Friday, was an efficient and devoted employee, of Robinson Crusoe, later known as Man Friday, an especially faithful or one’s best servant or right-hand man.
In recent weeks Maithripala Sirisena emerged more as Friday’s Man than the Man Friday, he was meant to be serving the people of this country, the job he was elected for.
Friday is Sirisena’s game day with governance and the Constitution. The Friday Game or ‘Sikuraada Keliya” is what people watch out with fear and dismay – what will he do with the basic concepts of governance? What more can he do about blundering with the Constitution?
Way back in January 2015, when the people elected him to serve them, there was little known about his gamesmanship, or that of inequity and unfairness. He was a wholly silent Cabinet Minister for nearly a decade, serving the Rajapaksa Regime, in the servitude that was more that of a slave than a devoted employee.
Presented to the people as the Common Candidate for the service of democracy and good governance, he kept talking about how bad the Rajapaksas had been to him, and how much he had feared being put six or eight feet down by his former master if he lost. The rest is regretful history.
The people defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa, hurrah!
They were fooled into believing Sirisena would be their Man Friday in the service of democracy and good governance. The name ‘Yahapalanaya’ also came into use. He even promised to abolish the Executive Presidency – much more forcefully than Rajapaksa did over a decade.
But that was more than three years ago. We are now caught in the travail of crooked politics of the Friday Special variety.
A prime minister is suddenly thrust upon the people, who never asked for such a sudden or personality change. Had this Sikuraada Sirisena forgotten that his choice was the one whom the people defeated, in what was seen as a crooked and dirty presidency? Did he have a memory lapse of such magnitude as to forget that his choice for prime Minister was the man he defeated (for the people) as president, trying to run for a third term?
What we have now is not anyone with ‘sikuru’ or Venus blessings, but a Senasuru Sirisena with all the stuff of the terrible Saturn. He is piling the travails of a ‘senasuru apalaya’ on the people who believed they had kept all that behind with the defeat of the Rajapaksas.
We could feel relaxed if all this is playing out amidst the stars or planets. But that is not the truth. The people are caught in this politics of Saturn evil. We saw it emerge in the appointment of a new Chairman as the national carrier. A man whose fraud and corruption was piled high before the Presidential Commission currently probing irregularities at that airline. Is it possible Sirisena did not know of all that evidence? Nonsense. Is it also possible that Mahinda Rajapaksa also knew nothing about such fraud? Again, nonsense. It all took place when this man was CEO and Rajapaksa’s brother-in-law was the Chairman of SriLankan. What more do we need to know about the crooked trend of the new Sirisena-Rajapaksa line-up?
Parliament has been turned into a battlefield with fists, feet and sharp objects, too. It has been taken away from the battlefield of words, of learned and good debate. The Sirisena-Rajapaksa team is threatening parliament with minority rule. It is pushing for a change in the parliamentary process, to be one of the minority rule, beyond majority dominance.
Sirisena has suddenly become the patron of dissolution. He is the great sponsor of a general election. He suddenly believes in the importance of the people’s voice. Just remember that it was the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe Yahapalana Team that postponed Local Government polls for two years, until the laws for these polls were crudely distorted; and they hugely lost the polls. This is the same team that has delayed the elections to six provincial councils. Could Sirisena be closer to democracy when there is a separation from Wickremesinghe? Tell me another.
What about all those much-delayed cases now getting lined up at the Trials-at-Bar, involving members of the Rajapaksa Family, and the close catchers in the Rajapaksa Team? What of the probes into the UPFA members, elected and crept into parliament, that have been kept down by Sirisena fiats in the past three years? Will Rajapaksa want the cases and probes against his kith and kin to continue? Will they not be considered family affairs?
These are the questions of the Sirisena-Rajapaksa team in the new game of democracy. It is in fact the reality of Demonocracy that the Sirisena Yahapalanaya has paved the way for. He is no Man Friday to the people. It is the Friday Curse to the nation.