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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

Failing state near to collapse - Global Guerillas

By A Patabendige

The Easter Sunday bombings exposed a shambolic non functioning state where no action was taken on operational intelligence from an unimpeachable source that could have prevented the catastrophic event that led to 259 deaths and 500 wounded. Incredibly the National Security Council had not met for over 6 months.

A baffling President says the IGP fiddled (without ever being pulled up by him) with his smart phone at meetings and that no one told him about an imminent attack! The Prime Minister astonishingly did not attend NSC meetings. He says he was not warned about the Easter attack warning, therefore he will not resign. Are there many fools that believe either of them? The Intelligence chief was incredibly clueless even as to what a ‘Eyes Only’ message was. It appears that no one in government is responsible for this century’s greatest tragedy in SL, Asia’s so called ‘oldest democracy’, now imperiled. However there is much proof that all the rulers, their minions, followers and even relatives knew that an attack was imminent. They kept it to themselves. The victims to be were not warned. Absolutely no precautions were taken to avert the disaster by anyone.

(With apologies to Mark Anthony)

Friends. Sri Lankans. countrymen. We must not only grieve the heinous murder of 259 people and the wounding of nearly 500 on Easter Sunday 21 April 2019 and then sit back wringing our hands. But we must speak of what we know. All those responsible for gross dereliction of their duty to avert this tragedy must be punished.
We love our country- not without cause, what cause withholds you, then, to ask they be punished and even banished? These are not honorable men; they are brutish beasts who have lost their reason. They are villains and impenitent. Greed for power is their God. They hold us in contempt. We must not pause until they abdicate.
Even while our hearts are in the coffins, we must not pause. We must bond together so that so very many deaths and wounds of the innocent are never forgotten. Justice must be done.

Does SL realize that its environment is now a catalyst for non state terrorist networks? They have already provided conduits for transnational crime including drug and human trafficking. The rulers have with astonishing insouciance blamed ISIS to get international sympathy and divert attention from its own naked responsibility. However the proof of ISIS involvement is sketchy. The damage has been done. Fear stalks the land. Tourism has taken a shattering blow.

Who among the 225 in parliament even now care that 259 innocents died, hundreds of children have become orphans and families have been broken, are in hospital, in penury, distraught, homeless and devastated! All because these masquerading rulers impervious to the terrible disaster that would happen, did not give them protection and security to worship on Easter Sunday.

Were these indications not enough to awaken civic bodies that the state is near to collapse? The resignation of both President and Prime Minister, dissolution of parliament and elections are of paramount urgency? Or is serendipity to continue until another catastrophe takes place while a discredited parliament hangs around playing with ‘presidential commissions’ and ‘parliamentary select committees’? These calculated diversions may instead excite rebellion among a public that has lost its patience. Punishment of the guilty must follow soon.

The PM’s stated priority on 21 April was first to safe guard the Muslims. He failed. Consequently there is mass hysteria among that community. Muslim ministers meanwhile entertain the public playing musical chairs with portfolios while the PM talks incessantly about Poson and the benefits (for the chosen) of privatizing profit making government corporations.

Having announced Rs one million compensation for every death the PM has already put the 259 dead out of his mind. He dares not talk of it. The President had thought it fit to give exactly the same amount to a demented, absent without leave policeman who with a rifle threatened those who came to arrest him. Two bullet proof cars for Rs 175 million each were approved for the rulers in a flash reaction just as the ambulance sirens switched off. According to ‘spokesmen’ Rs 17 billion has been recovered from the terrorists. What is the price the dead and wounded paid for the criminal negligence of the state? This is heartless governance.

The PM next turned to revive tourism. Giving hoteliers massive financial packages. He declared that all the terrorists died or are in prison to convince a doubting media. It was he who gave a spin to the bomb attack that it was an ISIS atrocity. This was to give the twisted impression that it was a global challenge that he and little SL were incapable of fighting alone. He had worked hard for 4 years to embrace the USA. This could be the moment for sealing and delivering .While the pompous US secretary shied off from arriving in SL without an invitation, tourists however took notice. Their arrivals plunged.

