29 October, 2020

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Regime Change? Yes, That’s What We Wanted & Still Haven’t Got!

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

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.”

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Latest comments

  • 10
    7

    Well, Rajapaske was certainly “Authoritarian”. The new regime came in made it “De-Authoritarian”.

    So what is “De-Authoritarian”-isation? It means the powers have been re-distributed to the right owners.

    So I think this rant is about the state of the judiciary. The pillar that is responsible for this area is no longer being man-handled by the executive. It has the the freedom to operate independently.

    The problems mentioned here needs to be directed at the head of the judiciary – the Chief Justice and the Attorney General.

    I think the earlier tragedies needs to be balanced with a certain amount of realism, balance and realpolick.

    Vast extents of land were not under the writ of the control of the govt for 3 decades. It was not possible to run a normal law-and-order operation. Large number of the perpetrators have vanished in leaky boats overseas and others have perished.

    Rajakaske for all his ills was the one who gave impetus to the new possibilities that have emerged. For that reason he is venerated by large number of the populace.

    The sky is no longer falling in anyones head. In almost all human indicators Sri Lanka ahead in all of South Asia. The new regime is committed to change. The changes will happen and it will be nuanced, realistic, measured and incremental.

    • 5
      7

      We get what you are saying Vibhusana.

      But this hardly-a-man Pooton keeps returning to his own vomit about alleged Rajapakse corruption every Sunday.

      This Ein-Stein has not got the brains to understand that they have nothing to get him on! Because there was no corruption. It is all their own lies they have begun to believe.

      The last try to catch them at Dubai blew in the face of their Sherlock Holmes, that Weliamuna [Edited out] who is rich now courtesy of the bankrupt Air lanka and yahapalanaya fraud.

      But wait till next Sunday and Pooten will vomit again here and at Sunday Times, and he will eat it.

      • 2
        5

        Maaru Silva:
        I must congratulate you on the brilliance and intelligence of your contribution.

        The world would indeed be a dull place if such as you are prevented from expressing themselves and CT, by its permissiveness, has proved that it does NOT discriminate against practitioners of the “2500 year old Sinhala Buddhist ‘civilization'” of this this country and those of significantly-reduced mental capacity.
        So many birds being killed with so few stones!
        Bravo!

  • 10
    1

    Is there worse crime than lying and misleading millions people for personal gain??.. They were talking about abolishing exec presidency, stopping misusing of public money… imposing Rs 1million TAX on new mansion owners and use that money on public services…. Bla Bla…. Nobody talks about them anymore… Most urgent things now are renovating King’s palaces, buying new BMW cars and even buying new BMW bikes for Kings motorcade.. Parliament is busy approving these monies

    When Sirisena raise his hands over his head and worshipping his God, does his inner heart feel guilt of lying? With raised hands, he give “Pansil”… saying “I do not lie”… No guilty feelings….In contrast, his face is getting brighter, happier and healthier. His 47 year political experience tells him that lying/misleading public for personal gain is the norm of SL politics…He doesn’t want to be a radical…
    PS> Obama looks 20 years older after his 8 years as president.. MR looks like he is still in his 40s…Gamarala would look younger and healthier when he is finishing his second term..

  • 5
    0

    This govt is either brain dead or willfully skirting issues.

    e.g. Welimuna trying to freeze bank accounts because monies deposited have been obtained by criminal means.

    Obviously, local investigations need to be done to prove monies were obtained by criminal means. Once you have the evidence, then you go after the bank accounts.

    Did Ranil, Welimuna and all the other lawyers no understand this legal point.

    Couple explanations

    a) There really isnt any wrong doing and this path puts an end to any investigation, just a pony show for the public. You can restart an local investigation and come up with some circumstantial evidence at best. The Dubai govt is probably not going to re consider giving bank account details, let alone freeze account. End of story, everything else heresay.

    b) Ranil and co, doing a you scratch my back etc with previous govt. So they keep their mouth shut about legal point; criminal investigation before freezing bank account. Result: same as a)

    c) All the lawyers in current govt are dumb.

    Another very very pertinent point: Are the accounts USD.

    If USD, every single transfer has to go thru the US.

    Any transfer over USD 10,000 is flagged and investigated, since about 2002.

    Has happened to me, just a formality as every single cent in bank account was from a paycheck and options investment. People who have cash businesses have bigger problems and may end up having to pay back taxes.

    So to transfer 1 billion in amounts less USD 10,000 will take 100,000 days or 29 years.

    So, at least some transfers should have been flagged by the US Banking system.

    Ranil and Mangala who are bending forward to accommodate the US should get some of that evidence fom their US partners.

