18 September, 2021

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Ah, Take The Cash & Let The Virus Spread! Pandemic Deaths, Profits & Distractions

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

“Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet’s Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!”
― Omar Khayyam

Covid-19 is getting too close to home for too many. Mangala Samaraweera, the veteran politician, passed away this week after contracting Covid-19. He was a political stalwart behind the victories of Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena in presidential elections. He was also a faithful lieutenant to former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. A frontline cabinet minister in multiple portfolios since 1994, Mangala surpassed his father and political figure Mahanama Samaraweera in profile and in popularity.

Mangala Samaraweera will be remembered as a sincere and outspoken champion of pluralism, tolerance and national reconciliation even though his public pronouncements often created more controversy than consensus among his compatriots. As Foreign Minister, he tried to forge a new relationship with western countries predicated on respect for and observance of human rights. Shortly before his illness, he successfully interceded to obtain Covid-19 vaccine supplies for Sri Lanka from the US. Mangala Samaraweera’s death is widely mourned even as Covid-19 victims are getting more numerous and increasingly personal.

The 10-day lockdown imposed on Friday August 20 has not been able to reduce the daily totals of infections and deaths. Without a lockdown the totals would have been way higher. The government has now decided to extend the “COVID curfew” by a week till Monday, September 6. If the current trend (over 4,000 daily infections and 200 deaths) continues, Sri Lanka’s total infections will pass the half a million landmark and the number of deaths will exceed 10,000 before the extended lockdown period is over. For the longest time after the onset of Covid-19, Sri Lanka’s totals were few hundreds of infections and hardly two dozen deaths. A political victory was declared prematurely, and public health was ignored almost permanently. Now there is no obvious end in sight, to plan for victory celebrations, even with the optimistic expectation of a fully vaccinated nation. Before looking for the end of the tunnel, look at what next steps are in sight.

Friday last week, after months of resisting medical opinion, the President used the plea from the country’s highest prelates as reason for relenting and agreeing to a lockdown. No special pleading would seem to have been needed to persuade the President a second time. Planetary signals too may have turned propitious in Gnanakka’s radar. The announcement last week was shrouded in confusion. 

Unclaimed Bodies and Overclaimed Profits

People have been confused as to whether they are in a lockdown, or a quarantine curfew; what is open and what is closed; and what activities are allowed and what are not. This Friday’s announcement would suggest that the President’s word smiths have coined a uniform term for the government’s different mouthpieces: “COVID curfew.” How long will the new COVID curfew last? Will it survive the political infighting in the government that has been triggered by the announcement last week? Funnily enough the infighting arose not because anyone in the government was opposed to the President’s decision to impose the lockdown, but because the SLPP leadership did not like the temerity of the SLPP’s miniscule alliance partners to ask the President in writing to declare a lockdown.

The infighting got curiouser and curiouser when SLPP attack dogs started accusing Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara that they are of part of an international plot to bring about a regime change in Sri Lanka. The three of them are not known for any foreign extensions of their tentacles. So, who would they be plotting with for a regime change in Sri Lanka? North Korea? LOL, really!

Seriously, what the infighting shows is the obsession of the SLPP MPs with protecting the President from criticisms, and their indifference to fighting Covid-19 to save the country. It has also been reported that at the SLPP’s behest senior government officials have been releasing communications and statements opposing the current lockdown and/or curfew measures. And this at a time when the police are arresting people on the street in record daily numbers for alleged curfew violations. Will the same infighting and sabotaging continue over the new COVID curfew as well?    

