoming the beast: No doubt, Milk rice eaters too will be there. . Even if the whole world is against him, these slave minions will not rise against him…. The Pinguttarya community will start singing with WELCOME-songs the loudest. This nation has fully lost their ” lajjawa-shame” as of now. Who to be blamed ?
                Can you imagine – people are like dead men, they are getting to forgive Gota? I am worried of the people in this country. Even if their lovely ones would have been raped and murdered, our people would not become rational.? Either these people are beasts in human disguise, or they are real good men. What happened to their knowledge and self-respect? Colonial masters have made them eternally ineffective.

          • 2
            3

            Dear LM,
            .
            You have exaggerated the amount of money that the State must spend on elections. The point Tisaranee makes here is about the huge amounts that candidates spend; something related to bribery.
            .
            As I have pointed out many times in comments that I can’t track down, what we have ensured is that ballot boxes are not stuffed. However, there is the lead up to the elections. that is a good point, but how do we get it done.
            .
            The future, How do we predict the future? I;m going to leave that unanswered.

            • 1
              0

              Dear SM,
              The problem solving strategies of Sri Lankans are far from its reality, but they are more related to their culture. If we want to treat a terminally ill patient, we must put aside all differences and work collectively to go by the facts. Even today I do not see this developing in Sri Lanka.
              For example, if any political leader seriously discusses something with Europe, he or she is a traitor according to Sinhala thought. Minority mentality is no different.

              They make every effort to distort its truth and how it should be resolved. This is why I have repeatedly added somewhere that the nation must be built and the common people’s knowledge of voting system and local politics must be developed.
              . outcome of election resutls would be similar to that of 2019 and 2022.
              . Johnston, Aluthgamage, Mahinda Rajapaksa, namal baby, Rohitha Abeygunawardena and other accused criminals will the Election Commission reject? Why CANT srilanken judiciary involve in marginalizing these MULTICRIMINALS ? WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SUPRIME COURT ?
              :
              I don’t want to ask the question, but it is the big elephant in the room.

              The real danger of media mafia and its influence should finally become clear to the nation. Trusting people, underestimating them, believing that it is due to karma…what a stupid way of thinking.????

      • 8
        0

        “Unfortunately, if an election is held today, SLPP faithful will ensure that many on that list are back in parliament.
        The SLPP will not gain a majority in the next election. But it won’t be wiped out either. The Rajapaksa family party is likely to command a significant minority with around 20% of the vote,”
        Yes, the Pavithras, Raththarans, and on the other side Champika Ranawaka, Weerawansa, maybe even Weerasekara, will make it.
        This is what the naive souls who think the entire population was at Galle Face don’t know. As Tisaranee says, soon after the next election, we’ll be shouting “all 225 out” again.

    • 4
      0

      Hi,
      … no, for another 100 years!
      What do you call this forecast of yours …. ? Who, reading this, will live to prove you wrong?
      You may be thinking that you are playing smart.
      I suspect, being ‘cunning’!

  • 6
    22

    If you are quoting Knox you are agreeing with his comment. Not polite nor accurate to describe an entire race like that is it? Isn’t that what racists do? How about this?
    ‘The Tamil coolie and the Chetti are black spots on this Earth’ – Walter Clutterbuck in Ceylon and Borneo (Longmans Green 1891) Is that accurate too?

    • 1
      1

      I am not here for or against anything. We use a political phrase, “Sinhala Modayas.” This was created by Sinhala wise men to self-criticize their inexperienced youths. This used Sinhalese ordinary Sinhalese too. Robert Knox’s work was treated as research. In that kind of work, it is not strange for the researchers to be open in their own opinion. After all, it is only an opinion. Walter Clutterbuck writing is not touching research level status. More or less, like a biography. Walter J. Clutterbuck has shown his displeasure with Sinhalese in his writing. One might consider that it has surpassed the balance-ness in evaluating. He has not mentioned the Sinhalese friendliness, compared to Tamils primness or a closed mentality, rather not open in talks or opinion – let me try to say another way, a cowardice conservatism.

    • 1
      0

      He noticed that overworked Coolies (He explains them as Madras Tamils and differentiate them from Tamils, whom he means the ones these days living in Northeast; further, these days we do not differentiate between Tamils). He noticed that the overworked coolies were dark skinned (Stressed that they were not Negros (African Blacks)), along with the Colombo Chetties. Ironic is, still a reasonable number of Colombo Chetties are dark skinned, even after inter-marrying with Sinhalese for generations. He is saying that a Tamil can be taught to do any work under the sun indifferently, or few more differing ones too. He added that Tamils are particularly good people. The fourth group he refers to, without any complex, ambiguous references, is Sinhalese. He is saying the house dobies, who are unmatched by anybody in the world, beat the clothes to make rags. Unless a man or woman is not in oversight of them, they are very deceitful. They drive carts and in that they show their cruel nature.

  • 5
    1

    TG,

    Well written. But no use appealing to Ranil on the voting system and Aragalaya rights. His is about two minds : In ecstasy about the possible money-potential of Port-City, and a grave nervousness about the geo-political war it might entail. He is trying to work on both sides, and see how much he can glean from both. The risk is enormous, and the brain-power and cunningness he has to use to keep the Rajapaksas at bay is also enormous. Our country is gone, with these greed and megalomania of all of these people. We need the Aragalaya to whip up the Truth again! We will rely on their unrelenting tenacity and commitment. Common man is fooled no more. They have worked too hard for many generations to have come to this.

