By Kumar David –
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts
And put down the mighty from their seats. (Luke 1:51-52)
Madmen have been Emperors, Kings and Presidents; Caligula, George III and Idi Amin who allegedly chopped up his Chief Justice Kabimu Kiwanuka, preserved body parts in a fridge and ate them at leisure. And of course we had our own Pissu Sira though not as crazy as these. Jan 6 in Washington DC is surprising not as a mentally deranged and debauched villain elected to the US presidency but that 138 lawmakers (Congress-persons and Senators) lied about the integrity US election administrators and knowingly fibbed of cheating during counting.
Despite being laughed out of the Courts and the Supreme Court these law-makers encouraged an attack on the Capitol. This is like Gota sending rioting mobs to attack Parliament in Kotte when debating a resolution criticising him. See: “Nandasena Issues Chilling Warning to Opposition: “I Killed Prabhakaran Like a dog” – Colombo Telegraph 10 Jan. A threat to MP Harin Fernando. Two-thirds 2/3 of our parliamentarians are lick-spittle stooges so they have remained mute. In the US calls for violence have intensified ahead of Inauguration Day (20 Jan) and the chatter from emboldened far-right extremists portends that violence will worsen.
It will take about a year for the incoming Biden Administration to restore normalcy since that depends on addressing the livelihood conditions of the poorer-half of society. This is the only way of castrating the Trump Base by cutting the existential ground under its feet. But in foreign policy except in the main theatres of the Middle East and Pacific we will see little change for now. It is no use pretending that small, penniless countries can be anything but whores of a big power. Though small, but not economically fragile and played its cards smartly like Ireland, Taiwan or New Zealand there is space for lateral movement, but Lanka is not so fortunate. The Gota regime has surrendered its maidenhead to Beijing while Sajith wants to be Delhi-Washington’s call-girl. Gota’s deflowering is explicit; the Financial Times (Sri Lanka) reported a New Year’s message by Chinese Ambassador Qi Zhenhong as follows:-
“China will promote the alignment of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ manifesto to promote economic and social engagement between the two countries the Ambassador said. Guided by the consensus reached by our leaders, we join hands to respond to the challenging international and regional situation and promote alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.
The die has been cast and Gota is being sucked into Beijing’s geopolitical whore-sphere. One might say he had no other option; the regime is bankrupt, foreign debt is unserviceable and Ratings Agencies are dragging Sri Lanka down – the rupee may decline to 225 to the $ by years end. Gota’s Army-Silva militarised strategy to go after covid with guns blazing is turning into a protracted disaster.
Why Sajith has decided to swing in the opposite direction is not clear. Colombo Telegraph on Jan 7 says “Sajith Slaps Voters, Activists In The Face: Appoints Rajapaksa Ideologue Dayan J As International Relations Advisor”. It is significant because, of recent, Dayan Jayatilleka has gone out on a anti-Beijing limb. The point is not whether this is good or bad, but that unless Sajith is a gross simpleton – which commentators say he may well be – it denotes a sharp parting of the ways between the Gota regime and the Premadasa Front on international whoring. The SJB and not the UNP will emerge as Colombo’s principal Delhi-Washington mouthpiece and Gota and Sajith will become Agency Houses.
It is against this background that Gota’s move to confront Tamil students at Jaffna University is difficult to fathom. The Mullivaikal monument dedicated to tens of thousands of Tamils killed by the state during the war was of course an unauthorised structure on campus grounds as are tens of thousands of Buddha statues under Bo trees at every street corner are. The wisest thing is to ignore it as done for many years before Gota’s erection instead demolishing it in the stealth of the night, an act of flagrant chauvinism by a military state. University Vice-Chancellor S. Srisatkunarajah said he was instructed by the highest authorities: “Defence, Intelligence and Education Ministry. I am a civilian carrying out an administrative responsibility. My decisions are my personal likes and dislikes, “the brainless stooge told The Hindu. The VC is servile as any Trump stooge but much more serious is that Gota has decided to show the Tamils that he is prepared to shoot them down like dogs in the street, a fate that he has promised Harin Fernando!