29 September, 2020

Blog

Whither Sri Lanka ?

By Suresh Mendis

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Sri Lanka seems to be heading in the wrong direction.

Since the war ended four years ago, we have been promised endless “miracles”.

Mahinda Rajapaksa

I am by no means unhappy at the incredible changes in the capital city, which have been long overdue, and are a source of much wonder to returning expatiates and especially those from neighbouring India, who are astounded at how clean and vibrant Colombo looks. Hats off to those concerned for this incredible transformation, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

Yes, the roads in most parts of the country have been upgraded, the Jaffna railway line is nearing completion, a few hospitals and schools have been built, we have a couple of key highways with a few more coming up, but what of the other things that need to be done?

What have we got to show? Three white elephants in the Hambantota District – the Port, the Airport and the Cricket Stadium – not to mention the myriad buildings which are going to house Government Departments, endless roadways which have no traffic on them (especially in the Deep South), faltering coal power projects……the list goes on.

Consider the facts:

  • The dilly-dallying on trying to solve the Ethnic Problem. This has been due to the total rejection of the fact that there were reasons for the Tamil youth to have taken up arms – like the standardisation of education openly discriminating the minorities in University entrance , the “Sinhala Only in 24 hours” which alienated the Tamils and the Burghers with the resultant loss of Government jobs resulting in mass emigration, the constant reneging of agreements signed by the Government with the Tamils in the early post-Independence period etc,
  • the flagrant deception of the economic statistics and falsification of reports in the Government sector organisations, including the Central Bank,
  • the blatant discrimination against Tamils in particular in Government employment – especially since this regime came into power,
  • the constant and costly appointment of unnecessary Commissions to probe and report on the causes and effects of the ethnic conflict – the results of which are swept under the carpet, until the next investigation into Sri Lanka’s situation by an international body like the UN,
  • inadequate schools and barely-operating hospitals due to a lack of funds,
  • qualified teachers and doctors for those schools and hospitals,
  • the shoddy living quarters provided to teachers, doctors and Government servants,
  • the lowly salaries paid to civil servants, those in the medical and teaching professions, when compared to those in the Armed Forces
  • the heavy army presence in the post-conflict areas – even intruding into private lives, such as informing it of functions and meetings to be held,
  • the taking over of ancestral lands for Government purposes without realistic or no compensation –even Lakshman Kadirgamar’s ancestral home, which his son is fighting for in courts,
  • the virtual demolition of the Rule of Law – even senior police officers (corrupt as some of them are!) are being arrested, for heaven’s sake, while other offenders are protected,
  • the brutal suppression by armed forces (as opposed to the police) of any demonstration or sign of dissent anywhere in the Island,
  • the clamping down of anti-Government writing or speech,
  • the absolute rejection that no civilians were knowingly killed during the last stage of the Eelam War (Humanitarian Operation?) in 2009,
  • the impunity with which even petty Government local area leaders (not to mention the Ministers!) behave in the knowledge that they will be protected The rape and murder of the British tourists, Atha Kota’s 15-year rampage in Dernaiyagala spring to mind…,
  • the Armed Forces getting involved in construction and even running road-side “kadays”, in order to keep them occupied, thus depriving ordinary citizens of carrying out these tasks and getting an income,
  • the approval of “pie –in-the-sky” projects like the Krrish development, the Packer “Mixed Development” (read casino), with the attendant tax and other incentives

…..where does it end?

With the Economy being mis-managed by unqualified people and our foreign relations hampered by square pegs in round holes, Ministers and underlings with dubious qualifications who don’t have a clue of what they are responsible for (Bandula Gunawardene and Pavithra Wanniarachi are prime examples!) it is patently obvious that the Government is going on reverse gear – and fast, somewhat like the Lambroghinis they keep importing!

Mind you, this is while we are spending billions hosting CHOGM, bidding for Commonwealth Games (which we thankfully lost!), building safari parks next to the real safari parks and importing animals to stock them, instead of looking after our own (the human-elephant conflict is a disgrace!), re-claiming land from the sea to build a mini-Colombo, gallivanting around the world with mega delegations to obscure African and Latin American countries trying to make new friends, while ignoring the ones who assisted us to win the much-heralded war.

All I am asking is for the regime to take heed that the war euphoria is fast-evaporating, and that the endless side shows which are tossed our way at key crisis points, such as the grease devils, the Kahawatte murders, the Deraniyagala and Weliweriya fiascos, the 13th Amendment circus, the Electricity hike, the petrol scandal, the Bodu Bala Sena carnival etc, are just not going to cut it with the masses forever.

