By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
It is reported that this chief hasn’t passed beyond standard three in school. He is now Minister in charge of education in addition to being Chief. It is also stated that he was seen those days selling wade at the station.
Profile of the Chief
Have you seen the video going round showing the Chief Minister of Uva, Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, getting bail over the police charge of his having ordered a principal of a school in his area to kneel before him? This ugly episode had been an occurrence during the era of the Rajapaksas where those in power had an easy ride with knavery. Remember how Dr Mervyn tied a poor government official onto a tree during those days that many want to bring back? The Uva Chief is about to get his desserts after three years of Yahapalanaya. We have good reason to doubt his escaping justice from our liberated judiciary. Let us wait in hope!
It is reported that this chief hasn’t passed beyond standard three in school. He is now Minister in charge of education in addition to being Chief. It is also stated that he was seen those days selling wade at the station
Celebration for What?
In the meantime, let us study the video and try to discern the manifest and latent expressions and implications in that. The first thing that hits my eyes, is the presence of a large crowd to “felicitate” the occasion. Does anyone anywhere in the world celebrate being released on bail? Or does this ignorant chappie think that bailing out is the equivalent to being discharged upon not being found guilty?
I am sure the crowd is too intimidating to the poor principal who was the subject of the Uva Chief’s puerile exercise of power. The principal must be quite nervous and would have given anything to avoid the embarrassment and the potential threat to him in a broadcast of the video.
Can you imagine how a large crowd like this could be mobilised to back the Chief? Rural villagers consider schools as sacred institutions and teachers as even more sacred than the institution. Are these old and outdated values today? It is a serious social problem in that case. Can an ignorant, corrupt and abusive political chief override that culture? In Sri Lanka, yes. In India, the politician would have been assaulted. That is the difference in the Thrice Blessed Country!
The quality of this politician is there for all to see. He represents the standard Parliamentary material Sri Lanka has today. Empty-headed thugs unexposed to basic education.
Did the crowds gather at the scene because they shared the negation of values by the Uva Boss? I doubt. Although reluctant to agitate, the ordinary villager will frown at these incidents and hold their hands against their cheeks in shock or despair. Those who are coaxed to gather like these are the corrupt in the villagers and the town. This is the lumpenproletariat that Marxists speak of.In the original German, the term stands for “rabble proletariat.” According to Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto, these form the lowest stratum of the industrial working class, including also such undesirables as tramps and criminals. These elements are also in towns and villages. By nature, these fellows like to take risks.
The problem in our villages is that well- meaning populations don’t want to come out in protest. Herein also lies the fertile ground for the success of rogue politicians. Some kind of awakening and mobilisation of villages must happen if our country is to keep the political crooks out of their game.
It is all different here, in Australia, where it is easy to gather hundreds of people if something like an old and imposing tree is to be felled by authorities. The other day on Australia Day, thousands of Whites joined in the protest asking for a change in ‘Australia Day,’ as the present -day represents the day that the white settlers got hold of the land at New South Wales. Aborigines call this Invasion Day and a preponderant number of white young men and women joined in support of them. That is the beauty of social awareness!
Going back to the Uva Chief, many more aspects cry for comment: Watch the man going about like a hero! Full of guts, pomp and confidence at a time he should be remorseful. Getting hold of a poorly paid but respectful guru or Disapamok! No, this idiot was swagging away left and right as if he was just appointed President of the country. Notice, too, that the artificially-haired Minister Dilan Perera who had lost the elections but managed to enter Parliament through the grace of President Sirisena, our new crusader or swordsman against corruption. This guy has an amazing way of dominating others, even though carrying a weak profile. He wanted to share the glory! Watch the bloke grandstanding as though he is in charge. President Sirisena who has begun screaming against corruption should sack Dilan and the Chief together. Monks Chanting
However, the most outrageous element in this video are the Monks chanting Pirith and tying a Pirith Noola around the hand of the Uva Chief! Don’t these yellow-robed men realise they are sinning against Buddhism? Why aren’t there anyone to rush and throw them out with their Pirith Tool? Sometime ago, I found some local Diaspora Sinhala Buddhist Right wingers organising a protest petition against a Chinese restaurant naming a soup as Buddha Soup! How much more should these hypocrites go out and campaign against such behaviour of the Sanga over there in Sri Lanka?
At least the soup was a delicious one, said to give a Nirvanic feeling!
These kinds of monks are part and parcel of the lumpen proletariat referred to above. There are numerous other monks of this class who are ever ready to act for corrupt politicians. They protest over things they wouldn’t know like SAITM and the Constitution. On the other hand, I did not see any Sanga protest when the war-winning General Sarath Fonseka was dragged and put into jail on false charges trumped up by the former President and his powerful Gota; when his hard-won medals for bravery and rank were grabbed away, again by the powerful duo; when throughout three years the General had to put on prison jumpers and eat out of a tin plate.
This is life in ‘Loken Uthum Rata’ and Dhamma Deepa! Whom to tell to?
*Shyamon Jayasinghe can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org