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Caught between phony patriots and Colombo

cockroaches

2017-09-27

Fonsekas flaw- not yet fatal- seems to be timing and not following through with
his critiques and sustaining them

The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity ~George Orwell

The separation occurred soon after the cessation of the war. In the immediate
aftermath of the end of the war, the Rajapaksas had nothing short of praise and
flattery for General Sarath Fonseka, the man who led his forces to a victorious
end of the most destructive conflict between the Government forces and the LTTE
militants.
There is no dispute about, who gave military leadership to the soldiers of the
Army, Navy and Air Force. The astute leadership qualities of General Fonseka,
while he was still the Army Commander, were the qualities the Rajapaksas
announced to the country as exemplary and worthy of idolisation.
Now they seem to be empty rhetoric.

Politicians are notorious for such meaningless words. They rarely mean what they
utter on the political platform. Being used to deception by words and action,
politicians are seldom matched by any other for abuse of language. The
Rajapaksas belong to that miserable category.

The war-victory gave them a very plausible avenue to trek. And they willingly
chose to travel that path. Sarath Fonsekas tirade against former Jagath
Jayasuriya, Army Commander, who in fact succeeded him, may have contained
many truths; the allegations Fonseka hurled against Jayasuriya are not light; they
are indeed in the realm of abuse of Human Rights and would have arisen the
curiosity of many international organizations whose sharpened daggers are
already in readiness to be used.

Fonseka would have been justified had he been only a private citizen, having
retired from the Army. Sarath Fonseka must remember that he is not a private
citizen anymore. He is now Field Marshal and a politician and a Cabinet Minister.
Fonseka was the Commander ..when Jayasuriya is purported to have committed
these gross violations of Human Rights. With all his acumen as an alert leader
and domineering personality Fonseka did walk into the political dump that the
Rajapaksas mined. And he got burnt.
He being forthright will not suffice in the grand scheme of things; he should also
be wise. Wisdom is not an inborn quality; it is a product of patience, it dawns on
you when you have enough and gruelling experience tempered by iron discipline
of mind.

Only a handful of Sri Lankan politicians could be classified as wise and Sarath
Fonseka has time and again proved that he has not arrived at the lofty summit of
wisdom.

Fonseka was the Commander of the Army when Jagath Jayasuriya is purported to
have committed these gross violations of Human Rights. With all his wit, street-
smartness, superlative skills and capacity on the military field and despite his
acumen as an alert leader and domineering personality, Sarath Fonseka did walk
into the political dump that the Rajapaksas mined. And he got burnt. His rhetoric
as a candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Elections of 2009
went way out of line; his perception of forthrightness was not framed within
political correctness and he paid the ultimate price in politics- a defeat at the
election.

And his humiliation did not cease. Mahindas vengeance apparently knew no
limit. General Sarath Fonseka was arrested, tried and sentenced to prison.
Fonsekas political education was eventually sourced from within the prison cell.

The fake heroes who did not even throw a stone at the LTTE militants during the
twenty eight-year-war against them are now berating the hero, who commanded
the forces during a brutal and exhausting battle that claimed tens of thousands of
men and women on both sides.

It is in fact a great insult to those soldiers who fell on the battlefield to disparage
the commander of the forces. Yet, the excesses that may have been committed
by both sides cannot and should not be condoned; nor could they be suppressed
for what may come out is too bitter to swallow. That is to confront the human
spirit.

When the spirit of any character is challenged with stark evidence of gross
violations of fellow men and women, it is incumbent upon that man or woman to
be accountable and that accountability; that element of accountability is an
integral and differentiating quality of any human being who is counted as a
decent and civilized one. Without that civility and decency, man falls into a quarry
in which those who meander about in the land of degenerates and deranged.

Our leaders must show some semblance of courage and moral purity in meting
out justice and civility. The Joint Opposition which is guided by the Rajapaksas
who, in the first place were the beneficiaries of patriotism-euphoria that was
almost flawlessly built up by their propaganda specialists; they have been using
this tribal belief of nationalism which was always misunderstood for patriotism;
they won elections, one after another, for Provincial Councils, Pradeshiya Sabha
and Urban Councils with this phony patriotism. While ransacking the countrys
national treasures like their own private property, they portrayed these alleged
violators of Human Rights as war heroes.
The Parliamentary Opposition at the time was deaf, dumb and blind. Embroiled in
their own leadership battles, they hardly had any time to craft a strategic
approach to counter this patriotism-based propaganda onslaught of the
Rajapaksa goons.

