TOPPLING THE GOVT…HOW?

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2017-01-11

Within three weeks we've had growing indications of politically stoked aggression by unruly mobs, egged on by members of the Joint Opposition, threateningly boarding two foreign ships in the Hambantota Harbour, and last weekend intentionally clashing with the Police in a bid to thwart the government's initiatives to achieve economic growth while simultaneously making a desperate attempt to lift the country out of the massive public debt burden bequeathed to it by the former Rajapaksa regime.

These are extremely serious indications of attempts to introduce violence and lend it legitimacy as an anarchist tool to topple a legitimately elected government that has been globally acknowledged by all right thinking people as being one that is seriously and sincerely trying everything at its disposal to restore to the people the human rights and freedoms they lost under the former regime. Truth be told, the government has, to begin with, restored to the media its most sacred rights which can and are exercised without fear of being a victim of a white van death squad or a killer motorcyclist.

It has done entirely away with State tyranny and impunity that ran rampantly amok for ten years and ordered the Police and Army out against the slightest sign of political, media or civil dissent against the most brutal form of totalitarianism ever experienced in the history of this country.

And it shamelessly employed its wordsmith lackeys in the corridors of journalism to legitimize all its forms of suppression.

Almost by default, the real meaning of political tyranny is made to appear as a justifiable revolution against a government that by any standard or measure is furthest from a government that can be defined as one that applies coercion, aggression or deception in any area of its governance. In fact, looking at its performance objectively one is compelled to concede that its performance to date underscores the fact that it has by and large held true to the best of its ability to honour the mandate it received in January 2015 and in August of that year.

In other words, there is absolutely nothing that can legitimize the Opposition's stoking of mob violence for the simple reason that the facets to justify such aggression are simply not there. If at all there should have been such politically stoked aggression it should have been when State tyranny rose to fearsome heights during the former regime that ran roughshod over anyone showing the slightest sign of dissent.Today, dissent has wafted across society setting people free to fearlessly comment on or criticize the government with no fear of a violent backlash.

Many people it seems can still be led astray...and when such people have turned into a stone-throwing mob that accosts the Police and Armed Services physically – then one can only define it as politically orchestrated mob uprisings.

All of this is happening even as former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that 2017 will be the year in which he will topple this government. But is mob rule, a legitimate weapon to do so? Anarchy is defined as an environment in which there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression by a government or a monarchy/dictatorship against society at large or against anything belonging to society. By that fact, because the government does not in any way impose any form of coercion, there is no justification for such political turmoil.

With the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC set to be taken up for discussion by mid-March this year, just 10 weeks away, the Joint Opposition has in addition begun to accuse the government of preparing to drag the Army before the International Criminal Court (ICC), on war crime charges. Obviously this is intended by the Joint Opposition to rouse the largely ignorant masses against the government in a bid to swell the numbers that can be roped in for further anti-government demonstrations.

But if Rajapaksa is serious about his statement about toppling the government the question that arises is whether he intends doing so through a parliamentary or non-parliamentary and hence a socially destabilizing process. Else, why resort to resources outside the parliamentary/electoral processes which were used to oust him from power? All this can be very trying not only for the government's leadership and rank and file, but more so for the ordinary man in the street and society in general.

What seems to be missing for all members of the Joint Opposition is that in a democracy as in the US, Canada, UK et al the politicians and the voter strictly adhere to the laid down norms of a democracy to usher in a regime change. As there is no general election hovering round the corner, how does he intend toppling the government?

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