By Dhaka Dickwella
Opportunists would lose anything but an opportunity. Wherever there is a power vacuum such characters would enter as the new force to fill the void. This is what is happening in the very volatile political space in Sri Lanka. Traditional political parties & their leaders have been casted out & they can not command support any longer. Their support bases have been eroded. People are tired & frustrated of what was available for them for the last decades. They are looking for new , genuine, close to home leaders to guide them through the dark times. Unfortunately Sri Lanka has extensively practiced nepotism to the core that a second tier leadership who is a grassroot character is as rare as a four-leaf clover.
By entering the highly secured Presidential palace the revolutionists managed to score the most significant victory that they have been after.While the Presidential palace was a symbolic sign of a victory, the real outcome was ousting the once feared President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Neither him nor his close circle expected this day but the events unfolded so quickly that he had to litterray flee the country.
Once his departure to Maldives was announced there emerged a power vacuum. There was no executive to run the country & a replacement was not clear. This was the opportune moment for various hidden forces to consolidate their grip on power. Out of the blue two such shady characters would emerge. Namely a marxist named Kumar Gunarathnam & a little known Pathum Kerner. None of them were party to the original movement that emerged in the Galle Face. Those individuals were not a part of the original or the core group known as “Aragalaya” .
“Victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan “ was a true wise man’s quote. When you look at how many are now claiming to be the forerunners of the revolution , it is beyond imagination. While the hardcore members who took the initiative & who really made this huge gamble seems to be getting sidelined the more militaristic, more shady , more arrogant , more careless , more lawless & more immoral set of individuals are now at the helm of things.
Neither Pathum nor Kumar have a credible past. The most troublesome trend is not what they have done in the past but what they promote as the way forward. As per their thinking the victory was achieved outside of the constitution. So the power now lies with people but not with the constitution. They want to establish a pseudo governing system with whomever they nominate. They want to ignore any outcome of the parliament & want their way or highway.
Sounds familiar ? Well it was the same philosophy of ISIS or Taliban. There is only one say & that will be theirs. This is in a nutshell “Anarchy”.
Kumar Gunarathnam & Pathum Kerner were living in other countries for reasons only known to them. There is a big question mark as to whether they are directly promoting the agendas of making a failed state out of Sri Lanka on behalf of another powerful state or a security agency. What their true agendas are not clear & the Aragalaya core group have made it a point to distance themselves from these two individuals.
Going one step closer to a clear coup d’etat , they made a broadcast on the national television & repeatedly made clear that the Television channels must telecast only what they think is right. They tried to lay siege to the Sri Lankan parliament & as a result there was a bloody clash with the security forces. Although various violent incidents with regards to the military were recorded , Sri Lanka military has avoided using deadly force so far. Was this provocation done to draw fire on the protesters & create more chaos ?
If you closely monitor the advances made by these two troubled individuals one thing is clear. They are not happy with the outcome of the President’s resignation which was the key demand from day one. They want to run the state affair as their private business. Simply there is no way they will ever get a democratic mandate through a parliamentary election. So what is the alternative? Capitalizing on violence, force & chaos. If this continues there will be street law instead of the constitution. Instead of the security forces , there would be revolutionary armed militia. If the constitution is abandoned what comes next is nothing but anarchy. They might go a step forward & even propose prison & police abolishments. Such are the possibilities when shady individuals with no broad mandate try to hijack a true political revolution.
Whether or not the Anarchical fraction of the revolution will be able to succeed with their doomed plans will depend on many factors.
The direction given by the Bar association of Sri Lanka will be a key indicator of the way forward. If there is no legal basis for what they plan, people will hesitate to approve it. They have already made it clear that constitutional law is & will be the only law of the land. Secondly, whether or not the military is ready to enforce their mandate to use force to protect public interest. After many pleadings to stick to a non violent path , security establishment heads seem to finally take the gloves off. This could have a dire impact on many innocent people & hopefully we will not be unfortunate to go to this state. Most crucial to all this would be the people’s support . Although every one in the isle supported Aragalaya & wanted Gotabya & the entire Rajapaksa family gone, they are not ready to entertain the whimsy selfish ideologies of a marginal few. If there is no public support then attempts to push the country on a path to anarchy will not succeed. People’s power is power & they will not want to impose self destruction willingly or unwillingly.
Sri Lankan revolution has reached its crunch point. Whatever happens beyond this point will have impacts that can not be recalled. People have two paths to choose. To continue on achieving their objectives through the parliamentary process as democratic as it is or blindly follow the pseudo marxists & foreign funded leaders forgetting the constitution once & for all. Whatever they choose will have its own fate & destiny. Knowing the ugly faces would be key to a beautiful tomorrow.