Who DOES Bear Ultimate Responsibility Or Accountability For All Of This?
A while back in a submission to the now-defunct Montage magazine I titled an article referencing the need to ‘bell the cat’ or, in other words hold responsible/accountable whoever had authority over those things and persons making an absolute mockery of democracy in this country. Did I get so much as a little yelp of recognition? Not on your life! This nation was too full of myopic believers in the need for gratitude to Sri Lanka’s self-designated post-war Churchill to even look at what was happening on his watch.
Do I think I’ll have better luck this time? I really don’t know, but what I do know for certain is that if one “forever holds one’s peace” you are pretty damned assured of having no response of any kind!
Let me couch my original proposition – one that should be an absolute ‘no-brainer’ for anyone with enough gray matter to store in a thimble – in far simpler terms. Let me simply recount a few of the horrors that have become an everyday occurrence in Sri Lankan life to see whether they will bring a spark of recognition to glazed-over Sri Lankan eyes. So here goes!
Who would YOU hold responsible for Mervyn Silva’s absolutely horrendous behaviour, inclusive, most recently, of threatening those whom he classified as enemies of the state for having had the effrontery to give testimony before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva? He threatened them with very serious bodily injury despite an admonition from that international body not to intimidate anyone giving evidence before it, an admonition which one could reasonably assume met with the approval of our First Citizen. Bad enough? Try putting this in the context of all the other horrors visited upon the citizenry by this same ‘Doctor!’ Who should have ensured that those responsible for the brazen murder of a Palestinian tourist in the Hambantota area were brought to justice without delay because ‘justice delayed, is justice denied?’ To place this in context, the co-injured of the deceased, who had allegedly also been raped by several of the murderer’s party, was packed off to a private hospital in Colombo and dispatched immediately thereafter to Russia without the benefit of an appearance before the judge who was conducting the murder inquiry.
No prizes will be awarded to anyone guessing the identity of who controls this Private Hospital to which the woman was sent, interrogated at and dispatched to Russia from!
Who should have ensured that the inquiry into the ‘Gunfight at the Kolonnawa Corral’ featuring Duminda Silva and Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was conducted without a semblance of even the perception of political interference, the law of the land allowed to take its course and all concerned subject to the norms of criminal justice? Instead, what we have had is, at best, a comedy of errors and, at worst, one of the worst instances of political interference in the conduct of a multiple-murder investigation. Who is the defender of the Buddhist faith who would normally be considered responsible to totally condemn an attack by thugs, led by a saffron-robed goon, on a Muslim place of worship in Dambulla? Not only was this event met by an eerie silence (which continues up to the point at which this piece is being written), but succeeding attacks on other mosques and places of Christian and Hindu worship have been greeted by similarly deathly silence. Why is this so and who bears responsibility for failure to address these extremely volatile incidents of religious persecution in this country?
Who would you hold ultimately responsible for the disappearances of those opposed to the government, the tallying of which would now take a skilled statistician.
Would it be the individual with, literally, the power of life and death over each and every one of this country’s citizens? Need I even mention that the right to life is the ultimate of human rights and it doesn’t take some international agency to proclaim that reality to us?
Who was the attacker of the Katuwana JVP gathering allied with and under whose patronage has he roamed free for a decade despite, supposedly, being ‘wanted’ on a plethora of counts, several of murder included? Not only was that the case, but a government minion uttered (and repeated) a blatant falsehood intended to mislead the public and the investigators while, immediately after, closing down several websites critical of the government, accusing them of – hold your breath here – LYING.
That accusation – that members of the breakaway faction of the JVP had been responsible for the killing – was more than adequately refuted by the allegedly victimized party denying any such state of affairs and stating, categorically, that it was the government that was responsible for the murders.
Who could have, at least, made a statement decrying the use of EPF funds, held in trust for the poorest workers of this country being used to manipulate the stock exchange so that prominent supporters of the government could make a killing? Would such a condemnation not have been the only appropriate response from anyone exercising control over the nation’s finances? In fact, wasn’t this a serious enough fraud to justify direct intervention up to and including sacking all those concerned and launching criminal prosecutions against them?
Who has responsibility for the biggest embarrassment, not to mention loss, at the National Savings Bank going unpunished despite or because of the primary culprit being the spouse of Sri Lanka’s highest judicial officer?
Who has chosen to remain mute while state media institutions are having international sporting events taken away from them and the state deprived of revenue in order to fatten the purses of individuals and media companies which have been given monopolies over such events despite the fact that they have neither proven skills nor experience to justify such action?
The One who wields untrammeled power over ALL matters in this country and has chosen to CONSISTENTLY exercise that power in the defence of friends and family, has NOT exercised that authority in the interests of the citizenry of this country.
That is a fact beyond dispute. When and where and how are the Sri Lankan people going to ensure that basic justice prevails in this country, that murderers are brought to justice and that we can live with a guarantee of law and order for ALL the people of this country? Or is that only a pipe dream in the fascist morass that this country has descended into?