Written by Tharushan Fernando
06 Nov, 2016 | 8:40 pm
Why does the mighty elephant allow itself to be submissive to the physically inferior human being?
A hope for a brighter tomorrow – this is surely the foundation of any people, of any nation, struggling to overcome the prejudices of a difficult past and find its way forward in a dynamic, fast-paced world.
As Sri Lanka looks back at her post-independence performance, she is confronted by an ugly truth. The politicians, parties and indeed, an entire system, that has governed in absolute terms has failed our nation and our people.
Today, as the world moves forward, we stand on the cusp of a defining moment in our history. But the vestiges of a decrepit political order continue to cling on to power, using anything and everything possible to maintain the status quo. Those representing a politics of yesterday, remain entrenched in a game of survival. They believe, that they can get away with anything. They believe that helping themselves to the treasury, in the name of protecting and propagating their own political futures, is acceptable. Not just acceptable, but in fact a right of leadership.
Over the past few weeks, we have heard Members of Parliament use the hallowed tradition of Westminster as a defence. If this be the case, then should they not also adopt the tradition of a graceful exit when faced with defeat or when one’s honour is called into question? That the Lion of British Politics Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister when inability plagued his rule – and this decision was clearly in the best interest of the nation must be remembered. That more recently, this year in fact, David Cameron stepped down when it was clear he had lost public support following the BREXIT debacle, is another beautiful example of the Westminster tradition.
Ours is Westminster, only when most convenient and politically expedient.
As our politicians continue to traverse the globe and crisscross time-zones, our rural villages continue to battle to exist. The human-elephant conflict leaves both humans and elephants dead almost every day. The situation is now so dire that it has caused some communities to abandon their villages and move elsewhere.
As if like clockwork, Norochcholai failed again last week and the people barely blinked. One of the worst examples of political decision-making, this plant is today a national embarrassment. The breakdowns would be hilarious, if it was not draining public finances each time it failed. But does this truly matter to our politician? The people will accept and we will move on, they think.
And what of the COPE report and the Central Bank Bond Scandal? Sri Lankans watched on as no effort was spared within and outside of COPE to protect the powers that be, in a shameless, extraordinary example of just how bad things are. Many of the members elected almost solely because of their anti-corruption stance, disrobed themselves in their embarrassing fight to protect the hierarchy. The people seemed to have turned to the Nation’s Chief Executive, but so far, no Presidential Commission has been summoned. Instead, the COPE report seems destined to live on a shelf at the Attorney-General’s office until the dust settles, and the billions made, safely squirrelled away. This too, shall pass, seems to be the mantra of the moment.
A new party has been formed with all the old faces, and this attempt is seen as nothing more than a political manoeuvre, seen time and time again in the Sri Lankan political equation.
While our politicians spend an inordinate amount of time securing their own political futures, they remain absolutely ignorant and indifferent to the real plight of the people.
The people seem to be turning inward and looking to themselves for the help, support and the inspiration they need. Millions of rural Sri Lankans, especially our youth, are becoming increasingly empowered. They are now beginning to see the futility of handing over their futures to those who have no interest in progress.
The story is told of the elephant, a massive, powerful creature, but endowed with relatively small eyes. And because it cannot see its own size, it is led by a much smaller human being. But come the day the elephant sees its own power and understands its own strength, the days of it being led by the physically inferior human are certainly, numbered.
14 Feb, 2020 | 11:27 PM
14 Feb, 2020 | 09:13 AM
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