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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2706

Pathetic politics of perverted morality

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

Part II

If there is one single index which point to the dismal disorder of our times it can be found in the hired intellectuals, academics and other assorted NGO pundits who wallow in a perverted morality which rejects right as wrong and accepts wrong as right."Beautiful ladies never tell lies. Charming ladies do. You, my dear lady, is charming!""Beautiful ladies never tell lies. Charming ladies do. You, my dear lady, is charming!"

Take, for instance, the supply of food and essential items to the people of Jaffna. The Mahinda Rajapakse government which has been supplying these vital items through whatever route it chooses is wrong. And the Tamil Tigers who are obstructing the supply of food items and creating the humanitarian crisis are right. According to the morality of the NGO-Church-pro-Tiger lobbies, the duty of the government is not only to supply the food items but also to truck it through A9 road - a route exploited by the Tigers to add further burdens in the form of illegal taxes that send the prices shooting through the roof.

Or take the case of the assassination of Nadarajah Raviraj. It is the bounden duty of any state to stretch its resources to the maximum to protect its citizens and since Raviraj never claimed to be a citizen of the non-existent Eelam it was the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka to give him protection. And the government fulfilled its duty to the maximum. The assassins killed both Raviraj and the security guard provided by the state.

Following this terrorist act the partisan agents took to the streets crying that the killings of Tamils should stop. All hands will go up to support this. But what about the Police sergeant who sacrificed his life in protecting the Tamil MP? Does anyone even know his name? There are no tears or flowers for Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwella. Human rights are not applicable to a Sinhalese even if he was committed to protect a Tamil.

Two victims die in one terrorist act. One gets all the protests, the morality and the sympathetic cries. The other is blotted out. On what principles of justice, fairness and morality can Vasudeva Nanayakkara and his "catcher" Nimalka Fernando elevate one human victim over the other? Isn't Sgt. Lokuwella also a human being?

Are these political activists engaged in a moral crusade to enshrine human rights in defence of all human beings or are they cynically manipulating human rights to promote their partisan political agenda? The irony is that the "chauvinistic, Sinhala-dominated, discriminating government" is not only providing protection to Tamil MPs but sacrificing its security forces in fulfilling its duties to the minority Tamils - the endangered species which
is disappearing fast under the swift guillotine coming down from the Killinochchi killing machine.

S. C. Chandrahasan, the son of S. J. V. Chelvanayakam who is now in Chennai, is on record stating that Velupillai Prabhakaran has killed more Tamils than all the other forces put together, including the Indians. But Kumar Rupesinghe, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jehan (Pacha) Perera and that lot have consistently refused to crank up their protests against the killing, incarceration and persecution of the Tamils by Prabhakaran - "the pathological killer", as stated Prof. James Jupp, Australian National University.

Of course, from their point of view there is no political and/or financial gain in protesting against the killing of Sgt. Lokuwella. They are not going to gain any mileage either from their foreign donors or the local media in focusing on the death of Sgt. Lokuwella. He is not even a blimp on their radar screen. They get worked up only if those that generate income for them are affected. Morality, like kissing, goes by favour.

Last but to the least, take the latest interview (Sunday Leader, November 12, 2006). in which Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was featured as the poor victim of a plot hatched by her own party to deprive her of her rights and protection. Throughout her stewardship she was tarred from head to foot mercilessly by Lasantha Wickrematunga, editor of the Sunday Leader. But in the latest interview Lasantha is deliberately attempting to turn the Tar Baby into Snow White.

Does he seriously believe that he can cynically and contemptuously lead his readers by their noses to follow him as he switches his political alliances from one day to another, from one side to another? Does he honestly believe that his current pro-CBK politics is going to win him credibility as a morally trustworthy editor? Or is he callously vomiting his yesterday's politics to eat it today? Tch! Tch!.

CBK too is now ready to cry on his shoulders to regain the rapture of her past which has slipped out of her hands into the Rajapakses. She knows that the Bandaranaike dynasty has come to a dead end. She is so frustrated with this loss that she is swearing to write a
book attacking the Rajapakses. She tells Lasantha: "I am going to write a socio-political analysis of the Rajapakse family's attitude towards the Bandaranaike's as a political scientist. I have been agonizing trying to understand Mahinda's hatred of me."