Besides the confusion at large in the country and paranoia within the government there is the tragic experience of dying under Covid-19. People in increasingly large numbers are dying and going to their graves or turning into ashes – unseen and unwept and even unclaimed by their bereaving families. Lynn Ockersz has versified the insensitive crassness with which the (Covid-19) dead are being officially treated. His poem “The Unclaimed Body” (The Island, August 18) also calls out the Republic’s preference and religiosity: “Such treatment of the dead is no surprise,” the poem hits the nail on the coffin, “In a republic that’s preferred to be in chains … and in a land where religiosity pompously parades …”                  

Even elephants are protesting at parades, perhaps unlocking what the Poet DH Lawrence insightfully saw while on a visit to the island during the 1922 “Pera-hera, at midnight, under the tropical stars,” as “the mystery of the dark mountain of blood, reeking in  homage, in lust, in rage, and passive with everlasting patience.” Prudent rulers, whether kings or presidents, would never take patience to be everlasting either among elephants or among citizens.

While it is too much to expect poetic sensitivity to be observed in government operations, it is fair and reasonable to expect that a government that is boastful of its vistas and splendour, would show some respect for the nation’s dead and compassion for those that are left to mourn. Just as healthcare workers are expected to have good bedside manners, it is not too much to ask the government to direct its deathcare workers to show proper mortuary manners, graveside manners and pyre-side manners.      

From deaths to profits is a tortuous leap, but not with the pandemic around and with this government at the helm. There are plausible allegations that profits and commissions are being garnered from selling vaccines, performing tests, disposing dead bodies and designating quarantine hotels. A retired Chief Epidemiologist has publicly stated that the President’s directive to conduct weekly Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) among people over 60 years of age with pre-existing medical conditions, will not contribute to saving lives but only to generating profits for companies importing RAT test kits.

It is reported that test kits are imported at USD 4 (Rs. 800) per kit with 10 testing samples, or a cost of Rs. 80 per sample. Private hospitals apparently charge patients Rs. 2,500 per sample, for a profit of Rs. 2,420 on each sample with the bulk of it going to the importer. The cost of a RAT test kit in India is INR 150, and in many countries the kits are distributed free. It is bad enough to have a government that is ill-equipped and incompetent, but do people deserve a government that presides over such a rip off in the middle of a pandemic? Ah, take the cash, and let the virus spread. That seems to have become the unwritten motto.    

Constitutional Distractions

As for the virus spread, Sri Lanka has all the experts needed in Epidemiology and Public Health to advise the government and lead a programmatic path to containing the spread of the virus. But the government has failed to assemble them to perform this task. The government’s failure to give medical experts an organizational forum to provide leadership has led them to literally freelance in the media instead of directly advising the government and overseeing implementation.

In most countries governments are following the advice of medical experts. In some western countries governments conveniently abdicate their public health responsibilities to scientists and experts. India and Sri Lanka are notable exceptions. The results on the Covid-19 front are unmistakable. The Indian situation is different from Sri Lanka’s. In India, the BJP and Prime Minister Modi do not trust any Indian expert, professional, or academic who is not a BJPer. Modi and the BJP suspect non-BJPers in public positions to be secularists or Nehru loyalists and exclude them as far as possible from decision making. All important decisions have to be made by the Prime Minister himself. Similar to the Trump presidency. This approach blew up in the face for Modi and the BJP, just as it did for Trump.

In Sri Lanka, until recently, almost everyone with connection and consequence wanted to be associated with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the SLPP and their intoxicating electoral victories. There are no Senanayake or Bandaranaike loyalists lurking in state institutions and agencies to undermine the Rajapaksas. President Rajapaksa did not have to suspect anyone or exclude anyone especially in the matter of Covid-19. He could have summoned and consistently obtained the best possible expert advice and recommendations, and presided over their implementation through the state machinery including the army. When things go right, the President could take political credit for them, and if they go wrong he could damn the experts. Why was this approach not taken?  That has already become the defining question for the prematurely tottering GR presidency.

As explanatory factors go – there is inexperience and incompetence. But one year of Covid-19 experience is worth a lifetime of normal experience, and you can always compensate for incompetence by picking and relying on people who are competent. Sinhala nationalism, as an explanation, is not holding much water. If at all, Sinhala nationalism  is more a convenient ruse than a defining political cause for the Rajapaksas. Of course, for those who want to manipulate Rajapaksas as nationalist weapons of history, they can be a pretty authentic bunch. In any event, nationalism is neither a vaccine nor therapy against Covid-19. Even ‘vaccine nationalism’ never found much traction, and for Sri Lanka it has no meaning.

