When the Arab countries were swept away by a wave of revolution, there was very little hope that the winds will shift and a breeze of it would blow this way. Yet, it was a distant dream too unreal to come true when people whose individual desires and requirements were prioritized over those that we require and aspire as a nation.
In fact, it is against this pathetic backdrop, that those who raise their cries against injustice and the prevailing impunities, get labelled as traitors in the process. However, it is sad that with a high literacy rate and an education provided free of charge, Sri Lankans in general very much lack the common political sense, even the illiterate Indians seem to possess. Perhaps, it is the reason why instead of breeding the likes of Anna Hazare, Sri Lanka has become a breeding place for numerous commissions with wing-clipped members in them; whose reports, most often, march from the boardroom tables straight to the dustbins without their recommendations and findings crossing the minds of those who appointed them. Yet, the complacence and heedlessness on the part of the decision-makers is a result of lack of public concern towards matters that affect them directly.
Since the universal suffrage was granted by the 1931 Donoughmore constitution, people have been trained to be over dependent on the country’s political mechanism and the higher echelons, which have resulted in making them somewhat powerless and submissive to the very persons appointed by them to be their representation. Even though, according to the principles of democracy, the country’s sovereignty is in the hands of its people, and the successive constitutions interpreted that the vote is a means to divert that power to a group appointed by the sovereign people, in reality, people lose their power the moment they place the cross mark on the ballot paper.
As the recently released Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report rightly pointed out, the current political culture of the country had made its people powerless to such a degree that they view political influence as the only means to obtain the services they are entitled to. Perhaps, little do they realize that by capitulating to the politicians, people allow an undue power on them, and blow up their already enlarged images. However, one cannot blame the politicians alone for the downfall of democracy in the country, as its people have earned the ill-fame to be easily bought over for a packet of lunch and one green note. It is none other than the people who have lowered both their guards and grades as the ultimate arbitrators of democracy, and belittled their power of sovereignty and togetherness. This was obvious at the demonstration held by a massive crowd in support of the 18th amendment, who stood in an unbroken line from the Parliament junction to the Vihara Maha Devi roundabout. The sight of hundreds of rural people holding placards and shouting slogans, speaking their approval of the demonic amendment, which they little knew of, was indeed a sorry sight. Their ignorance could have been easily pardoned had not they willingly or otherwise become the actors of a farce, staged and scripted by the politicians who showed the world, the magnitude of our political illiteracy.
Tahrir Square will never make it to the world’s seven wonders. Yet, it will become a ground of miracles; like any other holy site where people found redemption and solace for their agonies and tribulations. Those who crowded the Tahrir Square would be modern-day saints- and the revolution they believe in will be their ultimate pilgrimage. They will fight till the last drop of blood, while, we, with our hyper sense of political sophistication only sit back, relax and watch them struggle. We will bask in the foolish glory of obliviousness and be willfully illiterate to read the clear writing on the wall. They will build their democracy on the power of people, while we, with our ignorance or too much knowledge of politics will buy whatever gibberish the rulers offer us as explanation, and still call Sri Lanka a democratic nation.
Subramaniam Masilama Wednesday, 28 December 2011 01:37 AM
Very well said. as soon as the last British soldier left the first thing that came to the surface was not freedom and prosperity but racism and fanaticism. These were nurtured by corrupt people among the society to their own advantage. Racism and Fanaticsm became the opium and heroin of the masses. 60 years later you see what you see. As a parent I can tell you if my son behaves wrongfully it is our mistake. If our grand son behaves wrongfully it is our mistake too. Sri Lankan baby the 3rd generation after independence is standing like an orphan helpless and directionless.
willows Wednesday, 28 December 2011 05:50 AM
we srilanakans are so selfish and foolish so cannot imagine another Tahrir Square in SL
Lanka Muslim,UK Wednesday, 28 December 2011 08:04 AM
It could take time, but take my word Tahrir Square will be seen in Asia, possibly beginning with Pakistan or Sri Lanka and move to Bangladesh and so on.
gamarala Wednesday, 28 December 2011 02:16 PM
all the enemy of the mother land and want to sell their mother s for the fun,waiting for Tahhrir square of similar one.
S.Mahinda Wednesday, 28 December 2011 07:03 PM
Yes - there will be - if we have enough brave writers like you to show the country that the old adage - the pen is mightier than the sword. Considerr the case of Václav Havel, the first president of free post-Communist Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic
His words, his life story, and his commitment to liberty have brought hope to many people around the world, far beyond those who speak Czech.
NISHTHAR IDROOS Wednesday, 28 December 2011 08:55 PM
Deprivation, destitution, disenfranchisement and similar malaise certainly have the potential to trigger a revolution of the magnitude seen today in the Middle East. Rulers and elected governments must constantly ensure injustice in any way or form is avoided and a general inclusiveness with equal opportunity is nationally conceived and fostered. As witnessed in the Middle East suppression is untenable and goes against the fundamental principles of human values. The government must necessarily play a more engaging role in looking after the more vulnerable sectors of society through a process of prudent fiscal policy and alleviate poverty at these levels.
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