    • 3
      0

      sbarrkum,

      “This govt is either brain dead or willfully skirting issues.”

      Both. It depends on who we are talking about.

  • 6
    0

    ‘Learn or Depart’ put in Latin is ‘Disce aut discede’.

    Will some classical scholar put ‘Govern or Depart’ in Latin please.

    A plaque carrying this inscription in Latin, English, Sinhala and Tamil should be mounted in the chamber of parliament.

    Similar wall plaques should also be placed in all the Ministries and other government offices.

    Politicians use their power and position to implement their own personal agendas while paying minimum attention to the actual job of governance!

    • 0
      0

      Gubermare Aut Discede = Govern or Depart

  • 9
    1

    We get what we deserve.

    We vote these morons to power and then grumble.

    We all need psychiatric treatment.!!!

    • 6
      1

      Sadly there was no alternative.

    • 0
      0

      I agree with you. But are there any better fellows among the so called “Blessed by the Budha Race”? If there are they are scared of the “powerful” and are not willing to come forward. No choice for the common man.

  • 10
    0

    Excellent write up.

    Ranil is aware that this is his last chance. He has to deliver or he is done for good.

    Unfortunately he is reluctant to take certain bold decisions.

    • 2
      1

      “Last Chance” ? Sorry – I don’t get it. If he does not deliver, then what ? Does he suffer or lose anything in the process ?

      No, he does not.

      He got his PM-ship, Why would he care further ? What would it matter to him if the country goes to hell in a handbasket ? He got to be PM.

      At least, MR was seriously concerned about creating a legacy.. even with all the plundering.

      These set of jokers have no such lofty ideals.

  • 8
    0

    “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”

    Thilak Marapona the minister of law and order, Wijedasa Rajapaksa the minister of justice and Ranil wickramasinghe the prime minister are the three main culprits who are protecting the Avant-Garde Security Services’ top brass.

  • 3
    0

    Apropos……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………..

    EvdP: Not just lives of luxury, at least one ministerial appointment. Nice work if you can get it! And, who knows, Wela Suda might get a pardon and even a JP’ship for all his ‘sacrifices’. There is Precedent.

  • 6
    1

    Spring Koha

    “Wela Suda might get a pardon and even a JP’ship for all his ‘sacrifices’.”

    Sorry to bother you, are you hinting that Wela Suda be honoured with
    “Sri Lankabhimanya” ( bestowed on “those who have rendered exceptionally outstanding and most distinguished service to the nation”)?

    • 5
      0

      Native Vedda

      Sri Lankabhimanya is just a tad too high for our new hero.

      Let us see whether he makes Deshamanya…..that will put our Wela Suda in the illustrious company of Lalith Kotalewela, Bradman Weerakoon and Arjuna Ranatunga. Wonders will never cease!

  • 1
    0

    Reap what you sowed with envy and irrationality!

  • 4
    2

    EvdP,

    Many of us will join in your clarion call. But the truth is slowly dawning of of some very real limitations of a body politic that is infected with nepotism, crony-ism, favouritism and every variation of these contemptible afflictions. I challenge anyone to find one Sri Lankan politician who doesn’t owe another a favour of some magnitude. These incestuous connections bind them all by invisible thread, leaving us baffled at their inability to act. Politicians of principle are scarce – one has a better chance of finding a pork butcher in Dharga Town! MS/RW.and their acolytes are now discovering the reality of the promises that they so readily made, and that WE the people so readily believed in our desperate quest to rid ourselves of the evil regime that MR perpetrated. We must now accept that January and August were nothing but false dawns (even though we got rid of MR and his crooked regime).

    What is now becoming clear, alarmingly so by the day, is that we will have sham investigations, sham arrests, sham trials, sham justice, and, to end it all, a Presidential pardon to set free the bastards who bled us dry over the last six years. The outlook is grim.

    • 1
      0

      Pretty much true in Sri Lanka too
      The primary social function served by these rituals is to accelerate and deepen the bonds shared by members of the group — and the sense of loyalty to the group each person holds. By committing transgressive acts together, members develop a sense of sharing in a mutual secret, thus creating trust; by overcoming some humiliation or pain, new members deepen their commitment to the group. Their internal logic reasons that if they are willing to endure such an ordeal, it must mean that the group is important and deserving of loyalty (otherwise, they would have made a terrible mistake and gone through all of that suffering for nothing). Through these acts, bonds are forged, networks established; the “old school tie,” used as a metaphor for Britain’s elite networks

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/09/21/what-piggate-really-says-about-the-state-of-british-politics/

      • 3
        1

        sbarrkum

        It reads like, the first chapter from Mafia initiation ritual and code of conduct manual.

