19 October, 2017

The Dark Side Of Politics & Its Play On The Local Stage

By Vishwamithra

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Maithripala and Ranil need not be afraid

Politics is scarcely pure. Its intrinsic quality of being sinister and cynical is concealed by its practitioners; without that concealment, the drama is disgustingly gross; its heroes and heroines are plain culprits of the worst kind. It has brought forth the maliciousness of its merchants and exposed the widening gap between politicians and the people whom they have sworn to serve. Instead of a service industry, politics has turned out to be a trading enterprise where the politician makes the maximum profit with minimum labor, capital and land. Of Adam Smith’s factors of production, the politician is charged with enterprise and he is using and abusing his entrepreneur-expertise to the maximum. And his profits are enormous, satisfying the greed and luxuries that he or she pursues.

It is this enterprise that is confronting us all today. It does not matter whether these politicians come from whichever political party. The allure of power is so great and so powerful; those who are engaged in the game become ruthless when it comes to possessing that power and then keeping it for whatever time limit that they prescribe for themselves. That ruthlessness is exercised to the hilt. Especially when it comes to safeguarding their financial interests, their immediate family and close henchmen and most of all, their jealously guarded seat in the political tiers, it becomes limitless. That seat they occupy may have been secured thanks to a violently fought election campaign. That campaign may have started with violence and may well have ended in violence. But the law enforcement officers may have been helpless because such violence had been condoned and endorsed by the leaders of his political party. Yet such violence has been the norm instead of an exception. Progressive elections have shown this propensity for violence and mayhem, principally by the incumbent party. No system or process has been set in motion by the succeeding party to find a resolution to these burning issues; these issues of repeated violence and mayhem have fortified each political party and its supporters to a very sophisticated level. Violence, instead of being at the end of the process, has become the means to an end- more violence.

The story is not a very pleasant one to hear. It is being told and told over and over again without the very politicians attempting to find a way out. We are not asking these politicians to be Upasakas or saints. What has been the exclusive character of the Banana Republics and emerging countries in the African Continent is evolving as the DNA of Buddhist Sri Lanka. Sri Lankans, particularly Sinhalese Buddhists, pride themselves as the custodian nation of the Dharma. A set of principles and values encapsulated in Buddha Dharma as a ‘way of life’ by the sublime teachings of the Thathagatha is being used as a shameful shield to conceal an utterly empty and barren interior. The festering wounds of yesteryear are being ignored and opened out for those political vultures to peck and devour. Non-Buddhists are not without moral error. They too, either by omission or commission, are an active party to this disgraceful exhibition of moral decay.

Showing their faces at every funeral house or wedding party, meeting the helpless constituents on every Wednesday and sending them from one pillar to another post has not stopped this radical decay. A culturally decadent mindset has been settled in, not only by the systems and processes, corrupt politicians have been the masterminds behind a latent game of political chess and the poor hapless masses are the pawns that are being taken literally for a ride of their lifetime. One of Oscar Wilde’s quotes goes as thus: ‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth’. All politicians, whether in Sri Lanka or anywhere else, belong to that description of man. Whether man has corrupted the system or the system has corrupted him is not relevant. Being enmeshed in the web of this coldblooded cycle, today’s politician clearly indicates that no reason, compelling or not, would he listen to; for he is afraid that such reasoning would expose his naked character, perpetually inhibited by narcissistic oddities constantly feeding his utterly infertile intellect. Instead, he has chosen to dwell in the dark corner of his being. A dull and dishonest representation of humanity, politician has become a meandering drifter only in pursuit of a mirage that’s slowly fading away on the darkening horizon.

This self-consuming eccentricity has totally eclipsed the greatness of the human spirit which Jawaharlal Nehru describes as “…nothing that can happen is likely to overcome the spirit of man which has survived so many perils. Remembering also that life, for all its ills, has joy and beauty, and we can always wander, if we know how to, in the enchanting woods of nature.” (Source: The Discovery of India, page 21/22). But our politician, the Sri Lankan kind, is far from such greatness. In the past, at least a couple of decades ago, we did have, both politicians and other academics and intellectuals in our midst, who had chosen to defy unlawful orders, to risk cruel transfers and harassment by shortsighted political masters, to journey along a path that they only knew from their childhood, a knowledge handed down to them by their parents and school teachers. That era is only a dim memory now.

