The Dirty Dozen

The world has moved away from blindly worshipping a piece of cloth. Yes, there were times when people worshipped nature. That era is gone. 

by Helasingha Bandara

Let us skip our characteristic small talk at the beginning of this discourse and meet the dirty dozen straight away.

1.Chamal Rajapaksha- the codger, 2. Mahinda Rajapaksha-the wolf king, 3. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha- the balloon, 4. Basil Rajapaksha-the seven headed Hydra, 5. Namal Rajapaksha- the young pretender, 6. Ranil Wickremasinghe - the shameless, 7.Maithreepala Sirisena- the betrayer, 8.Wimal Weerawansa-the fake nationalist, 9.wasudeva Nanayakkara- the socialist turned capitalist, 10.Udaya Gammanpila- the smiling hyena, 11. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero- the paradox , 12. Magalkande Sudaththa thero-the loudspeaker.

None of the above people hold the country or its struggling ordinary people close to their hearts and minds. Everyone in the country should know, in no uncertain terms, that their agenda is to hold on to power, accumulate wealth and develop their kith and kin. It is imperative that all Sri Lankans understand this ultimate truth if they hope to secure a country for the future generations. Every sensible person in the country should therefore conclude that those people are unfit to hold public office and govern for the people of the country as they do not put their fingers on the pulse of the nation. Their hearts do not beat for the welfare of the people, but for their own luxury, comfort, and selfish endeavours. They have no space left in their heads to think about proper governance, law and order or welfare of the people, as their heads are constantly full of thoughts to invent new lies to keep deceiving the public. Sadly, a section of the public is deceived by such lies time and again.

1. Chamal the codger

Nearing 80, Chamal has long passed the retirement age. The dotage combined with low level education has made him indifferent to the tragedy of Sri Lanka and its people. His immaturity, despite natural aging was manifested when he challenged Sarath Fonseka to a fist fight.  He has been an ardent supporter of family rule and has immensely contributed to dynasty building and the trampling of the poor people. Thissa wewa mud project is one glowing example of Chamal’s racketeering.

2. Mahinda the wolf King

Mahinda is better described as a wolf king than a lion king. The lion protects the pride, contributes to a difficult hunt to bring down a larger prey and shares the meat albeit claiming a lion’s share, and is a brave fighter and a dignified animal whereas wolf is cunning, deceitful and in most instances a scavenger.

The common acknowledgment is that Mahinda has not been far-sighted and intelligent but petty-minded and cunning. Mahinda had the best opportunity to change Sri Lanka for the better. He failed to understand the value of the historic moment and to get his name into history books.  Vision, innovation, and creativity were alien concepts to him, and he was blinded by a hunger for power, personal wealth accumulation and nepotism that resulted him dragging himself and the country with him into the deepest abyss. He entirely failed to learn from the lesson that the people taught him in 2015 and continued with the same despotic rule with the same humbugs being oblivious to the devastation that his cronies caused upon the country and its hard-working poor masses. He was accused of many financial frauds although the UNP government was not knowledgeable or capable of discovering where people hide black money. The international community has now opened doors through the Pandora papers where to look. The papers highlighted one of the Rajapakshas from Sri Lanka. Hirunica Premachandra alleged that the money hidden by Nirupama is enough for 800 years even if she spent 100000 Rupees per day. That is  not hard-earned money!

3. Gotabhaya the balloon

A balloon has a pretty exterior but empty interior. Gotabhaya was a balloon inflated to be exhibited. Although Mahinda and Gotabhaya stole the entire credit for winning the war and advertised at the post-war political campaigns, their contribution was limited to approving funds for the war. He was not a brave soldier who fought at the battle front, nor was he a military strategist that led the forces to victory. He was just Mahinda’s cat’s paw to replace him when Mahinda could not contest for a third term. Gotabhaya does not have the education or experience at the required level nor has he the intelligence and skills to rule the country other than his warped image as a military person who could rid the country of corruption and malpractices and establish the rule of law. 

The public were stunned to find out that Gotabhaya is uncharismatic and could have no control over his colleagues.  When people realised that the image of a disciplined, straight forward and no hanky-panky leader who would demolish the underworld to create a peaceful Lanka without drugs and crimes, maintain the same law for all irrespective of their caste, creed, social status, or political affiliation, cleanse the parliament and governing apparatus of corruption and enable absolute efficiency, was just a deception, it was far too late to rectify the calamity.

