THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.
Prof. Hudson McLean
I have followed the drama of Ceylon or Sri Lankan Politics since the time of the first Prime Minister Honourable D. S. Senanayake. The morning after the night before when the United National Party was annihilated by S.W.R.D Bandaranaike's Sri Lanka Freedom Party, I happened to be at the Orient Club in Cinnamon Gardens where I personally witnessed to my absolute horror, when Sir John Kotalawela kicked the arse of Ananda Tissa de Alwis for losing the election. An army General, Sir John lost his cool. He found a scape goat. Sir John eventually retired to his mansion in Sussex and let the horses do the kicking.
The Ceylon Parliament was a highly colourful place with Members of Parliament largely descending from the environs of London School of Economics and the Oxbridge, trying to imitate their illustrious counterparts from the Mother of all Parliament, the House of Commons at Westminster.
Where as the Members of Parliament at Westminster have an unwritten rule that no Member would attack or abuse another personally, whether the other Member sat on the same side or on the opposite benches, the Ceylonese or Sri Lankan Parliamentarians tend to hit below the belt, many a time.
Whereas at the House of Commons at the slightest disturbance the Speaker would raise his/her voice to command "Order! Order!", I have yet to experience a scene where the Members resorted to physical violence. Violence or rowdy behaviour or throwing of books or papers at one another, is never heard of. This is going back to the stone age. Respect and civility between the Members, is regarded as a part and parcel of the culture of Parliamentary Democracy.
Here we arrive at a point in question, based on certain recent happenings in the Sri Lankan political scene.
On the ruling Party front, the Prime Minister RanilW himself has let down, not only his illustrious United National Party, but the entire electorate of UNF, the pride of the Sinhala, to apeace a bunch of ill-educated murderous thugs, Proscribed by the entire civilised world.
RanilW has misused the Office of the President of USA for his own personal gain, simply to apeace a blood thirsty criminal. In any case, with the current policy of RanilW or even if RanilW took a firmer line with the LTTE Terrorists, Peace will not have a long life.
Peace yes. But Peace at what price? By a Devil in disguise? With the Devil himself?
The Price RanilW is currently calculating, a Price which 99% of the Sinhala will not accept. RanilW should now take ten steps back. No withdrawing of the Security Forces simply because a sick man on the run is demanding from a democratically elected government.
A terrorist who unilaterally declares a cease fire in order to rebuild his own armed terrorist brigade. One who walks all over the norms and laws of a Sovereign State by starting his own "Kangaroo Courts", bus service, demanding 60% of sea territory, kidnapping, extortion, gun running, smuggling, and a Prime Minister who is prepared to act as his shoe-shine boy, trying to sell-out the Nation simply to extend his term of office.
The old saying goes, "Birds of the same feather, stick together" or should we interpret as, "Only a Devil will go hand in glove with another Devil".
Many leaders who have tried to sell out the Pride of a Nation, have paid the final Price in full. Just to name a few-; Gandhi, JFK, SWRD, Sadat, Rabin. Such acts were not the first and they will not be the last either.
Like my learned Uncle used to say, "It is better to die with Pride, serving the Nation, at the hands of a paid killer, rather than to survive as a Traitor, with a kiss, of a sworn enemy of your own people".
On the other corner, Sri Lanka sports a colourful personality, a product of two other equally colourful, educated, cultured and well bred, leading the Nation in the capacity of an Executive President. A mind with a personality as deep as the Deep Blue Sea.
Unfortunately, CBK leaves a great deal of room for criticism by acting in a sensitive perhaps in an impulsive manner, usually reserved for a weak woman. An Executive President whose personal feelings over ride objectivity and possible fine balance, in reaching a calculated decision, in favour of the Nation at large, is a negative feature. Hopefully, CBK is not as weak as that.
Selfish political considerations or justification of personal feelings or warming up the Presidential Seat for the only younger brother should not play any role in the current game plan. Sri Lanka is facing a serious and a critical crisis with the "Solutions" RanilW is trying to impose upon the entire Nation. Preventing such a catastrophe, should be the absolute priority of CBK. And of course, priming the Indians to skilfully skim the likes of Velupillai Prabhakaran to Indian territory, on a cloudy moonless night, should be given equal preference.
The threats to sack a Cabinet Minister or dismiss the government on logical unbiased objective principles are the prerogative of the Executive President. But when the Executive President takes the wrong end of the stick because someone criticised her hair-do or the colour of her lipstick, this indicates shortness of character. Or in another phrase, "letting the knickers drop".
As the Executive President of a Democratic government, any of her subjects, and that includes her Prime Minister too, has the right to criticise her in a civilised manner.
CBK has maintained her position firmly, perhaps a bit too inflexible at times, but the Nation will forgive her for that. Even if, during the next Presidential election, CBK had a word or two in favour of her brother AnuraB, the Sinhala will not hold her against that. Even if, AnuraB appointed the elder sister CBK as his Prime Minister, the country will forgive them both. But CBK should hold her head high, remember that both her parents served the country well with honesty and integrity, and did not put their hands into the till.
As a conclusion, one might add that the mystery of the Deep Blue Sea is far more preferable to the attractions and offerings of the Devil, any day.
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