By Lakmal Harischandra –
I am feeling lost and so is my dear nation, still failing to realize the sheer folly of entrusting it to those who are not fit even to manage a wayside shop, let alone this ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. A coalition of disparate parties has crumbled into disarray with dirty political games being played; sadly in the name of democracy. With the latest political crisis, country may well be re-entering the era of deep fracturing of polity, a climate that bred authoritarianism and all the attendant ills of the past . I am not a professional writer; but in my desperation and frustration, I chose to express my thoughts and also thought of exhorting my fellow countrymen to rise up against this prostitution of our political process and corruption of our political culture by cowboys and comics. Those at the grassroot levels are watching the unfortunate developments with gaped mouths and anxiety. Shouldn’t we ask the pertinent question; ‘Why have we become a nation which cannot manage itself both productively and efficiently, when comparatively many in the region are whizzing past us?’
Many democratic experiments have been failing in Sri Lanka. We have lost many historic opportunities given in a platter, since Independence in 1948. Fast forward, we have almost come to the end of the tether, after having voted in a bunch of misfits yet another time. Today, it is thus a shame that we have been compelled to bear the ill-consequences of our own follies, saddled with a crack President who is more appropriate to head a comic house, 2 ‘Prime Ministers’ ( one being corrupt to the core and other being inefficient to the core), a parliament of baboons( at least that is how baboons are described in a group in the English language), a pack of thieves, rapists, betrayers, cheats, frauds, low grade unprincipled turncoats who will sell their souls in return for pennies and illiterates who have less qualifications than a peon in a government office. A Professor once said that many of those representing us in parliament are fit to be in old age homes and sanctuaries. O Tempora! O Mores!
Past seventy years, Sri Lanka which was once stood tall as the Pride of and premier league of Asia, a country LQY of Singapore wanted to take as a role model, has now being relegated to the lowermost levels and on the fast track to being a Pariah State. Worse of all, the rowdy political class has brought indelible divisions of racism and communalism among our people, and using them to stay or come to power. I think the Sri Lankan Cricket team is most representative of the degeneration of standards of politics in Sri Lanka. What sort of country are we going to inherit to our next generation? At a time where Trumps are making a mockery of Western style of democracy, Modi is allowing Maha Baratha to stoop to cheap racist politics, Sirisena through his stupid weak brand of politics/ Mahinda through his insatiable greed for power/ Ranil through his inefficiency and selfishness to cling to power at all costs have managed to precipitate this constitutional crisis and a setback for democracy in Sri Lanka, making it a laughing stock of the world.
For how long can we allow these sucker types to be in charge of our country and bleed the nation to death? For seven decades, we have been voting in and voting out greens and blues or combination of both in turns, all of whom have been sucking the nation dry through corruption, inefficiency, racism and petty politics. Who allowed them to sell Sri Lankan assets without people’s consent, on the guise of executive and legislative power in a democracy? (Sri Lanka became the first nation to fall victim to the Chinese debt trap laid in the name of infrastructure building, leading the country to build a series of white elephants) .Who allowed them to sell their vote in parliament in return for a pot of gold? Who allowed them to help themselves with massive perks in the form of houses, luxury vehicles and security as well as unbelievable free amenities and pension? Why cannot these frauds be brought to book as promised? Where are the massive money pots being offered as bribes for ‘jumping MPs’ emerging from? Aren’t they worthy of investigation? Why aren’t those who give fairy tale promises and forget after elections to be made to account like in other fields? Why can’t we bring in a system where our public representatives are elected based on acceptable levels of education and political literacy? Why did we allow leaders of this country of 21 million to become venal and self-serving? Why are we allowing foreign governments to interfere in domestic politics and throw all diplomatic protocols to the wind? These are but some questions people ask ; but unfortunately they still want to be spectators without being part of a wider movement to set this rot right and ensure cleaner and efficient system of politics.
Democracy is a good thing ; but in Sri Lanka, it has turned into a wide big farce, in the hands of these type of lowly political class. Democracy shines when the people are engaged with it every moment. We need to adopt new technologies to inform, discuss and debate about any and every matter that is of interest to the people. Also in a democracy, it is counterproductive to have parties that act solely for the interest of a certain ethnic, religious or any group of people. In true democracy, all parties should represent all people. However, political parties in Sri Lanka are solely responsible for creating all ethnic, lingual and religious conflicts. Sadly, corruption is ingrained in the Sri Lankan society almost as a part of the country’s culture. People from all walks of life, irrespective of their social status, are accustomed to engage in corrupt practices for their convenience and/or to accumulate wealth unlawfully. The menace of corruption in the country has grown into an epidemic proportion, and it appears to sit on an exponential growth curve. It is a major obstacle to democracy as it causes an individual or a group to take undue advantages at the expense of others.
