More farces of fasts unto death | Sunday Observer

More farces of fasts unto death

The main problem with these fasts unto death undertaken by all and sundry with the lead in modern times given by Wimal Wee is that ne’er is a death mourned. Please do not misunderstand this cat or consider her malignant and macabre wanting doom and gloom. Nay! But what she feels in her feline wisdom is that if a person or persons embark on a fast unto death, they must do just that, not dodge the dread hooded harvester with his scythe, by surreptitiously sipping thambili or munching Maliban Puff. If they do not intend doing it to the death then they must just call it a protest fast and qualify it as a full meal starve, with water and plenty drinks and light refreshment taken. If these are not resorted to, how explain the many emergence from fasts who rise up after their fasting sessions quicker than ole’ Lazarus responding to Jesus Christ’s summons to rise from the dead. This cat has seen university students on protest fasts lolling on raised platforms in cadjan or jute hesian constructions rising with energetic alacrity after being immobilized for long with tongues tied and stomachs constricted. Maybe the fasting boys want to be macho and the girls who sit languidly beside them thank their stars they may have reduced flab from their plump selves.

Fast unto death by parents this time

Coming back to the topic in hand – fasts unto death which in reality are farces – is because of a launch of another death fast by the parents of medical students of universities – what do you call them - free education universities, state universities, national universities? Well you know which this cat refers to. It’s parents of students of medical faculties of the University of Peradeniya, and probably Colombo, Sri Jayawardenapura and so on. And what pray were they fasting about? Protesting their children are keeping away from lectures while most of them have expended sweat and blood if not tears on getting their offspring into university medical faculties? Nay! Are they worried about their children wasting time protesting and thus lengthening their study periods? Nay again. Then what are these parents striking about? No need at all to pressure brain grey cells to get the answer. They are also fasting in protest like their kids and passed out doctors against SAITM. And be assured: they want nothing less than the closing down of SAITM and abolition of private education of all types, for all time. Fat hope is what this cat spits out. She adds, let these adults who should know better go on fasting. Who cares if they starve? No fear - no one will die.

What Menika is most riled about is that these parents went to the Maligawa for a pooja to pray for the success of their fast – not to end in death of starvation and hunger but for the Malabe Medical College to be closed. Whom or what did they propitiate asking for the granting of their request? The Sacred Relic? That is sacrilegious. The devas about the place? Equally sacrilegious.

The government did go three steps forward and accommodated them by arranging a meeting between them and the highest in the land. That failed. A daily on Wednesday November 8 carried this news item on its front page.”Talks between anti SAITM medical faculty undergraduates’ parents on a death fast and President Maithripala Sirisena have failed and the agitators vow to continue with their campaign till the government agrees to shut down the Malabe Private Medical College.”

Disappointing, deflating news

But then night news on Wednesday and newspapers the next day informed the public that Dr Harsha de Silva who headed the most recent study into the SAITM issue decided to ban it, close it down. Is paid for medical education also to be stopped? Oh deary me! Can you hear the balloon pop off or shoose out its air? Thus does this cat feel – let down. The fast ended because SAITM was to be closed, come December.

The President lashes out

This cat shot up off her sofa and reclining posture on Wednesday night listening to news when she heard a visibly angry, strident if you please, President verbally punching left, right and centre. He castigated previous government big guys, some in the present government and contributors to Facebook and all those who he said blame him for everything untoward that happens in free Sri Lanka. He was speaking at the second death commemoration of the Most Ven Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera. This cat sympathized fully with the Prez and applauded his outburst. It was a long time a-coming. True. Every mishap is placed at his door and the Prime Minister’s. True his own government ministers and deputies are causing trouble. The PM takes no obvious notice but the Prez does and has. This cat hopes he will come down hard on miscreants.

Petrol shortage

This cat is sedentary and stay-at-home, hence, felt no pain from petrol shortage though she shed a tear when her old charioteer said he’d waited four hours in a queue for gas for his three-wheeler and had to come away bearing the still empty can. Arjuna Ranatunge has smelt a rat in the crisis. This cat smells one too as she usually does when anything happens attempting to upset the apple cart, meaning the government. The Minister should catch the rat and also those who tried to pressure him to accept the substandard oil that was brought in. Is the ship with its cargo still berthed in outer Trinco harbour waiting for a change of political wind and inviting it in to unload its oil? Arjuna R was asked to divulge names of those who advised him to get the sub-standard oil and have it sold to hapless motorists and cyclists. He said he will. We await the day of revelation of names of rats. They are the same, it is supposed, who gnaw at the government intending its premature collapse.

Ten curses this feline spits out on those who want to cause mayhem in the country.