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Sri Lanka: a Brainless Head

by NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA

“Nothing’s ever gone too far. Anything can be reversed; these are human decisions.”

– Noam Chomsky (An interview with the Al Jazeera- Jan 12 )

Colombo, Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa does what he wishes to do. Nothing to be surprised of, that is who he is.  He impeached the Chief Justice saying that the law was so dear to him and that he was a humble follower of the law in this respectful country. Accordingly,  he says that he followed the procedure as per  the constitution. Now he has installed another subject to the forcibly vacated seat which we call the seat of the “Chief Justice”. One of his brothers who is also a key player of this panoply of nepotism of the barbaric raj claimed this as an aspect of “check and balance”. But as happened  in many other cases, he misused the power obtained through the constitution, yet again. This is likely to  be repeated by him to get rid of political obstacles he would face in the future as well. How can you predict the strength of a building which appears to be beautiful and strong but is structurally outworn, unless you see the inside? You will never comprehend through your bird’s eye view how the power beast misused by the present ruling family cleared the way for the Chinese to make  roads and wetland parks throughout the country.

For the  country and its people it is now do or die situation. In other words, the island nation has entered its dying point as a righteous nation, due to  the Rajapaksas’ egocentric politics and their  harassments of truth. Like most of politicians in the world, they  never let the truth come out. What is wrong with this country? How come Rajapaksa can still cynically manipulate the nation and her dignity? Why are people in general yet to come out against this shocking assassination of the dignity of our nation? If Mr. Rajapaksa followed the so called “genuine procedure” to impeach the CJ, why did he deploy brainless political puppets to attack lawyers, eventually leading some of those innocent people to be attacked in public? The Police are reported to have refused to even lodge a complaint from those victims. If Mr. Rajapaksa was truly concerned about a genuine procedure to impeach the CJ, why did he use or allow state media to come forward as his mouth piece to personally insult the lady Chief Justice.

It looks as if those who personally insulted the lady CJ have forgotten that they were also born to women who naturally earn the respect as our first known human beings – Mothers. It is unbelievable as to how those people who expressed politically and emotionally motivated opinions through pro-state media in the last couple of weeks, could do so without any hesitation or show of responsibility to the nation.  At some point it seems shameful to be a man if you happen to listen to those headless chickens. Could we call it a constitutional problem? It confirms to me the situation under Maoism in China where the general saying was – women love emotions, men love flesh. The President himself has proven how willing he is to eat flesh while sharing with his political slaves.

It was in 2011 that the Government of Sri Lanka blocked several web sites including the Sri Lanka Guardian, which I’m editing, claiming that we were insulting the leader and some selected people in the Government. But to us we were reporting as is our duty as free media, informing the public.  However, when you observe as to how the leader is manipulating the media, you would identify with the  real aspects of the crisis and his psyche that manipulates the crisis. At the same time by electing a leader like Mr. Rajapaksa we are showing where we stand as a country. Though many people are looking at this crisis as a deadly constitutional or rule of law crisis that we faced/are facing, it’s very clear that this is a devastating shameful socio-political evolution that we have earned after independence from the British.

There is no doubt, the crisis of constitution is much older than other political developments, and it is a yesterday’s issue which is still bothering us. Perhaps, it is true that there is no obligation if someone claimed that that’s the root cause of the whole problem. However, before and after creating the authoritarian constitution and dressing it up in democratic clothes, the country went through many nightmares and killed hundred thousands of people without any accountability. The regime allowed the military and its supportive paramilitaries to take over all norms of freedom and use them on innocent people. Crimes within crimes, crises within crises, have emerged throughout the country.

Same aspects of this abuse occurred during the last war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which dreamed of a separate state and fought for it for more than thirty years and was categorized as a terrorists’ organization by many countries. However, the last war has culturally changed the country’s structure and President and his forces have opened for themselves enormous opportunities to do anything they wished to. At the same time, it needs to be highlighted that  at some point political dissents were also speechless over the breaches and misbehavior  of the Liberation Tigers. The political framework created and manipulated politics by the Tigers for three decades vanished in 2009, and then Rajapaksa becomes the man of the match and the successive controller. Mr. Rajapakasa is not a statesman but an opportunist.

