By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” -Karl Marx
Karl Marx expanded famously on Friedrich Hegel’s remark about “history”occurring twice and stated that history repeats firstly as tragedy and secondly as farce. If a recent development in Sri Lanka runs its full course as intended, then one may very well say History repeats itself in Sri Lanka as a tragical farce or farcicial tragedy when it comes to Ranil Wickremesinghe.
With a presidential election being anticipated early next year, an atmosphere of déjà vu is in the air.The propaganda knives of the Rajapaksa regime are out already in a hasty bid to slash and draw first blood. The decision by the European Union General court to annul sanctions against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the one hand, and the visit of Ranil Wickremesinghe to Britain on the other, are being used by Govt propagandists to project an impression that the opposition leader in league with tiger elements in the Tamil Diaspora has conspired to remove the EU ban on the LTTE, thereby endangering Sri Lanka’s security, territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The propaganda that is being churned out in various forms ranging from posters to ministerial pronouncements is perhaps the opening gambit on the 2015 presidential poll chessboard. If Ranil Wickremesinghe comes forward as expected , to contest as the chief opposition UNP candidate against President Rajapaksa, more propaganda in similar vein is likely to follow.
The thrust and theme of Govt propaganda will most likely compare and contrast both candidates ,projecting the president positively and the opposition leader negatively..Mahinda will be portrayed as hero and patriot while Ranil will be depicted as traitor and anti-national.