Sri Lanka: The depravity of the Rajapaksa family

 Thankfully, all those young people in Galle Face have been behaving in a responsible way. They have been setting a good example not only for our country but also for the entire world.

by A patriotic Lankan in the UK

        Horrific stories of poverty, hardship and desperation are emerging from every part of Sri Lanka these days. It is heart-breaking to read and listen to some of these pathetic stories of innocent people. They no longer can bear the burden of price hikes and shortages of essential food items. Some Sri Lankan people are introverts and they do not want to come out and beg people in the streets.  Some people do not do this to protect their family’s dignity and respect. Imagine mothers with young children who do not have anything to feed their children, imagine feeble elderly people without food to eat and imagine the fathers who can not feed their families, how will their emotional, phycological minds setups be right now in Sri Lanka.  Thousands of Sri Lankans are struggling to meet their everyday needs and necessities. Some families with foreign remittances could survive, yet they too cannot bear the price hikes. Consider, the pathetic situation of government officers today. A  teacher or any government officer gets around 30-40 thousand rupees a month. How could their families live with these salaries? They may need double this salary to survive in these difficult situations.  What about the dare situation of thousands of labourers who do the odd job to survive? Many stories of dare hardship and difficulties are going viral on social media. Even some suicidal attempts were reported in recent times in Sri Lanka. 

        Yet, this government and the Rajapaksa family are not willing to give up their grip on power. Why is it? Is it power adduction? Is it to do something good for this country? is it for fear of repercussion? Why do not they see all that takes place around the country?  some people come up with hypothetical answers to these questions.  The Rajapaksa family think that they have done nothing wrong.  In fact, they are still living in the nostalgia and euphoria of the war victory that took place almost 13 years ago. Every Sri Lankan knows that a great deal of sacrifice was done by the Sri Lankan army and its leadership to safeguard the country from LTTE and yet, the Rajapaksa family has been claiming the monopoly over the war victory and for that reason, it has been jolly riding over Sri Lanka for the last 13 years. It has been exploiting all perks and apparatus of the government to accumulate wealth without any accountability and transparency. The Rajapaksa family has been abusing and misusing its political power freely with impunity in the shade of executive power enshrined in our constitutions. They have been using all loopholes and legal stratagems to amend the Sri Lankan constitutions as they like. The Rajapaksa family member, friends, relatives, and cohort all have greatly benefited from this executive political system. Some local politicians and top ministers exploited this system and looted public money. As anonymous Hackers have revealed they have looted billions of dollars from Sri Lanka. They have emptied the treasury and the government coffers without any remorse or guilt.  Yet, they are not ready to accept any wrongdoing and yet, they claim that they have done nothing wrong. 

              I think that they are now in a catch 22 situation. They cannot hang on to power and at the same time, they can not leave it without any accountability for what they have done.  As former President, CKB has already said they cannot give up their power grip because they fear that they will end up in jail. That psychological fear holds them on to power and yet, how long they could do this? What kind of damage this power greed could do to this country? How many are more people going to lose their lives in this struggle? In fact, the country is suffering immensely due to this power greed and political deadlock. Gota and Mahinda are stubborn and argue that they would not leave. Yet, the country is suffering due to this careless and lackadaisical mindset. How long people will tolerate them? I think that the more they are digging into this problem the more the Rajapaksa family get into trouble. This is a precarious situation as Ranil reminds us about the gloomy days ahead. So, the Rajapaksa family must make up its mind and have no point in sitting idle doing nothing. All their supporters and cohort in government could turn their back on them. They will do what some MPs did in Pakistan for Imran Khan. In politics, anything could happen in a couple of minutes or seconds. So, they must do something about it now. They have been following a wait and see policy and they think that they could overcome all these problems in a couple of months.

