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Only Mahinda Rajapaksa matters in his ‘hangers on’ govt of self-seeking ‘yes’ men

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by S. L. Gunasekara

There was a time, not too long ago when even a relatively small increase in prices led to consternation among the public. Thus, an increase of even 10 cents in the price of a gallon [not litre] of petrol; or of 2 or 3 cents in the price of a cigarette made the people throw up their hands in collective horror and seek to cut down on purchases of such commodities.

President Rajapaksa at the opening of the sluice gates of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project-May 6, 2012-pic by Sudath Silva-courtesy: Infolanka.com

Accordingly, an increase in the price of petrol led to there being fewer cars on the road, while an increase in the price of cigarettes led to smokers endeavouring, with some success at the start, to cut down on their smoking.

However, Sri Lankans being Sri Lankans, none of these counter measures lasted long and the people having become used to the price increases, went back to their usual patterns of consumption.

Today, however, things are different, and the people who have become virtually anaesthetized by frequent price increases by successive governments which now increase them not by a few cents but by varying sums of rupees from about Rs 10-15 to Rs. 100 or 150 or more, do not even throw up their hands in collective horror or make even a short-lived effort at consumer resistance. By and large they just ‘grin and bear’ because they have little or no alternative.

While parties in Opposition do protest against the increases in the cost of living, the people are finally intelligent enough to realize that they do so not through any concern for the people, but with unlimited glee to use such tragedies for their political advantage to drum up support for themselves and thereby achieve their goal of getting into their hands, the reins of power so that they may ‘improve’ upon [not cure] the abuses of the present Government for their own betterment.

Mahinda Rajapaksa and his band of ‘hangers on’ who, for want of a better term are known as a ‘Government’ must realize that while the People have supported them repeatedly and will probably continue to do so, because they realize that the wholly insincere and power hungry alternatives to Rajapaksa and his ‘hangers on’, are immeasurably worse than they, the time may well come when they may well feel that ‘enough is enough’ and that they want to see an end to the uncaring arrogance of the present set of buffoons even while knowing that the buffoons who replace them will be far worse.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, for it is only he who matters in his purported government of self-seeking ‘yes men’, must realize even now that while the people are highly appreciative of the exemplary leadership he gave the country while military operations against that gang of criminals called the LTTE was ‘on’, they also realize that his purported ‘leadership’ since then has been less, far less, than pathetic. He must not, he cannot, therefore, take their support for granted but set about giving the country the same type of resolute leadership he gave it from 2005 to the 19th May 2009.

He then worked to a well thought-out and cohesive plan to defeat terrorism and restore peace in our land. Today, we see no such plan, only a series of ad hoc decisions some of which are contradictory of others taken in the same field. How else is it that with hunger and malnutrition being rife in our land, we find primary producers of food, the farmers, destroying their produce and pouring thousands of litres of milk on the streets?

The bureaucrats supposedly responsible for planning must be held accountable for this tragic state of affairs; but how can they, when that wholly obnoxious multitude of unemployables called ministers give them no latitude, and he who says, “No Minister” is often cast into ‘outer darkness’.

Let us not forget that we live today, in the ‘AGE OF THE SYCOPHANT’ , where criticism, however honest or justifiable, is taken as hostility or treachery; while fawning sycophancy however patently insincere, and boot ‘licking’ or ‘kissing’, as ‘loyalty’ or ‘competence’ is welcomed and rewarded as such. To me, this situation is all the more appalling when it happens in the regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who once displayed to me, his total contempt for such ‘lickers’ and other sycophants by categorizing them as “DIVAKARAS”!

The foreigners, particularly of the ‘Rapacious West’ and India, clamour for ‘accountability’ in respect of the conduct of our troops in the last stages of what they term the ‘war’, but was in fact a campaign of military operations to put an end to the terrorism and violations of human rights that were being committed with total impunity by that gang of unrepentant criminals called the LTTE.

However, not one of them, nor even the general populace of Sri Lanka call for ‘accountability’ for the criminal waste and attendant increases in the cost of living that has now become an ‘every day feature’ in our lives.

