Monday, 14 June 2010
Chandrika Kumaratunga lies with knowledge of things she says, and Arundhathi Roy lies with no knowledge of anything she say.
There were statements from two women that appeared one in the Sunday Island of the 6 June,2010, and the other in the Times of India of the 5 June,2010. The former is from Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga, a woman known very well in Sri Lanka, and who knows about Sri Lanka.
The other is from a woman called Arundhati Roy who is little known in Sri Lanka and who knows nothing about Sri Lanka. It is interesting to know what one who knows Sri Lanka and the other who does not know Sri Lanka at all, have to say.
The first Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was the President of Sri Lanka from November, 1994 to June, 2005.
She was elected as the President of Sri Lanka at a time the terrorist problem was at its peak. Her entry into politics of Sri Lanka as its President marked the end of 17 years of mismanagement and political cruelty against the people by the UNP, never seen before in our country. It was the worst form of political repression by an executive Presidency one following the other, from which the country and the people were morally worn out
It was at a time, the people were desperately seeking relief from utter exhaustion from a UNP rule, that Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was elected to the high office. People at once rallied round her, attracted by her youth and the political ambition at the time, believing that she will bring relief to the people as well as stability to the country which was also straddled on one side by a pernicious terrorism, that held the whole country to ransom and on the other moaning the disappearance and the assassination of thousands of youth both by the terrorists and the repressive regime that had been in power.
The most serious problem was that of the terrorism that seemed to have settled in putting the people and the country in to a disastrous situation. The people believed that Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga will settle the problem and bring about progressive development that was much in need.
But the steps that she took for the settlement of the terrorist problem was not well thought out and investigated. Her getting Eric Solheim of Norway as a facilitator for peace talks with the terrorists was bound to be a failure as Norway did not have any acceptable credential to do so. Netherland had failed in its mediation in the Middle East, and the political climate within Netherland was not suitable for it to negotiate peace as a Mediator.
Chandrika offered her hand of friend ship to the terrorist Leader Prabhakaran in a gesture of reconciliation, but the terrorists declined the offer and instead blasted a bomb and made her blind in one eye. Thereafter, further problems ensued with UNF Government lead by Ranil Wickramasinghe coming into power.
Ranil Wickramasinghe who was only the Prime Minister of the UNF government, took himself for the President, with the backing of the Western Governments he could depend on. He completely over looked the President, and also the Parliament, and set about to solve the terrorist problem through negotiations for peace, after having signed with the Terrorist Leader Prabhakaran a Cease Fire Agreement prepared by the Norwegian Eric Solheim in connivance with the terrorist leader himself.
In terms of the CFA Ranil Wickramasinghe had agreed to recognize a large land mass in the North and the East as areas, under terrorist control.
The agreement forbade the Government Armed Forces or the Police Force to enter into these terrorist controlled areas, while the terrorists were allowed to enter into Government areas for “political work”.
The latter condition made it easy for the terrorists to plant bombs in the North and the East and transport bombs and suicide bombers to the South, while the former allowed the pistol gangs and grenade lobbers of the terrorists to escape into areas under their control after doing considerable damage to persons and property in the Government “controlled” areas, and in the South.
The peace Negotiations started by Ranil Wickramasinghe’s government with the terrorists, held in foreign Capitals were a disastrous. They only helped the terrorists to organise their expatriate Tamil “lobbies”, buy ships, and latest models of heavy artillery, while they continued their terrorist activities in Sri Lanka unabated.
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga the , President was reduced to being a helpless spectator of UNF “mis-doing”. She did not have the guts to stand up and say, “ no “ to Ranil Wickramasinghe who was usurping her Presidential powers. It was only when Ranil Wickramasinghe was away dining in his Sunday best, with the USA President Bush that Chandrika Kumaratunge took the courage to take over the Defence Ministry and put Ranil in his place.
