The Next phase of Aragalaya in Sri Lanka

This political deadlock clearly illustrates the weakness of the Sri Lankan constitution. Gotabaya was elected by 6.9m voters with the expectation that he would do his job to the best of his skills and yet, he has utterly failed. 

by a patriotic Lankan in the UK 

What is the next phase of the political struggle in Sri Lanka? Pandits, politicians and political scientists have been debating about it for a long time now, yet the political deadlock is going on and people are suffering immensely. This economic crisis is a man-made crisis primarily attributed to the political impotency, ineptitude, and inexperience of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Mahinda must take a lion’s share of responsibility for this political and economic mess. He introduced the family nepotism in Sri Lankan politics giving some ministerial posts in government.  It is claimed that his family members and his cohort exploited his weakness to accumulate a huge amount of wealth from the government coffers. The political incompetence of Gotabaya Rajapaksa is exposed through his actions and decisions in recent times. Yet, he does not go home for many reasons. 

 In the shade of the constitution. 

He contends that he is elected by 6.9m votersin the next five years. So, he and his cohort claim that he could stay in power for the next five years.He does not care about the country and its economic crisis. Even some government solicitors have come out in support of this claim. Yet, this claim is a weak argument. Gotabaya has been using the Sri Lankan constitution as a political shield to stay in power. He argues that he has got a mandate to rule another 3 years. He tries to hide in the shade of the constitution, and he uses his excessive executive power to suppress the protests and protect his power. The public and opposition parties are in a moral dilemma and are wondering what to do next to dislodge him from power. 

This political deadlock clearly illustrates the weakness of the Sri Lankan constitution. Gotabaya was elected by 6.9m voters with the expectation that he would do his job to the best of his skills and yet, he has utterly failed. So, people have every right to send him home on the ground of his political ineptitude and incompetence. 6.9m voters politically married him with the hope that he would fulfil his responsibilities in this marriage of convenience. Yet, he has utterly failed in the two years of his political marriage. He has displayed repeatedly his impotency in this political marriage. It is true that 6.9m Sri Lankan consented to this political marriage with him and yet, this marriage did not work out now people are demanding a divorce from him and yet, he is adamant that he does not want to give a divorce. Yet, in any marriage, both spouses should have equal right to go for divorce if they feel that the marriage does not work out. This political situation in Sri Lanka is very much like a matrimonial case in the real life. All marriage law stipulates that the spouse must have the right to divorce at any time in marriage life. It could be any time and yet, Gotabaya wants to go against the consent of the people. Now they ask him to politically divorce them from him and yet, he does not want to do it.

Gotabaya is politically impotent, and he does not have any skills, experience, or knowledge to fulfil his responsibilities in this political marriage. He is going against the consent of this political marriage, and it is against the wishes of 6.9m Sri Lankans. All this political drama has exposed some weaknesses in our constitution and there must be some clues in our constitution to dismiss this type of political impotent person either through the Supreme court or parliament or otherwise through a public referendum.  

Pandemonium and political chaos continue. 

  22 million Sri Lankan know what is wrong with the  Sri Lankan politics today.  From a five years old Sri Lankan child to a 99-year-old Sri Lankan knows what is wrong with politics in Sri Lanka. Educated and uneducated all know what is wrong with politics today.  Both opposition and ruling party members know what is wrong with politics today in Sri Lanka.  Prelates of all Sangas know what is wrong in politics today. Highly ranking office police officers who are encountering the protestors every day know what is wrong with politics in Sri Lanka today. The Sri Lankan army knows well what is wrong with politics in Sri Lanka today. Yet, all these people cannot break this political deadlock. As a result of this, the people of this country are suffering immensely. At no time in Sri Lankan history, people have encountered such a pathetic situation as today.  

The trajectory of the protest in Galle Face. 

         For the last three weeks, thousands of people gathered in Galle Face demanding Gota go home. This protest campaign is growing nationwide. Each Sri Lankan city and town has got protests and yet, Gota and his cohort are not ready to end this political deadlock. It looks like this beautiful Island is gradually descending into a chaotic situation due to this vacillating political conundrum. Politicians have utterly failed to make the right decisions at the right time. The lackadaisical behaviours and attitudes of top politicians in the government have led this country into this pathetic situation. The President and PM have done some grave political blunders and yet they are not ready to accept and resign from their posts.  People know well why they do not do this. They all fear that if they resign, they will have to encounter some legal battles and pursuits for their political mistakes and blunders. Yet, this psychological fear should not bar them from saving this country from further troubles. The sooner they take some solid decisions the quicker the country could come out of this crisis. If they try to dig their heads in the sand more times, they will encounter more and more trouble in the coming days.  