Granted that the UNP and other parties can’t seem to get their act together, but there will definitely come a time in the not-so-distant future, when more of what we saw at Weliviriya is going to happen.

After all, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time!!

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Latest comments

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    what is going on in Sri Lanka (bodu bala sena and rawaya are racist )

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      Politicians on top of all the perks and cars they enjoy are going to get a spanking new residential complex (with 120 units swimming pool gym etc) while the doctors and teaches who do a real service to the people rot without decent living quarters ..
      Long live the Rajapassa and corrupt politicians circus.. life goes on in the Debacle of Asia!

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    Add, minority oppression..specifically Muslim places of worship and businesses under attack with total impunity, anti-minority false propaganda and hate speech without accountability or justice meted out. And when incidents do occur government stooges like police officers and ministers forcing affected parties to “reach settlement”, so government does not have to deal with meting out justice and loose Buddhist votes… What a perception, what an unfortunate approach!

    This is not the Buddhism we grew up with!

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    WE WANT TO SEE THE TERRORIST BODU BALA BALA AND SINGHALA BUDDHIST COWARDS..
    YOU BASTARD RUBBED OUR COMMUNITY FROM THE NORTH BLOODY REAL TERRORIST ARE YOU.
    NO MORE PEACE NEED IN THIS ISLAND.
    ONLY WE WANT TO SEE THE BLOOD OF HUMAN BEING AND PROTECT ANIMALS BLOOD THERE UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF TERROR BODU BALU BALU.
    HAVE A FRUITFUL FUTURE TO YOU BLOODY TERRORIST RAJAPAKSHA

    “WAALHA TAMIL OLIHA SINHALESE TERRORIST”

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    “Sri Lanka seems to be heading in the wrong direction”. Yes my friend, it is indeed, and heading there very fast. You mentioned about the cosmetic changes to the capital city and the numerous other white elephants in the south. Well building anything, whether its the beautification of Colombo or a port in the south means more money in the pockets of the brotherhood, its as simple as that. Addressing the real post conflict issues of the country and solving them is furthest from their minds. The bottom line is the brotherhood will have to go.

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    Mr.President will never change him self until your change the Government.The Government plan is washout the Minority or keep them under their leg.

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    Modified Peter Principle in operation.

    People reach their highest level of tyranny, corruption and incompetence before they are shot down by the seething masses of discontent and revulsion.

    The extremist become so extreme that they begin to devour their own eg cancer cells.

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    True. Perfectly written form of the bitter truth that we are facing. a story of a regime keep cheating its people in the day light yet most of them feels it not!

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    THIS IS THE TARGET HAVE TO ACHIEVE BY BLOOD SUCKERS OF BUDDHIST

    **FIRST ——–>TAMILS ERADICATED FROM THE ISLAND

    **SECOND—–> MUSLIMS NOW ONGOING WAR UNDER THE SUPPORT OF DEFENSE SECRETARY

    **THIRD—–> MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS YOU ARE THE NEXT TARGET FOR SURE

    NO MINORITIES IN SL AFTER THIS CLEANSING

    FOURTH AND LAST—-> AMONG BUDDHIST

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    Suresh,
    Your break down of the situation is Spot On!
    And Armchairs addition sums it all up on the prevailing situation in Mother Lanka!
    Unfortunately all will be forgotten by the next election and with the Power the Ruling family wield, they will win again!
    Its time for the people to unite against these murderous racist and direct the country in the right way.

    There is No point in Peace, without EQUAL RIGHTS and JUSTICE!

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    Amongst three white elephants (Port, Airport, Cricket Stadium) there is also a massage parlour managed by Geeta Kumarasinghe in Hambantota??

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    None of these would have taken place or no one would be blaming the Executive Presidency today if we had a Statesman who love the Country as our Head of State today.

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    Todays GTV Tamil News (UK) showed Hon. Lee ex-President of Singapore as having termed MR as a Sinhala Terrorist and that Tamils & Sinhalese can never live together in one state.

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      [Edited out]

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    You fogot to add:-
    Conduct/Implementation of 100% free and fair elections (so far,free and fair elections have NOT been held,since independence – this is an important parameter of democracy),and,

    Wastage of a large portion of national resources on a) the largest idle army in the world),
    b)continuation of loosing state enterprises under the same unqualified managers.

