The Opposition
Posted on February 4th, 2011

MahamahaRaja

On this important day for our nation, we should reflect on the nature of our country, and specifically on a vital pillar of our system of government.

What can be said about opposition parties in democracies? What is their role? Of course, it is to hold the government to account to its own manifesto promises. It is also to highlight any injustices carried out by the governing party, or any other actor, be it against other political parties, particular individuals or against the sovereignty, integrity and honour of the state. On all these accounts, the Sri Lankan opposition fails miserably.

Though they should disagree on policy matters, an opposition does not need to be the enemy of the governing party. If we look to the developed countries, a nationalistic opposition is what we see. No better example exists of this than that of our former imperial master, Britain.

While Labour and the Conservatives may disagree vehemently on the degree, depth, speed and even the very requirement for public expenditure cuts in the financial crisis currently afflicting Britain “”…” a result of 13 years of Labour profligacy, waste and the filling of the public sector with their cronies in an attempt to reduce unemployment and retain Labour votes “”…” the two parties’ discussion on the recent developments in Egypt toed the same line, affirming democracy as the right of all peoples, but neither party willing to call for the immediate resignation of the hated dictator. The supposedly socialist Labour party’s stance may be disconcerting, but is quite predictable given the alacrity with which they took part in multiple wars during their long reign over Britain with Blair and Brown.

Similarly over the Iraq war issue, the then opposition Conservatives did not even once question the legitimacy of the case for war, only trotting out their supposed “doubts” two years later during the next election campaign, when the war wasn’t going smoothly and public opinion was even more firmly against the conflict than before it began.

What is important to note is that back in 2003, over a million Britons marched through London to stop the war from going ahead, but though such a prospect would have been the stuff of which dreams were made for Ranil and his treacherous cabal in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the opposition Conservatives in Britain did not utter a single word of protest! Instead, they fully supported the war, only to reverse their position during the election of 2005, to much ridicule from Labour benches “”…” and quite rightly so!

In fact the clownish Conservative Leader of the Opposition at the time, Iain Duncan Smith, pranced out of a meeting with Blair at No. 10 and “”…” as attested to by the Labour Deputy PM John Prescott (a former ship’s deck-boy before entering politics through union connections) who stated that the Labour party’s greatest asset was Ian Duncan Smith “”…” proved his allegiance to the government by declaring  for all and sundry (while fidgeting with his blazer buttons) that the Conservatives fully supported the war, and that he had been requested by the PM to announce this to the media. At the end of the statement, a curtain in one of the front windows of the prime minister’s residence could be seen to move, and I have little difficulty in imagining the Blairs and Prescott stepping back from that window and laughing their heads off having seen the spectacle playing out in front of them.

And here we come to the role of Sri Lanka’s opposition parties. The principal player at the moment is the UNP which together with the militaristic DNA and, ironically, the Marxist JVP (an organization which is antithetical to the UNP) forms a rather unsettling nexus of “opposition.” Pray tell me dear reader, what does it say about one’s nation when the “opposition” is made up of Christian crony capitalists (UNP), a cricketer and an army general (DNA), and some Marxist thugs who are too old to take part in an insurrection (JVP)?

But sadly for what was once such a strong democracy as Sri Lanka, they are not just opposition but enemies of the government, and of the Sri Lankan people.

On every issue, from the war on Tamil terror to the price of coconuts, this opposition group is only able to demonize and slander the government. Where are the alternative solutions? Where is the spirit of hearty debate which is supposed to, and once did, characterize our great nation and its political system? They love to shout from the rooftops about alleged media suppression or political persecution, but when the UNP has behaved equally badly, if not worse, and when the JVP have even resorted to terrorism themselves against their fellow Sinhalese, these shouts ring hollow.

They jump into action when some greedy businessman is arrested, they yell when a pro-secessionist media outlet burns down (while ready with new computers instantly), and they scream with the Indians to demand extradition of a key terrorism suspect.

But where were they when the bombs were exploding in buses and trains? Where were they when Sinhalese villagers were being hacked to death by raving bands of machete-wielding Tamil terrorists? Why did they hand over advanced radio communications equipment to Tamil terrorists who were banned across the globe, an act which even the anti-Buddhist Norwegians were ashamed to take part in? Where are Ranil’s protestations at Ban Ki Moon, demanding the $4 billion of aid money promised in return for taking part in the “peace process”? We took part in that “process” at great cost of Sri Lankan lives, but not a dime has yet been seen. Or has the money been deposited already, elsewhere”¦ perhaps a central European alpine nation’s vaults, under the name of certain greedy UNPers, shall we say? Oh that’s right, over there they use only numbers for accounts, no identifiable information!

