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12 March 2019 01:16 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Attacks on Rathupaswela and Chilaw protesters were clear violation of democracy

  • The UNP propaganda machine is weak and has to be activated to make the people aware of what has been done and achieved

  • I hope there will be new appointees to the media institutions who will help to reach the grassroots on the achievements of the government

 

We experienced the very worst of time in our somewhat turbulent political history, with the constitutional coup when the country was plunged into chaos and losses to the economy on all fronts. The chief culprits in this unfortunate exercise are shouting their mouths off unashamed, airing their ignorant views on a myriad subjects like absolute fools, suffering from delusions or selective amnesia about how things were conducted, when they were at the helm of the ship of state.We have undignified, inappropriate, ill-advised statements from those who should know better, and are disgracing the high office they hold.

 

"My criticism is that nothing has been done to punish those guilty of corruption, misuse of public funds and murder during the tenure of the former regime. The movement on these issues has been very slow and has led to dissatisfaction among party supporters"


Mahinda Rajapakse, on the one hand, protests vehemently about the STF attacking protestors, has he forgotten the many attacks on protestors during his tenure of office? One in Rathupaswala, where protestors demanding clean drinking water were attacked with one killed and a similar incident in Chilaw against protesting fishermen. He objects to the CID being brought into the inquiry on the unprecedented destructive, disgraceful behaviour, including chilly powder attacks by his group in Parliament. He stood watching with his son by his side, leading some to remark that not only did he condone this unfortunate incident,but had orchestrated it. He now shows deep concern for the Muslim community. 
Again he forgets the attacks on them even during their time of prayer. He starts an Institute for International Affairs. I doubt that there is even one democracy in the world, who will support him or ever have confidence and trust in him. Holding his own with dignity, through all this verbal diarrhoea from his opponents is Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose sharp humour and clarity of thought can cut through the most persuasive argument. It takes much more than intelligence, discipline, relentless determination, courage; but also values and principles that one is blessed with at birth, to have come through the trauma he went through at the time of the constitutional coup,which was soundly condemned by countries in the democratic world. I doubt that any other politician today would have survived it, and taken such insulting slander without slandering back even once. He has never indulged in an outpouring of vitriolic loathing against political opponents. It is due to him and his efforts, that we regained GSP + and increased our international standing in the wider community.  
Though armchair critics criticize the government for inaction on several issues, there is a lot that has been done. There have been unprecedented strides taken and much done for education, housing and health. The ambulance service has been a great boon to the people which I saw in action at the Galle Literary Festival. The CMC, headed by a dynamic  UNP woman Mayoress, is doing a great service with opening up community centres, which has helped working mothers, senior citizens and children in the area. The recent budget also brought many benefits to the people. Much more to be done, promises kept, time is short and memories even shorter. 

 

"MR stood watching with his son by his side, leading some to remark that not only did he condone this unfortunate incident, but had orchestrated it. He now shows deep concern for the Muslim community"


My criticism is that nothing has been done to punish those guilty of corruption, misuse of public funds and murder during the tenure of the former regime. The movement on these issues has been very slow and has led to dissatisfaction among party supporters. The government had to cope with crippling loans taken by the former government as they came into power, which was undoubtedly, an obstacle to progress and development. Critics must realize that the extravagance of former rulers, was visible even through those horrific 51 days of an illegal government. 
The UNP propaganda machine is weak and has to be activated to make the people aware of what has been done and achieved. In this respect I am glad that State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene has been made the Minister for Media. His background of media will stand him in good stead in his new role and I hope there will be new appointees to the media institutions who will help to reach the grassroots on the achievements of the government. His genial, simple personality has endeared him to one and all and he has never made unreasonable demands for positions. In short, he does not act as if the party or country owes him a favour, because of his political ancestry.  

 

"The government had to cope with crippling loans taken by the former government as they came into power, which was undoubtedly, an obstacle to progress and development. Critics must realize that the extravagance of former rulers, was visible even through those horrific 51 days of an illegal government"


It was interesting to read recently a response from Nat White from England to a question asking why some Brits dislike Trump. Some excerpts reminded me of politicians here! I quote those here; “For instance he has no class, no coolness,no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no humility, no honour and no grace”. His idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty. He doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults -- he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness. There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. He punches downwards, -- which a gentleman should, would, could never do and every blow he aims is below the belt. He turns being artless into an art form. He is a Picasso of pettiness, a Shakespeare of shit. God knows there are plenty of nasty people in the world and stupid ones too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty or nastiness so stupid.He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.’  
 As a nation, we are experts at listening to rumours and spreading them. Shadowlands of rumour and counter rumour are very disturbing and each day, new fuel is added to the flames of speculation. It is a few rotten apples among politicians which give the entire barrel a bad name. The good among them must fight and fight to the end, to make democracy survive and be an undying force in our country.     

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