28 September, 2022

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Thank You Gota

By Shiranee Dissanayake

Shiranee Dissanayake

6th of May 2022. The country is in the throes of an island-wide hartal. It is a time unprecedented in the country’s 74 years of independence, or more correctly ‘dependence’. I say this as the political system that prevailed since 4th February 1948 when we gained independence from British rule, has been one where the people were led to believe that once they vote into power the candidates of their choice, they can sit back and let the politicians do the rest. People depended on the politicians to deliver whatever they voted for and sat back and let it happen. For the past 74 years people’s participation in the process of governance has been minimal. And regrettably many politicians, who came into power by the peoples’ vote preaching lofty ideals for the upliftment of society, have used their political power to feather their own nests for their own upliftment, rather than that of the people who voted them into power.

For 74 years the contribution of successive governments towards defeating poverty and ushering in prosperity for the people has left much to be desired. Wrong decisions and the mishandling of the economy coupled with bribery corruption, robbery of the country’s wealth and dividing the people on ethnic/religious lines for political advantage have taken its toll. The enormous loans taken for various development programmes which were started after the end of the war in 2009 has only plunged the country deeper into an economic morass. The list is endless. But the bottom line is that the middle class has been reduced to poverty, the poor to abject poverty, and the business community being unable to pay the salaries of their employees. The handling of the economy over the past 2 ½ years has resulted not only in economic collapse imposing untold hardship on the people, but also a government which has lost control reducing our beloved motherland to a failed state bordering on bankruptcy.

William Shakespeare once said “desperate times breed desperate measures” and that is what we see in Sri Lanka today. The educated youth of the country who has seen through the hypocrisy and incompetence of the politicians have decided that enough is enough. This situation has provoked the Sri Lankan youth supported by professionals and other sections of society, to band together in a concerted effort to remove the Rajapaksas from power and change this corrupt system of governance. The people centric action of this self-motivated group of activists has provoked protests by Sri Lankans living abroad as well. Its effect has surpassed all protest campaigns organized by political parties. That’s not all, it has caused a dramatic turnaround in the mindsets of people who were hitherto passive onlookers while the politicians of the day indulged in bribery corruption and blatant robbery of the country’s wealth.

Over the past month Sri Lankans of Sinhala Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, and Malay communities have joined hands in a phenomenal show of unity and solidarity. Irrespective of caste, creed, religious and cultural differences they have decided to work towards a common goal in the interest of the Sri Lankan community at large. This indeed is an astounding victory for a country that had to face a prolonged war based on ethnic differences. The trust and kinship that has developed among the various Sri Lankan communities were evident in the active participation of all religious groups in the commemoration of the April 23rd Easter attack and the offering of alms to Buddhist clergy by Muslims on Ramazan day.

The 74-year-old political system which has culminated in the current devastation is an excellent case study which throws up several issues of governance that need to be considered in the future. There are lessons to be learnt from this exercise. The 2 ½ years of the Rajapaksa regime has brought to the fore several factors that would serve as lessons to future leaders.

1. The future leaders have had firsthand experience on how not to govern a country.

2. Hypocrisy and incompetence have no place in good governance.

3. Awareness about good governance unity and active participation of the people are vital for effective governance and long-term peace and prosperity.

4. Wrong people in positions of power can push a country to a point of no return.

5. Political power is no match against the power of a united people.

6. Unity and true brotherhood among communities is the foundation for peace.

7. Bribery, corruption, and robbery of national resources cannot be concealed forever.

8. People cannot be governed through deception or force.

9. Never underestimate the fearlessness and determination of the people.

10. When the intention is pure and sincere support comes voluntarily.

It is an accepted fact that whoever takes over from this regime will not be able to reverse the situation overnight. It will take clear thinking, informed decision making and sincere honest action to pull the country out of the mess it is in. On the part of the people, it should be kept in mind that there is no magic fix. Sacrifice and hardship will be part of everyday life until the country comes out of this economic crisis.

