By Emil van der Poorten –
I know the campaign of Maithripala Sirisena for the Presidency of Sri Lanka was based mainly on receiving rid of that obscenity of modern day governance in Sri Lanka, an Executive Presidency gone stark raving mad.
However, what emerged as the campaign progressed was a huge surge of anger and resentment about the enormous corruption with which the Rajapaksas had swamped the nation and the reality that people realized that this was not anything “out there” but anything that had already established to have major implications for every Banda and Biso and in which ocean of filth their progeny and the progeny of these progeny would surely drown if permitted to develop.
Yes, the implications of the wanton spending and lining of political nests with ermine of unbelievable worth had grow to be evident to every single man and woman in Sri Lanka’s rural regions. And as Sir John Kotelawela and his UNP found in 1956, this could create a political wave of Tsunami proportions. Yes, even though it is the tenth anniversary of that terrible event hammering a huge portion of Sri Lanka’s coastline, this political tsunami promises to wreak havoc even more broadly in our island nation, from its beaches to its highest mountains. The difference, although, is that it is a benign storm.
We can and must harness the energy that was released on January eightth in the manner most positive for our country these days and tomorrow.
How do you do this?
The main concern ought to be to keep away from petty vengeance as too often has grow to be the Sri Lankan tradition immediately soon after an election. In order to ensure this and stay away from the senseless vengeance that has completed harm to a nation and its individuals a lot more occasions than I care to bear in mind, we need to employ the law as it was meant to be utilized: to punish the guilty and give solace to their victims. Such an exercise will have yet another restorative outcome: it will resurrect practices of law and justice to a point that people start to recognize that what is in statute books and in the criminal code has validity. This has been diminished to the point that it has disappeared from public perception.
The catharsis that is most needed after all these years of corruption and violence in the name of “governance” is a most needed issue if we are to restore our island nation to one thing resembling the Beacon of Democracy it when was in this area.
We don’t need kangaroo courts or the Asian equivalent of Ku Klux Clan in white hoods to punish the guilty. We require the application of current law to bring to book these who’ve robbed us blind, with patronage for that endeavour extending to the very highest levels of this government which blithely claimed that “anything goes” insofar as “our people” (“apey minissu”) had been concerned.
Criminal conduct calls for the application of criminal law. That mentioned, trying to drag the mountain of criminal activity through current legal avenues will just result in roadblocks of unprecedented proportions and set even the current court systems in backlog mode for years to come, putting even the hobbling apology for jurisprudence that exists today in reverse gear.
If require be, more judges and prosecutors should be employed and the (public) funds recovered from the thieves should be employed to meet at least some of the further costs. While this will surely imply funds effectively spent, it will hardly make amends for the huge harm inflicted on this country in so several approaches. Make no mistake even so, this is a very first Essential first step in the work to restore national pride and self-respect and to bring back the rule of law.
The placatory statements made by the erstwhile opposition’s leaders for the duration of the lead up to the Presidential election about President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his henchmen not getting prosecuted for their criminality need to have to be treated as just that: placatory statements and small far more. Prosecutions need to be launched with the least attainable delay. In this case, justice delayed will, indeed, be justice denied to the enormous number of victims and not, as is generally the case, to the accused only.
Those businessmen who played “footsie” with the Rajapaksa Regime so that their buyer-gouging enterprises prospered have currently begun their attempts to influence the course of vital justice, seeking to have these monumental miscreants handled with kid gloves, just in case they return and these second-price capitalists need to have their patronage again. This ought to NOT, on any account, be permitted since the individuals count on the incoming President to do what each and every new broom is expected to do: Sweep clean!
We can and have to make the pursuit of justice our No. 1 priority not only because it is the correct point to do but due to the fact we owe it to ourselves if we are to claim to be, in any way, a civil and civilized nation.
As for the apologists who went prior to international tribunals and the television channels of this world, blatantly lying in defence of their masters in government, they have to be exposed absolutely and totally for what they are, liars, prevaricators and totally amoral sub-humans. I have one specific individual in thoughts who now sits front and centre on Mr. Sirisena’s platforms. This fruit of his father’s loins did not fall far from the paternal tree (if I may be permitted to mix my metaphors) and I cannot but add a little sidebar to that allegation. The man’s father I’ve heard praised for getting “helped” men and women from his village to get good government jobs when he (the sycophantic father) was setting new records in sleazy stooging for the delectation of his progeny and the globe at huge. What his admiring referees fail to see is that the man was “helping” his kinsmen and other folks from his hometown get jobs that would otherwise have gone to those chosen in the regular scheme of factors soon after being judged on their merits and suitability for the positions concerned. This “pulling of strings” is devoid of anything resembling fairness even though parading as some thing praiseworthy. Obscene! Like the man himself and his plummy-voiced progeny!
As for these who’ve skirted criminal offenses just barely but have, nevertheless, completed what passes for the “public good” massive damage by the propagation of outright lies and deceit, they require to be exposed, chapter and verse, for what they mentioned and, stemming from that, who they truly are. You may possibly not be in a position to put them in jail, but you can certainly minimize their effectiveness when they return to the trail of misdirection yet another time, as they surely will. That most of them, sans their Rajapaksa patronage, might finish up in the unemployment line would be poor enough punishment for the untold harm they have carried out individuals that they have targeted in this country not to mention the entire area of public data.
I would suggest that each and every appointment primarily based on political grounds created by the Rajapaksa regime be scrutinized in complete public view and, where necessary, these who’ve been picked in complete contravention of fairness and the recommendations existing for such appointments be terminated with instant effect. This have to be carried out by a group or group of individuals about whose integrity and honesty there need to be no doubt. A hard bill to fill? Perhaps, but some thing eminently “do-in a position.”
Another matter, especially offered the truth that Sri Lankans’ appropriate to access info has been seriously curtailed by the Rajapaksa Horde, is the matter of Net Service Providers blocking their subscribers’ access to a selection of internet sites carrying details about Sri Lanka. The conduct of those in telecommunication companies such as Dialog and Sri Lanka Telecom need to be investigated and, if there is a prima facie case to be made against them for removing a simple democratic proper from citizens of our nation, they must be prosecuted with out hesitation right away.
If all of the preceding sounds like some sort of national cleansing, it is meant to be just that due to the fact I am convinced that nothing brief of an exercising of that nature will suffice to restore even a modicum of decency to this nation in the conduct of its affairs.
This piece would surely lack balance if I didn’t comment on an entity that has emerged as strong beyond the level of its public assistance: the Jathika Hela Urumaya. This bunch with a track record in racism and xenophobia only second to the Bodu Bala Sena, are beginning to appear like the proverbial tail wagging the coalition dog. This must finish and, even if their presence is needed in the short term for strategic motives, they should be kept on the shortest of leashes. They fundamentally run counter to the central thrust of the public assistance for the Coalition and their chauvinism need to NOT be permitted to intrude on that Coalition’s efforts to establish fairness, justice and equity in Sri Lanka.
How can you help? Make confident that you take every chance to hold the feet of these in decision-making positions to the fire. Absolutely nothing else will suffice and keep in mind, if we do not make sure that this is done, what we achieved on January 8th could all be for naught.