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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2342

Employment for Grave Diggers

By A Patabendige

RW (Ranil Wickremasinghe) has with 2 of his ministers gone berserk. Fearful of a devastating rout at the next elections RW has started whingeing at every media opportunity. It sounds like ‘GRGRGR’ all the time.

At Sri Kotha, where some years ago he fought with MR’s help for his party leader’s position, RW warned journalists that by supporting the SLPP they would be ‘digging their own graves’. This ghoulish vision of the PM was unveiled at the appointment of Navin Dissanayake as the UNP national organizer on 24 May 18. One hopes this is not another grave dig too. Navin’s father Gamini, the UNP’s Presidential nominee for the 1994 election, was killed by an LTTE suicide bomber at an election rally. Thereby hangs another UNP mystery, tied to the Tiger’s tail.

Today the SLPP, a party formed about a year ago has assumed a dreaded if not invincible stature in the PM’s panic stricken and febrile mind. It was only 3 years ago when the ‘yippee yippee ay ay ye’ Yahapalana, the USA’s government of choice for SL with RW was in full bloom if not cry. Was foreign minister Mangala’s unreciprocated kissing of the American East Indian Nisha Biswal, the kiss of death that started the rot. He now almost makes out that GRGRGR is a reincarnation of Bismarck with a Schlieffen plan for a lightning strike on a not so innocent neighbor. He wouldn’t have dared that sensation with any sub continental lady.

RW regaled the journalists with replays of apparitions of dead and disappeared journalists in 2009/2010. He, with divine guidance from the South Indian ashrams and kovils he prefers to visit, prophesized that journalists who supported the SLPP would be made to disappear ‘by the same people’. Driven into frenzy by his free fall wit, he ventured to say that ‘making people disappear was a SLPP ‘strategy’. Not even journalists could have been amused.

Apparently an ‘ex military group’ (EMG) dominated the SLPP. RW’s query was whether this EMG would ‘protect’ (his 2015 version of) ‘democracy’. He vouched that ‘our objective is to prevent military rule’. No one had known or thought of this ‘objective’ before. In 2015 when the bond scam was exposed he airily dismissed the accusations by saying the people had no clue about it. While his latest may not have been known even to the national intelligence agencies or the people, they all knew full well about the scam.

If this was RW’s ‘objective’ it would appear that all the 2015 promises made for ‘good governance’ and broken with sangfroid that beggars’ description, have been torpedoed. He went on gaily to sprout that ‘the country should decide whether it wanted democracy or military rule’.

What peculiar choices for a PM to offer people with near total literacy that have had continuous universal franchise and elected representatives for very nearly a century? This is more than any other Asian country even though Provincial Council elections have been postponed indefinitely and is it also ‘democratically’ by the government he leads.

There was however an attempt at a military coup in 1962. The PM may recall that those who took part, almost all from the Army and Navy, were diehard supporters of the UNP. Had he been a North Korean leader at least he could have cradled some nukes and frightened the EMG and possibly D Trump who does not have time for what he deems lavatorial states. (India has 40 million people without lavatories so may be excluded!). Inside Colombo closeted with his western oriented regal elites, RW has virtually split from the executive head of government. Outside Colombo he is much removed from the people.

What has made RW panic now? Has the flirtation of his version of ‘democracy’ tested the patience of the people? Is it that adopted big brother USA is fast becoming an also ran in the power struggle in the East? There are vivid signals that RW’s 2015 nemesis China, SL’s friend, is replacing the USA and not only in the East. Is it the diminishing foreign reserves that his government’s accelerated profligacy, corruption and regal nepotism that are haunting him? Lacking policy or strategy did he launch himself at the journalists rather than the absent SLPP and it’s ‘ex military group’ (EMG) as a diversionary tactic?

According to RW there was military rule before probably hinting at post 2010. He believed there is also an attempt to ‘establish’ a Rajapakse Regime II. Having been PM 4 times he should know, even if no one else anywhere in the world has heard of it. Even in his favourite West that fabricates tales of WMD, poison gas and other myths about designated enemies and SL’s Armed Forces, he may be mentioned in dispatches.

RW has a habit of causing self inflicted ridicule. Remember this was the man pre-elections (1994) who offered chewing gum to youth in a third world country that in 1992 had 16.6% unemployed when he was PM. (SL’s best was 3.7% in 2013.It was 4% in 2017). Malnutrition, chronic and acute was one in 3 in the age group 3-59 months.

