- Making a comeback JVP clung on to CBK’s Sari pota, and won 39 plus seats
- The Governor, the next day, playing second fiddle to her CM, hurriedly summoned an inquiry into the osari affair
Acute malnutrition in children below 5 years is an unhealthy 14 percent. 29 percent of kids who are between the ages 5 and 10 years are under nourished.
Though insignificant compared to the billions squandered by the Rajapaksa regime, 600 million had been siphoned out of state coffers and busted on a Sil Redi campaign to boost former strong man’s image. This was done during the run up to the Presidential polls in end 2014. Committing two crimes in one stroke— waste or misappropriation of tax-payer’s money and the violation of Election Laws- resulted in two public officers sentenced to three-years rigorous imprisonment. They were in hospital for a few days only to be sent back home.
Some disgruntled politicians like Gammanpila and Wimal Weerawansa, leftovers of yesteryear’s dominant Marxist forces like Vasu and Bhahu, Prof. Vitharana, DEW and the JVP, along with politicians from several minority parties, who are desperate for straws, have mastered the art of evading uncertain or tricky positions during a general election. Out of all politicians, who have a liking or weakness for clinging, members of the JVP own the greatest record. They have the experience in hanging on to the Sari pota [CBK] Osari pota [Sirimavo], Sataka pota[MR] and Elephant tail [RW].
The JVP in 1970 got a hold of Sirimavo’s Osari pota, but within 12 months staged an amateurish ‘armed revolution’ only to be crushed by the security forces. However, Sirimavo had a soft corner for the leaders of the rebellion who escaped death. But they had to languish in jail for a few years before JRJ committed a blunder in 1978 by releasing them. The master strategist thought he could pit them against Sirimavo, whom he feared most for her charisma and popularity, which he himself lacked. The JVP turned its guns on him after the infamous referendum in 1982, then came the ‘83’ Black July programme which they used to vandalize state property. This provided JRJ with an excuse to stage the next blunder; he banned the outfit altogether. Few years later the underground organization resorted to terrorism using the T-56. Wijeweera honeymooned with Premadasa for a short time in 1988. The JVP hung on to his sarong pota for a short while and turned its guns on his autocratic rule. A year later Wijeweera was thrown alive into the incinerator at the crematorium. The new-look JVP didn’t ditch its’ old habits. Making a comeback it clung on to CBK’s Sari pota, and created history by winning 39 plus seats in the legislature in 2004. But within 12 months the JVP discarded her to hang on to MR’s Sataka pota. The rest is history. [It appears that they are presently clutching RW’s elephantine tail, but loosely with one hand].
Ashraff and the Sari pota
It happened in the 10th Parliament under CBK’s PA rule (1994-2000). The final session in parliament was in progress, and Speaker K. B. Ratnayake was to take the vote on the Budget at the end of the committee stage. Minutes before that, Srimani Athulathmudali, Minister of Transport, environment and Women Affairs walked in to the chamber and took her seat next to M.H.M. Ashraff, Minister of Ports and Shipping and leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress .
The JVP in 1970 got a hold of Sirimavo’s Osari pota, but after a 12-month revolution was crushed by security forces
The fair minister, widow of Lalith, apparently had lost her calm and was in an irritated mood. As soon as she took her seat near Ashraff she fired the first salvo, “You think you are the beginning and end of everything”.
The leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress knew that it was intended for him. He retorted, “Don’t shout, why are you shouting at me? This is not the place for you to raise these matters”.
The exchange was on shipping policy and in the manner in which the Ministry of Ports and Shipping handled it. Athulathmudali didn’t give up, she retorted “You think you can have your way in all these things”. Minister A H M Fowzie and Minister Indika Gunawardena, closely observed the drama. “The President has asked me to expedite the matter, and this is not the place to raise your voice,” Ashraff, who hailed from Samanthurai, replied.
“Do you think.... you know the whole lot, you are hiding behind the sari pota,” Athulathmudali responded. Finally, Gunawardena was compelled to intervene and asked Athulathmudali, “Madam why are you losing your cool?”
Three-and-a-half km Bridal Sari Pota
The Chief Minister, undoubtedly the best out of the present lot, was seen playing the role of an interlude entertainer instructing 8-12 year-old kids in school uniform to hold the three-and-a-half km Osari pota of a bride. All this was in an attempt to establish a world record! The Governor the next day, playing second fiddle to her CM, hurriedly summoned an inquiry into the osari affair and discharged the CM, who is her name sake, and blamed the education officials for the ‘blunder’. This reminds this writer of how the Prime Minister rushed to defend his man responsible for the unprecedented Bond Scam that ruined the economy and the deposed king’s unreserved declaration of his ‘legal order’ in defence of the Sil Redi Scam. The National Child Protection Authority, which is clueless about the percentage of kids under age five, who suffer from acute malnutrition, and those between the ages 5-10 who are undernourished, also rushed to the rescue of the kids. This was while parents and the children seemed quite happy with this new experience. Instead of clutching on to a Osari pota the mature Kandyans could have suggested a better alternative to the bride and the groom, if they really intended entering the Guinness Book of World Records.
Activists, professional groups, corporate leaders, media, intelligentsia and the right-thinking politically neutral people should stand up firmly against this unmanageable extremism and corruption and influence the youth and peace loving people of this nation to abhor the petty-minded politically biased pseudo patriots whose only aim is to grab power or remain in power and also secure their slots in political parties and the state with the help of certain NGOs and out-dated pressure out-fits that aid and abet them in committing frauds and plundering the assets of this country.