14 November, 2018

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The Rule Of Law Or The Law Of Rule; Our Dilemma Of Governing Dichotomy

By Vishwamithra

“Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.” ~Bertrand Russell

‘We are all in the gutter’, so said Oscar Wilde. It may well be a fact that Wilde has a lot of company from a great number of Sri Lankans surrounding him in that stinking gutter. The gutter is filled with snakes of deceit; its decrepit condition is a birthplace for all infectious diseases; its floor is crumbling under the very feet of those who dwell in it as their chosen abode; its walls are dilapidated and cringing and threatening to engulf its inhabitants. Whichever direction its inhabitants gaze, despair and depression reigns as the only reality. A comical display of a pathetic bunch of populace, one climbing over the other while others are too preoccupied with our national pastime, pulling the ones who appear to be gaining ground to real ground, is fast reaching its final Act. A catastrophic tragedy might well be that final Act, peaking to a crescendo of wailing and desperate pleading of a miserable assembly of men and women. 

Such is a macabre manifestation of a people who have willingly chosen to substitute ‘the Rule of Law’ with ‘the Law of Rule’. An agonizing nation, attempting to rise from the ashes of a thirty-year old war, never trying to conceal their displeasure with the obvious, corruption to an uncontrollable extent, petty nationalism replacing genuine patriotism and pathological swindling being accepted as the standard procedure, invariably finds herself in a living hell such as the ‘First Circle’ as described in the novel of the same name, First Circle, by Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The inherent dignity in each human being living in the land was obliterated and shaded in unrecognizable colors so as to classify them as UNP, SLFP, and LSSP etc. Politicians, the demigods of the post-Independence era, have taken hold of the collective mindset of a people; their bigoted policy positions, their extreme social and cultural beliefs and their inexhaustible avarice for money and other mundane luxuries have subordinated the needs and necessities of a subject people.

This tragic transformation which has produced some drastic social and cultural consequences is as manifestly apparent as daylight on each morning. An ancient culture that boasted about the story of a damsel traversing from the Southern tip of the country to Northern peninsula without being subjected any form of waylay or harassment is now immersed in an obscene orgy of corruption and disobedience to traditional values. Politicians and, they alone, should bear the unpleasant burden of that truth. The truth that the politicians of all ages, barring a scarce few, from the dawn of the Twentieth Century to the present day, have never learnt the difficult skill of constraining the excesses of their own greed for more money and power and it is, for any generation, young or old, hard to live with that guilt in their conscience. 

Yet, after all these reasonable reasoning, ‘the Law of Rule’ seems to have overwhelmed ‘the Rule of Law’. Subjugation of the values that have been passed down the generations of our ancestors coupled with worshipping at the ‘temples of commission agents and corruption-merchants’ should not be tolerated as the norm. The more apathetic a populace looks and behaves, the more hardships and anguish they will suffer. Such stark truths may not appeal to the already-subjugated, but ignorance of ‘the Rule of Law’ which is the most dynamic, fundamental and dispassionate principle that separates the human being from other animals, is no excuse for any politician to subject his voters to these abject levels of deceit and treachery.

As to exactly when this phenomenon of replacing ‘the Rule of Law by ‘the Law of Rule’ did begin to occur is as faint as the mist that is evaporating with each passing minute on a bright sunny morning. Opening of the economy and its attendant excesses surely have caused many an alien concepts to be born and the real goods and services that reached our shores have expanded not only the scope of development they promised, they created in our collective mindset a nagging desire for more and more at the least possible cost. Color television, three wheelers, and high-rise buildings, were among all these direct effects of the opening of the economy. Yet when we were slaves to a closed economy, the revolting hardships and sufferings that generation of Sri Lankans had to endure are no figments of imagination. Those hardships were real and excruciating, even to describe, leave alone suffer. At the time, from 1970 to 1970, what reigned was not only excessive dearth of goods and services, ‘the Law of Rule’, manned and exorcised by Felix Dias Bandaranaike with the full blessings of the then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, also played more than a significant role in subjugating a people to exorbitant lengths and breadths in order for one single family to rule.

Concentration of political power in one person or one family is not only dangerous in the long run, it is even more so in corruption of the systems and processes of social and economic movement of the country. We witnessed the immensely injurious effects of that ‘Law of Rule’ in the ’70 to ’77 period and it was even more evident in the 2005 to 2014 period. Ironically in both these phases political development of Sri Lanka, she was ruled, although democratically elected, by one single family- Bandaranaikes and Rajapaksas respectively. Accumulation of wealth during these epochs was totally centered on the ‘Family’ and its closest henchmen and women. During the Bandaranaike period, ’70 to ’77, it was a closed economy and those who were close to the Family only gained any access to wealth-making projects and programs. The machinations of state-capitalism helped who were close to the ‘Family’.