The people of our land have been ready, able and willing to bear up hardship and make sacrifices for the country where it is necessary to do so. They proved this by their admirable restraint and their refusal to engage in strikes or ‘agitations’ which would necessarily have impeded the ‘war’ effort, when they realized that the government or rather Mahinda Rajapaksa [with the others of his so called ‘Government’ ‘tagging along’] was sincerely engaged in a sincere and cohesive endeavour to rid this Country of the scourge of terrorism.

They will doubtless have that same willingness if they see a sincere and cohesive effort being made to cut down on waste and corruption and contain the ever escalating cost of living. Such an effort is not there to be seen by anybody who has ‘eyes’ and a ‘willingness’ to see.

Certainly I, who supported Mahinda Rajapaksa and his gang of ‘hangers on’ euphemistically called a ‘Government’ in 2005 and 2010, and will probably continue to do so because of the tragic lack of a credible alternative, do not see any such effort being made.

What steps have been taken to give the primary producer, the farmer, a fair price for his produce? What is the purpose of engaging in campaigns with ‘catchy’ titles to encourage production when the producer is left ‘high and dry’ after he has produced? Why has no minister been taken to task for his ineptitude which we see in such abundance?

What steps have been taken to even curb waste and corruption? The ‘Bribery Commission’ has no doubt been re-activated. However, even that vital Commission is still a home for veritable ‘geriatrics’ who have retired from their regular employment after reaching retiring age and are hence officially regarded as being too old or unfit by reason of age to continue to function in their respective posts. How then can such retirees be considered young enough to perform the functions of that vital Commission?

What degree of independence has been given to that Commission, which is dependent entirely on the government for its investigating staff who are seconded from the Police Force? Has any effort been made to date to investigate the assets and life styles of the ministers and their ‘hangers on’ to determine whether they could have acquired such assets and adopted their current life styles from their legitimate incomes?

While the people suffer from the intolerable increases in the cost of living, they see the criminal waste of their funds on the ostentatious life-styles of the ministers and other favorites of the President and/or his Government. Ministers go about the streets with numerous vehicles packed with ‘security officers’ escorting them even today, three years after terrorism has been eradicated.

There can be no gainsaying the fact that such security is afforded to these functionaries not because of a realistic need for it but as a ‘status symbol’ to sustain their bloated egos. The wages, allowances etc. of those security officers, the cost and running costs of those vehicles are borne by the long suffering people who have to sacrifice and pay for this tomfoolery.

Expenditure on foreign travel for ministers, officials and other functionaries who have found favour with the President and/or his government appears to have no limit. Each purported delegation that departs our shores for any official or purportedly official purpose is full and overflowing with such favourites. Whenever the President goes abroad, whether to visit the Pope or to address the United Nations, he takes with him a multitude of ‘hangers on’.

Over 150 such persons are alleged to have gone to Queensland to make an (fortunately for the Country) unsuccessful attempt to have an Athletics Meet staged in Hambantota; our ‘delegation’ to the recently concluded session of the HRC in Geneva is said to have been 71, though judging from newspaper reports, the only person there who made a useful contribution was our Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam who, according to news reports, is to be removed from her post! This proves once more the tragic fact that it is dangerous to be competent and committed to one’s duties.

As I have said before, It would, indeed be useful to do a study of the quantum of public funds expended on each member of each such ‘delegation’ and assess the respective values of the services [if any] rendered by each of them to the country by being members of such delegations. The difference between such figures would necessarily constitute the quantum of the criminal waste of funds of the people to enable favourites of the President and/or his government to engage in expensive pleasure jaunts to foreign countries. Should not the long arm of ‘accountability’ extend to such matters?

Not so strangely, the parties in Opposition, besides making a periodic token reference to these matters, have never made an issue of them. I say not so strangely because the reason for this ‘reticence’ on their part is doubtless their desire to repeat or even ‘improve’ upon these abuses in the event of their achieving their ‘burning ambitions’ to achieve ‘power’ or in other words to fleece the People some more for their benefit. That old Sinhala saying “EKA VALLE POL” necessarily comes to mind.

