Sri Lanka: Resignation - A Wrong Precedent

 Branded as a dictator by opportunistic politicians, Western media and local NGOs, Gotabaya left office without firing a single bullet.


Many would say that they have no choice but to flee a country where the majority live in conditions where humanity and discipline have been replaced by brutality and lawlessness. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned. His decision is wide of the mark precedent. It is an irretrievably wrong precedent. He was the president who used the state funds very sparingly. He was the president who exercised the least executive power in the history of Sri Lanka. The truth is that there was no such simple leader in the history of Sri Lanka. 

However, President Gotabaya's certain decisions failed miserably. Latter stage, he was caught between self-respect and the family's political desire. Unfortunately, he was compelled to choose family over his self-respect. All the good things he had done since he became the Defence Secretary in the Ministry of Defence faded away. His reputation succumbed to decaying dynasty and misinformation. We believe he is a great victim of fake news and the vested interests of certain parties and states. His passions and vision for the country are well-crafted but his communication strategy is a complete failure. Consequently, the distance between him and the public widened soon after he was sworn in as the president. Long-term commitment and seriousness alone do not work in politics. Politics is a form of acting. To master it you must train to be an actor. He missed the lesson he should have learned from his brother Mahinda.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the man who ruled Sri Lanka but ended up a stateless man 

When a person loses faith in himself, he depends on the supernatural. The supernatural played a central role in Asian politics. A person who claims she/he has the power to read the horoscopes and speaks with Gods can manipulate the subconscious of the national leadership rather than the facts on the ground. Gotabaya is no different from Premadasa, CBK and Mahinda when it comes to the dark side of Hinduism. Unfortunately, the behaviour of so-called Buddhists is far from the values of Buddhism. It is unbelievable how a man who radically transformed society could blindly surrender his legacy to traditional superstitions.

However, despite many challenges, he had a true intention to serve this country. He worked day and night. There were times when he worked till midnight in his office keeping a glass of water. He expected a similar commitment from his colleagues and subordinates. He did not stand for cheap popularity. But to them, his serious commitment was a joke. Is it possible to be a leader like this? Many around him murmured. He made a sincere effort to recover the country from the state it had fallen into after the Covid-19 pandemic. He tried to solve the country's chronic socio-economic failure. But everyone else around him misrepresented social hardships for political gain. That’s how politics in Sri Lanka worked in the last few decades.  Eventually, His colleagues and everyone around him began to interpret the complete failure of the government as his failure. He was the only responsible person they blamed. This is the cruel and horrible reality of human behaviour in this country. Inevitably, he ended up leaving the country to save his life. In the end, he was on the run without a bed to sleep in or clothes to wear.  

History will mark President Gotabaya as a leader who fled in the face of public outrage. Branded as a dictator by opportunistic politicians, Western media and local NGOs, Gotabaya left office without firing a single bullet. He was the only dictator in the world who respected the rights of the citizen unconditionally. Isn’t it strange, how a person who was named by many as a military dictator gives up his rule without committing a single murder? This is a good example to understand the true picture of some parties who are forcing the public to accept their perceptions as the whole truth. On the other hand, this is a plight that a person has to face due to misinformation and ulterior motives of his opponents.  After a little more than two years in power, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left the country because of this "manufactured truth".  That is why we believe that his resignation sets a wrong precedent not only for the country but also for his soul. 

Gotabaya had ample opportunity to respond differently but constitutionally during this whole event. He had the opportunity to address the nation on his last visit to Parliament. He could have told the public how hard he worked without waiting for others to tell about his services. He could have stopped the so-called lawless clowns masquerading as revolutionaries for the betterment of this country. The truth of what he faced should have been told in front of the people instead of leaving quietly. But he avoided every chance and ended up a man without a state. In the end, he was unfortunate enough to live with an undeserved shame. What a tragedy. Degeneration of a person is worse than death. There is no life without honour.