Impotent words and impudent deedsView(s):
My Dear Mahinda Deshapriya,
I thought I must write to you even though you may be busy with the upcoming provincial council elections which is the first major election that you will be supervising, although you did oversee a few local elections last year.
That is because I noticed that you were not doing your job quite in the manner you are expected to, possibly because you are new to the job. It just maybe that I could help you with some advice on how you could do your job better.
I hope you realise that you are what we call a ‘government servant’. What this usually translates into is that you are a servant of the government of the day and that you are required to do what they want you to.
I am telling you about this because you had complained about state property and resources being used for election purposes. The Blues would argue that the Greens did it while they were in office, and the Greens are protesting that the Blues have taken it to extreme lengths.
I am sure the Reds would say that they have never got the chance to do it even though this has been happening for decades and no one has complained. So, for you to suddenly come along and change this accepted practice would be so unfair!
Then, you had even ordered that the office of Athauda, a senior minister, be sealed because it had been used to store a few election posters of his son. Now, that is quite harsh on the old chap, don’t you think?
The poor fellow, after years of loyal service to the parties he represented, is a minister only by name and has no real power or authority because he is just a senior minister. And as you may have heard, he doesn’t even have a ministry of his own because all the ‘seniors’ share one!
So, where can he store his son’s posters except at his office in his electorate? I am sure his other colleagues who have ministries must be even printing posters at their ministries and yet it is this poor chap who has to pay the price just because you follow the law to the letter.
Then, I also heard you complain about the media saying that state media should give equal publicity to the opposition as well as to the government. Again, Mahinda D, I think that would be quite unfair to the government, because of the degree of media freedom we enjoy.
Why, the government has just two television stations and a handful of newspapers published in the house by the lake to get its views across. The opposition in contrast has every other newspaper and television channel at its disposal-and there are so many of them these days.
Besides, the Opposition is getting free publicity in news broadcasts even in the state media with all this coverage of power cuts, contaminated diesel, numerous strikes, errors in the ‘A’ Level question papers and problems in the stock market, so why do they need more?
Then we also have the numerous websites that publish all sorts of scandalous details about everyone in the government. Now, do these websites publish a single item of scurrilous gossip about the Opposition or its stalwarts? No, they don’t.
Now, if they did, your call for the state media to divide its time equally between the government and the Opposition would be fair. But since that doesn’t happen, I think it is only correct for the state media to devote its time exclusively to the government.
Also, no matter what you do, please make sure that the computers in your department are in good working order. We don’t want people casting doubts on election results because of computer ‘jilmaarts’, do we?
These are some of the issues I am worried about, Mahinda D. I am sure the upcoming elections will be held without much of a problem but I am also worried about your job because I don’t want you to go the way that your predecessor, Dayananda, did.
We all remember Dayananda not for all the good work he did but for complaining at every election that nobody was following his instructions but then at the end of it all certifying that all of our elected representatives were “duly elected”.
Then there were those famous last words of his about the ‘aathathiya’ that he said he was feeling. Now I wouldn’t want you to go through the same experience which is why I am advising you on ways and means of avoiding this ‘aathathiya’ at all cost.
Anyway, Mahinda D, you can still do your job in a way that makes it seem as if all the elections you conducted were ‘free and fair’ and at the end of it all, earn a diplomatic posting to a foreign land. Think about it, instead of worrying about ‘abusing state resources’!
PS-I was told that you are an illustrious old boy of Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda and that makes me even more worried about you. We all know what happened to the most illustrious old boy of Dharmasoka, don’t we?
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