THE BIG PICTURE
PLAYING CHESS WITH POLITICS
We the pawns will soon be asked to vote for the same pseudo kings and queens!
It won’t be long before we’re asked to vote for a new president and thereafter, a prime minister together with a government. One assumes that the literally sitting head of state will have the foresight to refrain from seeking another term because if there’s anything that he must know will not happen, it is that the people will reelect him to serve them again.
The failure of his promise of yahapalanaya together with the shocking events of 10/26 and 4/21 must surely have put paid to that.
In the meantime, there’s an eerie silence on the part of any would-be presidential candidates from beyond the so-called ‘225 plus one’ (and their kith and kin; or indeed, stooges).
In stark contrast, the horseplay on the chessboard that Sri Lanka’s politicians are accustomed to is beginning to take shape with various names from within the two main parties and one or two who are closely associated with them being bandied about in political circles.
So for the time being at least, the lack of a candidate who can be trusted and has the national appeal that’s necessary from outside the dirty political machinery leaves us, the voting public, with a Hobson’s choice.
For decades, a large majority of Sri Lankans have felt the need to exercise their democratic franchise even if that has meant voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ or on some occasions, the ‘known devil.’ But following the horrendous events of last October and more recently on Easter Sunday, there is now a growing number of citizens who are saying enough is enough – and that could mean they choose not to vote unless there are people on the ballot paper whom they can trust.
There’s also the rise of a number of citizens’ movements that are either agitating for political accountability and an end to the cancer of corruption or possibly hoping to nominate candidates to run for high office – all in a good cause except that we have yet to be told who the contenders are so that those of us who are yearning for a fresh start can assess their credentials.
Let’s face it, there’s now an extremely high degree of suspicion among the people when anyone seeks their vote because the past has seen a litany of broken promises, a gaping lack of calibre, hooliganism (in parliament, no less) and miscreants with bulging pockets full of dirty money running our beloved country to the ground.
And what’s more, the circus that was performed by clowns has entered a new phase, in that it’s now in the hands of demons who are doing their very best to distract the public with all manner of proposals and enactments, at a time when the nation is still on edge and business has all but come to a standstill.
That the people of our land have continued to vote for such men and women, many of whom are utterly corrupt, is mind-boggling; it’s like handing the keys to a vault full of gold to those who have only one thing on their minds: to commit daylight robbery.
One hopes therefore, that Sri Lankans will be blessed with a new leader and leadership team that has nothing to do with any of the existing political parties, pie in the sky as this may seem right now. Should this dream not come true, our rotten politicos will move to checkmate us… and the nation too.