The Sunday Leader

Why?

“…the despot is a madman, and an enemy to himself.”
Baron d’Holbach (Good Sense)

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

Accepting the rank of brevet colonel… “One cannot imagine any previous administration imposing such a humiliating
labour on leading educators”

Why are the Rajapaksas obsessively intent on getting the Divi Neguma Bill through?
Why is the regime orchestrating a campaign against the 13th Amendment?
Why were principals of 23 leading schools made to undergo a week’s ‘Leadership Training’ and made brevet colonels?
Why have the police failed to catch the assailants of JSC Secretary and High Court Judge Manjula Tilakeratne?
Why does the government spend on buying/maintaining a satellite the money unavailable to install rail-gates at 950 unsafe rail-crossings?
Why do they politically promote their kin while imposing strict kinship-restrictions on other SLFPers?
Why are lesser Tiger suspects being incarcerated, often under inhumane conditions, while the highest surviving Tiger leader lives the good life, at public expense?
Why is there no provincial council in the North, to approve/disapprove the Divi Neguma Bill?
***
Post-war, there are certain aims the government pursues, with no consideration for cost or consequence. Winning elections for example; the replacement of the democratising 17th Amendment with the 18th Amendment (which enhanced presidential powers and removed presidential term-limits, enabling the President to contest again and again); the Leadership Training Programme, the Lotus Tower, the Commonwealth Games…..
The commonest of the common denominator in these seemingly disparate projects is their capacity to increase Rajapaksa power and enhance its’ glory, further its’ interests, satisfy its’ whims and realise the fancies. Therein can be gleaned a fundamental law of this rule. They always pursue their interests and their desires; they fight for themselves. Supporting them, helping them, obeying them is good; hindering them, questioning them is bad.
As a group of ordinary Tamil detainees pointed out, they rot in jail, without even being charged, while “Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s top ally, and the prime arms supplier to the outfit for years, is allowed to function freely, with all privileges like a state guest” (Ceylon Today – 24.10.2012). KP has considerable use-value for them and he is willing to serve them as assiduously as he served the Tiger chieftain. Thus he is elevated above the law, while ordinary Tamil detainees, who have no such use-value, are deprived of even a sliver of justice.
Avalanches start with tiny snowballs; that is when precautions must be taken. For instance, though the government says it will not tax wells used by ordinary people, once the groundwater tax is enforced, expanding it to include private consumers would be just a matter of interpretation. As Environmental Lawyer Jagath Gunawardane warned, “This is the first step in privatising drinking water” (The Island – 24.10.2012). And if this most heinous tax is allowed to pass, will not the regime come up with other outrageous taxes, to fund its expressways, tall towers and space programmes?
Like the avalanche, the power-grab began with small steps. The new President appointed Gotabhaya as his Defence Secretary. Basil Rajapakse was made a Senior Presidential Advisor and sent to parliament on the national list. Nephew Shashindra started as a Presidential Secretary and ended as the Uva Chief Minister. Son Namal was given parliamentary nominations …. Just seven years later, they permeate the state and the siblings enjoy near-absolute power, aided by an impotent cabinet and blessed by a fractious opposition. To discourage opposition and defeat dissent, the siblings use an extremely effective concoction of threats and blandishments, spiced, with violence. Even as the state becomes a family concern, the siblings try to enhance their own holdings within it. Contrary to the unctuous claims by government propagandists, the Divi Neguma Bill will render Minister Basil über-powerful.
The Bill will create several layers of unelected organisations, from Grama Niladari level upwards, and endow these unrepresentative entities with many powers hitherto enjoyed by elected provincial councils. At the apex of this power-pyramid will be the Divi Neguma National Council, controlled by Minister Basil (he will appoint 6 out of 11 council members). Minister Basil will also control the Divi Neguma Banks, Banking Divi Neguma Development Fund. The secrecy clause will give Minister Basil a carte blanche. The Divi Neguma Department will be allocated Rs.80 billion and Minister Basil will have more money to play development-poker with than allocated for either education or higher education for 2013.
Divi Neguma Bill will be a bad law, of the sort defined by Diderot as “based on whim, which owe their force only to blindness or local necessity” (Rameau’s Nephew); familial necessity, in this particular case. Fortunately for Sri Lanka and inconveniently for them, the 13th Amendment and the judiciary stand in the way. Over the years they have become accustomed to total, unquestioning obedience. Take, for instance, those 23 principals who agreed, sheep-like, to undergo “thorough cadet and leadership training conducted by the National Cadet Corps”. One cannot imagine any previous administration imposing such a humiliating labour on leading educators. And most of the predecessors of these principals – such as Visakha’s Mrs. Jayasinghe, Mrs. Motwani and Mrs. Pulimood – would never have consented to undergo ‘cadet and leadership training’ in an army camp, don a uniform and accept the rank of a brevet colonel. They would never have demeaned themselves and their august positions so; nor did they need a colonel’s certificate to run their schools to perfection. That offensive order and its abject acceptance symbolise the demeaning future which awaits every Lankan under this rule.
Furious at being thwarted, the Siblings are acting like the Erymanthian Boar out of the Cretan Bull. Thus the attempt to terrorise/browbeat the judiciary into submission; thus the plan to replace the 13th Amendment with a 19th Amendment. They want to get rid of the 13th Amendment because it circumscribes they’re power. As Minister Basil Rajapaksa admitted, in a rare moment of candour, “The LTTE had at one time strongly opposed the 13th Amendment”
(Colombo Gazette – 24.10.2012). In fact, the LTTE strongly opposed the 13th Amendment at all times, because 13A impeded separatism, by demonstrating the possibility of a political solution to the ethnic problem within an undivided Sri Lanka.
Extremism is visceral to despotism. The Divi Neguma saga indicates that they do not hesitate to sacrifice not just popular or national interests but their own enlightened self-interests to gratify their whims/fancies, in politics as in economics. The campaign against the 13th Amendment would be unintelligent at any time; it is nothing less than self-mutilating when attempted just before Sri Lanka’s human rights record is to be examined by a UNHRC panel headed by India.
The 13th Amendment is not just the sole really existing attempt at responding to minority grievances; it is the only positive result India has to show for its Lankan policy. Repeal that via a referendum or replace it with a 19th Amendment, and they will antagonise not just Tamils and
Muslims, but also India, and the West, with one blow.

