By Anura Gunasekera
Notwithstanding his rise to ultimate power, Mahinda Rajapaksa, despite being one of the shrewdest political manipulators in the history of this country, opts to place his faith in necromancy, rather than in the intelligence of his political sense.
Apart from a pathetic belief in the occult and an abject reliance on heavenly interventions, there was also the hubris, nurtured through a decade of successful subjugation of opposition and dissidence. The incarceration of challengers, the assassination and disappearance of journalists and the purchase of political loyalty were standard strategies in his governance.
Rajapaksa believed in continued aggression even in peacetime and when no more enemies were left, he invented them because the apprehension of enemy action permitted him to carry out repressive strategies in peacetime, which would be barely permissible in war.
Whilst strong in withstanding foreign interference in the affairs of the country, he misled the international community and made promises that he had no intention of honouring.
Despite a minimal comprehension of international diplomacy, he believed that he had the statesmanship skills to play one regional power against the other.
He permitted his servitors to steal from the nation with total impunity guaranteed, in return for unquestioning loyalty to him, personally.
When thwarted in a third term presidential bid, he assayed to return to power through a different route. Weerawansa, Gammanpila , Nanayakkara and Dinesh Gunawardana, together created the myth of Rajapaksa’s undiminished allure to the voter, assisted by the pair of discredited Chief Justices, Silva and Pieris, and the erudite but unprincipled Prof. Pieris, indefatigable apologist to successive national leaders. This unscrupulous cabal was supported by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, who appears to have discarded all concern for personal credibility.
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