Who can lay claim to objectivity in the current debacle?
Posted on December 2nd, 2018


In realpolitik the use of the term objective is not completely valid. We all have our biases but we do not openly state ‘whose side we are on’. The writer of this article is no exception. The Sunday Island Features (18/11) had many who had expressed their points of view, given the inalienable freedom that we value. The biases were of course obvious. To prove one’s objectivity it is the established practice to use the scientific method and in the present debacle in our Parliament a mere count of the scoundrels in the well of the chamber showed both sides were well represented. Vulgarity by way of sloganeering, knife brandishing, and flashing under garments cannot be blamed on one side only. The current abnormal in our paralysed Parliament was long time in the making.  While none should condone the assault on the sanctity of public institutions such as Parliament, Presidency, Central bank, Judiciary and the like, the degradation has a long history. It is not necessarily a freakish aberration. Reading between the lines many seem to infer that the blame lies with the incumbent Prime Minister, which is unfair.  To those who wrote the Sunday articles, ‘when their hands were shaking, or the ones who saw the foreigners who were clapping upstairs as of good breed’, we can only say calm down and do not be shocked. We have an incompetent, undereducated mob elected by all of us, trained by the past legislatures since 1978 in this vulgar tradition and that is how they know best to express their displeasure. They run on high-octane impulse and emotion and not by reason and argument. Let us be real, they are our deputies.

In the writers opinion the previous regime cannot be blamed for the ills of today. Politics and the economy of the country had come to a parlous state and the Yahapalanites had sewn up the constitution such that people were screaming to high heaven begging for some reprieve and the President who was brought in by the yahapalana regime saw fit to embark on a drastic course to save a dictatorship by the legislature. Whether it was the right course of action, which constitutionality will be reviewed by the apex court soon. When constitutions are tailor made for short-term advantage, manipulated to avoid the will of the people at large, turmoil is the end result. Until the Supreme Court verdict is received it behoves all to function under normal Parliamentary tradition. Whatever one may say I believe that there is no excuse for a speaker to disobey Presidential decree under the written and unwritten procedures in our democracy. A similar instance in 2015 was duly executed when the now deposed Prime Minister was elected with a much smaller number of members in his party. For whatever reason the then speaker did not contest the Presidential decree because he is not the appointing authority.

The deposed Prime Minister must be responsible for the monumental Omni-shambles created during the last few years. The all-important question time was made into something akin to Bertie- Samuel and Annesly’s Vinoda Samaya. The manipulation of the post of the opposition leader, allocation of time for the majority in the real opposition, the frivolous arbitrary rules for National Government was dictatorship under the cloak of the so-called Westminster Democracy. Having come with such a strong majority he squandered everything prompting a no confidence motion surreptitiously supported by some of his own party. The involvement of Finance Ministers in daytime robbery and brown paper money bags in their spouse’s handbags did never come to the attention of the CID or the FCID. No confidence motions against Minsters were on the table for months and for the first time the Foreign Affairs Ministry was combined with the Lotteries Board for undisclosed skull duggery. The initial clarity of purpose in the 100-day document was only on paper except the move to take over Presidential powers for ulterior purposes. The Bond scam, which ruined the economy for years to come, was swept under the carpet. The rogues in the Parliament who benefitted from the syphoned off largesse, we were never told. The report itself was sent to the archives just like the previous COPE report, which was despatched to the Attorney General for safekeeping. It was a travesty of fairness and decency.  Public disaffection had no release valves because lesser elections were duplicitously postponed. These may be called clever moves but such recalcitrance does not pay in the long run. The corruption deals of the previous regime, announced with apparent triumph and glee, were delayed and the victims selectively humiliated in public with no charges forthcoming. That was unfair in a civilized society.  They should have been tried without delay. The Prime Minister touted for honesty, guile and fairness never rose to the occasion. His cabinet spokespersons were unreliable at the best of times. The regime was taking the country on a disastrous path, democratically and economically. The selling of national assets and the nation’s dignity was unconscionable. It is difficult to blame the President for doing what he did. My hope is for an opportunity for people to decide at a referendum.

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