To begin with, is this vindictive theme of trying to get even the Rajapakses worthy of any political scientist? Wouldn't it be more productive for her to present the Bandaranaike phenomenon from the Bandaranaike point of view? Isn't she the most qualified person to present a ringside view of Bandaranaike politics beginning from the Bandaranaike beginnings? Her father, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike has been vilified by her own coterie of Marxist and Westernised political allies. To use one of her favourite phrases, is her mouth stuffed with pittu when it comes to defending her father? As the greatest beneficiary of her father's political heritage she has more than a filial duty to defend her father?

Isn't it better to defend her father rather than attack the Rajapakses? Is she ever capable of getting her priorities right?

Throughout the interview CBK spits venom at the Rajapakses. She speaks as if she was born to rule and it was through the grace of this Horagolla Walauwe hamuduruwo that Mahinda Rajapakse and the other party loyalists got their place in her Cabinet.

Read this Q & A as a sample of her Marie Antoinette approach to looking after the lesser mortals.

Q: Do you feel that it is the case because they fear that you will make a comeback to politics?

A: God only knows. Being a political analyst, I try to understand and analyse situations. I have done no harm to Mahinda. He created huge trouble in the SLFP in the 1980s opposing my mother's leadership - which kept the party out of power for 17 years. Mahinda was only an MP until I led the PA to power in 1994. I gave a cabinet ministry to His Excellency.

There is neither political analysis nor factual accuracy in this grossly distorted version of events. Assuming that Mahinda Rajapakse did oppose Mrs. Bandaranaike he was perfectly within his rights to do so because there is nothing in the SLFP constitution to say that a member cannot oppose a party leadership or policy as long it is done within the framework of the party.

The political crime is in leaving the party founded by the parents to join another party or to form a new opposed to the SLFP. CBK is guilty of the crime of leaving the party, forming another party with her husband, attacking and weakening the SLFP led by her mother and generally keeping the SLFP in the wilderness.

Mahinda Rajapakse never left the party. It was stalwarts like him who faced the brunt of the political forces ranged against the SLFP and held the party together for her to return from her shopping sprees in London to take over the leadership. CBK didn't return to
her moribund party, SLMP because there was nothing left of that party to return. She returned to the SLFP because Mahinda Rajapakse and his fellow-workers kept the party going.

She speaks boastfully as if she is the architect of the victory that brought the PA into power in 1994. If she is such a mighty political force could she have led her dysfunctional SLMP into victory in 1994? She succeeded because the backbone of the party, consisting of the Rajapakses and other hard-working party loyalists, was there to give her the organisational power, moral support and the finances to win. No doubt, the combination of the party power and the Bandaranaike name (pitted against a weak UNP candidate) led to her victory in 1994. But for her to claim the victory as her work alone is nothing but egotistic baloney.

Besides, this "political scientist" has lost sight of the known fact that Mahinda Rajapakse won the last presidential race without the full backing of the incumbent President and to some extent even the SLFP party machine. CBK had even signed a secret MoU with Ranil Wickremesinghe in which she cut a deal to undercut Mahinda Rajapakse. If she can't get these basic facts right what kind of "political analysis" is she going to produce when she writes her magnum opus?

Of course, she's right when she claims that she made Mahinda Rajapakse a minister. But isn't this the kind of watti amma remark that drags her down to low depths? Rajapakse had earned it through seniority and sheer dint of his services rendered to the party. It was not her family property to distribute ministerial positions as favours. It was her duty to give the job to the person whom she thought was the best and, if she gave the job as a favour, then she is guilty of cronyism.

Consider also this piece of wisdom offered to the President Mahinda Rajapakse: "I said the (north-south) question cannot be resolved militarily by both sides and that the next time the LTTE will not confine the war to the north and east but bring it to Colombo as
well. Not with arms but with bombs and suicide bombers and I told him to be careful of allowing such a situation to develop."

Either she is suffering from amnesia or she is doing what comes naturally to her - talking through her hat! Has she forgotten that she used to lambaste Ranil Wickremesinghe for letting the Tigers to walk in freely by removing the barriers? And, by the way, when the Tigers bombed her Town Hall meeting, injuring her eye, hadn't the Tigers already come in to the city? When the Tigers targeted her foreign Minister was Mahinda Rajapakse waging a war? In any case, when did the Tigers confine the war to the north and the east? They even took it to India to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi. Does she think that the Tigers will not come to Colombo simply because the government refrains from taking military action?

It will take reams to deal with her contradictions, gaffes and inanities. To keep within the allotted space these comments will be confined to two more statements from her interview.

