The Maithri Sword of Damocles
Posted on February 16th, 2018

Courtesy The Island

While satirical drawings are the stuff of the Pohottuva success in the recent polls and cartoonists are having a great time laughingly depicting the reality of politics and politicos, one cartoon that stood out this week was in a Sinhala publication that showed President Sirisena ask for his corruption felling sword… to be told by his wife it was in the kitchen cutting jak!

It was a hilarious depiction that recalled the Sinhala proverb – ‘Yuddeta nathi kaduva, Kos kotannada?’- is the sword not available for war, meant to cut jak?

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There is much about the victors and vanquished in this latest poll that seems keen to hide the real loser in this poll battle. Yes, the Pohottuva led by Mahinda Rajapaksa won a huge victory; the bud has blossomed, but what about the hand that gave way to that bud? Very little is said about that.

The big hits are at the elephant players of the UNP. The Prime Minister is the target of all the strikers, making their strikes at Yahapalanaya governance. The loud chorus of the purple players of the pohottuva, and some sections of the media, especially one TV station that thinks it is the only voice of the people, have carried out a campaign that seems keen to hide or shield the real loser.

Talking of the unpopularity of the UNP, and the many failures of its leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, is certainly right and timely too. But, what of the real, formal, and elected leader of Yahapalanaya – President Maithripala Sirisena? Why are the political shouters of Pohottuva, and the political, academic, religious, and media supporters of that call, so silent about the Yahapalanaya leader, who is right on top in the State apparatus, and certainly defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa to come to that position – no doubt with huge UNP backing – in January 2015?

There are many who analyze the defeat of the government forces in this election being due to the huge divisions among them exposed in the LG poll campaign, and who took the lead in that performance? Who but Maithripala Sirisena, with his loud and repeated promise to use his sword in the fight against corruption? Then why the soft play or mollycoddle touches for him?

Let’s get some facts correct in this political equation. The Mahinda Rajapaksa led Pohottuva team won 44.6 percent of the votes, an outstanding victory. The UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe trailed far behind with 32.6 percent. But much further behind, led by President Sirisena, was the SLFP/UPFA with just 13.3percent. In fact, the SLFP alone was even behind the JVP. What is the hidden truth in this brassy silence about the SLFP and Maithripala Sirisena’s defeat?

The Bond Scam was certainly a big player and the UNP got caught very badly in that. President Sirisena won that round with the Bond Commission and its findings. He could point a figure at Ranil on the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran as Governor CB, those were his scoring points. But, did Sirisena do anything to move away from the ever-widening corruption of Yahapalanaya, almost reaching the proportions of the Mahinda Era of the crooked? What is there to show that Sirisena was against the nepotism that soured the Rajapaksa Regime? What of that shocker brotherly head of the SLT? Talking of using his sword against the corrupt – did he use it or even take it out of the scabbard, against his SLFP Secretary – Duminda Dissanayake – spending many millions on rent for the abode of the Ministry of Agriculture?

Is there nothing that he knows about the costs of government advertising, always running into several millions, through an agency with close family links? Was he not moving towards the Rajapaksa game?

How much has the President, who is the Minister for the Environment, done to put a halt to the ravages taking place in the Wildlife and Forest areas of Wilpattu? Do we recall the forest and wildlife destruction at Hambantota, at earlier times?

This tale can get longer and longer. It looks as if the recognized leader of Yahapalanaya, after the 19th Amendment, remained closer to the corrupt forces that he gave a lead to defeat in January 2015. It brings to mind the words of the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, who said, the pan was getting hot, but the roti was not being baked.

What we have seen in President Sirisena was a compulsive need to gain control of the SLFP. That has now been roundly defeated. The SLPP shows all signs of replacing the SLFP – using the Pohottuva against the old Hand. What can he now do with the SLFPers, Mahinda Rajapaksa included, who did so well to defeat the SLFP into way below the UNP – the traditional opponent?

What we see in the increasing silence about the SLFP defeat and that of Maithripala Sirisena, the token if not the idol of Yahapalanaya, is his inability to swing any sword against corruption, in politics, and in governance. Is it a revival of his years in the Rajapaksa Cabinet?

Can this sword he spoke so much about, targeting the UNP and Ranil, and the Pohottuva Team led by Mahinda Rajapaksa, be ever taken out of its scabbard?

Or is he facing the threat of a Sword of Damocles after those loud and empty claims of clean government?

2 Responses to “The Maithri Sword of Damocles”

  1. Christie Says:

    He is a puppet of India. India handles his sword.

  2. ranjit Says:

    He is the chief puppeteer of them all. How can he use a heavy sword when he himself cannot stand properly on his two feet. People have understood his empty words as well as empty promises by now that’s why he lost the election overwhelmingly. He was down to fourth place because of his lies and bad governance. He should resign before Ranil the bank robber as majority have rejected this spinless, uneducated person. Nepal prime minister resigned as soon as he lost the election and the South African President resigned because of corruption and our evil trio Sira Ranil Chandrika conspiring to continue in power what a shame. Disgrace to the whole nation if we go on like this anymore. We need to save our motherland period.

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