21 June, 2018

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The Government Gets Straight F’s

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Straight F’s as opposed to A’s, B’s and C’s. F for failure. Straight F’s as in ‘F’ on all counts. We already known that it got F on good governance (that’s a lot of F’s really). It got a Big F on February 10, 2018. The people marked that particular paper. This is about a different set of subjects, in particular ‘Law and Order.’ Communicating the Truth’ and the ‘Right to Information’.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in recent statements have alluded to people fishing in troubled waters for political gain. It’s an ‘it’s not us’ kind of position to take. Safe.

Dangerous too. We all know how the United National Party of J.R. Jayewardene used that line to proscribe the JVP and clamp down on the entire ‘Old Left’ after deploying the party’s trade union arm, JSS, to attack Tamils in July 1983. An unpopular government whose incompetency on all counts is no longer a secret typically loves communal conflagration. All other issues get sidelined, the public gets distracted and in the melee those in power have the best opportunity to pick up the biggest flag that emerges and wave it.

We don’t know how things will unfold. We do know that this government scored a resounding ‘F’ on law and order. The first official statement came from the Government Information Department and it was vague and full of tendentious claims. It has vilified a particular community and absolved the other. Wickremesinghe did much better when in Parliament he described fully what happened, that disclosure only marred by the insinuations he scripted in.

Wickremesinghe admitted that in Ampara the law enforcement authorities erred. He has not passed judgment on the men under his wing as the Minister of Law and Order in terms of their professional conduct in Teldeniya, Digana, Madawala, Ambatenne and elsewhere.

Things have come to such a pass that it is unfair to expect him to work miracles in terms of recruitment and training. However, when a delegation of DIGs make representations to the President about who should be their minister and he doesn’t show them the door it indicates a poor political culture. Wickremesinghe himself has remained silent over this gross subversion of relevant protocol.

Neither can we expect him to correct all the flaws of the recruitment and training process. The British whose systems this country has followed suspended the practice of recruiting graduates as senior officers of the Police way back in 1948. The incompetence that’s evident among the senior officers of the Police including DIGs goes to show, in part, the virtues of moving people up from the lowest of ranks depending solely on experience and demonstrated competence tested in multiple ways.

In short the Government has to make do with what they have. There’s a maximum possible and the tragedy is that we are not even close to that. The Government was so slow off the blocks that people will and should wonder if the sloth was deliberate, less on account of preferences along communal lines than for calculated political gain.

Having failed miserably to keep the public informed about what was happening, the Government has now moved to block access to social media. The logic appears to be one of curbing rumor-mongering and the use of the internet for organizing subversive activity.

There are several problems with this course of action. First of all it is an admission that the Government either has no clue about what’s happening on the ground or is utterly incompetent in communicating things to the people. Now, when you deny access to social media by a public that has been already denied information, it not only infringes on fundamental freedoms but creates an empty canvas upon which anything can be drawn.

The Government has played Ostrich for a long time now. One thing it cannot do is to force the people to play along. They just won’t bury their heads in the sand. Denied one source of information, they will find others. When the word is out, whatever it may be and whether or not it is the truth, it’s distortion or a lie, things cannot be expected to turn out pretty. At best the people will and should see the Government as an entity that hides things from the people and tries to sweep the unpalatable under the carpet.

Wickremesinghe has claimed that anti-Muslim sentiment has been deliberately nurtured over a period of nine months. This is not true. That nurturing has been happening for much longer. However, just as Prabhakaran and the LTTE didn’t fall from the sky, just as the bheeshanaya cannot be reduced to the lunacy of the chief protagonists, these sentiments also didn’t sprout in a swayanjatha manner. There is the fertilizing of the soil and there is soil already fertile. Finger-pointing only distracts and detracts from the ability to resolve. Fear is a powerful impetus and it is clear that both Muslims and Sinhala Buddhists are fearful, for reasons that are real as well as imagined. Not talking about things, not naming things for what they are, mis-naming things, and even keeping things shrouded in the vague and indeterminate will not help.

What are you hiding and why? This question will be asked. Indeed whatever is said in a climate where information is state-filtered will not be trusted. Interestingly the freedom-of-expression champions are yet to break their silence on these matters. What would they have done if the previous regime took similar measures when ‘Aluthgama’ and ‘Dambulla’ happened, we don’t have to guess. We know. Shrill cries of protest. Loyalties outweigh principles, obviously. That’s peripheral though.

There are several blanks sheets we are seeing right now. The first is called ‘ideas’. There’s another: competence. The third is governability, and it’s blank. It is the final one that we are contending with here. It’s called ‘narratives’.

The Government has essentially held up a canvas. It assumes that whatever was written on it is already forgotten. The Government will own this canvas. It will paint whatever its preferred narrative on it. However, when incompetency has been established and the penchant for double-speak known, the reader will naturally be inclined to disregard it all.

What then? Fresh canvases. Fresh narratives. Most dangerously, a narrative free-for-all. Guess who benefits; the mischievous. Guess who suffers; the innocent. And the price? Heavy and not pretty.

A lot of F’s then. And one a word considered to be the most versatile in the English language according to Osho. We needn’t elaborate.

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

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    This is what happens when NINCOMPOOPS with straight F’s get to be politicians. Not matter what religion, race, political party or whatever, out YAKKO WHOLESALE BOORUWA’S never did learn, cannot learn and will NEVER learn to develop our country like Singapore. Let alone Singapore, this bloody sewer of a country is worse than Timbuktu.

