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The Easy way out for the Rajapakshas

"Rajapakshas will hear more that the arrest was made to prevent Fonseka from contesting the general elections. In a chain of suppressive actions the government is already known to have dismissed, transferred, detained, assaulted, kidnapped, abducted, harassed, harmed, and insulted many people who supported the General at the presidential election."
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By Helasingha Bandara

(February 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The international community is just beginning to warm up to the issue of Sri Lanka’s governance, politics and news. It remains to be seen how hot it can get in the coming weeks as the country is gearing to experience yet another election. As I have written earlier there is no end to the relay of elections in Sri Lanka. The politicians have no time for constructive thoughts other than to concentrate on strategies for winning the elections. People on the other hand are kept entertained as the elections have become a sport that keeps the population, fighting, cheering, guessing and waiting till the outcome is announced, not a bad idea for a country that is lacking a culture of entertainment for the ordinary folks.

Adding fuel to fire Rajapaksha’s have arrested General Fonseka, the common opposition candidate of the recently concluded presidential election. Fonseka may have committed the crimes that the government allege. Yet no one around the world accepts the allegations of the government because of the timing of the arrest. It is obvious that the government of Mahinda Rajapaksha is getting more repressive by the day. It is acknowledged that it is a family rule that is prevailing in Sri Lanka. Ironically the comedian Jackson Anthony has rationalised and justified the Rajapaksha family rule saying that it has always been a family that ruled Sri Lanka that has become tradition and custom in the island. Is it hard to guess that he has political ambitions for the future? The parliament is paralysed and it is the word of the Rajapakshas that counts. Individualistic materialism and the fear of repression keep the rest quiet. Rajapakshas are emboldened by the recent victory, perhaps believing that the masses approve of their style of governance.

In my view the arrest of the General and the ill-treatment meted out to him in the process is a miscalculation that Rajapaksha s have made. Those who voted for Rajapaksha at the Presidential election thought that he was the better applicant for the post. This did not mean that they have lost love for their army commander who fought valiantly and brought home the victory, risking his own life many times. The public despise the manner in which their war hero has been treated by the born suckers. Unexpectedly some journalists who are well respected for their valued journalism have tried to say that the mistreatment that the General received was his own doing by resisting the arrest. Who would not resist if they are not sure whether it is the legitimate law enforcing officers or a bunch of rouges in stolen uniforms trying to arrest you.

Rajapakshas will hear more that the arrest was made to prevent Fonseka from contesting the general elections. In a chain of suppressive actions the government is already known to have dismissed, transferred, detained, assaulted, kidnapped, abducted, harassed, harmed, and insulted many people who supported the General at the presidential election. The politicians local and foreign, political activists local and foreign, human rights activists, writers, the clergy, public and private sector employees and the general public will begin to question the government’s stand on the arrest and detention of SF. This will start at small scale and magnify into mega proportions before the general elections. That would change the expected outcome of the forthcoming general elections. The prediction at present is that Sri Lanka will not deviate from the traditional ‘dinana peththate hoiya’ or the ‘go with the winners’ trend.

In this instance Rajapakshas have been unwise to have muddled up the seemingly secured victory and the much needed international goodwill. The easiest way out for the Rajapakshas is to let SF go free and contest the elections. This would shut the world opinion and the local voice and bring back the necessary calm that is conducive for the quiet manipulation of state resources for the government’s election campaign. With the removal of the Fonseka controversy the expected apathy at this election will return as the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

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