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We were taken on a ‘Majestic Ride’

“Price” of BRINJALS men had to “Pay”

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Any  country calling themselves ‘Democratic’ do not observe democracy  although those who vote expect democracy

School children were taken to the then State Council and later to the  present parliament as a government official, the high standard  maintained in their debates and how even the gentlemanly retorts couched  in decent words referring to any unsavoury talk

 

The above captioned article appearing in your issue of 29th November, by popular journalist K.K.S. Perera, cannot be taken lying down by most of the voters when he says “The voters are to be blamed, because they keep voting for the same vulgar MPs who misbehaved or robbed our money at every previous parliament; just because they assert to fight for their class, race, caste or religion” also “Our legislature is in a mess because of the rogues, thugs and hooligans sent by voters or are nominated and supported by leaders. At least the next general election should ensure all such men from both sides are left out altogether, without allowing them to decide on the destiny of this land and dictate our future.” I do not blame KKSP for his misconception of blaming the voter as the oft quoted adage by Alexis De Toqueville goes “In democracy the people get the government they deserve.”  In this blessed emerald Isle, Sri Lanka, or as a matter of fact any country calling themselves ‘Democratic’ do not observe democracy although those who vote expect democracy.  Let me boldly say, and I am sure lost voters will agree, we vote a person to represent us for the well-being of the people and the country on the election manifesto presented and having faith that the pledges will be implemented when elected. Alas! Do we see these promises being put into reality? In reality, we vote for the candidate put forward by the party and we have no option but to vote for the candidate nominated. It is left for party leaders to select honest, educated and respectable persons.  


Now coming to the present government of President Gotabaya N. Rajapaksa, what did he say or promise when on his election campaign. It yet rings in my ears the loud mouth of Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying –‘Vote for honest, educated candidates to usher in a prosperous era.’  Then what happened the very same party which nominated him to contest the Presidential Elections – SLPP – nominated scoundrels, bribe takers, fraudsters, criminals and worst they were assigned Cabinet portfolios. Couldn’t the President reject the names submitted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. If not, what was the alternative, I leave the readers to arrive at a decision.  


It will therefore be seen that the voter, nay the whole country has been fooled, or made donkeys as the saying goes ‘Taken for a ride’ to carry on regardless as events now surface. Once in power they consider what they have received as BOODALAYA – inheritance and do whatever they feel.  


Coming to vulgarity of parliamentarians, now prevailing, especially on women parliamentarians and women in general, it is no wonder, school children who were taken to parliament to witness eloquent speeches are now not taken as the behaviour and speeches are far worse than Mariyakade Jora and Lucia.


I remember the days when we as school children were taken to the then State Council and later to the present parliament as a government official, the high standard maintained in their debates and how even the gentlemanly retorts couched in decent words referring to any unsavoury talk. Once Stanley Tilakaratne, that short Member in Parliament was interrupting Dudley Senanayaka about a split in the UNP. Unable to bear the frequent interruptions, Dudley put paid to Stanley Tilakaratna by replying ‘Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Member for Kotte is greatly advantaged over me, for at his height he sees the split at eye level’. The other is when Maithripala Senanayaka was taunting Prime Minister Dudley Senanayaka on concessions granted to the Tamil speaking people. Maithripala Senanayaka was then known to have an affair with Ranji Handy, a Tamil, whom he later married and Dudley very gentlemanly and sarcastically said ‘Mr. Speaker, I must congratulate the Honourable Member for Medawachchiya for finding a way to enjoy Sinhala Only by day and reasonable use of Tamil by night. The House roared in laughter, including both Senanayaka’s Maithri and Dudley.   


When Dr. N.M. Perera referred to S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike  as being the son of a famous father, SWRD quipped that NM was the obscure son of an even obscure father.   


To quote one from the House of Commons, England, a woman Parliamentarian had said to Sir Winston Churchill ‘If you were my husband, I would poison your tea’ to which Churchill with his broad smile, smilingly quipped ‘Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it gladly.’  


I could produce such cultured retorts from the then, Colonial days parliamentarians and those foreign, but refrain in doing so for it would take space in your valuable paper.  


I must now confess as to why I voted Gotabaya Rajapaksa to be President. He was not a politician but an administrator, and having been Defense Secretary and also an army personnel holding the rank of Brigadier, I expected with that back ground one would expect firm discipline and correct decisions in carrying out his responsibilities and steer the country away from the political and economic mess we are in. At first, when he appointed retired high Military Officers, it was expected he meant business. But now it appears he is helpless with a questionable Cabinet of Ministers, presented to him by, as stated earlier, the Prime Minister. With that can we expect a bright future.  


One question which arises in me is why do the present set of politicians stoop so low in their actions, speeches and dubious activities compared to those prior to 1956, when SWRD fielded the common man such as the postal peon ‘I the Themis’. The then State Councilors, and parliamentarians apart from the position they held were more concerned in safeguarding their family name and heritage, the school they attended and the respect they received in their own area and the country. They spent their own finances for the welfare of the people and the country and donated the land they owned for state use. The shining examples are D.S. Senanayaka, H.W.Amerasuriya, Sir John Kotalawala, most recently J.R. Jayawardena. What a contrast today. The present-day parliamentarians rob state property, are paid handsomely along with perks at government expense to take families on pilgrimage to holy places and now we hear of names concealed in the PANDORA BOX. As for a President, he or she is given a luxury house and property in the most respected residential area in Colombo on retirement. In short, politics has become business, employment to retire with a pension as public servants retiring from service.  


As one who had experienced colonial rule by Britishers, and the present, I begin to think whether we are capable in ruling our country in a true democratic manner. History records how we had become a colony to rule us by Portuguese, Dutch and British due to lack of national interest, but personal gains. It will not be long if we do not become a colony of China, as already, we have taken loans on unproductive schemes and face difficulty in paying back such loans with interest. We have sold precious land to China and more are being considered for sale. Or could we expect Ordoabchao- Order from chaos.? 


Let not what happened to Kenya, losing Mombasa Port to China, the International Airport in Zambia and the latest as reported in a local newspaper ‘China reportedly takes over Uganda Airport on account of Loan Default’.   
If  KKSP considers me and all those who hold my view that we got the government we deserved, should now apologise and say we have been fooled, TAKEN ON A MAJESTIC RIDE.


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