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26 Comments

  1. I very much admire Mr. S.L. Gunasekara’s courage to say a Spade a Spade. As we know that the Evil will triumph when good men keep silent. The country is very thankful to Rajapaksha government for elimination of the LTTE. But cannot allow them to rob the country and bankrupt it. Financial scandals of mega scale are continuing; MihinAir, Hedging, Pumping EPF money into loss-making Share Market and now trying to rob the National Savings Bank by purchasing loss making The Finance Company shares at a very high price. We can’t allow this to continue. Honorable people like you need to act and enlighten the general public in order to safe guard the country’s economy.

  2. S. L Gunasekara is indeed correct. This is very much a government of 1, plus 3 brothers, with hangers-on, riff-raff, yes-men, wastrels and criminals.

    The general populace’s apathy is by no means due to gratefulness of bringing the war to an end, but with the realisation that the opposition is a less than credible alternative.

    I can honestly say I have never see such a corrupt, incompetent and mediocre set of individuals in power.

    However I am in a bit of a quandry, why we have reached this sorry state of affair –

    1. did MR concentrate power and all the ministries in his, and his brothers hands because he recognised the general uselessness of his ministers or

    2. have his ministers become incapable of displaying their competence or even making a simple decision (such as the justice minister with the dambulla handling and waiting for ‘MR to come back home’) due to execessive interference and micromanagement by MR?

    3. He has lost control of some of his favoured goons/ministers, who in turn have interfered in all aspects of civil governence and law enforcement, and are not allowing them to perform their roles. Those that do, get villified.

    I suspect it is a combination of all 3 in varying degrees.

    Either way it is pretty damning – Get rid of MR or he gets rid of his ministers etc. or get rid of the whole cabal and elect a useless oppostion into power?

    But something has to give. We cannot continue to go on this way as a country.

  3. Dear Mr. S. L Gunasekara,
    Thank you for this.
    You must now lead the Sinhala masses to fight against economic crime in Lanka and start by calling for the interdiction of Mr. Nivard Cabraal the so-called Governor of the Central Bank and the reduction of the current jumbo cabinet to 20 Ministers. who have appropriate qualifications to develop their portfolio sectors. Cabraal must be investigated and a case of economic crime and negligence brought against him in the public interest.
    Cabraal is responsible for the Commonwealth Games bid and huge waste of public funds with impunity, the enormous national debt due to criminal negligence, lying and manipulation of GDP, FDI and poverty figures and bad policies, which has resulted in crash of the rupee and rising cost of living given rupee depreciation. Cabraal’s bank accounts should be frozen too.
    I have personally lost my hard earned dollar retirement income due to Nivard Cabraal’s currency manipulation last year. In Finland the former Prime Minister was recently charged for economic crime and criminal negligence for the crash of the Banking sector and currency depreciation in that county. Mahinda Rajapakse is also responsible for appointing Cabraal and for his jumbo and incompeant cabinet of goons, fools, criminals and geriatic leftists.

  4. Being a tamil who comes from Up country, I have known him as a person, who dislike us, but I knew he was a patriotic, thouh he disliked estate tamils, But I must say, that I agree,with him of all those issues, he has raised in this article.

    Friend of mine told a story, that there is a tamil family of Jaffna, who lives in Oslo, in 2008, 2009 when tamils there were theretned by the tigers not to attend independene day faunction organized by the embassy, this tamil family atedned it, not only that their children, pereformed bahrata natyam dance, despite ltte threat in Oslo, directed towards this family, they still perfom all the functions of the embassy,

    Now come the hard part of the story, this familys close relative is arrestd by the TDI, for no reason in Colombo, after having checked his backround they find nothing, despite this TDI wil not release him, unless some amount is paid, since they have come to know that peron under arrest has relative in Olso, TDI want to milk him, what can we say abut this

  5. I cannot believe how Sri Lankans provide excuses for mahinda mama and blame everyone else.

    Surely, ultimate responsibility lies with Mahinda?

    Its not Mervin who is to blame, its Mahinda.

    These people do not seem to understand that everything around Mahinda, including the hangers on, are there because of Mahinda and because he nurtures them and in true machiavellian style to puts on a show to blame to hangers on, so as to convince the SL type that he is a poor innocent flower petal, surrounded by these blagards.

