23 May, 2024


This Government Is Bad But The Alternative Is Terrible

By Vishwamithra

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.” ~Mark Twain

On January 8, 2015, the people of this country unreservedly placed their hopes and aspirations on line. Their expression in the exercise of their fundamental right to vote couldn’t have been clearer. They elected a new government. They rejected the Rajapaksa-led coalition that, in their opinion, was corrupt, nepotistic and fast approaching the threshold of despotism founded on family-bandysm. What would have happened in the event the Rajapaksas were elected again 2015 would be another tale to tell, yet for the good fortune of all Sri Lankans that did not happen.

But with passage of time, almost four years, those hopes and aspirations have all evaporated like a fading mist against a furious, rising sun. They didn’t vanish overnight; nor did they give advance notice. But the coming of disaster was definitive. The one critical factor that bonded the coalition together, the bond between President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, broke asunder. Within a matter of mere 24 hours, to the astonishment of the entire country- except perhaps not to the conspirators of the unsavory event- the sitting Prime Minister was summarily removed and another sworn in. Mahinda Rajapaksa, thanks to the stupid decision of the President, had another short political honeymoon in power for 50 days! 

What the people witnessed during those 50 days gave a glimpse of the type of government that they would have if the 50 days continued for another few years. The unleashing of the fury of Mahinda’s comrades-in-arms was manifestly attempting to control the House of Parliament. They met more than adequate, legitimate and legal resistance from the real leader of Parliament, the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya. But there won’t be Karu Jayasuriya as Speaker in the event the Rajapaksas form a government again. Behavior of the Rajapaksa disciples under a ‘friendly’ and weak speaker would be unimaginable. Leaving the safety and decorum of such an august body of governance to a ruffian garbed in national dress and ‘Pohottuwa’ badge is not acceptable to any decent Sri Lankan. The Rajapaksas in a socio-political context are an abysmal example to the country. There is no argument about it. Slanderous gossip, alleged financial crimes in addition to boundless greed, self-indulgence and obsessive nepotism have all added up to a practice of lifestyles one should not follow.

This socio-political example set by the Rajapaksas has assumed exponential proportions with the growth of a special class of businessmen and women whose solitary aim in life consists in gaining proximity to the powers that be and gaining access to the numerous unsolicited tenders and government-sponsored work which eventually bring enormous financial benefits both to themselves and their foremost clients, the ‘first family’. The most bizarre aspect of the culture that these political vagabonds set out to establish as a norm is this abrasive character of over-indulgence in material wealth and insatiable appetite for women and wine. 

The heavenly atmosphere that enveloped the state machinery began devouring the mere mundane. A very few who possessed a probing mind could detect the cracks and fissures of the veneer that covered an utterly corrupt and dishonest disposition of a family seemingly devoted to the five precepts of Buddhism. That culture is not for our children who pursue a role model. The victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) is no license for the rape of the country they allegedly saved. In addition to this rotten culture that they were instrumental in creating and then injecting it into the surrounding brethren of society, the continuous stay in power gave them false hope of power for lifetime.

It is this obsession of lasting power that ultimately killed their political ambitions. Dividing the country’s financial powers- by way of yearly appropriations called the Budget- among the three brothers, Mahinda, Basil and Gotabaya, the first family ran the administration like their own private property. This malpractice of financial administration continued as long as the regime lasted. Inflated budgets within their grasp helped them to further their stature in the country as super-men; unlimited access to the government coffers afforded them an unadulterated opportunity to ensure a false image of efficiency and go-to men. The average man and woman did not know nor did they understand the realistic position of this malpractice of government and its financial administration.

Given this totally unacceptable culture and the socio-political ethos, so created by the Rajapaksas with the unexpressed acceptance of a large part of our population, took their winding and unkind journey for nearly two decades. The most distressing aspect of this political dynamic is the total docility of our people. Treatment of bribery and corruption as part of the system is truly dreadful. For the hardworking man, it is brutally unfair; for the school going child, it is unpromising and for their henchmen and women, it is salivating and alluring for more and more money and power. It is indeed a bad alternative.

Yet today’s voter may have already forgotten about these past misdeeds; even if he does remember, he might let these vicious and heartless memories go, for his engagement with politics matters only on the eve of an election. And it is in this context of forgiving and forgetting climate the current government of Ranil Wickremesinghe has failed so miserably. Not pursuing the allegations against the former first family to its logical end has come to haunt them. Mark Twain said: “The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” The very promise that the coalition led by Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe held out to the voters in 2015 has fallen flat. The so-called corrupt politicians of the last regime are still free and even daydreaming about coming back to power in order to do more damage to the fabric of our society.

