Ranjagate scandal: What will it be its future impact?
Posted on January 23rd, 2020

Janaka Perera

Following are my personal observations of the ‘Ranjangate’ scandal.  Many years of media experience has taught me not be carried away by political prejudices on controversial issues like this no matter the leader/party I vote for at an election (I’ve always been a floating voter).

Never before in history has a scandal of this magnitude occurred in Sri Lanka. Thanks to modern technology now the whole country has come to know many matters hitherto unknown or little known not only about certain politicians but also officials and some members of the judiciary.  Some speculations have been almost confirmed.

But does the phone conversations so far exposed reveal the entire truth and the full background story?

Over 50 years ago the issues that dominated Sri Lanka’s political scene were mainly ideological – whether country would prosper via capitalism or socialism. Corruption was not a major factor though it did prevail but to a lesser extent.  It seldom or never drew attention during election campaigns.

But Ranjan’s phone recordings have fully substantiated the views intelligent, unbiased citizens have been holding for a long time. Their concern is that today corruption, fraud, blatant falsehoods and abuse of the law have overshadowed ideological and other issues, thus paving the way for external forces and their local agents to meddle in our internal affairs. 

So far the only irrefutable facts are (1) Ranjan has not denied recording the phone conversations (whether he did so to blackmail people or to hound crooks – as he claims – is irrelevant here) (2) the UNP has not denied he did so and has suspended his party membership and (3) those who spoke to him and those whom he phoned have not denied the conversations.

However what is the guarantee that some of the recordings, especially politically-related ones, have not been edited or doctored?

And what about the recordings so far not publicized? Do they contain ‘dynamite’ some politicians whether of the ruling party or Opposition do not want exposed?

Our politicians have been always trading accusations but hardly any of them are paragons of virtue, especially in recent years. Many have skeletons in their cupboards. How many of them have clean hands – despite their glib talking?

They always try to present a black and white picture – pretend that the only wrongdoers are their rivals. Yet the same politicos when in power do not hesitate to make deals with their opponents when it suits them or defect from one camp to the other. They are notorious for contradicting their own statements after such defections.

This is the reason why to date the real culprits responsible for crimes ranging from like those which occurred at Batalanda Housing complex, the murders of Lasantha Wickramatunga, Wasim Thajudeen and Ekneligda to the Central Bank Bond scam have never been brought to book and unlikely they will ever be. This is also the reason why no effective steps have been taken to marginalize Tamil separatism and Islamic extremism so far – even after 2009.  All that matters to most of our politicians are votes and more votes.

Needless to say Ranjan and some of his parliamentary colleagues do not belong to the educated class of politicians we saw in the decades past. Obviously Ranjan has used unethical, indecent language and made unsubstantiated claims BUT he certainly has opened a can of worms the effects of which no doubt will have an adverse impact on many in responsible positions including sections of the media.  They may be trying to cover their nudity with a fig leaf and might even attempt to stop a full probe on the phone conversation recordings. 

Not all citizens are fools to believe that the crooks and shady characters are only those who have been exposed in the audio recordings that were publicized.

The exposure of Ranjan’s recordings is likely to turn a new chapter in our political history. I won’t rule out the possibility that this scandal will be reflected in the results of the next Parliamentary Election one way or the other.

One Response to “Ranjagate scandal: What will it be its future impact?”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Looks like some people are on the defensive when exposed,reason to demonize the messenger.

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