A royal battle over a commode
Posted on October 5th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island


President Maithripala Sirisena may pardon the terrorists who once made abortive attempts on his life while he was a minister, but he does not seem willing to forgive his former bosses, the Rajapaksas, who, while in power, shortchanged him, deprived him of the post of Prime Minister and are currently posting a formidable political challenge to him. Rarely does he miss an opportunity to vent his spleen on the former ruling clan. Power politics is a gladiatorial combat where no quarter is asked or given.

President Sirisena, while making a public speech the other day, sought to dispute claims being made in some quarters that no development had taken place on his watch and his government was busy opening the projects completed by the Rajapaksa administration. The President must be really hurt.

At a time his propagandists are all out to rebrand President Sirisena as the modern-day Vijayabahu the Great of Polonnaruwa–– Rajapaksa was once described as the reincarnation of great warrior king Dutugemunu from Ruhuna––an attempt is being made to liken him to King Nissanka Malla, another king who ruled from Polonnaruwa, believed to have claimed the credit for the works of his predecessors and even put up stone inscriptions with his name carved thereon for that purpose. Who can bring himself to stomach such indignities?

President Sirisena, in a bid to drive a point home, claimed it was his predecessor who had sought to get the credit for others’ work. Citing the Nelum Pokuna Theatre as an example, the President said Rajapaksa had got a plaque erected by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who laid the foundation stone for the project, demolished and a new one put up bearing his name. Denying this allegation, Rajapaksa has said through his media secretary that the plaque containing Kumaratunga’s name remains intact.

Now, the question is who is telling the public the truth. Those who visit the Nelum Pokuna Theatre can see whether both plaques are there or the one with CBK’s name has been obliterated.

One can understand why President Sirisena is so bitterly antipathetic to the Rajapaksas; it must be really irritating for him to see his bête noire, Rajapaksa in the rearview mirror all the time. If the latter forms a new party to contest the local government polls, the government will be forced to conduct sooner or later, the support base of the SLFP, which the former leads, is bound to suffer a severe erosion. This is a worrisome proposition for the anti-Rajapaksa camp controlling the SLFP.

There is a way President Sirisena can remove the Rajapaksas from his path once and for all; he and his allies should prove the very serious charges they levelled against the Rajapaksas before the last presidential and parliamentary elections. They said the Rajapaksas had stashed away as much as USD 18 bn in offshore accounts. President Sirisena himself said the Rajapaksa family lived off the fat of the land at the expense of the hapless public and even possessed a ‘golden horse’ besides a fleet of super luxury vehicles. The political enemies of the Rajapaksas are now ensconced in power with Gestapo style police units at their disposal to conduct probes, and they should go the whole hog and have the Rajapaksas and their backers arraigned on charges of the plunder of public assets. Mere diatribe won’t do.

Meanwhile, one may recall that President Kumaratunga some moons ago said that her gorge rose at the sight of the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, which, she said, had the same look as a commode. So, one may argue, she would have considered it a favour if the Rajapaksas had demolished the plaque carrying her name. Who wants to have his or her name associated with a commode?

3 Responses to “A royal battle over a commode”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    Well said the Editor of The Island.

    He speaks the heart where as the Editor of “Divaina” always praises Maru Sira. Same group acting differently to two different audiences. Is it a planned move by Upali group?? Making the fools of Sinhala readers!!!

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Well said. Sirisena no doubt sees Mahinda in his rear mirror and fears for his party. Mahinda plays clever politics though disastrous for the nation. He worsened the debt trap and the government today doesn’t have money to do development work. All borrowings go to repay old debt. China has been antagonised so no new projects. West is unable to give anything as western economies are in dire straits. This leaves Sirisena to go back to the time before Mahinda. His well thought after attack backfired. It may explain why Mahinda didn’t give him the PM post. Incompetency. However, the former government was no better in competency either.

  3. NAK Says:

    Dilrook has got his brain wires short circuited. Previous government never had a debt repayment problem.
    Even this government wouldn’t have had to face such a problem if the central bank bank was not robbed not once but twice!
    Today Sirisena amply justify why he was not given the premiership. He is only good at one thing as some monk said,
    like widowed woman.

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