They say ‘dance like no one is watching‘, but that’s not how you should govern. The Mahinda government seemed to think they’d never be out of power and they didn’t even bother covering their tracks. Hence you get cases like Wimal Weerawansa’s wife (and apparently him) giving false information for diplomatic passports. Why? What is the point even, of being corrupt in such an obvious and random way?
The Wimal incident honestly baffles me. The diplomatic passport is one thing, you can travel anywhere. His wife certainly shouldn’t have been issued one, but I can at least understand the motivation. But why change her birthdate? Did she want immigration officers to think she was younger? Did she actually want to change the permanent record of when she was born? So strange.
You can see in all the rot that’s being exposed how much power corrupts. The sheer amount of vehicles, the palatial renovations to Temple Trees, the abuse of planes, the amount of public money spent on political campaigns and God knows what. This is why it’s so important that power changes hands, cause you can see how secure politicians behave. As Mark Twain said, ‘Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.’
This is also why, going forward, we as citizens should make the Right To Information Act a must-do within the 100 Days. Aside from being a trove of content for bloggers, the right to know what our public servants are doing means that we can check their excesses besides when they’re out of power. Verite has some analysis of the bill here and it needs work, but we need to get something passed to prevent wanton abuse of power from happening again.
Wimal’s wife’s passport is obviously the least of it, but it does show how casual and careless abuse of power and resources had become. People in Mahinda’s government seemed to think no one would ever look. That’s why it’s important to expose the corruption now, but also to give people the tools to monitor their own government going forward.