By Razi Mohmamadh –
Never had there been a Political mayhem in the post independent history of Sri Lanka as we are witnessing nowadays. Watching the breaking news on television since 26th of October is as if you are watching a horror movie in a 3-D theater, sitting on the edge of the seat bamboozled as to what is going to happen next, making yourself ready for the vertiginous shock.
Then a Twitter notification chirps. You are flummoxed and high as a kite, sometimes shaking in your shoes just to open the tweet. Then you read who joined whose camp, what the price for ones defection is and what bomb is in which parcel.
It is really unfortunate to witness an artificial, self created dogfight between the values of democracy, Rule of Law, Constitutionality and Power hankering, perfidious, egotistical politicians like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena.
Sri Lankan civil war had been the main subject in the election propaganda of all political parties since 1970. No presidential or parliamentary election campaign in Sinhala populated area would conclude without the mentioning of Civil War-how it has shattered the country and a pledge to end it if the speakers’ party is elected to power. Defeating the LTTE, upholding the unitary status of the country, eliminating the elements that challenge the sovereignty of the Island had long been persuasive arguments in Sinhala populated areas during elections when delivered with stage blowing oratory with hypertensive vocabulary.
As soon as the Civil War was over, tactical arrows for election propaganda ran out of the quiver for big shot politicians who had been dreaming for presidency and playing with LTTE factor as election strategy. “I defeated the LTTE”had been a convincing catchphrase of Mahinda Rajapaksa for some time that made every Sinhalese feel that he/she owes Mahinda Rajapaksa his/her vote as a loyal tribute for defeating terrorism. He was elected second time as president with a sweeping victory using his apophthegm “I defeated LTTE”
When days pass memories fade away. Mahinda Rajapaksa could not hold on to his argument of “I defeated LTTE” for a long time. When the LTTE factor dried up Mahinda Rajapaksa needed something to shoot at people to win their votes. There came Muslim Factor. Emergence of BBS during his tenure was another catastrophe. Sinhalese and Muslims who had been living as neighbors for centuries started to look at each other as their enemies.BBS with Mahinda’s blessing has left a permanent scar that can be erased by any cream.
His pro-China stand, Controlling of 80+ percentage of countries economy by three of his brothers, killing of journalists, human Rights violations during the last days of the Civil War, deep-rooted corruptions, High rocketing debt brought the country to rack and ruin.Sri Lankans were subject to -in the past years -mind boggling wretchedness in their daily lives during the callous reign of Mahinda Rajapaksa.The tenure of MR Has changed the cause of history in Sri Lanka. but regardless of the havoc he caused to this country, Rajapaksa set his heart on a third term, a clear example of desperate longing for puissance.
Could a Constitution blot him out from amassing more power? Never. He intended to change the constitution to suit his lust for power. That was the first time in the presidential history of Sri Lanka a president intended to lift the two terms limitation to gratify his megalomania .He didn’t bother about the concept of checks and balances in the context of separation of power neither did he give a hoot to draw the lines between democracy and authoritarianism.
Despite all the good things Mahinda Rajapaksa did to Sri Lanka,children of this nation chose to outvote him since his scale of malfeasance prevailed over his good deeds.Instead,people chose his long time friend turned foe, so called ”Hopper- traitor” Maithripala Sirisena, a joker who got a jackpot as their President-a decision the voters now feel contrite about.
What Maithripala was meant for Sri Lanka?
For Sri Lankans, Sirisena was a rejuvenating savior from the rattling reign of Mahinda Rajapaksa, a Moses who blew the new breath to the Nation. That is how a grass root, illiterate Sri Lankan perceived Maithripala Sirisena.That is why he voted for him overriding his love and affection towards Mahinda Rajapaksa, the vanquisher of terrorism that shook the country for decades.
Mahinda Rajapaksa always thought he was undefeatable. His hard headed arrogance might have clouded his intellect and refrained him from understanding the pulse of the people. He took everything for granted. He would not have thought that he would be defeated by his subservient, head bowing, harmless friend. It was a fight between Goliath and David. Finally David defeated Goliath. A pawn in the front raw checkmated the king with the castle and queen.Maithree emerged as a victor mainly with UNP votes.
People relieved gleefully when the devils left the Sri Lankan body following the 2015 election exorcism.19th Amendment to the Constitution, Right to Information Act are few congratulatory achievements of Maithri Ranil combo though yahapalana was an utter failure.
Power is like the Ring in the Lord of the Rings. When you glom on to it after a long exhausting exertion, you will do anything to keep it with you. You won’t let it go.
Maithri wanted a second term. The chair of presidency is such a fire in belly if you hold it once you want to own it all the time. When he realized UNP will have their own candidate for the future presidential elections, only other fish in his sea was to re conjugate the annulled wife. He put aside all his narratives about Rajapaksa during the last presidential election “I would have been buried eight feet under the earth if Rajapaksa had been elected,” Sirisena once told.
Turning a blind eye on all what Mahinda Rajapaksa did to this country, bypassing all what he said about Rajapakse, President Sirisena embraced the same devil he did exorcism on. This entire political crisis that put this country to a Himalayan blunder is nothing but his power hungry appetite.
Mahinda Rajapaksa had the decorum to change the constitution to quench his yen to power. On the other hand Maithripala Sirisena once believed by all to be the Good Samaritan of Sri Lanka has condescended to ways and means even Mahinda didn’t dare to seek. He was rock ribbed to go ultra virus to the constitution to effectuate his hypnagogic reverie to become the president for the second time.
By removing the Prime Minister whose party votes saved his bacon to become president to pave way for Mahinda Rajapaksa to expropriate power through the back door, Sirisena fell into a deep hole where there is no return. What he failed to realize is what he was about to do will end his political career, Make him the most unpopular President of SriLankan History and bring Mahinda Rajapaksa back to power.
The builder of 19th Amendments broke it wilfully. When all the means of securing 113 seats fell through, he was drum-struck. When all his projections failed he started to bump into knavish ways. He prorogued the parliament to buy some time to buy parliamentarians. One UNP MP blew the whistle. Entire Plan was unmasked. Then he tried laboriously to stop the floor test. He was scared out of his wits if the floor test was put in the order paper he will be exposed again. His sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe would be proved wrong. His calculations would be called into question. When the Speaker was steadfast in his decision to go for a floor test on 14th, President didn’t have any choice left in his plate but to dissolve the parliament. Another blatant violation of the constitution. Finally he fell into the pitfall. Mahinda gained what he wanted.
All two power hungry Presidents have joined hands to jolt the constitution to suit their whims and fancies and dabble with the mandate of the people crushing the values of democracy in vein.
Constitutionality of the dissolution of Parliament is questioned in the Supreme Court today. Entire nation relies on the verdict of the Supreme Court. We don’t know what is going to happen.
We all pray justice will be done.