Poster on back of a bus, Galle
The General is in jail and threatened with hanging. The terrorist international mastermind is also in jail, but giving guided tours to diasporals. Other former terrorists are Ministers, getting perks and singing at weddings. It all seems rather topsy-turvy, but if you look at it right it makes sense. The LTTE is gone. It’s all about fealty now, and the threat is international. I say fealty and not loyalty because any allegiance is temporary. And the fealty to whom is obvious, Mahinda Rajapaksa. That is the defining narrative they are pushing, and that is all that makes this jumble of old enemies and new allies makes sense. It’s also the narrative that describes the international pissing contests with the EU and UN. It’s all about the big dog now and whether you’re with him or in the sea.
Me, against foreign influence I’m with Mahinda. I didn’t support his election, but I do support my President. I do think foreign bodies are meddling unduly, I do think a hostile and vengeful diaspora is driving this, and I do support stability under this elected government. That said, I think this narrative is nonsense and it cobbles together a mass of injustice and delusion under one curious throne. In this narrative Sarath Fonseka is a traitor for opposing Mahinda and Karuna is a traitor for supporting him. This conflates Mahinda and the state and punishes a war hero while elevating an actual war criminal.
I understand these things strategically, the first duty of the state is to exist and if l’etat is Mahinda, then perhaps that’s how it is. For now. My main concern is not really politics but reality, and this narrative is warping reality to a point I can’t really accept. I think the UN and diaspora are meddling, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a point. We should atone for or at least acknowledge the civilians that died. I think Fonseka was dumb, but he’s not a traitor. Threatening him with hanging is not cool.
This stuff all makes sense if you dump the old narrative (LTTE vs Sri Lanka) and replace it with the new one (Mahinda vs Traitors and International Lackeys). Outside of this frame, however, stuff actually doesn’t make sense. I think Mahinda is actually doing a pretty good job but I don’t think Fonny is a traitor. I don’t think the UN should be meddling, but I do think they have a point which we should investigate locally. These ‘buts’ are about as welcome as a bare ass in Parliament so I don’t suppose they get anywhere, but that, I think, is closer to reality.
This thought is continued in this Sunday’s Leader