17 Comments for “Why?”

  1. Motta Rala

    What cursed country and a leader we have got into?
    We were once in fact a great Nation, High Morals and lived in a good and great country..Ony to be plundered, rooberd, murdered and bulldozed, just for the benefit of a very few corrupt and shameless individuals.

    • Kapilavastu

      Greed, Motta Rala, Greed and nothing but Reprehensible Avarice.

    • dwickra

      Yes yes Mr. Motta Rala

      We were a great nation for 30 years when Prabahkaran alive

      Once we took out Premadasa from power , because Media mafia was totally against him since he was not descending from high family

      I do not think Sri Lankan people want to do it mistake again

    • samara

      niether JVP nor UNP has any serious reading of these questions, they are just waiting till people themselves rise against the tyrrany one day. Thisarani’s effort is commendable and she correctly reads the realist politics of the govt

  2. Jehan

    SL is now going down as a rogue country. It is not only one of the poorest in the world, but it is now considered dangerous to visit. It is cursed and people are being kidnapped, killed and tourists are being raped every day. Tamils are being systemically eliminated. There is no development in SL, it is all lies and a cover-up for murder and corruption.

  3. Sameen Jan

    That’s it- we should antagonize India and the ‘west’.
    One mighty blow for the unmentionables. More powerful than a nuclear.
    Don’t conjure nightmares.Take some sleeping tablets.
    The requirement is to do away with a mighty white elephant and traces of Indian interference in SL. Have you forgotten what it meant when they did interfere – 1987?
    Your idol lovely Premadasa too opposed them.
    13 A has the same effect on all communities. They suffer equally under it.Don’t spill crocodile tears.

  4. sri(1)

    Not only KP. What about Karuna the no.2 on the UFPA appointed MP list (!) and chosen successor to Prabhakaran and the EPDP leader who were all LTTE’s men at one time? Tissaranee has raised very pertinent questions. Only in a deranged state do so many contradictions arise because anything goes sans rhyme and reason when leaders take leave of their better senses. Other countries have noted all the goings on. Await the Nov.1 Review in Geneva.

