To what extent does money and perks play in the decisions of politicians?
Posted on November 19th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 A country is governed by a government. That government is chosen by the people. People chose the representatives based on various factors and that generally rotates from personal advantage to considering the national needs and in particular the national security dimension. Unlike other developing nations, Sri Lanka’s literacy being over 90% the people are well read about the mechanisations at play and are well informed about the faultlines of global politics. Nevertheless, the wicked factor that taps into and turns even noble politicians into victims are their own weaknesses of character and falling prey to handouts offered in dollars and pounds. The question that needs to be answered is how far does money play in the political decisions that politicians take.

With the current political impasse it is necessary to ponder to whether decisions taken by parties and politicians have the element of money playing not only a key role but the sole role that is today attempting to create dissent and division without regime change per se.

From past encounters and revelations we know that politicians can be bought over for a minimum of 5m, a car permit and a house. If foreign players are involved the price tag is likely to be a green card, scholarships for children, family relocation to foreign climes, a house etc. Having taken these perks these same people come on stage and speak of ‘integrity’ and against ‘corruption’ and ignorant voters end up voting for them too!

It is unfortunate that national policies, national needs and national objectives have been replaced with politicians entering politics only to enjoy perks of office and then when their desires are in excess of what they can enjoy under the current conditions they become gullible to other sharks willing to offer more and that entices them onto a platform that ends up parroting accusations against those under whom they enjoyed perks of office.

Let it not be said enough that politicians have few morals or ethics today and are unfit to appear before us and talk of integrity having fallen prey to a system that they cannot change and in so trying to change they are likely to be thrown out. Thus, politics has become a malady for the global community for global politicians have made the world worse than the world would have been without their decision making. Some of their actions have caused entire nations to fall to pieces with generations likely to suffer as a result of the damage they have caused to the environment.

Returning to the Sri Lankan scenario it is good for the people to ponder as to what makes politicians tick and become hyperactive proponents of demands close to elections which never became issues before. If money is playing a role in that change of character it is for the voters to decide to discard them and not fall prey to antics that are out to divide voters, divide votes and lead the country to disintegration wherein lack of a majority leader will lead to anarchy and is just what the protagonists looking to destabalize Sri Lanka are manipulating throwing goodbags that weak politicians succumb to.

The voters need to gather and decide their choice based on what the need of the country is and that thought must remain foremost on people’s mind as well as considering the pluses and minuses of voting for people who have a bleak history of governance, who have no history of governance and those who are susceptible to becoming ‘yes men/women’ for those hoping to manipulate Sri Lanka from foreign climes.

It is good for the people to now itself start thinking their choice. What people must take stock of is that after independence in 1948, becoming a republic in 1972 Sri Lanka enjoyed only a handful of years true independence and thereafter the country was faced with internal conflicts, insurgencies ending up with terrorism suffered for 30 years causing colossal deaths, damage to property, generations in debt, war widows, orphaned children, injured and disabled soldiers and civilians and even scores of brainwashed Tamils falling prey to LTTE lies today suffering and being victims themselves. That terror was defeated against much odds and against forces that comprised our own people who merited from the prevalence of terrorism and wished to have its continuity for their own personal gains. Some key people deserve our eternal gratitude alongside long lists of unsung heroes who are both dead and living.

That hard won peace cannot and should not be bargained, compromised or be allowed to be held to ransom by people who in our doubts may have succumbed to money and perks promised for their change in stance. Whatever party they belong to, the people must identify politicians who are vulnerable to handouts and deny them the chance to ruin our country by rejecting them through our vote. The voters have more power than they fathom.

Money can be thrown and politicians can be bought but it is the voters that eventually decide and that makes the voter the key differentiator and the kingpin.

4 Responses to “To what extent does money and perks play in the decisions of politicians?”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Money can be thrown and politicians can be bought but it is the voters that eventually decide.

    Right now, manipulation – e.g. lowering costs of food, fuel, milk powder etc. before the election,
    muds slinging and false hood against other politicians,
    using the system to bar competing politicians to cut down the competition – that is why Sarath Fonseka does not have civlc rights,
    false propaganda promoting the incumbent most powerful man to fool the voters.
    using the govt money, govt vehicles, institutions and govt workers to run the election campaign – all those are legal when the governing party politicians is one candidate.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Since the so called independence of 1948 people have been subjected to tyranny and neglect by the regimes in power. One has to live in a Western country to know the difference. The reason why most of us want to live in the west.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Bravo, Shenali! You hit the treacherous nail right on its greedy head!

    And in support of your very impartial and exquisitely non-partisan comments directed at no politician in particular, but at all politicians in general, I would like to charge headlong like a bull into the political china shop, and add the following comments.

