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Let Cabinet skeletons roll out

2013 Jul 03

Contemporary Sri Lanka politics has become a gigantic swindle perpetrated by many of the people, elected by most of the people and supposedly for all the people. But they are anything but for the people who are beginning to recognize the bitter reality that many of those chosen representatives run the country only with their own interests at heart.

So, the average Sri Lankan is constrained to live on air while the politicos by all appearances appear to waltz on it. Several of our nouveau riche politicians have no scruples about amassing filthy lucre while living off the public purse. A disproportionate number of them are riff-raff, who are mostly enraptured with their own persona.

And once in power many of these glorified street-corner thugs suffer from severe delusions of grandeur. They ride roughshod over us mere mortals on the public highways in their jaunty high-tech palanquins accompanied by their praetorian guard with the panache of celestial beings.

Sinful indulgences

Essentially, the people are living in an ambience of famine, fear and frustration. They are discontented and have largely lost hope by the nation’s inability to govern itself with honesty or aptitude. Across the country there is a belief that corruption is flourishing and is most rampant in certain ministerial alcoves.
In a nation where poverty and inequality remain discouragingly prevalent, perhaps nothing is more damaging to public trust in a democracy than several of these low-life politicians who impose austerity on the many while somehow purloining the exchequer for their own sinful indulgences.
But the worrying and perhaps most intolerable aspect to the ordinary citizen is that hardly any member of the grossly corpulent Cabinet has even made the least token gesture in support of practicing austerity among themselves. They allow immoral latitude to their fat-cat cronies on whom they bestow comfortable nooks to manipulate in monopolistic market recesses.

Disastrous course

There is another intriguing custom among our politicians that is frightfully interesting. They all tell the people that they are ashamed of the disgusting behavior of their predecessors and that despite their own shortcomings during their earlier tenures they are resolved not to behave as boorishly and would lead better lives in the future. Oh yes, and pigs might fly!
The indiscretions, blatant violence, scandals, collusion, prodigality, profiteering, corruption and mindless economic policy have all contributed to turn this nation into one of the most depraved corners of the earth.
For a Government confronted with an aggregation of devilishly confounding dilemmas, it would be political and economic suicide to continue its present disastrous willy-nilly course. If it does, it will be heading with lemming-like proclivity to hurtle over the precipice and into political oblivion. That would be quite acceptable as far as the people of this nation are concerned, except for certain disturbing consequences that would be bound to originate from such a development.

Iron-fist

The main legitimate worry in such a scenario concerns its replacement, which is the other big-party political dynasty which has an equally bad, if not worse track record of governance. Indeed, as long as these two see-sawing powers continue to dominate the scene, the voters will be left with such little choice. The voters, over the last two and a half decades or so, have had low expectancy of what successive governments can achieve.
Another concern is that such a development would further strengthen the iron-fist of an already over-mighty political Executive Office. Still it now seems apparent that the Executive seems to have grossly overrated the suitability of too many of his Cabinet associates to administer competently the portfolios they have been entrusted with.
To be fair, there are some among the caucus of ministers who have suddenly realized that the truth actually hurts, not because of the searching after it but because of the running from it. Now that, asserts a political satirist, is because in Sri Lankan politics that once in a blue moon an innocent man is sent to the legislature.

Parasitic politicians

The people of this nation are being choked by a financial grinding that is threatening to whisk them to the very brink of subsistence. Living standards have nose-dived as ordinary people bear the burden of an unparalleled rise in the charges of utilities and prices of essential commodities. The men and women who toil are the ones who bear the cost of government. But these people are foisted with unbearable financial burdens in addition to unbearable taxes.

Governments, for too long now have been looking upon this nation as a convenient cash cow which they have all been responsible for milking dry. The main contribution of many of them while commanding the scene, has been to dole out patronage and divvy up concessions to their sycophants and camp followers. Opulence has become a sort of natural habitat for these parasitic politicians and those who have become part of their enchanting corrupt circuit.

Few of them have shown much interest in the problems of the ordinary people. Rather, they have seen public office as a route to riches and have stopped at little to win power or hold on to it. Besides, it would only be logical to perceive that so many who comprise the mammoth Cabinet are a liability to both the Government and the nation.

They are, besides being an embarrassment to their party and a mill-stone around the nation’s neck, ill-equipped to handle their portfolios and are positively expendable. They are a monumental reminder to everyone that there is no surer way of leading a party to electoral extinction than having them on board.

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