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A Slippery Slope in Sri Lanka

The Land of Murder

by NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA

Some call it the land of murder; it is also known as the land of rape; the land of robbery; the land of corruption; the land of criminals and the land of liars! It must be asked if our country has lost its identity with the positive values in life and in doing so has thus lost its connection with its soul and therefore its identity. The answer is simple, yes. We have created an appalling image for ourselves and have called it the ‘Miracle of Asia’ despite the fact that our true colours cannot be hidden from view.

Today our problem is how to find the true Sri Lanka that we believe our nation really is. What we see now as Sri Lanka is not the real Sri Lanka that we believe in. It is a piece of land which is controlled by the ‘monster’. We lost our country somewhere along the way. We know where we lost it but we do not appear to have the strength to eliminate those blocking our view to enable us to develop our common identity. When the majority of us are able to find this common identity we will be the true power behind an independent and sovereign nation and our land will no longer be just a piece of land but our country enjoying the fruits of sovereignty.

We were sectioned off into many groups by the custodians of power who utilised the age old strategy of divide and conquer and this left us fighting merely to survive as long as we can. As a result of this we have not learnt to value our sovereign life and the basic rights and privileges that every human being has due to that consciousness of sovereignty.  We are naked, but we think we are not; we are wrong, but think we are correct. We are misled but we think we are properly guided. We think we have leaders but in reality we do not. What we have are tyrants. The man on the top of the hierarchy has created social fear in order for us to accept him as the leader. And we are so immature that we justify our wrongdoings without accepting our faults, even to ourselves.  This is the result of a slippery slope that our older generation has taken and we are unable our own downward slide or to correct them or teach them a lesson.

We think our illusion is real. Our illusion has been preventing us from seeing the reality and hiding the experience of true pain and loss. We have created our own fake world in order to satisfy our imagination through the illusion. Therefore, no one can deny the basic notion of Toba Beta’s Master of Stupidity; “Everybody wants to be respected. Everybody wants to look smart. Everybody likes to watch smart people, and pretends to be smart. That’s the beginning of crappy bullshit of living a fake life”. We are the country which has lost her identity and clothing while watching others give it a different appearance. We are citizens who love to fake life than dig deep into our reality to discover the truth and make amends and correct our own wrongdoings, because we are reluctant to learn from our past.

There is nothing surprising about what the President Rajapaksa regime has done with the main suspect in the brutal killing which took place in October 2011; the killing of a senior member of the ruling party who was an advisor to the President. The drama which unfolded in front of the hospital where the killer spent his fake life before he came out to face the public confirms the larger image of our crappy political life and it has emerged as the reality of our social disorder. The Rajapaksa regime knows exactly how the political bluff works and uses it to spread lies among the people. What he has done to this country is to assassinate the dignity and respect of good citizens while centralizing everything into himself and his family members. His ego may lead him to think that it will last forever so to keep his dream alive he will not hesitate to eliminate the person who questions this.  The Rajapaksa motto is simply:”Do as we say, not as we do”.

All it takes is common sense to understand that the Rajapaksa administration has vandalized every layer of the country’s resources to get rid of political obstacles while minimizing the space available to facilitate the sharing of authentic political dissent.  At the same time the opposition appears to be caged. Apparently they want us to think that they believe that, “We all need something to distract us from complexity and reality”. Under these circumstances nothing will lead us to the solution unless, instead of believing in political bluff, we wake up and look around carefully in order to experience the bitterness of the reality that we face in everyday life. We have had enough wake-up calls. It is now time to work towards common belief.

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