What seems to have pushed the GR presidency off track on Covid-19 is the administration’s, and the family’s, hunger for project distractions. They would rather allocate national resources and incur debt for finically profiteering but economically dead end development projects than spend time and resources in purposefully fighting Covid-19. The government and the family have never shied away from their distractive priorities: the Port City in Colombo, a millionaire Yacht Club in Hambantota, 500 gyms throughout the country, transport and highway projects based on Ponzi funding sources – the list will keep going on. Once again – it is: Ah, take the cash, let the virus spread!

A qualitatively different distraction is the project of the constitution. Covid-19 may have put on hold the work of the Expert Committee set up to guide the writing of a new constitution – the fourth in 74 years. The Committee’s report was expected in July, but there has not been any new news on its current status. This is hardly the time for preparing a new constitution. More importantly, the present government and parliament are by far the least constitutionally literate government or parliament in ninety years of constitutional government. The two are not qualified to be entrusted with changing the constitution.

Without Covid-19 the government may have ploughed through to producing a new constitution. In the current situation and alternating between lockdowns, the government will be pilloried by the public if it takes up constitutional overhaul as a national priority. The project should ideally be allowed to stay quiet and wither away. However, the government would likely welcome any opportunity to restart the project if the suggestion were to come from outside the government.

It would, therefore, be unfortunate and politically ill-advised if a request were to be extended to the government at this time, to write a new constitution to address the problems of the Tamils. It is incorrect and irresponsible to suggest that “Covid-19 is a temporary situation and a new constitution is more important.” No one wants a permanent Covid-19 situation, but until Covid-19 is significantly controlled, nothing else can be a priority. More importantly, Covid-19 has turned upside down the credibility of the current Rajapaksa  government. The government must be pushed and persuaded to focus on Covid-19, even if it leads to repairing its mangled credibility. It should not be given the excuse to be distracted from Covid-19 to write a new constitution.        

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Latest comments

  • 31
    1

    “No one wants a permanent Covid-19 situation, but until Covid-19 is significantly controlled, nothing else can be a priority”
    Unfortunately, for Rajapaksas a permanent Covid-19 situation is necessary to complete few things such as selling of Trincomalee to USA, getting IMF loan and to reduce the international pressure using UNHRC. Now people don’t talk about sovereignty of Sri Lanka or selling of Sri Lanka to China or USA. The constitutional change is necessary to enable US citizens or Chinese citizens to become President and Sri Lanka to become a kingdom of Rajapaksa Family.

    • 13
      0

      “Sri Lanka to become a kingdom of Rajapaksa Family.”

      Crude men doing crude things.

      It’s folly to ….. look at crudeness …… through a fine intellectual/academic-trained prism ………..

      • 7
        0

        Dear Friends,
        .
        Only way out to keep away from COVID infection is by improving the awareness.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOeJrTkH67A
        .
        Some basic knowledge in human biology is prerequisite, but some videos explain in simple langauge so that even dummies could get it easily.
        :
        Please dont wait to warn your neighbours. God bless srilanka.

      • 3
        5

        During Covid-19 lockdowns, Sri Lanka’s valuable minerals, particularly, Graphite which is used in the manufacture of mRNA vaccines, and other Rare Earth minerals (REM) and Rare Earth Elements (REE) are being, mined and stripped and exported to Germany, and EU under the claim that they are sand and clay. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau has issued over 200 licenses in the past few months and 500 this year. GDMB is an ultra-corrupt organization. All mining operations should be stopped during Covid-19 lockdowns.
        Mining should be banned and a review of all the licenses conducted at this time.
        Asset Stripping is the main reason for Covid-19 lockdowns which keep people distracted from the corruption and Asset Stripping is part of the Covid 19 plandemic to make America and EU great again.