Whatever slogans politicians express today, good governance or Yahapalanaya, transparency in governance or merciful resolution of burning problems masses face day in and day out, the unfeeling story of our politicians is continuing to be told in street corners as well as air-conditioned boardrooms and social clubs. The sheer insensitivity, that gross lack of empathy of a great majority of our local politicians has taken hold of our political culture. It’s having a strangling grip on the advancement of society, which eventually lead our country to a nation called a rogue-state and that is going to manifest itself sooner than later. That tragic spectacle of a fast disappearing value-system and a speedy voyage towards stormy shores of corruption, bribery and brutal polarization is looming large and real.

This lamentable saga of Sri Lankan politicians cannot be suppressed. It cannot be told with joy and delight as a childhood story narrated by a grandfather to his grandchildren. Columnists and writers will continue to pen these unforgiving emotions and sordid thoughts. They might make an abortive attempt at convincing the masses to turn the corner with a different end in mind. They may venture out to dispel the ignoble and contemptible character of society that is assuming a thoroughly forgettable profile. The most distressing slice of this story is the oblivion and apathy exhibited by the very victims of this maddeningly pathetic mass of the public. No bad government or unsustainable rule would last unless the subject mass of people decide to tolerate it and endure the hardships visited upon by that cruel rule.

Under the present government of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe, that journey towards self-destruction seems to have slowed down; that slippery slope of self-immolation seems to have applied brakes; yet the brakes, more often than not, seem to be weakening by the day. Both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe need to lead by example, not merely repeat slogans that the people increasingly find empty and of no solid substance.

Maithripala and Ranil need not be afraid. Those who hurl stones at them were corrupt and utterly dishonorable when they were in power. Their strength lay in the power they held. Those mindless merchants of dishonesty and deceit are engaged in a losing battle. Their deeds are being investigated and the findings, if the reports are correct, are nauseating and ghastly. But both President and Prime Minister need to prioritize their workload in order to regain the confidence and trust of the people who voted them in with immense faith and loyalty. Letting the voter down is no option. If any Cabinet Minister is going astray, he or she must be removed without any hesitation or favor. Indecision in government is killing the smooth operation of the state. The end-goal is what really matters. Establishment of good governance is never easy, nor is it sustainable unless close monitoring is enforced. Private-sector-efficiency and skill distribution must be reintroduced to the government sector. No person, Minster, State Minister or Deputy Minister is indispensible. Political power is not a means to enhancing personal finances and self-glorification. That was in the past twenty years.

Politics, as described in the first couple of paragraphs in this column, has to be transformed into a vibrant and honorable adventure. A profession that has within itself easy paths to self-destruction can be practiced as a noble venture in which one shines not on the shoulders of the poor but the bare breast of an honest politician.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    Vishavamithra: One of those politicians have 50 years of experience. the other one has 40 years of experience and he celebrated it. Why do you have to teach then. How many years of political experience you have. Do you think they ever learn what the people are asking

    • 0
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      Exactly. Why do people give any more chances to these total failures in SLFP/UNP/SLPP who governed the country and/or in politics for over 40 years?

      It is time for them to retire and let a new generation to take control of the country who could lead the country to a new direction with a new vision, mission and strategies.

      • 0
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        Arjuna MAhendran has has told that he was allowed to a cabinet meeting in which the president, ranil wickramasinghe, Malik Samara wicramasinghe, KAbir HAssim and other Cabinet memvers were there. they discusees how to finance the on coming election campiagn, that is how they first talked about Rs 75 billion yet approved only
        Rs 215 billion. anyhow, Arjun Mahendran Came to the cabenet meeing why ?. IT is not the parliament commiitttee. That is why there is why Rohingys refugees – problem when they were coming since 2008.