  • 7
    1

    What is unbelievable is, despite ALL the corruption, nepotism, cronyism, failed policies, incompetence, and lies, there are some still in the country who will be willing to vote for one of the Rajapaksa scoundrels, who destroyed this country. They are so much like the Trump supporters, they justify and accept all his crimes, and blame the other side. You have to wonder if this is a system of brainwashing, or misguided loyalty. They have been fed conspiracy theories, and easily believe the fault is elsewhere, and not with the leadership of the country. They blame the opposition or they even blame western nations, or foreign interference.
    This nation has been divided even more, and is now extremely polarized. How can we function, or progress, as a nation, when leader after leader has divided us with their racist policies. Enough of pandering to the majority, Buddhist monks, and extremists. When we have a leader that unites this country, we can begin to have hope. We are a multi religious nation, and we cannot discriminate the minority if we want to function as a country.

  • 5
    1

    “Asked why brother Gotabaya fled the country, Mahinda Rajapaksa replied, “Who accuses him of fleeing? He went for a medical check up.””
    What did you expect him to say? That his brother was a coward and street bully. That he first ran off from the military when the going got tuff and only came back when Mihanda was president and knew he will get all the protection. Then peed in his pants and ran off when he saw the Aragalaya crowd, that too a non violent crowd. Now he will come back after Ranil gives him protection using the military. He might even give media briefings mouthing off to show he is tuff.
What a crime that the country have to provide for a loser until he dies on the peoples dime even though he ruined the country in just 2 1/2 years.
    Here is another loser.
“he Central Bank’s two former governors—Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Sunil Mendis—refused pension benefits that were introduced last year at the behest of another former Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, a response to a Right to Information (RTI) application shows.
    Mr Cabraal was first paid pension arrears for his first term as governor from July 2006 to January 2015.

  • 3
    1

    IMF/WB/ADB etc should treat the Ranil W’s government as an Interim Government. They should insist on sound economic plans as well as for plans to achieve political stability. Ranil should apply Law and order equally and remove Emergency laws and PTA. People are seeing ONLY the state terrorism at present.We need total over all of the military intelligence and Sri-forces. I do hope preparations are made by the Election commissioner to have the Parliamentary election in February 2023 under very strict conditions so that no more UNWANTED CROOKED people will enter the Parliament. Their MP posts should be NON-PENSIONABLE and without too many perks.

  • 8
    0

    It is hardly right to describe an entire race as cunning. Such descriptions are experiential and not real, and it certainly is not my experience.
    That said politicians are cunning and have hoodwinked the masses. Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka have limited opportunity for corruption but are no angels. Other minorities have voted leaders, who backed a winning horse.

    The protesting Sinhala youth are more progressive than the political elders. When the Tamil youth revolted they took a wrong route for a good cause– armed to resist and called it war. The Sinhala leadership was more opportunistic in calling it a war victory
    and failed in holding the nations heart and mind together. They should have known better as leaders of a nation, but they devided a nation in mind and ignored minority pain for gain.There are many more who will walk this short term path for sure.

    As we bring on cardboard heroes who cannot win a war with any other country except our minorities we are losers . We even have no trace of any actual sovereignty as ship after ship will land with or without permission to a pledged morality……. other nations may surprise us.
    In short all the people are mislead again and again !!!
    The price for bloodletting past or present is higher than politicians can imagine.
    The positive sign is in the voice of a responsible civil society.
    What will the nation do at elections ?

  • 4
    0

    The tug of war may not be between Aragalya and Govt in coming months, It could be between Ranil and Gota factions.

  • 3
    0

    FCBug—> I agree with you totally.Political OPPORTUNISM has been the downfall of SL. These type of politicians are still CONTINUING to wrecking the country. We are paying the price for tolerating this culture for so long. Economic terrorists are the worst. They not only STOLE from national coffers but also made other countries [China] to take us on a ride economic ruin. Election rules have to be CHANGED before we have the next parliamentary election.

  • 7
    2

    What percentage of Monks really understand Buddhism? How many put the robe to find a secure lively hood by robbing the state by kissing politicians Ass?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qQIGAKhT5w&t=4s

  • 5
    1

    Sri Lanka citizenry should vehemently oppose Ranil’s outrageous decision to appoint a large Cabinet. Currently, the plan is to appoint 30 Ministers-for-What and 40 State Ministers-for-What and later more will be added even beyond 100. This is the ulterior motive behind the proposal to form an All Party Government. Haven’t we seen this before?
    As Ranil himself admitted, Sri Lanka is bankrupt. Then, how could a bankrupt country maintain a 70 member Cabinet with millions of Rupees for salaries, remuneration, housing, utility bills, vehicles, other facilities, security, etc, etc? This is ridiculous. Ranil has absolutely zero plan to revive the economy. Same goes with the 225 wastrels in Parliament, most of whom held some kind of position in previous governments starting from 2015. What have they achieved other than wasting billions in the public coffers?
    Ranil has only 2.5 years. Therefore, a 15-member Cabinet comprising senior politicians who have no allegations is more than enough. Other than going for a bailout, Ranil has no time to do anything else. Therefore, he should make every effort to curtail government expenditure. One such action is to abolish all new unnecessary agencies that have been established under Ministries and Departments since 2015.

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