It is surprisingly and grievously 30% higher than the child mortality rate. At the next elections he offered gold chains and in 2015 Volkswagen cars. SL has 8.9% under the poverty line while 90% of the poor are in rural areas. Not surprisingly the PM ignored agriculture in his plans for the future. As PM 3 times over while the conflict was on, he however never offered victory over the LTTE to the Forces or the people. His forte was appeasement then and Geneva now for the Forces. The people will not forget or forgive.

RW must be stifling memories of aberrations and wickedness under the democracy he speaks of. A random selection to jog his memory must include late President JRJ declaring war on the Tamils in 1977, subverting democracy by having a referendum instead of elections in 1982, depriving the former PM, Mrs. SWRDB, of her civic rights, stoning judge’s homes, and waiving habeas corpus in Jaffna for JRJ’s nephew Weeratunge who was not the Army Commander to ‘eradicate terrorism in all its forms’ in 1979. The subsequent conduct of the government in which he was a minister from 1977 led to the anti Tamil riots in 1983 while a stuttering insurgency matured into the most formidable terrorist threat in the world.

RW should not forget the killing fields of 1989-90 under his version of democracy. 60,000 Sinhalese were murdered by the fascist JVP and the government. It then acquiesced in the invasion of SL by India, gifted ammo and weapons to the LTTE betraying the Forces and its IPKF ally under late President Premadasa, continuously appeased the LTTE and gave it a status equal to the government, supplied it with communication etc equipment and gave it the freedom to fly sea planes from abroad into the interior and out and finally subverted the forces when victory was imminent (Grandpass Madawachchi and equating soldiers to cattle).Finally post victory the UNP democrats did nothing to reinforce peace or even help the 300,000 IDPs. Instead it encouraged subversion, discontent and division among selected senior military officers. Finally becoming a pawn of the West this ‘democracy’ has forsaken its ties to the Arab world and seeks to accommodate the West to prevent China, inexorably, leading in the East. The Opposition he led in parliament named the murderer of L Wickramatunge in 2009. He now thinks memory loss and ostrich behaviour are survival and political skills in his democracy.

SL has seen enough of the democracy of RW. After 2015 it saw how EPF funds could be robbed with the help of the newly installed foreign Governor of the Central Bank plucked from Singapore. The rest was all talk. It saw its leaders, hands in the pockets, with an urge to swan about the world or visit Indian temples when great natural calamities devastated SL. The drug mafia proliferates. Grandiose economic plans ignore the peasant farmers. The poor have become more desperate. The leaders are fighting each other using known unsavoury surrogates.

The people and not EMG gave their overwhelming verdict during the local government elections consigning the ruling parties to Meethotamulla’s rubbish heap.

Amazingly RW who cannot in parliament resist looking back at his favourite military man (EM but not in the Group) for approval for his wise cracks has forgotten how he subverted that man’s actions during the conflict. He did not contradict what was said of the military man in parliament when L Wickramatunge was killed. Maybe Keith Nohyar could give him a steer.

RW now wants journalists to beware of EMGs. Does he not know that the people and the journalists know who saved SL when the terrorists were closing in and brought peace and reconciliation to the land after 30 years of terror? They also know who spent their time either planning more concessions and maximum appeasement to the terrorists and the rest of their time under their beds during the terror, ‘protecting democracy’.

These EMG and other military men sacrificed the best part of their lives and parts of their bodies to save SL from terrorists in a conflict that caused about 100,000 lives in 26 years. It may not seem very much to some when compared to the USA’s civil war that in 3 years caused over 600,000 lives but the people will remember and honour the military men who brought peace to SL. Who among the protectors of democracy donated even a pint of blood for the wounded? RW had no place in that momentous event. The people know.

Far from being afraid of ex military groups and scattering versions of Colombo 7’s regal and secret democracy, the people and the journalists must fear the return to power of greedy, smooth talking, western worshipping hypocrites. They convince themselves that reconciliation means selling the military by bowing and scraping to the GTF fuelled west. They took pains to show that robbing provident funds isn’t a crime. Now the people, like the Assyrians, will come down on those who cried EMG’. Neither the EMG nor the journalists can stop that. The ‘rainbow’ government decks are burning. The grave diggers will have work to do.

- Asian Tribune -

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