    And SL says “exemplary leadership he gave the country while military operations”

    It was so exemplary that its landed Sri Lanka on a UN resolution?

    All mahinda did was to settle the dispute by taking the kaththa, going next door and butchering all the neighbours, to keep his tribe happy.

  6. The purpose of the present Govt. has exhausted and it is unable to govern the country as a Government should do. The British rightly thought that the purpose of Sir Winston Churchill ended with the end of the second world war and chose a new leader and Govt. Of course the alternate to the present Govt. available in the polity of Sri Lanka is no better. Yet, it is not that there are no hopeful alternatives. The Arab Spring is an example. Let the people of Sri Lanka take the clue from it.

  7. Many do not feel yet that the Country is at a bloody stand still as the engine of growth has come to a grind halt..Mr.S.L.Gunesekera laments at the lack of cohesion among the opposition parties and the People of the Country to rally against a GANG OF HANGERS called a Govt that move with arrogance, waste & corruption followed by impunity….who could bring this bedtime story or the fairy tale to reality..in this country ?

    Today all whom we have in this Country are OKKOMA RAJAWARU..in all the aspects..take Religion..culture.. Arts..Cinema…Defence/UDA..Media…Central Bank.. Energy..then personalities such as Dr.Anatha Silva.. Gu Amerasekera..Action Jackson..Somey & Renu..Gulley Anawansa..Powder Ravi…Omalpe..Ellawala…Uduwe, Pitiduwey & ..list is too long… but it is hilarious.. none of them know that they are only a set of stinking ..kings.

    Then ..kings in all electorates but all powerful are in Kelaniya..Kaduwela…Nawalapitiya. N’Eliya..Matale.. Polonnaruwa…Gampola..Kandy..Galle..Matara. etc., apart from Duminda Silva…Siblings who are a law unto them..look at the closure of Roads for Night Races in Colombo / Kandy disregarding the Mahanayake Thero’s request..army Police were deployed as if the most important event of the Country….

    They all issue statements after statements to safeguard the image of the President…but none speak for the helpless..look at the plight of the farmers both Veg & Paddy..look at the cost of living..

    Just look at Dambulla incident as an example..the Thero says his struggle is to safeguard the 2,300 years old Buddhism in the Country…!!!The President says he eradicated Terrorism to safe guard the territorial integrity of the Country..Hi..Hee..the pictures said the way the Law enforcement Officers, our Heroes,were maintaining Law & order!!! WHO IS THE PRESIDENT…. ..Manhinda Rajapakse or the Thero..?..people expressed the shock & horror who tolerated silently thousands of such acts over the past 7 years in the name of the WAR…and fears of another bloodshed.

    Who do they think they are to mobilize innocent people on racial or religious prejudices…none of the ..kings issued any statement against the Inamaluwe Theo….

    Ordinary citizens who put this “gang of hangers” called Govt in power..are subjected to this SERVILITY.. reminding of a sewer.

    Now why they feel that way..?

    The President of the Country is entrusted with all Powerful Constitution that only cannot make man a woman viz-a-viz…they were accusing late President JRJ that he was ruining the Country…Now MR is frozen with it.. it is only used to suit his objectives…he made the 18th Amendment received 2/3 approval of parliament.. shutting the door for the others to be the Presidents as long as he is alive..fearless!!…but he is unable to use it to discipline constituents…that sole duty is given to the voters..because of his fear of losing the Majority in the Parliament if punished…that will make him also in turn sinks in turn…so all what he does is ..make those who make him happy..happier… they also knows that they will any way all sink together

    This attitude is not EKA WALLEY POL but called ….. ….. gena …. ….. …nawa

  8. Isn’t it the duty and the responsibility of the Opposition to highlight and point out these short comings to the public and win their confidence and the support to topple the regime, if it is that bad?.

    Shouldn’t the Opposition carry out a mass campaign to convince the Public that they have the right ,pragmatic and realistic Policies that can eliminate curruption, and the other nasties that the writer has highlighted.

    Shouldn’t the Opposition put on parade their arsennel of talent and explain to the public in clear terms ,that they have the knowledge, the experience and above all the inntegrity, especially if the pulic is longing to get rid of this corruption that the writer is on about.

