28 May, 2024


The Naked Emperor And His Endangered Realm

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Hitler is not Germany, He’s Germany’s destroyer….”Rolf Hochhuth (The Deputy)

Post-impeachment, the Rajapaksas have entered a new phase in their fanatically single-minded pursuit of absolute and permanent power. They are abandoning all pretensions and acting with total disregard for appearances; not even a fig-leaf is being retained. With the judiciary conquered, the Siblings obviously see no cause for pretences of justice, no reason for charades of fair-play.

Of that many-hued cloak which was used to cover the dystopian reality of Rajapaksa rule, only a few threadbare lies remain.

At last, the Emperor is naked. The Emperor will remain naked not because he is unaware of his nudity. The Emperor will remain naked because that is the way he wants to be; feeling omnipotent and unchallenged, he no longer sees any purpose in the costly and time-consuming business of garbing himself.

Any child who dares to proclaim the Emperor’s nudity to the world will be treated as a traitor/criminal, with the aid of a supine police and a cowed judiciary.

The Nazis, borrowing from the filed of electricity, used a term called ‘co-ordination’ (Gleichschaltung) to denote the transformation of Germany to fit the Nazi agenda. Violence was used when necessary, but other methods were more effective. People succumbed or pretended to succumb due to a variety of reasons and motivations: greed and fear, trust, hope and indifference, anti-Semitism and anti-Communism, patriotism and ingrained habits of obedience to authority. Many went along because others were doing the same, or due to the very human desire to be left alone to live their own lives, in relative peace.

Post-impeachment, the Rajapaksas have no serious opponents. The three pillars of state are in Rajapaksa hands, as are the military and the bureaucracy. The business community is becoming as impotent as farmers, fishermen and urban poor in defending its interests. The Tamils are being repressed with a heavy hand and the Muslims are being threatened.Templesand the churches are either co-opted or ignored. The ploy of ‘Media ethics’ will be used to totally silence media organisations and to crack down on critical websites.

The Family is the state.

The Rajapaksas, free at last, to be themselves

Free at last to be themselves, the Rajapaksas are beginning to make the most nightmarish predictions of their most abiding critics come true.

Less than a month after the impeachment travesty came to its premeditated end, the transformation of Lankan judiciary into Rajapaksa judiciary is almost complete. Headed by a manifestly servile, totally discredited and palpably dishonourable ‘chief justice’, the judiciary is plummeting that degrading-depth already occupied by the legislature, the military and the bureaucracy. The judiciary’s capitulation to Rajapaksa power was demonstrated by the manner in which the fundamental rights petition by a customs official against former AG Mohan Peiris and Treasury Secretary PB Jayasundara ended. Of the three judge bench, one opted out, for personal reasons. The other two judges accepted the argument made by the AG’s Department (also under Presidential-fist) and decided to go ahead with the case. One of the two judges cavalierly dismissed the petitioner’s objections to his presence on the bench, deeming himself unbiased. The petition was heard and dismissed, pronto, with costs.

A judiciary interested in maintaining appearances would have handled the petition with a touch of finesse; a government interested in maintaining appearances would have permitted the judiciary the space for some face-saving dissimulation. But in the post-impeachment phase of Rajapaksa rule, even pretences at justice are forbidden luxuries. The Siblings want everything done their way, immediately; clearly no judge wants to be witch-hunted out of office, as Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was.

The ham-fistedly unjust and repellently indecent manner, in which the impeachment was conducted, was no accident. It was done deliberately and consciously, in order to send a message to other (actual/potential) dissenters about the unbearable costs of non-compliance.

Very few people will want to get into an argument about ethics or justice with a deranged fanatic armed with a deadly weapon, sans any safety devises. Horrified by the fate of the Fourth Citizen of the country, most judges and lawyers would follow in the footsteps of UPFA leaders and parliamentarians, military personnel, bureaucrats and innumerable others. They will pretend to obey the rulers in public, criticise them in private and hope (and pray) for deliverance some day.

The comedic conduct of another key public official, the Elections Commissioner, is symbolic of the Rajapaksa notion of a ‘Good/Patriotic bureaucrat’; more disturbingly, it is indicative of how future elections will be stage-managed. Confronted with the discovery of a sheaf ballot papers marked for Candidate Sarath Fonseka, the Elections Commissioner bleated a resonant mea culpa; he took all blame upon himself, conjured a hypothesis and promised an investigation. During future elections, the regime will break all rules and regulations, and act with manifest injustice and unfairness (using violence whenever necessary). The Elections Commissioner will resolutely deny the existence of any untoward deed; if the deed is undeniably blatant, he will claim that sans the 17th Amendment he has no powers to intervene (that would be true; the 18th Amendment did to the post of elections commissioner what the impeachment did to the post of chief justice). The Elections Commissioner will always declare every election free and fair. The judiciary will always echo the Elections Commissioner’s judgement, in suitable legalese. And the Rajapaksas will always be Sri Lanka’s popularly elected democratic rulers!

