They even hounded national cricketers who were heroes to the people | Sunday Observer

They even hounded national cricketers who were heroes to the people

I watched with rising horror and disbelief a Parliamentary sitting on the 9.00 o’clock news on Tuesday this week – 24 January 2017. I kept getting more and more disturbed as I saw Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, and Namal Rajapaksa wax eloquent over the supposed thieving by the present government and Ranil W’s chosen Governor of the Central Bank who is now ex and replaced by a person everyone approves of.

This cat is certainly not going into the so called bond scam since that is way above her feline comprehension, but, what stunned her was how everyone pounces on this issue, in Parliament and out, and waxes eloquent, never mind the skeletons rattling in many a cupboard. There are so many allegations against the last government’s Sports Minister and there he was in Parliament insulting and throwing corruption charges at members of the government. There was also young MP Namal Rajapaksa speaking as if he were lily white and completely dedicated to honesty and simple living. Ole Vasu was reprimanded for his use of vulgar words. A government member was cheered loudly by this cat. He attacked Wimal Weerawansa starting with the nickname he embarked on adult life (not at all complimentary), living poor and not having Rs 50 to go visit Sigiriya. Now, he lives in a mansion, we were told, and caught in frauds not by the government but the courts of the land. He is presently in remand but he was dubbed a hero of the land in a statement made by the ex-Prez. This cat may be wrong about the person who said it, but what was said about Wimal W’s pseudo-heroism is true.

A 2011 happening re-assessed

An article appearing in a sister paper on Wednesday morning by a renowned journalist on the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture 2011 further opened this cat’s eye, jaundiced as it is, turning it yellower as she read. She knew how cricketer Kumar Sangakkara received a standing ovation at the lecture in the apex of the cricket world from an audience of absolute dignitaries and the crème de la crème of the cricket world. What did he get on his return to the island? A grand reception with Kandyan dancers and drummers? At least a garland or two? No! He faced a barrage of criticism and vilification from the Sports Minister and SLC persons and was almost expelled from the cricket team. In Sri Lanka, for one’s personal benefit, a politician or dishonest high-up will do anything! Kumar soon gave up his captaincy. He named no names but in his criticism of cricket in Sri Lanka, in his address at Lords, he targeted mostly the minister, Aluthgamage, and a high up at Sri Lankan Cricket, Nishantha Ranatunge, according to the article I quote. He spoke on the parlous state of politics in Sri Lanka and the politicization of cricket. All truths, but completely unpalatable and unacceptable by those at fault. Our big shots never see the splinter in their eye but are ever quick to detect the speck or mote in another’s eye. Truth got the great Sangakkara, humanitarian and genuine sportsman, into trouble.

I approved of the detailed account of Sangakkara’s speech at the Marylebone Cricket Club, its aftermath and the writer Shamidra Ferdinando’s comments. I also loved the phrase: “The military brought the war to a successful conclusion…” used many times over in the article. Such a relief to have the truth of the matter stated thus. Who won the war against the LTTE terrorists? The armed forces, of course. All the time until Yahapalanaya was firmly established we had to stomach the statement that the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his brother Gotabhaya, the Defence Secretary, won the war for the government and people of Sri Lanka. In our cat cry we said no, the war was won by the armed forces, the military, principally led successfully, latterly by General Sarath Fonseka, now Field Marshall.

Next protest

As this cat writes this on Thursday, 26 January, she awaits with bated breath the next protest which will be on Friday, 27 January. Staged by the Joint Opposition it sure is going to snarl up Nugegoda and Colombo. Spokesmen for the JO predict millions will protest with them. Is it going to be like Trump’s inauguration as Pres of the US of A where he blames the media for downsizing in numbers those present to see him sworn in? Of course, in our sweet country protesters can be bought cheap - a dime a dozen – with a buth packet, tot of arrack and a bit of cash. Supposedly, they won’t even know what they are protesting about; the same as this cat’s bewilderment. What IS the JO protesting about now? The plight of the poor Sri Lankans for whom their hearts bleed? For university students imagining the free education system is to be abolished with the ugly word privatization. Stuff and nonsense! We know why they are protesting. To come back to power and reign even more supremely than two decades previous to the watershed date of 8 January 2015.

- Menika