Sri Lankan politicians have come believe that vile acts committed by them, however contemptible or illegal, is excusable and morally justifiable or even legal, if such acts have been committed by their rival political rivals on them when their opponents were power.
What did you do?
Being a political observer for decades, we have seen leading ministers when their governments were accused by opposition members in parliament of gross crimes and other horrendous offences, thunder back in stentorian voices: What did you do in your time, (Thmausela ge kale mokaka da keruwe) to the thunderous applause of their colleagues. Parallels between then and now are attempted to be drawn and the accused (now in power) seem to be convinced of having absolved themselves of their sins by citing the previous misdemeanours of their political rivals. These days, members of the former Rajapaksa regime are crying out aloud that gross injustices are being perpetrated on them by the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe by dragging them before the Bribery Commission, courts of law and police investigating units.
The replies of government ministers have been standard, such as: Remember the justice you meted out to General Sarath Fonseka, the war hero who defeated terrorism? Remember what you did to Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake who was summarily dismissed from office?
The Wickremesinghe government and President Sirisena have indeed remedied some of injustices perpetrated on them although nothing can be done to heal their pain of mind and other traumas. Punishing diabolical minds that initiated such action appears to be beyond the existing law. We are not for a moment saying that those of the Rajapaksa regime who are alleged to have committed various misdemeanours and offences should not be investigated. But the gross injustices committed on their opponents during their rule should not be a reason for persecution for other offences. The basis of investigations and prosecutions should be on alleged crimes committed and not revenge.
Constant repetition of the question: What did you do in your time could add on to the charge of witch-hunting. President Maithripala Sirisena has within the 100 Day Time limit he set for himself has done more on constitutional reform and dispensation of justice than some presidents during their full term in office. He should not let over enthusiastic supporters from his own party as well as the UNP spoil the record.
Round the bend, into the straight…….
In racing parlance, it is now ‘round the bend and into the straight’ for the parliamentary elections. All concerned are calling for dissolution of parliament including the Speaker Chamal Rajapakse who said so last week. But President Sirisena was holding back. He being the leader of the SLFP has a major stake in the elections.
A notable feature is that that some of the omniscient political pundits, omnipresent in all forms of the media are noticeable by their absence. The results of the presidential election had these political pundits as well the astrological variety up the gum tree when President Sirisena romped home beating the hot favourite Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Astrologers of course will not die out. They have been conning kings, queens, world conquerors, dictators, potty rulers and the like since time immemorial and are still there. But what happens to Lanka’s political pundits?
Well they too are a wily and resilient lot. If they go wrong a dust laden thesis, unread by anyone can be pulled out to prove that the trend was predicted. That at least may save their skin. If they are right: New York, London, Paris, Geneva can be yours Your Excellency.
Battle of the Kelles
After the Bradby cries of R-O-Y-A –L was shaking the venerable building that is the Water Hole. Crest fallen warriors from the hills were silently drowning their sorrows.
An aging cynic of the Water Hole, who is a student of history of Lanka’s schools not a member of either institutions remarked: What’s all this fuss about? A school from Koombikelle travelled to Pallekelle and beat a school atUdawattekelle. Later the Udawattekelle school came down to Koombikelleand was roundly thrashed by Koombikelle.
This cynical wisdom was not appreciated. Go jump into the sea by your dump, he was advised