        • 2
          5

          Covid-19 lockdowns have given rise to a Pandemic of Corruption and this was the plan.
          Since January GSMB has issued over 700 new mining licenses.
          Sri Lankan Graphite which is the purest and among the best in the world is turned into Graphene and used by Big Pharmaceutical companies making billions selling Covid-19 mRNA vaccines – Moderna and Pfizer . Quite right that Covid-19 PCR and Antigen tests and testing machines, biotechnology, Oximeters, Ventillators, vaccines etc. is a massive global business.
          Also there’s massive mining ongoing in the East Coast and West coast of Zircon, Titanium etc. The country is being ASSET STRIPPED in more ways than one.
          But check the income that Sri Lanka gets from minerals and its paltry.

      • 7
        0

        Time to take a vote.

        For the country, who is worse (or better) ……… Prabakaran or the Rajapakses?

        Native, SJ did ye eat kiribath in 2009 when the war ended ( my kiribath is still in the freezer?) ……………. It was going to be milk and honey from then on, eh?

        Well, what’d you know! :))

        • 3
          1

          nimal fernando

          “Native, SJ did ye eat kiribath in 2009 when the war ended ( my kiribath is still in the freezer?) “

          No.
          I was busy typing my comments to DBSJeyaraj, Tamilcanadian, Economist, Sri Lanka Guardian, Daily Mirror (would publish non of my COMMENTS), ………………. on 24/7 basis.

          ” For the country, who is worse (or better) ……… Prabakaran or the Rajapakses?”

          Both are psychopaths.
          The size of population made the difference.
          If Rajapaksa have had the opportunity to run LTTE he would have behave the same way as VP vice versa. I blame the people who created the space, condition, …. manufactured consent, for such people and their b***s carriers within and outside to thrive. Once war momentum has started rolling there was no turning back, more destruction the better, …. merchants of death queue up to sell their wares. Imagine the amount of commission that the leadership both civilian and military would have earned, in addition to huge income for local suppliers, … Jobs for the boys (Dayan, Hohona, Bandula, …..)

          However, SJ loves all the tin pots, like Pol Pots, …………….. I am told he used to explain away his liking for mad dogs.

          If this country is not restructured and democratised ……………………..

          Iron fist does not work.

    • 3
      26

      Ajith,
      “Unfortunately, for Rajapaksas a permanent Covid-19 situation is necessary…”
      —-
      If Rajapakshes want a permanent COVID-19 situation, people can disappoint them by following guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and reducing the spread of the virus. By organizing protests by opposition politicians in the South and organizing Hindu festivals in the North by Pujaris ignoring health guidelines aren’t these people helping Rajapakshes?

      • 6
        0

        EE,
        normally human beings tend to change their thoughts after looking the facts closely.

        Look at our CHAMPA, she was a blind believer in RAJAPAKSHE THAKKADIYAs until few months. Today her stance is totally changed.. now she behaves as if s/he does not know that WIMMAL Buruwanse….
        :
        But this is unfortunately not the case with you. .What is wrong with you EE ? Your servility to Rajapakshe criminals is similar to that of a raped women and her fragility.
        :
        Why not you the kind of born slaves seek a better therapist ?

  • 5
    24

    Mangala Samaraweera is not exactly the best way to promote the covid vaccine is it?
    The official story is that he took the jab twice and still died from covid.
    Proving right there that the vaccine is useless for its purpose.
    If anything it supports what i have been saying all along.
    It is the vaccine that is more likely to kill people than an imaginary virus.

    • 17
      1

      Fumble have you heard of a time table for new borns to get vaccinated for TB , Diphtheria, tetanus, mumps, measles —. So that it’s effective. Any vaccine is of no use if recommendations are not .followed . 6 to 8 hundred thousand in WP alone got their first and waited more than 9 months for their second. Millions around the world who received the same vaccine are still alive and healthy. How do you know Mangala was not infected before receiving any of the jabs.??? Unless you are that close or a living partner to know these information.