        It would be unrealistic to expect people to vote for them once again. People know all the dirty tricks of the Rajapaksa family and people are not stupid in this digital world. All the secrets of the Rajapaksa family have been exposed to the public. The public knows how many houses they have and how much money they hide and where they hide and how they accumulate all this wealth. They cannot hide anything from the public eyes in this virtual world.  in fact, the Rajapaksa family is caught red-handily in this money laundering and public looting. The ineptitude and incompetency of the Rajapaksa family are exposed on many occasions. Local, regional, and international politicians know about it well. That is why China managed to fool them for years now. That is why some geopolitical powers are keen on Sri Lankan politics and they all know that the Rajapaksa family is politically not smart enough and clever enough to rule this island in this digital age. Moreover, Mahinda made some terrible mistakes. He failed to differentiate between his professional and personal life. All former Sri Lankan presidents were clever enough not to take extended family members into politics. JR did not bring his extended family into politics. They were careful enough when they appointed people to their governments. They did not give posts to their relatives, and friends as they like but they choose the best candidates for all civil service posts and positions. Yet, when the Rajapaksa came to power, they appointed some unqualified people for some high-level posts and positions. As a result of this, the government continuously suffered financially and economically. The productivity went down drastically. These unqualified MPs, local politicians, and civil servants could not take the right decision at the right times. For instance, they appointed some unqualified people to foreign missions as high commissioners, and they did not have the experience and skills to direct our missions and attract investments to this country. Likewise, they gave nominations to some of their cohort and friends who did not have enough skills and experience in politics. There are some groups of MPs without some basic academic qualifications.  They robbed the public money in millions through commissions. People know all these frauds and corruption. Even the Rajapaksa family know all this.  Mahinda did accede to this many times and yet, he could not do anything about it. Because his family was leading all these fraud and corrupt activities and could not teach any lessons to others on corruption.  

          You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know all about this. Some of their robberies are exposed by political opponents. JVP has done a great job in exposing their robberies and public fund looting.  Will the people of this country forgive and forget this Rajapaksa family for all that they have done to this country? They have almost brought this country into bankruptcy. You do not need to have scientific evidence to say that they have damaged the economy of this country.   Now it is very much imminent that they will be sent home soon. It could be some weeks or some months. Even if they stay in power for some time, they will never be able to win any election and they will never be able to escape from any legal pursuit. Last time, Maithri protected them, and I do not think that any politicians would dare to protect them once again after all this harm they have inflicted on this country. I do not think people will vote for many of the MPs who are with them now. I think that a new generation of Sri Lankan politicians will emerge out of this problem.  Now people want to clean the Sri Lankan politics and they want to create a new political culture in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan people are highly educated and yet, they have been fooled by politicians for a long time and I do not think that new generations can be conned as their parents were fooled. 

           After every calamity, there is a relief and there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Sri Lankan people are suffering today due to this political incorrectness. What is more important today is to learn some lessons from this. The Rajapaksa family not only looted public money and damaged the lives of the future generation with their wrong policies. They must be brought to court for their political negligence and political incorrectness. They destroyed this country with their wrong and unsustainable mega projects. Most of their megaprojects are utter failures. Billions of dollars are lost in all those mega unsustainable projects. All these projects are done against the advice of our Sri Lankan experts. They did it to get commissions and earn money from those projects. A lot of our dedicated engineers and economists advised them not to do many of these projects and yet, they did it. This is nothing but utter abuse of their executive power. They must be punished for all this wrongdoing.  Suppose if they had invested all those money in human development and enrichment of our education system, we would have been far ahead of Bangladesh today. Why do our parents send their children to Bangladesh to study medicine? Why do we need to send our students abroad for many subjects? We have some of the best medical faculties in Asia and yet, our university admission system is still in the stone age and our government does not allocate enough money for education. 

         Your population is your nation’s wealth now in this modern age. Skills development projects are needed to update our skills, talents, and knowledge. India is planning to open a medical college in each district to update its medical education. India has been sending more than 10 thousand students to read medicine in Ukraine and yet when the war broke out in Ukraine, PM Modi directed his higher education minister to open medical colleges across India. We have been wasting the skills, talents, and abilities of our student community for a long time. Thousands of our students are dropping out of school and university education each year. How many brilliant Sri Lankan students are dropped out of medical education because of some outdated system of selection for our medical faculties. Some students are being dropped out on one or two marks. How long do you keep wasting the talent and skills of our next generation?  If only this corrupt Rajapaksa family had invested all the money they have wasted in some stupid mega projects on education in Sri Lanka, we would have produced thousands of health professionals, doctors, engineers, IT professionals and other professionals. We would have sent our high skilled professionals abroad instead of sending housemaids and drivers to the Middle Eastern countries.  

