Dishonesty in politics intolerable
Posted on August 4th, 2017

By Fr. Augustine Fernando Diocese of Badulla

When we carefully examine our isolated personal life or our community life we would observe that dishonesty even in little things messes up our life to some extent; honesty in everything even when no one observes us, enhances our life and bring us much serenity and peace, fulfillment, happiness and an absolute inner freedom.

We learn genuine trust and reliable dependence from our good parents who have shown us that their true happiness and joy comes from our growing to maturity in a normal manner to be good and honest persons.



Even though our parents always presumed that all they had at home, including food, were indeed intended for us, we also knew even before our adolescence that normally we were not to eat anything except at meal times. We were conscious that we would be doing something improper when without our mother’s permission we would let ourselves enjoy anything from a spoonful of sugar, a piece of chocolate or cake, sweets or grapes and plantains kept in the pantry, kitchen, refrigerator or on the dining table in the house. Though we never underwent any punishment for our transgressions, parents’ displeasure clearly made us understand that even minor infringements of rules at home were wrongs and disobediences and they should not be done.

Seriously caring parents seem to have the ability to inculcate in their children the capacity to outgrow childish and puerile wrong-doing as their children grow to adolescence and mature to youthful age and are taught to use their independence responsibly to act manfully and creatively to ‘be more’ than to have more. Most politicians do not seem to have outgrown their ‘sugar stealing’ habits of their younger days as they continue to be dishonest as MPs and ministers.


Children learn genuine trust and reliable dependence from good parents who show their true happiness and joy when their children display signs of their growing to maturity in a normal manner. Schools should in their ethos inculcate values such as honesty, speaking the truth, courtesy, respect for elders, decent behaviour and see that they are firmly implanted in the students. Without them, one cannot be accepted as ‘educated’ or cultured even though one may go through university or law college and even sit in parliament.

Flaws in our system of education have caused moral fissures in the various structures of society. Wanting in truthfulness, sincerity, transparency, honesty and accountability is evident in many a state agency and in the highest forums in the land due to the character flaws of the persons in them holding position of responsibility.


Laws alone cannot make people responsible; laws can only indicate good order and punishment for breach of law, very often ineffectively, to those contravening the law. Individuals in power with flawed upbringing not only flout the law, they even dare to bring pressure on the judiciary itself to bend the law according to their whims and fancies. Unfortunately, what many have imbibed in their home upbringing which even annuls school discipline are attitudes of fulfilling their desires and getting ahead somehow resorting to any cunning, crafty and scheming conspiratorial methods one has learned to employ.

This means that those living in very comfortable and expensive luxurious homes cannot by that factor alone be considered to be well brought up, well-educated and cultured. There are among rich people many who are dishonest and make more money in dishonest ways. The sense of responsibility in some of the prominent people in society today is very disappointing. Dishonesty at the highest levels, cheating, petty thefts are not only quite widespread in our society; many people think that one should know how to be cleverly dishonest in order to survive as well as get ahead in the society of today.


Those who have now been elected to represent the people, if they are indeed sensible, should uphold norms of truth, justice and fair-play and ensure that laws are enacted to lay the foundation for a progressive society of responsible citizens. If they themselves are irresponsible, not declaring their assets and liabilities to show that they are not intent on making undue gains from their positions, if they do not hold on to principles of righteousness and good governance, then the fate of Sri Lanka is in very unreliable and incapable hands.

Just after Independence, people expected Sri Lanka to develop quickly especially in Agriculture and become self-sufficient in rice, sugar, fish, vegetables and fruits at least and earn also income for the country by sales abroad along with tea, rubber and coconut. Industrially we were still in infancy. Then of course we were only six million people. But with the advancement of science, technology and their application to agriculture, though other countries in South and South East Asia have taken several leaps economically, we have lagged behind even with much of the aid we had obtained from others.

At the bottom of our mediocre performance is the stark reality of dishonesty in public life during the last sixty years and the entry of vagabonds and goons into the political field who wore the lamb skin of patriots while actually being rapacious wolves. They not only delayed the Country’s progress due to culpable prejudice, envy and jealousy, they wore the thick skin of nationalism and corrupted many a development plan by conspiratorial schemes of self-aggrandizement which brought many a benefit to themselves at the cost of the Country. Looking, back, we see that every nationalization was taken advantage of by these people to enrich themselves in many an unworthy and conspiratorial manner. They have been clever at doing many a theft in a very subtle and devious manner.


