Mahinda and Sarath, bus poster near Galle
I for one welcome our new overlords. I think Mahinda won disrespectful and dirty, but he won. A Sri Lankan politician’s job is to stay alive and then to keep power, and Mahinda is damn good at it. He used a bunch of our resources and money, but he also worked harder and smarter than the opposition. I’ve always said that the country will develop under Mahinda, and I think it will. He’s a good king. He’s not the best constitutional President, but so be it. I wish him luck.
What We Lost
Mahinda does not rule by law. With the war he just got it done whatever the costs. It was tragic at the time but it got done and what do I know. In his campaign he just won at whatever expense and whatever detriment to our public institutions. And he won so, again, what do I know. I don’t think this is the right way to go about things, but in a state which has struggled to merely exist, such be the leadership we inherit.
What We Have
Mahinda simply rules. He is the alpha male of alpha males, whether in 100 foot effigy over Horton Place or in collegial conversation with Colonel Khaddafi. To put it frankly, Mahinda is macking it hard. Dude’s got the guns, the money, the power and probably the women. He rules.
What Sri Lanka has lacked is a consistently stable government, which MR can probably provide. It is also, unfortunately, consistently bad, but that is better than chaos. It is also brutal and dictatorial but actually less than, say, Premadasa. Not that this is benchmark, but many people cite it as such.
What We Get
In that perhaps limited capacity and sense, I think Mahinda will develop the country. Or, more accurately, I think the country will develop. He’ll do it at considerably greater cost and with more inefficiency than I consider necessary, but also with more pomp and, dare I say, style. Of course, the whole thing could bubble and pop, but I don’t think so, or rather, don’t want to.
So, in short, I for one welcome our new authoritarian overlords. I do respect their authority. A) I don’t know what else to do and B) I do think everything will be all right. Well, at least mostly right. Or, then, perhaps wrong but OK results. Something like that.