The empty foreign suit
Good government, like theater, can be pretty much made up. The LTTE has empty storefronts in Killinochi that almost look like a real state. Kim Il Jung can put onto fantastic shows. In various places the trains have run on time. In Sri Lanka, however, it is most definitely amateur hour. Foreign Minister Boggles just voted to expel Pakistan from the Commonwealth. A commendable position, if our arms dependent government actually said it. But we didn’t, Boggles vote was the opposite of our ‘official’ position. Weeks ago Mahinda issued a circular banning all media coverage of the war, and then rescinded it a few days later. If you can’t beat the press, you can always burn it. In another huge faux pas, the former LTTEr Karuna was found in the UK on a Sri Lankan diplomatic passport. ‘Kokila Gunawardene’ was there to attend an environmental conference, and some official Ministry had given him fake papers. Perhaps its rude to ask, but are there any grown ups in charge?
At one point, granting fake documents to a mobster was enough to fire the head of the cricket board. Now the nation is issuing false passports to known terrorists to get them passage into London. What whaat? The Sri Lankan government also makes quite a few backward votes, but now it seems that our Foreign Minister is making foreign policy as he goes along. And this is just one in a line of cock-ups. Evicting Tamils in Colombo lodges – then apologizing. Shutting down ABC Radio, then reopening it after a convenient cross over. The JHU getting its duty-free car allowances, and then arguing to raise the duties. Oh, and then the UNP crossovers offering the UNP a national government and Ranil the premiership – and then promptly denying it. This doesn’t even begin on the crazy stuff they propose and do anyway.
The really good bad governments simply continue lying in the face of anything, through any war or hurricane. The good good ones apologize, sack someone and try to govern better. This one is neither here nor there. We just look rather silly.