By Kumar David –
The precipitate reversal of approval of both arms of the Double-Paksa cavalcade is a cause for alarm. The way the wind is blowing regime insiders surely discern that the Gota Presidency and the Mahinda parliamentary majority will be shattered on electoral rocks. I can see no way either can navigate course correction. Often governments get it wrong, but pull themselves up and after a year or two salvage their reputation and go on to survive the next election. But there is a point of no return beyond which salvage is not possible. Covid-related public-health issues, economic buffoonery, foreign policy fiascos and infighting make it clear we have crossed that Rubicon. This regime cannot rescue itself; it’s too late. The next twelve months are foreseeable; things will continue to degenerate as they are going today. There is no way to change course, no way to revive popularity; things will get worse before they get ‘worser’.
The public will bang its head and wail “What will become of us”. True, but that’s not my topic. If it becomes clear that the regime has not a chance in hell of winning the next election it will toy with the option of not holding another election at all! That’s my topic. If it is clear even to the dumbest military muttonhead that President and the PM are facing defeat, what will the regime do? Will it like Pissu-Sira and Flaccid-Ranil, hold elections, accept defeat and go home? My hypothesis is that this regime will not hold elections if it is staring defeat in its face. In 1956, 1970 and 1977 there was a groundswell and a likelihood that the incumbent would be sent packing. The powers of the day found morally reprehensible ruses to malinger (a two year extension and a referendum to postpone elections in the second and third examples). However, abrogating the very electoral process and anchoring the regime in perpetuity was never on the cards. The difference now is that Gota and his ex-generals, with Mahinda, the SLPP, and the LSSP-CP-DLF Dead-Left stooging along, are very likely to veer towards annulment. Excuses can be concocted and all these swine will muzzle in at the trough.
Ok that’s what I foresee and let me repeat myself in two parts; (a) the regime cannot carry through a change of course or rescue its reputation and standing in the public eye, hence it is facing electoral defeat. And (b) in such circumstances it will choose to abrogate the electoral process and cling on by fair means or foul. Some of you may wonder if I am not getting enough sleep and cogitating too much. No Madam! No Sir! The way things are going (a) is a certainty and the character of this regime makes (b) a near certainty. If you doubt my sanity, please relax, take a step back and soberly reconsider.
My case so far has been all analysis, intellectual onanism you may say. The real question is what are we going to do? The days of Leninist revolution are long gone, Castro-Guevara was a one-of fluke and Aung San Su Chi is a cowardly punk. Still if the regime imposes dictatorship then surely there is nothing else to do but find feasible ways to resist it and be rid of it. I am not a political leader so it is not my responsibility to work out tactics. I have flagged the matter and everybody would like to know what tactics the leaders of opposition parties are mulling over individually or collectively. If their minds are blank then are they are leading the people to hell and beyond. Aside from tactics, what about strategy, the bigger design? If the Double-Paksa regime abrogates democracy and rescinds the electoral processes, then like the Republic in the Spanish Revolution it becomes obligatory on anyone opposed to fascism to help secure overseas aid to oppose it. Everyone should petition China that if it seeks friendship it is the people and not a lawless gang that should be its comrade. India and the West will appreciate that abrogation of democracy in Sri Lanka is not in their own interests but the point is will they do anything about it? If Burma is an example, they will do bugger all!