There is so much of character assassination going on in Sri Lanka without an iota of evidence. If there is not the whole truth in some of the allegations made against the Government and the ruling leadership, there should at least be some basic truth. But there is nothing of the sort, it is always what some others say or heard being said. It seems to be a national weakness, we have already heard of the untruth of what was said about shooting at the terrorists carrying a white flag.
The danger of these exaggerated lies is, once said however much of denials that follow will never erase the stench from the smudged stains of falsehood left behind. It is like the story of the “man who spewed seven crows”. It began with a man bringing out some thing black, which became a black crow when it was first related to another, then two black crows, and then later on three black crows and so on.
Some make it an art saying with laughter an gestures, and a gullible one who listens will repeat it with the same laughter and gesture but much more exaggerated and the round will continue each exaggerated in turn.
It was a gramasevaka a government servant who told me every thing is done wrong in Sri Lanka. He asked me whether I agree that Sarath Fonseka should be in prison. I said it was the Court that sentenced him to prison. But he said that man was dying for Sri Lanka. The gramasevaka made a gesture with his two hands held against the stomach and said he was carrying his bowels like this in his hands, and lived to eliminate terrorism. I said it is true , but later on he said things which were not favourable to the Armed Forces and that is why the International Community has come in force against Sri Lanka.
Then he said, but every thing is wrong how can people live with this soaring cost of living. It is a problem every where I said but we have to give some time for the government to come out with solutions. And the difficulty we talk of in feeding our stomachs is as old as the time we got our independence. But at least this government has solved major problems like the terrorism and constructed new roads besides every thing else so that we can go from south to north or east to west without fear of lurking danger to life.
Then there are those who complain that Basil Rajapakse takes commissions. One swears that he had the information from a reliable source, it was for dredging of sand from a river. Then again another says he heard the boss telling his assistant who was going to negotiate a deal for the export of certain products with a Minister not to agree to give the sum demanded by the Minister, but try to reduce it to the minimum. He asked me what else it could bet other than a commission.
An Inspector of Police swore that a certain Minister takes commissions. I asked whether he was present when the demand was made, but no he said the information is very reliable.
Most of these information come they say from reliable sources, but when you get to the reliable source, the reliable source had heard it from a good friend.
But some of these talks begin from mistakes committed without thinking of there consequences.
This is so in the case of Namal Rajapakse another subject people take a liking to talk about. It is normal that a father gives in to please his son , but if he is being groomed to be a political leader of the people he should learn to live like an ordinary young man of the people. Namal is a part of every delegation going abroad to see the heads of states, except this time to accompany Dr.G.L.Pieris to Washington. Namal himself opted out.
Why they ask the other young MPs are not given a chance ? Why is it always Namal Rajapakse ? Is that the way to prepare a young politician to be a leader of the ordinary people of the country ?
The Neela Balakaya of Namal Rajapakse gets all the jobs from the south to north. The Colombo Galle express way passes through many towns and villages but young men of these villages should have normally been employed in the express way at least at the points it passes through that town or village , but it is the members of Neela Balakaya that has been employed in various activities on the express way from Galle to Colombo. That is at least what they say.
They organised a quite unnecessary motor car racing in Colombo. And very expensive cars such as Aston Martins had been imported. This was all a brain child of Namal Rajapakse and they say Namal Rajapakse now goes about in an Aston Martin. People talk , and people talk and as a result the popularity of a young up and coming politician turns to public dislike.
But what is the use of car races in Sri Lanka ? I question. Is it not necessary to do things more beneficial to the country than to please a handful of foreign “racing car lovers” ? But , I read somewhere that the government is proposing to extend greater Colombo by filling the sea and to build a racing course there amoung other things. Is it necessary to attract tourists to such an extent ? One cannot always depend on tourism for an economic development. Greece was once booming with tourism, but its economy crashed despite it.
I was sitting at a Doctors waiting room, a person who was reading a paper said for every one to hear , “this Government demoted and sent away Tamara Kunanayakam who did so much of work at Geneva when Shenuka Seneviratne and 70 or so others sent to defend Sri Lanka at Geneva did nothing. But UN has offered Tamara a more important post”
The man read the paper a while and said, “ They also say that the Government is proposing to get down 3000 Indian graduates to fill vacancies of teachers.” Then he added, “ why should they get down Indian teachers, when there are unemployed teachers in Sri Lanka ?”
