Let the people decide; not ‘Kaluhamis’ and ‘Kalu Appus’
From Golden-horses to butterflies
Political reality does not necessarily reflect popular sovereignty. It is the people who have the final say in State decisions
Did President Sirisena, as he once told, risk his life four years ago, but betrayed all the moral values for political expediency when he offered on a platter, the ruling powers to his bête noire Mahinda Rajapaksa?
Gona’ and ‘Buruwa’ reverberated in the house by the Galle Face in good old days of NM, Colvin, Philip and Sir John, who later shared an erotic anecdote with Marxists at tea. They would not mean it, just the spur of the moment, as there were absolutely no ‘animals’ in politics then. Do not waste time turning pages of 1950s and ’60s searching for such derogatory terms; even before the expunge order comes from the Speaker, the Hansard reporter had done his part, while the smart lobby journalists who shone with literary quality conveyed it to the reader who had to read between lines. The name “butterfly” originated from “flutterby”—an insect with colourful wings, a ‘FLY’ that eats butter.
‘ELOWA GIHIN MELOWA AVA’
Prof. Sarachchandra created the comedy play based on old Sinhala folktale ‘Elowa Gihin Melowa Ava’ which narrates how a deceitful beggar scrupulously cheated Gamarala’swife ‘Kaluhami’ who wanted her dead daughter’s jewellery delivered to Elova [world of the dead] through this man when he said, “Mama Elowa Gihin Melowa Ava,” meaning he just recovered from a terminal illness. In the absence of Gamarala, he collects not only the valuables but steals Kalu Appu’s ‘Sudu Assaya’ [golden horse?]. Gamarala on his return learns the stupid act of wife, but realise it was too late. He, like all those who voted for ‘Hansaya’ and ‘Pohottuwa’ and assembled at Temple Trees and Diyawanna, ‘Come Rain or Shine,’ finally enjoys the fun dancing and singing a duet proudly claiming;
“Assayapita nega yanakota dakina dakina aya kiyavi aan yanawa kaluappuge duui kiyala—kalu hamige duui kiala” [People seeing the daughter wearing all the jewellery and riding his horse would say, there goes (he)… Kalu Appuu’s daughter… (she).. Kaluhami’s daughter…] The writer is not comparing the tens of thousands who congregated at the two venues with Kaluhami’s stupidity, but their inherent idiocy.
This maybe one of the most disgraceful political games ever played and of course played men-of-chance, says anti-Sirisena analysts — “Sirisena, Ranil and Mahinda whose only wish is survival at any cost. The present unprecedented occurrence of dethroning PM Wickremesinghe and appointing Rajapaksa brings with it all the rudiments of a ‘legitimate coup’ swiftly accomplished,” they add, “it was carefully concealed from the victims to the very second.”
But what most of us fail to understand is that they vigilantly concealed the fact that a precedent was created on November 21, 2014 with that unprecedented crossover, followed by the appointment of opposition leader as Prime Minister, a man who could muster only 46 votes, while the sitting PM had 151 backing him.
LEECHES AND TICKS
Coming back to flies and leeches; Butterflies are insects in the order lepidoptera. Adults have, often brightly coloured wings, and striking, fluttering flight. It is impolite to use its name to describe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender humans. Did LGBTQ get it from the first mainstream TV drama named ‘Butterfly’ or was it the rainbow flag. Story is about a transgender child who wants to transition. All those who jump from one healthy source to the other in search of ‘food’ are called leeches. Can one leech call another a leech in an offensive manner?
Political reality does not necessarily reflect popular sovereignty. It is the people who have the final say in State decisions.
“In a free government, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns,” Benjamin Franklin - A founding father of the United States, author and political theorist.