CBK: "I am very worried about the state of the country, that is all I can say." So she should be because when she left the presidency the country was teetering on the brink of being run over by the Tigers. As Commander-in-Chief of the Forces she abandoned her duty to protect territorial integrity and national sovereignty. She transferred the able generals to diplomatic outposts and surrounded herself with crooks who supplied inferior material to the patriotic soldiers risking their lives to defend her and the nation. Her cronies made money handover fist on arms deals.

She even sold the nation's silver to foreigners. Heaven knows at what price she sold Air Lanka! Her P-TOMS (P for Pacha) was a devious move to enthrone the Tigers as the virtual rulers of the north and the east without any guarantees of laying down arms, entering the democratic stream and restoring normalcy, peace and stability. She grabbed power from Ranil Wickremesinghe accusing him of not protecting the interests of the nation. But when she took over the Ministry of Defence she went back on everything she said about the Tigers advancing to occupy strategic position in Sampur etc., endangering the lives of the Security Forces. In short, the Commander-in-Chief in saree had surrendered to the Tigers without a fight.

Now she needn't worry about this nation any more because, in the first place, it is in the hands of a leader who has vowed not to bow down to any force that threatens its territorial integrity and national sovereignty and, second, she has no solution to the problems facing the nation except surrendering to the Tigers. On this issue, it is on record, that her mind went into a state of denial and her loose tongue ran in all directions except to defend the nation.

Her changing her hair style is no indication of her changing her political style. Her politics remains where it was before: at silly point. She was obsessed with only retaining and continuing her power by claiming to have taken two oaths - one publicly and the other secretly. If she doubts this she can always ask Lasantha Wickrematunga to provide the back numbers of his paper to find out the details.

Finally, here's one last Q & A to conclude this assessment of the mind and tongue of CBK:

Q: How do you see the current developments with regards to the resolution of the ethnic conflict considering the initiatives you launched in 1994?

A: Well I think we are on a completely different agenda. This is what I told the President after I made him my candidate for the presidential election. I told him he is making a big mistake by giving too much place to the extremists, namely the JVP and JHU at that time. Altogether, they accounted for less than 5% of the vote at that time.

First, notice her arrogant, patronizing Walauwe hamuduruwo tone in claiming that President Rajapakse was "my candidate" and not that of the SLFP.

Second, she says that she warned the President about "giving too much place to the extremists, namely JVP and JHU". She also added later that she "locked up the southern extremists in a cupboard, politically speaking."

This "political scientist" has craftily avoided mentioning that it was she who flirted and embraced them to win in the 11 elections she claims to have won. Whatever percentage they constitute in the electorate she had no qualms about tapping into their vote bank to win power. The Bandaranaikes always thrived on the Sinhala-Buddhist vote. For her to reject them as "extremists" is sheer, unadulterated hypocrisy. The Bandaranaike's would not be circulating in the political firmament today if these "extremists" did not back them out of loyalty to their father.

Pretending to be the pure moralist, she now claims that "extremists of all types hate me" and "Mahinda took them out and dusted them and put them back in circulation." In her tongue lash, she also places President Rajapakse in the same category of "extremists".

Well, if the leader of a nation courageously stands up to defend his people threatened by enemies then that "extremism" deserves three cheers – and even more. If the leader of a nation is determined to show the alternative to an abject surrender to the enemies of democracy, liberty and pluralism then that "extremism" is far superior to the hypocrisy of the contemporary Bandaranaikes who, in surreptitious way, attempt to undermine that heroic leadership.

The Rajapakses have taken over the leadership from the Bandaranaikes at the most critical time to avert the selling of the nation in the name of peace which the latter have failed to achieve and will fail to achieve with their futile policies, in the unlikely event of them coming back to power. After the historic "1956" movement led by the greatest SLFP liberal, S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, the forces of history driving this nation have run its full circle to cast his deviant offspring in the dustbin - the only place left for them to pay for the sins of betraying the people liberated from centuries of colonialism by their
visionary father.

The Bandaranaike mantle has fallen on the shoulders of Rajapakse and he is wearing it elegantly and with confidence and competence. CBK is left with only her personal charms, sans the essence and the force of the Bandaranaike legacy that was a beacon to the emerging nation in the post-colonial era. No one, of course, can deny her charms,
with or without the latest hair cut. But what are all her charms worth if as a Bandaranaike she spurns the legacy left behind by her father?

In this respect James Mason's comments on charming ladies comes to mind. This consummate British actor turned to a lady in one of his films and delivered the following lines with an icy panache: "Beautiful ladies never tell lies. Charming ladies do. You, my dear lady, is charming!"

- Asian Tribune -

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