20 October, 2018

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So Is Everyone ‘Clean’ Now?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Dulles Alahapperuma, having first entered Parliament in 1994 and having retained his seat in the General Election in 2000 surprising decided not to contest in 2001. He had his reasons. His argument was that he was ‘too white’ to be in Parliament.   

‘Most people in Parliament are brown, but no one realizes this because there’s no contrast to make the brown stand out. When there’s white, it shows.  This makes “brown people” uncomfortable. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and I don’t want to be where I don’t fit in.’

Brown, to him, was metaphor for taint.  He didn’t want to be a part of that tainted and tainting story.  He did return to parliamentary politics and I am not sure how he justified this to himself or those who thought he made sense with the white-brown parable, but that is another story. What’s important is the parable.  

Parliament and parliamentary politics is not ‘brown’ but ‘black’ in the main. It’s about pots calling kettles black and vice versa, and where there’s anything relatively clean every effort being made to discolor. People give in and give up.  People compromise.  People slip.  And once you slip, you get covered in brown and black.  Most walk in dirty, some get dirty once in.  

We are seeing this in the back and forth pertaining to the Central Bank bond issue scandal. We have the President announcing that the Commission appointed by him to investigate the matter has found Ravi Karunanayake guilty of wrongdoing. We have Karunanayake claiming that he is innocent and that the President was selective when briefing the nation about the Commission’s findings. We have the Prime Minister claiming that there was hanky-panky in bond issues from 2008 to 2015, i.e. before the Yahapalana Government came to power.  He has not echoed Karunanayake’s sentiments nor backed the innocence-claim. 

Karunanayake, however, has said ‘neither the Prime Minister nor I have committed anything wrong.’ The news story was headlined thus: ‘Ravi says he’s as clean as PM.’ That’s a mischievous re-wording of course, but it catches a salient point viz the claiming of innocence. ‘We are both white,’ he is basically saying. Another way of putting it is, ‘I am as good as he is, and if he is bad then that’s how bad or good I am.’  It’s one step short of saying ‘we are in cahoots in this matter.’ Most importantly, the Prime Minister has not denied the findings of the Commission of Inquiry that the President detailed in his special statement on the matter. He has not returned endorsed Karunanayake’s claim. He has not said ‘I am as clean as Ravi’ or ‘neither Ravi nor I have committed anything wrong.’  

Is that telling, then? Is all this ‘telling’ and if so what’s being told?

Let’s put all this in brown-white terms. The President has described someone as being brown. The moment he does this, he is claiming that he is white. When Karunanayake says ‘he’s told only half the story,’ he is essentially saying ‘the President could be brown too!’ When Karunanayake says ‘I am white’ he’s saying others are brown. When the Prime Minister says ‘it was all brown before 2015,’ he’s implying that it was all white thereafter. When Karunanayake says ‘I am like the Prime Minister,’ he’s essentially purchasing claimed purity or whiteness.  

Taken together they are all brown. For this reason they all have the fallback ‘I am like you, no better and no worse.’ And perhaps in order to convince themselves and each other they’ve indulged in fisticuffs in Parliament.  

What then is left to say of ‘yahapalanaya’? What then is left to say of ‘change’? Pots and kettles, is that what we have to conclude? All brown and no room for white, is that what they want us to conclude? The more important question is, ‘is there anyone who is white in Parliament?’ And if there are white people in Parliament, what on earth are they doing there?  

This UNP-SLFP (or Maithri-Ranil) Yahapalana combine has lost the right to use the term.  They have spent three years pointing fingers at the previous regime, which was of course as brown as the current lot. If that (pointing fingers) was all they did, we could still suffer them, but they’ve dipped their always-brown hands into the National Kitty.  

It is too late for the likes of Karunanayake to salvage pride by employing the ‘at least’ option; e.g ‘at least a commission was appointed, at least a report came out of it, at least some of the findings were made public.’ The whole story is not made of what the President revealed plus what he did not. The whole story is a brown story. An ‘all brown’ story.  

It is a story which has all the characters saying ‘I am as clean as he/she is,’ which ladies and gentlemen essentially means ‘I am as corrupt.’ It is said with gusto. It is said with a devil-may-care air.  It is said with an unsaid ‘so what?’

That’s where we are right now. The Parliament is brown. Only one question remains: ‘are we as brown and if so do we want to remain brown?’ Or ‘black’ if we don’t want to use Dulles’ color preference which one feels was inspired as much by dirty politics as by the mud-slinging that passes off for political debate in Parliament and outside it.  

