23 September, 2020

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The Parliament Has Left The Building; Let’s Elect Some Fools

By Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

Yesterday was historic. The US Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, the Dutch sued their government and ordered it to cut down on carbon emissions, and President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved the 14th Sri Lankan Parliament.

And I, with great personal strength, managed to say no to a piece of chocolate cake.

Those are three amazing things. The first two have world-changing implications; the third is something we Sri Lankans have been waiting for. The fourth is between me and my stomach.

The 14th Parliament – the one that just left the building – was a mess. It was assembled in 2010; a war had just been won, securing a landslide victory for Mahinda Rajapaksa and the United People’s Freedom Alliance. The UPFA won 144 seats; the UNP fell to 60 seats; the Tamil National Alliance was left with 14, and the other 7 went to the Democratic National Alliance. Rajapaksa (and his brothers in politics) were left firmly in control, flexing their political muscle and finding out just how much power they had.

MervinHistorically, our Parliament hasn’t been very effective. After all, it’s 225 dissenters trying to govern a country the size of Greater Delhi. Sri Lanka’s history has always been one of headstrong Presidents. But it is pointless laying the blame at the feet of crooks; after all, we elected those crooks.

This is our reset button. Here’s what we need to do:

1) Weed out the fluff  – Parliament is chock-full of people like P.H. Piyasena (a secondary mouthpiece for the Rajapaksas) and A.H.M Fowzie (a man whose most notable achievement is life is almost getting killed by a suicide bomb).

These are people who don’t do shit. They’re mostly there for the ride. They’re practically interns in the great ship of Parliament. Interns don’t belong on the board of directors.

2) Beware the thugs – Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Eliminating the strong-arm element from any government is practically impossible. At some point, behind at least one politician in every government, is a bunch of dangerous, violent men.

However, amnesiac ministers dueling each other with guns is taking it a bit too far. So is Malaka Silva. Come on. Civilized society is where men in power write memos and dig up embarrassing affairs and ruin political opponents for life with a letter-to-the-editor.

Now that we know who’s more likely to go Rambo on people, let’s not vote them in. If we can’t do without thugs, at least get the refined ones. We need people who know how to handle power and present the iron fist in a velvet glove – not a bunch of crack peddlers living out Snoop Dog fantasies.

3) Put the economists and the diplomats in charge – Our finances aren’t great. Neither are our foreign relations. Despite having a rising GDP, the cost of living is pretty high, wages are pretty low, and it seems you either have to be of the upper-middle class or a government employee to actually make any money.

And that’s mostly because the country’s largely been run by ex-lawyers, nationalists, communists, and people with arts degrees convinced in the holy trinity of culture, heritage, and pissing off the West.

All of these people tend to be excellent orators and power brokers, but at some point someone has to do the accounts. Intellectual stands are very fine, but what we need more is sound financial math and someone capable of shaking a hand without looking like a barbarian. Having a track record of jail and university politics cannot be a valid qualifier.

Will all this happen as needed ?

No.

Sri Lankans, despite being very nationalistic in matters of race, don’t seem very nationalistic when it comes to politics. The basic rule of thumb for the average voter seems to be “if I suck up to this guy, what do I get?” or “my vote is for the SLFP!”

That’s a very poor way to vote, but this situation isn’t unique – after all, America managed to end up with a bunch of Senators who don’t believe in climate change, which in my book is right up there with believing in the Easter Bunny. That’s how democracy works. You get a vote: so do the idiots.

We can make a difference, though. We already made a difference in ousting one President-turned-King. All we need to do is pay attention to who’s being voted in.

Forget party loyalty. Everybody’s capitalist at the end of the day; the only true communists are dead or poor, and nobody’s completely socialist, either. Examine the people. If a party’s putting forth a lot of dumb people, now would be a good time to switch allegiance. If a person is a Rajapaksa, well, don’t vote for them.

You might actually be able to make a difference, however tiny. Enough of these differences will stack, and a large handful of good people in Parliament might actually turn the tide.

I’m reminded of something John F. Kennedy said about the moon missions. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things,” he said. “Not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

We must choose to do things things, not because they are easy, but because they are right.

*Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is a contributor to Colombo Telegraph, his articles can be found on his blog, icaruswept.com

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Latest comments

  • 14
    0

    Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

    RE: The Parliament Has Left The Building; Let’s Elect Some Fools

    In a country Full Of low IQ Fools who else to Elect other than Fools.

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    Sri Lanka Average IQ = 79

    Those Who Voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa , IQ = 65

    Those Who Voted for Sirisena , Av IQ =93

    Singapore Average IQ – 108. Support is given below.

    National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

    he intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

    Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

    Singapore 108

    Sri Lanka 79

    Zambia 79

    Let’s Elect Chatu MaRa,. The fools deserve him, and the Liars, Crooks, Robbers and criminals..

    MaRa MaRa Chatu Mara Amana Mara

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pfpgn_Y7-w

  • 14
    0

    Not this time buddy. I think the younger generation will surprise everyone.As they did in the presidential.

    • 5
      1

      Start praying thinking this won’t happen again and criminals, dumb looking faces, thugs, con-men and women won’t be the legislators, executives and governors of the country.

