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Cock-a-doodle-do, any cock will do!



by Gamini Weerakoon

(August 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Since Mahinda Percy Rajapakse scored convincing victories in the NCP and Sabaragamuwa the analyses given by pundits (who is not a pundit in this happy isle?) is that it was a mandate for war while the Rajapakse faithful encompassed it in Mahinda Chinthanaya. It was partly right but something was missing, we thought.

Most of last week this conundrum engaged our thoughts but an answer was elusive. We were at the oldest waterhole for days with our thinking cap on, sipping iced water and fiery stuff later on but even this cavernous deserted environment conducive to analytical thought did not produce results.

On Friday morning we awoke around dawn with this challenge in mind and were tossing in bed. It was too early for the squirrels to chirp and birds to sing in our suburb. At last we heard a cockerel crowing in the distance and that rang bells. It reminded us of a ditty we used to sing in our schooldays: Cock- a-doodle-do, any cock will do. And then truth hit us between our eyes.

Discovery

'Ade Wade' we bellowed and jumped out of bed, inadvertently kicking out our ever loving wife to the floor and ripping apart the mosquito net. 'You have gone bonkers she screamed from the floor. I told you that you had too much last night.'

This was a momentous time. Not the time for domestic disputes; like when Archimedes discovered the law of Specific Gravity in his bathtub and an apple fell on Isaac Newton's head making him realise the Laws of Gravity. We helped her to her feet and rushed to the computer to put our thoughts down while the adrenaline was gushing through our veins and thoughts pouring into our brain.

Yes, it was all cock that won the elections like what happened in all previous elections.

The ancient Romans may have said: Vox populi, vox dei -Voice of the people is the voice of the gods. But our people, the masses, are asses. They believe all the cock and bull they are told when they vote. If the masses were not asses how come the governments they elected have made such a sorry mess of this country?

Mandate for what?

It was a mandate for war and Mahinda Chinthanaya (whatever it means) the pundits say. My foot, we say. Was it also a mandate for: Corruption, nepotism, bribery, family banditry, breakdown of law and order, violation of the basic provisions of the constitution by the highest in the land, thrashing political opponents and setting residences on fire even on election day, bashing journalists by deploying thugs and criminals, abusing state property and state media for political purposes, spending billions on international jamborees for the glorification of one individual, losing billions on Mihin Lanka, keeping Mervyn Silva as a minister, ignoring directions given by the Supreme Court, making tens and thousands of poor families leave their homes and live under trees or in temporary buildings lacking basic facilities, killing and abduction of innocent civilians, sacrificing the lives of thousands of poor youth in a war and the spiralling cost of living - the highest ever in post independence history?

All these 'achievements,' mind you encapsulated in just two and a half years!

The only redeeming feature of the two elections was that around 40 per cent of the electorate did not give a mandate to Rajapakse.

Carte blanche

A basic question which should have been asked from UPFA candidates is whether all these misdemeanours and crimes the government have been accused of, is essential for the successful pursuit of the war.

Is corruption, nepotism, non enactment of the constitutional provision for the appointment of a Constitutional Council or not following directions given by the Supreme Court essential for successful pursuit of this so called war?

With Velupillai Pirapaharan hell bent on war and not having given up his dreams of a separate state, the people of this country will support military efforts to eliminate terrorism but should the government be given a carte blanche for abuse of all forms of power?

Paradoxes

Paradoxically there are two sources that boost Rajapakse's popularity. One source is Velupillai himself because of his intransigence. Pirapaharan helped Rajapakse tremendously by preventing Tamil voters who would have voted for Ranil Wickremesinghe from casting their ballots at the presidential election. He preferred the lone Dakunne Kolla to Wickremesinghe who was being backed by Western powers.

The other source is the Western powers that protest against the military operations and cry foul about violation of human rights. This as we pointed out in a previous column makes Rajapakse a Sinhala hero standing up alone to fight the world powers that are projected as anti Buddhist and anti Sinhalese.

Rajapakse from the commencement of his climb to the presidency posed off as a strong pro-Sinhala Dutu Gemunu from the south opposed to Velupillai. He has been unlike the urbane J.R. Jayewardene who did not consider Velupillai an arch fore but considered him as a small 'Thambi' who he could wrap around his fore finger.

Premadasa from the multi ethnic Colombo Central electorate wanted to be Tamil-friendly and even gave arms to the LTTE while Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power on a mandate for peace and the LTTE even printed a medallion of Chandrika's and Velupillai's pictures together. Rajapakse the Dakune Kolla has been helped in his posture of a modern day Dutu Gemunu standing alone against Tamil terrorism.

American boost

The genial American Ambassador Robert Blake unwittingly gave Rajapakse a further boost on election eve when he called on the Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake and asked him to ensure a free and fair election. Whatever Blake's intentions were, it certainly gave a boost to Rajapakse because the Sinhala lions roared 'foreign interference' against Rajapakse. Thus Blake who is projected as anti- Sinhala and anti war was supposed to have boosted the 'War President's' image in the Sinhala constituency!.

All this is a lot of cock and bull particularly when it is clear that Western powers led by America are now cracking down on LTTE operations abroad dealing it crippling blows.

This leads us to the conclusion that our masses are indeed asses that will accept any cock and bull and vote accordingly.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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