To Mr President with love
Posted on January 16th, 2016

Sandya Salgado

Dear Mr President,

It is one year since I woke up to an ‘aha!’ moment in my life… A long awaited sense of freedom, not just freedom from terror, but also freedom of speech, freedom of living a life devoid of constant fear of being ‘watched and listened to’,  a violation of basic human rights,  stolen from us for over a decade.  I also woke up to the hope of a clam on ‘excessive corruption’, cronyism, nepotism, lawlessness and political thuggery, to name a few. Yes Mr President, I jumped out of bed on the 8th of January 2015, realizing that the nightmare was over and it was going to be a fresh start for the country with a rainbow coalition lighting up our land. Many ridiculed me for my wishful thinking. But I am an eternal optimist Mr President, just to let you know.

Let me congratulate you Mr President, for the freedom you have given us. Yes, we have an abundance of it. Freedom of speech to write, call you names, criticize you using any form of media, without the fear of facing any repercussion, which would have been unthinkable an year ago.  This is great! At least we can give vent to our frustrations and anger at will, even though nobody seems to be listening! Now that’s another matter altogether.

From the moment you took oaths in a sense of ‘chaos’, we kind of figured that the government would also follow suite, finding some order in chaos”, especially because we knew that the new government was going to face a lot of resistance and challenges from within. Well, democracy is not an easy game, we know that for sure. So I guess we were willing to give you that space. At least for a while!

Contrary to many of our impatience and frustrations, you have in fact achieved some significant milestones amidst this chaos and madness we seem to witness on a daily basis. I salute you for shrewdly managing to get the 19th amendment passed, even though it didn’t exactly abolish the presidency and had undergone numerous amendments which sadly watered down the original bill.  The fast and furious way you managed to restore our tainted image internationally is truly commendable. The creation of a constitutional council is definitely another huge feather in your hat, or should I say ‘an additional ring on your finger’, Mr President? The Right to Information (RTI) Bill I am told, is considered best in class. Undoubtedly, the country will reap its rightful benefits of these policy changes only later on and since we have short memories, we will forget to thank your government for it then. So thank you for these efforts and more, Mr President

Mr President, your eloquent and sincere speeches before and after taking office, reinforced our belief and faith in you. You willingly or unwittingly positioned yourself as this simple man; a servant of the people and not a King”. This was a refreshing change for those of us who were desperately looking for a replacement for ‘The King’.

You took up the challenge, putting your life on the line as it were, and we in desperation thought you were the answer to our prayer, god’s gift to democracy and freedom, and just the right change the country needed. You told us exactly what we wanted to hear. You promised to change the status quo and the political landscape, starting with the family rule. And we truly believed you, Mr President.

But Mr President, a year into these promises, it seems like our dreams are slowly turning into nightmares.

Nepotism means ‘favoritism granted to relatives’, Mr President. At least that’s what the English dictionary says. When your own brother was appointed as the chairman of one of the most important government agencies, within a few days after you took office, our confidence shook, Mr President. When your son joined the entourage to the UN, the cracks started to appear, Mr President. Yes we remember how he tried to explain to us that his trip to the UN could not be labelled as nepotism and he even went on to quote some dictionary. However, I am not sure we quite bought it Mr President.

My friends in advertising seem pretty upset these days because your daughter has apparently launched an ad agency and most government work is being channeled to this agency, they lament. Now this can be a rumor or a conspiracy theory by these creative types, but may be you could look into this sometime. After all we know how the previous regime had so many companies with false fronts, making money for the family, right Mr President?  You know these things better than me, so why even leave room for such rumors? It definitely wouldn’t augur well for you, would it?

Small things matter to us Mr President. Because we thought of you as a simple, genuine man. We loved the way your family was portrayed; your wife, your daughters and the son, who appeared to be a bit perali but we were happy to give him some time to shape up. Sadly this ‘simple family’ image seems to be changing, Mr President.