Mr. Rajapaksa, a long time ignorant man in the SLFP (The Sri Lanka Freedom party), has changed his entire image and he is capable enough to come forward as a Sri Lankan native man with the Asian smiling face. The mustache has given him what his inside doesn’t have while the blood color swell has given him a native appearance to go into public to spoil and/or poison the general mind with his political falsest. In the same way he has been lucky enough to have paralyzed the  dopey opposition which has no room but given enough space to steal its own members to have legitimate power in the parliament to the President’s will. In the same way he has trapped all the important people who have the capacity to oblige and change the public mind, and the media too is in his favor – all in the name of sovereignty of the nation. Thus, he created a culture, which has two core notions, sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. In these circumstances he was able to hide his weakness and be a perpetrator to those who were victims of his misuse of power.

In the same way, he shows that he has obtained his mandate from the people by conducting dozens of elections, while using state resources for political campaigns. Rajapaksa’s theory is simple to understand. He never believed anyone expect his brother who is holding dual citizenship and controlling the largest percentage of the annual budget, while working as just a secretary to the ministry of defence.  Rajapase’s theory seems to be to use the people for his political advantage and then kick them out whenever he wanted. To him people seem to be not human beings but just objects. He did not value what others have been done, he did not worry about taking revenge against the dissents, and he did not hesitate to betray others to get rid of political obstacles. He would use one of his close associates to get the job done, when he wanted to wipe out opponents. Once his mission was accomplished he would order fake investigation against his yes men while claiming before the public that he is a dear man who would oppose any unlawful actions. What’s quite amazing is that almost every crucial political step has been seen as being taken by others not by Rajapaksas, though Mr.Rajapaksa has ratified what others approved, including impeachment motion against the Chief Justice which was signed by those who were in the Government but not by any of the Rajapaksa brothers.   Their hands are ‘more clean’ than those of others who support the regime. This is none other than political slavery of this nation to protect just a most corrupted family in the history of Sri Lanka.

In these circumstances Mr. Rajapaksa has strong chances as well as manpower to assassinate prime institutions of the state. He seems to have well understood that the law could do nothing against him, including according to the constitution.  But the crisis in Sri Lanka is one of conflicts between humanity and inhumanity, justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, egoism and law. The Law has changed in order to support the might. This is the point the entire country took the wrong path. While most other developed nations seem to have higher levels of respect for law, most Sri Lankans believed in the people who came to power from time to time. Law has been kept as a taboo subject in the nation. This has led to unconditional power opportunities to wipe out thousands of unarmed civilians.

There were two main political ideologies manipulating the society. One was the myth of separate state within the country which was put forward by militant organizations and the Tamil Diaspora. Second is Sinhalese dominant political ego which led to the claim of unitary state, but it is laughable because most of the proponents don’t know the difference between the state and the government, leave alone belief and rule of law.  These two notions have created political framework within the country and divided it into two communities except for a few people from both communities who tried to raise the fact that the dilemma we are faced with is much deeper than bedeviled myth. The impeachment against the Chief Justice and Rajapaksa’s ability to over throw the country’s first female Chief Justice confirm that the country is clearly under dictatorship.

Today, he accomplished his barbaric mission against the chief justice, and he installed a yes man according to his tradition. This is what his law is. Don’t we have shame in ourselves to keep this kind of man as the leader?  Sri Lanka is under control by the slayer who assassinated the last milestone of the nation. But we are in general yet to understand what really is happening, and how these psychopaths eliminated everything of real value to us. Now the nation is like a head without a brain. Unfortunately we are ignoring the fact that others can feed you knowledge but none can give you a brain.

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is journalist and editor of the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily news paper based in Colombo Sri Lanka. He can be reached atilangamuwa@gmail.com or editor@srilankaguardian.org 

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is Editor of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives. He also edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper. He is the author of the recently released non-fiction books, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), published in Sinhalese, and “The Conflation”, published in English. 

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