However, during the ‘2005 to 2015 period, what was in the process was ‘crony capitalism’ during the operation of which, once again who were close to the ‘Family’ only gained access and ultimate ‘goodies’ from Family-sponsored projects and programs. Nevertheless, this state or ‘Family-sponsored capitalism’ generated sufficient wealth for the Family as well as its henchmen to boast of a growing economy. Those who were not academically or professionally qualified, yet being siblings of ‘King Rajapaksa’, overnight turned into deliverers of results thanks mainly to the fact that more than 65% of the annual budgetary appropriations were assigned to these two siblings. They are nothing but political scavengers of the Twenty First Century. For them ‘the Rule of Law’ was of no material value. Assigned the Ministry of Defense to one and the Ministry of Economic Development to the other, they literally ran riot. White van syndrome, murder and insufferable harassment to members of the Fourth Estate, suppression of legitimate protesters, and murder of friends of their lovers were all among the alleged crimes committed during this ‘Family Rule’.

On the other hand, 10% to 30% commission accumulations even before a contract was awarded to their friends in the commercial field, First Lady’s brother running berserk in Sri Lankan Airline, sons making a mockery of democratic government and allegedly running wild in night clubs and other places where erotic desires are fulfilled, conducted their own ‘Law of Rule’.

What has followed their dramatic fall from power is a climate in which the these political scavengers try to reap the harvest of a vicious and malignant campaign against the current Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe who is as guilty of providing his opponents with the fodder by way of now infamous Bond-Scam scandal. Yet there is no evidence of ‘the Law of Rule’ being present within the confines of the current regime. Of course, there is sufficient number of rumors and unproven allegations against some Ministers, including the Prime Minister, and other members of the coalition government. But such allegations and the comparable amounts of corruption evaporate when taken into comparison with those committed by the Rajapaksa regime. If such allegations reach the levels of the past regime, rest assured, this columnist would be among the first to criticize and castigate the wrong-doers. The quotation by Oscar Wilde with which I commenced this column runs thus: “We are all in the Gutter but some of us are looking at the Stars”. It remains one of the most inspiring quotations of all time. We may all find our own struggles excruciatingly painful and depressing, yet if we focus our energies towards one single goal- the Rule of Law– we might achieve it someday.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com    

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Latest comments

  • 9
    3

    Great piece. VM has spoken not just for himself but for many of us.

  • 18
    0

    Every institution can be subverted . You can appoint your lifelong buddy as Governor of the Central bank and rob the country.
    Same with the judges. Sarath Silva who was Mahinda Rajapakses Best Man and good drinking buddy heard cases that involved Mahinda. In the helping Hambantota case he even punished the complainant for making the complain against Mahinda.

    Prasanna Jayawarden was made a judge by this UNP government . As a judge he heard the Bond scam inquiry which involved several UNP ministers and mainly Ranil wickramasinghe.Prime Minister Ranil was given VIP treatment at the inquiry and they did not want to probe the matter deep.The prosecutor was not even allowed to cross examine him. Instead the AG came to court and went through a big farce.
    Now it has transpired that Prasana Jayawardena’s own daughter has been appointed by the UNP government to a ministry position while the father was inquiring into the government involvement in the Bond scam.
    Was justice done in this case by the judge ?

    • 3
      0

      kola.
      The country is in deep SHIT thanks to the people who elect these parliamentarians. It is a very sad state of affairs and there does not seem to be an end to this sad story. The Judiciary is just as corrupt as any other government institution.

  • 11
    1

    By allowing Rajapakses to come back and take a centre stage despite all their misdeeds, MS and Ranil lost the control of the country. Two of them had their own reasons for allowing that and are still unable to punish Rajapakses and their stooges although their past doings are revealed on a daily basis

  • 8
    4

    Vishwamitra,
    “Ranil Wickremesinghe who is as guilty of providing his opponents with the fodder by way of now infamous Bond-Scam scandal.”
    Yes, 90% of the population are totally convinced of the existence of this “bond scam” , the “loss” from which is claimed to be the greatest in our history by various TV pontificators . Ranil himself is to be blamed for the situation. The man is so arrogant that he thinks nobody would understand if he explained how bonds work. He lets the Rajapaksa acolytes go to town with all sorts of wild allegations without effective response. None of these characters, especially on Sirasa, are able to come up with concrete figures.
    Compared to the bond scam, the losses from such Rajapaksa projects as Mihin Air / Mattala/ Hambantota/ SriLankan etc, are magnitudes greater , but the population has been brainwashed into regarding these as “development” .

