The Virus of Political Power
Posted on November 20th, 2021

Courtesy The Island

The beginning of November is known for its Remembrance Events — All Souls, Poppy Days and in our political past the Suriyamal Day too.

But as we move to mid-November it marks the highlights of Political Power. Who could forget the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka, by 69 lakhs of voters! Just two days after that is the birthday of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa – reaching 76, with a political record of much success.

But Gotabaya’s second election anniversary was certainly not one with much celebration. Why did anyone think of closing down the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery at a time of such important celebration? Is this a Weerawansa, Gammanpila, Vasudeva play of loud-mouthed and spineless politics?  The oil should have flowed freely in the country, with no queues seen at any petrol shed. Even the flow of crude oil is the stuff of a political celebration for Gotabaya, Mahinda and Basil, and the other Rajapaksas, too.

As these two Rajapaksa events were celebrated with the vesting of the ‘Sandahiru Seya” to the Maha Sangha, and the offering of Kiri Amma’ alms at the Abayarama Vihara, Narahenpita, to bring mothers’ milk blessings to Mahinda Rajapaksa, there was also the Opposition leader, Sajith Premadasa, having one’s own celebrations. On the round-about at Galle Face, with certainly a large gathering of supporters, and thousands more kept away by the police from all parts of the country.

Basil will certainly celebrate the passage of his first Budget, with his ministerial and dual-citizen absence from the bulk of its debate in parliament.   He must be enjoying the people celebrating his cut off of just five litres from the petrol for MPs cars, and the delay of the MPs pension till ten years in parliament. What else could the people celebrate, with the cost of living reaching unachievable heights, and queues becoming the stuff of urban display, and a new tourist attraction with the Sand Dune racing of Namal Rajapaksa.

Amidst all these celebrations, the Public Health Inspectors, and the well manipulated Health Authorities, are talking of another wave of the Covid pandemic. The Health Authorities should often go before a mirror, and see themselves as the promoters of the next wave, supporting the political movers – on where no health guidelines should be followed. Not at any crowded Katina Pinkama, any annual celebration of the Pohottuva Party, and where political leaders of the government can get some hundreds, or thousands to gather around them; though not so easy today.

For nearly two years we have been talking about a virus – that came from China. What we see today is much more than a China Virus. It is the Chinese direction of the political leadership of this country. From the Port City of Colombo and all the sway China has at Hambantota, as well as many other parts of the country, we are now certainly trapped and bound by this Virus of Non-diplomacy.

We are now also caught in the wider Political Virus – Deshapalana Virasaya – which has no vaccination against it. The speeches  by government MPs in the Budget Debate, the regular headlines about the government’s so-called achievements, the many Task Forces that do very little other than echo the Gotabaya Thinking (not very smart), and the new rise of some yellow robes for Constitutional Thinking – One Country, One Law, and Chancellors of Universities, with more cheap yellow stuff to follow —  let’s cherish our memories of the great monks of the past — is the pervading threat to this country and people.

Two Years of Pohottuva Power have taken us to the edge of a political cliff, the fall from which will be disastrous. How can the people recede even to a slope of democratic safety, and escape the further spread of the Rajapaksa Power Virus?

Many are talking about how our politicians have brought us to this near disaster from the time of independence. Surely, not all those leaders were as bad as what we have today. Many of them had shortcomings in governance. Some were swayed by ethnic and religious divisions, to please their politics and greed for power. But we are now led by the worst of them all, a shameful pack of Family Power Dominance.

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