By Suranimala Umagiliya –
What do Sri Lankans want? What are their aspirations? What is the capacity they possess to understand how they may realise their wishes and aspirations? Therein lies the sixty four million dollar question. Sri Lankans want all options open, at all times. It is with profound sadness I pen these lines.
Read a newspaper, watch news on television it becomes clear that Sri Lanka is floundering. All news and views are nothing but centred around the Central bank bond scam. The perpetrators and the politicians who benefited from the scam must be brought to book. Nevertheless, sections of the media (a large segment in fact) treat this scam akin to a dog with a bone. Social media too is equally guilty. Any debate descends to Rajapaksa vs Wickremesinghe or UNP vs Rajapaksas. Sinhala Buddhists vs Tamils and Muslims. That is the sum total of our capacity.
I read carefully and watch news of Cabinet decisions. There is plenty going on to develop the country. Clean water, Improvements to roads, improvements in Health care, structural changes to boost government revenue through better tax collections, freedom of expression and many more. The government does not know how to get their message across. There is no participation nor interest by the people or the media in any of these proposals. They get activated only when the spoils attached to such come in to question. Very often the whistle is blown by a business house that lost a tender even though they too were willing to part with bribes to politicians and government servants that matter to secure a win.
The current hot topic is whether Gotabaya Rajapaksa could run for President at the next election. Are we naive, foolish, suffering from amnesia or all of it? Have we forgotten the dictatorial and murderous record of the Mahinda Rajapaksa reign or do we remember only the roads that were paved by him?
To make it simple I would suggest that the people and the media collectively grab a long sheet of paper and draw a diagonal line in the middle. Now, on the left side start by recording all the ill deeds of the Rajapaksa regime such as, Helping Hambantota, Sri Lankan Airlines, Mihin Air, Sachin Vaas Goonewardene’s looting, Basil’s Maga Neguma and 10%, Daisy Aunties Gems, First lady’s Siriliya and ID card, Mattala, Hambantota Port and Airport, Sale of Army Headquarters to Shangri-La, Port City, hedging deal of CPC, Investing in dud Greek bonds,Mig deal of Gotabaya, Udayanga Weeratunge, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Pumping and dumping of shares in the stock market, Namal and his brothers antics and amassing of untold wealth, lamborghini and Ferrari purchases, fake attempt at bidding for Commonwealth games, killings at Rathupaswela, Aluthgama,. Murders of Lasantha Wickrematunge, Thajudeen, abduction and disappearance of Ekneligoda, torture and abduction of Keith Noyahr, assault on Poddala Jayantha, assault on Upali Tennekoon,embracing Karuna, Pillaiyan and KP, Wimal Weerawansas, Mahindananda’s antics. These are but a few though the list is endless.
Now record on the right side column the ill deeds of the current mob. Bond scam, Arjun Mahendren, Arjun Aloysius, Ravi Karunanayake,Sujeewa Senesinghe, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Bond scam, Bond scam…….Bond scam……………….
This is not to deflect from the corruption of the present government. It must not be condoned. But as a nation are we so bereft of leadership to go back to the same vomit? Why rely on the USA to disqualify Gotabaya when the many criminal cases including murder can be brought about and the truth laid bare. Most of the aforementioned criminal activities were executed under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s watch. A majority of the people yet believe that Mahinda is the best brand in Sri Lanka.
No. Sri Lankans do not have the capacity to understand what is good for them nor their next generation.