    • 3
      0

      Malinda Seneviratne,

      You get a straight A for the way you have conducted yourself!

      Wonder what grade you’ll give exemplary yourself! :))

      Go on ……………Now, that we are in the business of giving everyone else grades………….

      • 4
        0

        We would have given Malinda at least a B if he criticised the Rajapakse government when Alutgama burned instead of defending Gnanasara’s patron Gotabhaya and giving the then govt all the benefit of the doubt :-) he really must think we are a bunch of mugs.

    • 5
      0

      Champika Ranawaka is a national threat. For his crimes HE MUST BE PUT THE ROPES..HANGING. I wonder why Prabhakaran did not think to bump off this guy and this would have saved us a lot of troubles, financial losses to the treasury, loss of life, properties & wealth of the innocents of all SRI LANKANS. This PSYCHOPATHIC criminal is the beginning of all the conflicts and all the killings that came after his SIHALA URUMAYA he launched with another Lawyer criminal S.L. Gunasekera (now languishing in hell) who got VATICAN support through which CHAMPIKA established the JEWISH connection. Its from this connection that he went to ISRAEL to allied with them to and then he started to destabilize SRI LANKA by inciting the SINHALA people to fight against endless enemies….. I think the SINHALA RACISTS are the only ones who are presenting a world of ENDLESS ENEMIES waiting to destroy the SINHALA – the fake narrative they always use to trap the SINHALA MIND to keep them in constant fear and making them to rely on him for protection. The GOVIGAMA MAFIA Establishment lovingly take this mentally retarded criminal into their governments against the wishes of the people who voted for something else…not for the racist agenda to be PRIME AGNEDA of the governance.

      • 4
        0

        Not sure where he is now, except that he whitewashes Jarapakses a lot but Malinda was a founding member of Sinhala Urumaya

  • 11
    1

    Malinda: “The Government Gets Straight F’s”…”Straight F’s as opposed to A’s, B’s and C’s. F for failure. Straight F’s as in ‘F’ on all counts.”

    Not just this Government but successive governments of the last 70 years. In fact the country as a whole.

    why are you just blaming this govt?

  • 2
    3

    blocking social media is not the answer for the problem in the country as many of us depend o social media for our lively hood! Ranil should have stepped down as the PM and handed over the reigns of the UNP to a younger person.

  • 7
    0

    This country as a whole is one big effing F.

  • 6
    2

    The UNP has always been an F- scorer.

    Ok.. maybe a C under Premadasa..

    JR ( under whom Black July happened) and his nephew are utterly hopeless in running a country.. why people vote these morons in is a puzzle!

  • 4
    1

    MS/RW are incompetent, so are the other parliamentarians. They all have spine problems and need luxuries. All of them are responsible for the present situation. If SF is given the L&O Ministry with a free hand, perhaps people may see some order prevail after some time.MS may be feeling guilty not to appoint SF as he too has amassed wealth by fraudulent means, like MR and his cronies.

  • 7
    2

    Agree Malinda but why didn’t you give straight Fs to Mahinda over Rathupaswala and Aluthgama. Those incidents were equal or worse than what we saw in Digana.

    • 2
      5

      I do think malinda is discussing the government in power..can’t you comprehend that??

      But if you do want to discuss MR..yes he gets an F for the aluthgama crisis and that was one of the reasons he was voted out.

      That said he is making a comeback ( remember the elections a couple of weeks ago?)..because people believe his overall score was far far better than what these idiots are doing now!

  • 10
    1

    Very True. The murderous regime you’re promoting got always A’. In exams, They get special rooms with all the facilities and get the highest marks.They kill people, but when this Govt tries to catch them with the entire machinery against them naturally they get an “F” and the so-called intellectual writer elated.
    When the Dalada Maligawa was bombed by Hon Karuna and later on appointed as a Minister and also made him the Senior Vice President of the SLFP, did this writer utter a word? When Ratwatte was accused of killing 18 Muslim Youth at Udatalawinna and when it was swept under the then Govt; surely they would have got an “A” according to this stupid. Keep on hoodwinking/instigating the general public.You’ll be blessed by SATAN, and all GOD” curseth will be upon you

    • 0
      0

      well said, old fella. Malinda has no clothes.

  • 4
    1

    The monks being terrorist also have to be looked into. most of the attacks were carried out from temples. people who came to attack stayed in temples. all this happens where there is no law and order. gnansaraya was not arrested for aluthgama. the myanmar terrorist wirathu was invited. playing with fire will lead to another war.

    • 3
      1

      There is LOW and ODOUR; That’s why SF (the World’ best Army Commander as per MR) was not appointed.

    • 0
      0

      Similarly Moulavis, Imams and Lebbes being terrorist also have to be looked into. Most of the extremist teachings are done in mosques and madarasas. Gnanassara has warned you not to play with Sinhalese. Take his advice and keep quiet.

  • 2
    0

    Straight F’s: When the Government gets Grades of 3 straight F’s the proletariat gets F’d 3 X 3 times.

  • 1
    0

    Straight F’s for MS/RW government.
    Lankans gave other side straight F’s twice (in January and in August 2015).
    We are left with having to choose between two flunkers!
    The distinguishing features is concerned with use of white vans, oppression of dissent, use of language/religion-divide (at LG elections) and the like.
    Malinda: Need we elaborate?

  • 1
    0

    Hilarious. Another Sinhala nationalist, who can’t condemn the anti-Muslim violence. This chap is worse than Dayan! LMFAO at this weak, weak article.

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