  5. Cyril de Alwis

    This colonel-Principal is very much similar to Hilter. Look at him very carefully.

    Cyril

  6. Nipun

    1- Divi naguma is for the purpose of helping those who were most affected by the war. To bring to them the benefits of peace time development efforts. To make better their living standards. why ask ?

    2-The people elected government of Sri Lanka wishes to see the end of a meaningless act that achieved nothing for the people of this country, and is foreign, disrespecting and invasive in nature. Sri Lanka need not bow to anyone.

    3- Schools – leadership – so what ? Maybe the army want to find the best talents and offer a job that they are free to not take if they don’t want !!! .what is this question ?

    4-The police IS on the case, and when they find the guy you will be notified.

    5-We could use a satellite of our own don’t you think. It is already late to have one, but it is about time that someone does something about it. One day way off in the future we will be launching them ourselves.

    It is just that fixing rail gates is far less glamorous, while we must sweep the streets, clean public toilets, make our buses look nice or do some other mindless shores that can never be completed by doing; we must look to the future and take steps in that direction.

    6 – political kinship; well let’s say that if iam putting together a cricket team I want to have guys that wants us to win. I don’t want people in my team who wants the opposing team to win and act like moles and rats in my squad and betray our plan to them. Why on earth is that hard to figure out? And why is that such an evil thing to do?

    7 – LTTE: It looks like according to your argument Mahinda was in despair when Preberan and Thaminselven died. “DOINK”. But if one is there to the advantage of the peace of Sri Lanka and is a representative of Tamil people of the East and is a peaceful member of the parliament then so be it. We should welcome this.

    As for the really small LTTE members, we best do what we can to stop them blowing things up in Colombo and derailing our hard earned after war growth phase.

    8- The lack of provincial council in the North and East in recent times is not a planned act to prevent a Divi- Naguma bill being approved or not. There are other reasons as to why there are no provincial councils in operation as yet.

    None of that even come close to convince anyone that Mahinda is the reincarnation of Hitler. None of the above is in the same league as launching an invasion of Russia and killing 10 million pesents. None is the mirror image of burning alive millions of Jews in places like Auswitch. Where is a Blitzkrieg through France spear headed by Mahinda? Where are SS death squads loyal to Mahinda ? Where are the vengeance weapons of Mahinda? When did mahinda burn London down? When are the Mahinda U boats? AND WHEN ON EARTH DID MAHINDA START A WORLD WAR 2 ?

    Are you seeing things that rest of the normal people cannot? By comparing Mahinda to Hitler you are lying and is breaking law of the land by committing a character assignation of the president by falsifying facts. But as we can see he is forgiving to you.

    By the way on the last weeks rant you insulted patriotic people of Sri Lanka. AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO DO THAT ARE CALLED ……TRAITORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Nipun

    None of that even come close to convince anyone that Mahinda is the reincarnation of Hitler. None of the above is in the same league as launching an invasion of Russia and killing 10 million pesents. None is the mirror image of burning alive millions of Jews in places like Auswitch. Where is a Blitzkrieg through France spear headed by Mahinda? Where are SS death squads loyal to Mahinda ? Where are the vengeance weapons of Mahinda? When did mahinda burn London down? When are the Mahinda U boats? AND WHEN ON EARTH DID MAHINDA START A WORLD WAR 2 ?

    Are you seeing things that rest of the normal people cannot? By comparing Mahinda to Hitler you are lying and is breaking law of the land by committing a character assignation of the president by falsifying facts. But as we can see he is forgiving to you.

    By the way on the last weeks rant you insulted patriotic people of Sri Lanka. AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO DO THAT ARE CALLED ……TRAITORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Trevor Jayetileke

    I am sad for my country and all I have yearned for the poor seem to be going down the drain. The clouds are gathering for a perfect storm which we certainly don’t need or deserve considering the suffering the people have undergone but unfortunately right now we seem to be losing our way.
    I suppose what the Buddha says is right that nothing is Permanent in this World.

    • I am glad that blindness and the “fruits” of Sinhala Buddhist fanatism of the past 48 years is starting to harvest “fruits”.

  9. Poramola

    1-Divi naguma is for the purpose of helping those who were most affected by the war. To bring to them the benefits of peace time development efforts. To make better their living standards. why ask ?

