Confusion hypocrisy and double standards - EDITORIAL

5 November 2018 12:01 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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he continuing or unfolding Political-cum-Constitutional drama, which commenced with President Sirisena’s abrupt appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister, even before letting the then sitting incumbent know of his dismissal, smells of petty one-upmanship. It has left the country in turmoil and its citizens polarised.


The tension arising between supporters of the two claimants to the seat of PM has spilt over into the streets.
Already one individual has been fatally shot and two others injured by Police shooting -victims to the vagaries of politicians reckless behaviour.
Unruly elements have surrounded Government institutions and prevented state officials carrying out their legitimate functions.
While violence has been minimal except for the fatal shooting of an individual and the wounding of two others in the shooting incident, we cannot be happy with the way and manner events are unfolding.


It is common knowledge that horse-trading is taking place even while this editorial is being writ. The going price we are told, by the very politicians who are being bought and sold like chunks of beef at a butcher shop is rupees five-hundred million per member.
Ordinary Sri Lankans are beginning to view politicians as the scum of the earth and this is bad for democracy as a whole, as it erodes, especially, young people’s faith in the Democratic and Parliamentary System. There is, therefore, an increasing need to end the worsening situation within the Parliamentary System.


If the ongoing imbroglio is allowed to spiral out of control it could once again lead young people to contemplate extra-Parliamentary means to bring about change.
While to date acts of physical violence have been minimal, the international community led by the UK and the US have taken umbrage at ongoing events.
The US, the UK and the EU have issued travel advisories to their citizens planning to visit Sri Lanka, warning of the dangerous situation prevailing.
It is also rather strange and downright hypocritical, to hear and see these countries issuing travel warnings on Sri Lanka when the atmospheres in the UK, EU and the US are volatile and toxic.


It was only last week we read in the media and saw images of US-styled Klansmen surrounding a Bangladeshi house of prayer and worship in the UK demanding it is closed or else.
During the past year according to the Guardian, in 2018 alone there have been over 50 killings of main ly people of non-white skin and/or from a foreign background in London!
In the period March 2017 and February 2018, 35 people died and 267 others were injured in the UK from terrorist attacks.
In the US, no lesser person than President Trump himself is inflaming racial hatred, raising the bogeyman of persons he refers to as aliens. That is people not his colour and not US-born.


Just two days ago the US President called on US military personnel to open fire on an -immigrant caravan-crowds of people from the Latin American countries, who are seeking asylum in the US if they attempt to forcibly cross the border or throw stones at US military personnel blocking their entry into the US.
This even though the US Constitution clearly forbids US Governments from refusing entry to asylum seekers.
Violence in the US is also on the rise. According to the Business Insider of 29 October 2018, there have been 297 mass shootings in the US this year alone!
But no travel warnings have been issued by the UK, EU or NATO countries on travel to the US.


While the double standards of the West are unethical and condemnable, we call on our politicians -none of whom can be referred to as statesman- to bring an end to the internal turmoil now wracking our country and endangering the incipient tourist and export-oriented industries.
Pundits are already predicting Sri Lanka stands in danger of losing many trading benefits -including the GSP benefits.
The current impasse is of our own making. It is time our politicians if they have even a smattering of care for the country they claim to give leadership to; to for once, put country before self, and stop misquoting the Constitution to fulfil personal agendas.

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