25 July, 2017

The Redundancy Of “Naming Names”

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I have been, probably justifiably, taken to task for not specifying the names of those I’ve made thinly-veiled reference to in a recent column.

Unfortunately, for practical reasons driven by journalistic practice in the country, I do not find it possible to deviate from that practice.

As one who is compelled, from time to time, to deal with the permanently nose-to-tail nature of Kandy traffic, I continue to take strong exception to being poisoned by the result of the never-ending traffic jams that are a feature of this metropolis.

We have had a couple of ludicrous suggestions from a man who, obviously, if the current situation is to be understood, has the power, to the extent that human beings can wield such authority, to at least alleviate this state of affairs and CHOOSES NOT TO DO SO.

It is one of the less well-kept secrets of the hill country that a man who, literally, bought two elections to continue as the custodian of the most sacred of Buddhist relics simply calls the shots in this regard. His reason for ensuring the (air-conditioned) comfort of his official residence is that he doesn’t want the peace and quiet of that abode to be disturbed by the peregrinations of the hoi-polloi compelled to live in Kandy and to travel back and forth to a UN-declared Heritage City and Sri Lanka’s acknowledged hill capital. Up to the time that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam launched their very ineffective attempt to blast the Dalada Maligawa, traffic moved freely up and down what was then Malabar Street without let or hindrance.

Since the advent of the monumental corruption of the Rajapaksa regime (MR1) when “anything went” as long as you were prepared to pay obeisance, literally and metaphorically, at the feet of our plump potentate from the South, it suddenly became almost a capital offence to object to this new routing of traffic.

About six years ago, the last time Kandy’s air pollution index was checked, it was determined to be something like four times as high as Colombo’s. It is anybody’s guess as to what a similar comparison would yield today.

What is the reason for this state of affairs? ONE man deems it his privilege to live in quiet, air-conditioned comfort which hardly fits into the whole business of example in the matter of Buddhist practice.

Bad enough? Think the next step. The Minister deliberately involving himself, on more than one occasion with this controversy comes up with “solutions” that would place the term “ludicrous” up there with the efforts of his hairdresser to restore this particular Minister to the time of his (misbegotten) youth.

One of his proposed “solutions” was to construct a diversion that would put the final nails in the coffin of the only urban forest reserve of its kind in Sri Lanka – Udawattakelle – by constructing, as many of us understood it, the hill country’s replication of that “super highway” that the MR1 regime constructed down south. I don’t know whether an airport akin to Mattala’s was also envisaged but I did see a facility to land aircraft farther downriver on the Mahaweli, across from used to be Pallekelle Estate, which looked like it could cope with small private aircraft (carrying ministers of the government and their minions, perhaps.) It certainly had a sturdy enough base being blasted out of what looked like a good quality granite base. Another first for Sri Lanka if not the world!

Yet another alternative proposed, more than once, was a bridge spanning the Kandy lake, not simply across it but lengthwise. At the time this proposal was mooted – one which has been repeated – there was barely a whimper from a public that appears to have simply given up on any hope of sanity entering the upper cranial orifice of this particular individual. However, as insane as the expectation of anything resembling sanity issuing from this individual, one has to be on guard insofar as any scheme, no matter how hare-brained is concedrned, when the prospect of massive corruption marches in lock-step with such efforts. After all, the crazier the scheme, the bigger the potential for bribes and an assortment of corrupt practices as the previous MR1 regime has proven.

An attempt by a group of knowledgeable environmentalists and academics to demonstrate in the most peaceful manner possible against the status quo in the matter of air pollution due largely to the power and authority of the custodian of the Buddha’s Tooth Relic resulted in their being met with violence by a group obviously hand-picked for their brawn, their violent conduct orchestrated by the thugs further up the chain of command who were “safeguarding the sanctity of the tooth relic.”

These older and scientifically-knowledgeable individuals who were subjected to assault and battery must have lived in cloud-cuckoo land if they thought that anything that stood in the way of the comfort of the privileged was going to be met with anything less than assault and battery. I can but hope that they have since “learned their lesson” and will not engage in any public efforts to, literally, save the lives of thousands of people who are dying and will continue to die of respiratory ailments in and around Kandy.

