15 June, 2024


Time To Take Off The Gloves And Join The Dots

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Over the years during which I have written for publication about the predicament of people in our neighbourhood who are having road access denied to them by the behavior of a local Pradeshiya Sabhawa (PS), I have desisted from identifying the person who had the power, authority, “connections” and clout to do something about this state of affairs.

As I have documented more times than I care to remember, a road which is the only means of access to and egress from their homes for dozens of families has been callously destroyed by the Tumpane (PS), for ten years, operating a completely illegal garbage dump located outside its geographical boundaries!

As I believed it would be counter-productive to join the dots leading to the man who seemingly chose not to do anything about this state of affairs, seeing him as the last hope of any kind of justice in this matter, I desisted from doing so.  Another reason for my failure to take what might have seemed like the obvious course was the fact that I believed, that he was a person incapable of knowingly participating in a campaign of willful destruction and malice.

However, if he is being kept in the dark about the real state of affairs prevailing in our corner of rural Sri Lanka, what follows should illuminate that darkness.

The basic history of this travesty goes like this:

  1. One of the damaged sections of our road

    One of the damaged sections of our road

    An SLFP politician, powerful at the PS level and in power at the time, decides to appropriate a block of land owned by the Land Reform Commission and outside the jurisdiction of the Tumpane PS for a (free) housing scheme for his friends.

  2. Road access from the road already serving other villages, estates etc. is created and, among other things, a large concrete water reservoir is built
  3. Potential home-builders, chosen at the whim of the politico, begin clearing sites for their new homes
  4. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP forms government
  5. The reach of UNP revenge extends into the Galagedera constituency
  6. The housing-estate-in-progress is disrupted by the Tumpane PS transporting its garbage (by tractor) and dumping it right in the middle of the proposed “housing scheme,” immediately adjacent to the water reservoir!
  7. End of “Middle-class Housing Scheme”
  8. The Ranil Wickremesinghe government falls
  9. Dumping has continued ever since, despite pollution of two drinking water springs, the destruction of the road from the highway (A 10) by a tractor, shod with lug tires meant for paddy-field operation, hauling six to eight loads of garbage every day and a refusal by the Tumpane PS to maintain that section of the road.
  10. Petitions, letters of protest etc. are of no avail.
  11. The Department of Environmental Protection dodges taking any action despite formal written complaints
  12. Not seeing any light at the end of this tunnel despite appeals without number to the Minister, his executive assistant (a brother who is a retired senior army officer and the father of a young man who is now a Member of Parliament and a Presidential favourite) and the Technical Officers of the PS, I am forced to file a plaint in the District Court of Kandy against the Tumpane PS.
  13. All my friends and relations question my sanity because one just doesn’t take on the government with only one’s (meagre) private financial resources available for such an exercise!
  14. However, the fact that the action also sought damages from the Chairman of the P.S. in his personal capacity might have had something to do with the fact that some wheels seemed to have begun turning.
  15. In March of this year, a large number of truck loads of aggregate (“road metal”) were suddenly trucked up the hill and dumped unceremoniously along the narrow road.
  16. Since this was before the Sinhala and Tamil New Year of 2014, we were informed that work would commence within a few days of the end of those holidays and would be completed in approximately 5 days.
  17. That was in April 2014 and I am writing this in late November 2014 and NOTHING FURTHER HAS BEEN DONE. The response of the Technical Officer of the PS, when queried from time to time about when work might be started on the road, is to hang up the phone in one’s ear, “cutting the line” as the current jargon has it.
  18. The residents of the area continue their desperate pleas and appeals to the PS, the Executive Assistant to the Senior Minister representing the constituency (the retired Major General) and the Minister himself with no result whatsoever. This has included a couple of petitions signed by every resident needing this road to get to and from their homes.
  19. In addition, no one is prepared to move even some of the road metal now obstructing traffic on an already-narrow road, claiming that they would be likely to be arrested if they did so!
  20. Needless to add, vehicular traffic has been restricted to the point where no cars can travel up this road.  Only one of the local tuk-tuks (three-wheelers) will make the journey and it charges five hundred rupees where the charge used to be about one fifth of that a few years back!  There used to be one passenger van driver who used to come up at a significantly high charge but I haven’t spoken to him recently!
  21. Let me bring events up to date by informing readers that, as of the 18th of November and up to time of writing this piece on the 25th of the month, THE ACCESS ROAD IS TOTALLY IMPASSABLE FOR ALL TRAFFIC EXCEPT, THE PS’S GARBAGE-HAULING TRACTOR and, possibly, heavy lorries and back-hoes. The last we know for a certainty because the garbage-hauling tractor of the PS went off this very road and a backhoe had to be brought in to pull it back on to the track a few days ago.  The backhoe, in avoiding the earlier-mentioned piles of metal, did even further damage to the road.  Needless to add, if this backhoe had worked for, perhaps, an hour on the worst sections of this road, it might have been made even temporarily usable by vans or tuk-tuks.

Bikes ready for distribution to those with roads to ride them on

This ring of encirclement has been completed by a vindictive and malicious local authority without a semblance, as that legalistic phrase has it, of “let or hindrance.” As for the conduct of those wielding infinitely more authority than this tinpot dictator, one can only hark back to what Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

It is, without a doubt, symptomatic of the status quo prevailing in Sri Lanka today that some vindictive local politician should have the power to destroy access into and out of a whole community, putting rural people at great inconvenience and risk, purely to prove his power over someone he perceives as not sharing his political affiliations.  Ah, but then, from time to time, one tends to forget that this is the Debacle of Asia!

