Letters to the Editor

19th August 2001

National government or national conspiracy?

Those who think that a national government is going to solve any of our problems are living in a fool's paradise. This is borne out by the experience of "national governments" we have had up to now. Surprised? Yes indeed, we have had a most perfect national government for many years now; when it comes, that is, to the privileges and perks that our so called "servants" have given themselves at the expense of the half-starved house-holder.

All parties, of whatever hue, have acted in perfect harmony and accord when it comes to increasing their allowances and pensions; giving themselves all kinds of perks from duty free luxury vehicles (which many of them sell off promptly at a huge profit); employing their kith and kin not only as private secretaries; a prerogative that is quite acceptable; - but in various other positions as well in their Ministries, complete with a whole range of parallel luxuries from vehicles to mobile phones. They picnic on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya on subsidized meals at our expense having cynically told us that we too could buy bread at Rs. five - remember?

The only party that has distanced itself from this ruling "national government" which may be described more appropriately as a "national conspiracy" is the JVP which should command our respect for that alone if for nothing else. "More strength to their elbow" is what I say, for as long as they continue to do the same. 

What about all the declarations of assets which by now must amount to huge piles of files lying like skeletons in some dark cupboard on the banks of the Diyawanna? Whose hands are clean enough to demand that they be sent to the Bribery Commissioner for investigation? A national government will only extend the perfect consensus that now exists regarding politicians' privileges and the perks to more serious matters like bribery, corruption, and abuse of power. Who then will save us from our "saviours" who come to save us by "submerging their differences" in the "national interest"? No Sir!

A truly healthy democracy can thrive only if we have both a strong government and a strong opposition that is on constant watch against corruption and abuse of power on the part of those who rule. What we need is not a "national government" but a national consensus between, the democratically elected people's government and the democratically elected people's opposition on matters of grave national importance such as the conduct of the war (or negotiations to end it) and on the revision of the constitution, no more and no less. 

It would seem that the JVP has been left to play the role of the people's opposition. It is to be hoped that they rise up to the occasion. If they do, they will deserve the fullest support of those who wish to see an end to the misdemeanours of the political parties who may piously set themselves up as a "National Government" in spite of their dismal track records.

Francis Pietersz 
Via e- mail 

Blunder after blunder

Regretfully, the PA Government is in a dilemma, 
Its own Constitutional Bill is in a virtual coma,
It has prorogued Parliament as a tricky measure,
Perhaps to plan out strategies at its own leisure.
With Parliament prorogued, debating is throttled,
Demonstrations against, have ended in street battles.
With political instability growing in the country,
Governance seems to be through threats and thuggery.
Mother Lanka is suffering from a political malady,
For the present crisis, there's no immediate remedy.
Constant and effective dialogue is the need of the hour,
The PA must put country before self, pelf and power.
For the Alliance, the writing is on the wall, 
In the near future, it's certainly going to fall.
The opposing parties are at the government's throat,
But it's very busy canvassing for positive votes.
The latest news is, it has put off the referendum,
Signalling another blunder and another addendum
The PA is committing blunder after blunder,
After how many more blunders, will it surrender?

M.I. Mohamed Ansar

A winning game of unity

The Coca Cola series, on the eighteenth had begun
'Twas in the seventh month, of year Two Thousand One
I write about the fourth game, that Sri Lanka played
On the twenty fifth of July, against the Kiwis staid.

The visitors batted first, and scored their hundreds two
With thirty six more runs, to total up their do.
This wasn't really much, to cause our boys a scare
And confidently went they in, to show what they would dare.

Then came the catastrophe, when the first four wickets fell
For a paltry twenty seven. Had Fate just rung the bell?
Sanath, Kalu, Avishka and Mahela all were gone
Now everything looked dismal. Would everything go wrong?

But came in the bottom part, at numbers five and six
Who stroked their patient careful way, to save us from the jinx
With Marvan-Russel combination; and then that fateful run
When the bails were sent a-flying, and Marvan, he, was done.

Then in came youngster Suresh, and all looked up to them
And watched them going ball by ball, with hope-filled pure intent
They kept the flag a-fluttering, and in true cavalier way
Took the score to four runs more, and won for us the day.

While we must overlook the parts, that five and six had played
'Twas Suresh's lightning fifty, that the Kiwis doom had sealed
Time and again our cricketing lads, have displayed team work
Why can't our selfish leaders, unite and forward go?

S. Vimala


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