Northern Breeze with knowledge and information available in the media has come to the conclusion that there’s more to it than meets the eye, for the situation is not as simple as it seems to rule and questioning the moral of the “Yahapalana” government that came to power in 2015 promising to clean up corruption in the country is too early. This whole business is very puzzling and getting one or two ministers to resign, though necessary has not made the government or the legislature any cleaner or credible for it is not just an issue about personalities and individuals. The corruption system of governance has been growing for over 40 years and has gone rusty; should the present leadership fail to fix it before 2020, then time would be ripe to look for alternatives.
With forty years of free market economy, the role of the state changed from one that was regulating the economy to one that facilitates and promotes investments for market expansion for profits, gave benefit and every advantage to make profit at the expense of the people turned consumers and today the whole system has gone wild with corruption with political leaderships taken care of by big time dealers and their parties funded by these big-time dealers often by black money. In the process, political parties have been turned into organisations with autocratic leaderships wholly devoid of any democracy in their political parties. Also over the same period, it robbed the urban professional middle-class of its ethics and morals; for today every professional from academics, accountants, doctors, engineers, lawyers, managers and even media has become extremely selfish and corrupt with absolutely no respect for their own professional ethics or code of conduct. They are after big money on their own and collaborating with politicians on mega corruption as revealed by the bond scam under investigation and many other mega projects that are yet to be investigated.
It is within that context candidates are nominated by these political parties, for whom the people vote to elect a government, thus it is never possible to elect a ‘clean parliament’. At elections, change of governments are campaigned for by mainstream political parties with such candidates on offer for the preference vote, backed by black money dealers. The sad fact is choice is very much restricted, “the change” people believe they made, was in fact the change those big time businesses had already agreed to; people have no real, viable alternative to replace this shuttling between wholly corrupt political parties with the same list of corrupt candidates shuffled at times between the two big parties, it is one or the other. Though the two big parties are in government, they are still working as two fractions only linked by their leaders in this Yahapalanaya government.
Bitter truth is in the past 40 years, 80% the wealth of the nation got concentrated with 20% of the population, mainly living in the urban areas in particular to greater Colombo City, while 80% of the population in the rural areas are left with only 20% of the wealth. In the same period, much of this wealth has shifted away from the conscious and the intellectual social sect to the corrupt segments of the society in the country. The worst affected were the rural folks in all corners of the country who were made the economic minorities and the uprisings were the result. In the north-east regions the rural folks made up of ethnic minorities were further handicapped by the ethnic issue and the uprising resulted in the civil-war. As the urban based wealthy population were also in control of power were able to crush these uprisings without mercy at a heavy cost to the country; that put the country back by five decades. Yet, it did not prevent the rulers nor their business supporters make more wealth in the misery of the people, perished were the rural youth who fought each other, be it the youth uprising or the youth in armed forces who fought them in the two uprisings in the south and later in the cruel civil war in the north-east regions of the country. The urban backed rulers called the rural youth terrorists, while the rural folks called the armed forces oppressors; in reality both were the effects caused by corrupt rulers, who to keep their power in tact hailed and projected the armed forces heroes. Bitter truth is the armed forces were used by the corrupt rulers to eliminate the poor rural youth of the country and some got corrupted in the process by the system; people must not fail to accept this reality.
In the past, it was the urban middle class that has access to knowledge and information to develop new thinking to generate new discourses for alternatives. It was their alternate thinking that provided rulers with new answers for democratic and decent governance; but now they have lost that power of generating social opinion to the media owned by big businesses that run for profits and that is part of the festering problem.
Today, entrenched in this crudely corrupt free market economy, they don’t believe there is need for an alternative, for they earn as much as they wish for a comfortable and luxurious living. Therefore, don’t contribute to break out of the intellectual poverty the society continues to live with and any cry for changes are only cosmetic and short term, as they have a more comfortable life within this system. This society is gradually sinking and therefore removing few corrupt politicos will not help clean this Yahapalanaya rule and will not provide any alternative at the next elections due in 2010.
Past governments have always been personality based on political party alliances; never worked on political alternatives based on a development programme for an all-inclusive multi-ethnic, multi-religious or multi-cultural society. Most affected were the rural folks who were made economic and ethnic minorities in the country; that resulted in the uprisings from the rural folks that finally led the country to a bloody civil war. In this backdrop, it is not surprising to find opponents accusing the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) of wasting time supporting this government; but TNA knows that is the only path and are hopeful to get the issues of their people sorted with a new Constitution as promised in 2015; which is yet to see the light of day. As mentioned in many earlier Northern Breeze posting only development can lift the life of the larger majority of the people, who are marginalised by the free market and living in the rural areas of the country. For only this all inclusive, secular and beyond corruption alternative, could improve the quality of life of all the people beyond being as now a consumer in this free market economy, guiding “Yahapalana” to 2020 is the best option available, for others would do more harm.