According to Tapan Bose, a well-known Indian journalist, film producer and a political activist, Basil Fernando’s book provides us an insight into “abysmal lawlessness and the zero status of the citizens”, the militarisation of the state, the bypassing of the constitution and the levels of impunity that the executive enjoys. The author inquires how such a situation could arise in Sri Lanka where the institution of parliamentary democracy was introduced nearly eight decades ago.
In Sri Lanka, whether one is a businessman or a politician or a judge or a media person no one escapes the scrutiny of the intelligence wings of the state. The most powerful organ of the state is the intelligence apparatus of the government. This is return to the “Arthashastra”, ancient Indian treaties on governance written by Chanakya. The advice of Chanakya to the “Prince” was that the success of the regime depended on the system’s ability to get the subjects to spy on each other and constantly report to the state.
So, tourists and Bollywood stars – who choose to be blind to this oppression along with many international decision-makers and not an insignificant number of Sri Lankan diaspora – welcome to Paradise Island!