At long last the President has come to the end of his tether. Finally it seems the message has hit home. The realisation has dawned that the impudent mischief of some members of his own party, working hand in glove with the leaders of one-man bands to create political instability and cause havoc in the [...]


Why not ask new IGP to catch these rogues, Mr. President?

Fight is between crooks and SLFP faithful says Maithripala at media heads meeting

At long last the President has come to the end of his tether. Finally it seems the message has hit home. The realisation has dawned that the impudent mischief of some members of his own party, working hand in glove with the leaders of one-man bands to create political instability and cause havoc in the body politic, can no longer be tolerated.

PRESIDENT SIRISENA: Patience runs out over rebel bane

Atrocious behaviour displayed sans a blush in the recent past has condemned the rebels beyond the pale of political rehabilitation. They have realised that the gravity of their transgressions has made atonement impossible. Having burnt their bridges, the only course left for them to charter is the one that has their chosen leader Mahinda Rajapaksa’s footprint embedded on it. Having gone down that road thus far they have crossed the point of no return and have no option but to beat the drums they have tied to their torsos and dance the dance of the marionettes as bidden by the master puppeteer.

They have much to offer Mahinda Rajapaksa. They form the boisterous tub thumping segment in the Rajapaksa Road Show, heralding the imminent return of their demi god to the sceptred seat of power. They form the vanguard of the perehera announcing the third coming of the great saviour who will take them to the Promised Land and deliver them from the fear of keeping their tryst with justice. They serve the useful purpose of creating an image that a massive demand exists to enthrone the fallen idol again though none exists to write home about.

By conjuring such a vision of mass clamour, of a distraught public wailing their misfortune in having succumbed to folly and getting rid of the country’s saviour, the aim of the rebel pack is to buckle the forward march of the Maithripala Government, in the singular hope that, with the nation so embroiled in conflict and confusion, the day of retribution will be deferred, the hand of justice will be stayed.

That is the hope and service they give to Mahinda Rajapaksa in abundance. But for the nation’s people they have nothing to offer but their curses and the chaos of their circus. And this morning at Kirulapone they will be at it again, usurping the international Day of the Worker to unscrupulously advance their own sinister political agenda coupled with their master’s vendetta.

The internal squabbles of a political party need not unduly trouble the public. But when it spills out onto the streets and even leads to internecine war and threatens the political stability of this country then it becomes a cause of grave concern for all and justifies intervention. Ever since Maithripala Sirisena was elected as the President, a disgruntled Mahinda Rajapaksa has refused to accept the verdict of the people and has not allowed the country to be governed unmolested to give effect to the aspirations of her teeming millions.

Even before the new President could get down to spring clean the mess Rajapaksa left behind and think what to do with the fungus-ridden, worm-infested, rancid piece of foul smelling margarine-based pseudo Butter Cake, which the former president said last week was his parting gift to President Sirisena, Rajapaksa had the brazenness to stake his claim to the presidency again, even before the purple ink had disappeared from the voter’s little finger. Soon after his convincing defeat at the polls, he used his hangers on to convey the message to the people of his intended comeback. Thus began the Nugegoda rally held by the Rajapaksa rebels who launched on his behalf, the ‘Bring Back Mahinda’ campaign.

Though it met with dismal disaster at the August 17th general election, when the electorate graphically showed that the only comeback left for Mahinda Rajapaksa was not even as a possible prime minister but only as a mere member of the Kurunegala district, the perseverance of Rajapaksa to draw his sword against the windmills did not falter; nor did his resolve wane. The greater the setback to a comeback, the greater was his manic desperation to repeat the exercise in folly. It occupied the whole of last year. It is still with us and shows no sign of flagging, fuelled as it is by the hallelujahs of his rebel supporters.

For the past 16 months, the President has tried his best to bring the rebels into line. The SLFP party secretary has issued warnings and threats to the dissidents not to attend Mahinda rallies. But it cut no dice. The rebels have insolently called the party leaders’ bluff at every turn and carried on regardless and thrived on their truancy. In the absence of any deterrent punishment for violating party discipline, such hollow threats served only to evoke scorn; and to embolden them further. The impression created in the public eye was that discipline in the SLFP had fled to brutes and that the party chairman was sparing the rod and spoiling the children of a dethroned deity. And the question has often been asked how the president can maintain discipline in the country if he cannot instil discipline into his party?

But the sun’s transit this April 13th to the constellation of Aries, which heralds the New Year, has, it appears, also brought in its wake a reawakening of the promised Yahapalana dawn: the renewal of the pre-election oath sworn before the nation to crackdown on mega corruption and bring to justice the criminals in the Rajapaksa regime.

