29 September, 2020

Blog

The Suicide Of Sirisena & The Return Of Rajapaksas

By V. Kanthaiya

Let’s start with a question. How do/did you feel when you get low marks during your school exams? And how do/did you feel when your best friend also got the same marks? My life has ups and downs. Very few ups and so many downs. And it is always comforting to see that I am not the only person in a chaotic situation.

My dear Colombo Telegraph readers, let me introduce Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, the president of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, who is in a complete chaos and openly announced that he is preferring to commit a ‘political suicide’ as he is very much disillusioned with the Yahapalanaya he promised to deliver us in 2015. This act of Sirisena has driven the final nail on the coffin of Yahapalanaya and exposed the naked truth that the good governance is a complete failure in Sri Lanka. This may be shocking to the rationalists. But one should understand that this is Sri Lanka, a country where the proven logical, economical, mathematical, political and philosophical theories go wrong.

First of all, good governance is a possible but not a feasible political model in Sri Lanka. The people and the media may like it, but not the politicians. I ask you another question. Do you think all the politicians are risking all their wealth and competing fiercely with each other, just to serve the people? The aggression and the brute force used by the candidates during the election would make me think that why all these ‘to be saviors’ are fighting among themselves; rather they can take the chance of serving the people one by one and try to redeem us from our political, social and economic miseries. Also if they are passionate about serving the people, they can simply do it even without entering into politics.

Like every professional & businessman, the Sri Lankan politicians are more concerned about their own career growth and the return on their investment. The good governance concepts, especially transparency, rule of law and right to information are something anathema to them. The UNP took the good governance concept not because the party was determined to bring a change in the entire political culture of the country, but they needed a differentiation factor to attract the voters. Sirisena was chosen for the candidacy not because he was a champion of the values of democracy, but just to split the SLFP and embarrasses the Rajapaksas. The key players of the 2015 silent revolution (?) had their own political goals, which did not align with the goals of good governance.

The political system of Sri Lanka which include getting the candidacy, getting the money to finance the campaigns, jobs to the supporters and the business contracts to the party donors cannot be done through a transparent and just political system where the public would have the utmost authority. One should note the fact that even though both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe came to power saying they would punish the corrupt politicians and the bureaucrats of the Rajapaksa regime, only a few were charged just with minor offences in the court of law and only two, Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpitiya were found guilty and sentenced with rigorous imprisonment and then the duo was later released on parole. Yes! Miracles do happen, maybe not to you and me, but to the affluent and the politically powerful.

With the foundation of the Yahapalanaya being so weak, we need to look at the other factor, the Rajapaksas. No one can deny the fact that on 9th January 2015 most of Sri Lankans and the other concerned international stakeholders thought that the Rajapaksas have met their demise and gone forever, just like what happened to Prabakaran and the LTTE. But Rajapaksas are not Prabakaran, to wage a ‘do or die’ war. They are hardcore politicians. Politics is their family business and it is in their DNA. Many liberals and rationalists thought the strength of Rajapaksas is the political power and the authority. They forgot how the Rajapaksas came to power.

The real power of the Medamulana family is their ability to forge alliances. Mahinda Rajapaksas is a person who gives you what you want. He never projected himself as a policymaker, a statesman or an eminent economist.  He just projected himself as a person who would deliver what the common man wanted. In 2004, General elections, he promised he would create 40,000 employment opportunities for the graduates. He promised the Sinhala masses in the south that he will protect the motherland and will not give the ‘Eelam’ to LTTE. He promised the Tamils that he is prepared to hold talks directly with Prabakaran and determined to bring peace. He forged political alliances with the Muslim parties and then with the Sinhala Buddhist ultra-nationalists. He made a deal with Prabakaran to stop the people voting for Wickremesinghe in 2005 presidential election. It is a known secret and the Yahapalanaya has failed to prove that even after they came to power. When the war started, they made deals with Karuna, Pillayan and the EPDP to crush the partisan movements in the government held Tamil areas. They made deals with India to effectively manage the western pressure on human rights. They made deals with China for the unlimited supply of weapons and ammunition. This was the success story of the Rajapaksas in short. They were really good at balancing the stakeholder interest very well. The fall of Rajapaksas in 2015 came due to a stakeholder mismanagement, when India together with the western world felt that the Medamulana family was taking them for fools and siding with China.

