7 August, 2020

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Ugly Governance Undressed

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

‘Better to leave clothes here and go naked to sign this’. This statement made news in the 27th month of the government of the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe duumvirate. Why are clothes so important? The question is daft, nutty and wacky.

But then, we live in wacky times, in a nutty land. Being daft seems a state of bliss!

Why do humans cover themselves, their genitals in particular? In these transformational times of good governance, the issue of covering or uncovering genitals gathers immediate, present time relevance.

Giving evidence before the Special Presidential Commission probing the Central Bank Bond controversy, an Assistant Governor of the Central Bank has explained how he expressed his categorical dissatisfaction with decisions made by the tender board or committee that evaluated the bids, selected one and sent the new government in to a tailspin. He had made his objections clear, with an authentic Sinhala idiom. ‘Better to leave clothes here and go naked to sign this’.

This statement brings to focus an aspect that the UNP administration has steadfastly refused to acknowledge, ever since the so called bond scam captured public imagination.

It totally undermined the good governance initiative that held so much promise in the first four weeks after 8th January 2015.

No doubt, the Presidential Commission will report on its findings and the public anger will be appeased or so we hope. This sorry spectacle dragging on for two years and more, has demonstrated that the UNP is a party that has no sense of shame. It does not by any means imply that other parties do! They are as shameless as the present lot, but having caught with their pants down and now in opposition, they are content to wallow in their soulless shame .

The focus is currently on the Brahmins who gravitate around 5th Lane Colombo 7. It is a modern version of the Gita. In the original, Krishna is duty centric and Arjun worries about the consequences if goes in to battle. In the new version Krishna is laughing all the way to the Central Bank. Poor Arjun brought down for the purpose from Sinhapura seems to have done his duty and is now grappling with the consequence. Others in the pantheon of small gods- Malik, Ravi, Paski and Charitha are hell bent on keeping the gravy chariot afloat.

There are two aspects of shame. There is the anticipated sense of shame, and the experienced sense of shame. By its stubborn refusal to allow an open, transparent investigation, precipitating the dissolution of parliament before the DEW Gunasekera committee report could be tabled, the attempted sweep under the carpet by what this writer once described as the ‘Pana Yana Report’ of the Pitipana committee the UNP has shown that it has no sense of shame.

Then we come to the experienced sense of shame. The UNP and its leader in particular have demonstrated that our Serendib has more Rhino hides than in Serengeti Park.

Both, anticipated and experienced sense of shame intrinsically hold a deep desire to cover what is exposed. But that was not the case with Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake. When told that his fly was open, instead of zipping up, he got in to combat mode and more keener in unzipping Niward Cabraal.

‘Redi Andagenada Me Wadey Karanne’ is a Sinhala remonstration of unethical conduct. ‘Redda Palley Berenawa’ is a picturesquely expressive way of stressing the telltale exposure of an indiscretion. ‘Thamusege Redda’ is a decisive dismissal of a counter narrative with a subtle hint linking dress with the need cover genitalia. Then there is the all-encompassing omnibus dictum ‘Lajja Nathikama Maha Mudali Kamatath Wada Loukiy’. Shamelessness surpasses the haughtiness of the feudal grandee.

When asked by one of the commissioners if there were other members of the tender committee present when he made that trenchant comment, the Assistant Governor answered in the affirmative. He said that three others were present. He named them – two ladies and a gentleman. The thin thread that holds human dignity together is the assumption that, being unclothed in public is an act of shame. This sense of shame is deeply ingrained in the normal human psyche. That seems to change when humans start politicking!

This writer was recently treated for a medical condition called pathologic phimosis that required surgical intervention in the genital area. It was an excruciatingly painful and maddeningly inconvenient business. The most disagreeable and nerve-racking concern was fear of an inappropriate excitement in the presence of female nurses. As it turned out, fear and pain canceled out any descent to excitement, inappropriate or otherwise.