After 16 months of indulging the vile antics of the rebels and tardiness in fulfilling his ‘crackdown’ pledges, the President’s patience has finally run out. Last Saturday, exactly a week after Maithripala’s head was anointed with oil and ayurvedic medicinal Nuga Path Yusha Mishra Nanu” at the auspicious time of 10.41 am while dressed in blue and facing west, the President seems to have been stiffened in his resolve that enough was enough.

At a political meeting in Ambalangoda he kicked off his new determination to keep his old promise by declaring that had he known of the harassment he would receive from the Mahinda faction he would not have accepted the chairmanship of the SLFP. He said he had expected the same degree of cooperation past leaders of the party had received and enjoyed from the membership but it had not been forthcoming. “Yet, as the SLFP leader, I am ready to stand up to these harassments,” he declared defiantly.
His determination to stand up and be counted as a powerful force to be reckoned with and not a sorry mat for rebels to wipe their muddied feet in contempt was again demonstrated when he declared on Monday at Medirigiriya that he would take several new political decisions after May 1st for the betterment of the country and its people which would prevent the corrupt forces that had abused state power from regaining power. ‘I would not disappoint the people who had voted to bring this new government to power in the hope of creating a clean political culture and a free country’, he said.

Then on Wednesday, addressing newspaper editors and media heads at a breakfast meeting held at President’s House where the now iconic hopper was significantly not on the menu, the President declared that his government was not for toppling. He had done his arithmetic and he showed the sums to the invited media guests.

He said: “The UNF has 108 and the UPFA 95. Therefore no one clearly has 113. If someone is making a new Government in a conspiratorial manner, without the consent of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and without my blessings, they should show 113 in Parliament. To show that 113, they should begin with the UPFA. Can they get the entire 95? They can’t. Then let’s say they can at least take 50 from that 95. Then they need another 63 to show the 113.”

“Those who thought they could topple the Government will see their dream unfulfilled,” he said. Furthermore in the eyes of the President, they were a band of rogues, thugs and fraudsters. “There is no crisis in the SLFP,” he stated confidently. “It is only a fight between the rogues, thugs and fraudsters on one side and the SLFP faithful who are committed to taking Bandaranaike’s policies and principles forward on the other.”

If that is indeed the case and if those who are wrecking the nation’s future by conspiring to sabotage the work of the Government at every turn are, by the president’s own reckoning, indeed rogues, thugs and fraudsters, what is the president waiting for? Does it not behove him to order the newly appointed IGP to catch the rogues pronto and file indictments under the already existing laws contained in the Penal Code?

Rogues should not be allowed to roam the countryside and enjoy the broad acres of the land freely, now should they? Or for that matter, be allowed to travel abroad as they wish without any guarantee they may flee the nation’s jurisdiction for good and enjoy undisturbed in foreign climes, the plundered wealth of the people stashed in some secret off-shore account? They should be where they rightfully belong: behind bars.

For far too long the people have watched in bewilderment why the Maithripala-Ranil Government has allowed the Rajapaksa circus to perpetrate their grotesque farce on the nation and blight local and international confidence in the stability of the Government and hinder the nation’s progress.

It is also affecting the nation in many unseen ways. Saddled as Lanka is with a massive economic crisis largely as a result of Rajapaksa regime corruption and squander, it compels the Government to concentrate all its energies on ascending the pit of international debt and promoting the economic life of the people. But due to the Rajapaksa factor, this has not been entirely possible since the presidential focus must also fall on getting rid of the nation’s bane.

As the President revealed on Wednesday he has given top priority to thwart the return of Rajapaksa to power and would give precedence to taking constitutional and legal measures to block the return of the defeated former ruling clan.
Welcome as his resolve is, shouldn’t he start by ordering the IGP to investigate the truths contained in the claim he made against those ‘rogues’ conspiring to rock the Yahapalana boat? And keep his promise of ‘not disappointing the people who had voted to bring this new Government to power in the hope of creating a clean political culture’?

WANTED: Parents seek loaded hubby for high flying bird
Once she was the bird of paradise in her doting papa’s eyes. Times were such then that he was even prepared to hock the family silver or, if that didn’t suffice, sell his last shirt to keep her in fine fettle and maintain her in the extravagant style to which she was accustomed from birth.Then did she soar sky-high, flying with those of the same exotic feather in majestic flight. She was smoother than silk and with her enchanting smile, had a way with people that made all who met her feel she really moved her tail for them. She lived today to the full for she knew tomorrow would be more expensive. What a great way to fly high, many who knew her thought often at a time when hers was the earth and sky.

