The vicious political triangle: Blatant Mahinda, Betraying Ranil, and Blame-master Maithri
Posted on July 15th, 2017

by Rajan Philips Courtesy The Island


They are the three corners of Sri Lanka’s vicious political triangle. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family are nothing if they are not blatant about everything. They defeated the LTTE, so they can do no wrong. They will return to power, they insist, and rule for ever, no matter what. If and when they do, the blame or credit for it must surely land on the present government – for its betrayal of the common opposition promises in the landmark election of January 2015.

The handsome prince of betrayal is of course the cleverly honest Prime Minister. He keeps clean hands but allows other dirty hands at the table and under the table. Ranil Wickremesinghe made the greatest possible political sacrifice before the last presidential election, but has since undone it by betraying the straightforward promises he made at the same election: stop Port City; expose and end government corruption; and rescue the Central Bank and restore its purpose and dignity. There were plenty of other promises – ranging from constitutional overhaul to national reconciliation to sweeping good governance. Starts have been made on almost all of them, but no sense of accomplishment or steady progress in any of them. On balance, the dim lights of achievements are blinded by the glare of broken promises.

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Maithripala Sirisena is the blame-master of the three. From his corner of the triangle, he blames Mahinda Rajapaksa with both hands and Ranil Wickremesinghe with a hidden hand. He promised to abolish the presidency when he defeated and succeeded Mahinda Rajapaksa as president, but now seems set on succeeding Mahinda Rajapaksa to be the next SLFP presidential candidate. Between the two major parties, the UNP has become unable to pick its own winning presidential candidate, and the SLFP is stuck on running incumbents who cannot win as presidential candidates.

The political triangle is not suspended in a social vacuum. The three corner figures and whatever connections there are between any two of them are linked to the social and political forces that keep them afloat and spin them around. Political commentaries get more excited at the triangular connections, or contests, at the top and are less interested in the linkages between the three leaders and the socio political constituencies that support them. The base matters only as voting coalitions or blocs (not ‘blocks’ as in the illegal spelling of a legal luminary) and political insight is all about discerning the abilities of the topmost competitors to strike winning permutations and combinations out of the voting blocs.

For sheer embellishment of commentary, there are plenty of ideological and adjectival sources: patriotism, sovereignty, security, good governance and so on. The focus of contention now is whether the present (good) government is really a non-government, and if the previous government was strong and effective even if it was bad government. When the choice is between bad government and no government it means ordinary people are being stretched to their limits and wits to survive and nothing much beyond. Humankind has come a long way to fall back to Hobbes’s state of nature of old, but Sri Lankans have to endure a new state of nature in mounds of garbage, chaotic traffic, striking doctors, acres of drought and highways of flood, and universal mismanagement from hospitals to schools to electricity, to petroleum, to ports, to airports and aviation, and even cricket. The picture is all too familiar and all too grim.

The Question

The question is whether Sri Lanka can rely on Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena to do anything to pull the country, or at least start pulling the country out of its current morass? Admittedly, Rajapaksa is not part of the governing partnership between Wickremesinghe and Sirisena, but his relationship with either of the two implicates the functioning of the partnership, and even the government as a whole. That in effect was President Sirisena’s cabinet complains two weeks ago not just for his ministers to hear but for the whole country to know. Not that the likelihood of a silent understanding between the Rajapaksa clan and the higher echelons of the UNP was not known all along, but the President saying it set off a flurry of speculations about the relationship between the President and the UNP, and the future of the unity-government itself.

The President’s complain may not have surprised anyone, but his disclaimer on corruption investigations convinced no one. His boast at the cabinet meeting – that if things were left to him he would have done everything in three months, is just that – a boast. You don’t need a long memory to remember that only October last year President Sirisena publicly took to task officials in the CID, FCID and the Bribery Commission for their allegedly disrespectful handling of Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Navy Commanders over allegations of abuse of authority and financial misdemeanours in Avant-Garde enterprise.

Political calculations are considered to be the main reason for the general lack of progress in corruption investigations, even total inaction in some instances. As generally understood, the UNP’s calculation in protecting the Rajapaksas and giving them political space is to keep the SLFP divided and benefit the UNP electorally. To President Sirisena, protecting military officials from investigation is necessary to counter the patriotic claims of the Rajapaksas. The political hypocrisy in this triangular relationship is quite transparent. What may not be readily apparent is the cultural common ground over corruption.