After the Bond-scam scandal the so-called Yahapalanaya image has flown out the window. The broken allegiance between Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister and Maithripala Sirisena, the President is beyond repair. Yet the air of freedom, especially among those who practice journalism and writing is soothing and seeming to be lasting. The establishment of the various Councils to govern the diverse sectors of the administration machinery seems to have taken control the best illustration of which was how independent our judiciary was during the attempted coup enacted by the Rajapaksas aided and abetted by the Executive.

However, the current administration is bad; yet the alternative is beyond terrible.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com   

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Vishwamithra……Just refer to Mr. Gerald Pieris of the alternative

    • 6

      Civil society must call with one voice for Sunil Handunetti of the JVP to contest the next presidential elections. As COPE Chairman he exposed massive UNP-SLFP bi-partisan corruption and has not been involved in silly antics of supporting Bondscam Ranil against Clown Sira unlike AKD.
      At the end of the day, Trumpland’s puppet Bondscam Ranil is a far bigger danger to the people, economy and security of Lanka than any other politician at this time since he is looting the country and aiding the setting up of US military bases in Lanka. Next there will be nuclear weapons from Trumpland in Lanka which should be an island of peace and call for the de-militarization of the Indian Ocean.
      Sri Lanka has not changed its abysmal ranking in the global corruption index these passed years.
      Time for JVP which has a youthful face to lead this long suffering country!

      • 3

        Right on Dilma, Nuclear weapons from Uncle Sam may be the next shipment to the Trinco logistics hub!
        Time is ripe to get rid of Traumpland’s puppet Bondscam Ranil and US citizen Gota and his clan. Time for a third force to lead and contest next presidential elections. Handunetti seems well positioned as AKD has been supporting RW and playing constitutional games to abolish Presidency, which has been the only slight impediment to Bondscam Ranil looting and selling Lanka to his Washington backers.

        Having crashed the Sri Lankan economy with the help of Trumpland and proxy Japan linked Sovereign Bond traders, which together with ADB and JAIC own 75 % of Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt, with Bondscam Ranil and his butterfly mafia leading the charge, Trumpland is now running Lanka’s economy and endangering security of Lankan while Japan’s latest fake “aid” PPP project is to loot the Pullmodai mineral sands. Meanwhile, US citizens Gota and his brothers are fiddling while Lanka burns and Bondscam Ranil attend weddings of the Rajapaksa heir in Hambantota. The UNP-SLFP bi-partisan corruption racket partnership in the Diyawenna Parliament was brokered by Uncle Sam in the name of FAKE RECONCILIATION to further Trumpland’s Cold War agenda against China in Lanka. Bondscam Ranil, Trumpland’s puppet, must be impeached for looting the CBSL and endangering national security, and time for JVP to come to the fore.

        Time is ripe for JVP to take over

  • 6

    Why should the citizens of Sri Lanka tolerate a bad Government. Time for the people to ask for the new constitution that removes the President Post to passed in the parliament or for people to vote for it as a REFERENDUM. The Public aren’t keen for the provincial elections to be held first.
    Time for the public to discuss on how to solve the country’s issues in the media / universities and parliament.

    • 5


      “Why should the citizens of Sri Lanka tolerate a bad Government.”

      The Sri Lankans (whatever that maybe) do not value democracy and freedom as both were given to them on a platter without any real struggle or pain.

      Even though the island was ruled by foreigners for over 450 years it has not brought any progressive change among the people who enjoy modern facilities yet live mentally and emotionally in feudal times and wage tribal warfare time to time outside and inside the island among themselves.
      Don’t forget tribals fighting for their respective turf in CT.

      For them heroes are those who had committed worst human right violations, war crimes, …………. example, VP, Rohana, Dr Gota, Dr Mahinda, …… DIG Udugampola, Sarath Fonseka, …………… still command respect among their supporters despite their record on war crimes between 1987 – 1990 and after.

  • 6

    It is quite appropriate the picture has been photoshopped to show MR as Hitler.

    It is due to Hitler’s anti British-Jewish-colonialism campaign (and Japan’s) that the British had to stop their blood sucking of countries like ours, pack up and go home. That is why Hitler is still being painted as he devil by the Jews.
    MR did the same in 2009 to the modern Jew thief David Milliband. That is why Zionist America launched the 2015 conspiracy as revenge. These leeches have been like that throughout history.
    Low-life fifth columnists shitting under covers like Vishwasatru, Native Vedda and Amarasiri are their co-criminals trying to subvert us through the www.

    THEY SHALL NOT SUCCEED, and will have to leave this country soon.

  • 2

    Who are you to decide that. If, (BIG IF) elections are held voters in this country will decide.
    Why these Civil Right goons who kept on ba*king loudly for democracy during the 52 days are dead silent for not holding elections. This Government brags about setting up independent commissions but the statement by the Chairman of EC shows political interference. Funniest thing is one member of EC went to courts to stop the election called by the President. Is he approving the decision taken by this Government to postpone elections indefinitely giving all kinds of shitty excuses. If EC cannot do their job, all the members should resign and tell the truth to the people. Oh! I forgot. If they do that they lose their handsome salaries and perks. So, ‘go to hell with elections, let us have a good time.’