So, what crimes has this Rajapaksa family done to this country? They have messed up our economy, they have messed up our ecology and environment. They have messed up our education system instead of investing in education they allocated money for some unsuitable mega projects. They have messed up our civil service. Sri Lanka inherited one of the best civil service examination systems to elect and select the best candidate for the public offices through some best examinations such as SLOS, SLAS, SLES and other public exams and yet, the Rajapaksa family appointed some of their friends and relative for many civil service posts without qualifications. All these wrongdoings are committed against the national interest of this country. All of these are done by misusing the power vested on them by the public, So, they must be questioned for all these wrongdoings. So that no future PM or MPs dare to do these crimes once again in Sri Lanka. So, I think that the publics want to punish them for all this. I think that the incoming government must take some steps to question them and punish them in accordance with the laws of the land. This will send a clear message to all other politicians. We have some of the best legal systems and judiciary. Some of our judges and lawyers are very much clever and smart enough to do this.  Yet, they must have the freedom and leverage to do this without any political influence. The former AG Srimani Bandaranayake and many others are academically and professionally highly qualified people to put the law and order in this country. Such loyal and honest professionals should be given the leadership of this country. Some honest and loyal leaders must come forward to take this country forward.   These reforms are urgently needed to bring this county out of this mess 

1) There must be some changes in our constitution.  This abusive executive presidency must be replaced with the Parliamentary system to monitor the accountability and transparency of the PM and MPs. 

2) Free the judiciary from all political subjugation and the judiciary of the country must be supreme and above all. That is why western countries succeeded in maintaining law and order. Politicians fear the judiciary in western countries. 

3) We must put some conditions for all who contest the election. They must have some qualifications,  experience, skills, and age limits. 

4) Do check on their finance and make them declare their incomes before they seek nominations

5)  Getting rid of all religious politics on communal and religious lines. It is not good at all for this country.  

6) Introduce some strict rules and regulations on fraud and corruption for politicians. they must be dismissed if they found in any fraud activities 

7) Reform the economic policies of this country and introduce some new laws for unused lands in this country. Put some point penalty if anyone does not use their land heedlessly. 

8) Introduce some new immigration rules to attract foreign investment from the Sri Lankan nationals who live abroad. India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have got some good systems. 

9) Introduce modern technologies in our agriculture sectors

10) Update our education system as soon as possible. 

            All Sri Lankan agree that this Rajapaksa family must be accountable for all the mistakes they have done, and they must take the lion’s share of responsibility for this mess up. The national wealth and money looted from the public must be accounted for and returned. All legal actions and pursuits must be taken to bring back all money. No excuse should be given to all those who looted public money. This will send a good signal for all local politicians not to steal the public money any longer.  Thus, creating a clean and green politics is imperative for Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan youths are talented and highly skilled people. Let them lead this country for a prosperous future. We are one of the best countries in Asia with rich natural and human resources. We could get rid of this crisis if we are united and if we are truly loyal to this country. if we work hard with dedication and sincerity, we could develop this country in this globalised world.  We must have some dedicated teams of intellectuals, academics, and honest politicians to take this country out of this mess and develop it.

          We should not be pessimistic about the future of this country because we are blessed with all rich resources to develop.  We must be optimistic and confident. For instance, Japan was bombed and destroyed in the world war and yet, they come out of their destruction and calamity with their hard-working ethics and dedication. We should instil this hard-working ethics and dedication in the minds of the next generations. For that, our politicians must be role models and they must set some examples and yet, today even a five-year-old schoolchild knows that the Rajapaksa family looted the public money. All trials and calamities are temporary ones, and they will go away soon. Time will heal all these and yet, it does not go away naturally. We must act swiftly and diligently to overcome this crisis. We may have different political and ideological differences and yet, these differences should not be an obstacle to taking this country out of this crisis. We should not emotionally react to this crisis. We must act rationally, logically, and wisely at this crucial time in modern Sri Lankan history. This calamity should unite us to work out some short- and long-term strategies to come out of this mess. 

         Thankfully, all those young people in Galle Face have been behaving in a responsible way. They have been setting a good example not only for our country but also for the entire world. They are teaching the world how to demonstrate, how to protest, and how to ask for political rights. They are creating the Sri Lankan type of  Megna Carta chart with these demonstrations and protests. They are creating a new political culture and tradition in Sri Lanka. The most important thing in politics is to have honest and dedicated political leadership. All these political slogans and ideas must be honestly put into practice in the coming days to secure a bright and prosperous future for Sri Lanka. 

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