Once the Auditor General’s Department is ‘co-ordinated’, the last holdout against the Rajapaksaisation of the Lankan state will vanish. The AG will then join the Governor of the Central Bank in singing hosannas to the Rajapaksa-genius. According to the Rajapaksa Central Bank, the economy is always growing, unemployment is always falling and inflation remains petrified at single-digits (even when prices in the market are soaring). Similarly, once the Auditor General’s department is co-ordinated, all financial mismanagement will cease, corruption will be a thing of the past and good governance will rule the land.

Arbitrariness and impunity are the staples of Rajapaksa rule, in every sphere.

The regime’s decision to impose a Ports and Airports Development Levy of 5% could have a devastating effect on a major foreign exchange earner – fuel supplies to ships. If the new tax is implemented, “Sri Lankan suppliers of fuel to ships could be pushed out of business…shipping officials and tax experts have warned” (LBO – 30.1.2013). Slaughtering the goose that lays the golden egg is Rajapaksa economics; to fund economically unsound ports/airports, the Siblings are drivingSri Lanka’s only functioning-port out of business!

In a similar vein, a crippling tax increase was imposed on bulk tea exports, by a gazette notification on January 23rd. According to the Tea Exporters Association, the Ministry of Plantation Industries and the Sri Lanka Tea Board knew nothing of the tax-hike until informed by horrified tea-exporters.

Accountability and transparency are as dead as human rights. Lankan democracy is not the only casualty of Rajapaksa rule.

The Siblings will purse their absolutist agenda with a sledgehammer and a chainsaw, depending on the judiciary, the military and Beijing to save them from the repercussions of their insanely-abhorrent deeds.

Read the Sinhala translation here ;  translated by Yahapalanaya Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Now that the boards are clear for arbitrary action by the regime, it seems we are going face increases in taxes and prices. January COL was up by 9.8% and that is not all. Further increases are on the cards. These cannot be challenged even in the courts as they are now under the control of MR / MP. Regime is ready to face any situation with the import of tear gas, batons etc.

  • 0

    Look at the formidable front to roll Rajapaksa.

    Cameron,PM of the United Kingdom.Harper the PM of Inuit Land.PM Rudrakumaran of the TNGTE.Surendran of the GFT,and Navai Pillai of the UN,

    Then you have Ranil, Mangala,ex CJ, ex General, Sambandan and TNA,Diaspora Pasiokothy, Mano Ganeshan, Professors Dhanapala and Savitri, Hultsdof hustlers, and the JVP.

    And Ms Thisaranee reckons Rajapaksa is not challanged and he doesn’t even bother about undies.

    • 0

      Either you should be deaf blind or sick as no repair can bring anything.

      Entire world incl lanken right thinking communities find the manner that MR and gangsters get forward with their manner – which is no compliance with internationl norms and ethics. Your bunkem cant help any one but poor masses in sl, now the world is clear that the bugger Rajapaske should leave his office.

    • 0

      The lot you quote are the Democratic Fronts of free citizens. It is
      under this so-called international democratic space that MR wants to be in undies – well protected of what he posses!!!!!

      • 0

        K A S telling that M R doesn’t worry or bother about wearing undies.

        some says “only ball catchers know how hard it is”.

        better to ask K A S [rental agents and brokers unlimited].

  • 0

    We need to come together in Sri Lanka’s hour of need. Educating the masses on what is happening is a good way to start. Please have these articles translated to Sinhala and make the articles quickly printable in large font. Make multiple copies of these articles and lets get the community involved in leaving it in every corner of Sri Lanka so anyone can pick it up and read.

  • 0

    Nothing left to hide. Patently accurate and chillingly prophetic.
    A brilliant piece, as always.

    • 0

      so prophetic that the logical conclusion will lead to no elections in
      the future – at least for some time, till the present bunch amass all
      that is possible and worship their tin-god – MARA.

      CPA already knows the result of their Case, as the first example
      cannot be any better,

  • 0

    K.A Sumanasekera,

    You, that fellow Leela Villager from Horana and Sudu Akka belong to the same ilk- Rajapaksa sycophants! How much does your trio get paid from the tax-payers money for your bum-sucking services?

    The three of you suffer from a huge inferiority complex on behalf of your masters.

    If you are the caliber of writers engaged by those at MARA’s head office to counter the views of writers perceived as anti Rajapaksa, then his downfall is nearer than anticipated.

    And you along with the rest of your ilk will be tried for treason against our country!

  • 0

    Nazism, nudity, impotence of the erections commissioner, impunity, arbitrariness, more amendments, more laws to suit, taxing times, all seem rather dismal and forlorn….Tisaranee should also try her hand at visualising the eventual renaissance for a change…

    • 0

      Oh Aney Deyane, Lasantha Pethiyagoda the great why don’t you please “try your hand at visualising the eventual renaissance for a change”…???!!!! Your tongue in cheek and flippant remarks are apparently psycho slips of your truer inner reality. If not provide the evidence or prove it to be otherwise by writing about the great impending renaissance whilst you too are still alive.

      • 0

        I think you’ve got the measure of that pseudo-intellectual Lasantha Pethiyagoda whose mental meanderings continue not to have ANY SENSE and merely consume space in CT!

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