A good question for the incompatibles contemplating direction – and it could apply on so many levels. Let’s take, for instance, the state of the nation, where the main players among the ‘incompatibles’ would be the Government, the Opposition, and the Tigers – and all the respective individuals that support these protagonists.

The direction the government is heading is towards the total annihilation of the Tigers – or so we are told. And, we are told, that this would effectively end the war and provide an environment conducive to a ‘solution to the ethnic problem’. The Opposition, on the other hand, wants to take the path of ceasing hostilities and finding the ‘solution’ through dialogue and consensus. The Tigers, it would appear, need hostilities to maintain their control over their territory and to prolong the instability in order for them to continue wielding power over the Tamils in the North – as was indicated by their alleged boycott of the electoral process and the ensuing hostilities before the government retaliated in kind. And is this really all that different to what the Government has in mind, as surely there is no other reason (other than the war and defeating the Tigers) for it to be supported by those that do want to keep it in power? Virtually all areas of governance, as far as the Ministries and their Ministers are concerned are, to all intents and purposes, dysfunctional or malfunctioning. The coffers are empty and the rampant corruption, much of it uninvestigated, goes on unabated. Justice in the country, an endangered species for so long, is now on the verge of extinction, as the recent ‘Merv at Rupavahini’ fiasco clearly indicates. Fear can be infectious and abuse of power is part of the ‘..and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ syndrome. So what other reason could there be for supporting an administration that has no more to show for itself than the military option?

Is this gradual breakdown of the economy and of the ‘social contract’ worth the war? Will there be any ‘winners’ when the dust settles? If Prabhakaran is not killed, what would he lose should a ‘solution’ be found? India wants his head, so if peace prevails it would stand to reason that international justice must be served. There are war crimes to be considered as well – although these crimes are by no means one-sided – so it won’t be just the Tigers that would be held accountable should the international wheels of justice keep on turning. The implications are myriad – and not least among them being the money that is being earned from the commercial aspects of prolonging the conflict.

There’s more of the same, and it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to figure out whats so rotten in the state. But what do ordinary folk like us do about it?

So the question, ‘Quo Vadis?’persists – in the ancient terminology – ‘whither goest thou?’