  • 15
    0

    The president in his own words delayed the lockdown because Maniyo told him he needs to hold and complete the Kandy Perahera at all cost. This women according to the president had said that if he fails to do this then it will bring him very bad luck but if he does hold the perahera before locking down the country those that die will become a sacrifice to the goddess Kalli which will bring him good luck! This is the mental state of the president. A sandlewood garden was close to parliament was also created to ward off bad luck on the instructions of this same Maniyo. Now you can chose to ignore all this information and delude your self that nothing of the sort happened and that ypon the plea from the Mahanaykes that the president decided to lock down the country. Mahanayakes or soothsayers do not dictate policy in a democracy. But that is what is hapening to the country. The Covid situation is far worse than the official numbers. No testing is being done by the government in most areas on the direction of the MOH. Private testing numbers are under reported or in some cases not reported at all. Drugs are running out. Lies are being spread by the pohotuwa buffoons that here is no drug shortage.

  • 11
    0

    The Rajapakshe obssession with so called projects while doing didley squat About Covid situation has not gone unnoticed by the public. The greed, the need to profit from a pandemic have all being noted. While they may think they can go on their merry way the anger among the public is mounting. The brutal manner loved ones are treated when a Covid death occurs. The refusal to allow the performing of last rites is surely fueling the anger. The terrible state the Government hospitals are in with a large percantage of the staff contracting Covid has crashed the system. Catholics that the six bombings carried out on a single day a feat even VP never achieved was the work of state intelligence with the connivance and approval of Sirisena who played the role of blocking intelligence and Gotler who gave his blessing and probably direction to his minions within the state intelligence agencies. A Catholic youth Shehan Malaka was taken into custody for pointing this out and this, is a definite conformation of guilt. A poll of 100 people taken from a divers sample voted 92% in favor of the idea that these bombings were carried out by the above mentioned actors.

  • 6
    1

    Ajith,
    Are you suggesting that the days are near for us to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” instead of “Sri Lanka Maatha”, Or
    Both simultaneously in chorus to show the of our rulers!
    Sri Lankan when making money and running down the economy and American when enjoying the spoils of a ‘Deal’
    What a wonderful idea. None else can match! Perhaps the exception is the China replacing the USA.

  • 14
    0

    Be it in EU countries, US or Congo republic, the purpose of a lockdown in current pandemic is to protect the nations not allowing its spread.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXEeeCLSo8I

    People are not warned enough by the incumbent govt because they are not serious about the containment of the virus. All medical specialists, incl Prof. Vitanaa warn the nation again and again but stupid leadership behaves no different to their siamese twins in Brazil, Iran or the like countries.
    :
    Social distancing and wearing a mask are compulsary however, people should be warned repeatedly.

    SRILANKA where a bunch of idiots grabed the power, deliberately do much less regarding cotainment of the virus, and all these are becoming evident from what we are compelled to watch on the TV screens. The chances people to get infected after going to collect the injection is becoming a big threat today than in the past few months. Milltary is heavily involving in the vaccination process, but protection being given to the people is much less… not even poor african countries in a mess of this nation, if one would compare it with that of theirs.

    Sadly, animal like -politicians, by name SB Disanayaka and like have been misleading the worried people from his utterly disgusting remarks made on ” this virus is not deadly, it is similar to a common cold “.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-ijYkOoTgc

  • 2
    11

    lockdowns will not work with this Delta. The only thing to do is to vaccinate and take our chances. These doctors don’t know anything . particularly about this new covid.