In sharp contrast, governance practices of the UNP are not inhibited with fears of inappropriate excitement. What is inappropriate in general seems to excite the UNP more. This was amply demonstrated by parliamentarian Sujeewa Senasinghe in the debate on the Bond scam.

Speaking of exciting enterprises, the Minister of Tourism does not score high in this writers scale. He likes to do it the French way even in Berlin.

As the saying goes, we are all born with no clothes. We later acquire a sense of shame when unclothed. Having clothes on, is an essential cannon of human conduct, public etiquette and social deportment.

Quite apart from the spontaneity of the Assistant Governors remark, it was a desperate cry of anguish by a trained economist. The utter disregard for ethical conduct, established etiquette and conscientious deportment of those who wielded discretionary power to invalidate his opinion made him burst out with that instinctive cry of shame.

Conversely the conclusion should be that those responsible in the Central Bank, at the time, did not mind parading in the nude. They assumed, as is usual with upper classes, they imagined that orgies in their cloistered confines will not be visible to us, the ordinary folk. They were quite blasé about its outcome.

They were confident, they could hold the lid in place. Remember their insistence that Charitha Ratwatte be allowed to hold the covering shroud? The UNP’s intractable premise was that it was business as usual. Nobody looks and therefore no body will see.

In this premise, the present writer has anecdotal evidence to support the UNP theory. For years this writer used a shower in a secluded part in his rear garden. Creeping urbanization has now reached his rear fence. There are joggers and other regulars of varying vocations, now passing regularly the once secluded shower area.

Impervious to the urban tide, this writer continues to shower in the open, in exposed disdain, just as the monetary Moghuls of the UNP did in the bond business. However, his formal and fussy lady implores that – he should come to terms with reality and stop showering in the nude where people may see. But he insists, for people to see, they must look. He argues that Light travels in a straight line. If you don’t look you don’t see. At least in stubborn resistance to sensible opinion this writer shares a character trait with the Prime Minister.

That, dear reader is the saga of bonds. The Pitipana committee was appointed not to look but to explain. They did not see. They explained. Now we wait for the findings of the Commission of Inquiry.

There is only one way out of the impasse. Our democracy cannot be better or worse than the society that sustains it, in its own fashion. The Rajapaksa autocracy relied on top down traditional leadership which we called tyrannical, which it certainly was. The current leadership does not enjoy the luxury of a predictable and stable environment that Gota and Hendawitharana made possible for MR.

The President who cannot dissolve parliament must now request parliament to dissolve itself. There is a new science called chaos in the field of Physics. The people alone can now find a nonlinear exit out of our present chaos. “I am hurt. A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.”

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Latest comments

  • 15
    1

    Sri lankan politicians have set up a corrupt system and they act like “dog eat Dog” type because, they know the system is good for drain dead morons to live super luxury lives.

    So, it is just wasting time to talk about the governence instead of talking about fixing the system.

    Now, they every time plan to increase the number of politicians by various ways. Mahinda Rajapakse wanted Senates for every provincial council. Ranil wants the number of MPs increaeed to 255 and Provincial coucils to have speakers, and many more.

    It is just top heavy system for incompetant politicians who does not know how to change it.

    that is why a complete and quick overhaul of the govt is the best solution.

    • 5
      1

      Sarath De Alwis

      RE: Ugly Governance Undressed

      “But then, we live in wacky times, in a nutty land. Being daft seems a state of bliss!”

      “The President who cannot dissolve parliament must now request parliament to dissolve itself. There is a new science called chaos in the field of Physics. The people alone can now find a nonlinear exit out of our present chaos. “I am hurt. A plague o’ both your houses! I am sped.” “

      No wonder the average IQ of the land is 79, and many with lower IQs than that ended up in the Parliament and other positions, such as being ministers, prime ministers and presidents.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      The 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.