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    THIS IS THE TARGET HAVE TO ACHIEVE BY BLOOD SUCKERS OF BUDDHIST IN SL

    **FIRST ——–>TAMILS ERADICATED FROM THE ISLAND

    **SECOND—–> MUSLIMS NOW ONGOING WAR UNDER THE SUPPORT OF DEFENSE SECRETARY

    **THIRD—–> MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS YOU ARE THE NEXT TARGET FOR SURE

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    Rajapakshes has already proved that he has gone beyond the activities of polpot. When one would listen to what the Deraniyagala villagers have gone through for the last 10 years,

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/33656-noori-villagers-fear-return-of-terror.html

    Anyone who is sane would not say yes to Rajapaskshes. As Dayasiri once added to a video – they have already consolidated the powers to all levels so that only criminals can be bred under MR regime.

    Ditta damma wedaneeya karma will punish the MR and the clans sooner than people feel.. that we wll see soon.

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    I do agree with Kailas.
    in what angle he has thought that happened, now happening and will happen as well. these all because of racist majority BUDDHIST living and thinking in SL,

    We re not able to change their mind until they re changing it….

    Mr. Rajapaksha is No 1 terrorist……….

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    Mahinda Rajapakse is a Sinhalese Extremist Says Lee Kwan Yew

    Sri Lanka “is not a happy, united country” he says, and is not optimistic about its post-war direction. “The present president of Sri Lanka believes he has settled the problem; his Tamil Tigers are killed and that is that.” In what is probably the most controversial remark on the subject by a world famous political personality who has never fought shy of controversy, Lee Kwan Yew refers to the Sri Lankan President’s ideology: “ I’ve read his speeches and I knew he was a Sinhalese extremist. I cannot change his mind”.

    I cannot help but laugh at the Sinhalese comments on websites like this.
    Ample proof that they are not fit to move forward into the 21st century. Sri Lanka is well and truly on course to become the next Burma and North Korea.

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      Don’t be fooled! LKY was sucking up to the sizeable, voting, Tamil community in Spore. Business is business, huh.

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    Suresh Mendis,

    You have written some of the important and burning issues that prevail in Sri Lanka today. A great eye opener.

    Yes we all had hope and dream of a free, just, fair and economically, socially, politically prograssive Sri Lanka at the end of the 30 years of Bloody civil war.

    Everybody’e dream, ambition and hope was to build a Sri Lanka with bright hope for them, there families and their children.

    But soon after end of the war every hope was shattered and was turned upside down. All due to a one dictator family who thinks that he and his family owns the country.

    Sri Lanka was there 4000 years before him and will be there another 4000 years after him. It’s all depends on how he and his family will go down the History. There were Stalin’s, Hitler’s, Pol Pot’s, Mahathma Gandhi’s,Lincoln, Neru, Mandela etc, in our world history.They all have their share in the History.

    All depends on what you do when you govern the country. At the moment country is at a much rather depressing state than during the war. Country is taken on a distructive path and nobody knows where it’s been led to.

    It is hi-time that you and all of us educate our people, specially the rural people who do not know where the country is been led to by the rulers. They are been duped, deceived and misled with show-off phony decoration projects put up all over the country…….nothing but decorations to fool them, while tightening their grip of the Government.

    The latest is to build a 13th Airport in Kandy destroying 400 acres of jungle. this is the true state of our country today run by absolute uneducated Alibaba morons.

    It’s time to tell the people what is the true state of our country today.

    Please translate your News letters to Sinhala and Tamil Languages and publish them in respective newspapers.

    Good luck.

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    AS long as rajavassas are ruling sri lanka there will be no law and order.

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    Mr. Suresh Media:

    Regarding the Weliweirya incident:

    What about the following news report ?

    ” Why was it not reported that on 26th July 2013 the day prior to the initial road protests some people had attempted to burn the factory and the Weliweriya police had requested CDS to provide adequate security by the army applying provisions of the special gazette notification 1722/17 of 2011/09/06 which gives approval for the security forces to be used to maintain peace. “

    “Villagers of Rathupaswela had dispersed why didn’t the others?