So far, the protestors have been peacefully protesting. Yet, an unfortunate event took place in Ramukkana. A young man sacrificed his life in this protest. Now, it appears that this protesting campaign is gearing into the next phase, Trade unions, oppositions parties, health workers, students’ unions, and all other professional groups are joining the protest campaign. All these people do these campaigns in utter desperation and frustration. People can nolonger take all this suffering and hardship. Literarily, people are starving. I fear that if the situation does not improve in the coming days, we may witness fearsome social unrest and violence. People have tolerated enough, and they cannot tolerate all this hardship any longer. Despite all this, Gota and his team do not show any remorse for human suffering. No sympathy or empathy for people in their suffering. 

The dilemma of Police officers and the Army in this crisis.  

Unfortunately, police officers and the Sri Lankan army officers are caught up in this crazy Gota politics and public agitations. They are in a delicate and fragile position. They are in an ironic and paradoxical situation. They must obey political orders to protect their job. They are compelled to do their official duty professionally and yet listen to the concerns of people without bending too much to the political influence. It would be very much a difficult and daunting task for all these officers to work at these difficult conditions. They are in a precarious situation. In Ramukkana they went far away from their professional standard. It is reported that this murder was politically motivated. It would be difficult for them to be in a neutral position on this. Yet, so far, Police officers in Galle Face, have been maintaining neutrality and impartiality. We hope that they do so in the coming days as well. These protestors are in fact, doing all these to protect this country from corruption, fraud, and political dictatorship. People are not against the Police, but they are protesting the wrong policies of this government. Their demands are genuine and for that reason, police should not act against the protestors. Protestors are doing this out of their love and affection for this country and the welfare of future generations. So, Police should not stand in the way of these young protestors. Sri Lanka has seen many blood baths in the recent past and no longer wants any confrontations. 

Rajapaksa family started to bow down to the public pressure. 

It is reported that President Gotabaya has already informed Mahanayakes of the three Chapters that he is happy to take some steps to form an interim government and resolve the crisis in the country. He is compelled to do this as soon as possible. Because his indecisiveness has done greater damage to this country. As Ranil has been telling the Parliament that the country needs some radical economic plans and strategies to come out of this crisis. To make any radical economic change, you need to have a good and stable government. For that reason, GR and MR must step down. Yet, they do not want to do it for fear of some serious repercussions. There is no doubt that Mahinda Rajapaksa did something good for this country and he got rid of the LTTE and yet, in his second term, a lot of his relatives, friends and cohort did greater damage to this country. Moreover, Gotabaya with all his wrong policies has done greater damage to this country.

 Some corruption and fraud allegations go viral on social media and people know about all these wrongdoings now and they can not hide them at all. People have lost their faith and confidence in them, and they need to find some way out now.  People demand that they must be put on trial and taken to court. Now, they fear that if they step down, they will have to face some legal pursuits. That is why they do not want to step down as people demand. Now, politicians, and the judiciary must make some compromises to find a way out for the Rajapaksa family from this crisis. The country no longer could suffer due to the wrong policies of the Rajapaksa family. I do not know any interim government will have the courage and power to take this family to the court. Unfortunately, the presidential system in Sri Lanka destroyed the integrity of the judiciary.  Politicians in western countries fear the court order and judiciary. There is a separation between the judiciary and executive powers in western countries. Politicians cannot interfere and influence the judiciary and yet, in Sri Lanka, the president has an excessive power to appoint and remove the Attorney Generals. The judiciary was suppressed by politicians in Sri Lanka. High court judges could not work freely and independently. They will be fired if they do not obey what the president says and what the president wants. Miscarriage of justice is the first casualty of this presidential system in Sri Lanka. With this, all corruption, fraud, and looting of public money started in Sri Lanka. From the top to bottom, many politicians started to milk the government coffer without any fear. That is why this country is suffering like this today. 

 The young generations of Sri Lankans know all this. That is why they demand a system change. Politicians must take some lessons from all these protests, and they must know that new generations of Sri Lankans think differently, plan differently, act differently, behave differently and live differently. Politicians must know how to change the political culture of this country. People are not ready to elect any cook politician any longer. So, they must know how to interact with the public now. Those old fashion politics does not work in Sri Lanka today. People know their political rights today and they are smart enough to make a political revolution. Therefore, it would be advisable for the Rajapaksa family to find a peaceful way out of this crisis.  If they try to dig in, they will encounter more trouble in the coming days. Because this crisis is all about life and death for people.