Isaac Newton third law says for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. What that means is that for every force there is a reaction force that is equal in size, but opposite in direction.
Isaac Newton law of motion not only applies to the physical world, it equally applies to the spiritual world. In common parlance, the word karma describes the entire chain of moral cause and effect wherein the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. This principle of spiritual causation is found in most religions. The principle is also found in Western society embedded in maxims like “what comes around, goes around” and in Biblical scriptures such as “A person reaps what he sows.”
People who are in high and responsible positions, if they go against righteousness, righteousness itself will get transformed into a destroyer. Whoever deviates from righteousness, whether they are individual or states, they are responsible for their own actions.
The Rajapaksa family which strode the political stage like a colossus unchallenged and unquestioned before January 09 have been dethroned and reduced to the status of Alibaba and forty thieves who robbed the treasury at their whims and fancies. No one expected the collapse of Rajapaksa’s empire to fall this soon and in this inglorious fashion. Certainly not Rajapaksa and his astrologer.
Daily we now hear news stories about Rajapaksa family’s unbridled corruption, bribery, nepotism, waste of public funds, selective law enforcement and authoritarianism. Under Mahinda Rajapaksa the white van culture flourished and death squads hunted down and murdered rich businessmen for ransom. Many fled the country to save their lives while others disappeared without a trace. An air of nauseating fear gripped Thamils and Muslims businessmen in Colombo. Even if the accusations against Rajapaksa only half true, it is still an unprecedented disaster for good governance.
The latest to be hauled up before the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) is Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the former first lady. One does not know the exact charges against her, but Namal Rajapaksa claims “My mother has always stayed away from politics. Does she deserve this harassment? ‘Yahapalanaya’ seems just a facade for this government. Vengeance isn’t ‘good governance.’
Namal uses the word vengeance forgetting how the Rajapaksa family treated Sarath Fonseka. After hailing him as a war hero and the best army commander in the world, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa went after him like hungry wolves. Sarath Fonseka was arrested as part of a political vendetta after he unsuccessfully challenged Mahinda Rajapaksa at the presidential election in 2010.
He was held incommunicado at the navy headquarters amid lurid allegations by the government that he was plotting to overthrow the president. He was court marshalled before two Military Courts on trumped up charges and sent to jail where he wore prison uniform, ate kiri bath on tin plates and carried water can to the toilet like any other prisoner. To his credit he never asked for any special privileges from his tormentors. He was stripped of his rank, medals, uniform, pension and his name was erased from all military records.
Today, due to twist of fate, Sarath Fonseka is a decorated field marshal while his tormentor Mahinda Rajapaksa is just an ordinary citizen, not even a Member of Parliament and facing corruption charges!
I am no fan of Sarath Fonseka who is accused of committing war crimes, but I resent the uncivilized way he was treated by Mahinda Rajapaksa. So Namal should be careful to talk about political vengeance for the arrest of his mother.
There is also news of another member of the Rajapaksa royal family Pushpa Rajapaksa, spouse of Economic Development minister Basil Rajapaksa, receiving a deposit of Rs. 500 million to the foundation run by her from the Colombo International Container Terminal, a Chinese construction firm. This firm has obtained a contract to construct buildings in the Colombo Port City.
Since January 09, there has been a spate of arrests of Ministers, MPs and stooges of Mahinda Rajapaksa on charges of fraud, corruption and theft of government property. Prominent among them is the high profile Basil Rajapaksa, the former Minister of Economic Development on suspicion of misappropriating Rs.70m from the Divi Neguma rural development funds to hold a conference. Another Rs. 70 m was misappropriated for his brother’s election campaign he was in charge. He is also accused of printing and distributing 15,000 Divi Neguma almanacs to promote former president’s campaign.
As minister in charge of Economic Development and reconstruction efforts in the northern and eastern provinces, he wielded enormous powers. His Ministry was placed beyond the reach of the Auditor General something unprecedented in the annals of history. It was a legal ruse to escape audit of financial transactions and accountability.
Basil Rajapaksa was arrested on April 23, 2015 along with the second suspect, Secretary of Divi Neguma Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka and former of Divi Neguma Project Manager Gen. R.A.A.K. Ranawaka.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa is accused of providing the wherewithal for Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd a subsidiary of Avant Garde Security Services (Pvt) Ltd, and incorporated on the 24th June 2011 under the Companies Act (reference: NO.7 of 2007) of Sri Lanka. Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd entered into a joint venture with Government Owned Business Undertaking (GOBU) of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd (RALL) of Sri Lanka to provide infrastructure facilities for international maritime security services. The Parent Company; Avant Garde Security Services (Pvt0 Ltd is the largest security company in Sri Lanka employing over 6,500 personnel. It has an unblemished record of over 17 years of service and providing land based security to many organizations including key blue chip companies, most of the banks and financial institutions, including Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Limited provides comprehensive range of total risk mitigation solutions to the global maritime industry and also engaged in the business of providing of total logistical assistance to vessels transiting the Indian Ocean. Avant Garde Maritime Services has created a network of facilities in strategic locations to ensure maritime security companies are assured of obtaining weapons and associated items for passage through piracy risk area and handing over them to be under the control of AGMS / RALL officers at the relevant destination ports before repatriation of sea marshals. AGMS is a Signatory Company of the ICoC (International Code of Conduct), secured SAMI (Security Association Maritime Industry) membership and in the process of getting affiliated to international maritime agencies.