    • 5
      0

      OC,

      Ranil or Mahinda or Gota or Sirisena ………… all I know is I don’t know anymore

      All what I know for sure is ………. in another 100 years Lanka will be the same; nothing would have changed.

      I’ve been deadly accurate on that score ………. Sumanadasa has contacted me behind the scenes ………. and wants me to be his astrologer.

      It’s sorta like the reinsurance business ……….. astrologers having their own astrologers ……………

      • 2
        0

        Nimal,
        “All what I know for sure is ………. in another 100 years Lanka will be the same; nothing would have changed.”
        Well, maybe we’ll have traffic jams in the sky too., a harbour in Nugegoda and a real VW factory.

    • 1
      0

      Oldcodger,
      Mattala airport and Hambantota harbor are assets to this country although dumbitiots did not want to accept it. Ranil was jealous because President Rajapakse implemented these projects that Ranil planned. Ranil deliberately dumped paddy at Mattala while there were many places that could be used to store paddy to create a bad image among international community. Mattala and Hambantota are complementary to each other. Giving control of these national assets to rival parties could be a disaster for the country. Raaaneel does not care for the country.

  • 9
    0

    The fact is there is a dictatorship of the judiciary and we the people have no forum to complain except to the Human rights commission in Sri Lanka

  • 9
    0

    As always Brilliant Vishvamitra.

    Prof Sarath Wijesuriya had stated yesterday that MY3 and Ranil had let down 6.3 million very badly and taken them for a ride.

    • 0
      0

      Manipulated from above with Western funding, crawling behind Sobhitha
      Sarath Wijesooriya and the whole NGO cabal took the people for a ride when they made a set of crooks who had always been there look like a brand new set of prophets descended from heaven. They could successfully brainwash the people with hatred and poison the minds of minorities. When the inevitable has manifested itself and the obvious has hit the face and realising that people cannot be deceived out of reality anymore they have now started blaming the media for the rise of Rajapaksas. We believe Rajapaksa saved the country and will always vote for him.
      Soma

  • 3
    0

    The reason has been nothing else, former goons, They are handling Media men of largely circulated newspapers and TV channels.
    Today, he has been painting the picture, that the current men have been doing nothing… the fact is they hav ebeen doing even better than had been before. But some blocks are there due to the setbacks they faced with foreign investments. Rd and construction have been better managed by current men than had ever been before. Baellige putha et all and his media make it worst to build up a picture in favour of them.
    Tourists have arrived to the country as no time before.. thanks to the current govt.

    Yesterday for example, one servile journo in his subjugated tone raised the question, as to why Mahinda Rajapakshe did not allow the then Health Minister not to gofor Moragahakannda Reservoir project. – the bugger at once said, yes, if he did so, then former health minister today Prez should too be responsible for that. Journos raised questioned did n t utter a single word against the former goon… just fell his head down and moved away. That is how former Mugabe style man of Srilanka, responded to journos… this country jornos are the most parasites by today.
    This i s very sad situation. As we perfrectly know if Journos would send the message TRUTHful and meaning ful around, things could turn out to be differen twithin days as glass wall would snaps into pieces within seconds.
    No, journos have balls to stand against it. CT thank you too you..but you are not being followed by many iwthin lanken circles.
    Just few men joined to exchanged their thoughts, that is saddedn situation.

  • 1
    4

    I know Dr Rajitha & Son walked over bags of Cash, in fact to the tune of USD 18 Billion in the Arab Bank.
    Mr Mangala the new FM confirmed it from his Western Intelligence contacts.
    Rajapaksa to his credit told Dr Ranil to bring it over and take it to pay the Bills.
    But so far neither Dr Ranil nor Mr Mangala have done so….
    In contrast , Dr Ranil’s Royal College Chum and and first Yahapalana Central Bank Governor has gone missing, after awarding LKR 11 Billion Bonus to Son in Law and the Massina, to make them the richest family in Colombo.
    Dr Ranil now says he can’t even find the Mobile Phone number let alone his Chum Mahendran..
    Wonder whether it is Rule of the Law or Law of the Rule…

    • 3
      0

      There is no rule of law in this country ever but there was some degree of low level of corruption in the early years of administration ( I mean after 1948, luckily they nation did not have Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist govt before 1948) but the level of corruption at the government level peaked to maximum between 2005 and 2015. It was an open robbery by a family and its associates and the tule of law was completely dead. People thought it will change after change of family kingdom but sadly it is getting worse and people are nowhere to look for a change.

