When the carcass of our polity is sprawled across the landscape of the country, when the carcass is well beyond recognition, when its heart has stopped beating, its nerves ceased to twitch and its blood has hardened so much so that it’s no redder, but eerily crimson, we know that the predators have done the job. Fortunately we have not arrived at that burial ground as yet. The heart of Sri Lanka’s polity is still beating; its nervous system is intact and its blood still redder than ever. The Joint Opposition that is parading our streets and feeding a starving media with delusional tidbits of political character-assassination is made up of the Rajapaksa family and other parliamentarians who contested the last General Election on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ticket. They were the ones who opposed Maithripala Sirisena’s Presidential bid on January 8, 2015. They were the ones who backed Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid for an unprecedented third term Presidency.
What is the common tie between the Rajapaksas and these other political hoods who have opted to stand behind Mahinda Rajapaksa and his blatantly deep corrupt practices? I have written about this before and have no hesitation in writing again and again, even to the utter boredom of the reader. They are the comrades-in-arms (or more aptly, comrades-in-‘alms’) of the Rajapaksas when they had the coffer-keys. Make no mistake. It’s all about the money. From power they got the keys to coffers and after that it was always money, money, money. With that money they entertained their friends; with that money they had unlimited luxuries; with that money they acquired cars and houses and girlfriends and boyfriends. All decipherable signs of moral decay were present; all tangible results of avarice were in evidence; all nuanced cryptograms of sloganeering were abundant. Yet the majority in the country refused to see. They refused to look at them, for they did not want to see what lay beneath the veneer.
It is quite natural for any victim of any crime or misdemeanor to confront the truth. That is a human condition and we find that in abundance in everyday lives of many men and women. For what reason or excuse, I’m not qualified to reason out. Yet its corrosive presence, one simply cannot dispute. This is the gullibility political sharks of a yester-regime exploited to the hilt. The gullibility of the masses was shown when the Rajapaksas declared that they were ready to go to the ‘electric chair’ to safeguard the ‘honor’ of the brave soldiers who fell on the battlefield. The phony patriotism of Rajapaksa and his henchmen is exposed as nothing but phony. But patriotism, if craftily sloganeered and presented as justifiable and gut-wrenching as the Rajapaksa cronies were capable of portraying, it is really dreadful. It has been recorded in many an international fora and has been debated whether the subject of patriotism defined in a narrow context of local politics is valid and whether that patriotism offers a blanket assurance of insulation from the international audience seeking justice and fairness to all people living in the world, as a majority or a minority. Such nuanced arguments are a way beyond these pathetic, uninformed merchants of corruption and nepotism.
The May Day show has understandably given Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cohorts a false sense of hope; it has given them a massive ego-push that the crowd that gathered on the Galle face green came on their own volition. If one is offered a bottle of arak and a packet of rice and curry and free transport, of course, who is going to refuse that on a national holiday? The enormous wealth that the last regime made via various deals is coming out now. In 1960 and 1970 the United National Party (UNP) managed to gather massive crowds for their May Day rallies. On both occasions the UNP lost at the Elections. This delusional madness of the Rajapaksas and their supporters would eventually have its infectious effect claiming not only their immediate staff and cohorts, but will trickle down to the broad masses that rally around him and his failed policies of phony patriotism and groundless and unproven love for them.