    • 2
      0

      Yudhanjaya Wijeratne,

      “To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires.”
      -W. E. B. Du Bois-

      Cheers!

      • 2
        0

        Ben Hurling

        Yudhanjaya Wijeratne writes:

        “people with arts degrees convinced in the holy trinity of culture, heritage, and pissing off the West.”

        Aren’t we proud of our culture and heritage of pissing against the wind, while keeping our mouth open?

  • 19
    0

    Interesting and well written! and more to the point,quite correct.

  • 1
    13

    Instead of writing bollocks you should have eaten the piece of chocolate cake and gone to bed. Gay marriages world changing phenomenon. Get a life buddy.

    • 1
      1

      World changing indeed!

      Don’t you think gay marriages might be the solution to the population explosion?

    • 2
      4

      I want to bury my dong so far down his throat that “Patriot” will never again be able to get one word out of it again.

  • 10
    0

    Thanks for putting things straight

  • 10
    0

    ‘The Parliament Has Left The Building; Let’s Elect Some Fools’ should be rephrased to ‘The Parliament is empty without all the elected donkeys; Let’s another bunch of rogues be elected to fulfil the fate of Sri Lanka’.

    Look at some of the elected MPs. Oversized, virago looking and white saronged and shirted goons progressively eating the society.

    All these fellows must be caught and put in the decaying Lanka Kalyani and left in the middle of the ocean.

    Governance of Sri Lanka must be subcontracted to the Indians or to the British for al least 10 years with the specific mandate for them to implement a durable constitution for Sri Lanka.

    Enough is enough. I am getting fed up with Sri Lanka. I rather be a British.

    • 0
      3

      Nirmalan: are you Anglican too ?

      • 3
        1

        Jim Softy

        I British tolerate. Though I am a Hindu I do not go to temples or any other worshipping places.

        I am very liberal thinking. I hate religion mixing with politics.

      • 1
        0

        Jim softy

        “Nirmalan: are you Anglican too ?”

        Are you the one and only K A Sumanasekera, crab walker?

    • 2
      0

      NirmalaN

      “The Parliament is empty without all the elected donkeys; “

      Amarasir objects to comparing donkeys, and downgrading the donkey’s status.

      Pig’s would have been more appropriate, because they are peoplesfunds.

      MaRa MaRa chatu Mara amana Mara Ans Chatu Mps.

  • 14
    0

    A fantastic piece of writing. Truth embedded in humour. Keep it up.

    PS: Do translate this in Singhalese and Tamil. There is too much wisdom and good opinion floating around in English. The masses who create actual change hardly get to see the truth in such articles.

    • 2
      0

      This is very true ..it is no good that only those educated in english can read this witty and well constructed article ..get it to all those who only speak and read sinhala and tamil ..their vote is as important as the intellectual amongst you ..and there are many more of them . Buying votes with rice and arrack should be a thing of the past ..vote for a better future not more of the same PLEASE

    • 0
      0

      Pot Shot and Yudhanjaya Wijeratne

      “A fantastic piece of writing. Truth embedded in humour. Keep it up.”

      Yes.

      Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, can you be Sri lanka’s Thomas Paine and write the Sri Lankan Common Sense Phamplet.

      The Sri Lanka Phamplet is begging for an Author.

      The Preamble of chapter ! Could be Raja MaRa Chatu Raja MaRa Amana MaRa…

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places.

      Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2] As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title.[3]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[6]

  • 7
    1

    Well said and lets hope the citizens of this land will not vote for rascals to rule us

  • 2
    1

    We get what we deserve. On Jan. 08th 2015, we got what we deserve. Hopefully on Aug. 17th. this trend will continue.

    Until it is universally accepted to have a minimum educational qualification to vote, more thugs will get returned.

    In the US voters with low knowledge or education are referred to as ‘Non-college educated or low information voters.’

    Though the literacy rate in Sri Lanka is high, compared to its neighbours, our tolerance and knowledge base is pretty thin among the vast majority, who can still be made to believe that Prbaharan will rise up from the dead and that the LTTE still poses a threat to the Singhalese people.

    I hope the majority is enlightened.

  • 1
    0

    A very nice piece, embodying humour and many of the “eternal verities!” Thanks very much and I am sure there are a whole bunch of CT readers who’ll look forward to more of the same!

  • 0
    1

    @nirmala n, so, one can’t be a believer and a liberal, eh? When I say a liberal I don’t mean an atheist gay drunkard weed user womanizer gambler, should I? I think it’s a tolerant level in a multi cultural society however the tendency is to push towards a monoculture tradition by political economic compulsions and considerations! Sorry state of affairs, you won’t get a club.

  • 0
    0

    Navin

    I want to put a gold coin (a masuran) in your mouth for what you have said about the Patriot. To this person everyone is an idiot. He has never proved his own ingenuity by doing something concrete.

    Nilame

  • 1
    0

    Whatever you guys do, please ensure that you vote for someone who knows his 6 from 4 (borrowed from a newspaper cartoon) and that 62 is bigger than 58. Or is it the other way? I am not quite sure.
    And to hell with principles!

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