Mr. Johnston Fernando says he did not throw the Bible during last Friday’s violent session of Parliament. He also says he is one who respects the religion, and would not do such things. Makes one think that this talk of Bible throwing by him is only an ‘Opinion’, which is very important these days, by those of the UNP who are opposed to him.
Whatever we think of Bible throwing by him or any other wild politician, what is interesting is to know whether he thinks that throwing a chair at a rival MP or a policeman is part of the religion he respects, whether learnt from the Bible or not? Just for the record, I will reproduce the caption of the photograph published in the international press, credit to Reuters/Stringer: Parliament member Johnston Fernando, who is backing newly appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, throws a chair at police. It looks like chair throwing at people, and possibly even chilli powder-water throwing in parliament, is a deeply religious performance by these highly opinionated politicians of today. Amen.
Let’s leave Johnston to his chair throwing religious practices and move to the bigger issues of this political world of Opinion, as opposed to facts and reality. The biggest ‘Opinionist’ in the world today is none other than Maithripala Sirisena, who has moved beyond all political thinkers in the field of anti-democratic thinking and action.
Just now the value of the rupee has depreciated to Rs 180 to the US Dollar, does he have any Opinion as to what this trend means for our people? It’s best not to bother about such opinions.
Going back to the beginning of our democracy, Mr. Lakshman Kiriella of the UNP has said that in parliamentary situations that cannot be resolved by the prevailing Standing Orders, it is required to go by the relevant practices in the UK House of Commons, as said in our Standing Orders. This is not a sporty political opinion. The present ‘government’s Minister of Vocational Training Dayasiri Jayasekera, says that with the Sri Lankan Presidency, there is no need to fall back on the traditions of the British House of Commons. What a wonderful opinion, so much in the Sirisena style.
Does Jayasekera know that the very system of Cabinet Governance we have, comes from the British? Not likely. Does he know that our parliamentary process also comes from the British? Not likely again.
Why don’t we do better than this? We could tell Maithripala Opinion Sirisena to advise the British politicians, who are in the midst of a huge debate on the future of Prime Minister Theresa May on the Brexit issue, to forget all the House of Commons traditions, and follow the latest Opinion trends of the Sri Lankan Parliament. What a great service we would be doing to Democracy!
Last week I said we are in a Demonocracy. I think we can go beyond that and talk about an ‘Opinion’Ocrazy’ as we see the crooked politics of today. This is the opinion or thinking that allows a president who was elected, defeating his former political leader, in a campaign against corruption, and whose plans to run for continued presidencies was stopped by this winning president’s own government, to select and appoint him as the Prime Minister! Is there any Opinion on why all the corruption probes were delayed?
Sirisena thinks his prime ministerial sacking and appointment is in keeping with the constitutional requirement that he “shall appoint as Prime Minister the member of Parliament who, in the President’s opinion is the most likely to command the confidence of Parliament”. That is the high point of Opinion Politics and Governance. But his opinion does not change, when parliament shows twice that the one who commands the confidence of Parliament, is not his choice, but the one whom he removed so shockingly and crookedly.
Was it the same opinion that enabled the transfer of the Officer-in-Charge of CID’s Organized Crime Investigation, Inspector Nishantha Silva, whose transfer was rescinded after increasing protests? Did this transfer come from the Opinion against his leading the investigations into attacks on journalists during the then Rajapaksa government – including the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunga, abduction and killing of Prageeth Eknaligoda, assaults on several others, and the alleged abduction and murder of 11 youth by the Navy?
Was it the prevailing Opinion that such a transfer would help your new political buddy, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in whose period of governance all these attacks and killings took place?
Is there any other prevailing Opinion that steps should be taken soon, to stop and prevent the cases involving members of the Rajapaksa family, and others of the Rajapaksa Team, on several serious acts of corruption and fraud?
Is it wrong to have in our Opinion that you were a member of the Rajapaksa Cabinets of Ministers when all these attacks and corruption took place?
And, what is your Opinion on Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom you defeated in the last presidential polls as being corrupt, promoting you to be ‘his’ candidate in the next presidential poll? Isn’t this the Opinion of crooked politics?
Opinion is hitting us very hard these days. How do we escape the politics and governance of Opinion? How far can Maithripala Opinion Sirisena move in this shaky phase of Opinion…?