We must never forget Ranil’s absolute treachery by delivering “Eelam” on a silver platter to Praba. Similarly Premadasa’s betrayal of the security services must also be remembered. And so too with Chandrika’s crimes against our nation. Many hoped that Sajith would lead the party to glory “”…” well, power at least, for I believe the UNP’s glory days are long gone! “”…” but he too spouts the same old anti-national line. Like Hosni Mubarak appointing Omar Suleiman as vice president in Egypt  in order to maintain the corrupt military regime (a post which was empty for three decades), it’s just the same old anti-Sinhalese anti-Buddhist vested interests of the UNP projecting a different face to the masses in the form of Sajith, while pursuing the same pro-foreigner agenda. Shame on Sajith and all the UNPers!

Getting back to Ranil’s favourite nation, Britain, credit is due to Nick Clegg, the current deputy prime minister of the Liberal Democrat-Conservative coalition government, who rightly or wrongly, has remained true to his liberal roots. He opposed the war at its inception and, profoundly, continued to do so after entering government, declaring the war to be “illegal” while standing at the government dispatch box. Clegg’s comments were met with derision by the Labour party (the instigators of war), most of the British media (the propagandists of the war), and even some amongst his own political partners the Conservatives (the abetters of war), all of whom insulted Clegg as acting improperly while in the seat of power by making such statements, whether or not he was correct.

Far worse statements have been made by Sri Lankan politicians with regards to Sri Lanka, for example appearing on BBC propaganda programmes and stating that “Asian countries are unable to behave as open democracies” and calling out in parliament that “war crimes” and “human rights abuses” have been carried out by our soldiers, and stating that Sri Lankans should listen to unjust criticisms with bowed heads and broken spirits and be obedient to the ruthless demands of foreign meddlers.

Rather than the derision and outrage with which these words should have been received by all quarters in Sri Lanka, this Sri Lankan politician’s words were repeated and supported by many politicians and media establishments. Though this particular politician may have ingratiated himself within the diplomatic circles, NGO profiteers and media muckrakers, and no doubt ensured a free Oxbridge education for his offspring, he has brought shame upon our nation, its heroic soldiers and its honest, hard-working people. This sort of behaviour, petty political point-scoring at the cost of the nation’s standing in the world, is just not seen in developed countries.

Speaking of treachery, a BBC correspondent asked a Sri Lankan government minister this question: “The former army chief in the UK, General Dannatt, criticised the Labour government’s war planning and said he supported the Conservative opposition’s plans, [he was just about to retire], but he wasn’t locked up in jail. Why have you arrested Gen. Fonseka for acting similarly in Sri Lanka?” (Or words to that effect.) Here again we have an excellent example of the BBC brand of lies, misrepresentation of facts, condescension, self-righteousness and imperialistic wishful thinking with respect to a non-white country.

The British commander only criticised a political party. He did not claim that any of Blair’s wars (as they have come to be called) were illegal, he did not accuse the British military of committing war crimes or abuses against civilians in Afghanistan or Iraq, he did not say that he would take part in or give evidence to an international enquiry investigating such claims. In fact, his main complaint was that he hadn’t been given ENOUGH soldiers with which to fight the war! Also, he was not running for election to the most powerful political position in the country, and did not say that if he became PM he would be willing to allow an international investigation against his own British soldiers, or that he would line up certain politicians and shoot them in a public square. Now, for everything that the British commander did not do as listed above, Sarath Fonseka DID do in Sri Lanka.

Even more pertinent, Sri Lanka’s was a war on Tamil terror within the internationally recognised borders of the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka, and involved only the terrorists and the Government of Sri Lanka. There was no “coalition of the willing” and there was no invasion of another country. If Sri Lanka had invaded Tamil Nadu, to fight on the streets of Madras so that the streets of Colombo would be safe, (to paraphrase a certain, and best forgotten, Scotsman), then an international enquiry would be somewhat more justified.

However, I would argue that such an action by the Sri Lankan military would have been wholly justified as the LTTE and other Tamil terrorist groups and secessionist political movements which threaten the very existence of Sri Lanka, and the Sinhalese Buddhists in particular, can be traced directly to the actual and only Tamil homeland, that found in southern India. Thus, it would be quite reasonable for an expeditionary fighting force of the Sri Lankan military to clean out Madras, and wherever else, of Tamil terrorist elements, an option which should remain “on the table” at all times (and in anticipation of which an operational capability should be constructed), while the same cannot be said for the British invasion of Iraq.