Not only that. Politicians seem to be often mobilizing the help of thugs to promote their election campaigns and cause damage to their opponents’, by bribing voters, preventing the casting of votes, distribution of anything from ‘sil redi’, motor bikes to bottles of arrack and kasippu to prospective voters and interfering in the management of polling stations and taking control of ballots cast; after coming to power they use them for the advancement of their various nefarious activities. Police have the authority and the capacity to deal with all manner of thugs and the police should never come under the sway of politicians to do their bidding.

Though in the last Presidential election and the parliamentary elections monitoring achieved a measure of free and fair elections, interference by thugs on behalf of their political masters, in elections, has not altogether disappeared. Future elections should be totally free of the work of thugs and every form of dishonesty including that of policemen pulling in the direction of dishonest political masters.

4 Responses to “Dishonesty in politics intolerable”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Corruption leads to waste of public funds.

    However like the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is impossible to get anything out without a certain amount of waste and in the context of politics without corruption. Corruption exists everywhere including in the much venerated Catholic Church and inside the Vatican.

    Hiding of the corrupt too is corruption. Hiding of pedophile priests within the Vatican is common knowledge. One of the highest Princes in the Vatican hierarchy Cardinal Pell of Australia is now facing charges against sexual misconduct – pedophyllia – corruption of the youth,stealing young lives and their self esteem. The Vatican Bank has been in the forefront of laundering money for the Italian Mafia.

    The offer of Sil Redi, motor bikes and bottles of arrack is far less detrimental to soceity, than the Central Bank Bond Scam (which the Rev Father has conveniently omitted from his list corrupt practices – or is it because all those involved – Arjun Aloysius, Ravi Karunanayake and Ranil are all Christian / Catholics) and now the use of such stolen funds to buy gratuities such as luxury houses to those who facilitated this crime. Today a whole nation is paying higher taxes, facing currency devaluation, and selling national assets to make up for the Central Bank Bond Scam. And yet the Rev Father has omitted to name the very elephant in our midst by naming only Sil Redi and the like!

    Yes, selective amnesia is the stuff of those who pontificate from high offices – whether religious or political. This is clearly heard from the very lips of the former Minister of Finanace n now the Minister of Externa Affairs Ravi Karunanayake who did not know how or at whose largesse he happened to be sleeping in a super luxury apartment in Colombo!

    While congratulating the Reverend Father for his worthy sermon on corruption, I venture to say that Catholic Church is the last place on earth from which to ponitificate on corruption. It is the very embodyment of it!

    Capitalism is based on greed and corruption is the sine qua non of this mechanism – the very grease that enables movement of Capital and all it entails! All what the citizen can do is to bring about mechanisms – laws and commensurate punishment to lessen corruption and keep it within acceptable and tolerable limits!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    “While congratulating the Reverend Father for his worthy sermon on corruption, I venture to say that Catholic Church is the last place on earth from which to ponitificate on corruption. It is the very embodyment of it!”


  3. Lorenzo Says:

    BREAKING NEWS – 19 JO MPs don’t sign no faith motion against RAVI!!

    19 JO MPs including MR have NOT signed the no faith motion against Ravi.

    I love to hear soththi excuses and shooting the messengers.

    What a country! When you think the RULING PARTY protects crooks even the OPPOSITION protects crooks.

    Only a MILITARY-SANGHA takeover can save SL.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Pure Capitalism does not work. Isn’t RW the architect of “pure Capitalism” in Sri Lanka.
    Pure Capitalism puts Money before People.
    If RW is for the Blend of ideologies, he ought to say so.
    To the Observers, he appears to be pulling for Pure Capitalism only.

    The “pure other side” of ONLY Socialism does not work either !
    There has to be a blend of the two Systems.
    So, there is a constant political fight between the two Systems and the people who pull for each of those sides !

    These two PURE Systems create the confusion, doesn’t it ?
    A formulated and sane blend of the two Systems is a MUST.

    Fact Sheet :

    TWO World Wars came out of Europe.
    Empires came out of that region.
    Europe is more or less sandwiched between Russia & the Middle East, with different political ideologies & religions.
    When there is trouble in those regions, the whole world suffers in our Globalised world.
    European countries are all SOCIALIST.
    Britain runs a Welfare State.

    How can a small country like Sri Lanka protect itself from the Global backlash of troubles and maintain the Social programs too ?

    Suggestion :
    At least make Lanka Ports for Peaceful Purposes only.
    That way, in case of wars, Sri Lanka which is a small country, may not get bombed to pieces ?
    Suggest that this Agreement ought to be done through the UN Security Council which is composed of some of the main Global players.

    Above written with good intent to bring Peace & reasonable Prosperity for all in Lanka.

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