  • 7
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    The author states…….”Maithripala and Ranil need not be afraid. Those who hurl stones at them were corrupt and utterly dishonorable when they were in power. “

    Maithripala was very much part of the “corrupt corrupt and utterly dishonorable ” govt. with the MR!

    Ranil, as the bond scandal has shown he is as corrupt as the previous lot.

    I suggest the author stops trying to curry flavour with the current regime!

  • 3
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    Cannot fault with what the writer has written. Wonder what the solution is to this problem, prevalent not only in Sri Lanka, but to varying degrees, in all other Democracies?
    It appears, Politicians are a special breed who enjoy many ‘Privileges’ including, ‘no age of retirement’ and have the capacity and opportunities to feather their own nests. There should be strict checks and balances. First and foremost, a ‘code of conduct’ should be established/enacted/implemented for all Politicians and Public Servants. A mechanism should be established/implemented to strictly monitor compliance.
    The Country is currently in such an abyss, that it will be a herculean task even to stem the rot. Solutions are more easily said than done.
    Over to you, Civil Society/Organisations, to pressurise the Government to adopt such measures/policies to improve ‘Good Governance’. .

  • 3
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    It is the media MAFIA to charge that how many of the voter eligible are aware of
    the truths about the ongoing politics in the country.

    “Maithripala and Ranil need not be afraid. Those who hurl stones at them were corrupt and utterly dishonorable when they were in power. “

    How whatever being passed to general public is through TV channels than any other sources.

    So long Dherana and Hiru TV senders move forward in supportive to Rajapakshes and their mantras, the stance would not be changed.

    Consequence will be they the gulliable people who are the majority in this country, will go after Rajano. No matter their lovely ones would have been abducted, … raped and murdered… gullible and gawky people would care only about the petty gains they get. No interest how and why they get them.
    That is why Rajapakshes started to distribute SILREDI , Sewing machines or whatever they thought if voters would be on their side. No matter where the funds came from.
    Rajapakshes are born rascals as THE EDUCATED folks always remind.

    t

    • 0
      2

      Samuel Jayaweera the Modaya, to whom you are writing. Maithripala sirisena, Ranil both have shown they were as corrupt as Mahinda Rajapakse. Read FCID information.

    • 1
      2

      “Rajapakshes are born rascals as THE EDUCATED folks always remind.”

      They may be rascals but they had the guts to face Prabhakaran and the Tamil terrorist outfit LTTE and eliminate them bringing peace to people who suffered for nearly three decades. Who are these ‘EDUCATED folks’? The ‘UNEDUCATED folks in Sri Lanka do not agree with these so called ‘EDUCATED folks’.

      • 3
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        Bring us please better arguments as to why the bugger et al let Srilanken Airlines to sink that deep ? Whose monies being now used to gap up the debts now ? By the time balligeputha took over, airlines brought mulitiple billions to the country as annual profits. He thought it was his pvt taxi… also at the end of 2014, with all and sundry becoming clear that the airline was almost grounded, but he nevertheless entoured to Rome again. Can you remember ?
        And again, those mattala, or any other white elephant projects that swallowed billions of funds but in the same time, make thicker his family wealth…. but the media prostitutes painted the picture all gullible would never get it easily. Even today, there are masses behind them thanks to Dherana, Hiru and so called artiste that danced to the Rajapakshe tune.
        But all these come to surface in the months to come.
        Central bank bond scam is just 1% of all the losses that Rajaakshe men have made. There too, the current men are not responsible since bank issues had been in that robbing mode for such a long time going back to Rajakashe era.
        All in all, those who are well aware of the facts, would never be able to fool any further. But Jim softie sand Eagle eyes would stay as nothing can help them get reverse.

  • 2
    0

    Inaction and incompetency of MS could cost him dearly in the near future.