There were no lack of problems at the time. The tsunami caused the worst human disaster in 2004. The large numbers of NGOs sprang up like white mushrooms after a rain and with them came money for reconstruction of tsunami affected areas.
That helped the terrorists to get down engineers and heavy material to construct air strips, set up communication centres etc. Donor states too decided to contribute large sums of money. Over a disagreement on distribution of tsunami Funds to the terrorists the JVP left the Chandrika Kumaratungas’s UPFA Government.
Soon after Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s term of Presidential Office came to an end, and she had by then only increased the problems and bequeathed to the Mahinda Rajapakse who succeeded her more problems than she bequeathed from the UNP President when she was elected President.
All that is to explain how Chandriaka Bandaranaike Kumaratunga by being elected as the President of Sri Lanka became a part of the problem, and how when she finally left, it was part of its solution.
That was why one does not understand how dare she opened her big mouth to say what she had said as the Chief Guest at her alma mater St.Bridget’s Convent’s annual Prize Giving. It was not a speech to be delivered to the children on their schools Prize Giving Day. Because, it was more a speech to whitewash herself from the ills of the past she gathered herself, and let Sri Lanka under her Presidency was made to gather for itself as well.
It was a speech of a person with a wounded “ego”. It frothed with venom of hatred, jealousy, regret of what she could have done but failed to do . She tries to make it out for the children that ”may” have listened to her, that every thing was white and shining when she was holding rein, and all the ills have suddenly propped up after she left her reins in the hands of the other.
Even though she said using the present tense, that politics is the most lucrative of business in Sri Lanka today, things were no better yesterday, in the past. It may perhaps not be correct to quote what others say about her acquired wealth after she left the Island to live in UK. But, it may perhaps be appropriate to say that during her period of Presidency Sri Lanka did not see any infrastructure development , that people of Sri Lanka has seen during the four years after Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse was elected, replacing her, as the President.
Within that short time Mr.Mahinda Rajapajkse has accomplished enormous amount of progressive work in the country, other than winning a war against terrorism, that puts to shade what ever she did during her 10 years as the President.
She has no right to say things about the country and the elected representatives of the people even if they are “ making a quick buck” profiting from their position, as she was once that country’s President. Doing so, as the old Sinhala proverb goes, is to spit turning the face upwards. That shows lack of shame, and decorum. It is far better to be corrupt and do good work, rather than be not corrupt and do nothing, even if it were to show a lack of moral goodness.
Her speech, at a respectable School like St. Bridgets Convents shows her own lack of decency, to make use of that occasion in which she had been invited as the Chief guest, to attack the government merely to went her own personal ill will towards her political opponent That speech sounds more like a “gutter speech” worthy of a third class mafia chief.
She had said all that perhaps to bring sympathy of the audience, that she is living selling her assets and not on quick bucks she had earned,. She had said that she will never come back to politics again. It is a good decision as nobody will want her back campaigning for an election for herself, or any other.
The statement she is supposed to have made, “ that ….the language of racism’ is being wantonly used by those who currently mould opinion in Sri Lanka, ……… the need to wipe out terrorism should not lead to the treatment of an entire community as if they were all terrorists”, shows to what extent Chandrika is out of touch with reality of what happening in Sri Lanka.
The President Mahinda Rajapakse , may be accused of any thing but racism, and that goes to the rest of the Sinhala politicians, and to most of the Sinhala people in Sri Lanka as well. This statement of hers also shows the extent to which she holds liege to the West and the Western political ideas of today towards Sri Lanka.
She ends up her speech saying,”….. while stressing that the education system should take over the responsibility for laying the basis for a moral education, ………moral values are a strong point at St. Bridget’s Convent.
Her speech as reported in the Sunday Island of the 6th June,2010, lacks any moral standard, specially taking into consideration that it was made as the Chief Guest at a Annual Prize Giving Day of a leading Girls’ School in Sri Lanka.
She should at least now decide not to mix politics with other activities she is called upon to share, specially as she has vowed never again to come to politics in Sri Lanka.