Politics In Sri Lanka & The Hypocrisy That Goes With It
Posted on December 19th, 2009

By Darmitha

The upcoming Presidential Elections have taken a twist which came quite suddenly on Sri Lankans due to the bankrupt politics of the JVP and the UNP whose leadership finally discovered that they did not have a strong enough candidate to pose a challenge to President Mahinda Rajapakse. True to their nature, they cornered General Sarath Fonseka into joining hands with them as their common candidate.

 Whatever the reasons may be, for the forthcoming Presidential Elections we see many faces and many facets surfacing as a challenge to President Mahinda Rajapakse which goes to show, that anti-national forces will never give up their bid to totally destroy or destabilize Sri Lanka from deciding on its political course to safeguard the unitary state of sovereign Sri Lanka. On 17th December 2009 when prospective candidates submitted their nomination papers, quite unprecedented in the history of Presidential Elections history of  this country a phenomenal 22 candidates submitted nominations with just one being rejected. The names of political parties being represented is another story altogether with the following being represented: UPFA-Mahinda Rajapakse; NEW DEMOCRATIC FRONT-Sarath Fonseka;UNITED SOCIALIST FRONT-Sirithunga Jayasooriya; OKKOMA VASIYA-OKKOMA RAJAVARU SANVIDANAYA-M.B.Thaminimulla; NAVA SIHALA URUMAYA-Sarath Manamendra;NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRONT-A.A.Suraweera; SRI LANKA LABOUR PARTY-A.Liyanage; JANA SETHA FRONT-Ven.Battaramulle Seelarathane Thero; LEFTIST FRONT-Wickramabahu Karunaratne; INDEPENDENT Candidate Ilyas; SAMAJAVADI SAMANATHA PAKSHAYA-Wije Dais; UNITED NATIONAL ALTERNATIVE FRONT-Sarath Kongahage; OUR NATIONAL FRONT-K.G.R.L.Perera; INDEPENDENT Candidate M.M.M.M. Mustafa; INDEPENDENT Candidate K.Sivajilingam; INDEPENDENT Candidate U.B.Wijekoon; DEMOCRATIC UNITED NATIONAL FRONT-M.C.M.Ismail; RUHUNU JANATHA PARTY-O.Aruna de Zoysa; NATIONAL ALLIANCE-S.Pinnaduwa; DESHAPREMI JATHIKA PERAMUNA-A.Seneratne Perera; UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT- C.J.S Gamage; INDEPENDENT Candidate M.Ranjith. The number of positions available at the forthcoming elections- 01 only!

 The names of most of these candidates we are hearing for the first time in active politics which proves that their intention in coming forward as presidential candidates is just a ruse to meet their personal agendas & that they certainly do not have either the personal experience needed to govern a country or a strong enough party support in most cases, to muster even a vote bank of 2,000-4,000 to say the least. Does this indicate the seriousness of the campaign there are venturing into with effect from 17th December 2009 when nominations were accepted by the Commissioner of Elections? No doubt, the anti-national forces are pumping massive amounts of money into their attempt to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse if that would be possible. If they must defeat him, they better do it this time or else, they may never have another chance-this is their fear!

 Post 1977 Political Culture of Sri Lanka:

 To be fair by late JR Jayawardane it needs to be stated that during the 7 years of rule under the late Mrs.Sirimavo Bandaranaike, he carried on a massive operation to make the UNP into a formidable force in this country with his “Darmishta Society” slogan even though once in power, what we witnessed was anything but righteousness in governance.

 The late JR Jayawardane when he victoriously took over the political arena of this country was hell bent on perpetuating his ” Jayawardane ” name in the history of Sri Lankan politics. To achieve this he changed and amended the Constitution of this country to be one better than what the late Mrs.Sirimavo Bandaranaike produced through which she severed the colonial link with the United Kingdom and declared The Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The late JRJ amended the name as well as the Constitution by naming it The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka with which both democracy and socialism in the country “flew out of the window” for good. Today if UNP criticizes anyone, they must direct it inwardly towards their own former Presidents who ruled for 17 years using gun culture & tyre burning!

 In his inimical slimy & shrewd manner to establish methods to remain in power for posterity, he introduced the proportional representation system, the preferential voting system, the national list, provincial councils, election frauds, thuggery & mayhem to polling stations on election day- in other words, you name it & all un-savoury phenomena which was unknown to Sri Lankan politics were introduced and took deep root in this country for 17 years. It was he who introduced parliamentarians carrying personal firearms and also encircling themselves with personal security guards to add to which also came the underworld thugs! He introduced a pension scheme for politicians if they had served for a mere 5 years as a parliamentarian whereas, a normal government needed to give 25 years of service to the nation before qualifying for a pension. The result is that today we see and hear of uneducated, crude politicians who do not even know how to respect the August House of Parliament once they enter Parliament which once upon a time, was a place where school children used to be taken to visit and could sit in the gallery to listen to decent & wholesome political debates. Today, it is a shameful place to visit or to even watch the proceedings on TV.

 Subsequent to the 17 years of ruthless, undemocratic and dictatorial rule of the UNP whereby respect and value of human beings was brought down to zero levels,  a few Presidents were elected on the promise that they would abolish the Executive Presidency but once they sat on the “throne” it was far too lucrative to abolish.

 The Current Political Culture 2005 Onwards:

 Irrespective of what ever opinion the international & national anti-national forces may try to make out, it needs to be appreciated that the government under the leadership of President Rajapakse was able to defeat the LTTE terrorist movement in this country within a short period of three years due to the commitment to bring peace to Sri Lanka. For thirty years, all previous governments both under UNP and SLFP under Chandrika Kumaratunga were unable to defeat the terrorists because they all thrived in their positions thanks to the terrorists. However, President Rajapakse with a strong and united effort by the Armed Forces were able to successfully defeat them and bring normalcy to the country. This cannot be negated by friend or foe-the fact is a hard fact. If any Sri Lankan who refutes this, it will only be a traitor.

