Political Crisis in Sri Lanka in Brief

Think of what has been happening in this country since January 2015

by Zulkifli Nazim

( November 10, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) There’s nothing quite like a constitutional crisis to expose what can only be described as the most contemptible stinking garbage of our political class.

This ruling Party under the auspices of President Maithripala shows total incompetence, craven self-interest, and this embarrassing stupidity, chaos and greed is what you get where political leaders are mainly selected by accepting astronomical bribes and vandalism of every individual’s self-respect and conscience, rather than talent.

It’s no surprise that people feel alienated by politics and locked out of democracy, and view the people who represent them as unapproachable. Bribe takers and bribe givers means it reveals that quite a number of these people are basically defunct – obsolete in this new era of crisis.

Think of what has been happening in this country since January 2015.

In mainstream politics there has been virtually no analysis of what caused the financial crisis, no attempts to address the underlying structural problems in the economy, no retribution for the people that caused it, no serious attempt to stem widening inequality, no proper investigation and punishment for the people who lost their lives, no viable solution to a worsening housing crisis, no hope for a generation of young people entering into an unstable, precarious economy and degenerate and debauched leadership.

This is not about individual politicians. Indeed, there are many who are talented. But the political class as a whole, and how it functions alongside its outer circle of pundits, lobbyists, policymakers and so on, has proven itself to be woefully unqualified to cope with crisis as well as being utterly unable to comprehend the country it is supposed to be governing.

The consequences of this are already obvious: an entire country that is so angry and mistrustful of its leaders that it becomes susceptible to the likes of total charlatans like Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa. They may be dishonest, but make no mistake – they will capitalise upon this crisis by taking advantage of the ineptitude, weakness, stupidity and vanity of the mainstream. They will, amazingly, lead the charge against broken promises. They will attract voters by vocalising their utter dissatisfaction with the mediocrity of their leaders.

And then we will all lose.

To turn things around, the United National Party leadership will need to display a level of self-reflection that it has hitherto been incapable of. It needs to display its strength, ability, talent and capability, and recognise that it has got pretty much every major political event of the past three years completely wrong. It needs to display more than a cursory interest in ordinary people’s lives. And finally, it needs to find some way to guide the country out of this crisis – starting with a profound and sincere acknowledgement that the status quo before it was not good. Things are not good, and they need to be better. Start there.


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