    The golden question is if the villagers of Rathupaswela after hearing of the arrangements made on 1st August 2013 decided to disburse and return to their homes why did the protesters of the other villagers not do the same? Rathupaswela village was the most affected by the water pollution while Weliweriya town was not. Who were spurring these villagers to turn violent and who were the groups drawing the crowds from behind and were these really villagers? The front end of all protesters having been spoken to had dispersed while it was the backend of the protesters who had begun to get directly confrontational with the police and army in an obvious attempt to provoke them. How is it that suddenly the numbers of protesters had begun to increase even after an arrangement had been reached?

    What objective would any protesters aspire to achieve by taking their protests to other areas and attempting to close the Colombo-Kandy road and the Balummahara junction? How or who galvanized 5000 protesters after 18 years of silence?

    What is also left out by media is the fact that 100 employees were sacked over a trade union dispute not long before the water controversy and it is alleged that they were also involved in spurring the villagers against the factory. Their role also needs to be investigated just as the possibility of army deserters also being used. Not a stone should be left unturned.

    How “peaceful” and “unarmed” were the protesters?

    By what definition do we call protesters “unarmed”? Former ambassadors and foreign funded local entities now pointing fingers may like to answer if fundamental democratic right to demonstrate extends to carrying any type of items that may harm others – can those carrying petrol bombs, sand bottles be called “unarmed” democratic demonstrators? If the army has to explain why they carried AK-47s, the protesters need to explain how they came into possession of glass bottles of petrol, bottles of sand. Petrol, sand and bottles do not drop from the sky even if stones can be picked up on the way? Who organized these bottles, sand and petrol and for what reason did they have them in their possession if the protest was peaceful and the protesters were “unarmed”? We can safely say that the protesters were not “peaceful” they were not “unarmed” and authorities need to investigate how they organized bottles, petrol. These supposedly “unarmed” peaceful protesters had destroyed property and even burnt a trishaw parked near a petrol shed. To organize bottles, petrol and sand there has to be planning – therefore authorities need to find out who these organizations were and who was giving the orders!

    Why is the impression being given that the law enforcement authorities did not use water cannons, tear gas and even rubber bullets – all these avenues were very much utilized but for convenience it does not get reported!

    What if protesters had taken protests to other villagers beyond Gampaha?

    Can people speculate a little further and wonder if the police and army had not been present what could have happened if these “unarmed, peaceful protesters” had taken over the petrol shed, started going to other villagers and destroying property on the way and throwing the bottles and petrol they had in their possession because certain commentators claim that the army should not have come between “peaceful unarmed protesters” in a democracy?

    Do peaceful unarmed protesters attempt to take guns of soldiers?

    Why would these “unarmed” protesters attempt to forcefully take over the guns of the soldiers and what if they did in fact cease a few guns? What would have been the tragedy if guns had fallen into the hands of those “unarmed” protesters who did not know how to shoot but tried to shoot? Moreover, the army is alleging that they had seen gun shots being fired from within the crowd – this immediately raises questions of whether army deserters were also involved. Of course this will be investigated and we shall know in time to come but it does raise our eyebrows to ask what type of protesters actually ended up mingling with the real villagers attempting to hijack the situation and turn what was a legitimate grievance for water into a country crisis and towards a Sri Lankan Spring. “

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      Someone here in this blog revealed that this Jim Softy is none other than HLD Mahindapala the scum bag who was exposed by Lasantha Wickrematunge in the Sunday Leader some time back. This bugger was slipper licking Premadasa one time and now slipper licking MR. Married to a Tamil even do not respect the Minorities. As Lasantha explained, What can you expect from a son of a Hearse Driver?

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      well said JIM. And thank you for being unbiased.

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    the lowly salaries paid to civil servants, those in the medical and teaching professions, when compared to those in the Armed Forces

    Teachers, professors, and medical doctors – do they get killed in their duty ?

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      No they dont get killed. They follow the theory of ‘Baya(fear)Gota’ and run to the US until a General with a brave army wipe out the enemies. Then they return to SL and publish books such as Teachers’ War, Professors’ War Doctors’ War so on.
      In the mean time they loot Museums, Hunt Treasure, Abduct Journalists and Business men in White vans, Grab others lands/properties, Organize crimes, Copy BJP and create local RSS/Shiv Senas, Attack Churches/Kovils/Mosques by his paid goons. Introduce fake Buddhism to the country with his ever Grin fake king Yasalalaka Tissa.

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    Suresh Mendis:

    Is there a partiality of reporting news in Sri Lanka. Certain news are not reported at all.

    Probably the following incident had not happened by the time your article were written ?

    Sinhala people don’t have rights. think about how Media was vociferous when tamils moving into motels in Colombo were questioned ?