  • 5

    Vishvanithra: How dare you say you love the country when you say RE-ELECT THE BOND THIEF AND THE GANG as the previous gang of thieves is not liking to you. Ranil is just one factor among the gang of Samanalayas and the Neo-Liberal Gang. CAn you write a list of thefts, briobes, destruction and corruption the Bond thief govt did. Now they are ready to make the Country a paradise by the Time of the election.

  • 4

    SRI LANKA soon will be bankrupt country. Thanks LTTE is finished. Otherwise, we would have been long time ago.. 70 years these political idiots managed to fool public. Mostly Public in Sinhalese community have fooled with talk of nationalism. Now, all pay the price. do not blame politicians; They are morally corrupt as Machiavellian says. they will do murders for power. but why public are fooled by them. So, blame public not them

  • 2

    I do not know who or what this Wiswamithra is ! But a bootlicker of Good Governance. Now they know that their journey come to an end in the latter part of 2019.

    Voters are more intelligent than what you think, Wiswamithra or Bond Scam Mithra.

    Further, the following statement is exactly coorect.
    “‘Yet today’s voter may have already forgotten about these past misdeeds; even if he does remember, he might let these vicious and heartless memories go, for his engagement with politics matters only on the eve of an election.””
    That is why they voted for RW and UNF in 2015, despite the following history:

    1. Referandum or Kalagedi and Lampu game with uncle Dickie in 1983.
    2. Batalanda and Killing of 20000 or more JVP and others
    3. Suriyakanda massgrave.
    4. Killing of innocent 1980 July strikers who asked for Rs 300.00 salary increase.
    5.IRC, Rapist and murderer, Gonawala Sunil, becoming a Justice of peace after 1977.
    4. Statment made in the Parliment by well known “‘Gonkata”” saying “”Going Parmankda instead of Killinochchi.””
    Do you want to remind some more. Then please write your next article about governance and democracy.

    • 4

      Sunil Dahanayake

      “Do you want to remind some more.”

      Yes please.
      Could you start from 1948.

    • 1

      Yes! the alternative may be terrible. but it is better to have a terrible alternative rather than a Government which smiles while it smiles pull the carpet under the feet.
      People will be forced to rise against the alternative but not against the so called ‘pleasing’ government.

  • 4

    Vishwamithra, Why aren’t the Younger LEADERS in the UNP putting their Names for the Next Presidential Election–Be it Sajith or Gamini.D ‘s son
    They should be going around the country to gather support for ‘JUST’ country eliminating corruption,bringing in Peace and Harmony in the country. They should be countering those who try to encourage racial and religious intolerances. These people should be brought in front of the courts. Gnanasara SHOULD NOT be released from the Jail under any circumstances and BBS declared a ‘terrorist’ organisation.
    After seeing the wedding of the youngest son of the King, I agree with JVP Leader’s comparisionof both the Government MPs and Opposition MPs are playing deceiving GAMES [cricket match] in front of the [gullible]voting public.

  • 1

    Vishwamithra has hit the nail on the head here “This Government Is Bad But The Alternative Is Terrible”
    We know the ‘Government’ and the ‘Alternative’ are both bad.
    To convey the message Vishwamithra may consider changing the title to “The Moral Differences In The Two Teams are Terribly Trivial”.

    • 1

      Militarisation and sustained annihilation of North and East of Sri Lanka
      Since the end of war in 2009, the North(and to a less extent the East) became intensely militarised. When the IDPs from the warzone were compulsorily detained in camps, parts of the North that were under the control of the armed rebels were made out of bounds to the public and the military was allowed to build many oppressive ‘’memorials’’ and to grab huge swathes of agricultural land. In the immense area of High Security Zone formed 30yrs ago tourist hotels were built. Thus the military came to be running the livelihood activities of the civilians when they were released from the camps gradually over three years. Most of the thousands of rehabilitated cadres were nearly forcefully enrolled in the Civil Security Department of the military. They began to work as preschool teachers and farmhands and have been strictly under the control of the military:
      Forced to attend meetings – http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=38250
      Forced to protest – http://www.ceylontoday.lk/print20170401CT20170630.php?id=19806
      Under the pressure from international community there has been a very slow release of the land from the High Security Zone to the owners – UN Special Rapporteur who visited the country in October 2017 made his oberservations:
      ‘’although some of the land occupied by the Armed Forces, in some cases for decades, has been returned, the lack of clarity and comprehensiveness in the process – a process in which the Armed Forces are both a party and the Judge (they seem to solely determine which pieces of land are returned and when) has serious consequences from a developmental standpoint’’ – Observations by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, Mr. Pablo de Greiff, on the conclusion of his recent visit to Sri Lanka:, 24 October 2017, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22274&LangID=E

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