“Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?”
Do you hear the people sing (Les Misérables)
“I’m 89 years old,” the grandmotherly protestor holding a hand-drawn placard says. “For the last…89 years I have not gone through so much misery. Every time in the night when the light goes off, I cry… I’m going to the polima (queue) in my old age trying to get gas. I stand in the polima to get a packet of milk in my old age… What is the meaning of this? Haven’t they got a heart?” (Newswire – 6.4.2022).
That misery is worse now, and will become infinitely more in the coming months. The discussions with the IMF seem to have ended inconclusively. Other than trying to lease national assets (the list reportedly includes Katunayake, Ratmalana, and Mattala airports and the southern part of the Colombo Port), the Rajapaksas have no economic plan. They have abandoned even the pretence of governance, their energies focused on staying in power.
The Rajapaksas will not go into the powerless night peacefully. They have a world to protect, and will protect it to death, the country’s and ours. Already one life is lost, two children made fatherless. The residents of Gota-Go-Gama marked the wanton murder of Chaminda Lakshan by laying wreaths outside the Temple Trees.
Nothing, however, was farther from PM Rajapaksa’s mind than political obsequies. Just hours previously he had informed Neth FM that he will remain prime minister, even in the event of an interim government being formed. “What use of interim governments when people with varying policies can’t see eye to eye?” he asked rhetorically, pertinently.
The Rajapaksas know what they want. The opposition doesn’t. The Rajapaksas are concentrating their energies and efforts on jamming every constitutional highway and byway to their ouster. The opposition is too busy squabbling over power that is not yet – and may never be – theirs. The SJB and the JVP are wasting time and energy on who can organise a bigger march, probably as a prelude to a future presidential contestation between Sajith Premadasa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The 11 party ‘Independent group’ is opposed not to the government but to Basil Rajapaksa; their aim is a palace coup to install Dulles Alahapperuma as prime minister under a President Gotabaya.
Continue reading ‘If the opposition continues to quibble and meander, this historic opportunity to save and remake Sri Lanka will be dissipated and the current stalemate will end in a Rajapaksa or a Rajapaksa-Shavendra or – the worst possibility – a Shavendra solution.’ »