Democratic Freedoms, Utopia promised and the road to oblivion – a la Iraq, Libya and Syria!
Posted on December 27th, 2014

Ratanapala

There is no place on earth that can truly be corruption free and where there is Yaha Palanaya or Good Governance. In spite of this reality, this is the word, which is parroted by every Sri Lankan opposed to the Rajapakse regime.. In the US, UK, France, Italy to Australia and New Zealand corruption abounds. It varies only to a degree from one to the other. When” exposed due process takes place.

What is euphemistically called lobbying” is mega corruption going into Billions of Dollars. Those who steal by the billions are set free while the prisons are full of those who committed petty crimes. In America Mega Thieves are sent home with Million Dollar bonuses while a black boy who carries  a toy gun is shot dead mercilessly on the streets; the corrupt and racist police go home scot free in a country which enjoys Jeffersonian Democracy – a la All men are created equal” etc etc.  Corporate thieves have cornered 99% of the wealth in the US and the 1% are taking to the streets calling for justice and to Occupy Wall Street”. Many others are homeless and living in cardboard boxes in the streets. Victims of Hurricane Katrina are still crying for help to rebuild their shattered lives. This is Yaha Palanaya , democracy and human rights in the only Exceptional” nation on earth – the US! The situation is no different in the UK and other so called developed countries.

Corruption can only be reduced. As long as profit and more profit is the driving force of world economics there is no way corruption and graft can be entirely stopped. The word ” greasing palms” amply describes the situation. Just as much as machinery requires lubrication capitalist economics cannot work without some graft. This is human nature.

Thus it is clear that, limited corruption is necessary for development and essential for fast development. Captains of industry and commerce are no saints – they are doers and movers of the destiny of nations. It is the trickle down that reaches those at the lower rungs of society. This is the natural way and the most cost effective way. It is up to the governments in power to stop the rich taking it all, as has now happened in the US. We live in society subject to an unwritten social contract. It is the duty of the rulers to see that this contract is kept fair and acceptable, especially for those who are at the bottom rungs of society.

A recent case in point is South Korea. General Park Chung He seized power in South Korea and ruled that country with an iron hand for 17 years. During President Park Chung He’s presidency, he allowed his close friends ad lib means fair and not so fair to develop and prosper. The government undertook major road works – highways and railroad systems enabling employment for the unemployed and the poor.  The result is today we have world economic giants like Samsung, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo. In the process they built the largest harbor in the world in Busan.  A country devoid of any economical resources took bold steps and the captains of industry in that country answered the patriotic call to take South Korea from abject poverty to First World status in a less than 3 decades. Even today ordinary South Koreans hate what they had to go through, but almost to a man or woman agree that it was necessary to become what they are today. Within thirty years – a country devastated by an internecine war which resulted in levels of poverty unseen anywhere else on earth and still officially at war with North Korea managed to stage the 1988 Olympic Games in style – all done and delivered within 30 years.  The lesson to be learnt is as long as money is not pilfered and put to good use to bring about progress, it does not matter who has the money or the power; for money is the power that runs engines of growth. This is the truth.

We would not have witnessed anything but flat earth” if egalitarianism prevailed in the world from historical times. There wouldn’t be any pyramids in Egypt or Hanging Gardens in Babylon or Maha Stupas, and Great Hydraulic Reservoirs in Sri Lanka nor other wonders of human endeavor if wealth were used only to keep the people fed and happy. Arts and crafts wouldn’t have developed into what they are today if not for surpluses in the hands of the powerful. The world will not witness the wonders of the Michael Angelo, wonders of Ajantha and Vellora nor the Sigiri Frescoes in a world where only endeavor is to eat, drink, procreate and die which is not far from animal behavior.

