Lucky rejects and hypocrites
Posted on August 26th, 2015

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana Courtesy Island

The editorial ‘Lucky rejects’ (The Island 25 August) ‘hits the nail on the head’ and the Editor deserves to be congratulated on exposing the hypocrisy of not only the two major political parties but also of the proponents of good governance, who seem to have double standards, when he states:

“But, when the incumbent President unflinchingly uses the draconian constitutional provisions to further his interests, the campaigners for good governance blame the Constitution and not him! They used to float like butterflies and sting like bees when Rajapaksa was at fault, but today they are floating like bees and stinging like butterflies, so to speak! Is it that they cannot bring themselves to inveigh against their heroes who have been found to have feet of clay?”

A story, even better, came to my mind; that of the man when caught coming down a ‘Kitul’ tree after stealing toddy giving the excuse that he went up to cut grass!

In an opinion piece I wrote on ‘Good Governance’ and published on Saturday 23 July, the concluding paragraph was:

“Front page photograph of The Island on 24 July shows Ven. Madulawe Sobhitha Thera receiving the manifesto of the UNP led United National Front for Good Governance from RanilWickramasinghe. I wonder why he did not ask Ranil about the bond scam. Does he trust Ranil for good governance under these circumstances?”

But, I like to add the final line that was edited out;

“Or, by association, unfortunately, is he also joining the band of hypocrites?”

Politics in Sri Lanka never seem to stop amazing us. The two major parties that should have joined forces to defeat terrorism, which they refused to do and one party was liberal with sarcasm not only towards the opponents but also at the services fighting for the integrity of the country, are very keen to be bed-fellows now! The only possible explanation is that they are jockeying for positions forgetting that, at times of peace, the opposition is the vanguard of democracy. As a result, an ethnically based minority party is now demanding the position of the Leader of the Opposition. When such an appointment was made under JR, albeit under different circumstances, he strengthened the position to supress Mrs B resulting in the holder going round the world spreading false propaganda.

The electorate seems as confused as the leaders best illustrated by the most paradoxical result of the last election. President Sirisena’s former electorate and the adjoining one voted UNP in spite of President Sirisena being the leader of the SLFP. It surely cannot be a rebuff to the President. Did the electorate believe that the President was supporting the UNP than his own party? Surely not. May be that it was their way of showing gratitude to the UNP for having enabled ‘ape miniha’ to be the President.

Can we ever hope for honest politicians? Is good governance only a day-dream? Pondering over these, I am reminded of two incidents.

When I was working in the Cardiology Unit, a Member of Parliament who was a regular patient of mine and was then in opposition told me “Doctor, wait for the next election. We will be in power and will show them how to earn. We will do better than them!” He was naively honest with his doctor in whom he could confide. He was correct; it is an undeniable fact that every Government in Sri Lanka has been more corrupt than the previous Government.

The other story was told by my father which I am sure he got from the horse’s mouth.

A very well-known and much respected high priest had approached Dudley Senanayaka and told him:

“Prime Minister, if you appoint Mr ———-(a well-known politician from the South belonging to his caste} as a Minister, I will support your Government and get our people also to support you’’

To which Dudley has promptly replied “Venerable Sir, Please leave politics to me and you should look after religion”

The high priest continued to criticize Dudley as his nominee was not made a Minister.

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