Even with their loss of power in 2015, the Rajapaksas never lost their vote bank and they still hold it. They are the one and only hope for the Sinhala nationalists who are always in a constant lookout mode expecting an invasion of Tamils from Tamilnadu or Canada or even from the Andromeda galaxy. For them, Rajapaksas are the god sent saviors and the warriors protecting the Sinhala Buddhists from the Tamils and Muslims.

Now with the final nail driven on the Yahapalanaya coffin, in the coming weeks or months we are going to witness the potential Sirisena-Wickremesinghe split and ensuing political circus to retain their political existence.

So what is going to happen to the attempt to establish the good governance culture and the future of Sri Lanka?

Well! My advice is not to talk about establishing the rule of law, corruption-free, transparent and efficient state in Sri Lanka in public. The general public would think you have gone insane. At this moment, they feel the threat to Sri Lanka is the Tamils and Muslims in the country. They are prepared to vote for any devil which would preserve the unity of the country and the Buddha Sasana.

The political culture of a country is just a collective reflection of the common man’s mind. We can’t try to bring a developed country’s political culture to Sri Lanka because in the developed country, the common man thinks the values of democracy are his fundamental rights. But here in Sri Lanka, the common man is frightened of people from other communities and think he is in an imminent danger and the state should protect his race and religion. 

It will take Sri Lanka another two or three generations of time to move to a political culture based on the values of democracy. Until then, politicians like Rajapaksas and their cronies will thrive.

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Latest comments

  • 34
    5

    Absolutely true.. great analysis. for a common who man who wants to prosper, concentrate on your personal development or migrate to a developed country. there’s no hope for the land of native veddah aththo…

    • 2
      0

      If RajaaKSHEs would be back into power[edited out]

      This nation has always proved …[edited out]. People would never let Rajapakshes to abuse the state as had been the case from 2005 to 2015.

      Today the staticians report that the sum of the debts … over 84% are the ones made by MR terms than anyone s elses.
      Howeever they had been enjoying the grace periods set prior to 2015.

      • 0
        2

        Saimon Appu, your appearance here shows Rajapakse is coming back. Stop being a fool. Do not write anything against MR and make things worse for yourself. Tell others of the group too. The situation is becoming critical and anytime things can explode. Take care and shut up.

        • 2
          0

          Pinguththarayas of your nature would not know anything beyond.

          So we woul dnever allow Rajapakshe animals to get back.

          There we will lay all the stones on his way… wait and see.

          Gone is gone, never want our folks to be misguided by the bugger et al again.

    • 3
      0

      Anyone even with a brain the size of a needle head would agree with you Kanthayya.

      Srilanka is a bin where only idiots have been promoted. As you well articulated, most would not want to respect the norms of good governance that have been practised in developed world. Their representatives getting elected in any elections held, promote their kind of brutal highly abusive politics.

      These words on Yahapalanaya are just no go.. so long the majority folks would remain like lab rats.
      Lanken buddhism is the other hurdle any good politicians to divert from good steps to the worst wherre exremists would have been pleased.
      Yesterday I heard hearing Sivura wearing pingutharayas asking Rajapakshes not to join hand with the govt. No means according to them would be a good step. Actulalyl what I wish in today s context, if Rajapakshe would finally feel to be away from Active politics would be the ONLY best for the future of SRILANKA.
      This man should be out of our sights the name of god.

      Long serving leader of Zimbabwian, in 1923 born Mugabe has resigned few days ago. But our Mugabe to get back and ruin the nation as had been until 2015 would be a like Kabalen lipata watiimak… falling from frying pan to hearth. :::
      God bless our folks !