    I see that Tissaranee does not want to the goverment to help those affected by the LTTE war because when this bill passes she cant get the internatioanl intervention that she needs. CUI BONO indeed.

    2-The people elected government of Sri Lanka wishes to see the end of a meaningless act that achieved nothing for the people of this country, and is foreign, disrespecting and invasive in nature. Sri Lanka need not bow to anyone.

    3-Schools – leadership – so what ? Maybe the army want to find the best talents and offer a job that they are free to not take if they don’t want !!! .what is this question ?

    4-The police are on the case, and when they find the guy you will be notified.

    5-We could use a satellite of our own don’t you think. It is already late to have one, but it is about time that someone does something about it. One day way in the future we will be launching them ourselves.

    It is just that fixing rail gates is far less glamorous, while we must sweep the streets, clean public toilets, make our buses look nice or do some other mindless shores that can never complete doing; we must look to the future and take steps in that direction.

    6 – political kinship; well let’s say that if iam putting together a cricket team I want to have guys that wants us to win. I don’t want people in my team who wants the opposing team to win and act like moles and rats in my squad and betray our plan to them. Why on earth is that hard to figure out? And why is that such an evil thing to do?

    7 – LTTE: It looks like according to your argument Mahinda was in despair when Preberan and Thaminselven died. “DOINK”. But if one is there to the advantage of the peace of Sri Lanka and is a representative of Tamil people of the East and is a peaceful member of the parliament then so be it. We should welcome this.

    As for the really small LTTE members, we best do what we can to stop them blowing things up in Colombo and derailing our hard earned after war growth phase.

    8- The lack of provincial council in the North and East in recent times is not a planned act to prevent a Divi- Naguma bill being approved or not. There are other reasons as to why there are no provincial councils in operation as yet.

    None of that even come close to convince anyone that Mahinda is the reincarnation of Hitler. None of the above is in the same league as launching an invasion of Russia and killing 10 million presents. None is the mirror image of burning alive millions of Jews in places like Auswitch. Where is a Blitzkrieg through France spear headed by Mahinda? Where are SS death squads loyal to Mahinda ? Where are the vengeance weapons of Mahinda? When did mahinda burn London down? When are the Mahinda U boats? AND WHEN ON EARTH DID MAHINDA START A WORLD WAR 2 or 3 ? Are you seeing things that rest of the normal people cannot? By comparing Mahinda to Hitler you are lying and is breaking law of the land by committing a character assignation of the president by falsifying facts.

    By the way in the last weeks rant you insulted patriotic people of Sri Lanka. AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO DO THAT ARE CALLED ……………TRAITORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Poramola

    None of that even come close to convince anyone that Mahinda is the reincarnation of Hitler. None of the above is in the same league as launching an invasion of Russia and killing 10 million presents. None is the mirror image of burning alive millions of Jews in places like Auswitch. Where is a Blitzkrieg through France spear headed by Mahinda? Where are SS death squads loyal to Mahinda ? Where are the vengeance weapons of Mahinda? When did mahinda burn London down? When are the Mahinda U boats? AND WHEN ON EARTH DID MAHINDA START A WORLD WAR 2 or 3 ? Are you seeing things that rest of the normal people cannot? By comparing Mahinda to Hitler you are lying and is breaking law of the land by committing a character assignation of the president by falsifying facts.

    By the way in the last weeks rant you insulted patriotic people of Sri Lanka. AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO DO THAT ARE CALLED ……………TRAITORS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. mahadenamutta

    So at last thisaranee has let the cat out of the bag in the last paragraph.According to her as long as we please INDIA;THE WEST AND THE REST OF THE INTERNATIONAL POWERS AND SUBJUGATE OUR SELVES TO THEM ALL IS WELL IN SRI LANKA:LET THE WHITE MASTERS RULE US AND WE LICK THEIR BACKS: WELL WELL WELL THISARANEE,HOW MUCH WERE YOU PAID THIS TIME FOR THIS ARTICLE???

  12. suren soysa

    Making school principals colonels is another big joke of the MR regime. Totally uncalled for & futile exercise, when more vital issues are not addressed.

    • mims

      A dictator generally controls the three state powers: legislative, executive and judicial.
      “Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.” Eric Hoffer

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