    Isn’t it the only way inhabitants can help the Opposition to make regime change by voting theOpposition into power ?.

    Has the Opposition for the last three years shown any signs of gaining ground on these issues?.

    Or does this writer also want a quick fix by some external intervention to get rid of this regime?.

    By the way if it is that bad, how come even the ILO has ticked off all the boxes in their latest report on Mother Lanka?.

  9. The plight of the State & Governance is due to lacadasical attitude of SL
    intellengtisa. The writer is blaming the opposition leader whilst not be
    supportive of the statments the UNP makes from time to time.

    Most importantly, look at what the Mahanayakes do in regard to matters
    of public importance – Nothing!!

  10. I am not just in full agreement with SLG but of late visualized things exactly in the same line.

    We have to understand though MR is a political animal. He has to be for he had seen Sri Lanka politics for real. Remember, when Premadasa put restrictions on MPs that poked their nose into everything and sundry and tried to bring order, he had upset powerful set of MPs and Ministers, the predicament he faced thereafter is no joke. So, first and foremost, MR knows he has to hang-on to power by hook or by crook. And that is what Mahathir did and what MR is doing.

    Even in a primary court, the Judge is like the God. We are forced to keep our mouths shut, listen to arguments and accept the judgement. MR is no fool, he knows that he is no God and cannot control people or his MPs or his Ministers like that dictatorial judge in his court.

    How could he; in this modern day, news get round very quick, he cannot have undated letters of resignations from MPs like the old fox JRJ had. Ass freedom is such; he has to let hierarchies of his multicoloured swap shop to choose their own candidates to face elections. If he chooses electoral organisers to his fancy he will be called a dictator and swap shop would disintegrate. And we the voters elect types of Dr. Mervin as MPs and compel MR to use them as his helping hands. We chose the worst of the kind and expect MR to tame them. Is it fair?

    Like it or not, MR has to keep his ship sailing with a bunch of egoistic ‘unemployables’ we send him as officers. Imagine the task of sailing the ship with assortment of idiots as officers. Every one of them wants to be the first officer. Being geriatric or having a gift of the gab seems to be the qualification for the job. If not appointed at least as an officer in charge, they get ready for a revolt. MR knows their capacity but he has no choice. So he put most of them in charge of some janitorial dept. Most of them cannot even manage that. Understandably ‘unemployables’ are not happy. No wonder MR offers all types alms ‘dola-pedeni’ to hype them up.

    When the ship gets in to stormy waters as we are now heading, MR knows that opportunistic idiots will sway and he would have to take the blame. Perhaps that’s why he put his capable brothers where that matters and hopes for the best.

  11. Agreed ….agreed…The whole pack in the government has taken Mahinda Rajapaksha for a “JOKE”….and that”s it… utter Joke where anyone can do anything and get away…even in a local school there is punishment for miscreants…

    if only Mahinda knows the gravity of his problem….I sinceley wish….a once great man who took the country to a great height is taking the entire nation to the grave and sadly

    he can set the records straight but for some reason unknown he keeps mum……..

    and it should also mentioned in the same breath…that these “jokers’ who joke with the president is CAREFUL enough not to do the same with the secreatary defence………

  12. It seems HE President intends to appoint a number of Deputy Ministers, including his Prince. All Sri Lanka needs is a spark.

  13. Dinuk is correct.

    The Central Bank govenor must be held accountable and interdicted for financial crime and negligence. There is a clear cut case against Nivard Cabraal on the Hambanatota Commonwealth Games bid which if it has been won would have bankrupt Sri lanka. Cabraal must be held accountable and charged for the massive waste of funds on a project which would have destroyed the national economy.

    A huge amount of construction would have been required in Hambantota a place with less than half a million people which could not sustain the infrastructure built for the Commonwealth Games. India built its commonwealth games village in Delhi a city with 13 million people.

    Also, Mihin Airlines must be shut down or merged with Sri Lannkan Airlines and both down sized. India’s aviation minister has just said that Air India should be shut down and the government should not be running air lines!

  14. This is very well written.

    All people with an ounce of intelligence and commonsense have the same sentiments as the writer.