    Why is the JHU not DEMANDING the REPEAL of the 13th Amendment instead of DEMANDING the Executive Presidency be REMOVED, a new 19th Amendment be ENACTED, and the 17th Amendment be RESTORED, all designed to clip the Executive Presidency? Why is the JHU cutting off the hand that fed it, and spitting against the wind?

    The Presidential form of government with an Executive Presidency has been adopted on a PERMANENT BASIS by many powerful Western Nations, for example USA and FRANCE, as being far more stable than British-style Parliaments, and better able to respond to threats against their nations.

    Why is that form of Governance now deemed unsuitable for Sri Lanka that emerged only 5 years ago from 30 years of murderous separatist conflict and deep dispair?

    When the nation continues to be STILL threatened by Neocolonialist Western Powers, acting in collusion with internal and external separatist and enemies striving to dismantle and reverse the gains of the Victory of 2009, why do these ASININE “PATRIOTS” demand that the EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY be REPEALED? Why? Why are they cutting off their noses to spite their faces?

    As RATIONAL people, we MUST QUESTION their underlying MOTIVES.

    I think the JHU has changed into a different mindset since Victory was achieved in 2009, after tasting the perks and profits of Ministerial power in the UPFA government, and the Provincial Council positions they have held, in the past 5 years.

    When their people were demoted recently, for lack of PERFORMANCE in their duties, to lesser positions with smaller budgets that they could use for political patronage, they seem to have decided that it was NO LONGER WORTH IT for them to support the President.

    Ergo … their resignations just-in-time on the eve of the Presidential election …. to exert MAXIMUM LEVERAGE … cloaked in expressions of dissatifaction regarding excessive Presidential power and government corruption!

    If that is not putting one’s personal greed for power, prestige and wealth before the security and progress of one’s own Motherland, what is? Clearly, the JHU has changed in character by their sojourn in the Garden of Eden, and perhaps become corrupted by their tasting the Forbidden Fruit of political power. Having tasted that fruit, now they want MORE!

    Now, the JHU considers that it is MORE IMPORTANT to retain and exercise those and greater powers, and enrich themselves, than to fight in the National Interest of the Sinhala Buddhists by demanding that the 13th Amendment be REPEALED!

    Rather than FIGHT for removal of the 13th Amendment, now they seek to cripple the Government, and to remove precisely those powers necessary to consolidate the hard-won gains of 2009 and rapidly develop the nation into an IMPREGNABLE ECONOMIC and MILITARY POWER.

    Let us consider this: if the 13A is REPEALED, like many other Provincial Council Ministers, the JHU will LOSE THEIR CUSHY POSITIONS in the PC System. Therefore, for these FIERY PATRIOTS of just 5 YEARS AGO, the 13A is NO LONGER the PROBLEM they had previously wanted to eradicate, but has now become something to be PRESERVED to serve their personal interests!

    Who is to say where this process of metamorphosis from patriot to greedy satrap may go? To an NGO paid puppet perhaps … joining in the rising clamor for Ranil Wickramasinghe of the UNP to be WHITEWASHED as a patriot and anointed as the COMMON CANDIDATE for President?

    My God, how low have the PATRIOTS of yore have FALLEN today!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    If Maitripala Sirisena and 20 MPs defect from the SLFP, it could create a HUGE PROBLEM for the Governing UPFA!

    Is this true, or merely a wishful rumor spread by Sri Lanka’s enemies?

    If so, the PATRIOTIC ALLIANCE is truly fractured, and FUTURE National Integrity and Economic Progress of our Motherland is SERIOUSLY at RISK!

    Et tu, Brute’!

    I hope those “PATRIOTIC IDIOTS” and “ASININE CONCERNED CITIZENS” who are undermining the UPFA Government and the President will ENJOY the return of Anarchy and Chaos to the nation after 5 years of peace, tranquility, security and progress. Forget the Vision of becoming the New Wonder of Asia and prepare to usher in another Age of Destruction and Death!

    When bombs start exploding again killing your loved ones, and the nation screeches to a halt. and becomes a basket case AGAIN, PLEASE BLAME YOURSELVES and NOT OTHERS! You have sown the seeds of your own destruction!

    ………………….
    Major split in Sri Lanka’s ruling party is anticipated ahead of presidential election

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s political circles anticipate a major split in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) ahead of the filing of nominations for the presidential elections.

    Media reports quoting United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Ajith P. Perera said that General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Maithripala Sirisena would quit the party with about 20 leaders of the party.

    MP Perera has said that the UNP will support a common candidate. The common candidate would be either UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe or SLFP secretary Maithripala Sirisena, media reports speculated.

    It has also been reported that the government had failed to compel former UPFA Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to cross over from UNP to join the government.

    Websites handled by Samaraweera have restarted to criticize the government vehemently after a lapse of several weeks.

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