As for you Mr. President thank you for creating this awakening among the people about governance and how it should not be done – an invaluable lesson for all future leaders. It is now time for you and your family to move out of Sri Lankan politics to make way for a new more effective system of governance which has the welfare of the people at heart.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    3

    Thank you Gota. Gota is a 711 roadside convivence store clerk. He only understands buy an item and mark it up and sell to people who happened to stop for gas at his store in California USA. He lived in an apartment until he went back to SL to be defense Sectary. Now he owns a US $27 million-dollar house in California. There is a joke among people in California how can we get a job in 711 and get to SL and make money to buy a house worth $27 million. Sir this Gota does not understand Economics and high-level English. I understand he does not have any education. He has done SSC. I am not sure he passed the exam. How do you expect him to understand all these? He is over his head. Sad the Sihala people bought his story and voted for him and his brother. He fools these people very well. But the young people do not want anything to do with 225 +1 clowns. I hope they stick to their program. I hope no harm come for them. I am very very concern about Gota declaring Emergency. This gives him power to use force to deal with protesters. Gota will stay in power unless it becomes bloody.

    • 1
      2

      In fairness to my schoolmate, he passed his OL and tried to enter the U in the BioScience stream, failed. Not a military leader, and never will be. He only knows to take orders. When the going got tough, he cut and ran. Is it for Aloma or him, only he could answer. Fonny and Karannagoda were his classmates as Gamini W. Worked at Gamini’s to learn a bit of computers. Not too much brain power, and resolves to brute totalitarian ego trips. His advisers are afraid of him and agrees with whatever he wants. Adolf had advisers like that.
      Yes, thank you for opening the eyes of the blind supporters. Thank you Hirunika who first cried that the ‘Emperor has no clothes’

    • 0
      1

      “Gota is a 711 roadside convivence store clerk.”

      Those holding white flags in 2009 thought the same thing. Nadesan was begging Obama to come and save the Tiger terror leadership who were hiding behind 30K civilians. Do not underestimate the “Goat” or you will also experience a “Nanthikadal Moment” very quickly.

      • 2
        0

        Lester,
        “Do not underestimate the “Goat””
        But he’s turned out to be a Donkey, no?
        I really worry how you’re going to survive once Naaki Mynah, Kaputa, and Goat are gone. Have they set up a trust fund for you?

      • 1
        0

        Lester #,
        yours is definitely pathological. Why not you first try to get your brain checked. That could help not only CT readers, but also lot more. Nation’s looter continues to abouse you the kind of utterly disgusting men at Temple trees today. I wonder why you could not join them.

  • 5
    2

    Thank You Gota, for declaring Emergency; You have in the process burnt your Boat!.
    The protests would continue notwithstanding Emergency and curfew.
    The Police and Military will attempt to enforce same. Typical knee jerk reaction of Gota essentially a Military man……….
    There is bound to be bloodshed………..
    Revolutions end this way………………

    • 3
      0

      revolutions win this way too, under the correct leadership.

    • 2
      0

      This is my biggest concern now. Emergency in place. Police and military can shoot to kill and cannot be questioned by courts. Hope all these young people stay on their objectives and stay non violent. Keep all politicians including local mayors, councilman out. It should be pure citizens Do not allow politicians closer to the protest. They will give you a bad name. Good luck young people.

  • 9
    1

    It’s not only for Rajapaksas to go but Ranil , Sirisena and Premadasa to go as well. We don’t want these corrupt politicians playing dramas in front of the ever to be fooled public especially Sinhala Buddhists. Treat all civilians equally/ Don’t misuse the security forces/ don’t drag monks into politics.
    Dump most politicians asap

  • 3
    0

    Sri Lankan expatriates and migrant workers living in other countries have plenty of foreign currency, which they are ready and willing to send through official channels to build up our Dollar Reserves that are so essential for importing basic necessities like fuel, milk powder, sugar, cooking gas, etc. But they will do that only if the President and Prime Minister of this country resign and go home!

    • 1
      1

      Captain Morgan,
      It is up to the Sinhalese people to decide whether they need their country or Rajapaksas.

    • 0
      0

      This is the essence of holding a country hostage otherwise known as Western Diplomacy.

  • 2
    1

    Shiranee,
    Thank you for your well presented article. Thanks should also go to 74 years old Mahinda, 71 years old Basil Rajapaksa and other Family members who jointly helped the people to see the real face of your regime. Our thanks also should go to LTTE leader Pirabaharan who sacrificed his all family to expose the real motive of Rajapaksa family. It is a difficult time to make changes and back to normal or to find a way to the future without any sacrifices and challenges. There is a great opportunity to create inclusive policy to accomodate all those citizens who left this country to contribute to the economy and attract friendly nations to get help.

    • 0
      0

      Gota and Mahinda is not going. This will end in bloodshed. That will be the bad news.

  • 0
    0

    No revolution has ended well, the American Revolution gave us: America. I won’t even mention the Russian revolution or the French Revolution whose value added final product is Macron.

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