In America the term robber baron came into common usage, it was often applied to a small group of men. Notable examples were: Cornelius Vanderbilt, owner of steamship lines and railroads, Andrew Carnegie, steel manufacturer, J.P. Morgan, financier and banker, John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, Jay Gould, Wall Street trader, Jim Fisk, Wall Street trader and Russell Sage. These financiers and captains of industry and commerce are often called upon as the men who made America what it is today but they were also the Robber Barons! They were and even today the institutions they left behind are the business corporate leaders of the US. And yet they still remain the epitome of corruption, collusion and purveyors of injustice around the world.  However if not for them the world would not be what it is today. If not for Marshall Stalin a much maligned person in the post World War II era and his victory over the Nazi Germany, we would all be slaves of the Nazis. Let us not forget it was he who turned the tide of war at Stalingrad and rolled back the Nazi  juggernaut all the way back to Berlin and oblivion.

Minister Illangaratne was accused of having hotels in Switzerland and Gamini Dissanayake of having apple orchards in Australia, Lalith Athulathmudali of having a fleet of ships. President Premadasa is accused of large scale corruption and even murder. Loose mouths salivate and accuse others of corruption; their only grievance is that they are not in power to do the same or more.  So far there is hardly any politician from the time of Independence or even before who can claim that he or she has amassed their fortunes by entirely legal and non-corrupt means. All have enriched themselves but not to the extent professed by the accusers. In Sri Lankan politics slander and petty blackmail remains the main currency.

 People talk of Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom of Expression as panacea – Kokatath Thailaya for all ills of human kind. Today the very forces that undermine these heavenly virtues have hijacked the same slogans. These high minded and practically unattainable ideals are used to bring down weak nations and to keep the uninformed and the uneducated feeling guilty and subjugated. Since of late they are being used for regime change – think of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria only to name a recent few unfortunate countries that have fallen from the pan into the fire.

In Sri Lanka  we saw the end of a 30 year war the longest war of the last 100 years anywhere in the world.  The government brought freedom to nearly 300 thousand lives kept as a human shield by the LTTE terrorists. Sri Lanka rehabilitated nearly all of the 11,000  prisoners of war most of them one time die hard terrorists; today they are useful citizens of Sri Lanka.  Demining estimated to take many years is nearly complete in less than 3 years.

Now we see mega developments taking place all over the country. In doing so, means of transport – so roading, bridges, harbours, airports are paramount. No private enterprise will invest in these ventures as return on investment is small and thus pay back periods are long and twenty to thirty year periods are typical. The Chunnel Tunnel that was constructed between UK and France broke even only a year ago and that was after more than 20 years. The Accelerated Mahaveli Development Project is one such project from yesteryear. Today Sri Lanka is almost self sufficient in paddy cultivation and in the extraction of major hydro power potential thanks to the Mahaveli Project.

Anybody over 40 years will remember the stories we had in Sri Lanka at that time. The story that generations of Sri Lankans will have to pay for the Mahaweli Project was in the mouth of every distractor of that project in the eighties. Today these very same accusations are leveled against building the road network, the harbors, the airports etc. Whether there is corruption or not country electrification is a main success of the Rajapakse regime. Purified and treated pipe borne water is being made available and it is said that closer to 60% of the island will receive this luxury in the coming years.

The accusers only talk of corruption and lack of democratic freedoms. However we are yet to see any of these worthies instituting legal action in the courts of law for it is their bounden duty not only to expose and bring the alleged perpetrators to justice. In the absence of such moves all such accusations should be deemed slander and nothing else.

The Sri Lankan nation is at cross roads again where the citizenry are called on to decide and choose between rival candidates for the Presidency of Sri Lanka.  One successfully brought the unwinnable 30 year war to its successful conclusion and is now in the process of laying the necessary infrastructural needs of the country. He is deemed to be corrupt and authoritative, amassing all the power around him, his brothers and their families. Just as much as he did during the war – relying on his brothers for bringing the war to a fast and early completion – he still has to depend on those whom he can trust. Knowing the type of people he has to have around him  for political purposes it is easy to understand his predicament.

