Eye-caching Slogans and Consequences
Posted on July 14th, 2015

S . Akurugoda

The country’s electorates have been taken for rides  in the past by power hungry politicians who used  eye-catching  slogans  such as ‘Dharmister Samajaya‘ (A  just society’ ),  ‘Samaya‘ (Peace’)’ , ‘Pivithuru Hetak‘ (‘Just and Fair  society for better tomorrow’) , Yahapalanaya‘  (‘Good Governanace’) etc. and the  consequences were disastrous in some cases .

‘A just Society’ of J.R. Jayawardane  and R. Premadasa

The main slogan of the 1977 election was to establish a ‘Dharmister Samajaya‘. While preaching ‘Dharmister Samajaya‘, J.R. Jayawardane  (J.R.J) vowed to provide leave to policemen for one week, soon after the election. As a result, assaulting and destroying properties of families who voted for the SLFP were carried out by organised mobs soon after the election results were announced,  a situation which was not seen before during our lifetime.

J.R.J obtained undated resignation letters from his Party MPs, soon after the election, and used them as his ‘yes’ men throughout out his rule.  The only parliamentarian who escaped from that trap was Mr Gamini Jayasuriya who opposed J.R.-Rajiv Pact and had the guts to resign and go home when the government  presented the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in the parliament.

Political victimisation was at its highest level .  A typical example was the appointment of a so-called  special commission, instead of following the courtiers normal legal procedures for any wrong doings, , to deprive the civil rights of former Prime Minister Mrs Bandaranaike and her close associates.

In July 1980,  over 43,000 workers lost their jobs for taking part in a strike organised by their trade unions. In addition, beating opponents with bicycle chains was introduced to suppress the freedom of expression. One could ask the question, remembering how personalities like Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra were beaten up when participating in a protest rally, whether anyone had the freedom of expression when the ‘bicycle chain’ culture was at its peak? One could also ask how the Supreme Court judges were humiliated for exercising their judicial freedom by delivering a right judgement in favour of Mrs Vivienne Goonawardane.

Soon after the next Presidential election held in 1982,  Vijaya Kumarathunge  was jailed under the emergency regulations by J.R J for allegedly being a “Naxalite“, without  any evidences. The referendum held, soon after the Presidential election (instead of dissolving the Parliament) is one of the worst election held in since independence.

J.R.J government removed the security forces from the coastal areas of the Northern and Eastern provinces in order to please the Tamil politicians, disregarding the  importance of national security, as a result of underestimating the establishment  of routes of separatism  in those areas with the assassination of Alfred Duraiappah, a former MP and Mayor  of Jaffna in 1975.  The J.R.J turned a blind eye on the strengthening of the separatist movement until 13 soldiers were ambushed and killed by the LTTE in July 1983.

The LTTE commenced their attack on civilians in 1987 with the Pettah Bus Station bombing which killed 113 civilians and continued their massacres  until 2009. The evils of  terrorism continued for decades with loss of several thousand of lives (including those of innocent civilians), almost daily in addition to the loss of  billions worth of properties.

The country experienced  a ‘Bheesanaya‘ (rule of terror), the orgy of killings where around 65,000 lives were lost, disappearances that swept southern parts of the country in the late 80s when government-backed death squads put down the insurrection of the JVP  amidst  the evils terrorism of the Tamil separatist groups of the northern and eastern parts,   another situation which was not seen before  during our life time.  Youths were killed , either beheaded or burnet live  with tyres around their necks, almost daily during that time.

As per the report released on 12 April 1998 by the ‘Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry Act’ (a fact-finding mission and had no judicial powers) to investigate activities of Batalanda, recommended to the government to bring the guilty to book”. One of its findings was that Wickremesinghe and the SSP Nalin Delgoda, are indirectly responsible for the maintenance of places of unlawful detention and torture chambers in houses at the Batalanda Housing Scheme”. It further stated that Wickremesinghe held unauthorised meetings of police officers involved in counter-insurgency operations in the housing complex, and that as such, he had abused his authority”. However, no criminal proceedings took pace thereafter for some unknown reason.

A large quantity of military weapons were handed over to the LTTE by the Premadasa regime as part of a secret deal and the LTTE used weapons given by Premadasa to kill hundreds of police officers in the Eastern province in 1991.