Either way, it is certainly not ‘white,’ or if that’s an insult to non-white people, then it’s not squeaky clean.  It’s dirty.  

Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer. malindasenevi@gmail.com.  www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Unfortunately we have to accept the fact that people are given the rule that they deserve.

    What on earth has made our people so corrupt ; aware of fully that the politicians are corrupt continue to respect them.

    Let me say please that st wrong with education.

    • 0
      0

      Malinda Seneviratne, I applaud you for a very fine article.!

      There will be those who will ask you if you thought you were ‘white’, which is tantamount to saying “We better not say anything, lest someone says something derogatory of us”!

      How pathetic can we get?

      It is my take that those who disagree with Malinda’s article above, are the ones who find comfort and ease within the various shades of brown.

  • 5
    9

    Malinda Seneviratne

    “So Is Everyone ‘Clean’ Now?”

    “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.” – Jesus Christ

    Are we going to return all the favours that we received in the past. What are we going to do with Laptops?

    • 5
      1

      We are all clean except those who refuse to wipe themselves. Did Veddas ever learn to clean after themselves? When the Vedda speaks there is excrement everywhere!

    • 9
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      Native,

      Are you clean?

      I know I am the cleanest person that ever walked the face of the earth! …………….It’s all the others, that are unclean.

      Malinda thinks he is clean. Dayan thinks he is clean. Ranil thinks he is clean. Mahinda thinks he is clean. Gota thinks he is clean. Sirisena thinks he is clean. …………..Basil thinks ……. ‘I think therefore I am.’

      So, what else is new?

      Mother Lanka, how I love thee. …………ye never fail to thrust forth ye best talents!

      • 1
        2

        nimal fernando

        If and when people are forced to set alight to “A bonfire of the vanities” most crooks will think twice before returning to their old habits. However old habits die hard. When greed is their engine of growth the crooks will stop at nothing. Therefore the damage would be colossal to the people. Well who cares about the people, in a ME SOCIETY?

  • 0
    4

    Percy

    “When the Vedda speaks there is excrement everywhere!”

    Your mouth is still open!!!!
    _
    “We are all clean except those who refuse to wipe themselves. “

    Don’t you wash yourself?

    ” Did Veddas ever learn to clean after themselves?”

    Did you?

    • 2
      0

      Tut tut Vedda, you are displaying some childish traits. Can’t you be a little more original. What is the big deal in repeating what others say and then trying to make comments which you think are smart arse, but are sadly falling flat. Sad display, but since you are double disadvantaged we will not assume that there is some paranoia there.

      • 0
        2

        Percy the pathetic

        “What is the big deal in repeating what others say and then trying to make comments which you think are smart arse, but are sadly falling flat. “

        I see you are annoyed. That is my objective and I am contented I have achieved something today.

        If I am thinking about a**e, its my a**e, not yours, why don’t you get loss?

        • 0
          0

          Stupid Tamil Vedda
          You don’t get the point. Iam not annoyed but amused by the antics of a semi literate. What loss are you referring to? The bond scam I presume. What about the Tiger Rump war crimes? Shouldn’t they be investigated?

          • 0
            0

            Percy dated pathetic

            “You don’t get the point. Iam not annoyed but amused by the antics of a semi literate.”

            Maybe it is because all my teachers were either Tamils or Sinhalese.

            “What loss are you referring to? The bond scam I presume. What about the Tiger Rump war crimes? Shouldn’t they be investigated?”

            You are a typical pathetic ass of a person. Show me when and where I have said LTTE should be excluded from war crime investigation? Were you born without a sense of rational judgement or vision?

            Why couldn’t you bring yourself to demand investigations into financial irregularities, nepotism, racism, theft, abuse of power, human rights violations, all war crimes, rape, drug smuggling ………….. been committed during the last 50 or so years?

            Please return back to your parallel universe where you maybe free of applying rule of law consistently and live comfortably live ever after. Or even better if you went back to your ancestral home land somewhere in Coromandel Coast or Erivirrar Pattinam.

            • 0
              0

              Stupid Tamil Vedda
              From your despicable,meaningless posting, it is pretty obvious that everyone is clean excepting that nasty Vedda.

