Do Self-Congratulation And Paranoid Schizophrenia Complement Each Other?
Connected to the recent furore, sometimes hysterical, over “treasure hunting” was a footnote that many readers of the local media may have missed. A spokesman for that nest of chauvinist vipers that is an active constituent of a Government of a Thousand Ministers, the Jathika Hela Urumeya, while trotting out his suspicion that members of his own government were complicit in the industrial-level pilfering of artifacts, provided the inevitable throw-away line: “a foreign hand lurks in the bushes of this particular thicket!”
To me it epitomized the obsessive need of this outfit and a plethora of others allied to Our Beloved Leader (OBL) to find the “international community” behind everything that might ail our Miracle of Asia, from the dumping of coconuts in the sea when they arrive post-shortage, through the non-arrival of ostriches for egg production, to the US-sponsored resolution in Geneva which asked the Government of a Thousand Ministers to follow through on a report that had been commissioned and had the seal of approval of that very government!
Let’s not beat around the bush. These kinds of utterances amount to nothing less than pure unadulterated piffle, no matter whether they have the seal of respectability attached to them by OBL or not.
Take the Mahavillachchiya Excavation (“ME,” for short). Every bit of published information – I will refrain from calling it “evidence” because the powers-that-be ensured that it did not, technically, qualify as evidence by ensuring that recording it appropriately was made virtually impossible – suggested very strongly that it was an organized effort with uniformed personnel at every level of the operation. When backhoes are employed in the middle of the North Central Province jungles to excavate a large industrial-size hole in the ground, it constitutes a fairly serious endeavour. And when, provoked by the use of heavy equipment in their vicinity, a whole enraged village ambushed the “miners,” one does need to take cognizance of the event.
However, nothing comes of the effort to prosecute the perpetrators. In those circumstances, one can, legitimately, be considered justified in smelling the proverbial rat. In fact, one would be justified in smelling a whole dead Kalavedda! And what is the red herring that is dragged across this odoriferous trail, if I might mix my metaphors? “Foreign involvement,” no less.
Think of it, dear reader, and weep for not having been prescient enough to realize that the Excited States of Amnesia or Britain, sans the “Great,” might have been behind this effort to dig up god-knows-what to ward off some unmentionable evil that would otherwise have assailed one or several of our chosen rulers as divined by crystal ball-gazers of their current choice!
This kind of paranoid rhetoric would be merely tiresome or amusing if it hadn’t reached a level when it swamps each and every discussion of each and every problem this country faces.
You plunder the public purse and then seek to meet a desperate financial crisis by increasing and levying taxes on everything except human flatulence. And what is the excuse of the “policy-makers” of a regime that has Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves paling into insignificance? “This is part of the International Community’s plot against the Miracle of Asia driven by pure unadulterated jealousy.” I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: what have developed nations got to be “jealous” of in Sri Lanka and since when have “developed” nations run their foreign policy on the basis of personal jealousy? All of this government- generated paranoia would be laughable if it didn’t impact significantly on the way this country goes about its daily business.
Part of the population, and I hesitate to suggest a minority, believes this pure unadulterated rubbish because of its monumental ignorance of the world away from our shores and the deluge of propaganda that is our daily menu.
Another part, I don’t know how big for obvious reasons, holds its peace because it is scared spit-less of a regime that has demonstrated a marked proclivity to meet dissent with threat and violence.
I have previously suggested that we need to view very seriously the need for psychological help for those faced with issues of post-traumatic stress disorder.
On the evidence of the apparent success of the national brainwashing project, I would be constrained to add treatment for paranoid schizophrenia to that primary need. One thing that both ailments have in common is the propensity of those affected to react very violently, therefore making it essential that psychological help is always at hand.
And what has self-congratulation got to do with paranoid schizophrenia? It would appear that the self-delusion of the former complements, if that is the right term in the circumstances, what a national epidemic of paranoid schizophrenia creates.
Pat yourself on the back endlessly, devise as many awards as Carter has pills, organize all kinds of award ceremonies and keep “awarding” each other in a manner without precedent anywhere else in the world while splashing your picture, in full colour, in Hi magazine, and you have on your hands a national binge of “I/we are the greatest!”
The recent suggestion that importing large foreign rugby players for local tournaments will improve the abilities – and I don’t mean technical skills – of our own south asian-physiqued players needs only to be viewed in the clear light of day to realize that, no matter how skilled, a Lilliputian five and a half foot, 175 pound Sri Lankan is going to be brushed aside by a large, Brobdinagian South Sea Islander or Brit any day of the week on any ground in any part of the world.
Short of a series of miracles lasting 80 minutes, South Asians cannot match any truly large species of humanity in a full-contact sport such as rugby. End of story. Unfortunately, the delusion will proceed.
The propagation of this patently nonsensical belief that, because we are Sri Lankans, all things – ongoing miracles included – are not merely possible but inevitable, only serves to feed into the paranoia that is an easy escape hatch for those who refuse to face the reality of human frailty and failure from time to time.
The sooner we come to terms with the fact that we are human beings – intrinsically no better and no worse than any other – the better for all of us and the sooner we will make the progress that we claim to have already made.
Most important, by far, we need to divest ourselves of an arrogance bred of a belief in “racial superiority,” whatever that is.