Troops surrounding the opposition, by me
I thought Mahinda naming state companies after himself (Mihin) was a whim, but it may be his will. More and more Sri Lanka is the state, and the state is him. Or them I guess. Opposition to them is opposition to the state, and the nation, and thus treason. The opposition candidate is in jail and his son is running for office. Elections are becoming a formality for fealty, opposition a coup. Such are the spoils of war. Something smells a bit off.
Fonseka wasn’t planning a coup. If he was he really sucked at it. Sarath Fonseka quit the military and ran for office. He gave up all the guns, the uniform and now his freedom. He was planning to win the election, and that may have been dumb, but he ran legit. Mahinda abused state resources and power and surrounded the opposition candidate and the elections office with armed guards. If anything was, that was a self-coup. Fonseka was just a citizen candidate. Perhaps he should have staged a coup, but he didn’t.
The Real Coup
Generally, the one staging the coup is the one surrounding vital institutions with armed men. Mahinda surrounded the Elections Commission, he surrounded the opposition candidate. He had control of all the troops around every state institution. He used state resources as part of his campaign, entertained on state property. More to the point, he purged the military of any potentially disloyal elements and controls the Defence and Finance Ministries personally, with I think over 75% of the state budget controlled by his family.
His government daily violates the Constitution and breaks the law, often over the backs of dissidents and opposition. If anyone has surrounded vital institutions with guns and men it’s Mahinda Rajapakse. That’s the traditional definition of a coup. I’m not saying that this was a coup, but I do think this is a case of who smelt it dealt it.
Coup De Grace
What makes it so complete and seamless is that people voted for it. In an unfair election, but I think enough votes were counted. Such is the state of Denmark, such that suspicion is deemed mad. I don’t think we’re on an entirely irrational course. There is no particular opposition in Singapore or China, for example. I can talk about it, but many people seem to think that we are somehow not on this course, or that rule of law and democracy still hold. They don’t.
Sarath Fonseka should not be in jail right now. His only crime is opposing Mahinda, thus the state, thus the nation. Whatever his other sins, they are but window dressing for this greater personal slight upon the king. Fonseka abandoned his uniform and any possibility of a coup to run for office. When he lost he sent a letter to the elections commissioner, while surrounded by guns. Yet such is the topsy turvy that the guy being surrounded is planning the coup, and people either cheer or don’t mind.
Mahinda is locking this shit down, and Fonseka is the first behind bars. Dude took shrapnel for your freedom, then gave his freedom for your right to oppose, and we just look at him like he’s nuts. He may be the last sane one left.