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Mahinda’s fallen angel—Satan



by Gamini Weerakoon

(December 28, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was by no means a serendipitous year. Calamitous is the more appropriate adjective.

When the end of the year 2007 approached, the Rajapakse government’s prediction was that the 25-year-old bloody conflict would end. But that was not to be as the goal posts shifted in 2008, and Sri Lankans involved in the conflict kept dying in unspecified numbers. But now once again we are told, the end is near.

Military victories over terrorism were the only significant achievement that President Mahinda Percy Rajapakse could claim during this year. The cost of living kept bouncing up and inflation was around 20 to 30 per cent despite Central Bank manipulations of the index. Increase in the prices of oil in international markets and other essential commodities were the devil behind inflationary mayhem, the Rajapakse loyalists claimed. But the Satan of rising international oil prices slew itself in November— from $ 137 a barrel to $ 37 a barrel by the end of the year. But now, even with Satan exorcised, President Rajapakse is unable to bring down prices—not only of oil but other commodities and related services to the price of oil.

Satan was an angel

It does seem that when President Rajapakse lost Satan, he lost his best angel who gave him cover. Now the people consider Satan, a fallen angel. They want the price of fuel reduced but Rajapakse the great leader and protector of the downtrodden refuses to do so because he can’t. Will the coming year see a battle between the people and Rajapakse over the fallen dead body of Satan? The country’s highest court led by Chief Justice Sarath N Silva has come out on behalf of the people. The first few weeks will see the outcome of the battle of the People Vs Rajapakse.

Pity the President. He has in recent times been striding the globe telling the world of his great achievements in the battle against terrorism. Now he says he does not even have the power of a magistrate. Those knowledgeable in the law say that a magistrate has quite a lot of power, if he limits himself to his jurisdiction. Even American presidents, British prime ministers and leaders of other democratic countries don’t have the power of magistrates.

Global terrorism conqueror

But Rajapakse is not down and certainly not out. He claims that he has wiped out terrorism in the Eastern Province and now is in the process of doing so in the Northern Province and thereby wiping out terrorism in the entire country. Let’s all hope he does so. No one will want that Ogre in the Wanni abducting children and force marching them to war. Rajapakse’s politico-military strategy is unique and should be compulsory reading to all world leaders.

His strategy, Mahinda Chintanaya, as he calls it, combines the wisdom of the ancients of the Orient and those of contemporary American toothpaste salesmen. Sun Tzu the Chinese military strategist who lived 2500 years ago has advised: The finest of military victories are those that are not fought. American marketing strategies— as students of those business schools proliferating in Colombo will tell you— has it that there is nothing called a free cup of tea.

So Mahinda Percy Rajapakse after waiting on the wings for one year after assuming presidency sails into battle in the east. By this time the Warlord of the Wanni has quarrelled with his Eastern Province Commander in the east, is taken on to his side by Mahinda Percy and fights along side his troops. This is a move worthy of study by all students of ancient political-military strategy of even Machiavelli and the better but lesser known Indian strategist Kautilya. Ordinary readers will wonder whether there are students wasting their time on subjects like this today. Yes, there are those called political scientists.

Strategy

How does one win over hardcore terrorists who have killed your own troops and policemen— 650 policemen in one fell swoop? That is where American marketing strategy comes in—a free cup of tea.

Karunas and Pillayans are made ministers. Never mind if the cabinet of ministers exceeds 100. Who is to pay their salaries and other perks that would exceed well over Rs 100,000 a month? The public of course through indirect taxes placed on essential commodities. Luxury vehicles, trips to UK, diplomatic passports are all passé. The warlord’s forces are reduced markedly. All this enable combined forces slice through the east like a knife through butter. And that is the unique victory of Mahinda Percy over terrorism.

Leaders of the world battling terrorism, this is an example to follow. Listen, Barack Obama. Manmohan Singh, Asif Zardari and others. Buy over your terrorists. Make them cabinet ministers with all perks attached. This will be the end of global terrorism.

Now all that has to be done is to award Mahinda Percy Rajapakse the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009!

Politics

This Mahinda Chintanaya has already been proven in the field of politics. The JVP was split by enticing offers, big mouth Weerawansa is now in Rajapakse’s embrace and the JVP is split. Even the mighty UNP cracked under the Mahinda Chintanaya when 18 of them were bought for ministerial posts and other perks. Only Karu Jayasuriya breached this invincible Mahinda Chintanaya with his double somersault recently.

But will this Chintanaya stand now that Satan is gone, and prices are still rising?
The New Year will tell us all.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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