Sri Lanka is a country like no other, obviously. There is nothing that is not stolen in this enchanted island. From a bra drying in the clothes line, to Central Bank, jewellery stolen from exhumed corpses to durian fruits- every thing is unashamedly stolen from each other’s backyards, vaults, graves and trees.
One can reflect on lost durian fruits and bras with philosophical jocularity.
But the laugh buck stops when politicians, so-called freedom fighters, so-called liberal artists, man married to the Minister of Health, so-called unbiased media personnel, the military, cronies of politicians, the rich steal the vaccines from the people.
It literally stops being funny.
Covid-19 is killing people in Sri Lanka exponentially and the death toll just passed a thousand. These thousand deaths are the artificially reduced, “medically diminished” numbers. Those numbers are sugar coated as cardiac arrest, kidney failure or cancer. In the coming 100 days, over a million new case are expected to be detected due to the uncontrolled transmission of the disease in the community.
Yesterday in an unprecedented bout of moral lucidity, the Government Medical Officer’s Association (GMOA) has suddenly issued a statement calling for an investigation in to the “gross irregularities in the vaccination programme”. Oh, hello good morning GMOA, you have woken up, useless darlings! Well done, well done!
Thief Number One: Pavithra’s Husband
Vaccine thief Number One is Kanchana Jayaratne, husband of health minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi. Ex-police officer by training, he is now the Ali Baba of vaccines. On 17th, 18th and 19th of May 2021, he personally conducted illicit “vaccination clinics” in the Quality and Safety Secretariat of the Ministry of Health situated in the premises of the Castle Street Hospital for Women. These Sputnik vaccines were inoculated to cronies, family members, VIPs and VVIPs. The highly effective Sputnik vaccine remains an extremely valuable commodity and a tool of political safarish. You give the vaccine and I owe you loyalty, votes, favours, whatnot. Yesterday, after a social media expose by Colombo Telegraph editor Uvindu Kurukulasuriya, the VVIP vaccination “clinic” was hastily aborted leading to the Health Minister’s husband fleeing Castle Street Hospital for women, literally vanishing.
Shame on you (A)Pavithra the impure!
Thieves Number Two: Ministers, Ministers, Ministers!
We all know that the politicians can be the scum of the earth. We also know that in Sri Lanka, the word politicians are synonymous with the word thief. The list of ministers who have embezzled the vaccine, mainly through Kanchana Jayaratne are pretty much endless. Most notable is Keheliya Rambukwella who has accessed over 2000 doses of Sinopharm, inventing a risk group called “media professionals”. These “media professionals” include his servants, family, cronies and the staff of Media Ministry who have no eligibility to be selected for vaccination over the general public. It is also reported that minister Bandula Gunawardane has invented a similar “risk” group in a cheap vote touting stunt vaccinating “artists”.
Which brings us to a dangerous category. : pretenders of morality- the “artists” who jumped the queue.
Thieves Number Three: Queue Jumper Artists And Media Personnel
Some of the artists aforementioned are high profile “liberal” movie makers and actors in the caliber of Asoka Handagama, Prasanna Vithanage and Chandani Seneviratne, the person of “Pryathnaya” – a so-called movement for justice. In complete violation of the WHO mandated scientific order of vaccination of persons, they too have received the vaccine. When questioned on social media Handagama has responded with a hilarious justification of him being the ‘household shopper boy” to his twenty-four-year-old daughter! He refers to his act of moral violation an act of national service of not infecting his daughter who is “working from home”, thus making him eligible to jump the queue to obtain the vaccine, courtesy Bandula Gunawardane. He further fabricates stating that a “doctor called him from a hospital and invited him to have himself vaccinated”. This is the first time it is” reported” that hospitals, amidst serious work crisis during a pandemic, call specific artists, in violation of all health ministry guidelines of vaccination! Oh, the hubris! Oh, the script!! Well done, Handagama, well done!!
Shame on you.
When thousands of ordinary men and women in old, vulnerable ages are standing in inhuman queues to obtain the vaccination, “artists” with no particular added risk, violate justice; they violate the principle of equity.
The peacock dancing in self intoxication of its feathers does not know that its bottom is naked.
The queue jumpers of the media are no better, shamelessly negotiating the vaccination through minister Keheliya Rambukwella. How is this any different to obtaining laptops and car permits from Mahinda Rajapaksa?
Thieves number four: The Rich And The Privileged
In an astounding revelation on social media, it has been reported that the chamber of commerce has intervened to get the corporate giants and well-connected corporate sector individuals to “book” the booster dose of AstraZeneca vaccine by paying Rs 5000 per dose.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was a gift from the government of India and the COVAX programme to the people of Sri Lanka. No civilized government in the world is selling any Covid-19 vaccine. All Covid vaccines are purchased or gifted between governments in the name of humanity to save all from death by Covid-19. When nations such as Bangladesh, Bhutan and African republics are doing better than Sri Lanka in vaccine coverage of its people, Sri Lanka stands out as a decaying moral skeleton of a nation where Sudarshani Fernandopulle a so-called specialist of community medicine has come out, dressed up and all, appealing to the private sector to procure the AstraZeneca booster dose! This failure of a woman who has no shame or insight in to the concept of vaccine justice in a pandemic should be reviewed by the institution that awarded her the post of a specialist in public health!
Who gave her the right to commodify the vaccine, a humanitarian weapon, in to a commercial weapon?
Who gave the husband of the Minister of Health, the politicians, the rich, the artists, the media persons the right to turn the vaccine in to the political weapon? A tool of bribery?
It has been reliably reported that former parliamentarians Malik Samarawickrama and Mangala Samaraweera obtained the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine by requesting it from Namal Rajapaksa.
Who is Namal Rajapaksa, in this pandemic, to decide if two ordinary citizens such as Malik Samarawickrama and Managala Samaraweera should get the vaccine over those living in risky circumstances such as underserved settlements, fish markets, what not?
Can Malik Samarawickrama deny this?
Will Managla Samaraweera deny this?
Can Rosy Senanayake, the Mayor of Colombo deny that she vaccinated her depraved, shameless, pseudo-elite Hi Magazine friends, her cronies, their domestic servants over the poor and dispossessed?
All of these politicians, the rich and the well connected are getting vaccinated in the sly whilst the poor and the law abiding are standing in queue. This is the reality unfolded before our eyes. These politicians are together across party lines. They are shamelessly united in their own survival in the give and take business of the vaccine.
At the Army Hospital Colombo, the booster dose of AstraZeneca vaccine could be obtained for Rs 10,000 per dose mediated by the husband of the Minister of Health Kanchana Jayaratne. All his ten fingers are all over the vaccine pie!
Lick them well, boy, lick them well.
Three Outliers In Politics
The JVP parliamentarians Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Vijitha Herath and Dr Harini Amarasuriya remain unvaccinated waiting their legitimate turn. In this sordid violation of science and humanity, where so called liberal artists and media personnel are behaving like Namal Rajapaksa and Pavithra Wanniarachchi the line between liars and truth speaker are becoming thinner and thinner. Ideology in decaying and they are all the same.
All putrid, all without moral clarity.
They are all vaccine thieves, literally or by proxy.
Just three JVP parliamentarians remain, to the best of our knowledge, standing apart. Standing with the people who have been forsaken in this pandemic.
Shame on this government that is driving its men and women to suspend their conscience by denying them the vaccine and the booster doses. Shame on them for usurping the vaccination programme from the medical professionals and militarizing it. Making it a business. Shame on them who have stolen the dignity of the people and their right to life.
Shame on all of you thieves.
Shame, shame, shame.