| by Helasingha Bandara
( December 23, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Rajapaksha’s governance is a one man show. If he says yes, the bunch of puppets around him follow suit. Rajapaksha’s achievements are all one man miracles. “I won the war, I have developed the infrastructure and I have developed the economy and the people”. There is no space in his achievements for any other contributor. It is all his. It is all done by himself. There is no “we” in Rajapaksha vocabulary. Finally his election campaign too has become a one man show. Only Rajapaksha himself is speaking about his actions and reactions blowing his own trumpet. It could have been better if it came from someone else.
However, there are three others speaking in the periphery: Wimal Weerawansa, Dalus Alahaperuma and Tissa Attanayake. The respect Wimal Weerawansa commands among the educated masses is obviously very low. To them he is an unprincipled showman who can lie like a Trojan to gain his own ends. The uneducated masses may be duped by his insincere nationalism, warped sense of patriotism and the entertainment value of his speeches. Dulas (what a fascinating name!)on the other hand, keeps on denying all charges against the government and picking up on some very insignificant comments by opposition leaders. Tissa Attanayake’s talks are about nothing but the party secrets that he has stolen while in the UNP. He has no understanding that the people have decided to give racism the red card. He still does not realise that giving equal opportunity to all communities and making them feel Sri Lankan is the only way forward. Double tongued Mahinda proclaims Tissa a patriot and Maithri a traitor for the same offence, desertion of the respective parties. An intelligent observer may conclude that Maithri and the others have defected with the full knowledge that they would lose all powers and perks come with them. In other words they were willing to lose. On the contrary Tissa sided with Mahinda with the full knowledge that his defection would be rewarded with a ministerial post, even temporarily. He did it for a personal gain.
Mahinda shows signs of fatigue. At Rathnapura rally, he seemed struggling to find what to say to the crowd. Someone behind him had to prompt him with subjects to talk about. Indeed he had nothing much to say other than the LTTE victory the old song and road development. The rest of the speech was all about entertaining the crowd by slandering the opponents, their wives and families, Chandrika in particular. His speeches have gone down hill to the level of fire work speeches (Mal Wedi Katha) devoid of substance.
The opposition on the other hand has raised substantial issues against MR; corruption and malpractices, state sponsored religious and ethnic intolerance, perversion of the criminal justice system, nepotism, economic mismanagement, the widening gap between the poor and the rich(unequal distribution of wealth), the provision of state protection to drug barons, plunderers, murderers, criminals, rapists and goons, blatant violation of election laws, criminal sabotage of opposition election campaign, abuse of state property and other resources for the regime’s own political campaign, erosion of media freedom, interference with the independence of the judiciary and so on. Rajapaksha himself or his fire work speakers do not address any of those accusations. He and his colleagues have written mundane speeches underestimating the political awareness of the common man and insulting the intelligence of the ordinary people.
Rajapaksha is alone. If Rajapaksha’s government can be attributed merits of good governance, there is no reason for almost all other parties to desert him to support the opposition. All friends had advised MR to make use of the golden opportunity presented to him and turn it into good use. He had the immense backing of all communities to become the immortal leader of this country. His arrogance and ego centric mind turned him to be the angry, bitter and foul-mouthed monster who even dares to physically assault people. This is unheard of any other leader in Sri Lanka’s post independence politics. Viewing him from any angle leads to the same conclusion. He is a one man show.