The mobilization of civil/ public activism is the only way forward to bring some amount of sanity into our political process. As Jayadeva Uyangoda said in an article in Colombo Telegraph only recently, ‘the 2015 experience has taught us that a disturbingly new political lesson: political parties and the class of professional politicians are no longer reliable allies in the struggle for democracy. For them, democratic desires and aspirations of citizens have only an instrumentalist value. Their loyalty and fidelity to their own democratic constituencies is tentative, opportunistic and expendable…Building and strengthening democratic defences and resistance in our society is perhaps the only available path to counter the degeneration of Sri Lanka into another version of the Maldives. In view of the decline of Sri Lanka’s political parties as institutions of democratic resistance, most of the responsibility for resistance will fall on the shoulders of citizens and their autonomous mobilization.
He added ,’Though relatively small in numbers, it is some of these groups who first mounted sporadic resistance to the authoritarian regime of the Rajapaksa brothers and then created conditions for sustained resistance until a new coalition of political parties emerged to facilitate opening up new space for democratic revival. These civic republican groups are now largely dormant. They are awaiting a fresh phase of mobilization and it requires coordinated initiatives and action. Providing organizational leadership to these scattered core groups of Sri Lanka’s democratic social movements is perhaps the immediate task of the more active and resourceful civil society groups’.
Perhaps, this dire crisis for the nation will jump start the movement to get rid of these misfit politics of all hues whether Sirisenas, Rajapakses and Ranils and make Sri Lanka start off another phase of democratic revival , before people lose faith in democratic institutions completely. People should start to speak up and be counted before these political parasites take the country to eternal oblivion and hell- hole. Time is however not in our favour.
Thiagarajah Venugopal / November 8, 2018
You covered all angles for this collective failure. I think we need to ask the people to go and sit outside the parliament and ask all the elected officials to write down their job scope/list of delivered items to their electorates during their tenor.
This should be a non political event where all masses come together and lock their elected officials up in the parliment to deliver the above and complete few more questionnaires too carefully prepared for the consensus on future function of each positions/basic qualifications required etc?
The entire elected officials should be asked to go around the country on a tele casted debate/question time answering questions on local/national/international issues too so the Nation can evaluate the elected body capacity holistically.
All this to be evaluated by an independent body and the verdict delivered setting up a bench mark for who is allowed to stay and who is to leave the scene as unfit for the offices? I do not think we should even waste our tax payers money investigating the disposed.
Barathan / November 8, 2018
Extraordinary times have brought forth extraordinary courses of action. Barak Obama writing about his senate days speaks of weekly meetings with his constituents at different locations; not mass meetings. Those were democratic exchanges in real life.
Critique / November 8, 2018
We could add Sri Lanka to the list of failed states soon….
Sri Lankan politics soon will be like politics of some African nations; or that of North Korea ; it could low edge of Somalia type failed state ..
It is so sad; how these political crook managed to sleince the voice of public and civil society ..
Now you will see how M&S will be wiped out after 6 months time by MR and co.
MR needs some times to hold grip on power …
As soon as he got all; MS will be his the first victim ..
Soon you will see democracy is thrown out of window in Chinese style ..
That is good if MR is cleaver enough to put the country back ..
If not what will be left …
JD / November 9, 2018
Critique: Sri lanka is behind because the westerncountries want their way. There are african countries doing better than Srilanka because they did not listen to Westerncountries and totheir antiques. Sri lanka move away from Non-aligned should ber aligned with some suportive countries but with mindfulness.
Naman / November 9, 2018
He will join his brother (s) in USA. I wonder whether Basil and Gota are submitting their TAX returns in USA. Can the American High Commissioner confirm this?
Barathan / November 8, 2018
An irrepressible burst, straight from the heart. It makes a stronger impression than ‘hurt nobody’ writing. To this commenter, 26th October is a memorable day. It has shaken up some in the upper crust steeped in happy living and others in lengthy slumber, to the threats of inaction. Blood has flowed freely since independence and is destined to spill more in years to come. We have been sinking in the mire for far too long, yet the comforting thought is that bed rock is next to be reached.
For once now there are glimpses of a wake up manifesting in serious writing and commenting in this forum – Colombo Telegraph and in other media..
K A Sumanasekera / November 8, 2018
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2
Naman / November 9, 2018
Are we one Nation or multiethnic Nation? The LAW of the country should not discriminate on race pr religion. But so far all Governments of SL acted as if they were serving Sinhala Buddhists and acted to suppress the minorities of the country.
