IS THE PRESIDENT SENSING AN APPROACHING DOOM?


WINSTON DE VALLIERE

Will the Central Bank Bond scandal prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back? Or should I say the Elephant's back? Or, just as the majority of people in this country can forgive murder, abductions and grand pillage of State monies, will those who vote for the Elephant and the 'hand' symbol this time around consider lesser offences as less than negligible when they go to the polls to elect a new President and a new Parliament? A new Prime Minister...and God forbid it, yet another self-styled Joint Opposition obsessed with anarchy.

What I'm trying to say here is that precedent has proven time and again that the worst Machiavellian scoundrels can get away scot free with the vilest of crimes with a national electorate that's itself very low on morals and principled living. Else, how is it that the worst rogues and killers under the sun in this nation continue winning thumping electoral victories, and if they don't, get top appointments from their political masters when the dust has settled on elections? Consider the present Government, Parliament and its many committees. How many are untainted by some crime or misdemeanor? One must admit that the only party that seems at least superficially untainted by some charge or the other is the JVP, no matter of course that it's not difficult to trace its past by the bloodied footsteps it has left behind. That's a strong argument in favour of State prosecuted anti-terror strategies that the current Government is unfortunately too scared to opt for, and is thus allowing the Joint Opposition and its lackeys in student bodies, TUs and professional organizations to hijack governance by mere threats and strikes.

It's been a very long time since we have seen such a weak government, which as Benjamin Disraeli once said was the greatest of all evils. That's the abdication of authority that I've been often writing about.

Some others have damned themselves by running with the packs led by men who easily qualify for stiff prison terms, if not more, definitely more.

The phenomenon of a weak government

But in this essay what I'm trying to focus on is the phenomenon of a weak government that is afraid of sullying the yahapalana tag by acting with strength where it needs to. Unfortunately, as in the case of some commissions of inquiry, it has become abundantly clear that the President cannot act without seriously jeopardizing the life of the unity government. This was clearly borne out by the fact that everyone with an ounce of common sense knew that the COPE report on the CB Bond affair was more than adequate for the Attorney General to base a charge sheet on and press for a successful conviction. Everyone knows that the exercise, some call it the circus, of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the bond scandal is simply a time-consuming attempt to do just that: buy time. But this has resulted in time running out for the government because everyone with an ounce of grey matter will know that what is transpiring before that Commission today would be revealed In a Court of law had the Presidential Commission not been created to intentionally derail the normal course of justice. This has resulted in the government losing ground in the electorate and is the reason why the President has not called for Local Government elections. To make matters worse, the FCID, Police etc. have been publicly lampooned by the President for intentionally delaying probes into crimes committed under Mahinda Rajapaksa's watch. The President, the reader and I know too well that this will be the equation when general and presidential elections come around unless President Maithripala Sirisena takes over the Ministry of Law and Order and of Justice. If not, one can be sure that not a single case against anyone in the Rajapaksa regime will be successfully prosecuted. These are the 'deals' the President was referring to when he lambasted the foot dragging by the FCID, Police and Law and Order Ministry. Those are big league deals in which ordinary MPs and junior ministers are obviously not involved. So, where does that statement leave us? It leaves us wondering who the big names are behind these top order 'deals.' That's nationally tragic because we are talking about probes into mega-billion deals and murders and kidnappings being thwarted by top politicians who on the surface appear to be opposing forces, but are in fact having secret under the counter fraudulent deals to thwart the course of justice. That will leave the President wide open as a victim of those who are behind those deals: And hence his inability to take a step in the right direction.

It is a truism that in the relations of a weak government and a rebellious electorate egged on by a vicious Opposition, there comes a time when every action of the government annoys the people because they see in such actions a hesitancy to take decisive measures to establish firm government. It's the people's sixth sense that does this. As a result, every hesitancy and weak, delayed action exasperates the people who then become easy prey to an exploitative Opposition bent on destabilization. Let it not be said that nobody ever gave the government timely warning in good faith, because weak governance can only excite the common masses to contemptuous responses at the behest of brute forces now operating in the Opposition. Weak governance was never a feature of the 2015 mandates, January or August.

Ironically, it was Adolph Hitler who put this all into succinct language when he observed that a government that's "weak willed, degenerate, and made up of cowardly pacifists will never storm heaven, and indeed, they will not be able to even safeguard their own existence on earth". Abraham Lincoln's own thoughts were in agreement when he said that collapse is inevitable "when a government is too, weak to maintain its own existence."

Disraeli, Lincoln and Hitler were all talking of string, decisive governance.

The President needs to urgently address this question lest he be dragged down into political oblivion by being weak in the face of compromising with factors which have betrayed him in the Unity Government

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