“Yahapālanaya; doctrine and practice of Good Governance”: is being subjected to close critical scrutiny by educated, enlightened and progressive social forces all across the Land. It is posed as a central point of discussion and debate within the progressive political discourse in Sri Lanka. It has acquired a renewed sense of urgency and imminence. This is due to several interrelated factors.
The immediate context is the deep, even agonized and terrified, sense of betrayal that people feel for the broken dreams and promises. The Rajapaksa Regime was defeated and displaced by a large majority of people who had just had enough of the reeking corruption, rampant abuse of power and wanton self-aggrandisement which it had come to concentrate and symbolize. They had become just sick and tired of the lies, deceptions and delusions sprayed upon them on the way to the “Miracle of Asia”. The path to the ‘Miracle’ had ended up in a rude mockery of Nature and cunning betrayal of Humanity. It proved to be a dizzying haven for drug lords, war lords, marauding racketeers, corrupt politicians, bloated bureaucrats, rapists, torturers, murderers, extortionists and other types of such infective, parasitic, venal social species. Mahinda Rajapaksa was the kingpin – the Godfather – of this Mafia State. The overthrow of Mahinda Rajapaksa was the result of a gathering experience and conscious awakening of the intolerable depth of violation of nature and humanity that had defiled and defamed us all, individually and collectively. It is the dawning of this great and portentous realization of being played and taken for a ride that turned the tide.
The people had become infuriated at the filthy extravagance of these elected criminals who bloated and satiated at the expense of the exploited, deprived and suffering masses, who were desperate to survive. They were furious at the grotesque display of sociopathic egoism, brute arrogance and shameless moral debauchery and decadence of their rulers. The Sinhala, Tamil, Moslem, Hill Country Tamil nationalities and various minority ethnic-religious communities joined together to give protest to the discrimination, exploitation and violent suppression they had experienced under the chauvinist-militarist-hegemonic unitary state and dynastic dictatorship set up by the Rajapaksa Regime. Then there were those Capitalist entrepreneurs and upper, middle and lower classes that began to feel the tremors of an inherently unstable, dependent and lop-sided neo-colonial, crony capitalist economic regime. There were those who were simply repelled by the terror and horror of a Mafia-driven Criminal State, which had preyed upon, robbed and played us all. Those who were more politically conscious were also aware of the impending critical vulnerability, instability and volatility of being dragged ever deeper into the vortex of inter-imperialist great power rivalry and contention, and being lined up as a link in their chains of command in exercising global, imperialist strategic advantage and supremacy. They felt that the Land and People of Lanka had increasingly become hapless pawns in a deadly game of strategic international chess, to which the Rajapaksa Regime had delivered their country, their life and future. There was a certain feeling of encirclement by foreign powers that had come to threaten our national unity, sovereignty, independence and freedom due to the politics of survival of the Rajapaksa Regime. Some – many – desired that we would move away and break with any decisive strategic military alliance or partnership with China identified with the Rajapakse Regime. They favoured a closer economic, political, diplomatic and strategic-military cooperation with the so-called “Western Bloc”, particularly with the US at the lead. That would be to their profit and pleasure. Every player is slicing up the cake in tune with the power and influence of their foreign masters. So, there were these international factors, conditions and players that also played a most decisive role in setting the context for the mass resurgence and resistance that found expression in the electoral victory of Maithripala Sirisena as Executive President and the establishment of the “YAHAPALANA REGIME”.
This historical confluence of social forces and historical factors synergized to produce the demand for a profound, radical and enduring democratic restructuring of the State and a corresponding ideological reawakening and liberating transformation of the people. The masses began to believe that they could play a role, a powerful role, in changing history and transforming society. They felt the power of awakened political life and consciousness. The advanced forces felt that could bring political power to the people so they may play their role in deciding their way life, the form of their social organization, their leaders and teachers, and their future. There was a kind of generalized, electrifying consciousness among the masses that if they got together they could drive away all monsters, demons and predators from the Earth. They certainly could and would drive out the Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime in this manner. This was the rising spirit of daring, agitation and defiant protest of the masses that ignited and inflamed the ascending Call for Unity, Independence, Freedom, Democracy and Decency. “YAHAPALANAYA; became the rallying slogan for all this coalition of forces. This great popular demand and aspiration was then processed, packaged, ribboned, marketed and sold as the Promise and Dream of YAHAPALANAYA. Mr Maitripala Sirisena, former top minister and spirited enforcer of the Rajapaksa Regime, was then duly cleaned, scented and dressed up to be projected by the various political players, brokers and enforcers of the State as the new Saviour, the Compassionate Liberator that would deliver the people to the shores of peace, independence, solidarity and prosperity. A living icon of simplicity, purity, goodness, enchanting village charm and trusting faithfulness.
Now, that promise and that dream is shattering and turning into yet another horrible nightmare. The magic is dissipating and evaporating more rapidly than even that of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Regime. The illusion is being rent apart, as truth and reality asserts its domain. There is to be no agenda for a profound, radical and enduring democratic restructuring of the State. There surely is no corresponding spiritual reawakening and liberating transformation of the State and the whole System. There is only the same vulgar, self-seeking internecine conflict and intrigue between equally petrified rival blocs and fractions of the very same degenerate ruling class fighting for their share and their turn at exercising State power to rob and rule over the people and mortgage the Land to next bidder. Instead of delivering the people to the shores of peace, independence, solidarity and prosperity, the country is being thrown into a veritable vortex of volatile and violent confrontation. Imperialist and regional powers are sinking their fangs ever deeper into the lifelines of the country. It is true. The CIA, RAW, ISI, MOSSAD and Chinese agents have deeply penetrated the strategic, security, intelligence and surveillance lifelines of the country, promoted and protected by their various agents and puppets in power. We remain divided and pitted against each other, while vampires and wolves conspire to bleed and devour us from all sides.
