By Emil van der Poorten –
The term “regime change” has been consistently applied to mean some kind of skulduggery by the developed democracies of the west in order to change governments that they figure are not to their liking in the so-called “less-“ or “under-” and “undeveloped” nations of the world. In the case of Sri Lanka, everyone from the faux-hunger striker Weerawansa to one of the leaders of what Dr. Kumar David so accurately describes as belonging to the “Dead Left,” Tissa Vitarane, are given an inordinate amount of publicity by our media who must, indeed, be starved of news to feature these two, one a patently fraudulent politician and the other whose place in our political firmament cannot but be adduced to his connections with what is left of a one-time left-leaning intelligentsia, still retaining some influence in the media.
I believe that, pejorative applications aside, what we sought and thought we’d achieved with the removal of the Rajapaksa Gang as veritable monarchical rulers of this country, both in January and then, again, in August was in fact what we desperately needed and had fought, at considerable risk, to achieve: a change of ruling regime.
Now it seems that what we have seen since have been delays and obfuscations which, in total, can only be explained by the fact that those with the authority to even begin cleaning the Augean Stables have chosen not to do so, advancing a variety of excuses for the lack of any tangible proof of even prosecutions being launched against those that have gutted this country, stealing its resources and creating an administrative mess without equal in our recent (or any) history.
The only reason for this state of affairs is that there are those now in the seats of power who owe all kinds of political and other debts to those whom the people of this country chose to be rid of. What the current lot is doing is in deliberate contravention of the mandate that the people of this country handed them and it is time that we proceeded beyond simply holding their feet to the fire: we need to chuck them in the inferno if they don’t act to bring the thieves and murderers to justice and follow through on the mandate handed them and which they knowingly accepted.
This is not rocket science nor neuro-surgery. This is not being wise after the fact. Everyone with a brain in their head knew the massive corruption that the Rajapaksas had woven into the administrative fabric of this country. They had poisoned every place that had a role to play in the day-to-day affairs of this country. We saw it happening before our eyes. Then those people whom we elected to replace them and promised us decency and justice prevailed upon us to “be patient.” The time for that patience is now past and we demand that this government does what it has an obligation to do: bring to justice those who have cleaned out the national treasury, who have murdered and tortured and disappeared people at will. To see people placed in positions of authority that enable them to pay off petty favours from the previous governing clique, produce specious excuse after specious excuse for their inaction is nothing short of obscene.
I am referring here to those only a few of whom I have previously identified as continuing to buy insurance against any return to power of the Rajapaksas.
We are sick and tired of hearing how the judiciary has been infected with dishonest and corrupt judges and senior officials. They can and must be removed because much of such action will be in the nature of administrative and management decisions, not the afore-mentioned neuro-surgery or rocket schience.
There was no way that our existing judicial structure, with cases taking, literally, decades to end, could cope with the huge number of charges that had to be launched against the criminals who had destroyed every vestige of civilized and civil practice in this land. I was not the only person writing on the heels of the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa who asked that additional courts and tribunals be established to deal with a veritable mountain of cases that had to be launched to begin the return to decency and the rule of law in this country.
I would submit that, with a very few exceptions, not even the high profile murders and abductions have been dealt with. Recently, I read an obscenity that went, “The public is asked for its co-operation to investigate Lasantha Wickrematunge’s killing” or something to that effect! This is in respect of a the murder of a prominent member of our media, an act that achieved headline status throughout the world!
It is said that justice delayed is justice denied and we are seeing exactly that, in practical example after practical example, unfold before our very eyes.
Those of us who stood up against the Rajapaksa horde for damned near a decade have little doubt what is going on here. I myself have seen before me, plain as the light of day, how some of those in positions of significant power in the current dispensation bent the vassal knee to not only Mahinda Rajapaksa but even to their progeny in the most obsequious way!
We need to cry halt to this disgrace. We need to insist that this government moves swiftly and without hesitation to launch criminal action against those who raped and pillaged our land for far too long. There is no excuse for not doing what needs to be done.
The time for specious excuses is over. This lot has not learned anything from the history of the appeasers but chooses instead to act like a legion of Chamberlains, giving new life to those whom the country, deliberately and with no qualification, chose should not run our lives any longer. What our current government appears embarked on at the moment amounts to little but a criminal enterprise. Giving Wele Suda, little more than a glorified foot-soldier in the drug trade, a death sentence while his “handlers” and colleagues continue to live lives of luxury speaks for itself. And that is but one example of the not-so-funny comedy that is being played out before our very eyes.
Lest it go by default, there is also the simple and well-known example from the days of Estes Kevauver in the United States, when, after all the usual avenues having been exhausted in the government’s pursuit of such as Al Capone, the officials resorted to the very simple expedient of setting the tax department on the trails of “Scarface” and his ilk. This is a simple, proven, method to get those who’ve accumulated untold wealth at the expense of this country’s citizenry. It will be particularly interesting to watch those “holding” mansions for the some of our recent Royalty when they are under pain of jail sentences to reveal how they came to acquire the means to “buy” such places! You don’t have to be a Presidential soothsayer to predict that such people will “squeal” very readily and “come clean” when they are faced with the prospect of jail for being nominal owners of significant assets for the acquisition of which they will be very hard put to prove they had the means!
Sentencing Wele Suda to death for possession of a few grains of heroin is proof positive, if such be needed, of the fact that, as my village neighbours keep saying, “they are netting the sprats, while the sharks go free.”
The time for specious excuses is over. If our current governing clique has not learned anything from the history of the appeasers of history but chooses, instead, to act like a legion of Chamberlains, giving new life to those whom the country deliberately and with no qualification chose should not continue to run our lives, they must be treated in the manner that they deserve.
To adapt the motto of the school that seems to have a lock on positions of power in this country at the moment, we say to the Ranil/Maithri coalition, “Govern or depart.”