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  • 3

    Emil van der Poorten –

    RE: Time To Take Off The Gloves And Join The Dots

    what Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    Yes. First Things First. Let us strive to Retire Medamulane MaRa.

    Good men need to do something. Get it from Tho,mas Paine, the Author of Common sense 1776, what he did for the American Revolution.

    We nee a few good men, writers to write The Common sense Pamphlet of 2014 Sri Lanka version and depose the Evil king MaRa.

    BEmil van der Poorten you have ample materials to write the Sri Lank Version of Common sense Pamphlet , 2014. Thomas OPaine did that for the american revolution with much less materials in 1776.

    The Pamphlet could be printed, put on DVD, Flash Drives, Pdf etc. in All 3 Languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English and get into the hands of the people. The election is on January 8, 2015, based on the astrologers Geocentric model and the relative positron of Saturn.

    Common Sense (pamphlet)


    Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

    Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

  • 3

    Emil van der Pooten and Amarasiri

    Good. We should each a lesson to all those double and multiple personalities masquerading as peoples’ revolutionaries.

    Wait till 9 January 2015 when we will start the cleanup.

    Till then, all power to the Common Cents Leaflet.

    PS. Pooten, all garbage will be clearled around 9 January.

    • 2

      I hope so.

      But the reality can be something else. The issue is those elected at whatever level thinks that they are petty kings.

    • 2

      mechanic by planting leeks has turned into yakko mail from the new devils island of the world.
      go wash those smelly boots.

    • 1

      Emil van der Poorten –

      what Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

      Yes. First Things First. Let us strive to Retire Medamulane MaRa.

      The Pamphlet could be printed, put on DVD, Flash Drives, Pdf etc. in All 3 Languages, Sinhala, Tamil and English and get into the hands of the people.

      If you have the Common Sense Phamplet ready, it can be distibuted on Dec 2, Tuesday at the Common Candidate Rally at Hyde Park.

      Sirisena rally in City on Dec. 2
      November 29, 2014, 6:54 pm



      A People’s Rally entitled ‘Escaping the Trap’ to agitate for the abolition of the executive presidency and re-establishing democracy will be held at 3 PM on Tuesday December 02, 2014 at Hyde Park, Colombo.

      The rally is being organised by artistes, academics and civil society activists of the Citizens’ Power group. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, TNA National List Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran, Democratic Party Leader and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, Mano Ganeshan of the Democratic Peoples’ Front and a host of other academics and activists are scheduled to speak at the event.

  • 1

    Mr Poorten,

    You and your mates still want a TNA PC, LTTE PC, JHU PC, BBS PC, JVP PC, UNP PC SLMC PC, Jihadi PC, Catholic PC. and the possibilities are endless..

    And you want to give them their own Police and total control of our public land too… Right..

    Add the PS and you will have even more I guess, like Meryn and Son,Paikiosothy and the NOGs,

    And the talent pool is pretty awesome to give us good governance .

    Isn’t it Mr Poorten…

    • 2

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “You and your mates still want a TNA PC, LTTE PC, JHU PC, BBS PC, JVP PC, UNP PC SLMC PC, Jihadi PC, Catholic PC. and the”

      We do not have Provinces in those names nor do we have country named Mahinda Maha Rajapura.

      In case if you forgotten what you studied in nursery let me jog your memory. Please see below a list of all 9 provinces:

      Central Province

      Eastern Province

      North Central Province

      North Western Province

      Northern Province

      Sabaragamuwa Province

      Southern Province

      Uva Province

      Western Province

      Ensure you write this down in your note pad.

      • 0

        Dear Native,

        Are you an ex servant from Poorten Walauwa , like our new CC from Horogollo…

      • 0

        Mr Poorten,

        Isn’t it all about garbage, kindly given to you by your current Thavalar , Ranil Wicks..

        This time he may turn it into a Vellala Housing Scheme,

        I mean our Vellalalas in Tumpane.including foreign ones like you..

        That is if Sand Sira’s brother can do it..

        Even then JHU Boss might want to build a Meditation centre there ,

        It is close to the Rain Forest,,, Right .


        This NV is not an ex servant of Poorten Walauwa , like our new CC from Horogollo…

    • 2

      K.A. Sumanasekera:
      It would be that much easier to deposit what you have to say in the garbage of discussion can if it was, in the slightest, comprehensible. However, since you insist on writing total and absolutely incomprehensible rubbish you are depriving many of us of that pleasure. Shame on you!

      • 2

        Emil van der Poorten

        He is a loner lives in bunker and a plonka.

        CT is the only contact he has with outside world.

        Please bear with him.

      • 0

        Say, “One day Maatram!” Mr.Poorten.

  • 0

    Mr van der Poorten’s experience can be replicated at least a couple of dozen times around our blessed isle, and there you have it, the quiet suffering classes, who see injustice and want to correct it but come up against crass local government, and who can only go so far without suffering a stoning of their homes, or worse. Of course, the lead and licence for our local government comes from central government.

    Good government comes from a first class administrative service, and what we had was shafted many years ago when Madam PM and her cohorts politicized what was left. So now the apparatchiks and sycophants rule the roost, and make life hell for anyone perceived as being on ‘the other side’.

    The best one can hope for is ‘correction’ if the tables are turned. But be sure those of the ‘other’ side will then suffer. For a permanent solution, we have to work at cutting out the cancer that affects the body politic in this country; a merciless root and branch pruning, and an impartial recruiting of a better class of civil servant.

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