We that means all of us need to have certain basic rules—-
Buddhist monks not to get involved in Politics and not to spread hatred
Parliamentarians of good educational standards and behaviour (uncorrupted) those who don’t steal from the wallet of Mother Lanka
The Political parties should not be based on religious or ethnic groupings ( No TNA or Muslim parties & No BBS etc)
Rajash / November 9, 2018
The Land We Lost To The Political Prostitute….you mean political butterflies!!!!
Shan / November 9, 2018
Butterflies are beautiful, innocent, harmless creatures. Why on earth some people see politicians as butterflies ??? Are Sri Lankans that ignorant?
thestupidmass / November 9, 2018
A quote from G. Carlin : “Everybody complaints about politicians. Everybody think they suck. Where do people think they come from? Politicians don’t fall from the sky. They come from local parents, local families, local schools, local religious communities, and elected by local citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. This is what our system produces. Garbage-in Garbage-out. If you have selfish ignorant citizens, you are gonna get selfish ignorant leaders.”
laksiri / November 9, 2018
great article keep writing and keep hope time will come and people will rise and sun will come ending dark night again and again. we can nit see any justice from the court in the country but natural justice will be their to end this dirty game soon.
The Sinopian / November 9, 2018
Please don’t insult prostitutes
Saman / November 9, 2018
It was disgraceful to see Cpt. Arjuna was arrested regard to the Petroleum Corporation and released on bail regard to the protest that was made by political rowdies, an elected municipal member and his goons who are blamed for the shooting and security put behind bars. The IGP too who was supposed to step down with political and media pressure who did a reasonable job for his effort is now being made a scapegoat comes on media and says he will only take orders by the big boss.
For sure if Cpt. make change and joins the clan all problems would be solved and the authorities shall dance to the bosses orders.
chiv / November 9, 2018
Lakmal Thank You So So Much. Amazing . Nothing but truth.Simple presentation of facts yet unvarnished. I may not have the same talent as you but I am frustrated too and has been voicing(to the best of my ability) the same for quite long. Lakmal I need a help from you. I have asked Malinda to contact you after reading your article. He needs help with understanding the content. Please help the poor soul.(consider this as a professional service to other) Thanks Again. Though there is no better way to present than you , I still may continue voicing my opinions on this matter.
K.Pillai / November 9, 2018
We agree with you Lakmal Harischandra that we are losing our land and we are on a drift.
Please consider changing the title ~ “The Land We Lost To The Political Prostitutes & Comics” to “The Land We Lost To The Political Prostitutes and the filthy mega-rich bent on becoming giga-rich”.
Comics are noble. They go out of the way to make us laugh.
kali / November 9, 2018
Prostitution is the oldest trade in the world. It is not bad if it is used carefully in moderation as long as you dont dip int HIV Positive. But sadly what yu have is all HIV positive. MS , MR and many others .
Let me throw some light ofnsome of theissues you have raised and I will deal with a few because of the limited space ( 300 words thanks to CT only enough for thee in the bed)
‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’. :
It is no longer pearl of the Indian Ocean . *** We are the laughing stock.
Dirty political games being played.:
*** Correction forced to play China with terrible consequences with the Nation becoming a Colony of INDIA. MAKE NO MISTAKE.
‘Why have we become a nation which cannot manage itself both productively and efficiently, when comparatively many in the region are whizzing past us:
*** That is because you are still learing to Crawl while others are running.
Many democratic experiments have been failing in Sri Lanka.
*** It is because of the Ethnic Divide. Until you sort out this you are not going to progress. MRs rise was a by product of this Divide.
Saddled with a crack President who is more appropriate to head a comic house
*** Yes I agree but he was brought in to save MR from being charged with War Crimes and he never left MR. ,
2 ‘Prime Ministers’ one being corrupt to the core *** Fully agree
and other being inefficient to the core : *** Disagree not inefficient but prisoner of circumstances brought on by a tussle between Chinese interest and Indias concerns and Legitimacty.
Modi is allowing Maha Baratha to stoop to cheap racist politics :
*** I dont think you understand Maha Baratham ..
Where are the massive money pots being offered as bribes for ‘jumping MPs’ emerging from? Aren’t they worthy of investigation:
*** Who is going to investigate Cat or Mouse.
chiv / November 10, 2018
Lakmal your prophesy has come true with in 24 hours. No more parliament, no more constitution, no more democrazy, no more economy, Lanka back to zero. no more law and order. Thanks to criminals
thondamany / November 12, 2018
Chiv, do not get your emotions overtake facts. It should thanks to criminals MY3 & Ranil unable to solve their differences.