The chutzpah of this government knows no bounds. Every government since Independence has had to balance placating Sinhala nationalists (AKA racists) while at the same time actually running a sensible, inclusive nation that doesn’t send minority citizens, capital and foreign investment fleeing. Basically, they’ve had to pay lip service to nationalists while at the same time trying to run an actual nation. Every government has also generally failed, SWRD being killed by a nationalist monk and everyone after almost losing the country to various rebellions. In that context Mahinda is actually doing a better job by virtue of not being dead and not losing control of the country. But he’s still not doing a good job.
Archive for the 'Politics' Category
Bodu Bala Sena is scary because it’s a racist force with a fair amount of support. But purely dismissing them as racist and dumb in unhelpful. The BBS is as much a movement within Sinhala Buddhism as much as it is against minorities. As such it involves caste, class, and actually addresses some important underlying issues.
In case you were wondering, the UNP isn’t the opposition party in Sri Lanka any more, not in the sense of opposing anything. Ranil has proposed a MOU (memo of understanding) with the government to protect them from international condemnation. The UNP has also called for getting rid of the halal logo, in line with racist Sinhalese interests. As an opposition party the UNP doesn’t exist anymore. It’s more of a private limited company with a stacked board to keep one incompetent leader in power.
To quote Minister Of Child Development And Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda, “When a woman is given authority in a department or a ministry they tend to suppress other women are under their administration out of jealousy. This situation will lead to inefficiency in that particular organization. Hence always the main chair should be given to a male and the assistant should be a female”. Er, no. I always thought it was odd that women’s affairs was under a man but now it seems completely wrong. On the other hand, Marvyn Silva is Public Relations Minister, so perhaps they chose ministries on Opposites Day.
Back in the day the hallmarks of class mobility used to be educating your children and getting them decent jobs. Now the elite seems to raise completely ignorant children and help them get away with being criminals. Honestly, Mervyn Silva is the flagship boor, but everyone from Ministers (Maithripala Sirisena) to provincial counselors seems to be or be raising third-rate thugs. This is the new upper class. It’s like having the Sopranos running a country.
The UNP, historically, was sorta the party of the minorities – being united and national at all. It failed under JR Jayawardene in being largely responsible for the ’83 riots (or not stopping them). It’s failing today under his nephew Ranil Wickremesinghe in basically not showing up at all. The UNP has failed to form a coherent opposition at all, and people are suffering – minorities especially.
“I’ve been trying to figure it out. Recently more and more politicians have been accused of crimes ranging from murder to rape to, well, combinations of the above. Now the Deputy Mayor of Moratuwa has been arrested in connection to the killing of a monk (which seems complicated, the main suspects also being dead). My question is, are politicians getting more criminal, or are there just more politicians?
Sri Lanka’s cabinet now has 99 members (including Deputy Ministers, and the President). There are only 144 government MPs in Parliament, so it’s no longer even a privilege being in Cabinet, it’s more of an embarrassment to be left out. Despite opposition MP Ravi Karunayake complaining that it cost around Rs. 400 million per Minister per month (about 3 million dollars), this horse has long ago left the barn. It seems like every government MP will be a soon be a Minister. The only way out seems to be to have more opposition MPs.
I was walking in the new Nugegoda park and I liked it, even though I don’t much like the guys on the plaque. Mahinda and family take credit for the park and, indeed, it is a lovely space. There were thousands of people there. People need that. Mahinda and family also, however, have to take credit for breaking the rule of law in order to rule. It’s bread and circuses. You get peace and parks now, and take long-term damage to basic values.
Well, that was a predictable farce. The lapdog Parliament, essentially a house of made men, passed a trumped up impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Why? Because she wouldn’t give Basil Rajapaksa what he wanted – control of provincial monies (in the name of the poor, but mainly for more). Because they didn’t get what they wanted, the Rajapaksas decided to trash the whole court system of Sri Lanka.