By Mahinda Pathirana –
This is in reply to the content of an Article titled Basil Lies to Polls Commission To Justify Running Task Force on Covid Relief; Says not even a member of Any Political Party, dated 23rd April 2020, Colombo Telegraph, attributed to Mr Anura kumara Dissanayake et al, leader of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. Mr Dissanayake, as the article states, charges that Mr Basil Rajapaksa lied to the National Election Commission (NEC) about his political affiliations. Let me first put facts straight; Mr Basil Rajapaksa is a politician of principle of his own kind and never lies to gain political mileage, and he is well known for being clear and walking the talk, irrespective of such straightforwardness being unpopular among his own supporters.
If Mr Dissanayake is serious about what he says, what he should do is, immediately file a RTI application to obtain this information from the national election commission and verify facts. But, this author personally believes that Mr Dissanayake is not serious about this, for the fabrication of lies is the sum total of entire spans of JVPs almost half a century political movement. They are the official saboteurs of Sri Lankan politics from its very inception. And this is just another attempt at sabotaging the government effort to keep people of country fed at this crucial juncture of human history facing a formidable pandemic worldwide.
It is public that Mr Basil Rajapaksa has been appointed as Head of presidential task force for directing, coordinating and monitoring essential services by a gazette notification dated 26th March 2020. Well before that, Mr Rajapaksa resigned from the position of the general secretary of the Alliance formed out of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and Sri Lanka Freedom Party to keep away from the party politics and to focus his entire energy and strength on keeping the supply of services like Electricity, water, food and communication facilities uninterrupted in the wake of enforcing curfew and severe restrictions to the all aspects of peoples life in the country. He has officially informed of his voluntary renunciation of politics to the NEC as well.
JVP leader is purported to ask: which person in the country is willing to believe this statement? Let us be clear! This is not a question of having will to believe a story or not. Mr Rajapaksa bears no position either in the party or the newly formed alliance. It is the plain truth, what people of this country believe in. And the people of this country do not want know the colour, creed and character of the person taking care of their life amid the hard hitting virus on behalf of the President, the Prime Minister and the government. They want to sail the rough seas of their lives with a benevolent hand of their government. According to the theory of Mr Dissanayake, even the President and the Prime Minister cannot provide relief for the people, for they also belong to a certain political party.
Mr Anura Dissanayake is accusing the government of abusing the state resources to support millions of people in the country through the task force for essential services, and also of national election commission to allow delivery of such services. How come the leader of a Marxist party makes such a statement? Is the act of helping the people in dire need of essential services an abuse of state resources? Should the government not avail its own resources to help people in need? Does the JVP want to see the people of this country starving to death by scuttling the government mechanism of keeping the country alive amid the virus?
I think, in no country, we see politics of this nature. All the countries in world are in one single mind to help the people relinquishing all of their political agendas in the growing threat of Covid-19 pandemic. And to be fair, even leaders of other political parties in Sri Lanka have extended their support to the government handling the crisis. But, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the self-appointed poor man’s party is hell bent on disrupting the efforts of the government, thereby endangering the lives of entire population of the country.
*Mahinda Pathirana, Senior Lecturer