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The Sinhala polity help Rajapaksa inherit his own sins

(February 06, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) If, by not voting, the Tamil people helped Mahinda Rajapaksa to be president of Sri Lanka in 2005 then in 2010 the Sinhala polity made Rajapaksa president in gratitude for sealing the fate of the Tamils as a permanently oppressed nation notwithstanding the tactics and methods used to do so. The majority of the Tamils who voted for Fonseka did so not because they loved him but because they hated Rajapaksa, a vote of no confidence on Rajapaksa. The “insurgent” turned democrat the sanctimonious minister Devananda made sure that not more than 17 percent of the Tamil speaking people in the north went to the polls. The work of the Elections Commissioner was obstructed at every turn with his advice disregarded, his office virtually taken over and eventually threatened to make a public statement under duress that everything was above board and hunky-dory. This case of a public servant is similar to the case of the five Tamil doctors now in custody for acting professionally for treating their patients in the hospitals that were bombed during the height of the war. No climate change is envisaged except to be bleaker for Sri Lanka and increasingly darker for the Tamil speaking peoples with a disproportionate increase in the level of impunity.

Having manipulated the servile Sri Lankan justice system Rajapaksa will free wheel for the first year and then start to govern “seriously” for the next six years with seven years in all ensuring a seven year itch for the Tamil speaking peoples. In the meanwhile he will have converted Sri Lanka into a first world country (not even the second) and attend the G8 summit.

In his manifesto of 2005, the Mahinda Chintanaya- the thoughts of Mahinda the peace that was promised was meant to be through negotiations with the Tamil leadership but was transformed into war, unless this was what he really intended, leading to the complete dislocation and disruption to the Tamil ethos, their contiguity and their culture as a nation. It was convenient to do so with Indian and Chinese complicity and why not when they came in handy. China, wanted a foot hold in the Indian Ocean to complete its string of pearls, one in Hambantota and has got it. India keeps hankering after, wanting to show that they could do better than China. In the second part of the Chintanaya, we are told in very broad terms, that the focus would be on development, God knows what it means but is easy to make up as he goes on with extraneous factors always there to be blamed for the failures. The infra structure built up with Chinese and Iranian aid will be the showpieces of development. As the Sinhala polity voted for the candidate who promised much less than Fonseka, with their expectations kept low, they will be less disappointed at the end, if there would ever be one.

For the Sinhala polity, all the starvation and hardship are forgotten as long as their primordial adversaries are kept in their place. Unfortunately this section has to be kept appeased to win any election at the national level in Sri Lanka. This is what all Sinhala leaders have been doing since independence. The more they are aroused and their feelings whipped up their expectations are raised. This Frankenstein monster develops an increasingly insatiable appetite recurrently demanding greater and more vigorous action against the Tamils accounting for the periodic Pogroms. It is to liberate themselves from this malignant cycle that the Tamil speaking peoples have been demanding separation.

Remarkably, in a so called democracy claimed to be the oldest, a status endowed in 1931 with the granting of universal franchise ironically by British colonialism, there has been little or no public opinion or public debate amongst the intelligentsia on the recurring human rights abuses on the Tamil people and even the recent international suggestion of war crimes is taken as an affront to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. A classic case of the foolish ostrich covering its head in the sand. This is in contrast to the current thinking of the British intelligentsia calling Tony Blair a war criminal especially after the most recent inquiry on the Iraqi war. The evil of ingrained racism in the mindset of the Sinhala polity and the attendant discrimination by the State cannot be cured by legislation or public pronouncements on equality nor through Rajapaksa’s newly acquired proficiency in the Tamil language.

Sri Lanka will soon become a bigger jungle, an anarchy. Ominous signs of the complete repression of the freedom of expression and dissent continue to be increasingly evident. The last remnants of any democracy will be eroded and destroyed with the only change to the presidency making his powers more autocratic on the excuse that he received 57 percent of the vote a majority ridiculously made out to be also a vote of confidence on the existing system. He wins because he defeated the Tamil militancy and the claim for their self determination but it is also conveniently made out that the percentage of votes he received was an overwhelming endorsement to justify making him more autocratic, in other words a dictator. The Sinhala polity will be kept constantly reminded of the threat of the rise of another Tamil militancy to keep the dictatorship alive.

Rajapaksa’s comment at the post election media interview: “Am I in the dock?” (how dare you ask me) should serve as a significant eye opener of things to come, hinging on the question of accountability of a leader of a so called democracy. Corruption will increase manifold with the requirement that any suggestion of it has to be supported with proof and documentation from the CID and the Bribery Commission who are themselves steeped in corruption. So therefore do not make those suggestions for you may be charged for libel and sent to jail to join other similar journalists who had the temerity to commit such treason. Disappearances will increase “as a method of disposing suspected dissidents without the inconvenience of proving guilt at delayed trials, and as a means of terrorizing others, the device is useful to lawless government, which can pretend it has no responsibility because it knows nothing about any specific crime.” (Geoffrey Robertson). As for nepotism and family bandyism we have been told by Rajapaksa and his nearest relatives that in a country as small as Sri Lanka all are related, brothers and sisters in other words, and “nepotism” in your meaning of the term is thus inevitable, so much so that in Colombo or in Jaffna, if you throw a stone in the air it is bound to fall on a brother or cousin of Mahinda Rajapaksa or for that matter our own brother or cousin. So do not make the stone too heavy lest you injure your own close relative.

Chinese mode of cyber intelligence will be used to infiltrate into websites and computer networks as widely prevalent in China. China, with its appalling human rights record, hitherto on the periphery on the Indian Ocean supplying arms, military intelligence and infrastructure employing their own cheap labour will also enter into the general area of intelligence and administration, a peril that will not go away. Chinese and Indian businesses will vie with each other as would their espionages and intelligence with the centre playing one against the other. As in the year 1962, India will not know what hit them. India with no permanent friends within Sri Lanka will have to give way to China with Sri Lanka becoming a satellite of China supporting or controlling a military dictatorship. Already some top army personnel have been sent home on the excuse that a coup was being engineered by the defeated candidate and his loyal generals. This is also to silence Fonseka before he spills more devastating information. The complete breakdown of law and order created by the Rajapaksas will continue much to their advantage.

The elite well entrenched, the rich will get enormously richer and the poor more poor feeding on the forage of Sinhala nationalism. Not even Rajapaksa’s red shawl can bring relief to their hunger and malnourishment. The Tamil refugees (IDPs) will ever be on the move unable to enter their homes until they get their promised “water connections and electricity”! Will they be permanent refugees, nomadic ragged men women and children with their faces lined in pain? Without the ushering in of a military dictatorship, Rajapaksa, his brothers and their relatives cannot salvage what they had gained in the previous regime. The question is whether it would come before the parliamentary elections.

We were often reminded that Sri Lanka belonged to the Sinhalese. Now we realize that it will soon belong only to the Rajapaksa dynasty. He has inherited not only his sins but also the country.

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