“Educated fools” without self-respect
| by C. Wijeyawickrema
( January 2, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Mr. S.L. Gunasekara, in his interview published in the Daily Mirror (1/1/2013), refers to a description made by President R. Premadasa about “Ugath Modayin.” Premadasa, who actually went to St. Joseph night school and claimed that he really went to St. Joseph’s, must have been suffering from an inferiority complex to pretend that he was a Josephian. His regime was branded at that time as a regime of “Hathe Kalliya,” (a cult of seven individuals with seventh grade-education). Besides, educational qualifications or university degrees do not make one Ugath as Premadasa thought.
Ironically, I find that the Premadasa phrase can be applied to what is now going on with the Shirani B impeachment debacle, with a new twist. On can say we now have Nugath Modayin, Ugath Modayin and Ugath Kapatin (uneducated and educated fools and educated hypocrites). Because I consider that most MPs, PC mps and ministers are Nugath Modayin, I do not want to talk about them. My concern is about the so-called educated cream of the country, the low level the country has gone down in honesty, morals and reasonable behavior.
Of all the discussions that I saw and read, only one person, Mr. S. L. Gunasekara, made me feel proud of Sri Lanka. The rest of the writers and commenters demonstrated their loss of commonsense due to partisan blindness or naked self-interest. Common-sense, after all means, the information one gets through the five senses; see, hear, touch, smell and taste. For example, I do not expect a person like Prof. Nalin de Silva to have a law degree to understand that the basic Buddhist Vinaya rule framed 2600 years ago that an accused monk should be given a fair opportunity to defend his case. So when he ignores this in the case of Shirani B, how can I think of having any hope on others like Jehan Perera, Friday Forum, Daily News, Nihal Jayawickrema, Kumar David, G. L. Peiris etc. etc. who were in the “this war was not winnable” camp. Only one person, Rajiv Wijesinghe had the courage to openly state that the impeachment procedure was not fair.
So the entire country has divided into two camps. Yes men for the government and those either directly or indirectly supporting a regime change plan of the West. The latter group is also the group who said “the war was not winnable.” The yes men group finds Shirani B guilty of wrong doing and the pro-regime change group finds Shirani B innocent. So far only two persons, H. L. Gunasekara and Rajiv Wijesinghe were willing to separate the question of Shirani B’s guilt or innocence from the commonsense requirement of the need to give an accused a fair trial. This requirement is not what we got from the western jurisprudence; it is what we see in the Buddhist Vinaya rules 2600 years old.
If one were to examine Shirani B’s case there are several guilty parties. The president, the CJ and her husband are all guilty parties. For the mistakes these different parties made, intentionally and knowingly, they cannot now blame the West or local NGOs. Everybody in Sri Lanka knows that there is a systematic effort to derail the MahindaR administration, for the simple reason that it is much easier to balkanize India if chaos can be created in Sri Lanka by breaking it to two or three in boundary wars against each other. Two warring groups have outside support, separatist international Tamils and Jihad international Islamists.
As the famous South Indian historian Neela Kanta Sastri wrote, “Ceylon did not become part of Tamil India, because of King Vijayabahu I.” Gotabhaya R was the catalyst in preventing it happening in 2000 AD, under much more difficult circumstances than what the King Vijayabahu faced then in 1011 AD. Under the changing or evolving Euro-American geopolitics of world control, (this is why EU was given a Noble Prize!) even if the Balkanizing of India plan is now on hold in the face of a growing China threat, Mahinda Rajapakse administration is a friend of China and Iran in Euro-American books. They cannot use UNO against Sri Lanka, because China and Russia will protect Sri Lanka. But this guarantee should not be abused by the yes men of the MR Administration who are mostly of Eurocentric (Europe is better) mindset. The reason is very simple. In the final analysis Premadasa’s Ugath Modayin or the present-day Ugath Kapatin in Sri Lanka cannot fool the brain power of the western and American strategists.
The West uses all kinds of strategies to get what they want. In the 18th Century they used blankets soaked with small pox germs to eliminate the native Red Indian tribes. Now they use the more humane-looking “reasonableness doctrine” to achieve their aims, using UNO as a vehicle. They call it R2P or protection of humans’ rights. This human rights issue is really nothing but an issue of reasonableness. Russia or China cannot defend a friend at a UN forum if the friend is proven to be not reasonable. The West wins such battles using brain power in addition to behind the scene other methods such as funding a project in a voting country. Russia or China is not willing to look as unreasonable fools before the eyes of 199 countries in the world.
Sri Lanka is in double jeopardy here. A country or its leaders professing to be good Buddhists cannot be unreasonable masters in their behavior, because the Middle Path in Buddhism is nothing but the West’s reasonableness doctrine. It is unfortunate that, only two persons, H. L. Gunasekara and Rajiv Wijesinghe, had the courage to tell publicly, that the president’s yes men have not followed the Buddhist Middle Path in handling the impeachment of CJ-SB. Administrations world over professing democracy have had Judges not favorable to them, and there are reasonable and justifiable ways to overcome such obstacles to implement people-backed political programs. But it should not be done in a manner that appears as a blatant abuse of power, especially if it can be used against it by its outside enemies.
No reasonable person, with or without formal legal training can support the procedure followed by the government to derail the CJ. The administration has ignored the rules of natural justice that the Buddha enunciated so clearly 2600 years ago. The yes men, in their greed to placate a president created a case of an emperor’s clothe situation in Sri Lanka. The president has enough powers to help people in Sri Lanka, without a loyalist as CJ. Why Sri Lanka is in socio-economic turmoil is not because it has a federalist CJ. If the president has wisdom he can submit the removal of 13-A for a referendum and receive the needed people’s support. The Divineguma Bill as it is will create another set of government officers and will not help people just like so many such other projects in the past. The Grama Sevaka Niladharis (GSN), Samurdhi Niyamakas and most GAs and AGAs are not doing their job. What is the guarantee that a 27,000 Divineguma officers will do differently. The Divineguma Bill needs to be modified to create GSN-level elected bodies of non-partisan locals so that local people are empowered to decide local development-related matters. Already there is a Gami Diriya project, which the Divineguma Bill could have copied.
Anybody who wishes success for the Mahinda Chinthanaya does not want the administration to face untold hardships at international forums because this CJ Bandaranayaka case is a different animal from the Sarath Fonseka case. No reasonable person or entity can support the argument that the enemies of the administration are using CJ-B as a cat’s paw to derail it. Of course now that is what it can turn into. The administration unnecessarily got a snake wondering yonder under its garments because some yes men/women s’ greed to placate the president. The 114 MPs who did it are not on CIA payroll or NGO dollar roll. It is unlikely, that lawyers in Sri Lanka will follow the advice given by H. L. Gunasekara to not accept the next CJ job. There are lot of people who have no self-respect to meet with his qualification. But the CJ removal demolition crew cannot kill the CJ ghost, they can only bury it. President will have this CJ albatross hanging on his neck, if he removes CJ-B without following the rules of natural justice which is nothing but following the Middle Path in Buddhism. The nature of yes men, especially those who came from UNP, is to abandon ship if the tide goes against for whatever reason. Impermanence is the only thing permanent in the cycle of life!