Pity this ‘Noble Land of the World’

11 August 2017 12:16 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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It is not only Ravi K that is already in trouble, but the whole Government. 

  • Both political parties are driven by crony capitalism drowned in black money as much as the media is
  •  Rajapaksa robbed while doing some work. But this Government robs not doing anything
  • That now seems justification for a Rajapaksa comeback
  • Treasury Bond scam has opened up a huge stinking cesspit that makes the nine year Rajapaksa rule “a bearable stink” 
  • Alternatives in the South have always been personality based on political party alliances
  • President Sirisena nevertheless needs a quick fix to the crisis that is brewing not only within his Unity Government, but in society 
  • It is Yahapalanaya that allowed robbing big like the Rajapaksas or even bigger 
     

We sing our own praises. We sing we are the “Lokenuthum rata Lankavayi….” (Lanka the noble land of the world). In this noble land, the Presidential Commission, investigating into the Central Bank’s (CBSL) Treasury Bond scam has opened up a huge stinking cesspit that makes the nine year Rajapaksa rule “a bearable stink”. 


PM Wickremesinghe, who went all out of his way to defend Arjuna Mahendran’s tenure as Governor of the CBSL and tried his best to close up the scam, now stands complicit too, along with two powerful Ministers also named as partly responsible: Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim, the General Secretary of the UNP.


There now seems little chance of damage controlling.


Yahapalana side-kicks nevertheless shamelessly murmur, it is Yahapalana rule that allows even a powerful minister like Ravi Karunanayake to be investigated. 


It is Yahapalanaya that allowed robbing big like the Rajapaksas or even bigger. 
The thesaurus could now include Yahapalanaya as another word for “Rajapaksa”.
How this whole investigation broke out into the open is not due to Yahapalanaya but due to growing political conflicts within the ‘unity’ Government.


President Sirisena was almost forced by his own SLFP Ministers to investigate the bond scam. 
The SLFP clan with President Sirisena was pushed to prove they were not piggy backing a UNP Government into big time corruption. 


Though in Government with the UNP, pro-Sirisena SLFP Ministers in this unity Government have to prove to the SLFP voter, they are “anti-UNP” in order to maintain their legitimacy for the next elections. 


In fact they were voted to parliament by SLFP voters who voted against the UNP. And the problem today is that the village SLFP vote is with “Rajapaksa loyalists” whom as President, he established and cultivated through the Pradeshiya Sabha and Urban Council network.


That’s how the bond scam investigation came about and although Ravi K. was only called in for a statement and has not been indicted as yet, he is seen deeply involved in the scam with huge kickbacks going his way. 


There were also statements made by a witness that unaccounted for money bags were kept in the safe of the family company of  which, the daughter is a director with her mum. 
And that money had also been used, though the daughter asked “why only my dad?” 
Ravi K’s and Aloysius’s involvement in financing the ‘Sunday Leader’ newspaper also came to light by way of short messages quoted. 

In any society, it is the urban middle class that has access to new knowledge and information, and can develop new thinking. It is they who can generate new discourses 
for alternatives.

Proof that media is also where black money is laundered.
Unable to roll back the commission’s probing, it has dragged President Sirisena into a quagmire he cannot possibly climb out from, without new crises in his own political life. 
He cannot this moment shun the UNP to go it alone as a SLFP Government. 
That needs Rajapaksa, he is awfully afraid of. His political Guru Chandrika Kumaratunga who is a game player in this ‘Unity’ Government would go any distance to keep Rajapaksa from entering the scene. 


President Sirisena nevertheless needs a quick fix to the crisis that is brewing not only within his Unity Government, but in society that now questions the moral of a “Yahapalana” Government that was promised by both President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe at two 
consecutive elections.


His and some of Wickremesinghe’s allies in Colombo elite circles seem to believe, Ravi K’s exit could get the Government out of this political crisis. 
Unfortunately it is not only Ravi K that is already in trouble, but the 
whole Government. 


Thus, getting Ravi K. to resign or removing him from the Foreign Affairs portfolio will not leave this Unity Government clean and credible once again.


