Who Bears Ultimate Responsibility For The Chaos Prevailing In Sri Lanka?
With the odd exception, the mainstream English media has displayed a monumental gutlessness in the matter of dealing with the destruction of the rule of law in this country. Nothing short of “wondrous to behold” could describe its deafening silence or sanitized reporting as one atrocity follows another.
Recently, journalists and contributors to the print and electronic media of various political complexions – the cravenly obsequious excluded – have begun what seems increasingly like a campaign to distance themselves from those they supported in what is, without the shadow of a doubt, the most violent and corrupt regime to have ever ruled this island. The reason for this is not far to seek: these sycophants are not totally devoid of common sense and, suspecting that the collapse of the regime that they so assiduously supported when times were good (for them and the regime) is not too far in the future, they seek to salvage some of their survival skills so that they might apply them to dealing with whatever regime that follows their current patrons. Unlike a transfer of principle or decency, which has always been conspicuous by its absence in the makeup of these individuals, transfer of sycophancy is a piece of cake!
A part of the strategy appears to be one of “gradual disengagement,” the first step of which is to move Our Beloved Leader (OBL), Mahinda Rajapaksa, out of the line of fire. By doing so, they make their own desertion of the sinking ship a gradual one while still attached to him. The basic thrust of the effort goes something like, “OBL, the saviour of the Miracle of Asia from the Tiger Horde, is still an essentially good and moral man who has been deceived and continues to be deceived by those surrounding him.
The list of those close to the throne who are supposedly guilty of duplicitous conduct intended to embarrass OBL seems to grow as the days go by. One day it is G.L. Peiris allegedly failing to play mailman for a missive from Robert Blake to the President. On another, it is some “white-vanners” picking up an ex-local politician (are there truly such beings?) who happens to be a relation of a Cabinet Minister. The Cabinet Minister, in turn, seeks the intervention of OBL and his brother to have his “gnaathiya” released. That exercise is successful only to raise the inevitable question: how did OBL and his brother know whom to contact to have the “abductee” released, unharmed, and what about the obvious implications of that knowledge?
A self-styled “ultimate confidant of OBL” has recently begun to swamp web and print publications with his contorted English, though it must be noted that this has a significant advantage for his purpose: what he writes in English can be interpreted “six ways to Sunday,” each interpretation contradicting the others! This does have an advantage in that it fits in admirably with the long-time OBL strategy of having a variety of his minions spout deliberately contradictory statements affording him (OBL) the opportunity of picking whichever he deems most appropriate for that particular point in time. This newspaper editor, who, by virtue of his extensive experience and access to translation services of decent quality, can very well have his material emerge in English that is comprehensible and unequivocal in its content, obviously chooses not to do so for the reasons I have suggested.
The excesses of Mervyn Silva, inclusive of his most recent threat to tear “traitors” (designated by him, of course) limb from limb, begged a response from the “guardians of law and order” in Sri Lanka. Not only was that response not forthcoming, the man through whose patronage Mervyn holds public office with all of its attendant power and influence, has not uttered one word of warning, leave alone given our “Doctor-Sans-Hippocrates” an appropriate boot to an appropriate part of that worthy’s anatomy! No, Mervin has had tacit encouragement from On High and more blatant support from points just below that apex in the hierarchy for his blatantly abusive and ILLEGAL conduct. And that is NOT an unprecedented and recent phenomenon, either!
The abuse that OBL’s minions in cabinet constantly direct at any and all “enemies of the state” is without parallel in Sri Lanka’s history since independence. Every one of these indescribable could only have been recruited in recognition of their skill as loud-mouthed louts and little else. What other explanation is there for the combination of their behaviour with their continuing occupation of the seats to which they’ve been elevated?
And it doesn’t end there. The special treatment accorded the Pradeshiya Sabhawa Chairman accused of the unprovoked murder of a British Palestinian tourist stinks to high heaven, not to mention the manner in which the so-called “investigations” into that horror-filled episode were and are being conducted.
Most recently there has been the action of members of the Buddhist clergy and local supporters of the UPFA government in vandalizing a mosque to which the only police response was to seal both that building and a neighbouring Hindu kovil so that adherents of those faiths could not enter either. These saffron-robed thugs in Dambulla have promised similar action against other places of worship in other parts of the country without so much as a murmur of dissent from OBL! Is St. Paul’s in Kandy, adjacent to the Maligawa, next in line?
These are but a few of the more glaring incidents that have been inappropriately handled. As for the spate of abductions and extra-judicial executions of those considered “undesirable,” trying to so much as reference them would be an exercise in futility in a piece of this length!
“Command responsibility” is a term often invoked when there is totally unacceptable behaviour on the battlefield and an effort is made to apportion responsibility. Let it not be said that no one invoked that principle in this country in this its hour of greatest need!