If oil is refined, alcohol is distilled and grain winnowed to separate the wheat from the chaff, then what folly will it be to add the crude discarded back to the resultant product, cleansed of its impurities.
As the new Government embarks upon cleaning up the system and paving the way to restore the old cherished values and morals this nation was robbed of along with its wealth by the corrupt and degenerate regime that was, the new President Maithripala Sirisena will be committing a grievous error if he even pauses for a moment to entertain the idea of taking back the blackguards who, having supped at the Rajapaksa high table and gormandised to the full, now show alarming signs of wishing to puke upon the white linen presently being laid at the people’s buffet.
Far divorced from the realities of the ground situation, far removed from the sufferings of the masses and far gone beyond the ambit of honour and decency, these were the parasitical creepers who clung to the diseased Rajapaksa family tree and continued to perpetrate the fraud on the masses by protracting its existence in the belief that their life supporting trunk could never be brought down and that their happy days of endless sunshine would never end.
But it did. And when the unthinkable happened, look how swift the metamorphosis. After having praised Mahinda to the hilt and denigrated Maithri to the pits, they have had no qualm to damn their deposed leader Mahinda the moment he lost and change their tune and sing songs of praise to Maithri the moment he won.
The hyenas are howling at the castle gates begging to be let in, the piranhas are swimming across the moat seeking tiny canals into the camp, the vermin are crawling up the caste walls sneaking entry to the winning field, all clamouring to get in, all singing new compositions; sacred psalms instead of slimy slander; the servile kiss instead of the savage stab.
And the man leading this gang of rump kissers is Dayasiri Jayasekera, one who not only has a past record for this sort of reprehensible activity but one who has now demonstrated he is a serious serial offender; one who has mastered the rare skill and turned it in to a fine art. After singing hosannas to Mahinda, his betrayal of his God-king has come even before the warmth of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s painful defeat had left the moribund corpse.
Not even 48 hours of Maithripala Sirisena taking his oaths as the new President of Lanka, a group of twenty SLFP MPs met him and expressed their support. They were largely known as those whose sentiments were with Maithri but who had been hesitant to take the decisive step and cross the Rubicon due to reasons of their own. The odd man out at this meeting of fair-weather crossers was the chief minister of Wayambe, the UNP turncoat SLFP card carrying member and ardent Mahinda supporter, the crooning sycophant Dayasiri Jayasekera.
He was not a Member of Parliament and seems to have jostled his way into the parliamentary members’ meeting to stake his claim as a devotee of the new deity. If the 20 MPs in attendance at the meeting had been sitting on the fence waiting for a Maithri victory to make the jump, then Dayasiri Jayasekera had all along been a dried jalap, firmly rooted in Mahinda’s sunshiny patch of morning glory. Unlike the MPs who had neither attacked Maithri nor praised Mahinda on public platforms but had maintained a discreet silence during the election campaign, Dayasiri Jayasekera had found his niche on the then president Mahinda’s stage and had seemed to relish every searing vitriolic attack on the common foe, the common candidate Maithripala.
At a time when it seemed the SLFP old guard could not be roused to come to the fore in leading the attack, the recent import from the UNP, Dayasiri seemed to have volunteered for the part and taken the lead role in leading the charge of the stink brigade. Prosperity and Rajapaksa culture evidently had acquainted him with ideal bedfellows; and he, along with his new found colleague of the same twisted tongue and tortuous temper Wimal Weerawansa, were the chosen mudslinging mascots to strut every Rajapaksa election stage, charged with the task of blooming roses for President Mahinda and hurling filth at Common Candidate Maithri in a manner that put Billingsgate to shame.
Now barely two days after the defeat he never dreamt would happen had happened, he had come crawling to the feet of the man who had triumphed; the man whose name he had, during the previous three weeks at election rallies throughout the country, from Chilaw on the 16th of December to the final one in Kesbewa on the 5th of January, trampled in the mire; whose virtues he had scoffed and scorned; whose character he had assassinated to the delight and applause of the then incumbent god in the sanctum of his temple.
He had shamelessly come to ask forgiveness from Maithri whom he had called a ‘seepada vijjakarayek, a sham magician, who he had mercilessly said would get his ‘badu set eka’ (personal tool kit) — that’s if he has one — badly scraped and had arrogantly declared that on the 9th of January Maithri can go to the airport and ‘tholanchi venna piluwan ona Thuthukodiyakata”.
He had come to worship the man whom he had accused of guzzling petrol from the Health Ministry fuel dump and then retuning unclaimed fuel vouchers; the selfsame man whom he had charged had produced a false asset declaration to the elections commissioner and held that if one were to really know of Maithripala’s wealth one should look into the assets of his brothers wherein, so the innuendo held, it was concealed.
He had come to ‘shape things up’ with the man whose family, Jayasekera had repeatedly decried as consisting of one brother digging river beds for sand, another breaking rocks at quarries, another cutting down trees and one spending his time from morning till evening at casino playing the tables and the whole lot mining the Polonnaruwa river for gems, while the Rajapaksa brothers were shedding their own blood and risking their lives in fighting the war.
