Cassandra Cry: Mixed View of this enigmatic land of ours
Excellent admonition, instigated
trouble and a heritage tome

Cassandra means to start her Friday weekly resume on a good and bright note. She will repeat what a Minister of State said which all Sri Lankans should have heard and must bear in mind. Good to have it galen kotala-fied – so pertinent it is.

Tax payers pay for development

Minister Arjuna Ranatunge, speaking on arrival in the Matara railway station after the successful trial run from Beliatte along the newly constructed extension to the Southern Railway line, gave expression to a truth we have lost sight of and thus render undue praise, cause criticism and also protests. He experienced boors and disdain and saw thug behaviour by those protesting that Mahinda Rajapaksa was not a VVIP invitee or preferably, the one who sat inside the engine of the train speeding along the brand new scenic line, costing billions. To this unruly behaviour of protestors Arjuna made the core of his address. "Don’t ascribe development projects to this politician or that; don’t praise individuals. Remember it is your money, the taxes collected from people of this country that make possible these massive constructions." (Not his exact words but the content is intact). Thank you Minister. That was a very pertinent and apt comment for all to bear in mind and especially receive the attention of top politicians.

I truthfully retort when friends/acquaintances spout out: "Yes MR’s government was corrupt but see the roads he got built everywhere!" with the reply the roads had to be done; budgetary allocations were made and thus the roads got widened etc. Maybe on the side money went into private pockets. Yes, we do have a habit of praising the one person who was in power when a building/bridge/ro-ad/railway was constructed and thus the nonchalance with which it is named bearing that person’s name. A strong example is the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on Green Path. The Chinese funded or co-funded it and built it, the idea mooted during 1994-2005 period and approved by President Chandrika K. How was it finally named? Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre!!! Protests were disregarded; sheer egotism and power-gone-to-the–head plus abject sycophancy prevailed. To add insult to injury, the sacrilege committed of the name revering a world famous for all time Sri Lankan – Sir Ananda Coomaraswamy - was to be erased off and substituted with the then Prez’s name. So a b….y jaw breaker would result: Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Mawata. S..t!! Protests were so vociferous that the ludicrous was effected: the part of the road beside the theatre bore the ridiculously long name and the rest on either side remained Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha.

Tell Cass whether any Mahaweli reservoir or new town was named either with JRJ’s name or Gamini Dissanayake’s. We have the respectful name Victoria Reservoir because the Brits built it and Randenigala, Ranthambe and now Moragahakande Wewas and for new towns – Digana, Dehiattakandiya and Giraandurukotte. Name Cass a road or construction with either Ranil Wickremasinghe’s or our hero of now and then – Karu Jayasuriya’s names incorporated. Men, especially in politics, are more ephemeral in the sense of making sound and fury for such a short time and then mostly going into oblivion; some into derision and just a very few to be revered for all time. It was much after DS died that the Gal Oya reservoir was named Senanayake Samudra, such a richly deserved name to remind us of the Father of our Nation.

Thus the protesting rag tag band of hooligans were shouting for nothing, but of course organized and paid to do so. Mahinda Rajapaksa had nothing to do with the extension to the Matara railway line

Two Anniversaries

Maitripala Sirisena or the Presidential Secretariat and /or his golayas celebrated his fourth anniversary as President of the Democratic etc Republic of Sri Lanka. Every newspaper carried a full page hagiographic advertisement headed ‘Appamado Amathapadam: new entry to pragmatic forward march’ and below ‘Also dedicated himself to Discipline, Reconciliation and Prosperity.’ Cass smiled on seeing this, certainly not in joy or agreement. Yes, we would have so fully endorsed these high thoughts if not for the crazy Fridays following 26 October 2018 when he, MS, singlehandedly turned the country upside down- inside out. Fortunately, Ranil and his men and the people stayed calm. Cass, studying the ad continued smiling benevolently as a teacher would when a quiet, disciplined student she thought so much of becoming completely karachchal with the mistaken notion that was the way forward. We are asked at the end of the ad to extend our fullest cooperation to President Maitripala S. OK. But he has lost our votes!

Also the poignant tenth anniversary of the assassination of a fine, clever man able to write so well. People, as usual, gathered at the grave of Lasantha Wickrematunge to mourn his death and more the lack of a final closure to his life with culprits who killed him and ordered his death not yet apprehended and dealt with by the law of the land. He and all those others will go unavenged.

Shocking revelation

Headline in The Island of Saturday 5 January: "MR got Mihin Air to buy his astrologer a car" and true to form of the Rajapaksa dynasty, not an esemese vehicle but one costing 8.2 million. Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena, star gazer, horoscope reader and palmist was also appointed to the board of Directors of Mihin Air. Immediate connecting reference in Cass’s mind to Caligula born Gaius Caesar but named Caligula or Little Soldier. Caligula was corrupt to the core, a sex predator and blown up with self pride and was finally declared insane. An irreverent act ascribed to him was his voting his horse Incitatas as a Consul. Parallels in your mind? Sharp ones in Cases where among other equivalents, a consul corresponds to a board member and an astrologer to a member of the Horse Family – Equidae. These corruptions also must be chased, money recovered to the government kitty and punishments given. The media and certain politicians have no other name on their tongues but Arjuna Mahendran.

Noteworthy and praiseworthy

Under the auspices of the President, the Tripitaka, the foremost compilation containing the basics in Theravada Buddhist philosophy, was declared a national heritage of Sri Lanka at the historic Aluvihare Temple in Matale on January 5. The Tripitaka was compiled and written on ola leaves by arahants at Matale for the first time during the reign of , 1st century BC. Legend has it that it was also written on gold leaves and buried between the tall pillar like rocks at the Aluwihara Temple. The resulting texts were translated into four related Indo-European languages of South Asia: Sanskrit, Pali, Paisaci and Prakrit, sometime between 1st and 7th century CE. In his address, HE the President noted that application would be made to the UN to confer the honour of the tome being declared a World Heritage document.

On that elevating thought, Cass bids her readers goodbye for another week.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...