    • 1
      0

      Dude Kanthaiya: Think positive and work to educate the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim masses, who have been divided and ruled by corrupt politicians who are also Sinhala. Tamil and Muslim.
      Do not be so negative and trade in ethnic sterioytypes of the Sinhalas as stupid racists!
      The fact is that the battle is between the people and corrupt politicians and the people united will never be defeated!
      Sri Lanka has a third force – JVP which pushed the Bond scam investigation and anti-corrupt civil society and they will ensure that neither Mahinda Jarapassa and brothers and sons, nor Ranil Wickramasinghe’s cronies network will win next time around.

      • 0
        1

        LOL this fellow is a LTTE supporter so there is no surprise about him getting agitated about a possible MR return. MR will remain a powerful political block for a long time. If he and the rest of his liberals and rationalists thought MR was done with in 9th of January, those liberals and rationalists were simply being extremely stupid….so think twice about calling yourself rational………..Tamils seem to care a lot about the label with no focus on the substance…ryt?

  • 23
    0

    Thanks Mr. Kanthaiya for a good piece, after some time. It simply states ground
    reality?
    Unless MS has a change of heart, we are going down the slope. He must take a
    do or die stand at least now as a way to the end.

  • 23
    0

    Sri Lankans are between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea.

    One set of scoundrels after another. All out to look after themselves, not the people.

  • 10
    0

    A good piece.

    One step froward and two steps back or two steps froward and one step back.

    Finally there is always a forward movements..Going back is a strategy.
    This is progress.

    But if you always go back,because there is no possiblity of forward movement and until you exhaust your back movements and when there is no more back to go then what happens?

  • 10
    0

    A great summary of the situation today.

  • 10
    2

    Well analyzed. The sad part is educated people in Sri Lanka who understand the true picture live in a bubble. They do not integrate with the villagers where most of the votes are. There is no point in presenting the real issues in the English or Tamil media. The educated Sri Lankans must go to the villages and expose the one sided presentations of Derana and Island media. Media in Sri Lanka do not do fact checking. There is no one who does fact checking, its time a group of Sri Lankans fact check all political statements and make comments. It may even be better if the Media Ministry makes it compulsory for all media to fact check and make comments when political statements are made and not just publish lies.

    • 0
      1

      LOL can those city dwellers stop thinking they are some kind of intelligentia? The villagers are smarter and have more common sense. They do make the right choice. Isnt this failed YAHAPALANAYA itself a proof that city dwellers are idiots when it comes to selecting rulers?

  • 14
    2

    Man, man, to all those who are beating the tom, tom for Mara and cabals. People value freedom more than food. Yes, there are short comings in Yahapalanya which could be corrected with constant vigilance and pressures but during Mara time, how many journalists and people opposed to them got unmercifully beaten up and killed, infilicted great harms and kidnapped. Thousand of them ran away for their lives and still living in other countries. We had a time, where not in the open but even within the same household in private people were terrified to talk to each other about the rulers or the government. Forget about the rich, even normal people got dead scard to put large sum of money in banks, all kept their money under their mattresses, if they get know they send their goons to get it. All business people and property owners were so much scared to do any deals fearing if they get know that they come for it. Why property market was so much depressed at that time in Colombo and around the country, no buyers, for people were dead scare do any deal. Many people were forced to part with their prime properties and cash cow businesses for a song to their front men. Not only they royally robbed the country’s coffers but they robbed even private individuals as well. Still all of them silently suffer, unable do any thing about it for the fear of the goons of MR and cabal, all of them are still well looked after by their loots, and these people are ready to do any thing for them. These front men are holding for them hell of lot of prime properties which they acquired in this filthy manner. Are all of you lost your memories? Vote for them, and bring them back again, later to run for your life.