However, this patriotism-based propaganda not only gave a cover for the
Rajapaksas, it also provided the general public with a triumphalism-based
collective egoism, especially for Sinhalese Buddhists.
Not only did the people get deceived beyond any precedent, the looters branded
themselves as the custodians of all morals and Good Governance and phony
patriotism was their sartorial elegance.
It is in fact a great insult to those soldiers who fell on the battlefield to
disparage the commander of the forces
The war-victory gave them a very plausible avenue to trek. And they
willingly chose to travel that path
The excesses that may have been committed by both sides cannot and
should not be condoned; nor could they be suppressed for what may
come out is too bitter to swallow
Sarath Fonseka finds himself in a radically changed political culture,
whose convoluted milieu is made up of utterly corrupt and short-sighted
politicos
By being silent does not drive the issue away; on the contrary, it amounts
to being perceived as politically impotence
The Opposition at the time feared this patriotism-garbed cabal that ruled the
country. What gave away the nudity of their posture was the 18th Amendment.
That 18th Amendment provided the ruling cabal with seemingly unlimited playing
time on a field fairly barren of vociferous and courageous political minds.

At the time, Sarath Fonseka was still in prison. His was a powerful voice of
opposition against those so-called patriots; those patriots feared a fresh voice;
they wanted to still that voice and at least in the short run, they succeeded.

Now, Fonseka is on a different wicket. He is a Parliamentarian and a Cabinet


Minister. And above all he is a UNPer. He has wilfully engaged in a controversial
subject: Human Rights violations by Sri Lankan security forces.

On top of that, he also indulged in hurling even harsher criticism against one of
those Buddhist Monks, whose social and religious standing, especially among the
Colombo Cocktail Cockroaches is rather unimpeachable.

But Fonsekas words about Elle Gunawansa, another person garbed in saffron
robes that had a not-so-pure image in regard to ethno-religious relations, were
cutting and sharp.

However, Fonsekas flaw- not yet fatal of course- seems to be timing and not
following through with his critiques and sustaining them.
What is even more telling is the deathly silence of the leadership of the coalition.
That silence is not going to help them in the long run.

They must respond one way or other. By being silent does not drive the issue
away; on the contrary, it amounts to being perceived as politically impotence.
Sarath Fonseka is not known for political correctness. As a matter of fact political
correctness has helped the country in the wrong way. It has framed those who
need to express themselves freely in a cosmetic cage of correctness.

Yet, Field Marshal Fonseka has chosen to free himself of the shackles of a caged
animal. His character, that of a fearless leader and forthright speaker of the truth,
should stand out as an exemplary one, yet it should not display any recklessness
that no modern political leader of any calibre to reckon with would be weighed
down by. Societal inhibitions need to be addressed, if any political leader aspires
to gain political power through the ballet. The collective mindset of any electorate
invariably oscillates between varying options; it tends to absorb more of the
superficial stuff than profound political theories.

The United National Party in which camp Fonseka is saddled with today has had
some superlative leaders, both at the highest level and the second tires. M. D.
Banda, U. B. Wanninayake, M. D. H. Jayewardene, M. V. P. Peiris, Sir Lalitha
Rajapaksa of the fifties and sixties and Lalith

Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake and Nissanka Wijeyratne in the seventies


and eighties, cannot be matched by any second-tier leaders in any other political
party.

In terms of electorate-acceptance and real accomplishment of monumental tasks


given unto them, no second-tier political leader even comes close. For that matter
their accomplishments are not matched by the first-tier leaders of other parties.

But, today Sarath Fonseka finds himself in a radically changed political culture,
whose convoluted milieu is made up of utterly corrupt and short-sighted politicos.
Their purpose of entering into politics is to enrich themselves at the expense of
the country. What is more unpatriotic that that?

It is quite futile to dwell in the past and lament. If the environment is not sharp
enough to produce good leaders, then we must change the environment.

That is not easy and wont be accomplished in just months a couple of years. But
we all owe it our children that we leave a better place for them. Who amongst us
is ready and willing to carry that burden?

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com


Posted by Thavam