“London Bridge is falling down, Falling down, falling down. London Bridge is falling down, My fair lady.”
– Nursery Rhyme
When Basil Rohana Rajapaksa was in a rn in as Finance Minister by his brother President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in July 2021, the appointment grabbed the attention of the world’s influential media. It was seen as an illustrative example of a single family enjoying a monopoly of political power in a democratic country. “In Sri Lanka , the Government Looks Increasingly like a Family Firm” was the heading of the article in the prestigious “New York Times”. An article in the much-respected “The Hindu” had the heading “The Rajapaksas | Four brothers in one government”.
It was at one time quite common for members of a single or extended family to dominate Governments in many Kingdoms in the middle-east or Brunei. The practice also prevailed in some African and Latin American dictatorships. There have been many instances of politics being a family business in India or even other countries in South Asia too.