    “It is regrettable to note that the Navatkuli Sinhala village (the Sinhalese settlement 6 km south of Jaffna) had been bombed on Saturday 10 August 2013.

    Miraculously no one had been injured.

    A bomb had been thrown at the Navatkuli Buddhist temple at about 930 pm, during which time the main priest (in his mid-eighties) and the 2nd monk had been inside the temple. They were spending their ‘Vas’ season inside the temple. A devotee (leader of the Navatkuli Sinhalese village) had just finished offering flowers to Lord Buddha in the Buddhist Shrine and had stepped out of the temple (about 5 minutes before the bomb blast).

    The bomb had been thrown inside the temple from outside of the village.

    Fortunately, the bomb had not landed inside the temple. It had bounced on an iron mesh and hit outside wall of the temple. The wall had been badly damaged.

    After the bomb blast, due to shock, the elderly monk had developed diahoria. He has somewhat recovered now. Most of the other Sinhalese villagers are extremely shocked and they do not know what to do next.

    There is an Army camp adjoining the Navatkuli Sinhala village; the bomber had managed to evade Army surveillance of the village.

    Now the Buddhist temple and the villagers have been provided with security. “

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    Earlier in the year, Mr Suresh Premchandran TNA MP had visited Navatkuli and stated to the Sinhalese villagers that they must leave the Navatkuli settlement:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKfrUS-twIs

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    Are you a sinhalese? No picture. Understandable. If you are sinhalese you will be killed by the sinhalese for talking about political solutions and for your democratic attitude. Even the Tamils may like being killed democratically what say you?

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    To stop a problem we have to understand its underlying causes. But Sri Lanka hasn’t got enough intellectuals in the leadership level to think differently to understand underlying causes. Its is safer and easier for the leaders to use religion and race to manipulate people to get votes to keep their power, because that is what they have learned from their leaders. J R Jayewardene pushed the UNP to accommodate nationalism and endorse the Sinhala Only Act, which was bitterly opposed by the Tamils. JR saw how skilfully the SLFP had played the ethnic card, and felt the UNP should be willing to do the same, even if it meant losing the support of Tamils. JR was a deceitful man, he knew how to exploit racism to win the majority votes, he also converted from Christianity to Buddhism to take advantage of the religion. JR was responsible for the two brutal civil wars. The Rajapaksa brothers can’t handle what is about unfold in the near future. The government had enough ample time to recruit intellectual to strengthen its brain force to deal with many issues, but it didn’t. The LTTE and diaspora are few aspects of many other issues, but many other issues are unaddressed or handled very poorly.

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    I don’t know who is this writer. But I want comment one issue in his long list. That is about Employment of Tamils in Govt. services. The writer is very critical about present Govt. I want to tell you that When I joined Sri Lanka Railways in 1970 ,as an asst. Supdt. of Railway stores, I have seen 90% of staff worked were Tamils. and 80% were Christians. What type of discrimination we had at that time for Sinhalese Buddhists. This was the result of British colonial people’s administration. They promote only minorities. Now peoples are talking about discrimination of Tamils. God Bless Sri Lanka.

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      S.D Dharmasena, the reason for high percentage of Tamils and Christians in all Govt Depts then was because it was the Tamils and the Sinalese Christians who took to education early, while the Sinhala Buddhists had their pride, so they refrained. For your information everyone who was employed in Govt service had their qualifications. It is towards Independence that the Sinhhalese Buddhists started to take up Education seriously. Therefore it is natural for many Tamils and Sinhala Christians to have held govt Office and it was not necessarily a case of divide and rule by the British as you allege, which the Politicians capitalized to convince Mediocrity like yourself. Education is one thing but not having Common Sense is another.

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    Suresh, you forgot to add anti Muslim atrcities taking place. Armchair mentioned this in his/her comment. I hope you did this by mistake / ignorance and by design. But is is a fatal omission. Please rectify.

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    correction: atrocities. Not by design. it is a fatal omission.

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    I am honoured by the majority of the comments received, but there obviously are morons out there who need to beat the regime’s drum, to whom I say “sexually depart” – in the nicest possible way, of course!
    It is impossible for me to cover the entirety of the regime’s follies in one article, but certainly those who have mentioned certain issue are quite correct.
    I hope this article serves as a rallying point to open peoples’ eyes to what is happening to the country and their own futures.
    I hope there are others who follow the lead I have set…

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