It is the culture of quid pro quo – I will scratch your corrupt back, and you mine, that seems to be the real roadblock against corruption investigations. The Central Bank and the Avant-Garde cases are disturbing illustrations of this culture. To wit, no one in the UNP was keen on going after the Central Bank shenanigans under the Rajapaksas, so long as the UNP could carry out its on shenanigans at the bank. The UNP’s bond scam was a bit too much to escape notice, putting it very, very mildly, but the point is that the Rajapaksas have pointedly avoided criticising the UNP leadership over the bond scandal.

While the bond scam has got its comeuppance under a commission of inquiry, there is nothing to write about the on-again, off-again investigations into the killings of Lasantha Wickrematunga and Wasim Thajudeen. In his cabinet outburst, President Sirisena is said to have specifically referred to the two murder investigations and wanted results in three months. Three months are a long time- if it is political interference that is preventing police from proceeding to trial in these two cases. If the President and the Prime Minister cannot act to stop political interference in two high profile cases, what else can they be trusted to act upon? Why are those interfering with police work not being isolated and exposed? And what will prevent police from being selective and discretionary in the investigation of other crimes, if political interference were to succeed in the Wickrematunga and Thajudeen murder investigations?

So the question whether Sri Lanka can rely on Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremasinghe and Maithripala Sirisena to do anything to pull the country out of its current morass, should be reformulated as to whether any or all of can do anything unless and until they do something about government corruption and crimes. From Korea to Brazil, politicians in and out of power are being held accountable for their actions. In Sri Lanka, we have fallen back from a well-functioning criminal justice system to one that is compromised by political interference. It says something of a country’s state of affairs when its president calls out his ministers in charge of justice and law and order for political interference, and nothing happens after that. Let us wait for three months to see if we can say anything different.

5 Responses to “The vicious political triangle: Blatant Mahinda, Betraying Ranil, and Blame-master Maithri”

  1. Christie Says:

    From Fiji to Guyana Indian imperialists and Indian colonial parasites control and or influence the political outcomes of Indian colonies. Look at the election when Mahinda was defeated and Sirisena was installed, an Indian Colonial parasite from Guyana was brought in as an election observer by the so called Commonwealth. When Ranil was defeated and Mahinda was installed an Indian vermin from Australia was sent is the election observer from Australia by the Commonwealth in fact the office of the Indian Empire.

    What will the Indian Empire and Indian colonists do?

    Namaste: The 2015 Sri Lankan Presidential election: How it happened? What it means for Sri Lanka (Ceylon)? What it means for the Indian Empire (Indian Union & its colonies)?
    How it happened? Another Indian job. The former President called an early election. The Indian imperialists (Indian Union) were ready to correct its mistake in 2005 when it backed Mahinda Rajapaksa over Ranil Wickramasinge. Then, Indian imperialists advised Indian block vote in the island to abstain from voting. The reason for the preference was Indian imperialists thought it will be easier to negotiate with Mahinda an unknown matter for India. When profiling Mahinda they did not take in to account his brothers, in particular Gotabaya who was in the US at that time. Unfortunately for India, Mahinda did not follow Indian directions as former Sri Lankan leaders did since 1956. In 2010 India enrolled General Sarath Fonseka as a presidential candidate against Mahinda and failed. So behind the scene as Indian imperialist always do they were planning for years and had got former governor Chandrika Bandaranayake-Kumaranatunge to do the job and succeeded with doing a repeat of what India did with her father Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranayake in 1951. India did not have to wait for four years this time. India managed to divide the non-Indian vote and got the Indian block vote for Maithripala Sirisena the new Indian governor of Sri Lanka who may be the proxy for the real governor Chandrika.
    What it means for Sri Lanka? Nothing much. It will be the same as what the island nation had from 1956 to 2005 and before from 1792 to 1948. The Indian minority will run the country with the privileges they enjoyed since their arrival under the cover of the British fire power and their own nonviolent aggression and oppression. They will claim they are the victims of Majority Sinhala Chauvinists; the same claim that they make in other colonies from Fiji to Guyana. For example; finance and justice; most important ingredients in the world and heads of these two institutions in the island now are from the victimized minority and one of them has been brought from another colony.
    What it means for the Indian Empire? It means a lot to the Indian Empire. The former partner of the British-Indian Empire from Fiji to Guyana that is all former tropical colonies of the British-Indian Empire. India lost its control over the island nation since 2005 as the new government of the island nation managed to wipe out the Indian terrorist arm; trained, armed, financed, managed and branded Tamil Tigers by India. Since the election of the new governor Indian cars and food have become cheaper with reduced tax on Indian products. Indian Imperialists have already indicated massive investments and projects in all sectors of the economy. This will not be a hard act as the island nation’s economy has been in their hands for more than two centuries and the business language in the country is an Indian language spoken by more than 75 million of them in India. The wealthiest in the island are Indian though their wealth is not stored in the island but most of it in India. Reclaiming the control over the island nation will supplement its control over the Indian Ocean and Indian Ocean countries. With its unchallenged military power; with ICBMs, Aircraft Carriers, Nuke Subs, Nuke (Peace) bombs and purchase of hundred billion dollars’ worth of military hardware the island nation provides the best step with Mauritius a third State of India to lay a drag line across the Indian Ocean.
    Jai Hind. Contact: xyceliao@gmail.com