In summary, it is quite clear from the few examples I have given here and the many more injustices which are fresh in peoples’ memories that the opposition in Sri Lanka is a unique thing indeed! It not only holds the government of Sri Lanka to a far higher standard than it holds its idols in the developed world, but it also acts in ways far more despicable and unacceptable than any opposition of any developed country would ever dream of acting, in even the moment of their lowest opinion poll rating.

The beginning of every weekly session of the UK Prime Minister’s Questions is marked by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition paying homage to the bravery and valour of every British soldier who was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan over the preceding week, with their names being read out in full. In the developed nations, criticism of the military by politicians or the media is a sin, with the oft repeated phrase “We support our troops!” the clarion call for all, no matter what their opinion is of a particular war or conflict. Until this level of decency, patriotism, and standard of behaviour becomes the norm in Sri Lanka, the country will never develop.

Let us hope for a better, nobler and more patriotic opposition in the future, a key component of our great democracy. In fact, let us hope for an actual opposition, as the one we have now “”…” and I quote another Labour Scotsman who is best forgotten “”…” is just not fit for purpose.

On this day, let us be proud of our nation, of our people and of our history. Let us be proud of our soldiers and our government.

Scrap “independence,” today is Freedom Day!

This essay can also be found at thambiraja.wordpress.com.

2 Responses to “The Opposition”

  1. ranjit Says:

    You are damn correct on these hypocrits. I dont have any words to describe these band of traitors in the Opposition. They are the worst kind of Individuals of any kind. I cannot compare them to Dogs even because the dogs are more friendly and helpful. Thse two criminal parties U.N.P & J.V.P who has killed several thousands of our own citizens and helped Terrorists organizations and their white Masters in the west in the past have not learned a lesson at all. They are just hateful and pathatic Individuals who day dream to get the power in to their dirty hands by hook or crook. Ranil the joker should be tried for treason along with his sick goons like Avamangalaya Gossip-monger, Dayasiri the lover boy, Sajith Antic thief, Jayalath Tamil bigot, Karu the rattle snake, Fat Karu CWE thief etc for siding and abetted terrorists groups and helped our enemies in the International community by providing false information regarding our beloved Motherland.

    Main thing is that these SOB’s doesn’t like the face of the President. They are jealous of his looks and his master tactics. From the day he won the elections in 2005 they tried all their tricks to get him out but failed. They make once a upon a time stories about him and his family. Then they start telling stories about Gotabaya our hero and his brother Basil and so on. Sarath Fonseka said in the election time to search for a room in the Bogambara prison for our great President who freed our beloved land from Ranil’s terrorists friends L.T.T.E. JR,Premadasa,Chandrika and Ranil all of them were responsible for the carnage,destruction and lost of lives during the war on terror with the most ruthless group of murderes in our history. These bunch of no good heynas will never be a patriotic opposition at all except they will shrink to the lowest standard of politics to get their hands on the power. Forget these dirty harry’s in the UNP & JVP and let’s help the President and the Government to fulfill their tasks to become LIGHT OF ASIA very soon. Our citizens must reject these liers and thieves in wholesale in this coming LG Elections as they dont have any new ideas or plans for our beloved Motherland. They are simply “MUD SLINGERS” of Zero value to our nation. The group comprises Ranil,Dayasiri,Rossi,Sajith main Vocalists, Somawansa tenor, Awamangala on drums, Jayalath on Clarinet, Karu on Violin, Anura on Base , Clarinet Tilvin and the dancers will be Fat Karu & the rest. This disgusting bunch now saying that Our beloved President have cancer just Imagine how anyone can say these kind of things to a healthy man like our President? Even tell to your enemy such things is not acceptable in my view. Our citizens should judge these people by these kind of attitudes and send them home to retire from politics in the next General Elections. Our beloved nation has a proud history and a bright future under the current President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapksa. DS will rise from his grave and haunt these idiots for not respecting the Independence day as he was the father of the nation who raise the lion flag 63 years ago in our paradise island of SRI LANKA. As you say Scrap Independence and let’s celebrate FREEDOM DAY in the future.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    We think it is a shame that the Opposition is using the Floods crisis to demonstrate against the GoSL , when the Opposition should be helping out in the Flood Relief work. If they had any sense, it is a good time to recover their now tarnished name by helping out stating clearly that they are doing Flood Relief work.
    Who needs Enemies with Friends like our Opposition !

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