    • 8
      3

      a14455 / August 29, 2021,
      Both lockdown and Vaccination are must but not to rely on Chinese vaccines. Ballige puthas make profits also in vaccine import. .
      .
      U the kind of Rajapakshe backpleasers would remain eternal slaves regardless of Covid ☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

      • 4
        8

        Donkeygemalli there is nothing wrong with the Chinese vaccine. [edited out]

        • 9
          1

          a14455 / August 29, 2021 you and that Ms SCP (prostitute for Rajapakshe clan), would never see it right.
          .
          Very sad to see, you the kind of slaves while living in the US, behave like the blind.
          :
          This has lot to do with the kind of UDDHACHCHAKAMA of Gota-Baya. The days ahead Rajapakshes will have to face the music.. wait and see… the very same people would show their aggressions …

        • 5
          1

          Leelagemalli is always right to have predicted many things. It is all because he is not a slave… as you guys are made to.
          :
          I told you guys, if B***puthas would be reelected, the nation would have to suffer – nation’s buffaloe none other than Mahinda Rajapakshe challenged ” deela balanda.. api ewa korannam… “.. today the bugger is under his bed, not being able to see the eyes of the people…..
          .
          People that voted for them should have to replace their STAPLE with Punnaku…..
          .
          The my predictions are 99.999999 % correct…. in the days to come, heartless buggers will do the rest, letting people to consume ” human meat” in super markets….. they would add it as ” we require to earn more dollars”:
          .
          Not even prices of daily essentials are under control today. People thought, murderous GOTA would bring all good reforms to the prevailing structures. But the saddest reality is bugger is locked in his JANATHIPATHI MADURA today, not being able to address a tiny issue for the benefit of the masses:
          :
          No doubt, a head prefect of a popular school would have done it better in terms of VACCINATION marathon, but b****puthas have ruined it as of today.

    • 3
      0

      a14455,
      Very strong comment indeed = smacks of arrogance and smugness.
      If doctors do not know, are you implying you know best.
      “….and take our chances…….” means leaving everything in the air – means NO ONE knows and let nature prevail, means total lack of any definite knowledge. So who knows then?

  • 7
    1

    Not so long ago an expert/adviser said we don’t need to seek IMF …..now….

    The covid is opened up for back door business to the govnt as well as local traders,keep gazzating for commodity price…but in reality that’s like giving birth day cards …..
    How this yellow saffrons fooling and diverting the masses by protesting for build.walking path way …at parakramabahu tank,
    Like our head flee and get manage to get foreign passport for your future stability…….

  • 8
    3

    A New Constitution in the midst of the Covid-19?
    As the situation worsens, the Rajapakses are bound to pull their Constitution , like a Rabbit out of the Hat. Magic!
    This time around it would be difficult to convince those 6.9 Million voters that this is the cure for Covid-19.
    But then if a Monarchy is established those 6.9 m.would be asked to go and fly a Kite

    • 6
      0

      My dear Plato@

      A man who has failed to controll the prices of daily essentials such as sugar, rice, milk power etc – let alone to have the knowledge to bring a new constitution ? Pig might fly …
      I got to see, several huge storages of SUGAR ….of which no info are recorded anywhere. At the time, good governance came in, they found there were no records of many bills that MAHINDA MUSALAYA to have wasted using tax payers funds….. likewise., his brother SOHON HORA…. has allowed any criminals to earn collosal sums by importing Sugar in today s context.

      Hope DIVINE forces would work on RAJAPAKSHES sooner than we think… using that DOMINO effect. They deserve the highest punishments, any criminals should get.

  • 5
    2

    Sri Lanka is no longer a Sinhala Bhuddhist Nation.

    ‘Rupiyal” saranag gachchami, ‘Dolarrrr’ Saranag gchachami, Edang kadan , yana wahana Saranag gachchami…………

    • 8
      1

      Wimpy, I thought it should be ” Gota Saranang gachchami”:
      .
      See, we are right, we then added Gota would be good for ” hang man” position if Gallows were reintroduced.

      Srilanka (Population – 21.5 millions)
      Deaths /I Million – 399
      .
      India (Population – 1400 millions)
      Deaths /I Million – 314

      Now it is high time, that BALLIGE PUTHA MR to come raise the question ” obata saepadha ?”. Are u happy ?

  • 0
    1

    There are similarities with what happened to Afaganistan and the Sri Lanka situation.

    When a ceratin sovereign nation is part of a great political game of the Super powers, USA, China, India, Pakistan, UK, Russia.