Simply put, the opening of the road that has existed for generations until one (abortive) attempt to do damage to the Temple of the Tooth by the Prabhakaran horde is absolutely essential to, at least, reduce the massive automobile-generated pollution of Kandy. NOTHING should stand in its way. Anyone seeking to do so should be charged with a criminal offence because that is precisely what it is. And that includes so called “Senior Cabinet Ministers,” with or without their incompetent hairdressers in tow.

Bad enough for one major town?

Think again.

We have medical services that, except for the superhuman efforts of a few exceptional doctors and surgeons, belong in the realm of criminal offences. And these are compounded by cross-professional complicity that provoked one very senior member of the Kandy bar to advice against seeking the services of any lawyer among those practicing his profession in Sri Lanka’s hill capital if one were to display the temerity that would lead to seeking some kind of relief from the carelessness and callousness of anyone allegedly practicing medicine in Kandy’s second (and most holy) city. This state of affairs would only be compounded in the higher echelons of a profession whose Hippocratic Oath calls for “doing no harm by word or deed.”

Top that if you will in the matter in the most blatant corruption in the most sacrosanct of professions in what is regarded as Kandy’s most sacred city!

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    EvdP

    Your anguish can be cut through with a proverbial blunt knife. You give enough clues to set any budding local Inspector Clouseau on the road to successfully identifying the charlatans you expose. As my neighbour the ever-scathing Mr Silva would say ‘knowing people know who these jokers are’.

    The moulding bodies of those who lovingly built that once most desirable city in the hills must be turning in their graves as these present day schemers plan to heap more misery on that most sacred of our cities and its suffering inhabitants.

    Alas! Things will get worse before they get better.

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

  • 3
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    It is a well known fact that Kandy has been hijacked by the politicians and priests, who use Buddhism as the excuse to make life hell for the residents and visitors. As far as they are concerned, “anything goes”, as long as their vested interests are taken care of.

    The banning of purchasing liquor and meats in and around Kandy during so called ‘religious observances’ is one such meaningless practice. Why not let those who choose to observe their personal spirituality by abstaining do their thing, but why force the rest of us (including tourists) to suffer this nonsense?

  • 1
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    This is a a dig at his old mate Kady Kirra, who refused to give Poorten free Dung..Sorry subsidized Dung..Isn’t it?..

    Don’t tell me, Mr Pirahaparan ,the LTTE boss blasted the Holy Shrine of Buddha’s Tooth?.

    And Batalanda Ranil , the Yahapalana PM wants to give their followers and friends a Federal Eelaam with all the Bells and Whistles….

    And try to appoint a Commission to find out why one chapter boss and part Custodian of the holy Shrine, is against Batalanada’s Plan to give Vellalas the Eeelaam?.

    Pity, Poorten doesn’t write about these important issues, which threaten our land of Mahavansa which is nearing its 2600th year of continuous existence, while the others like Greeks and Romans have come and gone.

    • 1
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      Ado Sumaney:
      Yada! Yada! Yada!

      • 2
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        I know Ada ,They know how to cook it too..

        But, What is Yada …Yada … Yada..

        Has Kirra driven Poorty nutty….

        • 0
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          sumanasekara,

          “Pity, Poorten doesn’t write about these important issues, which threaten our land of Mahavansa which is nearing its 2600th year of continuous existence, while the others like Greeks and Romans have come and gone”

          Numbers don’t nean much…is there anything left,
          worth being proud of(hint- too many people of your calibre)?

          And contrary to your ignorant thinking,the Romans and Greeks didn’t vanish.Have you visited that part of the world to see for yourself?
          A lot more has survived there.

          • 1
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            Lankan,

            So you obviously know about Remus & Romulus and their wolf mom who suckled them..

            Have you heard about our Sinha Bahu and Sinha Seevali?.They had a Lioness to suckle them.. Right..

            How cool.

            Wonder where Poortens were then?…

            • 2
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              Ado Sumaney:
              I don’t know where “Poortens” were then, but I know one thing for certain: they weren’t engaged in, literally, bestial conduct as you so proudly claim your ancestors were.

              • 1
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                Poor Poorten,

                Straight from Neanderthals..Not surprised…

                • 1
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                  Ado Sumaney:
                  How about quoting even ONE example of bestial relations by even neanderthals?

              • 1
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                Sumanya is born mongel person – no need to waste your valuble time for the bugger.