      Rank
      ——– Country
      ———————– %
      ————-
      1 Singapore 108
      2 South Korea 106
      3 Japan 105

      28 Sri Lanka 79

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

      • 2
        0

        Amerasiri

        How come Sri Lankans, especially the arm chair patriots living in colonial type countries and our ambuda clad politicians say we are a great nation of great culture going back 3000 years and how come we are on the 28th on the IQ league ?So are they fooling us or joking or on drugs ?
        Driving along the roads in SL proves that we have a lot of numbtees behind the wheels and same lot in the Parliament.

        • 2
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          Nimal

          “Driving along the roads in SL proves that we have a lot of numbtees behind the wheels and same lot in the Parliament.”

          Yes.

          I parliament we have a former minister, now MPs, in jail, and fasting, who say 2/2 =0.

          Is it in the water? Just curious!

          • 4
            1

            “Why are clothes so important?”

            This is a question that has intrigue me as well !

            I have come to believe that humans copulate/marry for the wrong reasons. Most marry for money, power, position …….. to improve their standing in the society.

            If humans are naked the whole world will change instantly.

            What you see is what you get! The females of the species will line up in front of the biggest one going; instinctively they know which side their bread is buttered.

            Few remarkable things will happen,

            In a few generations, itsy bitsy tiny little pee wees will get bred out of the human race. Just imagine what that will do to human-insecurity! Human-insecurity will be a thing of the past.

            You don’t see an insecure lion, tiger, elephant, bumblebee …………. in the wild. Except in animals in human-society; dogs bred for show, horses bred to race …………..

            To solve Lanka’s problems, we gotta think outside the box Mr de Alwis.

            PS

            There is an important distinction between “Clean-Ranil” and other crooks. Ranil doesn’t steal to enrich himself but let others do it.

            To be brutally honest, if I were a politician in SL now, I would have done the same thing. If survival is your goal, it’s insane to be honest in such an environment.

            Good old Groucho had it all figured out ……… “The secret to life is honesty and fair-dealing. If you can fake that you have got it made, dear boy!”

            Why do we spend all our time waiting for non-human behaviour from humans; for the few exceptions to the rule?

            Isn’t it time we started doing something else?

  • 22
    2

    The 5th lane queers pretended to be different to the Rajapakses, because they speak in English!. Now what ? They have robbed the country of billions in a cold calculating way.

    There is only one way left for RW. He must continue to maintain vehemently that there was nothing wrong in the Bond scam and that the rest of the world does not understand what this lawyer RW and banker Mahendran understand.

    If he changes his tune the guy is gone.

    In any other country by now both Mahendran and RW will be behind bars.

    What a country ! What a people !

    • 8
      14

      Harry Hatton,

      What were you doing when MR was robbing billions and also murdering innocents who dissented? At least today you can point out corruption without being bumped off. What a Country! What a people indeed with characters like you who are politically blind. RW like MR will be replaced by someone better and honest. No one is indispensable.

      • 12
        3

        Same excuse, the other guy did it so why shout now?
        This guy Ranil claimed to be purer than snow !

    • 2
      0

      Do you think – had this Bond scam issue been avoidable, if RW reacted properly ?
      We the many in the country kept much hopes on RW than anyone else by the time, President elected him as the PM right ? And also the fact, that those knew RW long were well aware of his CLEAN nature when it goes with money matters. Nonetheless him to fall on the pits of Mahendran is not thinkable.

      And also mention worthy, that Mahendran had no what so ever any financial frauds, to have done in his long carrier, incl. singapore and saudi banks.
      He was considered to be a clean person in his CV. That was the reason, also considering his international ties with commercial community, PM thought he could enrich his hand … when seeking avenues for revenues of development projects in the country.

      I am speechless.. can anybody please help me undrestanding, perhaps, local virulent media painted the picture in favour of most abusive Rajapakshes, since they have stolen dollar billions… and the inforamtion are becoming evident .. as former President CBK too shared to the press lately.

      • 4
        0

        Simon,

        “as former President CBK too shared to the press lately.”

        CBK crowned as ‘Choura Regina’ talking about billions of Dollars stolen by Rajapakse. Was she wearing any cloths when she revealed this information?