Police launched investigations following information received by Deputy Inspector General of Police, Southern Range, and D. J. S. Gunawardhana about news on the discovery of a floating armoury at the Galle Port. The armoury belonged to a private security company by the name Avant-garde. A total of 3,154 firearms and 770,059 rounds of ammunition were recovered from seven containers on the ship named Maha Nuwara. The police unearthed evidence linking Gotabaya to Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Limited.
On March 6, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila stated that there was a conspiracy to arrest Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name is also coupled with the foul murder of Sunday Leader newspaper chief editor Lasantha Wickrematunga on 8th January,2009 on his way to office in Colombo.
Lasantha Wickrematunge left a posthumous letter that claimed both he and Mahinda Rajapaksa knew who will be behind his death. For the benefit of posterity let me quote excerpts from his letter.
“In the wake of my death I know you will make all the usual sanctimonious noises and call upon the police to hold a swift and thorough inquiry. But, like all the inquiries you have ordered in the past, nothing will come of this one, too. For truth be told, we both know who will be behind my death, but dare not call his name. Not just my life, but yours too, depends on it.
Sadly, for all the dreams you had for our country in your younger days, in just three years you have reduced it to rubble. In the name of patriotism you have trampled on human rights, nurtured unbridled corruption and squandered public money like no other President before you. Indeed, your conduct has been like a small child suddenly let loose in a toyshop. That analogy is perhaps inapt because no child could have caused so much blood to be spilled on this land as you have, or trampled on the rights of its citizens as you do. Although you are now so drunk with power that you cannot see it, you will come to regret your sons having so rich an inheritance of blood. It can only bring tragedy. As for me, it is with a clear conscience that I go to meet my Maker. I wish, when your time finally comes, you could do the same.”
Wickrematunge’s prediction from the grave remains true as no one has been arrested or charged with his murder. A journalist with the Canberra Times reported that the person referenced at “dare not call his name” is Mahindra’s younger brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ex defense secretary.
When the BBC reporter interviewed Gotabaya Rajapaksa in February, 1999 and questioned him about Wickrematunge’s premature death the former went berserk. He behaved like a possessed person with eyes bugging, hands shaking, voice pitch rising and casting suspicion on all the former presidents. He derided Wickrematunge as a “tabloid writer” who had many enemies and said anyone could have killed him. He said it was “just another murder.” He ends the interview by calling all dissent and criticism of the government as ‘treason.’
Another prominent minister of the deposed Rajapaksa regime and parliamentarian, Johnston Fernando was arrested on May 05 by FCID on charges of misappropriating state resources. Police Media Spokesperson ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the former minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade has been arrested after being summoned to the FCID to obtain a statement in with regard to the alleged misappropriation of Rupees 5.2 million at Lanka Sathosa. According to the police spokesman, former minister Fernando has been arrested under the Public Property Act.
On May 11 Sajin Vass Gunawardena, MP was arrested by the CID for the alleged misuse of public vehicles belonging to the President Secretariat Office. A total of 120 vehicles belonging to the President Secretariat Office have gone missing and Sajin Vass Gunawardena admitted the offence of transferring 22 vehicles belonging to the presidential secretariat for the use of his private company. The monthly lease payments for these vehicles have been paid by the ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presidential secretariat!
Sajin Vass Gunawardena, a head line news maker, was hand picked by Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Monitoring Minister of the Foreign Ministry. Sajin has been accused of involving in several controversies ranging from fraud, crime, remand time, fraud bureau investigations, unpaid loans, spying and unfulfilled promises. He was widely criticized for his role as CEO of Mihin Lanka and faced several fraud allegations against him.
In September 2014, at a dinner party held in New York, Sajin Vass reputedly dealt a blow to the head of Dr. Chris Nonis, the Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Britain. The blow to Dr. Noni head almost broke his ear drum!
Mahinda Rajapaksa took under his wing politician like Sajin Vass, other under world characters, murderers and drug smugglers to strengthen his voter support.
Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure wasted government funds in forming jumbo cabinet, oversized delegations to UNO, UNHRC and other foreign capitals at state expense. He built the fancy Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport where no planes are landing. He built the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (also known as the Port of Hambatotta) where only one ship per month is docking. Despite all the corruption charges against him, he is planning to return to power by contesting the upcoming parliamentary polls as the prime ministerial candidate.
As I have said before, Mahinda Rajapaksa is out, but not down. He still enjoys support from extreme Sinhala nationalists who claim he is related to Lord Buddha and King Dutugemunu.
If the Rajapaksa brothers succeed in staging a come back to politics, once again there will be a throw back to the dark era of repressive and dictatorial rule. Democracy will be put on hold for decades.