| by NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA

( March 14, 2014, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The country is dancing to the music of the Rajapaksa family and the regime that they have effectively set up, very much like a puppy following its tail. I wrote in 2010 that President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the UN headquarters in New York to address the world body with over one hundred and thirty people selected from his clan. Most of those so called ‘country representatives’, were there just for shopping and enjoying themselves at the expense of the Sri Lankan taxpayer. This was at the time when he passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in which he dissolved the term limits of the president who, by an earlier constitution, is above the law. He could now dispense with the independent commissions for free & fair elections, corruption control, police and government services which was introduced by the 17thAmendment. The jumbo team, like the jumbo cabinet, which is also financed by the tax payer, happily made their contribution to the ruin of the country.

The third UN resolution, the leaked draft of which appears ready give another lighter chance to the leadership to investigate their own crimes in a country where the criminal justice system has been abandon. Seeking for justice through the genuine investigation procedure from the paralyzed system is nothing more than coddling the monster.
What we saw in the last four years is nothing less than the total collapses of the morality of Sri Lankan diplomatic missions that exist to conduct their personal business. It is fairly evident that most of the diplomatic appointees received their jobs due to their connections with the President rather than their qualifications. The end result of this deliberately banal action has put the country in the dark hole. Unfortunately, those who were qualified to debate and articulate the theory in order to justify their actions were recalled or forced to leave the government cage.

The third UN resolution on Sri Lanka which is now on the table was the result of these ‘politricks’, born out of the misbegotten evil which has declared ignorance as the most suitable political strategy to solve the problems faced by the leader. As the result of this sincere ignorance, the country has been further isolated and cornered. Is it political stupidity? The simple answer in term of the leadership, is no. This is none other than the real desire of Rajapaksa and his lawlessness; his extend family and their associates. It was never his intention to create a country with dignity, respect and harmony but instead a quagmire full of looters and plunderers. To succeed in his dream he injected conscientious stupidity among the majority, while singing the song of “patriotism”. Here is where the “Rajapaksa heroism” originates which tries to justify all what come out of the Rajapaksa clan. “Praised up on Rajapaksa, to be a patriot,” came to be the pathetic social reality or the political slogan in the island nation.

His comment that he is ready to face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and sit on the electric chair is nothing short of laughable. Especially when he changed his theme and argued, “No one can take us to the electric chair or anywhere else. Only the public can remove us.”

Not only is there not an electric chair at the ICC in Hague but as the Government of Sri Lanka refused to ratify the Rome Statute which is the foundation of the ICC, which came into force since July 2002. He need not fear it anyway. In fact, neither he nor anyone else in his clan has any reason to fear an international trial over what he ordered during the last phase of the civil war. His trust in people is not the real power or genuine acceptance of people, but the cynical manipulation of their rights through the elections. Perhaps, his confidence lies in his ability to manipulate any election in the country.

While disabling the public access to many outspoken websites that now have to operate from abroad, he strategizes the way of controlling local media. The best and latest example is his so called, “Janapathi Janahamuwa’ (President’s meeting with people through television), is where he ordered all television channels to stop other all programs and broadcast live his remarks of “ progress” in the country for over three hours. It was not only a violation of election rules, but also the implementation of authoritarian power. However, in reality there is no room to play for ethics or rules in the country. Thus there is nothing to violate when the term of violation has been abandon, and the orders of an evil tyrant become ethical.

What he might believe is that the easy way of avoiding an investigation of what happened at the end of the civil war is by keeping a diplomatic mission which follows the theory of three wise monkeys while at the same time, maintaining a higher political morality in the country to cover-up all failures of state management. Apparently he believes that his electoral district of Hambantota, which is where the government of China pumped money at high interest to construct a sea water harbour and an airport for killing peacocks, is the whole country, and the country is the whole world.

Where his fantasy remains is that his power, he believes, will last forever and be centralised within the Rajapaksa family as long as the majority of people continue to vote for him. This politics reflects a niggling evil; it has centralised not only the “constitutionalized” power but also the wealth of the country to a single clan. He is able to control more than eighty percent of the national budget in the country and he is confident that he can win any election as long as he can control the wealth in the Island.

In this context avoiding the consequences that might come from the international community is best way of controlling the majority who are sick with the “popular patriotism” just because of the conscientious stupidity.

In this situation, what, when and how the international community addresses the stability of the state of Sri Lanka and her people, who undergone several painful experiences throughout their history is the question. 

The third UN resolution, the leaked draft of which appears ready give another lighter chance to the leadership to investigate their own crimes in a country where the criminal justice system has been abandon. Seeking for justice through the genuine investigation procedure from the paralyzed system is nothing more than coddling the monster.

Nilantha Ilangamuwa edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper, and he also an editor of the Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives, bi-monthly print magazine. He is the author of the just released non-fictions, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), in Sinhalese and “The Conflation”, in English. He can be reached at ilangamuwa@gmail.com


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