        • 2
          0

          Eagle Eye/SLcitizen/50%/33.33%

          “Was she wearing any cloths when she revealed this information?”

          What do you think?

  • 12
    1

    “‘Lajja Nathikama Maha Mudali Kamatath Wada Loukiy’. Shamelessness surpasses the haughtiness of the feudal grandee.”

    If this sort of a thing happened in Japan, probably the person would have committed ‘Harakiri’. Even if Ranil wants to do that I do not think the dagger will penetrate because Ranil’s skin is thicker than a crocodile skin. It is because he has a thick skin that he is still in politics after losing a Presidential election and losing his party under his leadership in 27 elections.

    • 3
      0

      Dr. Clean/Eagle Eye/SLcitizen/50%/33.33%/25%

      You are splitting into too many personalities. It is becoming too difficult to keep track of your multiple personalities.

      When did the big bang happen in your brain?

  • 2
    1

    Now Mr Alwis, no matter what you say, we can’t take you serious unless you have the obligatory paragraph worshiping DJ as “the extra super first class holder in political science from the Univ of Per, the best even better than Laxman Wickremesinghe, former UN ambassador extraordinaire and more importantly the son of your murcurial friend Mervin”.

    So come on, find a way to include this para, and then he will come on the comments to say how much time he has for you!

    Every one will be happy, you see?

  • 4
    0

    This narration by Sarath takes my memories back to what I experienced back in the olden days to Galle town. In that city, at the connecting road of Matara with Colombo, there was a fairly a big round about, in the middle of which stood a huge tree that gave shade to the empty space. This shady space was a paradise to many people of varying professions, such as “snake charmers”; “Kavi Kola Karayas”; “Preachers”; “Thel Beheth Vlendas”; “Magicians”; “Musicians”; “Tricksters”; “Palmists”; “Acrobats”; “Puppeteers” who made a quick buck for their livelihood by entertaining the people waiting in the shade for their next bus trip. Now with the redesigning of the Galle town, that huge tree that was very appropriately named “PACHA GAHA” is no more. Fortunately and in terms of MODERNIZATION that “Shady Space” has been relocated to Colombo, Battaramulla in the vicinity of Diyawannawa lake where all those I mentioned above “Professionals” have been accommodated in the most updated “Kingsley Palace” named PARLIAMENT of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. All the people who waited in the shade of the PACHA GAHA during those olden days, NOW relax at home and watch in their own TV screens the performance of the modern day “PROFESSIONALS” performing in that shady and comfy space called Parliament and other “Talk Shows” (debates,discussions etc) on private TV channels. We only have to “Elect” all these performing “Professionals” once in four/ five years to provide us with that much needed ENTERTAINMENT. Good old days “REDDA” is now replaced with a modulated and redesigned “REDDA”.

  • 2
    1

    Mr Alwis,
    “The most disagreeable and nerve-racking concern was fear of an inappropriate excitement in the presence of female nurses.”
    Oh dear! And be accused of assault with a blunt weapon?

    • 3
      0

      Dirty old codger

      “Oh dear! And be accused of assault with a blunt weapon?”

      Brilliant.

  • 2
    0

    Excellent write up by Sarath DA; what I mostly like is the following sentence about the Banker magazine’s Pukka Sahib of Asia: “When told that his fly was open, instead of zipping up, he got in to combat mode and more keener in unzipping Niward Cabraal.”
    This is the main weakness of the Yahapalana cabal; when a weakness, shortcoming, error, or mistake is shown, instead of correcting it, they try in vain to point the finger at the Rajapaksas which is completely ‘irrelevant and nauseating’ now, after 2 years!
    As a result, when these guys try to unzip the Rajapaksas, the Rajapaksas not only unzip these guys in open air, but take out their ‘damaged’ dicks, show them to the city dwellers as well as village ‘Upasaka-ammas’, and then take the entire pants off the Yahapalanaya’s head leaving only the tie with the top-hat!
    Look at the number of cartoons drawn about Ravi K with his ‘Pukka-sahib’ Banker award; all those cartoons show him without pants or with only a loin-cloth and a tie; and the village Punchi Singhos and Kusumakkas look on at his scantily covered ‘thingy’ in disbelief! Just for God’s sake ‘zip up’ because we are a nation with ‘hiri and otap’ (a nation that still feels ashamed and fear about wrong-doings)!
    If the Yahapalan cabal cannot understand this simple fact, how can they govern a country! (This comment is equally relevant to those who still bring up the wrongdoings of the Rajapaksas with the crafty intention of covering the same of the Yahapalanaya!)

