By Nalaka Rupasinghe –
Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Rajapaksa family government had been and has been trying to get maximum political advantages by controlling and unleashing it. It is time to analyse how it happened and why it happened. At the beginning, the fight against Covid-19 was showcased to show Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the best in the world to prevent spreading of the disease when most powerful countries such as USA, UK failed to do so.
When the first wave of pandemic erupted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had been trying to show that he was the protector of the nation. During this time overreacting to the pandemic caused enormous hardships to the public and sparked bloodbath in the Mahara Prison when the inmates were demanding protection from the virus. In the violent shooting, 11 inmates were shot dead and more than 100 wounded. However, with the dedication and commitment of medical professionals, security forces and the police, the government was able to control the virus effectively until the beginning of 2021. Therefore, people had opportunity demand their rights.
When the New Year was approaching, the media was dominated by the Easter Sunday terror attacks because even after two years of investigations no perpetrator was brought to justice and Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and various pressure groups including some opposition MPs such as Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara was demanding to reveal the masterminds behind Ester Sunday plot. So, the Rajapaksa government was able to find ‘The Best Way’ to shut up those noisy moths, Covid-19, the invisible killer.
When the new year season began in March this year, respected medical professionals including Dr Padma Gunarathne. President of Sri Lanka medical Association (SLMA) demanded from the government to introduce strict lockdown rules during the national festive season, Sinhala/Hindu new year. In a news conference, on 15 March 2021 Si Lanka medical Association demanded strict travel restrictions to prevent mass travelling to Colombo and from Colombo to other parts of the country. The total deaths up to that day was 527. Their advice and warnings were ignored and then there was a programme on TV Derana, Little Parliament, not more than a ‘Comedy show’, advising people how to behave during the season Shopping, celebration etc.: Director General of Health Dr Asela Gunawardena and General Shavendra Silva were among the participants. I call it a ‘Comedy show’ because advice never work without enforcement. I watched the news: Millions used packed buses, trains and had been shopping in overcrowded textile shops and markets. So, the invisible killer met the target.
If the government were honest, it could learn thousands of best ways and experience from the world to control human behaviour during the pandemic and the festive seasons. For example, Lunar New Year means everything in China, but the Chinese government banned all new year (2020) celebrations, travelling etc to keep people at homes. In the UK and most countries In Europe including Germany brought strict lockdown rules to keep people inside homes during the national festive season which was Christmas. Christmas products come to high street fashion shops, department stores etc. from October and people start Christmas shopping form that time to avoid peak season or busiest shopping time in December. But the governments ordered to close all non-essential shops like textiles, bars restaurants, barber salons etc to prevent spreading the virus. Only two people were allowed to meet in public places except family members. People were allowed to go to buy food, medicines and do exercise for one hour. By doing so and with the rapid vaccination the governments have effectively controlled the pandemic according to expert medical advice and guidance.
But in Sri Lanka, when Easter Sunday victims haunted during last April the government gone mad because the Rajapaksa family government knows who were behind the plot. Writing to LankaEnews web, Journalist and Human Rights activist Sunanda Deshapriya has given a vivid description about the perpetrators.
Some other news webs also exposed how the former President Maithripala Sirisena facilitated the attackers keeping his blind eye on the information provided by Indian Intelligence service. The allegations never investigated by Gotabaya government and Maithripala Sirisena gets every protection from the government and has been enjoying the magnificent mansion at the Paget Road, Colombo 7. Please watch what MP Harin Fernandoo said in the parliament.
Corona virus has devastated Sri Lanka since April with the deliberate creating of The New Year Cluster. On one way it brought massive financial benefits to the family government by purchasing nearly 2/3 of the jabs from China at $15 when some other vaccines with high efficacy rates are cheaper to buy.
The deaths tall since April is much higher than the people were killed in the Easter Sunday terror attack, it was 269. Covid deaths since 1st April to 21st May 562. On 1st April reported new cases were 211 and deaths 3. According to today’s news, on 17 August 2021, government media unit has confirmed 3609 positive cases and 3555 were from the New Year Cluster. Highest number deaths in a single day were reported yesterday which was 171. Accordingly, total number of deaths 6,434 since the beginning. According to John Hopkins death rates in Sri Lanka is 15 times higher than in India.
Since 01 April 2021 to 17 August, The New year cluster’ has killed more than 6000 people. The number of the victims of the unleashed covid, so far, 22 times higher than the Easter Sunday victims which was 269. But it was revealed that the actual figure of current Covid cases and deaths must be much higher than the figures shown to the public. For example, the figures revealed by Divisional Health Authorities hundred times higher than the figures revealed by the Epidemiology Unit of the ministry of Health.
When vaccinations were first launched government ordered to vaccinate people at working age ignoring Clinically extremely vulnerable groups such as people over 60 and living with chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer, heart attacks etc. But in many other counties like in Europe, USA, UK, they prioritised according to age range and vulnerabilities. For example, people over 80s first then 70s.
Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith in a news conference held on 13 August named suspects of Easter Sunday terror attack. But naturally people raise eyebrows about the credibility and the integrity of the Cardinal. Some people like M.P Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara openly accused Gotabaya Rajapaksa was behind the conspiracy. But it is not in the Cardinal’s list, and he has been silenced about it. A Catholic from Negombo, known as ‘Little Rome’, has urged from the Cardinal not to try to bury the truth under the carpets of Colombo Bishop’s house. People know how Maithripala Sirisena made the way for the attackers to launch the attacks without any obstacles making a ‘miracle’ for Gotabaya to come to the top position.
Overall picture means unleashing the invisible killer to cover up Easter Sunday plotters backfired killing thousands of innocent people in the so called ‘Dharmadeepaya – The Land devoted to Buddhist principles’
But they pledged to protect the nation… Voters, you cast more than 69millian to the man who was portrayed as the man of great vision and the protector of the nation. Now, it is time to think. Yes, the victims deserve justice, but where can they expect from…? Even if you bring the opposition into power, it is most unlikely because they had been in power nearly four and half years, did almost nothing to punish the criminals of the previous regime.