    There is doom written all over it. If the indegenous leadership is naive and not upto the task the country is doomed.

    • 1
      1

      WimP,
      .
      Yes, there are indeed similaries.
      :
      But the difference is SRILANKEN people had the chance to study – the TRUE nature of alleged high criminals (Rajapakshes) got elected to power. And in srilanka no tonly PINGUTHTHARAYAS TOOK the lead but also media/drug mafia networks. SRILANKEN media mafia is 100000000000000000000 times powerful than drug trafficking mafia.
      :
      While Taliban ‘s cruel nature based on their extremism was known to the people. Rajpapakshes real nature is not yet known to the masses; becuase they are thousand times brutal than Taliban or any other like minded religious fanatists.

  • 5
    6

    Just four comments.
    “The infighting got curiouser and curiouser when SLPP attack dogs started accusing Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Gammanpila and Vasudeva Nanayakkara that they are of part of an international plot to bring about a regime change in Sri Lanka.”
    It was triggered by Wimal Weerawansa demanding transfer of leadership of the SLPP for President GR. The other two loyally echoed him. WW was fast silenced without MR firing a shot.
    *
    “It has also been reported that at the SLPP’s behest senior government officials have been releasing communications and statements opposing the current lockdown and/or curfew measures.”
    There are serious differences of opinion about the benefits of severe lockdown at all levels. Many medical professionals do not take a long term view of the socio-economic side. A good monthly wage topped by private earnings can blind people to the plight of the poor.
    *
    “No one wants a permanent Covid-19 situation, but until Covid-19 is significantly controlled, nothing else can be a priority.”
    Are you sure that NO ONE wants a permanent Covid-19 situation? The Big Pharma loves it. Its leaders forecast such a situation even before ‘Delta’ appeared. Is not the Big Pharma represented here?
    *
    I have serious doubt about the accuracy of COVOD-19 death data after Mangala’s death caused by heart attack sometime after being fully vaccinated being credited to the virus.

    • 3
      4

      Today I read that the Ministry Health announced that 85% of the “COVID-19 deaths” up to 13th Auguust comprised people with chronic illnesses.
      This statistic is not unexpected.
      Had such information (obtainable months ago) and the age profile of the dead been in the public domain and provided to heath service policy makers, would we not have been in a position to evolve a strategy that would have prioritized the most vulnerable and saved most avoidable deaths?
      The debate has been mostly one-sided about the epidemic and centred on vaccination and lockdown, in the fashion of elitist after dinner discourses.
      Has any other option been allowed to be considered?
      Has there been no lesson from other countries?
      *
      There was a role for the public that has been denied, mostly for lack of reliable information. No political party offered leadership in this regard. What we mostly see are political debates, and plugging for vested interests.

      • 0
        0

        Prof SJ, could you define chronic illness for CT readers. Is Asthma/Bronchitis in children / adolescent considered chronic as in kidney/heart disease in adults. The strategy was to prioritize the vulnerable, elderly and others at risk. That is what many countries did except Lanka.Ministry of health also said there is no community infection. I guess you are in agreement with that too. Only the naive and ignorant trust our health ministry.

        • 0
          0

          I only reported what the papers said.
          The statistics coincide with what has been reported elsewhere for COVOD-19 deaths with comorbidities.
          So I am inclined to accept it.

          • 0
            0

            Good for you SJ , could you quote the exact reports on Covid deaths with comorbidities in Lanka other than from health ministry. The same health ministry today admitted the daily death rates may not be accurate due to late reporting. But what was reported by U.S experts and WHO has come true . Close to 10,000 death by end of this month. And worse to come, 25,000 in double quick time.
            .

            • 0
              0

              I do not think that I need to elaborate further.
              If you are privy to reliable data, please place them here.
              I shall most appreciate it.

            • 1
              0

              chiv

              The differences in the numbers is due what paper you read and what news papers others have access to.

              You must be reading pro American media and others may be listening/reading to pro China print/electronic media.

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