The authorities in Sri Lanka have arrested a popular astrologer who predicted that the president will be ejected from office, police say.We've been having a desultory conversation over at Think of England about why, personally and as a society, we tolerate charlatans. I tried to suggest, perhaps too obliquely, that Brit was more bothered than Peter and I because Brit thinks that his particular belief system, rational empiricism, is True and Right and Better than the belief systems of women who purchase silver bracelets to improve their chances of getting pregnant and of the charlatans who sell them. Rational empiricism, especially as practiced by the Brits of the world, has its advantages, G-d knows, but it has its disadvantages, too.
Chandrasiri Bandara announced last week that the government would flounder in September and October because of political and economic problems.
The opposition have condemned the arrest and warned that the country is heading towards a dictatorship.
Astrology is taken seriously by numerous Sri Lankan politicians.
In any event, as Mr. Banadara is discovering, in cultures that believe in the power of astrology, astrologers have power.