When you declared ‘no cut outs of me’ policy, we jumped up in joy because we were fed up with our ex-King waving at us from every lamp post during the last decade. But Mr President, my blood pressure rises each time I go to the airport and see the most grotesque pandol greeting the visitors coming into the country, with you smiling happily on it. It is now faded too, Mr President. Time to take it down, I think. I can see how this old mania of cutouts has slowly crept back into our lives. It is not a nice thing Mr President, to go back on your word, especially when you need to make us believe that we voted in a simple man, who means what he says and says what he means.

This may be also be a rumor Mr President, but your media guys are supposed to be saying that you have become obsessed with wanting to be a news-maker on a daily basis and I was thinking that this may be why you put your foot in the mouth with the ‘bra throwing’ episode, which made you get international media attention, but sadly for the wrong reason, don’t you think, Mr President?

Now that’s another issue I thought of flagging. Do you think it is a wise thing to be policing our culture Mr President? As stated by that great statesman Mahatma Gandhi, A nations culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”. I am sure we can take a leaf from India to understand how important it is to be prudent on matters of culture without being seen as ‘prudes’. It is true we have a 2500 plus year heritage Mr President, but don’t you think we have to move with the times? We are living in a world where people should have the choice of selecting how they should live their lives. Don’t you think there are a lot more burning issues on which your attention is badly needed Mr President?

What about making sure law breaking politicians are arrested on time irrespective of their political allegiance and how about hastening the punishment of those you claimed to have committed many a fraudulent and criminal activity and plundered the country? How about putting your foot down when ministers appoint their brothers to high positions under their ministries? We criticized when the previous regime had eighteen or so namesakes in high offices. May be they were indispensable too, come to think of it.  I do have a long list Mr President, but I think you get the drift, right?

One more thing Mr President, what was that song all about? Just curious. The song that equates you to King Parakramabahu, is it? I personally didn’t think that was the kind of anniversary song ‘a servant of the people’ should have commissioned, Mr President. Apart from it being badly conceptualized, badly produced and totally old fashioned in its genre, it badly placed you fairly and squarely on the same throne as the King who was dethroned. Tcha, tcha, Very sad!

Are you struggling with a sense of inadequacy or an inferiority complex or an incompetence on the job Mr President? It sure must be a daunting and overwhelming task. Is that why you seem to have surrounded yourself with the same cronies that our ex-President surrounded himself with? Is that why you seem to slowly but surely be going in the footsteps of the King you dethroned? I don’t think this is a very wise thing to do Mr President. Most of these cronies are with you for their personal glory and nothing else. You seem to have a problem in figuring out whom to trust and get the right advice from. Some of the people who helped you get to the presidency seem to be totally disappointed and disillusioned with your new ways of thinking and acting, Mr President. I am sure you must be aware that Sobhitha Thero was a very disappointed man when he died. He was one person who meant well, wouldn’t you agree Mr President? It is painfully obvious that your advisers are definitely taking you for a good old ride. Has that astrologer chap also visited you by any chance? Do try and stay away from him Mr President, and for that matter form that clan of astrologers, for sure.

Finally Mr President, I feel it is still not too late to get back on track and make good those promises you made to a country of hopeful people. After all, it’s been only one year and you have achieved some great things for us already. May be I am nitpicking, really. Sorry about that, I just couldn’t keep all these thoughts to myself.

May be you could just get a crash course on curbing nepotism, cronyism, kingdom building, and lawlessness. These consultant ‘chappies’ who teach how to create visions and missions will also be able to help with reinstating your credo of Yahapaalanaya which has unfortunately become the butt-end of most political jokes and frustration. With a quick brushing up, you sure will be good to go until the end of your term Mr President. That’s just five years more right?

Let me end this note by wishing that you gain the courage to stand on your own beliefs and convictions as the simple man you claimed to be Mr President! May you have the strength to make those who believed in you, not be laughed at by those who said that this whole game plan to usher in ‘a change the country so needed’ was a sheer waste of time and hogwash.