    • 2
      0

      oMr Somasiri, You are right We do have freedom and for what ever the reason property market is up but the poor and even the middle income earner find it impossible to make ends meet. I am a Sinhalese. YOu have not understood what the writer is sayying. Please read again. Today MR is a threat again simply because the Govt failed to do its job; We dont know who is behind the reason for not prosecuting the thieves; is it MS or is it RW? we can only guess. Unless MS & RW get together and do what they promised, we are doomed. MR or Gota (who would be worse because he is an out and out dictator. We all know what he did when his brother was president. Imagine what he would do as the President) may yet become or leader and MS & RW would be treated in history as the two leaders who absconded their responsibility and betrayed the nation.

    • 2
      0

      Wrong, What freedom can you enjoy without food. You wont worry about freedom if you have enough of Food, shelter, sex.

    • 1
      0

      It is not freedom but chaos due to non-governance……That is what you have now

  • 8
    17

    The writer has focused only on Rajapakshas and he tries to promote undue fear of Rajapakshas without any substance. He tries to thrive on all sort of allegations against the previous government since 2015. The present government could not prove the mega-scale corruption allegations. That is not because there is a deal between Rajapakshas and this government hierarchy. If they have a prima facie evidence against Rajapakshas, this government would have already locked Rajapakshas. In the context of the Bond scam, the biggest robbery since the independence, Ranil would prefer to arrest at least one big Rajapaksha to distract the decadal scale corruption charges against the UNP leaders.

    There may be weaknesses in the previous government but they were able to achieve stability and a certain degree of development in the country. Do you think people just go behind Rajapakshas? Do you think all Sri Lankans who support Rjapakshas are a bunch of fools to believe one man irrationally? That is not true. The people are still behind him just because People know that he can accomplish a given task. He was defeated due to the political shock due to the split of the party during 2015 presidential election. In Sri Lanka, all most all the political splits have resulted in a defeat to the respective party. That is natural because supporters demoralize and split themselves.

    • 3
      1

      Absolutely correct. This writer tries to emphasize that MS and RW are still in the path of good governance and are statesmen.

  • 5
    12

    On the other hand, the writer has to have a genuine fear of crooks in the UNP including its leadership. The UNP led government has destroyed the political and economic stability of the country. That will affect all communities and it may create a political unrest in the near future. The outlook of such a struggle may vary as per the geographical context. In the North and East, it will look like an ethnic-based struggle and in the South, it will be like the situation in 1988/89. But the people who participated in any struggle would be downtrodden people battered with economic hardships. Therefore, this writer has to get rid of his undue fear about Rajapakshas and should reanalyze to understand whether you will go with a one who does nothing but blaming or one who can accomplish the given task at least to a certain degree of satisfaction.

  • 6
    2

    Somebody has woken up to the reality! Wake up call is still ringing for others who are in deep slumber; Dear friends, systems can not be transplanted. Let them evolve. Sri Lanka is not an exception. The failure of the Yahapalana experiment is a good case in point.

  • 8
    3

    This is a true analysis independent of ethnic back ground in Sri Lanka!
    Our people are used to this corrupt system, They appreciate when suspects get brutally assaulted die in police custody.
    They appreciate when politicians attack media, tie people to trees!
    Everyone wants power! Money, Position.
    Buddhism summa!

    This is why we need our own brand of politicians, We cannot impose liberal values to our people!
    When did they ask for human rights? They ask for jobs, hospitals, schools, homes!

    This is not common to poor, Even the middle class upper middle class thinks the same.
    Use the connections to by pass the queues, Bend the police, Bend the law, Get a school to the child!

    Even the people here who promote empty yahapalana brand,

    Some dreams about Eelam/federalism.
    Some dream about dollars.
    Some dream about suppressing Sinhalese majority.
    Some support UNP – Kapuwath kola!
    Some truly believes in right action! I sympathize with you

    I think one has to understand the traits of Sinhalese, You can push them to a certain extent, But push them too far. They act and then think!

    Excellent article for dreamers! Thank you Kandaiyya!

