By Emil van der Poorten –
Since the recent return of my political analyses to print and electronic publication, it seems that the operators of passenger transportation vehicles of a particular description have begun to take an interest in where I live and the access to our home. Whether that is meant to be a “shot across the bows” in anticipation of a return of a new Rajapaksa regime or whether it was something more serious and sinister, I’ll leave up to the reader to decide.
Anyone, who has ever had the misfortune to try to navigate our +/- two kilometer approach road off one of Sri Lanka’s primary highways connecting the capitals of the Central and North-Western provinces can, I am sure, provide a graphic enough description of such an adventure without my assistance. Suffice it to say that it is not a journey lightly undertaken despite the wonderful view down the valley of the North Western Province once you reach your destination!
Anyway, the kadey karaya at the bottom of the hill of whom the request for access information was made was sufficiently unnerved that he neglected to note the licence plate number of the vehicle or even its colour. Either that or he thought it might be best to give me the least possible information so as to safeguard his own interests while providing a minimum of the same commodity to mine!
The scenario sounded all too familiar and seemed to live up to the old adage about history repeating itself, first as farce and then as tragedy. One can but hope that, in this instance at least, the latter part does not hold true for us!
This little episode is probably symptomatic of what awaits us with the impending removal of the monumental incompetence of the current regime whose level of corruption was only exceeded by their predecessors who now promise to be their successors! The emergence of a “new world order,” if I might be permitted to use that hackneyed term, that exceeds even the gross corruption of its predecessor, only seems to encourage the rape and pillage of what little is left of economies such as ours.
The newest development in that succession of events is the attempt by those on the cusp of losing their place at the table seeking to negotiate a division of the material falling off that table that will give them as big a part of the dross as possible. I do not pen those words lightly but with what is before us in seemingly plain view.
Interestingly, the Sri Lankan nation has retained a significant part of its abhorrence of corruption, threat and criminality. How else can one explain the unprecedented multitude that turned out on Galle Face not so long to express its feelings?
I “missed” the second Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) insurrection but experienced enough of the first to appreciate the fact that spontaneous combustion, no matter with or without a veneer of sophisticated conduct, is not enough, by itself, to effect change of any consequence. All that came out of the first insurrection was the stupidity of Hector Kobbekaduwa’s “Land reform” that devastated – there is no other word for it – productive land in the mid-country of Sri Lanka. It was a knee-jerk reaction by a man of low intelligence and even lower moral and ethical standards that led to that calamity and its continuing fallout from which we are never likely to recover.
What is in our immediate future with the prospect of a return of the Rajapaksa hegemony is even worse. We don’t have before us the resources that the Kobbedakuwa sycophants had available to them to plunder. What awaits us is the kind of rape and plunder that we have traditionally sneered at in the “banana republics” and large swathes of Africa. Since the gold is not going to be available for plunder, insatiable greed is going to be exercised in even more cruel and irrational forms.
Like the man said, “Be afraid, be very afraid….!”