  • 0
    0

    outside as clean as the crispy white attire they wear …..inside completely as corrupt

  • 0
    0

    Colombo Media betrayed itself once more. This time New King guided it to the cesspool. The story started when the CB was left penniless after the $18B robbery. PT Aloysius, who had been put in CB and pampered by the Old Royals, worked with UNP, brought in Mahendran and figured out a way for the new gamble. This created a heartburning to Colombo media that a Tamil had made profit. They started blow their horns loud “Eureka …Eureka.. We have found a Demulu Hora!” Bonds’ 2nd hand price went up. He downloaded all junk on those, who were stimulated by the racist Colombo Media. This doubled their feeling. They kept pushing so Ranil started threatening Mahendran unless Aloysius sell out PT to Colombo elites, Ranil would give up on Mahendran. Aloysius obeyed. It was done. But Colombo Media wanted to share the war crime heroism. They kept pushing the New King. That side moved and PCoI report came out. It basically cleaned Ranil. & just give arm patting to Ravi. But it killed the both Tamil Coolies. So 1).Mahendran ran out Singapore and 2). The PT has to pay back the acclaimed profit. Here, the private sector Businessman Aloysius would be put in jail with a concocted or framed Insider trading, but not owing the PT to pay back. This is nothing different from those guys who soled batteries and box of matches to LTTE became black tigers ended up in Buddha Chitanta & Buddha Yahapalanaya dungeon for life time. (Our purpose is not saving a Sinhala Appe Aanduwa Coolie.-an unwanted action). As Mahendran has run to Singapore, there is paperwork need to prove reason for why Mahendran to be extradited. The commission report is not yet released.

  • 0
    0

    . If it released Mahendran may still hire lawyers in Singapore against this Sinhala Jury Verdict coy of CoI. So the scheme the Colombo media undertook to punish a Tamil for the crime of running to South Asia’ richest Treasury to the poorest cannot be achieved. This is not going to bring the expected result to New King. When PT is ordered to pay back the money, whoever bought PT going to pay for it. Either that one is not punishing the Tamils properly to win the LG election. So the Joint Comedies and Colombo Media Laptop journalist are, while not blaming PCoI or New King for not finding fault on Ranil, but to show their disappointment, they have switched over to Parliament Thuggery and Media Thuggery. Where these were Laptop Journalist to call “Ranil Hora” until New King statement came out? If they have found their new invention that it was not Demulu Mahendran but it was Ranil who robbed the Central Bank where is that said in the New King’s statements? The truth is ” WHO IS THE HORA? THE LAPTOP THIEVES, COLOMBO MEDIA IS THE HORA”

  • 0
    0

    Milinda ~ “Is everyone ‘clean’ now?”
    ‘Clean’ is a relative term.
    Is everyone ‘religious’ now? White religious, brown, yellow or black? Or simply squeaky?

  • 0
    0

    It is simply leeches. They refuse to leave it.

  • 0
    0

    It is Good election propaganda. Unfortunately it is the municipal elections. “IS THE CLEAN MAN AND HIS PARTY CLEAN NOW ?”.RANIL PROVED THE SAYING THAT “PUHUL HORA KAREN DENE”. He is doing best for three years to clean it now. Even his UNP lawyers said it needs investigations. Only the one who has honorary PhD from Austrlia doe snot understand it.

  • 0
    0

    Come and see good governance in side Colombo. Come to Piliyandala/Kesbewa area Police station. This Police Station is running by thugs, three wheel drivers, illegal garages owners. Same way go to Municipality Council in Kesbewa same story. House plan approval to illegal constructions everything depends on money. This is Colombo situation. Then you can imagine situation in other rural areas.

  • 0
    0

    Ranil Gave Car permits to the Foot Note gang and those who involved in the COPE report. No one is discussing that. why they wanted Car permits. Is it just a Bribe to motivate them to lie.

  • 0
    0

    Malinda sahodaraya, why don’t you ask Lord Buddha? After all, you frequently quote Gautama Buddha’s teachings and preach about the dharmaya than you question about the “adharmaya” when our politickas abuse power. Did you go ask this question from the previous Raja “kalliya” (band of thieves), dictators and lover of journalists? I guess not because if you did sahodaraya, yuo will be holding hands with those like Lasantha Wickrematunge and taking a stroll in another life.

  • 0
    0

    “So-is-everyone-clean-now!…….sounds like an advert for toilet rolls.
    Sri Lankan Politicians wipe their dirt with the electorates (toilet rolls) …..

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