By Emil van der Poorten –
The application of the title of this piece to what is happening on the political landscape might be considered to constitute the epitome of redundancy.
No matter. Repeating the truth should never be unacceptable and in what follows, I will seek to draw the reader’s attention to a few, very few, questions that could and should be answered by a government that was elected to serve us.
Why is this government, despite its claims of a Simon pure code of ethics and morality, continuing to dodge prosecuting those who robbed the country blind while “disappearing” in white vans any who might have blown the whistle on them at the time?
Are the current decision-makers part of the same corrupt rabble that dictated our destinies during the Rajapaksa Reign and are they simply preparing to board another ship taking them to their goal of even greater self-aggrandizement when all of this ends, as it surely must?
When is this coalition government going to stop giving in to government servants of various kinds who are victimizing their fellow citizens who are least able to find alternatives to the goods and services they are supposed to be receiving from state institutions such as those in health care, transport, fuel etc.?
When is the Government Medical Officers’ Association going to own up to the fact that, no matter how good a technical case they may have against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), their current conduct amounts to monumental hypocrisy because there was not so much as a peep out of these people when Mahinda Rajapaksa was doling out something like four hundred million rupees via the (state-controlled) Bank of Ceylon to establish this very institution? Does this merit changing the oath they take when they embark on supposedly saving our lives? Would the term Hypocritical Oath be more appropriate than the hallowed Oath of Hippocrates?
What has happened to the complaint lodged with the appropriate authorities by Mangala Samaraweera, currently Minister of Finance, at the time that Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated? For those of short memory let me describe what transpired immediately after that event: even before the results were announced Ranil Wickremesinghe, soon to be Prime Minister, journeyed to Temple Trees to a meeting allegedly brokered by Tirukumar Nadesan, a close associate of the ex-President and a man who had already earned his own notoriety, to meet with Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the event that the reader does not recall Mr. Samaraweera’s complaint to the Criminal Investigation Department, it was the most serious that could be made in a country supposedly adhering to democratic norms: seeking to overthrow a democratically elected government.
Why is it necessary for the Prime Minister, among others, to be seen to publicly endorse the business endeavours of certain individuals, inclusive of opening their new factories, while there exists against them a significant body of circumstantial evidence in the matter of the most massive and much-publicized money-laundering schemes known to this country, inclusive of hotel investments in the Gulf during the tenure of the last regime?
When is the government and the Sri Lanka Cricket Association appointed by it, going to even begin the process of rescuing the game the participation in which gave us national pride. It has descended into what can accurately be considered an abyss, particularly for an activity that was described as Sri Lanka’s fifth religion, only half in jest. It is nothing short of an insult to the cricket fans of this country that the powers-that-be have chosen to appoint Sanath Jayasuriya to, probably, the single most important position in that firmament. Is this a case of monumental blindness or is it yet another case of the cynical indifference to recent history? It is a matter of record that this man was kept on the national team by virtue of the Presidential fiat of Mahinda Rajapaksa long after his “best before” date had come and gone, being elevated to some Ministerial position or other to ensure his continuing loyalty? I would suggest that Mr. Jayasuriya be left to his amateur movie-making efforts as producer, director and star, with or without the assistance of anyone of the opposite gender. That would be a far more appropriate end to Mr. Jayasuriya’s career in cricket and/or national affairs.
When is this government going to cease being dictated to by the Mahanayakes of the Buddhist sects in this country? In case people have a short memory, when this very group of clerics were in the process of summoning a gathering of priests to protest the blatantly undemocratic behaviour of the Rajapaksa government, they dropped that project overnight when threatened with the withdrawal of the material privileges provided them by Mr. Rajapaksa’s government. It is nothing short of obscene that clerics who indulged in such an indescribable retreat should now be in a position to adopt a holier-than-thou posture insisting on Sri Lanka, supposedly a secular democracy, being transformed into a theocracy. I am surprised that a government with a justified reputation for expediency didn’t simply resort to threaten the withdrawal of the luxury vehicles that these individuals who had given up all worldly luxuries had chosen to ride around in. Ah, but then, that would be too much like exposing them for the hypocrites they are, besides which matters of ethics and principle in this and other areas of governance are in the realm of Mr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe the Minister of Justice and Buddhist Religious Affairs, who has demonstrated his particular “code” in that respect by going on record as never going to permit the prosecution of anyone bearing the same last name as he does.
Does the government have a death wish or is this simply confirmation of the old Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) claim of “all of them are the same” (Unuth Ekai, Munuth Ekai), the welfare of the general population not meaning a damned thing to these privileged and cosseted individuals who have totally insulated themselves from our “reality?”
Finally, are the citizens of Sri Lanka going to stand idly by while this rainbow coalition of corrupt politicians and their financial, moral and ethical friends destroy the last vestiges of democratic governance and honesty in “The Land Like No Other?”