Everyone talks about the low depth the Parliamentarians have sunken into but the irony is that the very people cry for re-summoning of the House as a matter of priority? The ‘international community’ clamour for a decision by Parliament too; they know little about the dismal standard of the 225 clowns, jokers and rogues running it? That is why they attach so much of significance to the ‘Den of Thieves’ [as it was described by Karl Marx, the 19th century political philosopher]. The appointed MP in the UNP National List, obviously one of Ranil’s loyal and trusted lieutenants, was not only a permanent resident at Temple Trees since October 26 and up to the fourth morning [it was he who had been in charge of organising the continuous Pirith chanting] was enlightened listening to sutras for a week uninterrupted surprisingly abandoned the party and left his boss in the lurch before deserting Temple Trees after a sumptuous lunch [not hoppers] but rushed to President’s office to take oaths in the afternoon as a new government Deputy Minister. Another who took oaths as deputy a few days ago, suddenly realised the value of upholding democratic values and was back at Temple Trees.
“In the republic of Sri Lanka, sovereignty is in the people and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise” – Chapter One - Article 3of the Constitution.
The next or the new government must introduce legislation totally banning crossover: by implementing such rules only we can get rid of a good number of unprincipled, deceitful and roguish elements retuning to the sacred precincts of Diyawanna. Let’s take Parliament back to the ‘Galle Face Front’ days when it was the most supreme symbol of democracy. This rule can be extended to cover other elected bodies like provincial councils and local government bodies as well.
RULE BY THE PEOPLE
It should be the ‘Rule by the People,’ the foundation of all political power associated with political philosophers Thomas Hobbes, a founder of modern political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the developer of modern political thought; and John Locke the political philosophers to mention a few. President Maithripala has created the path for MR to come storming back. The country is beleaguered by indecision, a totally chaotic political unrest, economic disaster and enormous fraud at all levels. It is the new government’s duty now to find solutions. It is the people who transfer the authority of a State and its government through the concept of ‘sovereignty of the people’ or popular sovereignty, the principle sustained by the consent of people who temporarily empower their elected representatives to make decisions and pass laws. The drama played out so fittingly demonstrates, the famous saying, ‘in politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests.’ Did President Sirisena, as he once told, risk his life four years ago, but betrayed all the moral values for political expediency when he offered on a platter, the ruling powers to his bête noire Mahinda Rajapaksa?
His critics also say that four years ago, in one evening in November 2014, he joined his colleagues at Temple Trees for a meal of hoppers and lunumiris hosted by the then all-powerful President, and the very next day appeared in an historical media briefing flanked by a famous political strategist and his former boss and ex-President, to announce his stand.
CREATE MANDATORY CONDITIONS
Political leaders must take adequate precautions in selecting persons with honesty and integrity, who have proven soundness of ethical principles in conduct and free from moral wrong or fault, are left out of nominated lists. The candidates must be decent, upright, veracious and straightforward. It should be made mandatory that the nominees clear a knowledge-hurdle regarding politics, history, culture and public affairs; and not degrees in rocket science or financial matters. If one would analyse real statistics meticulously, most of the reported heinous crimes against the people and the nation have been committed by the so-called professionals and the ‘educated’ lot and not by the 123 without A/Levels or 63 minus O/Levels among the present 225 members [Some of them even had acted like jokers or third grade kids!]
The Archbishop Cardinal’s views expressed to the UNP delegation is a good lesson to the UNP leadership. When he asked them why they were reluctant to take this matter to the Supreme Court, the response was ‘the anticipated ruling would be against them.’
True people voted Rajapaksas out in 2015, but after three years at the LG elections, this result was reverted. However, as far as the UNP is concerned, the Rajapaksa family has come through the backdoor. Shamelessness is on both sides. What the public don’t understand is that both parties have deceived them and do very little of what they undertook. They must cast their vote to a decent person who can oppose his own party against corruption at a future election which is not very far — some sections in the society anticipate certain urgent and inevitable consequences in a new Rajapaksa rule. Firstly, will there be the dislodging of ongoing police and judicial processes into numerous irregularities committed during the previous regime? It is unlikely that there will be changes to the Armed Forces, the police and the judiciary, replacing the current holders with their cronies; for they have learnt lessons.
The writer recollects how the then United States Secretary of State [Foreign Minister] Colin Powell in January 2004 did call on both President Chandrika Kumaratunga and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to enlighten them on the importance of working together to find a quick resolution to end the Constitutional impasse that existed between the two sides which was similar to the present Constitutional crisis. Two separate letters addressed to the two heads were delivered individually by the then US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead. Today, they are taking sides though.