    • 7
      3

      srinathan.gunaratnam

      “Some dream about suppressing Sinhalese majority”

      You are right. The noisy Sinhala/Buddhists minority (branded in 1920s) not only dreamt of suppressing the Sinhalese majority but has successfully been crushing them since 1950s.

    • 1
      0

      Srinath, I fully agree with you and of course with the writer

    • 2
      0

      Wise words from an another ass kisser of Rajapakshes.

      I find the article of Mr Kanthayyia is fine, but I really dont think if moderate thinkers would get together to line behind a civil society candidate like Mr Nagananda can work for a better future than bringing all rotten men back to represent us.

      Srianath, you have been living in UK for the last few decades. If your behaviour is not due to any kind of pathological reasons, you should better be aware, that Federalism or the like models have brought properity to Europe.

      So give us one single good argument, why you guys stand on the way any model near to Fedealims. Dont you think like us the majority folks all other minority folks ought to be blessed by equal rights.

      How would it be, if Britisch govt put you behind a barrack in the rest of your life, calling you as a refugee who sought a greener pasture in UK ?

      Would you nod your head further or … live like a dog hiding his tail behind the rear legs ?

      • 0
        0

        Dear Ajith
        I am beginning to hate violence, So may you be well!

        I am an ardent fan of Naga and you have to question, How many moderates are you talking? Would SLs will vote for him?

        I am against any sort of devolution because, It is all about management,
        Improving efficiency.
        Cost cutting
        Value for money
        Customer satisfaction
        Growth
        Strategies
        Employment
        Productivity

        SL is a small country, It is a waste to money pay salaries to parasitic MPs whose only agenda is to get rich. It does not matter Sinhalese, Muslim or Tamil!

        British governed this country with Kachcheri and they did well in a centralized environment. That is more than enough for SL.

        All we need 30-40 MPs from all the districts with a cabinet of 20 ministers. It is very cost effective and efficient. Apple runs a global business, How many board members do they have?

        The more devolution we have more separatism we have!

        What we have in SL is a social issue,

        No rule of law,
        Corruption
        No human rights
        No accountability
        No equality, it is rich/connected man’s paradise!
        No justice

        Do you need a devolution to fix them?

        Go to a night club, star hotel and see, Is there racial discrimination? All are brothers, married to each other. merry making!

        You can bring thousand constitutions, thousand words, Where there is no will to achieve greatness, brotherhood, empathy, compassion; Nothing improves!

        Politicians of all community cheat, lie, look after personnel interests!

        I thought may be I need to learn Buddhism first!
        So may be I try to teach others Buddhism first!
        One must have to start somewhere!

        • 1
          0

          srinathan.gunaratnam

          I hate to see you growing into a child. I am afraid you might start evolving back into homo neanderthalensis, australopithecus, dryopithecus, …………………………..

          How can we help you?

          • 0
            0

            Isn’t it that innocence that we had when we were children we lost along the way? May you be well too!

  • 2
    1

    Suicide of one might be suicidal for many.

  • 8
    1

    Mr.Kandiya

    Do you have a vision for Sri lanka. It is a pipe dream. Not two or three generations for Sri lanka to move to a political culture based on the values of democracy, the country has to go to some foreign hands in order to move the country forward. Democracy is a dirty word because the politicians turn and twist it to suit them , not only in Sri lanka but all over the world, politicians thrive on it.

  • 3
    0

    No hope, I might as well vote with my feet!

    • 1
      0

      thrishu

      Were you voting with your a**e all these years?

  • 5
    6

    Sinhalese since independence are greedy for eat all cake alone.
    They do not want to share national resources with Tamils and Muslims. They want to keep all under their control ?.how long and haw far?.they are ready to do anything for this at the expense of their national interest ..
    Sinahsle do not care about Sri Lanka but care only communal interest .
    Good governance is fake .
    It is a joke

    • 0
      0

      So Tamils and Muslims are not enjoying natural resources in SL?

