– by Shenali D Waduge –
That Mahinda Rajapakse won the 2005 Presidential election was a surprise to most and a shock to the UNP block who had figured that after over a decade, victory was to bring them back to power. That Mahinda Rajapakse came to power on the Buddhist vote was unmistakable and earned the tag “Sri Lanka votes Buddhist nationalist leader”. His Mahinda Chintana assured the end of terrorism, unitary status of the nation and peace and guaranteed the people’s confidence.
The journey of post-independence has been one of leadership shared between the two main political parties. What sought to secure eternal power by introducing the preferential voting system ended up with minority parties becoming kingmakers and making matters complicated was to entertain the crossovers – people who followed a different ideology, who did not vote for the political party in power and who entered parliament based on the vote given against the party in power. In short people who came through the back door, people holding opposing views, people who did not have the confidence of the people or the people’s mandate. They may well do to remember that they are in the position they hold not because the people wanted or want them there. People will want them there so long as they do not use their office to threaten the sovereignty of the country or the integrity of the nation and its people. Such people can do damage and flee the country.
Those that cross over do so not out of any love for the country or desire to do a service to the masses. Cross-overs are purely steered by selfish self-interest iced with perks and remunerations that are negotiated during the bartering phase. Thus, the integrity factor will always become a question whichever party they end up selling their souls to.
One such example is a minister who has been holding key posts and drafting legislations that have been detrimental to the entire nation and these have led to Sri Lanka being placed in a very uncomfortable position on the international platform. No good came for any of the leaders who took him on board. Given his past records not only has he betrayed, Chandrika, Ranil and Karu is there a guarantee the same will not happen to President Rajapakse if power and prestige are what dictates the jump and there are many to make bids? See how the game of cricket has been prostituted and it be called a gentleman’s game?
The present Government is full of such cross-overs and the likelihood of the curse disappearing from the political arena depends on the willpower of the two main political parties to get their act together and start developing leaders who believe in their party manifesto and not people who are inclined to desert ranks and cause chaos. For either party this is not a good formula to continue and it is unhealthy for the country as a whole and it does not build good political parties with sound policies. Therefore, it is good for the 2 leaders of the main political party to come to a firm decision on cross overs once and for all.
Nevertheless, what concerns us at this present juncture is that whilst the present Government came to power with a very clear vision which the people accepted and endorsed the present lot of people currently functioning as executors of the Mahinda Chintana in reality never had any affinity to the President’s program. This begs us to question the dangers of them making lip service to the Presidents vision since they are camouflaging what they really feel. What makes us more concerned is the fact that given their unreliableness despite enjoying the perks of office the likelihood of people who crossed over for profit being gullible entities spells dangers for the entire nation.
Added to this are people taken in as consultants and advisors who are also aligned to the NGO chintana. Some of these representatives have secretly enclosed clauses without the concurrence of the State leading to unreasonable pressures brought upon the nation. Thus, there is no telling what type of advice they give which is what has led to the 13th amendment fiasco when advisors should have no sooner the war was over advised the President to repeal the 13th amendment, replace the provincial council system with one that suited the people and the PC politicians and denazify the LTTE and all its associated slogans, entities no different to what the Allies did to Germany following the Nuremburg Trials. So long as these factors remain half-done– Sri Lanka will continue to be hard-pressed to find solutions to take the country forward.
Moreover, these NGO Chintana advocates are likely to use their office surreptiously to undermine the real goals of the Mahinda Chintana for most of these cross-overs are people who have been and may continue to be darlings of the NGO circle advocating their Chintana which is quite opposite to what the President professes and holds the key to his popularity amongst the masses. It is good for President Rajapakse to remember this at all times.
It is clear that the objective is to use their good offices to hijack Sri Lanka of its nationalism and to place the faults on a well campaigned and foreign funded slogan under the banner “Mahavansa mindset” and blame the Sinhala Buddhists for all the ills of the nation. The examples of decisions to change the national anthem, attempts to remove Article 9, undermine the place of Buddhism, remove history from Sri Lanka’s education curricular, make changes to school framework and education, copycat multicultural slogans undertaken abroad, outsource national assets etc are likely attempts to slowly use the legislative powers under their purview to make the changes without the knowledge of the masses and in turn work towards undermining and making the President unpopular amongst his vote base. Once that unpopularity reaches the Maha Sangha and they in turn make their decision the fate of a government is sealed.
It is not only politicians but media themselves are subject to various encapsulating techniques by foreign Chintana proponents who knows how far money and remunerations can change people to their side. Many of the media entities that currently scream about good governance are all having such links and it is not anything confined to Sri Lanka alone – the situation is no different globally just take a look at Rupert Murdoch.
There is a reason to feel cautious about NGO chintana clans and their plans – elsewhere these entities are being investigated some have been asked to close down and it all boils down to their attempts to destabilize countries and dislodge national leaders.
As for the current situation where a handful of people who care not a penny about the Mahinda Chintana but pay lip service to it for their own existence the harm they can do and are possibly are doing is one that should make the people more alert. Many of them are now decrepit MPs hanging on to power for sheer greed instead of enjoying retirement, nevertheless the message is that there is always elections and it is a good time for people to mark these politicians and ensure they do not re-emerge through the vote to undermine the country in any way.
Moreover, 30 years was the reason to deny benefits to the masses and we cannot accept that people who come through the backdoor dictate how the country runs. For the country to move forward everyone has a role to play and we should all get our act together by first disassociating those that are trying to cripple a could be prosperous Sri Lanka.