    • 2
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Wonder whether it is Rule of the Law or Law of the Rule…”

      It is still Gota’s law.
      People and functionaries are scared to against him in case if he comes back with vengeance.

    • 1
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Rajapaksa to his credit told Dr Ranil to bring it over and take it to pay the Bills.”

      What are you talking about?
      Rajapaksa knows full well his mate Ranil would not do anything that would undermine/endanger him and his members of family as agreed on the early morning of 9 January 2015. As the lokka’s official b***s carrier I wrongly assumed you are aware of everything that is happening around Rajapaksa family. You are indeed a pleb.

      Has Namal Baby resolved his family dispute with his uncle Basil? Its mainly related to the distribution or division of all known loot or shall we say stolen state properties.

  • 1
    1

    Vishvamithra, A brilliant piece depicting the insidious reality of the blessed island called Sri Lanka.

    “Assigned the Ministry of Defense to one and the Ministry of Economic Development to the other, they literally ran riot. White van syndrome, murder and insufferable harassment to members of the Fourth Estate, suppression of legitimate protesters, and murder of friends of their lovers were all among the alleged crimes committed during this ‘Family Rule’”

    You have succinctly captured the essence of the Rajapakse cult which will surely engulf us all again like an uncontrollable wild fire more powerfully than ever if GoTa or any other Rajapakse is allowed to rise.

  • 2
    1

    Nobody should whitewash anybody, both are corrupt to the core.

    A thief is a thief whether stole a single rupee or a million.

    It’s up to the people not to elect both.

    It’s up to other parties not to align with both.

    Want a system to do away with PCs, means 1/3 of rouges are kept aside.

    Reduce LG & parliament MPs by 50% means 50% of remaining rouges are kept aside.

    Then it’ll be easy to prosecute the remaining few 1st & prosecute later the others who don’t enjoy privileges by that time.

    Irony is that international community too is aligned with 2 culprits to their advantage.

    Let them not intervene.

  • 1
    0

    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/

  • 0
    0

    “Rule of Law or the Law of Rule”? NEITHER. Example: The “First Citizen” of the Country, the “President” and the “Second Citizen”, the Prime Minister; both DID NOT honor the summons to appear in Courts to testify in the case against Mr. Tissa Aattanayake, who is charged on “FORGERY” of the signatures of the above mentioned witnesses. On the THIRD occasion of their failure, the Judge said, if they fail again, there is no alternative but to DISMISS the case. Now both the President and PM have been issued with summons for the FOURTH time to appear in Courts. “IF” they do not honor the summons on this FOURTH occasion, very likely the case will be “DISMISSED”. So, is there any space left for the Sri Lankans to rely on “Rule of Law” OR “Law of the Rule”? It is no “DILEMMA”.

  • 0
    0

    Vishvamitra says
    “But such allegations and the comparable amounts of corruption evaporate when taken into comparison with those committed by the Rajapaksa regime”
    I say amounts of corruption alleged to have committed by Rajapaksa evaporates when taken into comparison the ending of the 30 year terror war AND amounts of crimes alleged to have committed under Rajapaksa evaporates when taken into comparison those of 1982(Jaffna library), 1983(Black July ) and 1989(Bheeshanaya) committed by UNP.
    We will forever be grateful to Rajapaksa for the freedom from the constant fear of blown into pieces and saving us from the deadly consequences of Prabakaran-Wickramasinghe pact – this country would have been an ocean of blood if not for Rajapaksa.
    Soma

  • 0
    0

    However gloomy is the picture, who knows Sirisena may be entitled to say someday
    ” Rajapaksa saved the country from Prabakaran and I saved the country from Wickramasinghe.”
    Soma

  • 0
    0

    The fall of Justice, law and order in Sri Lanka is mainly because we have very weak Ministers in charge of these ministries. Its time Law and Order (including Justice) should be brought under one ministry and Sarath Fonseka should be appointed as Minister. Unfortunately the head of the Government is not in favor of this after his chat with Gotabaya.

  • 2
    0

    Good writing as usual V. But, ending very predictable trying to save the present regime. Fact is that Sri Lankans have been pushed from one snake pit into another or rather voluntarily jumped from one to the other over the years. In the new era, what has happened in that the corrupt rich will stir up trouble in order to keep themselves rich by diverting attention to race and religion so that they could steal more.. The electorate, will comply as usual bought through the newly acquired wealth of the corrupt. So, all it takes for Gotler is to have the business buffoons to get behind him and have another dictatorship in which they could go on swindling the wealth of the country after giving the Mahayakkas a few more Benzes.

  • 1
    0

    Oh vishavamithra – CIA ffiendly, MI5 friendly, Mossad Friendly, RAW friendly, JI Nahi for China. Sri lanka will be on Sale when the dollar hits Rs 200.