                These men behave like crabs put to hot water .. time will solve the problem.

                • 1
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                  [Edited out]

              • 0
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                [Edited out]

            • 1
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              Lankan,

              Kelani Uni Professors found Pendants which our ancestors wore 6500 years ago, And cooking Pots, Knives too in Balanagoda.

              It is only 30 kms from Kirinda, and the Professors are certain that they even went fishing in Hamabantota harbour.

              And that stupid Yahapalana PM reckons we all came from where Pirahaparan was trained, wearing his KCN pendent.

              Wonder where your mate Poorty came from?…

              • 0
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                how come you have ancestors in lanken soil ? You buggers are mutants that is created to divide lanken nation.

                Please go and see your inthe mirror.. that can help you further

                Born racists, will die also as racists are a shame for the lanken nation.

                Mudianse Rome Italy

              • 0
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                Ah, the silly bugger Sumaney seems to have had his buttons all pressed… good on Emil and the other commentators for knowing where to kick this little twerp for best effect!

                How much did Mahinda Mama pay you to carry his baggage, Sumaney?

                Ivor (real) Biggun

    • 5
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      As a regular reader of CT I scan through the crap this man writes.

      I am writing to let CT know that his attacks on the Sri Lankan civilisation and Buddhism for everything is in real bad taste, and shows a deep-rooted inferiority complex. His name probably explains it.

      As a person of foreign origin, he should thank Sri lanka for allowing his kind in our country after 1948. But he seems to be so ungratedul that he seems to have forgotten his origins.

      Down with foreigners trying to undermine our civilisation.

      • 5
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        Sorry Ruwan, but what civilisation are you talking about?
        Don’t be a frog in a well…
        If you look at the quality of the Sri Lankan politcians, doesn’t say much about any civilisation, does it?

      • 0
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        [Edited out]

      • 0
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        Ruwan Jayakody:
        I don’t know about you, but I can certainly provide you with documented PROOF of my local antecedents.
        Beware of going around trying to bite other people’s behinds because, like many lower forms of life, you could well succeed in inflicting similar damage on yourself.

        • 4
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          After watching this debate for a while on this column, I must say I also find Poorten’s gratuitous, aggressive attacks on our civilisation and religion offensive. He has no right to insult our belief for any reason.

          Now it looks like he is threatening Ruwan for pointing out this ugly truth. He needs to be beware of the wrath of the protectors of that civilisation and religion he is ignorantly insulting.

          As to Poorten’s local antecedents, they simply do not matter. The Turks in Germany still remain foreigners in that country after being there for 5-6 generations. Same applies here to left overs of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British Jews.

          One thing he can be sure of is that no one will be keen to bite his diarrheal back, but to kick it hard enough to send him to where he came from.

          • 0
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            “He needs to be beware of the wrath of the protectors of that civilisation and religion he is ignorantly insulting. “

            All you defensive people with an inferiority complex from the majority group seem to have is wrath towards all other communities.

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            Jayantha Delgoda:
            Before you start, like all the rest of you with monumental inferiority complexes who have to fall back on “purity of race, religion, culture etc.”, how about producing some PROOF of even that alleged “purity” even at its very narrowest?
            It seems like the lower forms of life that crawl out from under various little rocks do so from the bottoms of very deep wells!

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              [Edited out]

      • 1
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        …Down with foreigners trying to undermine our civilisation.

        Well said Ruwan. With soopukarayas like you, we can do it ourselves.

      • 1
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        Here Jayakody, go on, crap on the flag.

        EvdP may be ‘of foreign origin’ but his people made this there home BY CHOICE. You were made by ACCIDENT (ask Amma and Thaatha).

        • 0
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          AS usual impolite, crass, and non-objective; given only to insulting everyone else.

          If you epitomise all that is sinhala, buddhist and sri lankan, you paint a damningly poor picture of all three mate.

          • 0
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            THese comments were directed at Sumanasekera and not Emil. Pity, CT got it wrong!

    • 1
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      AS usual impolite, crass, and non-objective; given only to insulting everyone else.

      If you epitomise all that is sinhala, buddhist and sri lankan, you paint a damningly poor picture of all three mate.

  • 0
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    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.” said Juliet

    or Rotten? says Emil maama

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