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Cleverly honest prince! Of course. Of course! Not just clever honest as well. Can you believe these people? CB day light robbery of Rs 5585 billions is Batalande Wadakaya’s handy work. Of course he is clever, murderous and
    treacherous. When people writing these garbage, honest people going to gauge you.

    Batalande torture camp where he murdered jaathidhrohee vermins’ party aka jvp guys brutally. Batalande
    Commission report clearly shows his murderous work. But jaathidhrohee one eyed bandit didn’t dare take action
    against him. He gave half the country to his catholic buddy hitler malapaharan on a plate in 2005 but burnt
    Buddhist jvpers alive in tyres. Then he sent Millennium City intelligent officers to the catholic tigers of tamil
    drealam bullet to expedite the cause. Still nobody dared do anything to him. He stopped teaching history in schools and the new
    generations don’t have any idea about the country’s proud history. Not to Sri Lanka haters of course! As soon as
    he became PM (pathala man?) through the back door he abolished the state pension. Clever? Very very clever!
    Now state employees will have to beg on street after retiring! You should all be very proud since you don’t have to
    beg on streets! He and his party dragged the war by his catholic buddy hitler mala paharan’s war for 30+
    years saying it was unwinnable and got rid of 100,000+, mainly Sinhalese. A Sinhalese cull! He and his UNPatriotic party also dragged the BHEESHANA SAMAYA for 6 years and got rid of 60,000+ Sinhalese. Another Sinhalese cull!

    His UNPatriotic party’s murderous, anti Sri Lankan, anti Buddhist treacheries goes on and on. But there are
    people who are doing their best to whitewash the murderous traitor for obvious reasons. In their eyes he has
    done/doing sterling work for them. What all this people don’t realise is traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist
    Mega Thief Bay Gal Karaya Batalande Wadakaya Pol Pot r@nil wickrmaSinhalakiller has been destroying the
    only true religion, Buddhism, in the world. Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution destroyed the myth of creator
    god theory. The whole world accepts how the 2-legged creatures came to being. It started from most primitive
    form of life and evolved and evolved to be what we are today over millions of years. Still there are religions
    telling different stories about how it happened. We all know there is only one type of humans on the planet. Do we
    say any more then?

    Take the Five Precepts of Buddhism for a start.
    Do not
    harm living things (human rights, animal rights guaranteed. Look at your teeth in the mirror and it says what you
    are supposed to eat, and check your cat’s/dog’s teeth as well)
    take what is not given
    have sexual misconduct
    lie or gossip.
    take intoxicating substances eg drugs or drink.
    These cover all the sins/misdeeds UNDER THE SUN!

    Now take the other religions.
    God is great.
    What’s relevant to mankind? Unseen, don’t even know exists, only heard of god or above Five Precepts? Then the
    Universe is a vast vast place where distances measured in light years (light travels at 186,000 miles per SECOND). Who can create such a vast vast place? You do your maths! One thing is sure. People who follow these other religions are committing sins all the time trying to destroy the only true religion in the world and won’t be two
    legged creatures in their next lives.

    People who are trying to whitewash the biggest traitor ever in the history of Sri Lanka knows he is only capable of robbery, mayhem and murder. Still for the sterling work he does/did for them they paint a rosy picture. The last two years of YAMA PAALANAYA alone is enough testament to WEDA BARI TARZAN’S anti Buddhist, anti Sinhalese, anti Sri Lankan UNPatriotic party activities. People were scared to go to Sri Laka before MR for fear of terrorist bombs. Today people are scared to go there for the fear of mosquitoes! This alone is enough for any honest guy to condemn these traitor YAMA PALLAN. But that’s how the world is run today! People propagate untruths for their own benefits. Please don’t try to whitewash the biggest traitor ever in the history of Sri Lanka. Maybe you’re the only one who doesn’t know or you’re writing these knowing very well his disgusting ‘CV’ for the sterling work he has done for some.