MATRIMONY GAME FOR SRILANKAN DAME: Bid to off load extra debt baggage

But now hard times have fallen on the family coffers and as dark clouds gather to shroud her fate in a pall of gloom, she appears a somewhat grotesque sight in the fast fading dying light. Now, having done nought for her expensive upkeep, she resembles nothing more than a worn out crow even the family is trying to shoo away from perching on their gate as she circles overhead cawing for more and more of the fast depleting dough.

Having run through her inheritance and become an unaffordable burden on her father’s now threadbare pockets, the time has come for an inevitable parting of the ways, to leave the family nest which has become too small to cradle her profligacy. She must be given away – the sooner the better. A new husband must be found. His race, religion, creed or caste is irrelevant. All that matters is the size of his bank account and his ability to service her interest and carry the heavy baggage of her debt. As long as he’s loaded to maintain her lifestyle, papa will agree; and she will gladly spread her wings and give the new sugar daddy that old taste of paradise she was once famed to render again.

Again? Oh, yes, she’s also divorced. And at 37 years of age this year, not exactly a spring chicken either. When she was nearly twenty, she was palmed off to a wealthy sheik from the dusty desert of Arabia in a shot gun wedding that took all by surprise. He took off with her and landed her in his harem where she spent the Arabian nights spinning yarns of how she wooed the world from capital to capital until the bottom threatened to fall out on her father’s finances due to her licentious lifestyle where her late hours became the talk of the town.

But Arabs will be Arabs and, though he did not put her in purdah, he placed her under a strict financial regime of discipline and kept a sharp watch over her spending. But the spoilt shrew could not be tamed so easily. Not with an overbearing possessive father who, though broke, was still casting a paternal eye on her and attempting from afar to dictate her future.
When her Arab husband put the shackles on her meeting her control freak dad and, exercising his marital rights, refused her permission to go on a joy ride with papa and his cronies, that was the last straw. The snub infuriated the old man. Down and out he might be but the Arab’s refusal was an attack on family honour. Thus enraged, papa immediately had her marriage annulled and brought her home with all the fanfare he could muster.

An old family uncle who had once lorded it in the hills overseeing the wages of Indian tea plucking women was thought, on the strength of that record alone, to be the best Svengali to control her. But as it turned out the ageing lothario soon fell for her wiles and not only aided and abetted in her spending sprees but also contributed to the excessive drain on the family fortunes by his own wild extravagance.

He became the proverbial fox appointed to run the chicken coop. And didn’t he make a meal of it? He turned from staid guardian to lusty paramour and became too cocky for his own good. On her papa’s money, he flew her from city to city and even encouraged his cronies to enjoy the free rides feasting paradise at poor papa’s expense. She would take on all comers and he would sign the bills. It was the ideal combination while it lasted.

But then papa took ill. And, now the sky seems set to crash down on her and threatens to permanently ground her penchant for high living, free spending exotic jet setting lifestyle. Unless, of course, some foreign playboy with an eye for birds and a predilection to live life in the fast lane on a dangerous plane, can be found to take a flyer on her.

The people’s court has appointed a no nonsense chief executor to manage the feudal estate. And, with news of the ruinous state of the family fortunes spreading faster than Mach 3 supersonic speeds, suddenly there seems to be a run on papa’s bank at almost the same sound barrier breaking speeds. Gossip that much of the wealth has been frittered away on wastage, squandered on extravagance and plundered by family members hasn’t helped calm creditors’ worst fears either.

And with claims coming in like the never ending landings at Heathrow, demanding interests on loans taken long time ago, the new executor of the estate has found himself in a quandary on how best to meet the exigency. With the May Day, May Day alarm sounded, he has decided to immediately signal his own SOS: ‘Search out Spouse’.

On Tuesday the family elders met in council to discuss the perennial problem before the entire family wealth takes a nosedive. It was soon decided to hire tom-tom beaters to blare out the message that the divorcee was ready to walk the aisle again. But how will the selection be done? Will it be in the form of an auction where she will be married off to the highest bidder with cash on the nail at the going down of the hammer?

Or will it be in the way Indian princes of yore won their brides – when they had to participate in a swayamvara, a trial of manhood held to test their prowess in wrestling and archery with the all rounder taking home the coveted princess as his winning trophy? Or has some family member already decided on a favourite suitor and has him lined up waiting in the wings until the charade of inviting prospective grooms to view the unveiled bride is over? And when papa’s multitude of poor relations ask, out of sheer inquisitiveness, what the terms of the dower will be, will the curious kin be politely told it is none of their business?

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