The 1996 Hollywood movie Independence Day is about preparation by the United States for an alien attack on earth. With Will Smith in the lead the Hollywood blockbuster went on to lift the patriotic spirit among the Americans.
Sri Lanka is celebrating its 65thIndependence Day at a time the ruling UPFA is warning about an impending US led ‘alien attack’ on the island at the UNHRC session in Geneva.
Interestingly the Sri Lankan government instead of staging a strong counter attack has decided to virtually give it up at Geneva next month. The predictions were that even if it launched a vigorous lobby campaign still it would not have mustered even what it got in March 2012. Sri Lanka garnered 15 votes against 24 by US and its allies for the US sponsored resolution.
It’s therefore obvious that all the ongoing rhetoric by the UPFA ministers against the resolution is aimed at domestic consumption. The reality is that the government is fully aware that it has provided the US and its allies with a massive load of extra missives this timewith its slew of moves to tamper with democracy and thereby the sovereignty of the people.
In the eyes of the informed constituents the 65th Independence Day is dawned at a time when the UPFA is fast heading towards an abyss having failed to rise up to the spectacular opportunity offered with the war victory. If there’s anything that is preventing its downfall that is the emasculation of the key opposition which seems to be bent on perpetuating the regime rather than countering its various undemocratic moves in the way the chief opposition party in a disturbed democracy would have done.
Absence of bombs, an impressive infrastructure development programme, planned cities and a boom in tourism – no doubt that the glory is mother Lanka’s and hats off to the UPFA for this resurgence.
However none of these are excuses for the oversize- Cabinet, mismanagement of public funds, deterioration in civilian law and order situation, erosion of people’s faith in the judiciary and the general sense of wellbeing among the public. In short if independence is the people’s sovereignty over the nation’s territory the informed electorate of Sri Lanka does not feel that its mandate and will are respected anymore by the government.
As Sri Lanka celebrates the 65th Independence Day it’s therefore pertinent to ask whether the UPFA government will muster the sympathy of patriotic citizens for its fate at the UNHRC this time. One may perhaps find the answer in the following aphorism by Twain.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it -Mark Twain