 “Family bandism” is not a terminology confined only to the late JRJ or late Mrs.Bandaranaike it has come down to the Medamulane clan as well. However, the difference has been that the Medamulane clan has shown that unity and commitment can show results which they have done in relation to the terrorist war.

 Having said that, we need to remember that no leader of any country can live forever basking in reflected glory of a military victory and market it at every turn. For three years, many aspects which needed urgent attention in this country until the war was completed, therefore now it is time to move away from the military victory and move forward to solve other social and economic problems.

 The President must now pay attention to cleaning this country of corruption and inefficiency and reprimand all ministers and their ministries for non-performance where applicable. At this point, education, health, economy & trade and transport come into our minds. During these three years we have seen the worst health hazards surfacing like Dengue, Chicken-gunya, Swine Flu and other epidemics due to inefficient implementation of health sector policies, but there has been lots of “big talk” by the relevant minister which has angered the medical officers and hospital staff and brought undue difficulties on the ordinary citizens of this country. The same applies to the education sector which has witnessed time and time again major bunglings in public examinations, curriculum and school entrance procedures at Grade 1.

 Another massive problem that has faced this country during this period, is the extensive wastage of public funds and corruption which must not be covered up and shoved under the carpet-facts are stubborn and truth must be accepted. There is no point in the President proclaiming to all and sundry that he can solve all evils in this country if there is no obvious commitment or well planned national policies brought forward by his own Cabinet of Ministers.

 We have also witnessed with utter disgust, how certain politicians close to the President are flaunting their positions as ministers & conducting themselves in a manner which gives the message that they are above the law or for that matter higher than even the President himself! In some areas just outside Colombo people can witness a massive ego boosting programme carried out by the person who claims to be a descendant of King Dutugemunu by which he is insulting a highly respected ancient king of this country. His thugs are everywhere, pressurizing businesses and projects which are underway and are a law unto themselves, which is very sad due to the fact, that all this reflects badly on the leader of our country as no disciplinary action seems to be taken against such high-handed members of his government. Whether such politicians are personal friends or not, what matters to the people of this country is that decency and effective governance is visibly evident & that unfortunately does not seem to be forthcoming.

 Projecting one’s ego through banners and cut-outs at high cost must be eliminated altogether. A person who serves his people sincerely does not need exhibitions because his actions will already been seen and appreciated by the people. The recently developed “banner & cut-out culture” only shows a severe personal inferiority complex. This is seen rampantly in Kelaniya, Kiribathgoda areas and locations in and around Colombo which shows obvious extravagance and waste of funds be they state funds or personal funds. Sri Lanka must not waste money but use those funds to do programmes which would benefit the society at large for the greater good of our citizens.

 What Citizens Expect from The New President:

 Promises which will never be implemented must be reduced to the minimum. We do not need fanciful declarations of cleaning out corruption etc. or making Sri Lanka the hub of A,B, or C but we need to see are honest actions which will discipline politicians who are downright insolent and corrupt even though it means tough luck to those who need disciplining for the greater good of the country. We have tolerated malpractices for long enough. State assets and funds must be used productively and profitably not for personal glory.

 We need a good exemplary President who will dare to stretch out his neck to safeguard the cultural and religious heritage of this country not by mere words but through every action of theirs. All citizens of this country no matter what religious or racial group they belong to must be able to live in harmony and peace in every part of the country. To do this, as is the case in most countries such a President must have the gutts to declare programmes which safeguard the majority needs while giving all others opportunities to lead decent lives.

 Under the Constitution Buddhism deserves to be given its rightful place with the protection and nurturing stated therein & whether other religious groups like it or not, they must accept that the percentage of the population they belong to is far below that of Buddhists and come to terms with reality without attempting to undermine the status of Buddhism in this country. It is only then that all communities can live in peace and harmony. With that naturally, the people will expect to see steps being taken towards “re-creating” a righteous society from the highest levels of leadership to the lowest. It is only if people see their leaders taking the lead role, that they will fall in line with no “Vedi Bane” as it were.

 What is necessary from the new President, is not to see him getting blessed by large congregations of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu or Muslim Clergy but to show a firm stand of what he is & how he intends to take this country towards prosperity & peace without yielding to external pressures while following a clear path of discipline and efficiency and a visible reduction in waste and luxury at the cost of the tax payer with no benefit whatsoever to the tax payer himself. Tamashas, perks, abuse of power must be stopped forthwith and decency brought back. Sri Lanka deserves a better deal now that the terrorist war is over! Please do not take either the Sinhalese or Buddhists to be fools and think that by merely making superficial gestures, they will be appeased. Genuine action in word and deed is the dire need of the hour.

One Response to “Politics In Sri Lanka & The Hypocrisy That Goes With It”

  1. hyoosuf Says:

    SRI LANKAN VOTERS ARE INTELLIGENT AND MAJORITY OF THEM CANNOT BE FOOLED BY PARTY POLITICS. WHEN WE STUDY THE PATTERN OF FORMER ELECTIONS IT WILL BE VERY CLEAR THAT NO NEW COMER TO POLITICS CAN WIN IN A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. THEREFORE WHEN WE MAKE A MATHEMATICAL CONCLUSION SUPPORTED BY STATISTICS PRESIDENT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA WILL WIN THE ELECTION BY SECURING AT LEAST 60% OF THE VOTES.

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