he result of the January 8 Presidential election has been a revelation to almost all UPFA politicians. They who treated the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration as something like a divine rule now have begun to find out the wrongdoers and flaws that took place within their ranks and led to the downfall of the regime they thought would continue for ever.
Wimal Weerawansa, the person now toiling hard to bring Mahinda Rajapaksa back to the helm sees Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of his messiah as the culprit of the counter wheeling of their fortune. But he had never uttered a word about any misdeed by the latter until January 8. Mervyn Silva who had worshipped the Rajapaksas in public and assured the country so many times until recently that the Rajapaksas’ were the cleanest in the world, has come out with the gravest accusations including of murders against the same family. Latest in the series is Dullas Alahapperuma, the closest ally of former President, apart from the latter’s siblings.
Alahapperuma, according to a news report telecast over a certain television channel on Saturday indirectly found fault with his former boss for cashiering of former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka depriving him of even his hard-earned medals, pension and his name in the history of the army. Welcoming the decoration of the war veteran with the rank of Field Marshal by President Maithripala Sirisena last week, Allahapperuma stated that it was wrong to harass the Commander who spearheaded the war to its end and commended the present government for rectifying the injustice meted out to him.
Exposing his motive behind his belated enlightenment of truth, Alahapperuma said it was equally wrong now to harass former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who too was one of the key pillars of the war victory against the dreaded LTTE. He seems to be referring to the Avant Garde case in which the Galle Magistrate ordered the CID to examine the bank accounts of former Defence Secretary and a few others.
In essence, the journalist-turned politician contends that “harassing” of war heroes was wrong. This was an argument that was put forward by the opposition parties when the Alahapperuma et al “harassed” former Army Commander just for politically challenging Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2010 Presidential election. UPFA leaders seem to be treated with their own medicine now. They argued then that the service done by the war veteran could not be an impediment for the government to take action against his illegal activities. However, it was a well-known fact, and Alahapperuma alone cannot be ignorant of it, that the former government did not detect these illegal activities when they attempted to stop Fonseka from entering politics by offering him high posts and portfolios.
Alahapperuma seems to be attempting to say that he was helpless when the former Army Commander was “harassed.” If so, it is totally absurd. He was at the time justifying what his government did to Fonseka in many media meets he attended. To remind him, on one occasion during an interview with the ITN on November 23, 2009 he even said that Fonseka’s candidature was a part of a larger Eelamist conspiracy. What stronger justification can one find to the incarceration of their opponent?
No cultured man would deny the service done by Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the elimination of the LTTE and later in the beautification of Colombo City. However, the service done by the war veteran could not be an impediment for the government to take action against his illegal activities, if any, as the UPFA leaders argued. The allegations of financial irregularities against the Rajapaksa family were not made after the last Presidential election, as in the case of Sarath Fonseka. Taking action against them was one of the main promises of President Maithripala Sirisena during the election.
The government is being currently accused by the people who voted for the President for moving too slowly in taking action against corruption and fraud committed by the politicians and the officials of the former regime. Using this delay or inaction to their advantage, even the UPFA leaders are sometimes ridiculing the government. At the same time they are wasting no time in calling any such action revenge or harassment.
This is absurd. At the same time the general feeling among the people is that no government would take action against corruption decisively, as in a corrupt political culture it would boomerang one day. Be that as it may; let the law take its course, without unnecessarily harassing anybody or unnecessarily calling it harassment.