The Words-versus-Deeds battle has been raging for quite some time now, and like that other battle raging in the North, it is increasing in intensity. Like most battles in this strife-ridden world, the heaviest casualties are among the innocent bystanders.
What is alarming is that those engaged in this one-sided battle are people in the highest places. The latest important personage at the battle-front is the Defence Secretary himself. He, I imagine, with eyes brimming with tears, is reported to have said (The Sunday Times, August 17, 2008) that if the Tamils are not with us, the fault lies with us, meaning of course, naturally, the Sinhalese.
Now I, a mere citizen, am in total agreement with the all-powerful Defence Secretary. Unfortunately, the “us” here refers mainly to personnel coming directly under his command. Does it then mean that the All Powerful is no longer in command of his troops?
Then, of course, there is the ongoing tragic saga of Minister Mervyn Silva, who defies the condemnation of two powerful ministers and even dares to pay scant attention to the well-meant advice of a genial President and head of the Cabinet. One of the ministers, after his public condemnation, has placed the matter in the lap of the gods, forgetting that the gods long ago ceased to bother their weary, war-torn heads over an incorrigible Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately, our Head of State, who is entrusted with looking after us all, and not only the Baron and Baronetcy of Mt. Lavinia, has failed to realise that Minister Mervyn is like an autistic child who has reached adulthood, but failed to mature. Surely the President is aware that autistic children are incapable of heeding any form of advice; and when they pose a threat to others, it is necessary to take strong measures to protect innocent citizens from being harmed.
When Polonius asked Prince Hamlet, “What is the matter, my Lord”, as the young royal perused a book, the learned Hamlet’s answer came pat: “Words, words, words”.
All Sri Lankans, with the exception of Baron Mervyn’s acolytes in the Baronetcy of Mt. Lavinia, are fed up to the back teeth and toothless gums with words, words, words! What they demand is Deeds, Deeds, Deeds!
The task of curbing the minister’s reckless and illegal rampage is not in the lap of the gods but fairly and squarely in the hands of His Excellency, the President, who has to be more powerful than the all-powerful Defence Secretary.
The remedy should be obvious to the Head of State and Protector of the People.
Strip this indisciplined Minister of his ministerial post, if for other reason than that he cannot possibly be addressed as “Honourable Minister”. Once he is shorn of his post, he will lose his gun-toting security guards, who pay as scant attention to the law as does the errant minister.
Alone, the minister would be quite harmless, because, once he loses his power, he will lose all his acolytes as well. The Baronetcy will become history.
If the President does not act, and act immediately, the people of this land overrun by tyrants will be forced to say: “Kaata kiyannada, kaata kiyannada? Deiyo dani. Deiyo dani!”