Sheer arrogance of power
Posted on July 31st, 2017

Editorial Courtesy The Island

The government is reported to have said the controversial Hambantota Port lease agreement, signed amidst protests, on Saturday, will be presented to Parliament. It is an exercise in futility in that the pact is now a fait accompli. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government came to power, promising to scrap the Colombo Port City project. But, two and a half years on, it has not only allowed the project to continue but also handed over a vital port to China, which couldn’t have asked for more. The next national asset to be offered to a foreign power on a platter is the Trincomalee oil tank farm. The Indians may be here any moment to finalise the deal.

At this rate, one need not be surprised if Sigiriya is handed over to a foreign quarrying company, Sinharaja to an international logging venture and Sri Pada to a Chinese earth moving outfit!

Saturday’s port agreement which, its opponents say, will undermine Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and pose unforeseen national security challenges happened to be inked exactly 30 years after the signing of the infamous Indo-Lanka Peace Accord, which was, in fact, rammed down the late President J. R. Jayewardene’s throat on July 29, 1987. The JVP, which plunged the country into a bloodbath in protest against that accord, is now an ally of the present UNP-led government in all but name. It makes noises of all sorts and conducts media circuses for the consumption of the public, but baulks at doing anything that might threaten the survival of the government.

The yahapalana administration is full of greedy politicians who abused power and amassed ill-gotten wealth under SLFP and UNP governments in the past. Old habits die hard. So, they can’t be expected to safeguard the national interest. Their yen for yuan, dollars etc. is monumental and they won’t scruple to sell national assets to foreign companies so long as they and their families stand to gain therefrom. The Opposition’s reaction to the ongoing sale of family silver is appalling, to say the least.

The TNA has become a mere appendage of the government and its raison d’etre is to demand federalism. The less said about the Joint Opposition (JO) the better! Whenever the government wants it to fall in line, the kith and kin of the former rulers are hauled up before commissions of inquiry, which are legion. As for the handover of national assets to China, the JO leaders, who are themselves beneficiaries of the Chinese largesse, are running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. Thus, the yahapalana leviathan, without any counterweight, is bulldozing its way through.

Some trade unions continue to oppose the Hambantota port deal, but it is highly unlikely that their agitation campaign will reach fruition as they are without the backing of major political parties, whose leaders are all compromised. The pro-government trade unions which initially opposed the Hambantota Port deal tooth and nail have made a U-turn. One wonders whether their volte-face has been financially induced.

The JO should have made use of Friday’s parliamentary debate to expose the Hambantota deal, which is likely to affect the Colombo Port adversely and turn the country into a global battleground as it were. But, its members behaved like (or as) a bunch of overgrown schoolboys; they unnecessarily disrupted proceedings and held a mock parliamentary session thereafter. They only made a public display of their infantilism and callous disregard for the dignity of the national legislature. One may argue that there is a method in their madness in that their leaders have a history of trying to ink a similar pact with China and they are, therefore, wary of opening up a can of worms.

Keeping the Opposition firmly under its thumb, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government seems to think the sky is the limit in its efforts to perpetuate its rule. It has postponed elections indefinitely. Its latest despicable move to put off the provincial council elections till 2019 on some flimsy pretext has betrayed its ‘polls phobia’ and willingness to go to any extent to remain in power. It is already using the tri forces and the police to crush democratic protests unflinchingly while extolling the virtues of good governance. Let it be warned that the abuse of power, corruption and the violent suppression of democratic dissent have brought down much more powerful governments. The fate that befell the Rajapaksa regime is a case in point.

The yahapalana government is manifestly afflicted with the political autoimmune disease and, therefore, needs no external enemies to destroy it. The arrogance of power is symptomatic of that dreadful condition.

4 Responses to “Sheer arrogance of power”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Yamapakana is CLEARLY UNDEMOCRATIC in that it has SUPPRESSED ELECTIONS ever since it was elected in August, 2015. It DARE NOT SEEK the people’s approval with its ABYSMAL track record since Aug, 2015!

    What kind of “yahapalanaya/good governance” is that?


  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    What we are seeing NOW is the RESURRECTION of Militant Separatism in the North & East!

    If we KEEP DISMANTLING bases of the ARMED FORCES and EMPOWERING Separatist LOcal Governmernts in the North & East, we will SOON HAVE a Full Fledged Militant Separatist Movement in the North & East!


    OUST the Yamapalanaya NOW before the SITUATION GETS OUT OF HAND and RESTORE a PATRIOTIC government!


    REPEAL the 13th Amendment,
    DISSOLVE the Provincial Council System,
    STRENGTHEN the Executive Presidency,
    RESTORE ALL BASES of the Armed Forces DISMANTLED since 2009,
    RESTORE and STRENGTHEN the National Security & Military Intelligence Services,
    STRENGTHEN the Protection Against Terrorism Security Legislation,
    REPEAL the Missing Persons Act,
    REJECT the ETCA agreement as a CREEPING ANNEXATION of Sri Lanka by India,
    RENEGOTIATE the Hambantota Port LEASE Agreement,
    ARREST & PROSECUTE ALL Separatist TRAITORS to the Nation,
    and ABROGATE ALL COMMTMENTS made by the TRAITOR Avamangala SAmaraweera to the United Nations!


    Ava gang responsible for attack on police officers in Jaffna – IGP
    Mon, Jul 31, 2017, 10:46 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    July 31, Colombo: Members of a gang called ‘Ava’ were responsible for the attack on two policemen at Kopai in Jaffna yesterday, the police said.

    Revealing the details of the attack, the Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera said a comprehensive operation is underway to apprehend the suspects.

    Two policemen came under attack of a gang of thugs, who arrived at the scene of the incident on four motorcycles and assaulted the policemen with swords and clubs in Kopai yesterday.

    The IGP visited Jaffna today to inspect the situation and also inquired into the welfare of the two policemen who are receiving treatment at the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.

    IGP Jayasundera directed the senior police officers in Jaffna to apprehend the suspects as soon as possible.

    “We have identified the person who was leading this team (Ava gang). He was an ex-LTTE,” the IGP said addressing the media after meeting with the Chief Minister of Northern Province C. V. Wigneswaran and members of the police.

    The IGP instructed the police to use minimum power and be cautious in carrying out their duties in an environment where war situations prevailed for several years.

    He said the Special Task Force (STF) will be deployed and if needed, the police will get the assistance of the Army and the Navy to ensure law and order in the area.

    “We are in the process of police patrolling, checking and arresting suspects, with the assistance of the STF and if we need we are going to get the assistance of Sri Lanka Army, Navy and Air Force as well to get this area under proper control,” he said.

    Until the police arrest the all responsible wrong doers and bad characters, this special search, operation and patrol system will be implemented.

    “One law in the country has to be applied for everybody,” the IGP stressed.

  3. NAK Says:

    Ranil Wickremasinghe has lived a luxury life off the peoples tax money for forty years. During that forty years he has done irreparable damage to the country. This time he must not be allowed to go free. He must be made to pay for all the harm he has brought on this country.

    “One law in the country has to be applied for everybody,” the IGP stressed.
    and that should include Ranil Wickremasinghe too.

  4. Nimal Says:

    This is nothing new in a third world country of SL where much arrogance was shown by all leaders since 1948 and it’s getting worse.

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