The Sunday Leader

Entitlement And Impunity – A Deadly Combination

by Emil van der Poorten

Watching the cloud of corruption that seemed to have lifted with the defeat of the Rajapaksa Regime descending again on their successors, fills one with not only a sense of disgust but one of dejection.

Resorting to the old fall-back of resignation is hardly a response deserving of acceptance given the plight of our nation and what it can and will mean to all of us in our day to day lives.

To take a step back and try to put some perspective on our current plight, the sense of quiet euphoria that seemed to sweep across the nation with the defeat of the most corrupt and violent government it has been our misfortune to endure might well have lulled many of us into a false sense of complacency in the matter of the return of fascism garbed in the vestments of Yahapalanaya. But now there is no excuse for any of us who experienced that optimism to pretend that it was a simple matter of false pretences.  More important, we can and must do all we can to turn back that garbage-bearing tide.

The protest over drinking water in Rathupaswala, where three were killed during Rajapaksa rule…

The ‘entitlement’ part of our current predicament is not without precedent in many of the western democracies, the difference being that deluded into believing that those who thought they could practice this philosophy without let or hindrance were soon brought down to earth by being turfed out at the next election. A similar option does not exist for us now because the current ‘alternative’ consists of the very lot that we thought we were rid of a couple of years ago!

What makes it an absolute necessity that we change our status quo is the fact that the current lot of thieves and bandits are beginning to wake up to the fact that if they combine that sense of absolute entitlement to whatever they wish for with the impunity of them and their cohorts being above the law; nothing and nobody can touch them or stop them.

The reason that they seem to have come to that realization relatively recently and did not proceed down that track shortly after assuming their seats of power was probably because they had to establish themselves in the various positions that gave them the opportunity to conduct matters of governance as they saw fit with the single constraint of ensuring that they maximized the pecuniary benefits from whatever they did.

As events emerge into public view, it is nothing short of obvious that the current bunch is displaying the capacity to overtake their predecessors in the self-aggrandizement stakes because they appear to be marginally higher in the IQ department.

Just think of what a combination of a belief in ‘entitlement’ can lead to when coupled with ‘impunity’.

The Rajapaksa regime displayed an absolute disregard with regard to the rule of law, fairness, basic justice and the rest of the cornerstones of a democratic society.  You could, literally, get away with murder if you had the right connections. Sometimes it was by the devious expedient of being packed off to Singapore with a bullet in the brain allegedly leaving the victim a human vegetable only to return, miraculously recovered and ready for battle, literally and figuratively.  In another, the destination was the same though there were fewer casualties in the melee from which this individual emerged absolutely unscathed with un-holstered side-arm in plain (video) view.  ‘Only’ one victim of the pistol expertise of this supervisor of tea-plucking vestal virgins ended up as a paraplegic. Prosecution?  You’ve got to be kidding! The guy was an ally of the Highest in the Land and, perhaps more important, that worthy’s brother who left the armed forces for sunny Southern California when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the LTTE, were in the ascendant.

On a seemingly frivolous note, a Bishop of the most ‘senior’ of the Protestant churches was accused of drawing his dead mother-in-law’s pension for seven years after that lady’s demise.  It was only the unbelievable bravery of a Magistrate in a North Western legal jurisdiction that permitted the prosecution to continue when he, believe it or not, refused an order from on high to dismiss the case.  If nothing else, this little episode could lend itself to a fresh flood of mother-in-law jokes with a particularly black edge to them.

In all fairness to the current bunch they did not invent the Sri Lankan version of impunity coupled with entitlement.  Their predecessors did.  Even so, we have no excuse for turning a Nelsonian eye on what is unfolding before us and pretend that everything is going to be a-okay and tickety-boo if we just wish it away.  No such luck!  We’d better get up on our hind legs and cry halt to all of this before we are drowned in the flood of violence and corruption that surely awaits us if we don’t take corrective action now.


2 Comments for “Entitlement And Impunity – A Deadly Combination”

  1. kudson

    when will the sunday leader write on the corrupt commissioner Anura of the Colombo Municipal Council
    he is in the process of taking a beautiful park and turning it into a parking lot
    he is looting all the teak and jak trees in the elie house park

  2. Sangaralingham

    Reach the top ie become an elected politician greed corruption enter the sanity of the individual often jump into his or her wonders are they become politicians to serve the people to cheat the nation himself and the public.culprit must be exposed in the media.kis it I a nationalistic disease hereditary disease bad upbringing no basic social principle. Does not hear the words honesty is the best policy.

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