4. Basil the seven-headed Hydra

Basil’s image as a brilliant brain has not been substantiated.  After the defeat of Mahinda at the 2015 election, power was transferred to two selfish, backbiting, and incompetent imbeciles. This was a fertile ground for anyone to grow seeds of deception. The Easter bombing made matters worse and the public thought that the country needed a military leader to stop the re-emergence of terrorism. Among the contestants Gotabhaya fitted the bill well with his pre-portrayed illusionary image, and the people elected him with an overwhelming majority. It was not a miracle that Basil performed at all. Rejecting the image of a genius, I would like to portray him as a seven headed Hydra.

“Hydra had poisonous breath and blood so virulent that even its scent was deadly. The Hydra possessed many heads, the exact number of which varies according to the source. Later versions of the Hydra story add a regeneration feature to the monster: for every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow two heads”.

Basil has no sincerity in his inner nature. People should be blind and mad not to recognise that all Basil led political manoeuvres through 2/3 majority and the 20th amendment etc. were to pave the way for his own trajectory to the political fray. Will such a person bear the welfare of the poor in the forefront of his head or rather the seven heads or will he continue to breath out poisonous breath and blood and grow more heads in the place of chopped ones?

5.Namal the young pretender

“Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart (20 December 1720 – 30 January 1788) was the elder son of James Francis Edward Stuart, grandson of James II and VII, and the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain after 1766 as "Charles III". During his lifetime, he was also known as "the Young Pretender" and "the Young Chevalier"; in popular memory, he is "Bonnie Prince Charlie". 

He was called the young pretender because both his father the old pretender and himself believed that the claim to the British throne was their divine right.

Namal, our young pretender has been groomed to believe that the Presidency of Sri Lanka is his birth right in the same manner that his father, the old pretender believed that the presidency of Sri Lanka was his divine right as the saviour. 

Although “the young pretender” title is applicable to both Namal and Bonnie Prince Charlie, bonny in Scottish English means beautiful.

Namal is insincere. Like the rest of his clan, he too has learned the main family trait of manufacturing lies.  For instance, when nutty Johnston said that they have monetary reserves more than needed for any crisis, while Sudarshanee Fernando Pulle was begging people to donate towards the COVID-19 course, Journalists asked Namal who was right.  Namal replied both were right. Johnston was right that we have more than enough money and Sudarshanee was right that people must contribute. Do we need such a two-tongued monster to govern us?

6. Ranil the shameless

The forward-thinking majority of Sri Lankans booted Mahinda in 2015 for his complicity in misappropriation of public funds and the escalation of corruption and nepotism despite his claims that he, and he alone won the war and started all major development projects. Ranil’s four-and-a-half-year coalition rule delivered nothing tangible other than the squabbles between him and Sirisena. Within a year of his administration the Mahinda Sulanga began blowing with no obstruction because both Ranil and Sirisena were engaged in their personal agendas and did not pay heed to people’s expectations. Ranil should be ashamed to come back preaching new economic theories and suggesting better governance.

He has been identified with the greatest number of defeats in Sri Lanka’s electoral history that culminated in 2020, being denied his own seat. At that point and numerous times before, the humiliated Ranil announced that he would rescind his leadership and leave young people to take the party forward. Characteristically he then ended up in parliament as a chit MP. He is the epitome of shamelessness in Sri Lanka politics. Are the people complacent enough to return him to power?

7. Maithreepala the betrayer

He deserves to be smeared with human excrement for the monumental betrayal that he committed by the conspiracy to bring back the Rajapakshas whom people had persevered to chase away, not the leadership of the grand old party. Sirisena does not have the necessary education, knowledge, skills, foresight, or the sophistication to take the country from the abyss that it has fallen into. He is a dishonest and incompetent crook that the country should consider to be history.