He had come seeking benediction from the man whom he had, in Maithri’s own hometown Polonnaruwa, insolently held up as a man who gone insane, who had forecast that farmer’s son Maithri will have to ‘amude gahagena yanne wenne’ after the election and that if Maithri were to become President it would be ‘rate kalakannikamata.’
Now he had come with begging bowl in hand to announce his sudden hundred percent support to and obtain the blessings from the man whom he had mocked on stage three weeks before for quoting the Buddha’s stanza ‘nahi verana verani’ and who, repeating it himself on stage at the Chilaw rally, had thereafter declared ‘okage homba galavila yanne denna oney’, must give him one to dislodge his jaw (or snout) from his face.
Slurping his own vomit Dayasiri Jayasekera had come to kiss the hand of the man whom he had publicly described on December 16th last year to be like a ‘korawakka’, a waterhen who was not man enough, a squirming man who did not have a spine to shake the hand of President Mahinda.
With his fantasy of landing a plum cabinet post in a victorious Mahinda regime, with immense opportunity to make the big time as reward for going beyond the call of duty in vilifying the common candidate, shattered; and, having burnt all his boats during the election period, knowing that he may well end up orphaned as a nobody’s child by all the political parities save perhaps Gammanpila’s Pivithuru Party for homeless double crossers, Dayasiri Jayasekera made haste to lie prostrate in penance at the feet of Maithripala whom he had, at the final Kesbewa rally on January 5th, contemptuously vowed to appoint ‘as a security guard at the airport on the 9th of January so Maithri could spend his defeat, ogling at the legs of ‘suddhos ‘ in shorts.’
And all this happened, this transference of loyalties and support from the loser whose cause he had campaigned so vigorously to the winner whom he had denounced so profusely, barely 48 hours after the crown of Lanka had passed on to Maithripala Sirisena’s glistening pate.
But Mahinda Rajapaksa was still the chairman of the SLFP on January 11th; and until he resigned on January 16th, Maithripala was considered by the party hierarchy as being one who had been sacked from the SLFP.
And what of Mahinda Rajapaksa who had been his god when in power but whose icon he had remorselessly thrown out of his shrine the instant he became an asura in defeat? Today as the former president squats at the official residence of the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa or spends his days at his own home in Medamula, no doubt his thought maybe straying to the strange ways of men and the Medamula Doctrine’s fatal assumption that all men possessed a conscience and could be depended on to stay the course even when the incentives ran out.
In his pensive mood he would recall the praises Dayasiri had showered on him. Dayasiri had referred to him as the man with personality, who even when he flies sky high in his helicopter, the masses on the ground raise their hands and cry out. Dayasiri had painted him as the man who made Lanka great, the president who had taught the nation to respect to the national flag and stand in respect when the national anthem was sung.
Furthermore Dayasiri had mentioned that there was an era when the nation used to say good morning, goodnight and God bless you when addressing another on the phone. Dayasiri had stated that he Mahinda Rajapaksa had changed all that and taught the nation to say ‘Budu Saranai’, Devi pihitai’ and Allah ge pihitai’.
But as the former president would note, that was when he Mahinda was the uncrowned king and all the perks and privileges were his to offer. Now that the power had shifted, Dayasiri had made a dash to serenade Maithri even before he had found the time to change his mourning clothes. Was the man schizophrenic? Did sycophancy and treachery walk hand in hand in his breast?
And what of the masses who were in the gallery to which Dayasiri played his pipe. A few who may have fallen for his cheap patter and decided to vote for Mahinda would have been rudely awoken on the 12th morning to discover to their chagrin that the very man at whose behest they had voted for the defeated Mahinda, had, instead of staying loyal and sharing their collective disappointment, changed his chorus to sing allegiance to the winner Maithri.
This week people in Kurunegala took to the streets in protest of any attempt by the Government to tolerate Dayasiri Jayasekera in the new government. MP Wasantha Senanayake who crossed over to the UNP even before Maithripala announced his candidature, too, warned the Government not to take those who had eaten their fill under the Rajapaksa regime and who now wished to continue their gluttony in the Maithri era by hook or by crook.
Even as Maithripala Sirisena strives to establish a clean government, he should also be extremely cautious of the character and calibre of men he hand picks to be in the new SLFP which he leads now. He would no doubt be mindful, when approving nominations to party members to contest the forthcoming general elections, that there is no substitute for honesty and principled conduct. Notoriety mistaken for popularity gained by cheap reprehensible behaviour by many SLFP politicians had earned his predecessor Rajapaksa the people’s opprobrium for not straining a sinew to stamp down on the pestilence.
Now with the maggots crawling out of the Rajapaksa deadwood and arriving at his door, he should take due note that the people did not vote for a genuine change to find that the new mansion of good governance is infested again with the same scum they thought they would be getting rid of for good by voting for the immaculate swan.
Certainly it will be a difficult task but the sifting to eliminate the weevils must be done. For seasoned politician and now president Maithripala Sirisena, last week’s nauseous ‘vasi patthata hoiya’ or ‘hallelujah to the winning side’ repugnant behaviour Dayasiri displayed will be one more notch in his presidential black book and serve as an outstanding example of the quality and moral character of unscrupulous men who, after using their foul tongues to traduce his good name in the bog of excreta when the odds were against him now, when his star has dawned, use their self same tongues to lick the ground he walks on.