By Barbara Seneviratne –
Oh! my heavens how lucky we are to have such conscientious ministers, members of Parliament and C.M.C mayors who suddenly were awakened to the cries of the folks who were victims to be buried alive by the so called loving, faithful, dedicated politicians.
This mountain of garbage at Meethotamulla was deliberately built with no concern for the health hazard it created for the poor but not for the unscrupulous politicians who with the help of the C.M.C. mayors and contractors pocket nearly Rs.8 million a year. It is no wonder that they gave no ear to the people of the area.
However, let us hope that garbage mountain at the Ginganga in Galle would not face the similar fate as Meethotamulla. This garbage mountain at Ginganga could be seen if one takes a boat along the river towards the Jet wing hotel. It will be another catastrophe and the livelihood of most of the people living close to the river and the garbage mountain is operating boat tours for tourists along the river.
These politicians spend thousands of rupees on spirits and food at elections not for the benefit of those who voted for them but to harvest a larger amount of black money. Another instead reason why they want the old system of provincial councils is because that system would enable them to line their pockets from the funds allocated for the development of village roads, schools and local hospitals which they promise to do but they never do.
Unfortunately we do not get people of the caliber of Lalith Athulathmudalie, T.B Illangaratne, T.B Subasinghe or Anil Moonasinghe as members of Parliament. It is said that 90% of our politicians are uneducated. This was supported by Bandula Gunawardana’s speech and wherein he stated that a family of four could comfortably live on an income of Rs 2000/ per month. The majority of politicians of today are good at collecting their 10% commissions from tenders but lack the ability to propose or deal with any of the outstanding problems of today in the areas of education, health, water and electricity. They hardly have the capacity to visualize or detect what is good or bad for the country, but good at organizing strikes or dashing coconuts on the roads. They are also good at delivering grandiose senseless speeches to hide their disabilities. How can we expect these corrupt, unscrupulous politicians who extort money or sexual favors and who take advantage of the innocent folks to fill their pockets be concerned about the plight of the community. Their behavior in parliament also indicates their disability to be decent, and disciplined.
For decades politicians have not taken garbage dumping issue seriously. The best part is that it is for these politicians that the government gives free rides abroad, duty free luxury vehicles and pension after just for 5 years for behaving like a bull in a china shop. Beside for attending Parliament they get an extra payment. Sri Lanka may be the only country that pampers politicians be they crook or to prevent them from crossing over to other parties or through fear that they will expose the culprits.
It is time that the President realizes that preaching at all functions will not deliver the goods. The prevalence of political corruption has had a number of consequences. It’s affected the country’s economy to a great extent. It is high time that the government and the President guarantee that corruption in all institutions would be exposed to the public and would instill discipline at all levels.
The president must further ensure that racial discrimination is no longer legitimate under the law and any sign of it that can be fought legally is taken to the courts. He must further take serious action against police manhandling of witnesses and presenting false charges in courts.
The country’s court system can’t effectively deal with corruption either. This is because the court system is engulfed with injustices and corruption is deeply rooted. For example the prevailing legal system is weak to punish corrupt politicians. No society can succeed without a proper social order and no successful society has ever existed without the rule of law, which is a necessary and sufficient perquisite for economic growth and development.