    But will the there be any change in this corrupt system? I read a news that there will be some more deputy ministers appointed. For whose benefit are these ministers & the deputies???
    ——————–

    ‘While the people suffer from the intolerable increases in the cost of living, they see the criminal waste of their funds on the ostentatious life-styles of the ministers and other favorites of the President and/or his Government. Ministers go about the streets with numerous vehicles packed with ‘security officers’ escorting them even today, three years after terrorism has been eradicated.’

    ————————

    Yes this is how the common man in the street truly feel. Also they know that by changing MPs they elect will not change the behavior or the corrupt system. This has been going on for past 40 yrs or so… We see it only getting worse.

    When will this greedy dehapaluwas leave this country at peace ?? Who can take control of the situation for the common good of our people and the future of this country?? No one in the horizon I’m afraid.

  15. The rot starts with racism. When it becomes OK to mistreat a minority, then the line from there to the ‘abuse of power’ becomes straight and short. The same methods used to ‘fix’ the minorities becomes the methods used to fix the ‘know it all intellectuals’. This is the ‘AGE OF YOU GET WHO YOU VOTE FOR’. Sycophancy is just a symptom.

  16. Wish SLG’s article can be translated in to Sinhala. As the masses are exposed to the state patronised media that dont see the reality. What they see is “Ape jandhipathi ratata karana honda”

  17. Wish SLG’s article is translated and published in the vernacular media. Because the masses dont have the opporunity of reading such reality. They’re only exposed the the state sponsored idiot box that bombard them with “ape janadhipathi ratata karana honda”

  18. To realise that syncophancy is wrong once you have abided by it and caused the damage is still a crime.

    SL you will be held responsible for what you have done in supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa, no amout of rhetoric aimed at receiving absolution is going to work.

    Retribution and above all JUSTICE is on the way……your days are numbered.

  19. Those who blindly support rulers are, perhaps now, now beginning to realise the value of accountability.

    Unless rulers are held to account they tend to end up preying on their subjects. The rulers have been given a carte blanche and it is now too late to bolt the stable door, so there is plenty more hardship to come.

    Those who have rose tinged images of “developing like Singapore” would be best served if they understood what underpinned their success: the rule of law, no corruption and an independent civil service.

    People get the Government they deserve.

  20. What’s the problem here ? Mahinda has the cake and eats it, no ?

    SL, may you be born again a Tamil in the Vanni.

  21. I accept every thing he has stated except that his continuity to support this corrupt regime in the absence of an alternative. How can he support a regime who takes away the freedom of people who abduct people like a common thug?

  22. Dear Premaraj T.

    Being a tamil who comes from Up country, I have known him as a person, who dislike us, but I knew he was a patriotic, thouh he disliked estate tamils

    I like Upcountry Tamils.

  23. the funny thing is, even a strong opposition in the form of a revitalized unp will not be able to handle the kind of situation this country has come to, not without facing a lot of problems from the nationalist crowd, which MR himself is losing control over. One could argue that these factions exist BECAUSE of state support, but one can also argue that support for them exists at higher levels because the group is vocal and influential. Whatever the case may be, its going to interesting (in a purely observatory sense) to see how the morass of economic, diplomatic and ethnic issues will be dealt by this govt. or whatever follows. May God and the Triple Gem bless ’em; they have their work cut out dragging us out of this hellhole we’ve created for ourselves…

  24. Just one question SLG: Exactly how much towards this mess have you and your politicial ideology contributed?

  25. It is possible that only a very few of the many who should read and digest, would understand SLG’s contribution above. So much for the pathetic levels of literacy down Diyawanna way.

    It is also possible that of the few who may be able to read english and understand it among those in that locality, will agree with it.

    After all, you dont expect miscreants to agree they are miscreants.

    However SLG has failed to mention an important aspect in this article. It is the protection and the abysmal ‘blind eye’ technique afforded to criminal elements among the ‘hangers on’ which – if he had mentioned and denounced with equal vehemence – would have made it an altogether more well rounded article. Further, he has failed to mention what the JHU – which he pioneered – has contributed towards stalling most of these ills. The question is: Is the JHU reduced to a state of ‘grin and bear’ or worse, reduced to pathetically covering up all ills for the sake of the ‘side’?

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