Posted on August 15th, 2016
Democracy permits any peaceful manifestation of the people against a government to show their dissatisfaction of the way the country is being ruled. It is of course outside democracy for the people or groups of people or individuals to take up arms of any sort to manifest their dissatisfaction of the way they are being ruled by a government. That would be an armed rebellion or terrorism.
In America there are individuals who show their dissatisfaction on issues that personally affect them by taking a gun and kill children in schools, or innocent people on the street. That is because in USA there are many people who are psychologically ill. Some of them do not take guns but make very impertinent statements that harm countries. If such statements are against the people of the country though in favour of the government in place those are also a form of terrorism against the people who have no means of making the government hear their suffering.
Someone that falls into that latter category is the present US Ambassador Atul Keshup who made a very cheap and a derogatory remark. He had said:
“The United States is committed to the future of all of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s presidential election of January 2015 marked a historic shift in the country’s political direction and made possible a new relationship with the United States. Sri Lankan voters elected a new government built upon the pledge of good governance and national reconciliation and rejected an increasingly authoritarian rule by a government determined to erode democratic institutions”
May be His Excellency the US Ambassador is also psychologically ill.
However that is also a manifestation of ideas that fester the mind of an undiplomatic diplomat. These statements are also reasons for people to manifest their dissatisfaction against the Yahapalanaya government which has allowed diplomats from USA interfere directly into internal affairs of their country subjugating Sri Lanka to a foreign power.
Now what is Padayathra ? It is also a manifestation of the people against a ruling government. It may be peaceful but it can be noisy as it is a gathering of large number of people.
More precisely, Padayathra is a long walk lasting some times days organised to get all the people who have no other means to make their voices of anger heard by a stubborn , arrogant and an inefficient ruling class. It is quite a democratic and a legitimate right of the people. Ordinary responsible governments of the people take these manifestations seriously put right the wrongs the are doing and make the government acceptable to the people or leave the government for some one else to put to right the wrongs they have done or they are doing.
The recent Padayathra in Sri Lanka from the 28th to 31st July organised by the Joint Opposition of the parliament of Sri Lanka, was a great success, and it was surprising that Maithripala Sirisena –the President and Ranil Wickramasinghe the Prime Minister and his UNP cohorts were misinterpreting the well organised, well attended and well behaved manifestation of the people. To ridicule it and put it aside as unimportant is to insult the people and a stupid attempt to underestimate the power of the people that unseated the popular government of Mahinda Rajapakse to put in place a government of the UNP, SLFP,TNA, JVP and SLMC, expecting them to do better.
What has happened is that the people who wanted a change for the better has got the worst possible government Sri Lanka ever had, which continues to burden the people with taxes, causing a rise of unemployment, suspending development projects started by President Mahinda Rajapakse, selling public enterprises, and sign agreements with India which would further aggravate unemployment, increase the cost of living, increase poverty and destabilise the economic, and social conditions of the people.
Instead of listening to the voice of the people raised in the Padayathra, Sirisena-Wickramasinghe-Chandrika sponsored Yahapalanaya government does not stop criticising the Padayathra. The UNP and SLFP Ministers open their mouths to criticise with a view to diminish the importance of the “people’s manifestation”. They critise the manifestantion for having allowed the people to dance, they say the number of participants were smaller than the numbers expected, they say that manifestants hooted in front of the SLFP Head Quarters. Chandrika has called the police to guard the SWRD Bandaranayake memorial to avoid it being desecrated. These were done purposely to show that the manifestation had no effect on them or their government.
The Government had ordered the police to stop the Padayathra at any cost, but due to the fact of its popularity with the participation of an un-expectedly large number of people the Courts from whom the police had demanded a ruling to stop the manifestation passing through towns refused to issue such orders. The stupidity of the government was such they even refused to give the ground on which the Padayathra was to end, despite the fact that it had been reserved well in advance.
The Yahapalanaya Government with all their attempts to stop the Padayatra showed clearly to the people they are not democratic, they do not listen to the people, and the suffering of the people is not their concern and that they are bent on continuing their most disastrous government for five years whether the people like it or not.
Of course a manifestation of the people as it was with the Padayathra cannot be conducted silently, as it is a funeral procession. Shouting slogans, singing songs, certain misbehaviour at times, and wearing masks are normal pattern of a manifestation meant to last for long period of time.
In France manifestations are worst. They wear masks representing the President and government Ministers. They burn effigies. They even dig the roads to unearth stones with which to throw at the police. They break shop windows and set fire to cars. The farmers during manifestations drive their “cattle” on the streets, unload lorry loads of vegetables, fruits, potatoes, fish, flour and grain, and spill thousands of litters of milk on the road .
The Padayathra Organised by the Joint Opposition was a great show of strength of the people who behaved through out the manifestation remarkably well.
Another matter emphasised by the opponents of the Padayathra was that a child cried out a political slogan. How can that be wrong, the parents who participated in the Padayathra may have come with their parents and it is not using children for labour ! In manifestations in big capitals in Europe, fathers carry children carrying flags on their shoulders. Mothers push their prams with their babies in them
Unfortunately the Joint Opposition did not have the support of the faction of the SLFP which is with the President who is blind, deaf unable to see who is running the country he has only a big mouth with which to trash the ex President. There is no national government as such , and the SLFP which was formed by SWRD Bandaranayake as a political system against the capitalism of UNP have no right whatsoever now to form a pseudo national government with the very same UNP from which SWRD broke away.