 8.Wimal the fake nationalist

Is he truly a nationalist or an opportunist? The predominant question that should be asked of him is how he manged to accumulate the wealth he possesses without an enormous inheritance. He was known to have come from an underprivileged background. Under Mahinda’s previous rule and now, Wimal Weerawansa has always searched for ways and words to deceive people. His nationalistic activism has always been a melodrama with the cruel intention of deceiving the public. He has no genuine nationalistic feelings nor has he any intention to help the poor of this country but his own development.

9.Vasudeva the socialist turned capitalist

Marxists, Leninists, communists, and socialists have contributed to political development of Sri Lanka at different points of time but none of those contributions have been able to check the speed of change towards false democracy. While appreciating younger Vasu’s genuine contributions to politics in Sri Lanka, it must be said that he could not keep his head above the rapids but let him be taken by the current. Instead of retiring with a good name intact, the old Vasu is manifesting infantile behaviour and getting smeared in the attempt to defend this regime for personal gains.

10. Gammanpila the smiling hyena

With its jaws hanging and teeth visible, a hyena appears to be laughing constantly.

While the vocalisations of the spotted hyena might sound like laughing to us, they are anything but a laugh. Hyenas are commonly viewed as frightening and worthy of contempt. In some cultures, hyenas are thought to influence people's spirits, rob graves, and steal livestock and children.

For an expression to be considered laughing, the individual should be expressing an emotion like pleasure, amusement, or joy. Hyenas just aren’t expressing these emotions when making their laughing sounds.

Gammanpila’s perpetual smile is not different to a hyena’s laugh. His smile like the hyena’s has no emotions attached to it but worthy of contempt.

11. Gnanasara the paradox

A paradox is a statement or situation that may be true but seems impossible and difficult to understand because it contains contradictory facts or characteristics.

Although he is a person, Gnanasara thero can be considered a paradox because he constantly displays contradictory characteristics. While asking the people to respect the yellow robe he does not adopt a priestly behaviour himself to bring about the desired respect.

I do not have historical knowledge to talk about the merits and demerits of his so called “saving Buddhism” campaign. Based on his verbal and physical outbursts, an outsider may conclude that regarding the good name of Buddhism, his conduct has been more destructive than constructive. My grudge with him is linked to the monk’s warning to box Sudaththa Thilakasiri who has been making a sincere effort to educate Sri Lankans, and the reiteration that people should respect the yellow robe. People who wear the robe should respect it themselves first for others to follow.

The world has moved away from blindly worshipping a piece of cloth. Yes, there were times when people worshipped nature. That era is gone. The worshipped should not be the robe but the person in the robe. If the person in that cloth is a rogue and does not abide by the discipline preached by the Buddha and in fact preach and practice everything contrary to what the Buddha taught, people will disrespect the person despite him wearing a monk’s attire.

Sudaththa the loudspeaker

I have a bone to pick with this loud-mouthed political monk. Despite some weaknesses, Ranjan Ramanayake is comparatively a better person than many other politicians. He is not a murderer, thief, or racketeer. The monk took Ranjan to court on seemingly baseless charges using his political influence just to revenge upon Ranjan because he once criticised monks in general.  The monk has not opposed any of the large-scale destructions caused upon the people of this country in a similar manner. The imprisoning of Ranjan can only be described as an occurrence of a “Neethiyak nethi rataka”, by a “rate nethi neethiyak”.

“Neethiyak nethi rataka, by a rate nethi neethiyak”, If loosely translated into English, it may sound like “ in a country without law,  by a law that is non-existent”. The Singhalese version coveys a much deeper and broader meaning than the English translation. “Neethiyak Nethi Rataka” does not necessarily mean in a lawless country but a country in which law is not applied properly. More interestingly “rate nethi neethiyak” does not just mean a law that is non-existent but non-existent laws are brought in when it suits the rulers.  The article “Contempt of Court vs. freedom of expression” Wednesday, 20 January 2021  published by Daily Financial Times may provide factual explanation to the claim that Ranjan Ramanayake was imprisoned arbitrarily without the backing of a comprehensive written law in Sri Lanka or a law that conforms to national penal codes of any country. Although the opinions are solely based on the information gathered through electronic and print media, it can be speculated that if a future government follows the unprecedented establishment of kangaroo commissions, Sudaththa thero may be sent to prison for at least twice the length of the sentence that wasted Ranjan’s valuable life behind bars.