  3. Wetta Says:

    quote:”Ranil Wickremesinghe made the greatest possible political sacrifice before the last presidential election,..”

    What a “cleverly” dishonest piece of garbage !

    Ranil is a man who cleverly managed his party to lose over 27 consecutive elections but never ever allowed anyone in his party who is more capable and more potent to take over the leadership of the party to lead it for a victory.

    In 2010 presidential elections he knew he could not win, therefore “cleverly” used a pawn called Sarath Fonseka (SF) to deceive people using SF’s contributions in the war, but still failed. That is very “clever”!

    In 2015 presidential elections he didn’t sacrifice anything he could obtain. He only gave away things he could never get. If he knew he could win in his own rights, then it does not make any sense what he was trying to achieve by giving the opportunity to a different puppet this time to deceive people again. If someone calls that a “sacrifice” he must be “cleverly” confused in broad daylight.

    Willingly suggesting a cunning cheat with blood stained hands with a surprisingly unsuccessful political and professional career as clever and clean, is possibly the dirtiest and most corrupt thing one can do, according to my personal values, at least.

  4. Dilrook Says:

    A good piece clearly stating the obvious uselessness of all three camps. The writer limits to corruption, war crimes investigations and murder investigations. They are equal on other counts too including Modi, ETCA, 13A, LRRC, federalism via devolution, etc.

    Sirisena has shamelessly stated in public his fears and the drive to punish the corrupt, etc. He has said he and his family will be in mortal danger if the corrupt and the murderous are not punished. Going by what happened to two army commanders, a number of journalists and some politicians, his fears are valid. At the very least if he is driven by these fears to punish the corrupt and political murders, he would have done something for Sri Lanka which no other leader could do. He deserves to win again if he is bold enough to do so. I doubt it. No Lankan leader succeeded in doing it.

    From the nation’s point of view it will create a good precedent the others will follow. Politicians must be just servants of the people. Whenever the people wish, they should be able to elect or remove them. Lets see what Sirisena will do in three months which he failed to do in 3 years!

  5. Ratanapala Says:

    There is no time for wishful thinking and to wait for Godot! We have to make do with what we have. Neither Sirisena nor Ranil are proven leaders nor doers. They have failed as leaders – Ranil time and time again and Sirisena so far in his over two years in his post. His only chance he got at the helm of affairs he has bungled, bungled and continue to bungle. It did not take two months under his stewardship for the biggest scam in Sri Lanka to happen – The Central Bank Bond scam.

    Ranil just surviving at the helm of the UNP by subterfuge and with the help of the Christian Church was persuaded by the Regime Change Think Tanks in the US to field a Common Candidate much against his wishes and grain. Since then he has been faithful to his masters and doing everything and every lie under the sun to carry through the tasks entrusted to him.

    Regime change agenda involves – Changes to the Constitution, Destabilising of the Buddhist Establishment of Sri Lanka, Ruining the economy inorder to cow down the populace to submission – all to be financed by illgotten gains through scams such as the Central Bank Bond scam, increased VAT etc etc. The ultimate goals remain the dismemberment of Sri Lanka – India and the US to divide the spoils – all at the expense of a nation that remained as a single political and geographical entity for over 2500 years.

    Only hope for some respite for Sri Lanka still remains with the Rajapakses – They cannot forever ride the glories of winning the 30 year old Tamil Racist Terrorist war – not just the same arrogant old in a new bottle – a substantially changed and well advised Rajapakses – now more learned, having learnt good lessons from previous excesses of cronysm and nepotism. They are head and shoulders above any in the horizon as far as political leaders go in Sri Lanka. Fact remains we have to do with what we have and not just wishful thinking. As Sri Lankans we must be pragmatic rather than theoretical in all our dealings.

    Younger Rajapakses should bide their time for maturity and not ride on the shoulders of their famous fathers. Sons of politicians seems to be a power unto themselves and the habit of handiling them with kid gloves should be a thing of the past. They must make their own mark in the field of politics to be deserving. Any intending crown princes must prove their worth!

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