Three cheers! Hallelujah! Deviyange pihitai! Harima hondai!
The protesters against the private medical college at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine should shut up now and get about their work – the GMOA, manning the government medical services; the university students back to their reading and research; the JHU and other groups turning their eyes to larger issues and dangerous mishaps in the country.
Menika was at a family dinner breaking roti together to bid goodbye to an expat on holiday, who was returning to his adopted land after being here a month visiting his mother, and the domestic aide who literally brought him up. So she missed watching TV news. But she heard the good tidings of the Court’s ruling. Everyone gathered at dinner was for the continuation of the private medical college and for its full recognition. This feline purred in delight reading the headlines in a morning daily: “SAITM students win right to be registered.” The article read thus: “The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed the petition filed by two graduates …. The Sri Lanka Medical Council should approve the registration of SAITM graduates as Medical Practitioners, Professionals.” Of course, the dissent was also there in print: “Docs blame Health Minister for fiasco. GMOA, SLMC ponder next steps” “JHU joins bandwagon opposing SAITM.”
Where, oh, where is the Joint Opposition in all this? Aren’t they getting on the bandwagon themselves? No silly, they don’t need to shout. They are there, much there, pushing the bandwagon forward; funding it, fueling it and thuggering protests. They, to this cat’s thinking, are the power behind the GMOA protests and university students’ mass battles with the police.
Consequences of uprisings
At the dinner, Menika looked around. The visitor who was departing that night had to leave Sri Lanka in 1989 when the JVP rose in protest - of what, she cannot now remember. There was consequently utter chaos in the country. Universities were indefinitely closed; youth were in danger of conscription or elimination, in the South by the JVP, and in the North, by the increasingly powerful Boys becoming diehard LTTErs. The parents of young boys, particularly, at that time and even later, had to scrape money together and send their sons abroad for higher studies. Universities in America, especially, offered scholarships to undergraduates and would facilitate programs of slots of alternate paid work at recognised jobs and study. The really poor who could not manage to send their sons overseas saw them swiftly going adrift, either into nefarious activities or joining the rebels. That is the price we paid for the two uprisings of youth in the South and the North, the latter leading to a 28 year civil war. Of course, the worst was all the maiming of young and old alike, and deaths in their thousands, also homelessness, poverty, displacement and refugees. And, what did the youth who rebelled and fought, get out of it? NOTHING! Nothing but the same terrible consequences. Neither the JVP nor the LTTE got anything. The JVP came back to politics and are riding high, often being kingmakers and always shouting about this, that and the other. Some who fought for socialism and against capitalism are the worst capitalists now living in ‘near castles’. The LTTE cadres continued their suffering and their womenfolk, mostly mothers, suffer immensely even now.
People were alarmed that a plot had been hatched to kill a Tamil Member of Parliament. Mercifully, a whistleblower did the needful and saved the MP and also led to the arrest of the plotters – discharged and rehabilitated LTTE cadres, we believe, who had not been rehabilitated. Even in this instance there were shouts from opposition MPs about how the arrests were made or some such detail.
Everyone in this country wants to run the country and thinks they know best. We should leave governing to the government and do our bit to help the country steady itself.
Parades, march pasts, speeches, lovely girls singing blessings on the Prez and the country, and jayamangala gatha are soon to be. Good and fine! The great hope is that the present government will pull itself together and hoist the country from sinking. People say they have lost faith and hope. This cat will not allow this defeatism in her. She still has trust in the duo at the helm – the President and Prime Minister – notwithstanding so called scams and such like. We pray for our beautiful country.
There are so very many worthwhile people living in it. We bless it as the girls bless it at the ceremony on 4th February on Galle Face Green. Let the rains come on time; let the harvests be rich; let the people be happy and let the government govern us. Let us not allow the Medusa heads of destabilization, religious and racial disharmony and political opportunism be raised. The people, if they are sensible and national minded, can quell these, since ordinary people are needed to raise the ugly discords. Politicians alone cannot do it. They need the masses. Let the men and women of the masses not be bribed by a buth packet and a tot of arrack. Let us try to be true Sri Lankans.
Bless us all and more so our leaders!