  • 2
    1

    Very aptly stated and well on time. Bensen

  • 5
    1

    Regime Change? Yes, That’s What We Wanted & Still Haven’t Got!

    The Howling of the Changed!

    The Change has been achieved
    The change is for us not for who changed us
    The rein and the whip are ours now
    It is we who whip and rein
    Weep and whim is the change
    For the change emanates,
    It is always Weep and whim for the real changers
    Changers’ grieve for relieve never for a change – like that
    Work force “Sardine packing” travel mode never changes
    Even a tragedy occurs, it is we who whip and rein

  • 2
    2

    Why Singapore continues to go forward ? I was told by a political scientist that their politicians put their country before self or their family members.

    For a recent hepatitis C virus infection in a hospital the government is seeking advice from International Expertise. They want the problems and causes to identified and effective solutions found so that they can put them into practice, so there is no repetition.

    UNFORTUNATELY IN SL, HISTORY IS GOING TO REPEAT AGAIN BY WHIPPING UP SINHALA BUDDHIST SUPREMACY BY MaRa & the gang of 4 . Their advisors like DJ and his ex- Sri Lankan cronies living overseas.

    • 1
      0

      Non PhD,

      “Why Singapore continues to go forward ? I was told by a political scientist that their politicians put their country before self or their family members.”

      Just to add educated inhabitants and very well educated politicians and not forgetting their good governance.

      Think about our situation and start crying or apply for a visa to move to Singapore.

  • 2
    0

    Those in power will always find the means to retain it. Silly mistakes like advancing the
    the PE based on astrology and supported by the kept-judiciary are things of the past.

    It is alleged that Pilliyan was instiructed to get rid of MS and he was lucky to have
    escaped a female suicide bomber at Boralesgamwua in 2013, according to the previous EP Chief Minister in custody – now the bomber along with Charan will have to be arrested.
    The then LoO was kept informed of this? No doubt this is why the LoO wanted MS to seek
    hidden shelter when the results of the last PE was being released.

    The Change will be implemented slowly but surely, until the Regime and its henchmen are
    removed. Some will be compelled to turn State Witnesess in the long process. The Coup
    attempt has not been brought out yet and its turn will come once changes in the AGs Dept.
    comes about?

    • 1
      0

      punchinilame:
      I and, I am sure, millions of people in this country hope that you are reading the situation right. However, I would still say that, unless we maintain the pressure – and a great deal of it – on the present lot, that will continue to be, not only, a pipe dream but a recipe for a return to a truly rotten past!

  • 3
    0

    Rajapaksa was a known devil and Sirisena was an unknown devil. This position has not changed.

    • 0
      0

      Yet the modayas elected MR twice. People should have known that almost all the members in this parliament are “partners in crime” with the previous ones. All have tainted hands!

  • 2
    0

    Agree with you Emil. In all fairness to the prestigious college with motto “Learn or depart”, the simians that make up this government must be forced to follow a new motto. It seems everyone of our politicians “departed” or failed out of their schools’ without learning on how to act honorably in society. The real solution to this undisciplined leadership is to have a people’s revolutionary movement or the military who can brazenly put a gun to this kind of corrupt governing elite and say “govern honourably or perish”. This kind of a courageous movement is what is needed that most of our politicians understand. Singapore is light years ahead today because of a stringent NO-nonsense implementation of their penal code that is equitably fair to all. This is what is called the rule-of-law where the president and down is held accountable without any exceptions. This is not a concept that our village bumpkin or the Cinnamon Garden’s “aristo+hypocarcy” can deliver.

  • 1
    2

    You guys thought Bodhi Sira is a push over ..Or a nitwit who is going to hand over the Executive Presidency ( under PM Label ) to Batalanda Ranil. take the pension and meditate all the way to Nirwana.

    And you were dreaming of living like in the good old 60s, with the Elite and the Anglicans in total control.

    And your Vellala mates taking charge of the North and at least half of Batti Tamil land.in the East.

    But it turned out to be just a dream..

    With Bodhi Sira bringing in Daham Sira and Chathu Sira on board, I am afraid you have Buckly’s of getting your pure bred Elite , Anglican and Vellala Regime lead by Batalanda Ranil.

    Going forward even all you can get is a “Hybrid Regime” with Sira Clan sharing the spoils with Galleon clan, your mate’s clan and and of course one time leadership aspirant’s Keslwatta clan.

    Because Ranil and his offside Mangalan have no clans to claim ownership according to my elders.

    Am I right Mr Poorten?.