The other contender has little to show other than that he is the mouthpiece of a set of disgruntled and hateful political failures. Ranil is looking for a scapegoat who can take on the burden of failure without adding onto his already impressive list of successive failures now coming closer to 30. The other is a hateful political failure trying hard to regain political limelight in the hope that Sri Lanka has forgotten her sordid Presidency and her traitorous 12 year rule. This gathering of misfits, whose only common goal is regime change, is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

The choice is whether to live silently under the supposedly warm and comfortable pile of dung that is the supposedly corrupt  Mahinda Rajapakse rule, or to shout from the roof tops for Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom of speech and vote for the Common Candidate, who is backed by the Bandit Queen and the Batalanda Torturer. This promised utopia could only lead Sri Lanka to another Iraq, another Afghanistan, another Libya or another Syria.

I will choose the warm and comfortable pile of dung to live under, for all the gold and oil in Iraq, Libya or Syria! I will vote  Mahinda Rajapakse for a third term in office, for persons with real leadership qualities are rare and at a premium in the world!

If Rajapakse wins Aiyo Sirisena! If Sirisena wins Aiyo Sri Lanka!

 

Ratanapala

4 Responses to “Democratic Freedoms, Utopia promised and the road to oblivion – a la Iraq, Libya and Syria!”

  1. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Sri Lankan businesses are known for buttering both sides of their bread in politics. Businesses fund both the incumbent and the challenger at elections, as a security measure against political retaliation and as an investment for future favours, after elections.

    Meanwhile, corruption allegations against the incumbent by the challenger are seen as part of the election mud-slinging culture in Sri Lanka and not taken too literally by Sri Lankans.

    Sri Lankans are accustomed to unfulfilled promises made by politicians during campaigns and election mud-slinging culture.

    It is high time politicians started telling Sri Lankans the truth during election campaigns

    Every politician knows that the key to winning elections is to make great promises. There’s an old saying about election promises, “They’re like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver.” Keeping the election campaign promises is a rare feat. You can call the election campaign promises as misstatements, compromises, concessions, or lies, but older and more cynical voters have built up enough defense mechanisms so as to avoid the most painful stings of disappointment.

    BTW MY3 has revealed himself to be perhaps the most shameless, duplicitous, self-serving politician of his era

    If Rajapakse wins Aiyo Sirisena! IF SIRISENA WINS AIYO AIYO MOTHER LANKA!

  2. Nimal Says:

    Yes Ratnapala
    Names you mentioned are not without faults does it mean we too have to put up with corruption and are you condoning corruption and criminal activity in the island?

  3. anura seneviratna Says:

    Dear Ratnapala,

    Thanks and congratulations for your wisdom and explaining about things, people and world as they truly are!

  4. Ratanapala Says:

    Yes Nimal, I am a pragmatist. I don’t go to the jungle and pretend that there are no tigers and other denizens of the forest out to do harm. I accept the reality and try to make the most of it.

    If Rajapakse regime is corrupt they are enriching themselves out of people’s money they will pay for their misdeeds many times over either in this life or in the hereafter. Those who have robbed public money haven’t fared well – think of Marcos of the Philippines, of Suharto of Indonesia, Mubarak of Egypt – in the end all of them lamented accusing their families for their fall from grace. These are good lessons for the Rajapakses.

    The trouble in the current narrative about corruption is that none of the worthies who point fingers have taken their accusations through the necessary channels to institute justice. In the absence of such efforts the accusations end up merely being political slander.

    The good thing about Rajapakse regime is they could be corrupt, but they also have shown results throughout the length and breadth of the country – be it peace efforts, war, reconstruction, reconciliation, laying new infrastructure, education – yes I can go on. What have the two hoodlums who pretend to be owners of Sri Lanka – the politically discredited Robber Queen and the Batalanda Torturer done for the greater good of the nation? Now they are trying to capture power from the backdoor through Sevela Sirisena. These two having failed the nation and their own supporters, are now serving a contract to the Christian West to dismember Sri Lanka and make way for the balkanisation of India.

    (Sri Lanka is the stepping stone to balkanise India. India knows this and that is why the LTTE is still a banned organisation in India.)

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