The chief crony-mafia marauders of the Rajapaksa Regime are riding high, gaining credibility and momentum among its reactionary, chauvinist social base. Yet, none prosecuted! War crimes but no war criminals! The Anti-Corruption Crusade has vaporized due to inside horse trading, much as in the Stock Exchange. Like the billions in gold said to have belonged to the LTTE and recovered by the Rajapaksa Regime, the vast fortunes robbed have not been traced nor returned to the people. It seems that the real crimes of all top criminals simply vaporize into yet unproven allegations, and their trillions of stolen assets too vaporise. It is the wealth that belongs to the country and to the people that has been looted. Mahinda Rajapaksa should have been simply arrested on the provable charge, with ample evidence, of conspiring to rob the democratic mandate of the people, along with the likes of Mohan Pieris, G.L. Peiris, Lalith Weeratunga, Wimal Weerawanse and others who were clearly complicit. Conspiring to rob the democratic mandate of the people is even more serious and heinous than the highway robbery of trillions. But not for Ranil. He even arranged a helicopter for Mahinda to return safely and securely to Medamulana. Not for the UNP. Not even for Yahapalana missionary Sirisena. What a pack of conspiring jackals who gorge on the dreams and aspirations of the people. The UNP has proven that it is as capable of massive wholesale corruption and abuse of State power as the Rajapaksa Regime. In purpose, scope and objective, the Central Bank scam is as vile, highhanded and criminal as any of its predecessors. Some of the most notoriously corrupt, viciously abusive and terminally repressive politicians have been recruited by the Sirisena Regime. There is no democratic settlement to the National Question in sight. Political prisoners continue to languish in the dungeons. Land robbed from the people have not been returned. Rape, child abuse and drug abuse remain rising attesting to the steady and irrevocable moral crisis of civilization. There is no solution to the astronomical levels of indebtedness, dependency and vulnerability. Corruption reeks from every pore, just like before, but with more finesse and style. Sirisena is to be credited and merited for having irrefutably demonstrated that none of the trappings of liberalism and bourgeois democracy can hide the ‘naked, parasitic, terrorist essence of a defunct and moribund Capitalist Dictatorship’. These are the various reasons, factors and forces that have emerged and combined in historical confluence and contingency to raise the Question “The Myths and delusions of “YAHAPALANAYA”: What’s the Agenda?” System Change; Regime Change; OR Revolutionary Seizure of Power?; as the most urgent and central topic of the day.
That the balloon would burst so quickly and spill its foul, accumulated filth all over, and that promises, dreams and illusions would shatter so rapidly, is the only surprise. That Sirisena would appease, compromise and collude with those of the hated Rajapaksa Regime and even Mahinda Rajapaksa himself and his dynastic cabal, and so betray his mandate so swiftly and shamelessly, only shows that the prevailing neo-colonial STATE and its political SYSTEM has exhausted all possibility of any form of genuine and lasting democratic transformation and moral regeneration. It has transmogrified into a dying corpse spilling out its worst bile in the throes of its prolonged, cancerous death. The upcoming General Election would be just another exercise in repainting and changing the colour of the very same defunct Capitalist State and dictatorship. Another play in the deadly game of chess. Yet another futile experiment in the deadly trap of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. The typical, time-proven game of the Capitalist System, whereby the masses are divided, manipulated and herded to decide which fraction of the rotting ruling class shall take turns in wielding the class dictatorship, selling the country and in bleeding them that much more, all over again. And this, in the name of their sovereignty- in a ‘five-star’ democracy!
Not everyone will agree. Still some may believe in magic, myth and illusion. They may cling to the old and decaying rot, fearing of leaping to a bright new future. But, the oppressed classes, masses, nationalities and communities, guided by those who “Have Nothing to Lose; except their Chains: But, a World To Win!”, shall find the way to identify their common interest in uniting and organizing themselves for the real seizure of State power, for the revolutionary overthrow of their oppressor State, together build their own State, and take command of their life and future. That just would depend on where we stand and how we decide.
It is time for honest progressive forces to come to stone terms with reality and face the icy truth. The prevailing imperialist-driven, neo-colonial, Capitalist State and Political Order, along with its dependent and lop-sided economy cannot be changed from within, bound by the rules of the game as enforced by the Rulers. The Capitalist State and Political Order cannot be reformed. It has far outlived its historical function in serving colonial domination, exploitation and slavery. It must be forcibly overthrown by the conscious, united, organised revolutionary struggle of the masses, who will design and plan out a State and a Political, Economic and Social Order based on achieving genuine national independence and a vibrant mass people’s democracy. A new Way of Life that gives expression to the democratic political will, unity, independence, dignity and equality of the sovereign people of Lanka. It will take immense conscious, united and self-sacrificing effort on the part of the advanced, enlightened, liberated and responsible social forces to take the stage of history, to map out our collective future and chart our shared destiny. The impending organic crisis and ensuing chaos will inspire more open, honest, intense discussion and debate. The Question; the Myths and Delusions of “YAHAPALANAYA”: System Change; Regime Change; OR Revolutionary Seizure of Power;? should not remain just as a central and urgent point of discussion and debate, but a Call for Commitment and Action! A Call for Mass Rebellion and Revolution; This is the Call of History and the Need of the Hour! If We Rise and Fight Together; We shall surely WIN our Power, Independence and Freedom!