It was announced that Namal Rajapa ksa will be at Wattegama along with Lohan Ratwatte to declare open a bus stand in Wattegama. I was glad as I would at least see one Rajapaksa in flesh and blood. I went to the Wattegama Town. At a shop I asked when would the meeting start. The fat man in his forties the owner of the shop said, at four o clock for sure because then they will at least have the school children as a crowd; no body else would come.
I asked him why. He said that every thing is going up in price and who has the money to buy. We are unable to sell our stocks and the people are unable to buy. So why should we go to welcome Rajapakses and Ratwattes. I said they are nevertheless doing lot of work. “ Yes, they become rich ” he said and he showed me the big fleet of black vehicles , some of them Pajeros that have brought the VIPs for the meeting.
However there was a respectable gathering. I saw Lohan Ratwatte in a clean Sinhala dress, a white Shirt and a white cloth. Next to him was Namal Rajapakse, with long hair in an unclean white shirt and an unclean trousers. I was disappointed . I thought he should have worn some thing clean and neat at least as a show of respect to the people who had come to see him.
In the mean time what is happening in some of the factories of the apparel manufacturing sector is scandalous. There is no welfare service what so ever. The workers are slaves and work according to the whim and fancy of the owner. The workers fear to complain as the solution for the owner is to get rid of the trouble shooter. There is no medical leave. I was told that in one such “garment” factory a girl who was sick was asked to rest for one hour and come back to work.
If you stay home for what ever reason and inform the Office they deduct Rs.3000 from the attendance incentive bonus , and deducted Rs.1000 per day from the salary until the person returns to work. The workers have to put up with such forced sacrifices as otherwise they will be sacked. There are no inspections or visits by Inspectors of Labour, and even if there are such visits ,they know how to arrange matters with them.
Another scandalous matter I came to know was through a man in his 40s . Though Sri Lanka is seeing a tremendous development yet undesirable former political habits and methods have not been set aside to provide people with equitable treatment without reference to the political background of their fathers and forefathers. The young man in question had worked for a long time in several companies and has good experience in accountancy. He is married and has three young children. He does not want to go far in search of jobs as he would like to be with his children.
He had been working for a company owned by a Muslim man a distributor of Medicine and other materials of health . He was the only Sinhala Buddhist working there. Though his Muslim colleagues do their prayers five times a day during working hours, their Sinhala colleague is not allowed a holiday for the poya days.
This man question was sacked for not going to work the day after Wesak full moon day which was declared a holiday by the Government. The Muslim boss had said that his company is his and does not belong to the President Rajapakse and therefore he had not allowed a holiday to his staff the day after the Wesak full moon day. Therefore he treated his Sinhala Buddhist Staff member as having vacated his post. That was incidentally the day the Muslim Boss returned from his pilgrimage to Mecca…
Now this young man has a problem in getting a job. If he applies for a Government job he has to be recommended to the Member of the Parliament of the Provincial area to have his name put on the list. One has to be a member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party or an active political worker to be put in the list. In order to have the name entered in the list the MP consults the owner of the liquor bar, and a man who has come not long ago to the village and acts as the SLFP organiser. A person’s experience and qualifications take a back seat as preference is to a man of the SLFP or one recommended by the Owner of the Liquer Bar and the SLFP Organiser. It is the case with all UPFA parties. The jobs are distributed according to the affiliation to the correct political party.
Apparently these lists according to which jobs are distributed in the respective Provincial Council areas, are a sine a quo non of the Sri Lanka Political Parties. Even the entrance Examination to the Law College in Sri Lanka is said to be according to the names on the list kept by the Minister of Justice Rauff Hakheem.
The Entrance Examination to the Sri Lanka Law College was held today the 12th August,2012. A student I met said that she is reluctant to sit for the Exam as it is a sham. The College is only taking 200 students out of about 2000 sitting for the Examination. And the Exam she said is to eliminate a maximum number of candidates to allow the Minister Rauff Hakheem to admit the maximum number of those students in his list to the Law College.
Somewhere in Hambantota a village had been created specially to help the Sri Lanka Cinema Producers to h ave ready made locations to shoot their films. But I heard a man seated next to me in the train coming from Kandy to Colomo telling his friend that this Village for Cinema built at a considerable cost is now abandoned, and no films have been shot there.