The worst of it is that, it is the UNP which is the dominant party in the Yahapalanaya, the SLFP is a weak appendage hanging on to UNP, TNA,JVP, JHU and SLMC, merely to keep their political advantage of having Ministerial positions.
Even the media is not taking a constructive role in informing the people of the dangers Sri Lanka is running without an opposition to Ranil Wickramasinghe, Chandrika, and Mangala Samaraweera. Little by little Sri Lanka is loosing its independence and sovereignty, being assimilated into USA and Western political system against China and Russia.
It is the joint opposition that keeps informing the people of the dangerous political diversions that are being taken by Yahapalanaya Government. Maithripala Sirisena as the President has lost his hold on the government run by Ranil Wickramasinghe .
Maithripala Sirisena has already become a ceremonial President sent to represent Sri Lanka in International Forums and meet political leaders sympathetic to USA and Western political systems. Maithripala Sirisena as President has absolutely no power to stop where this government is heading under Ranil Wickramasinghe.
Only opposition to this government’s reactionary activities come from the Joint Opposition. The Joint Oppostion is the only hope the country has to come out of the abyss into which Ranil, Chandrika, Mangala are pushing our motherland.
People like S.B.Dissanayake, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Sarath Amunugama are absolutely useless. They were rejected by the people and thanks to Maithripala Sirisena they have not only been taken to the Parliament but made Ministers as well. So they are absolutely indebted to the President and do every thing possible to stay on in power along side Sirisena what ever may happen to the country.
S.B.Dissanayake who speaks as a saviour , asserting that he will not allow the sovereignty of Sri Lanka put in danger, says when asked why he does not support the Joint Opposition against eroding sovereignty of Sri Lanka say, “ SLFP is the party of the people. It has to remain strong and united. That would result in a secure undivided country. One thing we need to understand is that good diplomacy is not selling the country out.” But the fact remains that these persons who are greedy for political positions refuse to stand aside when the country is in danger.
The President, and UNP Ministers state in meetings, at press conferences and in TV programmes that Yahapalanaya is a unique experience in that the main political parties with opposite views have joined together to form a government to give their best to the progress and development of the country. But in this unique experience as they like to say, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe’s UNP views dominate.
If in the Yahapalanaya government SLFP section of the Government accepts every action taken by the UNP section headed by the Prime Minister there would be no one to say halt to any actions taken by the Prime Minister which are not in the interest of the people. As Maithripala Sirisena has forbidden the SLFP Ministers to speak against the UNP , they obey the President for fear of loosing their Ministerial posts. Hence the SLFP section of the Yahapalanaya government does not oppose any action by Ranil Wickramasinghe the Prime Minister whether they are in agreement of those actions or not.
Hence it is only the Joint Opposition the people have to look after their interests and speak against actions taken by the Yahapalanay government initiated by Ranil Wickramasinghe which are not in the interest of the country. That was the reason why the people rocked in massive numbers around the Joint Opposition to manifest in the Padayathra it organised.
The Ministers of Yahapalanaya talks about democracy,saying that the country did not have democracy under the ex President. But the democracy of the Yahapalanayaa has a different meaning. Their democracy has paved way to a dictatorship-even the speaker of the Parliament is not independent and acts according to the Agenda of the UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, who in turn acts according to the Agenda of the USA and the West.
Chandrika has no place in Sri Lanka as people have lost faith in her, therefore she is building up her political stature by becoming a political agent of USA and the West. Ranil gets on well with Chandrika as Mahinda Rajapakse is their common enemy.
The Bill on Missing Persons Office is an absolutely unwanted piece of legislature for the well being of Sri Lanka. It was enacted by Yahapalanaya to get closer to the USA and the West. We see from the USA and Western reaction to the passing of the bill on the Office for Missing persons that it is a legislation requested by the USA and the West to fulfil their agenda of making Sri Lanka a strategic political base for America against China and Russia, and also for USA and the West to make good the promise they made to the Tamil Diaspora to allow them a separate Tamil Eelam State separated from the South. A Kosovo in the Indian Ocean.
Intelligent people of Sri Lanka, at least all the categories of the Sinhala people, Buddhists , Christians, Catholics, and even free thinkers should join together to protect the rights of the Sinhala people.
The Padayathra has opened the eyes of the people , and frightened the Yahapalanaya government and its supporters like the JVP and the TNA, and even those pseudo intellectuals and the English educated class became aware thanks to Padayathra that the ordinary mass of people are not ready to take things lying low. The power of the ordinary people is greater than their attachment to USA and the Western tilted politics.
These pseudo patriots now know, because of the Padayathra that was able to get hundreds of thousands of people to participate that there is a considerable opposition to Yahapalanaya Regime amoung the people in Sri Lanka.
The UNP Ministers and Maithripala Sirisena himself , and Chandrika minimises the importance of the Padayathra. Some count numbers of people who attended the Padayathra. People who watched it saw the massive numbers in attendance but the UNP and its supporters make themselves pathetically ridiculous making numbers small and the length of the manifestation reduced to a few meters.
The Yahapalanaya cronies refuse to accept that, whether the numbers who attended the Padayathra were small and the length of it was short or not the importance is that there is a growing opposition to the Yahapalanaya and that they should instead of criticising the Joint Opposition, change their policies to be acceptable by the people who beginning to be tired of their heedless steamroller political activities.