Citizen Gota

How incompetence, hypocrisy and arrogance gave America power over a Sri Lankan election

This is not Sri Lanka

If you circulated enough fake documents do they become real? Is this the Pinnochio candidate? If his nephew forwards enough photos does that make him a real Sri Lankan? We do know that Gotabaya Rajapaksa owns a hole punch and can get a stamp made. We know that much.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is running for President and his citizenship is a mess. He leaves a trail of dubious documents, fake documents, voter fraud, and completely missing files at Sri Lanka Emigration. He shows up on no public record as having renounced his US citizenship, and his nephew is now circulating another document which isn’t even grammatically correct.

This Latest Document

I just want to go into the latest document because it is odd.

This is his lawyer and last Muslim against the wall Ali Sabry. He is holding up Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s US Passport.

Note the page above his photo. There’s nothing there.

If you look at a sample of a cancelled US passport, the cancellation is next to the information page, where any immigration officer would look, not on the first page, where they don’t.

The image above shows the world CANCELLED as a punch, on some it’s a stamp. Perhaps these things change, but the grammar doesn’t change. Saying a passport is cancel doesn’t make sense. Is this cancel culture at work?

This is what Gota’s nephew and debate whipping boy Namal posted:

It’s spelled ‘Cancelled’. And I don’t think it goes on this page

Just, really? What got ‘cancel’ here? The US State Department?

Look maybe this is a real document, but look at the whole picture. There’s a bunch of signals saying that something is wrong and only Gota’s crew circulating photos as proof. And they circulated fake documents before, clumsily edited from Wikipedia. What are we supposed to believe?

A Simple Truth, A Complicated Lie

In this case I think the truth is simple and the lie is complex.

The truth is that Gota left in the 90s and renounced his Sri Lankan citizenship in 2003. He came back and illegally worked on his brothers campaign and, when Mahinda won, he quickly and lazily forged or faked whatever documents he needed.

When his brother fell out of power, however, he was left with a bunch of dodgy documents, no proper paper trail, and this mess. He can’t fix it because it was stupid shit he did years ago. He just wants it to go away, and by becoming President he can be above the law again and carry on.

His only bet is that enough voters don’t care. But we should.

This is why.

This Election Is Already Compromised

Because of Gota’s incompetent fuckery, America holds great power in this election. They can just issue a press release saying Gota IS or IS NOT a citizen and dramatically influence or even swing the results. They’re not using the power openly, but not saying anything is also an action.

This is exactly why restrictions on dual or foreign citizens are in place. Even if the person is a well-intentional racist nationalist, they can still be compromised by a foreign power simply by virtue of holding that citizenship.

We are already compromised. Citizen Gota has already betrayed the country, simply by not getting his paperwork in order years ago. Now we’re in a position where the US State Department or even CIA or a random tweet from their deranged President can change our election.

The Hypocrisy Is Blinding

Dude literally gave up on Sri Lanka to become American, but he’s running as the anti-American candidate. And people believe this.

His useful idiots — ranging from Wimal Weerawansa to tuition masters — are circulating lies that the wicked US is going to take over land from Colombo to Trinco. This is completely fake, as laboriously documented by Watchdog SL here. They are holding up a $480 million grant to improve traffic and land records because America is bad… but Gotabaya is an American. Or at least was until a few months ago. I really don’t get it. Oh wait I do, they’re hypocritical assholes.

The other hypocrisy is that as Defense Secretary Gotabaya SHUT DOWN dual citizenship for everyone else. This shut thousands of people out of the country, stressed marriages, and resulted in people not moving here at all. I think the logic was that Tamils might want to become dual citizens and they couldn’t find a way of just rejecting them. Given that and the status of Gota’s own records, this hypocrisy is just appalling.

The Incompetence Is Strong

This is not a technocrat. This is an idiotocrat. I am an idiot but I still manage to get my basic paperwork in order. I don’t begrude anyone who struggles with documentation, but this guy was the Defense Secretary, literally the guy who signs the documents, and he still fucked it up. What?

If this is the brand of professional management Gota promises then count me out. Sometimes I get job applications where the candidate has no body or subject in their email and has spelled their own name wrong. This is one of those.

Even if everything is legit, he’s still waiting till the absolute last minute to become a Sri Lankan. It’s as if he would only give up being American if he could be President here. It’s hardly patriotic. It’s certainly not the sign of a competent operator, or even a competent adult.

We Will Be Screwed

The result of this is that — if we’re dumb enough to elect this candidate who can’t even get his pants on — we will have a government just like this. Incompetent, hypocritically cruel, and compromised by foreign powers.

In many ways this mess is emblematic of the Rajapaksa mode of governance, which I call Mafia Economics. In the Mafia, Made Men can do whatever they want and civilians are fair game. They can be murdered, raped, killed or stolen from. This is how the Rajapaksas operate in power.

When they fell out of power, however, you got this. The Mafia doesn’t fill out forms or do normal paperwork, which is why they get busted on tax evasion.

Mafia Economics is how Gota got into this mess, and it’s what we’ll be living in if we vote for him.

So don’t vote for him. This citizenship scandal isn’t something incidental. This goes to the very character and identity of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and it’s not a good look. He’s incompetent, hypocritical, compromised and bound to rule in a similar way.

Written by

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him. indi@indi.ca. Videos: tiny.cc/indication and podcast: anchor.fm/indication. patreon.com/indication

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