    “Responding to a question on land and missing persons, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said a government run by his party would ensure that all private lands in the North would be returned to their rightful owners. “Those who don’t have land have to be given land by the government,” he added addressing reporters in Jaffna to launch the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the new party formed by Rajapaksa loyalists. He further explained that during the previous regime, after his brother former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over office on November 17,2005, the government did not take over any private land in the North.
    “The ones that had been taken over were that which was done previously by the IPKF and Army,”he said.
    “We released 80 percent of the land during our regime,” stressed Rajapaksa.”

  • 1
    3

    Sinhalese voted for the UPFA and secured 95 seats to work for their interests. The UNP along with TNA and Maithreepala has hijacked majority of the 95 seats and the only party that considered the interests of the 75% of the population. So by taking away their opposition leader post and majority of their seats, Ranil has taken away the democratic rights of 47% of the population of the country together with racist TNA and Maithreepala. JVP too supported it. The end result is Sinhala people though constitute 75% of the population has NO one in the parliament to speak for them except few JO mps.

    That is a violation of democratic principles and this Ranil’s NGO dogs, including the writer has no problem of it. But he has the audacity to congratulate this RW who has hijacked 75% of peoples’ rights, who has poostponed elections indefinitely by a fraud. It does not end there. The very group are attempting to change the constitution of the country so that the majority Sinhalese can be turned into a minority.
    And those who oppose this ludicrous anti democratic politics are insulted as darkforces….Vishvamitra your concerns about democracy ( especially during MR period) please shove it inside the rear end.

  • 3
    2

    When will you talk about your UNP? You know, the party responsible for 1983 genocide? rigged referendums? stoning Judges houses? mass murder in 1987-89 of Sinhalese? and trading weapons to Tigers? Yeah Yeah we all know…Or talk about RW’s cronies getting plum positions like a 10th grade olevel woman from elite social circles made High Commissioner to UK. Yeah Yeah, Can you name any other President or PM who did that? What does she know about diplomacy? how about certain appointments to certain key public ventures based on connections? Come on boy, you are in denial and always trying to push your devious leaders from whose largesse you benefited. Mahaweli? Mahaweli? Mahaweli?

  • 2
    2

    No mention of CB Bonds. No mention that My3 made money. How else do you explain his family and their restaurant in Polonnaruwa and other areas? How did he get money to send his psychopathic son to UK? How about RW and Batalanda where he sipped wine and peeped when men were being tortured? Come on boy. You are full of it.

    • 2
      1

      Perssonal grudge is an incurable sickness.

      Why not he should have sums to send his son to UK ? What is wrong with that ?

      He has been in lanken politics for almost a half century.
      So why can incumbent prez afford his children to study abroad ?
      You guys stayed as if both ends were sealed off at the time, Maharaja looted to the core.

      Srilanken airline is made bankrupt by Rajapakshe.
      Alone that is enough people to reject the bugger. But media men cant pass the message right to the nation.
      That is where we need repair.

      • 0
        0

        Ms. Maralathoni: Many others sent their children. Some are running parking lots. Some I heard are unemployed and are on social welfare. Some who failed the school came back to Sri lanka and they think they are qualified to govern. there is more than one in that category. Some did and failed. Others are waiting until their turn.

  • 1
    0

    We can go on grumbling about the shortcomings in this country till the cows come home, but do not expect anything to change for the better till this bahubootha constitution is history or a different set of rulers take over and play clean, and that too for how long is open for debate.
    The parties which ruled this country since Independence have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they are only capable of directing this country towards being a failed state, details of which are evident to any citizen of this country. If, and I say if, because the overlords of this country will not hear of it, the Canton system of governance is introduced to this country we would be fortunate to restore this country to a very stable position in a couple of years.

  • 0
    0

    Vishwamitra starts with quote attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson ~ “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
    Perhaps “travelers in the wilderness of this world” must offer their friendship to fellow travelers.
    Politicians own travel agencies “in the wilderness of this world”. The travel agencies will appear to be competing but they are cartels. They promise Dr Jekyll service but provide Mr Hyde service.
    Vishwamitra concludes that politics as ~ “A profession that has within itself easy paths to self-destruction can be practiced as a noble venture in which one shines not on the shoulders of the poor but the bare breast of an honest politician.”
    “honest politician” is an oxymoron.

