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Paranoid political personality disorder!

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 It is clear that there is a very ugly witch hunt sweeping across the political bureaucratic and judicial dovecotes, which many think is shamefully unfair. Here former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa emerges from the main prison hospital in Colombo after visiting his former health minister Tissa Attanayake who has been remanded It is clear that there is a very ugly witch hunt sweeping across the political bureaucratic and judicial dovecotes, which many think is shamefully unfair. Here former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa emerges from the main prison hospital in Colombo after visiting his former health minister Tissa Attanayake who has been remanded (Picture courtesy- AFP)

Just as I predicted in my last column the political hyenas with bared incisors are  baying for blood. In truth, they are riding the crest of a vitriolic wave of vendetta that has become a practised blood sport following every election.

Yes, the sewer-rats too appear to be experiencing a field day as they set off on a frenzied stampede to lodge complaints of kickbacks and corruption against their perceived enemies. The majority of them obviously carry a chip on their shoulder and make such sweeping allegations without the slightest proof.

What is common to all these figures, a psychologist friend informs me, is that they manifest the symptoms of ‘the quintessential political disease.’ This is to say that the majority of them are ‘paranoids,’ or that they suffer from ‘paranoid personality disorder.’ Such a situation implies that the present leadership, because of the nonsensical advice they receive, are being all too easily pressurized into accepting a view of reality which is both delusional and irrational.

It is abundantly clear that there is a very ugly witch hunt sweeping across the political bureaucratic and judicial dovecotes, which many think is shamefully unfair. Indeed, many express the opinion that it is obscenely fraudulent and unjust. During this period, though, we have been witnessing nail after nail being hammered into the coffin of due process. Lynch mob mentality has now completely taken over the hearts and minds of these badly led people.

What we have had up to now has been an ad hoc government of contradictions and controversies. It has clearly manifested that politics always prevails over justice. Certainly it is not a beneficial legacy to follow. It can ricochet with unexpectedly stunning force. 

We have witnessed a spate of relentless campaigns against several suspected charlatans and disreputable felons who everyone knows have been milking the nation dry. Yes, singling out those tainted with unsavoury character would be expected of any administration. But the truth is that without proper investigations to unearth irrefutable proof of wrongdoing would be tantamount to witch-hunts. There is also evidence of investigations being carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but are actually used to hound and undermine those with differing views.

Yes, we see such trumped up charges triggered by crusades aimed at destroying the careers and reputations of several irreproachable personages in what unmistakably stand out as insidious frame-ups. In fact, some of the victims are those who upheld the highest standards of their profession and admirably advanced the cause of democratic justice. Who is there now to stand up to this ugly bullying?

The result of the recent change in leadership has brought about a precariously fragile arrangement of governance comprising a host of defectors of the vanquished President honeymooning with the main Opposition UNP. And there appear the peripheral voyeurs awaiting any opening to do an opportunistic leap into the marital bed and make multitudinous whoopee with whoever lusts after their warm embrace.

The voters would never have bargained to be stuck with such a bizarre political arrangement which leaves them languishing in a sort of ‘no-man’s land.’ All they can do at the moment is to watch how the seemingly unstable polygamous union could be sustained following the 100 day honeymoon!

They must surely be frustrated by the present Executive, Legislative and Judicial gridlock the nation is confronted with at the moment despite a good deal of clumsy constitutional tinkering. In reality, things have got worse recently. And all this unravels as the country’s political arena is turning even weirder as the perilous three month deadline gets closer with no tangible work in evidence. 

President Sirisena, no doubt, will find this reversal annoying but he doesn’t seem to have many options either. It is patently clear that the cracks seem to have appeared already within his interim administration. At present, the hastily cobbled Cabinet appears to lack even a clear organizing theme let alone being able to conjure up any bold, strategic moves to overcome the crisis.

Sirisena who was considered among the few prudent heads in the former  Rajapaksa Cabinet had displayed worries about the corruption and reprehensible behaviour of some of his erstwhile colleagues. As the Sri Lanka Freedom Party General Secretary and Health Minister he had over and over again denounced some of his own Cabinet colleagues as being corrupt to the core and lamented that they were getting completely out of hand.  

Although he stopped short of mentioning any such offenders by name then, it seems quite evident that he will reluctantly be pressured to let them off the hook and hold some of them to his bosom for the sake of political survival. This clearly endorses how ethics are thrown to the wind during political exigencies.  

Providing even temporary immunity to such rascals will set the mish-mash coalition on a sure course of electoral annihilation. It would also be accurate to mention that some of the interim Cabinet appointments are being discerned with circumspection by the voting public.  Ominous dark clouds of suspicion hover over the heads of some of them regarding certain alleged past disreputable dealings.

And the people are getting fed up to the back teeth with the barefaced lies being spouted by even some of the coalition’s foremost leaders who are losing credibility by attempting such subterfuge. Undoubtedly, they are trying to conceal their own omissions by blatant and virulent fabrications in an endeavour to bushwhack anyone seen as an obstacle to their progress.

Unquestionably, criminal elements have to be brought justice whoever they are and one must concede that no one is above the law. But it must be done within the due process of the law without fear of favor of political affiliations.  

 But now, the message being preached by the Government is one of drastic and urgent reform. Any administration in power should have realized by now that the entrepreneurial sector can never achieve its potential without a full-scale battle against corruption. Besides, big foreign investment will not pour in without a major improvement in central governance. At the heart of such a campaign must be the drive to limit the myriad opportunities for corruption, bribery, pilferage and sinful waste that plague the government sector. 

The post-war development and rebuilding of our infrastructure expansion is regarded as necessary and estimable and must continue. But the Government must also ensure that democracy in the same vein be built up as animatedly as its physical structural development. 

History has proved that mere democratic façades are always in danger of crumbling and caving in on their nearsighted and floppy political enclaves. And it will serve them darn well right!
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