    • 0
      0

      Better be on sale to the Yanks than to the Chinks. At least we are used to the Yanks.

  • 0
    0

    Sri lanka’s next prime minister will be one who ha dhis personal foundation to help children, He developed the country by sand mining and felling Trees in ginthota. (he bought the Ginthotoa wood processing machines). Will import australian cows for muslims slaughter houses. will build a high speed rail ralines form Ngeombo to Gampaha and beyond. Be proud.

  • 1
    0

    “Of course, there is sufficient number of rumors and unproven allegations against some Ministers, including the Prime Minister, and other members of the coalition government. But such allegations and the comparable amounts of corruption evaporate when taken into comparison with those committed by the Rajapaksa regime.”

    Why has the Government taken no action against the Rajapakses, so far? Gota is even protected by a Court Order from being investigated on the Avant Guarde racket.

    Is it because MR possesses Files against ALL MPs as he claimed when he was in power, and these Files would make life Hell for All or Most Ministers and MPs in the Government?

  • 0
    0

    Picked this off someone else fb. guys here can compare:
    O Canada…..What a cabinet:
    Minister of Health is a doctor.
    Minister of Transport is an astronaut.
    Minister of National Defense is a Sikh Veteran.
    Minister of Youth is under the age of 45.
    Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a former farmer.
    Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was a Scout.
    Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development was a financial analyst.
    Minister of Finance is a successful businessman.
    Minister of Justice was a crown prosecutor and is a First Nations leader.
    Minister of Sport, and Persons with Disabilities is a visually impaired Paralympian.
    Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coastguard is Inuit.
    Minister of Science is a medical geographer with a PhD.
    New titles include
    Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees was an Immigration critic.
    There are scientists in the cabinet, and it is made up of 50% women.

  • 0
    0

    RANIL AND MY3 CALLED THEIR GOVT AS UNITY GOVERNMENT.BUT IN REALITY IT IS NOT.THEY SPENT THEIR TIME MOSTLY UNDERCUTTING EACH OTHER AND INFIGHTING.WHAT EVER SAID AND DONE MAHINDA TOOK ACTION WITHOUT FEAR AGANIST ANY WHO DID NOT TOW IN LINE WITH HIM LIKE THAT OF SARATH FONSEKA.RANIL AND MY3 GAVE ENOUGH TIME AND SPACE TO MAHINDA GROUP TO REGROUP AND PREPARE TO DISTROY DELETE LOT OF EVEDENSE AGAINST THEM BY USING ALL BLACK MONIES AVAILABLE WITH THEM.ANY BODY CAN WRITE ANY LONG ARTICLE ABOUT MAHIANDA GROUP.BUT THEY WILL NEVER WILL BE PUNISHED.THAT IS THE REALITY AND GROUND SITUTATION

  • 0
    0

    Vishwamithra’s angst is visible in the title “The Rule Of Law Or The Law Of Rule; Our Dilemma Of Governing Dichotomy”

    No no no. There is no ‘dilemma of dichotomy’. Both teams have match-fixed.
    We the voters have this dichotomy “Which of the baddies do we choose?”
    .
    By he way Bertrand Russel moaned about moral decay.
    And Oscar Wilde self-pitying (??)
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on brutal oppression of dissent.
    We have to accommodate the culture of corruption/nepotism/impunity.

    Aren’t we doing well!

  • 0
    0

    What Vishvamithra does not quote from Oscar Wilde is that, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the starts”.
    What is the under lying reason for all these pro Yahapala, pro western , pro English Speaking, Elitists and their hangers on are trying to do by continuously whining about doom and gloom, when all state services are functioning (The schools, hospitals are operating, exams are conducted, government employees are paid, pensions are paid, welfare recipients are paid, kades and super markets are filled with goods and buyers).
    More and more I hear this prophesy of gloom and doom I am convinced this is a strategy to make people not come out to vote, and may be even to create public unrest. Beware my friends something sinister is cooking!

  • 1
    0

    Fact of the matter is that Appa Sira got only 15 more months and he’s gone forever. Oh what a relief!

  • 0
    0

    There is a rumour (more than that) and a suspicion from the guilty party that one minister to whom Ranil says “Mahathena” may be positive for some Sexual (but not venereal) disease. So, he had asked a simple position such a national list in the next govt and not a minister post.There are many in that category. this specific one is saying now it looks we don’t have rights to live here.

  • 0
    0

    What these Articles bring out is to confirm that Srilankans hold the world title to bull-shit and bluff. They certainly do not belief in nor understand what they write about. Only to serve the ego.

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