A dangerous game; rich politicians; paraded offspring | Sunday Observer

A dangerous game; rich politicians; paraded offspring

Yes, this cat clearly has three important topics on her mind, which naturally she gives expression to in her weekly column.

A very dangerous and totally damaging game is being silently played in this fair isle of ours for political power, totally disregarding the danger it can entail. Opposition Leader R Sampanthan gave voice to it when he addressed Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament and said his pohottuwa would lead to ethnic disharmony, fanned by racial comments and false observations. He said, and I quote: “I would like to put this on record because I want everybody in this country to know that it is malicious, vicious, fallacious, false propaganda on the part of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and if you proceed with this agenda, I want to tell you, Eelam will bloom not on account of us, but on account of your ‘Lotus Bud’. Your ‘Lotus Bud’ will bloom into an Eelam…” Very strong words but in keeping with the gravity of the situation. Sampanthan said that in the North and East electioneering for the LG polls had not incited racial conflict nor even referred to ethnic differences, as Tamil parties are for a united sovereign state that is Sri Lanka. There definitely has been salacious talk of selling the country and dividing it by Sinhalese politicians opposing the government.

A corollary to this is that armed forces personnel, just because they were in the civil war, can do no wrong and are not to be touched even if they have committed crimes. This is the cry of those such as, Wimal Weera and JO members. That’s not to be tolerated. If a person in uniform commits a crime, he is guilty and has to be punished.

Much has transpired about Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, who was filmed making a throat slitting gesture to Tamils protesting in front of the Sri Lankan embassy on our Independence Day. Many letters to the editors of various newspapers were forthcoming. The first thought was, he was provoked to give this sign by people waving the banned LTTE flag demonstrating in front of the Embassy it was his duty to guard. The LTTE is a proscribed political party in the UK. But of course, it is common knowledge that British MPs seek Tamil votes, so they were quick to protest Brig Fernando’s sign which surely would not have been premeditated. As many have said, that woman Adele Balasingham, lives free in Britain with her hands completely blood stained, she having, it is said, trained women Tiger cadres to kill horrendously in the threatened villagers and also nurtured suicide bombers. If there is anyone guilty of heinous crimes, it is she. But, no problem for her. An instinctive gesture has had the Defence Attaché recalled. Maybe, it’s more because his action was a travesty to diplomacy. As part of the military offensive in 2009, Brigadier Fernando fought in Weli Oya and Janakapura for the 11 Gemunu Watch Battalion as part of the 59 Division of the Sri Lankan Army. This cat is in sympathy with him and can understand his automatic reaction to seeing unruly hordes shouting anti-Sinhala government slogans. Anyway, there is no slight to his rank or dignity; he is safer here back home.

This cat is reading Nisid Hajari’s Midnight’s Furies: the deadly legacy of India’s partition in which he details the racial arousing and uprising, particularly in Calcutta and moving to the Punjab as Ali Jinnah’s Muslim League raised the cry for a separate state and had Muslims and Hindus, and then the Muslims against the Sikhs descending to the most barbaric of ethnic violence. More than any other issue, this cat feels, ethnicity is a tinderbox, if ignited, the resulting conflagration knows no limit in barbarism and wanton destruction.

Nisid Hajari was at the Fairway Galle Literary Festival - handsome and articulate. He is Gujerati born, educated and living in the US and is Asia Editor of BloombergView and on the Board of Bloomberg News. Theheavily researched 2016 book I refer to, is his first. Such should be warnings to ethnic violence that can arise almost spontaneously and like forest fires spread wildly with no hope of being extinguished until limitless damage is done.

Rich politicians

I get all sorts of emails coming to me. Here is one just received, supposedly emanating from a Forbes Report for the year 2018. The richest Sri Lankan politician is Percy Mahendra ‘Mahinda’ Rajapaksa, the sixth President of Sri Lanka with US Dollar 18 Billion. Not surprising for sure. Surprising however, is that Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is the third richest politician in the country with US Dollar 14 million. Chandrika B Kumaratunge is the 6th richest Sri Lankan politician with US Dollar 1.4 million. In the meantime, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, formerly the commander of LTTE’s Eastern Province - Col. Karuna, and later nominated MP and Deputy Minister, is the 5th richest Sri Lankan politician with US Dollar 1.7 million. The JVP is not left out, poor and dollarless though they profess to be. Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, MP, is ranked 7th with US Dollar 1.3 million. Ranil Wickremesinghe, with forty years in politics and coming from a rich family, is the 9th richest Sri Lankan politician with US Dollar 830, 000.

This feline passes onto her next topic of discussion with no comment on the given info. However, Forbes is supposedly correct in its financial facts.

Where kids should not be

I was not surprised, only perturbed, seeing on TV a white pants clad Sashi Weerawanse in Courts a couple of days ago on the incorrect ID and invalid passport case, accompanied by three women, one being a young girl. I assumed she was the Weerawanse daughter. Even if it was not the daughter, why on earth bring a young girl, OK very young woman, to the Law Courts when the accused is guilty of fraud? This daughter has been toted around, for publicity, for arousing pity, for whatever, on too many occasions.

Remember how she was solicitously present as a very young child when her father lay dying (supposedly) on a fast before the UN office in Colombo 7. Lemon puff was not enough to keep life going until tambili was fed him by no less a person than the Prez of Free Sree Lanka. Then as a teenager she was seen by TV cameras crying for her father who was in remand. She even spoke about her need of him. Was there a case when a grown boy in the fullness of young manhood died of a heart attack (it was attested) in the Weerawansa abode? Did the young lady appear there too? Having her accompany crime accused parents to Courts’ premises is not done. This is the considered opinion of this matronly cat. If she is under 18 years of age, maybe the Child Protection Department should intervene!!