Left, Right And Centre Crisis Without Alternatives
The latest cold and damp cross over to the government, ends up only with a “Monitoring” desk. But feels quite sane in telling the people its a personal sacrifice for the future of all school going children who need a good education. Gossip is nasty though that says the Inland Revenue Department wouldn’t compromise on the 08 million rupee tax arrears due last year. This world is more than insane.
“When God goes mad, who’d remain sane ?” That seems the situation all round in Mother Lanka. Every one in politics feels he or she is saner than all others around them. President Rajapaksa thinks he is the sanest leader ever, since Independence, peddling along with stinking corruption and a crumbling State that cannot or wouldn’t want to have law and order in any sane way. Those who still see him as the right and noble leader, does so, thinking they are sane in supporting this regime than the “insane” who oppose. For they earn more than they would have ever dreamt of earning, during their whole life. That seems the logic for most around and in the regime, including all ministers and deputy ministers.
Those opposing the regime also think they are saner and smarter than all in this regime. Ranil W thinks he is saner and smarter than the rebels, now led by Karu J and Sajith P. He has now offered himself to liberate their Common Candidate Sarath Fonseka and do it better than his rebels. The two Co-deputy leaders think they are better than Ranil and have the sanest lot behind them with a Sinhala backing. They believe they are better Sinhala Buddhists than even the Rajapaksas, but want others to believe they are not racists. That they care for Christian, Hindu and Islamic people, while silently opposing the acting Opposition Leader posting, because he is a Catholic. They even expect the people to believe them as honest men and women, opposing the Rajapaksa regime.
Contesting the UNP claims as the best opposition against this Rajapaksa regime, the JVP leadership has run into a challenge of having to prove themselves right. Their party rebels say the JVP leadership isn’t, but they are. They believe the old Soviet socialist formula is still the sanest development formula in the world. “Socialism” the Russians and the Chinese have dumped altogether.
Where exactly are we, in placing ourselves to create a future in this modern world ? Is there a political leadership, intellectually mature in providing sanity to this ailing society ? The answer is a firm “no” from me. Let’s evaluate the reasons for that negativism and lets begin with the Sinhala South.
Yes. The war, was won with the annihilation of the LTTE, two years and seven months ago. At what cost? Leave the bloody North – East tragedy for a later discussion. This Sinhala majority is now obsessed with their Sinhala superiority mentality. The North-East for them is like their backyard now. They think they can afford to throw all waste and do anything and everything they wish, out there. No political leadership except the TNA, the smaller DPF of Ganesan and the tiny, individualistic “Left” outside the government, is interested in the North and East and the Tamil and the Muslim people living there and in the plantations.
But, are these mainstream big leaders, rebelling within themselves or not, interested in the Sinhala South? In improving the lives of the Sinhala people?
The Rajapaksas have ruined the economy. The national economy and not theirs. All their bogus talk and their hollow projects adds nothing to the economy and to development. All the money in billions dumped on cricket stadiums, would not have even “soft” ball cricket matches, to fix the maintenance cost of those grasslands. The stadiums are now given over to security forces for maintenance and “security”. Perhaps they would continue as billets to maintain security personnel, encamped.
The Colombo Stock Exchange is busted through heavy manipulations by politically very influential businessmen, dabbling in politics. Even the political appointee to the SEC, was eventually pushed out, while the government thinks it could resurrect the stock market with their bully boys. What is hilarious for the sane mind is, this government talks of development within a neo liberal market and foreign investments.
They drained off tax payers’ precious money at St. Kitts on a super hoax of a “development” aimed project called CWG 2018 in Hambantota that was never fit for us in any form for which they had by then wasted over a billion US dollars. The Sinhala South is yet to feel this plunder, or is it they don’t mind?
The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa port is turning out to be Asia’s biggest swimming pool, wasting money borrowed from China. There is no skilled and specialised human resources in and around Hambantota for such a harbour, unless taken from elsewhere at high cost and that requires much more expensive infrastructure and social facilities to keep them there, as families. That added to the total neglect in accounting for the new trend in the Indian ocean shipping that has Burma, Thailand and South India accelerating their facilities with much bigger volumes for shipment, would not keep the Hambantota port in an operating mode. Oluvil is already out and the Colombo port is managing itself with no further growth in economic terms.
Worst is the law and order situation in this country that’s deteriorating at break neck speed. Its really that with over six abductions reported during the past two weeks or so. With reports of policemen and army officers taking contracts for killing and people storming police stations against murder in police cells. There is murder committed with impunity and most politically loaded murders are never properly investigated and satisfactorily concluded. Obviously, the police is talked of as the most corrupt State department. Not that the Senior Administrators are without responsibility, with the COPE chairman holding them for most State corruption.
The society as a whole is fast losing trust on the judiciary and the perceived social acceptance is that higher the judicial forum, less independent it is. Regardless of lawyers turned editors getting embroiled in fisticuffs over former chief justices, the issue of creating a malicious and a wrong precedent in coercing the judiciary to accede to the politics of the regime is openly touted.
All of it under open militarising of the society. There is a whole lot of State agencies that needs to be outside the domain of military influence, left under the control and supervision of a Defence Secretary who is not held answerable for the break down of law and order in the South. A militarising that allows the forces to run businesses and allowed to sit in administrative positions that civil authorities should control.
Sum them all up and in any other society, the Tahrir Square would not be large enough. That said, what is the Left, Right and the Centre politics offering as alternative for the whole country? For both North and South? The UNP competing with the Rajapaksas for Sinhala votes has no alternative and is not working on any alternative. There is no political discourse in the UNP other than washing dirty linen in public. Six years for now, the UNP has failed to even sort out their stupidly personalised leadership conflict. Can they ever propose a political alternative?
So is the JVP. While the established bureaucratic leadership is in a quandary as to how they could oppose the regime they brought to fight a Sinhala war and called all others who opposed the war as traitors. How could they now oppose the whole militarising process of this regime, having campaigned for a ruthless Sinhala war hero, to be made the all powerful Executive President? Without Sinhala and without a war hero, what can their politics be?
Their rebels, too slide backwards with no positive answers for the future. They’ve not said where they stand on the war that was brutally fought, with them in the JVP. The brand of State centred “socialism” they talk as the alternative remedy, has been proved a failure for many decades now. Those “soviet” regimes have also not been any better than this Rajapaksa regime, reeking with corruption and a ruthless military hoisting them as powerful regimes.
Neo liberalism having come a miserable cropper once again after the dark slump in 1930, there is this issue of working towards a sensible programme for future development, the UNP is also lost with no focus in a common future for Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim plurality. Unfortunately again, a programme for the future will not be outside market economies, for there is no other choice available. But that needs serious political debate that no political party is seen capable of garnering enough intellectual resource. Unfortunately too, there is no serious and intellectual discourse even within our universities. No new ideological contributions from university academics to adopt any programme on any national issue.
What then is this “patriotic war” worth for the South, other than in establishing an efficiently plundering regime that in effect does not serve even their own vote bloc ?
“One must be a little foolish, if one does not want to be even more stupid.”
-Michel de Montaigne