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8th March 1998

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Mirror Magazine

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Front Page
Mirror Magazine

    Even now can’t we unite

    What a mockery of democracy !

    Even now can’t we unite

    Lsast Thursday’s high noon horror at Maradana was the fifteenth devas tating LTTE bomb attack on the city since 1983 and the seventh in the past three years alone.

    We seem to be getting immuned to this kind of barbaric violence perpetrated by a fascist organisation and the world’s most ruthless terrorist group with which some people still think they can talk peace while others think they can ‘marginalise’ the terrorists through a devolution package.

    It is increasingly clear that the LTTE is bringing this war to Colombo as it gets cornered in the north.

    Colombo today is known to be infested with Tiger cadres, bombs, and suicide kits.

    The police, as we have said this before, are more often busy guarding themselves and their stations than in pursuing the LTTE and raiding suspected LTTE ‘safe houses.’ Allegations of corruption and bribery in the police service from top to bottom are rampant and in this vicious circle it is quite possible the LTTE also could oil some palms for them to see no evil or hear no evil.

    While the National Intelligence Bureau is often made to look like an ass, the CID is often used by politicians to harass political enemies, including journalists.

    Politicians will never learn. The former President Premadasa used the NIB and the CID to track down his political enemies, but they forgot to look for his assassin in his own kitchen.

    Tamil political parties and the bleeding heart lobbies scream when raids are conducted to flush out LTTE suspects. But when Tiger suicide bombers act like brutes and kill little school children, these groups are often slow or mild in their condemnation. The LTTE has shown that it won’t give in one bit and won’t deviate from its path of terror.

    The terrorists bombed the Maligawa and on Thursday they showed they are even prepared to murder school children but still major political parties are divided on how to respond to this terrorist challenge.

    Instead of fighting the common enemy, the major parties are still at each other’s throat.

    What a mockery of democracy !

    While we condemn any Govern ment for disallowing or disrupt ing legitimate political opposition - especially the PA Government because it came riding on the platform against Dooshanaya and Beeshanaya- we cannot agree with the UNP’s decision to boycott Parliament for a month and possibly longer.

    The people elect MPs to be in Parliament to air the views of the common masses and to give a balanced perspective to issues. If the MPs cannot do their basic duty by the people then they must forego their perks as well- not eat the subsidised lunches, travel in their Pajeros, or luxury cars nor take a pay packet during the boycott.

    While we deplore the UNP’s boycott and urge the party to continue its public agitation while being inside Parliament, we condemn the Government for taking advantage of the UNP’s absence to push through a record 21 bills and other motions in 23 minutes.

    These included a bill with potentially widespread implications to impose some Government control on non governmental organisations- people who helped this very Government ride into high office.

    The conduct of these two parties makes Parliamentary democracy a mockery, and isn’t any reasonable person entitled to ask whether this is what our country and her people deserve from our political leaders.

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