‘Peace and Good Governance’ of Chandrika and Ranil

Chandrika Kumaratunga, who came to power hijacking SLFP in 1994,   was of no difference.  She attempted her best to give ‘self rule’ to the terrorist outfit under the guise of a ‘Peace Package’. She, having won the 1994 presidential election, offered the entire Northern Province to LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran for a period of ten years without elections in a bid to appease him.

The deteriorating national and the individual security invariably provided a greater room for the intervention of opportunistic foreign hands. The signing of P-TOMS  by Chandrika to share tsunami relief with Prabhakaran  and establishing so-called dubious Peace Facilitators and Co-Chairs to administer the country’s internal affairs etc were typical examples of  such  exploitation of the opportunities until 2005.

The signing of the so-called peace agreement of Ranil -Prabhakaran, allowed LTTE to have their own areas of administration, police, armed forces, court of law etc and the then government of Sri Lanka gave the terrorist outfit   an unprecedented recognition.

None of the above pacts or so-called solutions promoted by the interveners helped us to achieve the preached peace or security but enhanced routes of terrorism and separatism  leading to the creation of  ‘an unofficial state’ in the LTTE held areas. Had that so-called ‘Peace’ process continued, unopposed, the country would have been divided long ago with a formation of a country called Eelam under the rule of Prabhakaran and Sri Lanka under the rule of a puppet regime of the West.

The country was almost at the verge  of separation on racial basis until the Precedential election held in 2005.  The elected President of 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa gave the necessary political leadership to defeat the decades long terrorism and to re-establish peace, national security and the unitary state of the country while preserving the national identity by leaving no room for those opportunistic foreign elements  for further involvement in the internal affairs of the  country.

‘Just and Fair  society for better tomorrow’ and ‘Good Governance’ of Maithripala and Ranil

Although the current regime’s main slogan before the Presidential election was to create ‘Yahapalanaya’ by prosecuting the culprits of corruption, it adopted ad-hoc measures to cover up its failure to furnish incriminating evidence it claimed to have in its possession against its opponents before the presidential election. The formation of the so-called Fraud & Corruption Investigation Division  (FCID ) under the instructions of Ranil Wickramasinghe, who was once found guilty of abusing his  authority  by the ‘Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry Act’ to investigate activities of Batalanda (as stated above), is highly questionable.

 

Worse, it had Parliament dissolved when it felt its interests were being threatened vis-à-vis corruption charges against its leaders including Ranil Wickramasinghe and Ravi Karunanayake!  All those who aborted the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report on the Central Bank bond scam by dissolving Parliament  and not heeding  former COPE Chairmen’s   call for using his executive powers to initiate action thereon have no moral right to advocate good governance and campaign for the next election on an anti-corruption platform.

 

The Wele Suda circus has been suspended. The CID has, during the past few months, taken into custody suspects with bogus NICs etc, but nobody has been arrested on the basis of Wele Suda’s confessions. Is it that the police consider drug dealing a lesser offence than forging NICs?

With the change of government in last January, incidences of dismantling or reduction of several High Security Zones and Defence Establishments in the North and East of Sri Lanka have been reported, jeopardising the country’s national security.

The policy of reducing the high security zones, closure of defence forces camps, confining troops to barracks, the release of LTTE cadres suspected of criminal activities and proposal to remove the ban imposed on LTTE front organisations and individuals with LTTE links  functioning in foreign soils under the guise of so-called reconciliation  appear to be an attempt to appease the LTTE lobby and other assorted internal and external political forces, especially the opportunistic foreign hands  who were behind the regime change.

The current government’s proclamation that singing the  national Anthem  in both Sinhala and Tamil during national ceremonies is a gross violation of the country’s Constitution and its aim  to make a new National Flag to be used during national ceremonies is an another attempt to degrade the national identity.

Time to think and act wisely

Thus the basic question we have in front of us today is whether we are prepared to go back to the 1977-2005 era or to go ahead with the peace and prosperity achieved since then up to the January 8th of this year.

Henceforth, it is the duty of the peace-loving patriotic general public of Sri Lanka,  regardless of their party affiliations,  to cast their much valued vote to ensure in protecting the national security and identity, remembering those   heroic men and women of the Sri Lankan security forces who fought to re-establish peace, national security and the unitary state of the country.

S . Akurugoda

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