By Suranimala Umagiliya –
With 2020 looming the Yahapalanaya government is striving to kick start investigations into the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime’s scandals, bring to Court some cases and simultaneously grant publicity to the development efforts in the pipeline. A welcome move but is it too late? The Rajapaksa camp is full of hope nay already feeling that 2020 is only a foregone conclusion. But is it?
If readers would recall, Mahinda Rajapaksa was smug with the thought that the opposition could not even name a contender to pitch against him, leading up to the 2015 Presidential election. The role is reversed. It has to be another Rajapaksa yet again. But which one? Mahinda is debarred, Gotabaya has the Hitler tag and a dual citizenship, Basil is considered corrupt by 10% and Namal is a young brat not wise yet which leaves Chamal and Shiranthi standing. It does not matter a whit or which. It will be a repeat or even worse than what Sri Lanka endured during the dark days of the Rajapaksa regime. Yes, the war was won.
Corruption was the main platform together with the minority votes that were cast lock stock and barrel to Maithripala Sirisena which upended the Rajapaksa juggernaut. Successive generations of Sri Lankans have been living and voting in hope that a messiah would deliver them a life worth living. Not one has emerged and none in the horizon.
We have heard repeatedly from Gotabaya and Mahinda that “War Heroes” are being jailed. Nothing is further from the truth. It is time that the Sri Lankan people were educated as to why some Army and Police Officers are in remand. There are officers of the armed forces and the police in remand in cases that were committed and reported during the period that Mahinda and Gotabaya were in control of the country. The crimes were committed during their term in office but the investigations were conducted in a fitting manner AFTER that government was defeated. Prageeth Ekneligoda, Lasantha Wickrematunge, Thajudeen, Keith Noyahr, Five students from the north etc etc.
Given the above facts is Gotabaya and Mahinda guilty of Contempt of Court? Alluding that a lawful Court and a lawful Judge remanded suspects due to politically partisan reasons is definitely in contempt. Citizens of Sri Lanka would think so and they would expect the Attorney General to initiate charges. Misleading a gullible majority who are least concerned in these matters due to the burdens of day to day life does not bode well for a country that is seeking change to reach true potential. Sri Lankans should and must not hero worship mediocrity. This nonsense must stop forthwith.
The political landscape and the debate within parliament and the country is pathetic.A person is remanded for a crime and the debate descends to what garb he should wear whilst in remand. Not the crime that matters but the vestment he/she should adorn whilst in remand. Corruption cases and such charges are debated selectively. Some are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Take the cases against Mahinda, Shiranthi, Wimal Weerawansa, Sajin Vass, and a host of others but as an example. They are deemed innocent and act as if they are too. Yet, the Central Bank lot of Mahendran, Aloysius, Palisena and Ravi Karunanayake are guilty though not convicted yet. Two sides of the same coin but treated different by all. This is not to say that the Central Bank corruption issue should be downgraded but to bring forth the point that Sri Lankans can be led astray from critical thinking.
A politician who has never done a days work emerges from a humble home and builds a mansion in plain sight. He is returned with a bigger majority at the next election. Do we not?