Sri Lanka: Living in a stagnated anarchy with a dictator

How can we call this situation? This is a “junta”, a political group that rules a country after taking power by force. The President has become the cruel dictator of such junta against the democratic freedom to attack the people who have elected him

by Dr Indi Akurugoda

( November 19, 2018, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Three weeks have been passed over the President’s undemocratic and unconstitutional arbitrary action against the citizens’ will of this country. Unfortunately, there are many Sri Lankans that happily and sarcastically enjoy the unstable anarchic political situation in the country without knowing or intentionally ignoring its dangerous consequences. These people have started labeling the democracy loving citizens in Sri Lanka as opportunistic party supporters. This is the easiest way for them to neglect their responsibilities as citizens and to protect their favourite political dictators.

The President Maithripala Sirisena has betrayed the public opinion as never done by any ruler of this country. He is continuing with his rigid decisions to suppress the good governance policies, and not listening to any democratic movement. It is really hard to understand how a person could betray a huge public opinion of 62 lakhs of citizens who trusted him and had great expectations on living in a free democratic society. Within one night, the people have been put under a greater security risk and the country has gone through an unsolvable financial crisis. Later on, the international community has started rejecting their political and economic relations with Sri Lanka.

[caption id="attachment_54004" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Maithripala Sirisena the man behind the constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka[/caption]

As an academic and a respectable citizen of the country, watching and experiencing this ironic situation is very much shocking and painful. Although we all know how unjust and unpleasant the series of incidents happened were, we are unable to reverse it. The President has dropped the whole country into danger to fulfill his selfish and opportunistic political desires. For this purpose, his political enemies have suddenly become his companions by fooling all the citizens who brought him into the position of the Executive Presidency.

Within a few moments, all democratic and constitutional principles that we teach students have become false statements. The Parliament, where the public opinion needs to be represented has been dismantled. Against a background of stagnated public policy processes, the bureaucracy has been confused by emerging administrative malfunctions. The annual budget has not been presented to Parliament and thus, the development activities cannot be planned or continued. Tourism, investments, stock market, international aid and financial agreements are crippled. The supreme law of the country, the constitution, has been breached by the first citizen of the country, the President. The MPs who support the President and his new favourite Mahinda Rajapaksa, behaved as idiotic thugs in the Parliament interrupting the smooth functioning of the legislature.

So how can we call this situation? This is a “junta”, a political group that rules a country after taking power by force. The President has become the cruel dictator of such junta against the democratic freedom to attack the people who have elected him. Sadly, a group of slaves in this country blindly supports every illegal act of this junta.

Without providing any political solution to settle the anarchic situation in the country, it is unsuitable for a democratically elected ruler behaving as an enemy of the citizens against their public opinion. If this situation develops further without any solution, the intolerable stress of citizens will result in a major uprising against the President towards expelling his political junta. Does the President wait for this? Do the citizens ready? Realistically, the citizens will not tolerate the President’s dictatorial activities and the created anarchic situation by his new favourites forever.

Dr Indi Akurugoda did a PhD in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Waikato, New Zealand and later obtained a post-doctoral writing scholarship awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato. She is a lecturer in Political Science attached to the Department of Public Policy, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, working in the areas of decentralisation, local government, community development, conservation ecology and NGO politics.


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