CATASTROPHE OF MONUMENTAL FAILURE TO ACT ON INTELLIGENCE | Daily News

CATASTROPHE OF MONUMENTAL FAILURE TO ACT ON INTELLIGENCE

All manner of denials, passing the buck, sheer carelessness and inattention to dutiful responsibility accompanied the aftermath and followed the Easter Sunday terrorist attack. The consequences of the suicide bomb blasts have been devastating, tragic with loss of over two hundred and fifty lives and many injured in addition to traumatic shock to many children near and far and destruction to property of hundreds of millions of rupees.

The elimination of Prabhakaran by the Armed Forces and the Police that had sacrificed life and limb of thousands of its men and women was claimed by the then President and his brother the Secretary of Defence as their unique victory where all their predecessors in office had failed. In the presidential election that followed in 2010, their political propaganda machine engaged in disseminating a misleading concept to the people not only about themselves and their opponents but also about the very people of this country about whom they did not have a comprehensively sufficient knowledge, understanding, care and intelligence except as those who could be profitably favoured, politically used and manipulated.

The purpose of intelligence is not the preservation of political hegemony of the rulers by collecting through spying all possible information and data of intrigues of political opponents, as is the practice of local low quality intellectually deficient politicians. The overall purpose of intelligence is coming to the knowledge and understanding of the whole of the national community in order to safeguard all the people. Intelligence is also towards getting an insight into the unacceptable plans of social and fundamentalist religious organisations, underground anti-democratic political operations, secretive strategies of insurrections and making good use of that knowledge, understanding and insight to prevent as far as it is humanly possible any lawbreaker causing irreparable harm to any peaceable individual citizen or to any group or community in society. Surely, there is already available sufficient legislation for the purpose of nipping matters in the bud.

Gathering intelligence about extremist fanatics of religions is not a judgement on the religions who have a vast majority of pious and faithful adherents who follow ways of truth, love, goodness and compassion, fraternity and peace. Fundamentalist fanatics interpret religious texts in their own way and emphasize the elements that seem to justify their extremism according to their deformed conscience thus becoming the worst exponents of their religion. Religions should not be assessed and evaluated by the wild actions of a small group of misguided adherents but by the noblest and the best who are in the midst of the vast majority of peace-loving adherents who strive to live in solidarity with the rest of mankind.

As regards the type of intelligence that is needed, the present and the former government have been very careless, slipshod and negligent. The rulers have been so concerned about ‘security’ which amounted to all politicians been given several expensive vehicles, drivers, pistol-wielding bodyguards and security task force officials to display their flamboyance that the general well-being, service and safety of the people was neglected. Not merely sitting in places of worship and guarding them, the governments are committed to safeguarding the life of every single citizen and the whole territory of Sri Lanka. Our loquacious politicians swear that they will not let any foreign power rule over a single square inch of our territory. They hardly speak of assuring protection and security to every single citizen which is their responsibility and duty.

LEADERS WITH BIASED HUNCHES

When ego absorbing selfishness takes hold of any human being, – be he president, prime minister, Cabinet minister, chief minister, member of the judiciary, or of the public administration Armed Forces, Police, – his knowledge, understanding and intelligence go erratic, confused, defectively functional or non-functional and unreliable. (As reported in the media, we see this happening far too frequently among self-absorbed politicians, public servants, school principals etc.) From this horizon, the intellectual understanding of their current responsibilities and those of the proximate and distant future not only gets blurred but they also completely misunderstand the human condition.

When such people short of sufficient knowledge and understanding capture political power and lead the people, they always tend to lead people astray and very often to catastrophe. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Dze Dong, Mobutu, Idi Amin all claim special credit for their leadership, Hitler even boasting to his generals that he never attended any military academy. They knew to harness the determination that convoyed also the hatred and revengefulness in their hearts to reach the goals that were clear only to themselves. In Sri Lanka, harassment, torture, kidnapping - also for ransom, - disappearances, and the locally invented white vans readied for abductions, have been resorted to in order to ensure the hegemony of power in the name of dubious economic progress in the future.

Despots and autocrats do not have a compassionate understanding of human nature and the complexities of the human condition. They do not understand that the vast majority of ordinary and normal human beings who, in spite of inevitable conflicts among themselves, yet manage to go on living by the sweat of their brow and wish to live in solidarity, unity and peace.

The political leaders misread the contradictions that prevailed in their society and analyzed them with the partial and even biased hunches they had. They strove to bring to the surface of society the felt emotions and feelings of the people and harness that force to capture the power and then foist on the very same people their authoritarian despotic regimes. Once in power, they completely disregarded democracy and the dignity and rights of all the people and concentrated on holding on to power by serving only a section of the people supportive of them. So, it was common among them to deny the freedom, equality, human dignity and rights of people, to harass, persecute, torture and kill them even by the millions in order to build and develop a new society where their brand of justice would prevail. The terrorist suicide bombers have been brainwashed over a long period of time to have this same kind of tyrannical mindset in the name of religion.

CHAUVINISTS AND OPPORTUNISTS

The civil war, the seeds of which were planted by the chauvinist politicians themselves from 1956 and thereafter, ended in May 2009. Though Presidential Commissions have been appointed to investigate and understand the enormous tragedies that befell this country, and voluminous reports ceremonially handed over to the highest in the land, no lessons were learnt. Such was the unintelligent response to intelligence.

Gathering intelligence to safeguard the people was not only careless and poor; it was anti-intelligent, anti-social, unprofessional and humanly uncaring due to politicization. When intelligence agencies are allowed unhindered to attend to their work, as they seem to have begun to do, now, many things are coming to light.

In general, the actions of the ruling politicians showed that they were of low-quality, ignoble, rotten politicians of no substance. They were a band of short-sighted opportunists, not statesmen with a socially acceptable democratic political vision that they could share with and inspire a people. Especially after the 1977 Parliamentary elections, after the tsunami and after the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the ruling parties could have ushered a new Sri Lankan democratic political culture in which all the people of Sri Lanka could have been honourable and equal participants mutually sharing one another’s burdens and responsibilities.

Monumental failure of intelligence and the lack of goodwill and refined humanness on the part of the rulers led Sri Lanka to continue to journey on a divisive and self-destructive road. We have observed that the road maps of the rulers have been pock-marked by the bogus patriotism of political humbugs among whom were the uneducated chauvinist fellows who were happy to muddy the water and fish in it. The sadder element in this process is the fact of the bigots being joined in by opportunistic professionals greedy for naked political power. In such a political environment and inhuman culture, intelligence is of no use at all.

One is tempted to ask, do the rulers who are wielding power today and those aspiring to be rulers have the capacity and enough concern to know the nitty-gritty aspects of intelligence and pay attention to them and follow up on the intelligence they get? They are all more focused on their personal hold on power and all that goes with it which outweighs the security and the common good of the people. If they have a genuine conversion of heart, there still could be a renewal of political culture and an intelligent harnessing of intelligence for the well-being and security of all the people.

 


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