The President, the PM’s own miserable choice, (amongst a host of other like disasters) was stripped naked by witnesses at the Parliamentary Select Committee. He continues nonchalantly to pursue his all countries passport hunt remorselessly, even as the country bleeds. He is impervious to the fact that he heads a Government that is totally responsible for the Easter catastrophe. A sense of fear, lawlessness and impending doom hangs over SL. He prefers to amuse even school children with his mock heroics by rolling out his comic threats, one day at a time, about punishing sand miners and carpenters and eternally threatening to hang drug Mafiosi while the 259 dead remain un avenged and murder, rape and RTAs claim about 20 victims a day. He too, like his political twin the PM, refuses to plead mea culpa. He is oblivious to endless and massive acts of government omission and commission. The Easter dead and wounded must haunt them for the rest of their lives.

According to Britannica “a state fails when the political bodies have disintegrated to a point when basic conditions and responsibility of a sovereign state no longer function properly”. Here is a failed state in which the heads of government are engaged in barely concealed acerbic exchanges while the country burns. The Speaker of the House has a local adviser paid by the US government. The US has been promised a chunk of SL land right across its middle for it’s ever ready to maraud troops that laid waste Vietnam, destroyed Iraq, introduced ISIS to Syria and al Qaida to Afghanistan. They have now threatened Iran with war.

The US has since 1990 alone killed over 2-3 million civilians and still counting. Is the ‘advisor’ the broker to the deal that could bring Armageddon to SL?

“A failed state is one that no longer contends with other states as a full member of the international community, failing in 2 fundamental functions. It cannot project authority on its territory and people and it cannot protect its national boundaries” . SL rulers meanwhile relentlessly pursue auctioning bits and pieces of its land to selected foreigners. Is this for future personal or national insurance?

“Executive functions, legislature, judiciary, bureaucracy and armed forces are fast losing capacity and professional independence. It has a crumbling infrastructure, failing utilities, crippled education and health facilities, and impacts adversely on infant mortality (including the first case of death by malnutrition last week in Tissamaharama in the South) and literacy rates”.
“There is a pervasive environment of flourishing corruption”. An unpunished Rs 19 billion Bond scam, Sri Lankan Airways, Education and Health Ministries, Electricity Board are prime examples of rampant corruption. As a result there are negative growth rates. Capital expenditure has been cut by 15%.

Honest economic activity is stifled. There is (sporadic) ethnic violence, predatory government and bureaucratic behavior. A collapse of state institutions and societal collapse is feared”.” It’s been happening without respite in nearly 72 years since Independence. Fortunately there is no civil war while the attempted genocide of the Sinhalese (1989-90) by the JVP has not recurred. In the unscrupulous desire to tolerate corruption by minority politicians in order to widen its vote base, the rulers have by their own admission spawned global terrorists (ISIS).

“It has not maintained the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. It has allowed mobs, as in 1983, free reign in the North West Province as recently as May 2019 and in Digana, Kandy and Ampara last year.The government has with corrupt police officers tolerated ‘no go’ areas and turned a blind eye to a almost parallel government in Kattankudi and its surrounds.

It has not “provided political empowerment of its citizens” (by delaying if not preventing Provincial Council elections for 2 years) and protection of their civil liberties and human rights” especially of the poor, the deprived and the minorities.

What could be the outcome? “It can lead to total collapse or extreme state failure. Political conditions may harbour dangerous non state actors, warlords and groups committing terrorist acts”. However very few nations can be described as completely failed states.

“When a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total government collapse”. How near to a failed state is SL? Except that there is and will be no genocide and hopefully no civil war as well. While the warning signs manifest themselves, state institutions have not completely collapsed due to the dedication and commitment of professionals, public servants, industry leaders, Armed Forces and the Police. Politically however SL is quite close to failure and collapse.
The country is close to becoming bankrupt due to untrammeled and unparalleled profligacy. Society demands the resignations of those responsible. The President, PM, their cronies and camp followers however show no recognition of the fact or the need.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjit, SL‘s charismatic and unchallenged leader, has in an exemplary and magnanimous gesture of Christian charity pleaded that Muslims should not blamed as a community. He has saved SL so far.

SL however must not forgive those elected tyrants and their lackeys who by their gross if not criminal negligence and complicity with terrorists were responsible for permitting this colossal tragedy. The present rulers must be prevented from spawning global guerillas in SL. Never forget the 259 dead and 500 wounded and those who allowed Easter Sunday to happen. There must be a reckoning.

- Asian Tribune -

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