This bond scam investigation and what had already been thrown open, prove that mega corruption during the Rajapaksa regime as well as under this ‘Unity’ Government that promised to clean up all corruption from the time of the Rajapaksas is not just an issue about personalities and individuals. 
It is about the system of Governance that has gone rusty and corrupt during the past 40 years. 
Forty years the market was given every benefit, every advantage in making profits at the expense of the people turned into atomised consumers.


In this free market economy called Neo-Liberalism, with the role of the State turned around from one that was regulating the economy to one that facilitates and promotes investments for market expansion for profits, the whole system has gone haywire with corruption during the past forty years. 
And during that period, political leaderships have been taken care of by big time dealers. Political parties have become totally dependent on big business. 


They are funded by these big-time dealers and often by black money. In the process, political parties have been turned into organisations with autocratic leaderships wholly devoid of any democracy in their political parties.


The free-market economy has also robbed the urban professional middle-class of its ethics and morals. Every profession- from medical doctors, academics to lawyers, accountants, financial managers, engineers and even media –has turned out as extremely selfish and corrupt and has absolutely no respect for their own professional ethics and conduct. 


While in every profession the professionals go for big money on their own, they are also seen collaborating with politicians on mega corruption. Professionals are involved with big time dealers in mega corruption as the bond scam now reveals. All companies hire these professionals for their audits and for designing projects for wheeler dealing. Within that context candidates nominated by these political parties, for whom the people vote to elect a Government, there is no space whatever to elect a ‘clean parliament’. At elections, change of Governments are campaigned for by mainstream political parties with such candidates on offer for the preference vote, backed by black money dealers. Choice of the voter is very much restricted as such, “the change” the people believe they made, was in fact the change those big time businesses had already agreed to.


The sad fact is, this Sinhala society has no real, viable alternative to replace this shuttling between wholly corrupt political parties with the same list of corrupt candidates shuffled at times between the two big parties. 


The end result now is that Rajapaksa is seen and talked of as the alternative once again to this 
Yahapalanaya Government. 


The end result is also, the ITAK leadership in the TNA had wasted time defending a terribly corrupt Government that was also racist, thinking it could smuggle in some “concessions” for the Tamil people with a new Constitution that would not see the light of day.


The Sinhala South has never been working on political alternatives based on a programme for real development for an “inclusive, multi cultural society” to be what it calls itself as the “noble land of the world”. 


Alternatives in the South have always been personality based on political party alliances. 
During this 40-year-Neo-Liberal economy as the bond scam now exposes, both mainstream political parties and their leaderships are equally corrupt. 


Both political parties are driven by crony capitalism drowned in black money as much as the media are.
 
It is not the conscious and the intellectual social segments that generate social opinion. It is the media owned by big business and run for profits that decide social thought and opinion.


This society, especially the urban middle class and its professionals are part of this festering problem. 
In any society, it is the urban middle class that has access to new knowledge and information, and can develop new thinking. It is they who can generate new discourses for alternatives. It is their alternate thinking that can provide a society with new answers for democratic and decent governance. 


Unfortunately entrenched in this crudely corrupt free market economy they don’t believe there is need for an alternative, for they earn as much as they wish for a comfortable and luxurious living. They therefore cry for changes that are only cosmetic and short term, expecting a more comfortable life within this system.


In short, these urban middle class professionals don’t contribute to break out of the intellectual poverty the society continues to live with. 


They thus leave Rajapaksa as the next option, where most now keep saying, “Rajapaksa robbed while doing some work. But this Government robs not doing anything”. 
That now seems justification for a Rajapaksa comeback.


The crisis that this society is gradually sinking into, even with a few corrupt politicos removed from Government portfolios immediately will not help clean this Yahapalanaya rule. 


It will not provide any serious and worthy alternative at the next elections, two or three years later, if we survive that long without much anarchy, but joking about all that has to be seriously discoursed.
We need serious discussions about an alternative to this free market economy that can be inclusive and secular as well. We need a discourse on what ‘Development’ is that can lift the economic life of the larger majority of the people marginalised in this free market economy.


A discourse on how the quality of life of all people can be improved beyond being a consumer in this free market economy. It is time we start discussing development issues beyond corruption and the bond scam, to be a ‘noble country in this world’. It is a pity we don’t. 

 

 

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