Over two years ago, most of us (including myself) rooted #WeWantGota. A fair percentage of us were legit racists. Most of us were "I'm not a racist, but". Many believed democracy is inefficient & Sri Lanka needs a dictator to develop. Some of my dearest friends justified the killing of Lasantha as “necessary”. Many were ready to trade democracy & freedom for the illusion of security & prosperity. Some believed the Kelaniya snakes story. Then some of us actually hoped that Gota who cleaned Colombo was the rational choice compared to Sajith who was blabbering about a national Artificial Intelligence.
But all of us, except the racists, were deceived. Rajapaksas cleverly used Gota as a trojan horse, a step in the door, to win a landslide victory gaining 2/3rd in the parliament. Mahinda was made PM; they kept playing good-cop-bad-cop: "Gota is doing good, but Mahinda is ruining things"; the constitution was amended; Basil who ran a petrol shed and was not elected by the people was made the Finance Minister, because of their logic "Wada karanna Gota-Mahinda innawa, Wada karawanna Basil enna one".
Sunil Rathnayake, who was unanimously sentenced to death for massacring 8 civilians in cold blood, was given a presidential pardon. Nationalists hailed that as "democratic justice". Duminda De Silva and corrupt politicians were similarly released, for which they were silent. The investigation report on Easter Attacks is being withheld from the public. The cardinal keeps making cryptic allegations.
Apart from the corruption and looting that spanned decades, rotting our country to the core, and apart from the subtle racism by SLPP and some thug monks that divided and pitted us against each other, today their core values have driven Sri Lanka to the deathbed.
Their corruption starts with the habit of valuing blind loyalty over competence. Many of us were happy with this. “Yep, loyalty is the most important virtue. Who can you trust more than your family?”. With 2/3rd in the parliament, they gave the Health, Foreign, and Finance Ministries to absolute idiots, who kept fooling the public by throwing pots into rivers. The fertilizer ban wiped out the agricultural output (family of farmers, can confirm). A sinking ship was pulled into shallow waters, ruining the fishing industry.
They surrounded themselves with yes-men “advisory committees”. CBSL governor apparently believed in Modern Monetary Theory and kept printing money, which led to over 50% food inflation today. They kept the rupee pegged causing most of the foreign worker's remittances to move to the black market and IT employees chose to keep their dollars outside the country. In addition to bleeding billions to support the pegged rupee, govt lost the dollar income and drained existing dollars fast, tanking the economy.
And here we are. An unprecedented revolution in Sri Lankan history, without any political backing, even chasing out those thug monks. Politicians are unable to comprehend this. They first tried the usual racist cards: “Arab spring” and “extremists”. A bus was mysteriously burnt, just like the unsolved easter attacks. They abducted the Facebook group admin. They sent armed, unidentified STF to mess with protests. They tried diluting the movement with “225ma epa”. Yohani made a fake fundraiser.
Most of the 69 lakhs have now changed their ‘position’. A lot of bayyo recently got enlightened. Hardcore racists are keeping silent or have gone underground to talk about how #GoHomeGota insults the triple gem. The rest of the washing machines formed the “jana ganga” which we quite enjoyed.
They keep trying every trick in their book and they keep failing. Their only objective is to do anything to quell the protests in the short term, so they can stay in power and keep looting. A new government cannot independently negotiate with IMF with Rajapaksas on the table scheming how to loot from that too. A new govt cannot implement unpopular, but necessary IMF reforms with Rajapaksas being in the opposition and wreaking havoc with publicity stunts like riding bicycles when the petrol price was raised by 3 rs.
We should abolish Executive Presidency, to make sure we don't get fooled again by another "wada karana wiruwa". Rajapaksas need to be sent home at any cost. It is now or never. We should keep the pressure.