By W. Vishnu Gupta –
Is this Democracy?
It was evident since the death of D.S. Senanayake, rituals of democracy in Sri Lanka have been one of the biggest scams on earth. The result of this hideous act carried out by the present and past politicians is evident through the two major violent uprisings carried-out by Sinhalese and Tamil youths of the country. The deceptive politicians of every colour survived the wrath of these young people due to the intervention of the impartial heroic armed forces of the country. It is now obvious that these heroic armed forces have unwittingly participated in the biggest political trick of the politicians, otherwise what happened to the benefits of winning the war of thirty years. It was reported that the government spent approximately Rs. 15 billion a year to finance the military campaign against the LTTE. Who reaped the benefits, obviously not the masses? What happened to the savings and benefits promised to the people, with or without the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic, our people, more than 80 percent have been struggling to shelter and feed their families, cloth and educate their children while a selected few have been feasting tamashas led by the corrupt chicanery politicians. Is this democracy? There are no exceptions in the parliament of Sri Lanka, all are rogues including the man wearing a yellow robe, recently a social activist identified such devious individuals as the “Yellow Pets” of the chicanery politicians. We all have been fooled by a few, first they tricked our grand parents, I was a toddler then, yet I still remember, SWRDB, NMP, PG, SJVC, PK and JRJ promising our grand parents heaven under the sun if they were elected as the political masters to govern the country. Thereafter our parents were repeatedly swindled by the same politicians and/or their spouses, siblings, and their torchbearers. Finally, the remainder of the same lot with the help of shamans, thugs, and criminals managed to swindle the present generation since 1990s until now. If we make the same mistake in 2024/2025 by falling prey to the scams of all conniving honchos occupying the corridors of power in 2024/2025, we the majority must be flogged openly, by our own children. It is whimsical, but we must endure the theatrics of the present regime in controlling Covid-19 pandemic, investigations into Easter Sunday carnage and the scarcity of basic food items. Without waiting for 2024/2025, the people must raise many questions for survival. What is real democracy?
What happened to Dignity
Let us be reminded of that, in a sovereign democracy, election should be more than a stratagem or a toy for the nation’s corrupt political leaders and their inner circle of counsellors, financial supporters loaded with ill-gotten wealth and dubious intelligentsia corrupt to the core. In a hedonist controlled political environment, it is unlikely that ordinary citizens will witness a sovereign democracy. All what Sri Lankans have seen and endured in the last seventy years is what the shamans and cronies ensuring their master and his families go on rampage while their bag is also filled to the brim. The social activists claims that our politicians have first abused mother Lanka and then the dignity of democracy. Dignity is a word unknown to every politician in Sri Lanka. The word dignity has been smothered and replaced by the word vulgarity. Vulgarity rolls like a flooded river over the entire landscape of present political culture in Sri Lanka. Vulgar theatrics have overtaken the investigations into the Central Bank Scams since 2005, Similarly, vulgarity has overwhelmed the probe into the Easter Sunday Carnage, it has overpowered inquiry into the death of helpless domestic servant in a controversial politico’s house recently, it has clouded the vital confidential data loss of the government institutions, above all vulgarity has dazed the debate in the parliament and paving easy passage to questionable bills. These are not the signs of a sovereign democracy. In Sri Lanka present and past politicians of every political party be it is dominated by vulgar Sinhala, vulgar Tamil, vulgar Muslim leaders, and the shallow, rude plus self-centered ethics they have brought to the political activities and social conduct have exiled dignity. If it is not vulgarity, how the citizens are going justify the alleged behaviour reported in the news media of a state minister who entered a prison recently in the night and threatened to kill the prisoners. If it is not vulgarity, how are we going to rationalise a government MP telling people to cut down their daily meals from three to two.
Democracy is not by any means, nor was it ever meant to be, a game played by a few for the benefit of a few. Regrettably, it has become so in Sri Lanka. The style of politics witnessed in Sri Lanka since independence are confined to tactics devoid of substance. The tactics themselves such as “Sinhala only” employed by SWRDB who swindled the Sinhala Buddhists, petty and unworthy, they were cheap and embarrassing. In fact, it was one of the root causes that fuelled Tamil militancy. The politics of JRJ triggered the Hartal of 1953. Likewise, politics of Sirima fed the JVP insurrection in 1971.Politics of Rajapaksas ensured the entry of chauvinist politicians of religious minorities. Unfortunately, every regime has failed to understand the consequences of their politics, they have become brazen enough to ignore the fact that “Democracy is not a game.” Most if not all actions of all governments since 1950s confirm that the Sri Lankan politicians have treated democracy as a game. The recent comments of RW in the parliament about the challenge made to his appointment through the nationalist list and the behaviour of other political party leaders prove democracy in Sri Lanka is a game played only by those sanctioned by the political party leaders. This game has provided secondary amusement to the media, and they are sullied for forgetting the purpose and role in a democracy.
None of the political leaders have acted in a rational manner in the last seven decades, all have led failed governments. The economy has failed, people are living in abject poverty and they are forced to look for greener pastures, currency has depreciated 1333 times since 1980, narcotic-drug menace has overwhelmed the nation, judiciary system is challenged, security of the nation has failed as it was seen in the easter Sunday carnage, pillage and plundering of assets of our heritage continues unimpeded, and the country has become a pariah nation among the international community. Every development project, major or minor launched by all governments lead by UNP, SLFP/SLPP and supported by other chauvinist and leftist parties are shrouded in alleged scams giving credence to the popular belief that no politician is clean in Sri Lanka; “Unuth horu, munuth horu, un okkoma horu.” It is a rampage of the few hanging on to power either by hook or by crook. Yet they appear as prima donnas before the citizens in every election. People are yet to realize; the politicians have run amok and rampage in our motherland since the independence under the guise of democracy. Sri Lankans are fed-up, dejected by what they see, and loathing what they hear, regrettably must live with what the corrupt politicians of every political faction like to play with.