03/25/2010, 00.00
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Sri Lanka, political industry at the service of a totalitarian regime

by Sunil Ranasinghe*
An anthropologist and writer, describes the reality today in the Asian nation, characterized by propaganda and slogans inspired by patriotism to maintain power. No freedom of thought, opponents are being jailed and convicted on false accusations. Power is centralized in the hands of a narrow circle that stifles the nation.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka is going through a phase of apparent peace after three decades of war between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country. However, the recent presidential elections have raised the issue of freedom of thought and speech, of the political struggle between rival factions.  

The vote ended with the triumph of outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the arrest of the challenger, Sarath Fonseka, an army general and hero of the victory over the Tamil rebels. He launched accusations of vote rigging, through which Rajapaksa regained the leadership of the country. In response, the Head of State ordered the arrest of his rival, who is now on trial.  

AsiaNews publishes an analysis of the social and political situation in Sri Lanka by anthropologist and writer Sunil Ranasinghe.  

The warriors are not a creation of the people, the art of politics appears on giant billboards on the roadside, they influence people to accept them as saviours of the country, it is the strategy of a totalitarian regime. Göbbels, Minister of Propaganda of the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler, popularized this psychological effect during the Second World War: "A lie repeated thousands of times, becomes the truth." And it is with this fascist recipe that elites of the regime are using the printed and electronic media to colonize a false view of patriotism in people's minds. This is the hyper reality of a totalitarian state, such statesmanship throws old passions such as cinema, sports and stars into a political dustbin, and converts them into panegyrist to the regime.    

The war in Sri Lanka was a war of propaganda, mass consumption of a false patriotism, to maintain the reputation of a shrewd leader, society under the control of mercenaries, and to silence all voices that resisted against a brutal system, "Everything is within the state, nothing outside the State, nothing against the state."  

There is no commercial business more profitable than the political industry, the system opens an immense space for the greatest beneficiaries of the war to climb the pyramid of power and reach the summit. The leaders of a regime that centralizes power are regarded as outlaws, belonging to the narrow circle of the capitalist class, with traffickers, people who launder money and punters who sit next to them to exploit the common good. Such a system opens a huge space to the biggest war profiteers in their race to the top of the power pyramid, the leaders of the power centric regime are merely gangsters, belonging to the inner circles of the capitalist class, with smugglers, money launders, brokers,  sitting next to them, ready to exploit common wealth.

 The economic crisis and social unrest are human disasters of greedy politicians; protests and repression are only tools of the system. If the totalitarian regime suspects you are not resolutely on its side, they threaten to kill you and make fake documents and accusations against you and imprison you, without any judicial trial, wiping out human rights and real meaning of democracy.  In the context of foreign conspiracy, false patriots emerge from the surface with religious zeal and apparent calm, but deep down are the most hypocritical and corrupt.

Totalitarianism has crushed the entire population to deploy its official ideology and the regime has increased its efforts to control virtually all aspects of life of society including the economy, education, arts, science, the private and moral life of the people, the officially proclaimed ideology penetrates into every nook and cranny of society; its ambition is total.    

Sri Lanka suffered under total control and a painful isolation caused by false patriotism, the totalitarian state has dissolved all ethnic groups spreading suspicion and hatred among the people, it has blocked freedom of expression, following the enactment of the Terrorism Act ( pta Act) the opponents of the regime and the activists are the victims of kidnapping, carried to detention centres and convicted on false accusations.  

The security forces act like bandits and wild beasts. The totalitarian regime has launched a campaign of terror against its own nation. "Under the totalitarian regime, it was as if we are forced to live in the same room with an insanely violate man”. We are experiencing the results of the political industry in Sri Lanka. * Sunil Ranasinghe is a freelance journalist, writer and anthropologist


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