  • 0
    0

    One and only way to stem this rot is to allow the Law to take it’s course. President and Prime Minister must not interfere with the Law enforcement process nor should they shield any individual, friend or foe or for that matter any religious group. It is clear that the Govt. is the biggest offender, blatantly intervening in matters exclusively delegated to the Judiciary. We have seen the involvement of certain Ministers in shady dealings , aiding and abetting massive frauds and up to now we have not seen or heard of any investigations, but the irony is that a Minister who had to resign in a clear case of misdemeanour has been reappointed as a Minister. Such is the much hyped good governance. Govt. seems to have jettisoned all norms and traditions of democracy and that is why all this mayhem. We observe that some sections of society are a law unto themselves as they know the God fathers have close connections and affinity with the Govt. many sensitive and powerful Govt. positions are manned by favourite confidants of the previous regime. Some MPP ,senior Officers and the so called advisers are calling the shots in Govt. decisions. Previous Minister of Justice was a test case and verily a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was sleeping with the hare and hunting with the hounds, and our leaders with 40, 50, years of politics could not judge who is who in their fold. so much for political maturity. This is the bane of our country. At least at this late stage we appeal to the two leaders to think that a vast majority of people have reposed their trust and vested their power with the fervent belief that you will honour and abide by the mandate. It is a sad spectacle they have betrayed the will of the people and are toeing a line of their own to consolidate their positions at the expense of the people. What a travesty of truth and justice. It is well to remember that only truth and justice will make us FREE.
    trust and vested their power

  • 0
    0

    Top stuff Vishwamitra!

    By far the majority of our politicians in the last 50 years have been incompetent, fraudsters, or both, and more.

    What is really puzzling is the paradox that huge numbers of decent people, including the professional classes are willing to keep their mouths shut and be ruled by these jokers. When will we say enough is enough?

    The leaders of all political parties over the years have put forward a stream of mainly incompetent shitty thugs and pakayo’s that have only been voted into power because they displayed a pirith noola and/or distinguished themselves by some act of violence (remember bloody Cyril Mathew et al?). Our party leaders have even found a shameless way of bringing into parliament and government those rejected by the people by disgraceful manipulation of the ‘national list’.

    Sadly, even the PM and our Prez have dirty hands in spite of their long and undistinguished service.

    How long must we suffer?

  • 0
    0

    VISHVAMITHRA: by trying to publish false propaganda by praising HORAPALANA politicians you have become a clown. Just tell us if there is any difference between the previous govt and the present govt. RAvi Karunayake is proven beyond double that he is a public thief. Yet, he is still outside. Ranil and Maithripala Are lieing and Maithriapala is saying it openly. that is his govt and it is his law & they do what ever they want until 2020. Now, their plan is, I suppose, to usurp the govt until 2025. Central Bank robbery investigation is not complete. there should be theives among the UNP gang of the 225. they are not yet questioned. I think that will continue until 2020 just with three judges. New york is just 55,000 Sq miles and 20 million population has only one govt. Sri lanka is 25,000 sqmiles and 22million. Sri lanka 225 politicians. Horapalanaya says it is not enough it needs 10 more parliamentarians, a Praja Sabha aka constitutional council and a senate. The whole USA has two senators per State. President has a group of professionals as the cabinet. See Sri lanka. PResident has 100 odd cabinet and how many advisors (Mahinda Rajapakse had about 100). I heard in the central province, ekanayakes are stealing like Rats. they re very busy. One is busy opening night clubs as well as fondling women. there are ministries, at least those sdays, road construction. Engineering corporation and Army can do that too. Yey, Kiriella has got money for Road construction and, instead, he bought a helicopter go to colombo and come back. why you people have become liars of pathetic kind. BTW, Florida has 20 million population 27 elected seats and 2 Senators. Think About Sri lanka. 10 govts, 225. compare the areas of Sri lanka and florida. It is highway robbery since 1948.

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