POLITICAL SKETCHBOOK                  by Rajpal Abeynayaka  

In uni-polar reality, the only constant is regime-change
The Israelis are asking for a regime-change and for Arafat to be chased out. Mahinda Rajapakse is asking for regime-change and for Ranil to be chased out. But the US does not want any old regime-change - for instance, there is no Security Council resolution calling for Prabhkaran to be sent out.

At this rate, the US runs the risk of getting its wires crossed. Any number of combinations and permutations are possible. The US might assist Rajapakse to regime-change Sri Lanka and send Ranil out. Or the US might ask Prabhakaran to regime-change Sri Lanka and send both Ranil and Chandrika out. Nobody wants Prabhakaran out because that's pre-ordained.

Arafat is a man who fought to get back lands taken from the Palestinian people. So he should definitely be out. If there is any real freedom fighter he should be regime-changed. That's the rule of thumb. The US might soon come into your marriage and ask your wife to get out. Some of you will say 'now that's a real regime change.''

When Mahinda Rajapakse is asked what alternative he has for the UNF's peace program he says "we will tell you when we come to power.'' That's in the true American spirit. First the regime-change. Then you get down to work. You might even start thinking about what to do.

Regime-change of course acknowledges that there is a regime. There is a regime under Arafat, there is a regime under Ranil, and there is a regime under your wife. Now, you may say otherwise, that the regime is becoming testy or whatever, and time is becoming right for rebellion. Or that you cannot understand the regime, or something like that.

But the fact is that there is a regime. If there was a talk those days of getting illegal regimes out -- of getting warlords, brigands, rogues, tin-pot dictators out of power -- now they are not talking of that kind of vermin anymore. They are talking of getting real regimes out of power. You may not like Ranil's face. But he heads a regime. You may think your wife wears the pants in the family. But she heads a regime, and certainly, she is not Idi Amin or Pol Pot or a cheap or garden murderer.

Now 'regime-change' is not about getting the earlier kind of murderous regime out of power. Tin-pot dictators can always be bought, but real regimes with legitimate leaders have to be thrown out and regime-changed. Like regime-changing your wife. They are the real danger to the peace loving, Dockers wearing, Kentucky Fried Chicken eating god-fearing men and women of this world.

It may not look fair, getting Mahinda Rajapakse mixed up with this whole thing about Bush wanting a regime-change in Palestine. But Rajapakse says "while not opposing the good done by the Ranil government, we will work with dedication to bring down the government.''

What is the bad that the government is doing, he is then asked. He says "now look, the Muslims, being not even a race but a religion (he actually says religious organisation or "agamika sanvidanayak'') will ask for a regime of their own in the Eastern province. What will stop other "agamas'' (religions) from asking for the same? The Catholics might ask for a regime of their own in Negombo,'' he says. "There will be no end to it, see?''

But one wonders why he can't be candid like the Americans. Be frank and honest. If you want a freedom fighter like Arafat to get the hell out of his country, say so for the sake of Uncle Sam. Don't feel shy about it, or hide ones desires under a bushel. So Mahinda Rajapakse might as well come out and say what he wants.

"I want the Catholics to ask for a regime in Negombo. I want the estate workers to ask for a regime in Nuwara Eliya. It's the easiest way of getting Ranil out. I want Ranil regime-changed, and if I can't do it, I want George Bush to do it. Or Prabhakaran to do it. I don't care how or why - all I want is regime-change.''

Back to Top
 Back to Columns  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.