  • 0
    0

    Can you please name one variety of all cakes Sinhalese (except politicians) are eating?

  • 2
    1

    It is indeed a good write up, Mr Kandiah. ‘Yahapalanaya’ or Good Governance is not going to be a reality in Sri Lanka. As long as the current political culture prevails in this country there won’t be prosperity for our economy and our rupee value will slide down further and further. We can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Present political culture is all about money making for themselves at any cost regardless of their position and the trust pledge on them by the people.

  • 1
    0

    As I had mentioned before what we have is DEMOCRAZY, as far I can remember there was never a government with true values in SL, leave alone mother Lanka, most of the Asian and African countries are of a SHAM, The leaders are elected by so called free?? and fair?? elections and that includes Zimbabwe,Kenya, SL,Pakistan …… and the list goes on.The citizens are responsible for their decisions more than the so called leaders.

  • 2
    0

    The title and contents are a bit alarmist.
    It is getting established that the game is between two home teams. One side plays the language/religion football. The other side plays with a show of reluctance. The spectators of course enjoy the game.
    Will the football ever get changed?

  • 2
    0

    “The UNP took the good governance concept not because the party was determined to bring a change in the entire political culture of the country, but they needed a differentiation factor to attract the voters. Sirisena was chosen for the candidacy not because he was a champion of the values of democracy, but just to split the SLFP………….The key players of 2015 silent revolution (?) had their own political goals, which did not align with the goals of good governance.”

    Very true. It was not so silent, may be secret and certainly not a revolution. There was no profound change to call it a revolution. In fact the project is an utter failure in all dimensions. For the past 3 years they were only bashing the previous regime and nothing constructive has been achieved.

    • 1
      2

      Hela

      You are not only 2 and 1/2 years late but 2500 years backward. When the country is blessed with people like you, why do you think the country would succeed?

      • 1
        1

        Veddo,

        Don’t fill the space with garbage if you have nothing of substance to say.

  • 2
    2

    “They are prepared to vote for any devil which would preserve the unity of the country and the Buddha sasana”.

    Why?

    May be better for Kanthaiya to ponder and explore bit more about this question. That threat perception has been built in the collective consciousness through historical narrative VALIDATED by practical experiences.

    For examples, recent practical experiences such as the “genocide” resolution passed in the NPC, insulting the national flag in the North, bashing the heads of Sinhala students at Jaffna university, forceful feeding of cake on VP’s birthday at Vavunia campus. People know through their collective experience that none of those occurred during Rajapakse tenure, because perpetrators would know the consequences very well. They know there are NO consequences under the present one sided “sanhindiyava”. People know through their experiences that these unchecked incidents are a prelude to another round of a more vigorous secessionist campaign (even violent). They have sensed that the constitution making process is geared towards facilitating the ground for such a secessionist attempt.

  • 1
    0

    K Pillai

    Where do Sampantha and Sumanthira stands in this football game? Among the spectators ? Yes sometimes with reluctance. At other times Didn’t you see them in the Parliament canteen with a glass of beer in one hand and looking at the game ( not watching intensely ) in a big screen, and making noice occasionally to show their supporters that they too are part of the game ? Poor lads they were not considered even as reserves. That must be the reason Kandiah Annai omitted to mention them in his excellent article.

  • 1
    1

    “They are prepared to vote for any devil which would preserve the unity of the country and the Buddha sasana”.

    The 30 year war imposed on them and the continued provocations and threats have taught them nothing else. It is a lesson taught to them in blood and tears.

    Kanthaiya might need to address his Northern brethren on the need for an alternative approach than the continuation of present strategy and trajectory.

  • 1
    0

    Ranil has drive the last nail on Srisena Government’s coffin and you Kanthaiya has driven the nail on his head.Amen

  • 0
    1

    LOL and another LOL

    How do you feel when those who celebrate Prabhakaran talk about democracy? Isnt that such a huge oxymoron?

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