    • 1
      1

      Sumaney:

      I must say that your incomprehensibilities parading as erudition, do provide a degree of amusement from time to time. If we didn’t have gobbledegook and stupidities from the likes of you, I suppose we’d never be able to recognise such when they did appear!

      By the way, since you appear to be the expert on the subject do you think you could have someone explain what “pure bred Elite , Anglican and Vellala Regime” means or amounts to and how I qualify for membership in all those seemingly much desired categories? In any event, my two grandmothers (god bless their souls!)I am sure would be inordinately proud of me after this elevation that you seem to have provided me! I ask that you have someone else respond because, sad to say, if you did, it would take another imbecile like the originator to understand the content.

      Like they used to say in old Blighty, “Pip, pip and cheerio and all that old chap!”

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Emil van der Pooton: The caption of your article reads: “Regime Change? Yes That’s What We Wanted and Still Haven’t Got”. Mark my words: YOU WILL NEVER GET IT”. Period. Our Judiciary and the Law Enforcement Agencies, sorry to say, are COMPLETELY OUT OF COURAGE AND STRENGTH to face the onslaught brought to bear by the POLITICAL HAMMER. Even when you look at the example quoted “Wele Suda”; see what happened? Weren’t there evidence that led to LARGE sums of money passing through various hands through identifiable bank accounts of the “ELITE” class of Politicians and people in the entertainment industry. What happened to them and where are they? Have you heard anything of those people. What more to “educate” you (I do not mean to undermine your knowledge)than to tell you to look at the whole history of the famous Avan Gard and the Rakna Lanka cases handled by the ASG who strongly recommended by way of an authoritative report, the immediate arrest of five persons including the former Secretary of Defense. Our present AG consults the Prime Minister and set aside the entire report including the withdrawal of the case in courts. The Chief Opposition Whip in Parliament making a special statement raised so many QUESTIONS from the Prime Minister in regard to this matter, most probably a month back (if I remember correct). Have you HEARD the Prime Minister giving any replies to those questions yet. Probably he must be awaiting to get the details of those “14 Odd Telephone Calls” made by the BOSS of Avan Gard to our AG. Look at what happened to that “Sil Redi” (Devotees Clothes) case where two “BIG WIGS” of the previous regime were indicted. See how the AG messed it up and not stopping at that venture into a lower court (Magistrate Court) to get the travel ban imposed on one of the accused lifted. What happened to the Presidential Commission set up by the President to investigate those MEGA deals and corruption? Now when the “Ex Big Boss” who is almost cornered, getting ready to challenge the very establishment of that entity. Already the setting up of the other important limb of the Law Enforcenment, the FCID has been brought to be questioned in courts by the “Ex BIG BOSS’S brother and the challenge it faces is “Political Interference”. How that questioning came about? Better to know now. When the Cabinet decided to establish it under the provisions of the Police Act, it also decided to appoint a “Sub Committee” to receive the complaints before being forwarded to the FCID. How did it? No one else other than our present Prime Minister.

    Mr. Pooton – There are many more we can talk and talk. But what is the use. Do these Yahapalanay stalwarts CARE? I think you can answer that question better than me. I only have to say: We “DOGS” (perhaps including you) would bark, but the caravan will move and will never get what we expected or wanted. Thank you.

  • 0
    0

    Regime Change had occurred on the 8th of January as became obvious with the Bond heist. Yet, we confirmed The Change in August. The Change may not be quite what some of us expected, BUT John Kerry can rightly repeat what a previous American had said – ” He may be an SoB, but he is OUR SoB “. From our own point of view, it is as if ” Things change, yet they remain the same “.

  • 2
    0

    Mr Van der Poortan

    If you expected a significant transformation with the change of government, you were mistaken. All that one could expect was that we rid ourselves of the odious Rajapakse family; in particular, the three Rajapakse brats.

    Sirisena is just another politician; may be less corrupt than others. But 40 years in politics would not leave anybody clean. Sirisena, obviously, have many skeletons in the cupboard. And those are the levers his opponents would threaten to pull if Sirisena go all out to hound out the Rajapakses.

    All politicians steal from the public purse. I am sure Gamini Dissanayake did so with the Mahaveli Scheme. Many, like Gamini, did/do so to build a war chest for political campaigns. So did Rajapakses. These sums run into billions. Ask any politician how much it cost to run a campaign. Do you think they would spend their own (legitimately earned or inherited) money? The more corrupt would pocket some (or a good portion) of the loot.

    Sri Lanka has a long, long way to go to rise out of the depths it has fallen into. Be satisfied with small achievements.

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