  • 2
    0

    Old Codger,
    Good one!

  • 0
    1

    Just before this, I came across a Video of the rise & rise of Rajapaksa, whom I like to call Walasmulla Kid.

    What a remarkable career he has had.

    It is a shame Walasmulla Kid has to sit with the those big ass rouges of the UNP whom the writer has named hoping to shame..

    But the writer himself says the UNP leaders have no shame, which must be the underr statement of the year, if not for the century.

    At least the UNP leader Dr Batalabda Ranil admitted in public that the inhabitants in the South curse him and his UNP in pure filth. ( Kunuharupen baninawa ) . But he said he is not worried,

    Wonder how long our Walasmulla Kid is going to sit with these pilfering lot and allow them to destroy the country further..

  • 1
    1

    Can not understand how the Chief Prelates at Malwatta & Asgiriya chant Seth Prirth to Galleon Ravi and Mallika with the mustache..

    And bless them with the Pirith nula..

    This is why I have a direct line to pray to Buddha .

    • 3
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “And bless them with the Pirith nula..”

      Sangha does many things to many politicians, in between they also conduct Sinhala/Buddhist religious ceremonies, opposing all progressive 24/7/52 constitutions, liberal legislations and keeping deafening silence during war, riots and condoning saffron clad thugs’ violence and behaviour, …..

      “This is why I have a direct line to pray to Buddha”.

      I trust you. Could you let me have the direct number to him.

  • 4
    1

    Sarath, We knew who Ranil and his band of rogues were, before the January 8th 2015.That was simple common sense.
    Even in 2010 Ranil tried to come to power behind Fonseka but failed.
    You people blinded with Rajapakse hate didn’t care what will happen to the country if Ranil was allowed to came to power through the back door.
    Is there any point in ranting now.

    • 2
      1

      10/10

    • 3
      0

      NAK

      “We knew who Ranil and his band of rogues were, before the January 8th 2015.That was simple common sense. Even in 2010 Ranil tried to come to power behind Fonseka but failed.”

      Well,you have conveniently forgotton as to how MR won the 2005 elections. You know the psychopath VP helped MR by rigging the elections, of course for a fee.

      Again in 2010 VP won the elections for MR by winning the war for him.

      “You people blinded with Rajapakse hate didn’t care what will happen to the country if Ranil was allowed to came to power through the back door.”

      Why would anyone hate MR? Is it because people/voters were envious of MR clan’s rag to riches success story combined with their accumulated absolute power?

  • 3
    0

    Just before the 08 January 2015 election, fully clothed politicians went round pointing out the corrupt practices and nepotism in the previous regime. Lankans fell for it!

    Soon the politicians wore “Emperor’s New Cloths”. They brought a Singapore tailor to lead the Reserve Bank Tailors Ltd. Rest is history.

    Unfortunately Lankans are beginning to accept that all wear language/religious divide cloths!

  • 1
    0

    What a lament from an acolyte!! Did the writer’s ilk wore clothes when they propagated the yahapalana myth?

    • 2
      0

      Hela

      “Did the writer’s ilk wore clothes when they propagated the yahapalana myth?”

      What an intellectually challenging question.

  • 0
    0

    couldn’t stop laughing, Sarath do you remember going for classes from Matale to kandy by train, I hope you will remember the guy who goes and sit opposite girls pretending to read a book while exposing the genitals…. karma will slap you in the face.

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