Optimistically Yours

Sandya Salgado

10th January 2016

4 Responses to “To Mr President with love”

  1. Siri Says:

    Dear Sandya Salgado,
    You and a lot of foolish Sri Lankans must have been dreaming when you believed all the lies and Western Propaganda that was used to effect Regime Change. Now you have jumped from the Frying Pan to the Fire. There is no getting out.
    When this Government leaves office there will be no Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. The country will be bankrupt. These goons are robbing the country blind. Due to stupidity and mismanagement these currupt politicians will empty the state’s coffers. Remember : You reap what you sow.

    I believe Chandrika has a residence abroad. Ranil has purchased one. Gamaralage Sirisena will go back to Polonaruwa. Where will you go??

  2. aloy Says:

    Siri’s last para is unthinkable. If that is true, my wish is that what happened in far away Ghana in 80s should happen in ours too. Will our fellows be chicken hearted?.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Pol pot ponil is the second most powerful man in Sri Lanka. The only man he feares is MR. There are two MRs in Sri Lanka.
    Which one is more powerful? Obviously pol pot ponil’s boss is the most powerful man in Sri Lanka. Whatever he says everybody obeys him. That’s why clueless maru sira quickly went to vatican with him. Remember Soma thero. In so called Buddist Sri Lanka, Buddhists have no saying in their affairs. They are quickly silenced by the murderous gang.

    Catholic pol pot ponil ruthless, dictatorial, murderous and got pathalyin to silence any opposition. Like his uncle, traitor thambi mudiyanse who put foundations to break up Sri Lanka by signing 13, 13a with the crafty indians he is totally anti Sri Lanka, anti Buddhist of course and anti Sinhalese. But a lot of Sinhalese donkeys still believe this murderous pathalogical liar. UNPelievably UNPatriotic party has never done anything for the good of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese or Buddhism. They have been anti Sinhalese from the inception. They opposed CWW Kannangara’s FREE education bill
    knowing it will mostly benefit rural Sinhalese children. That’s how their record is.

    They have been out and out traitors to
    Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and Buddhism. Reason for this treachery is, they always align the country with the west who
    wants Sri Lanka to toe their line. That includes do away with Buddhism. There are ample evidence to show how they fulfil this duty. When jvp (completely a Buddhist outfit) rebelled, UNPatriotic party was simply brutal and dragged it on for
    so long and killed 60,000 youth. When ltte rebelled (mostly a catholic outfit) they were reluctant to take action. No brutality,
    simply slap their wrists. They were willingly to sacrifice Buddhist soldiers and Buddhist victims. These two rebellions destroyed nearly 250,000 Buddhist population in Sri Lanka. They have been masters of trickery. They don’t do anything; only good at murder, mayhem and large scale robberies and just point the finger at the opposition with UNPatriotic party controlled tv, newspaper etc. So there are a lot of Sinhala modayas believe their lies and vote with their feet. They come
    and go making a lot of money, destroy the country, leaves a lot of dead bodies. Tamils, mussies and catholics always
    vote for them obviously. With a bit of support from the Sinhala modayas, they always win. They know it. SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO ANY THING CONSTRUCTIVE. THAT’S NOT IN THEIR NATURE. THEY HAVE NEVER DONE IT.

    Just look at YAMA PALLAN’S record in one year.
    pensions gone
    Buddhism from schools gone
    Buddhism from constitution going
    unitary state from constitution going
    tiger terrorists gone
    brave soldiers for the gallows
    naval cordon gone from north and east so that indian fishermen can fish in our waters
    naval cordon gone so illegals from tn can settle down in north and east
    HSZ land given back jeopardising national security
    national anthem destroyed
    no new roads while raking in income from MR’s motorways
    5000 billion day light robbery by pol pot ponil and catholic buddy mahendran
    wilpattu burning with multiplying mussies building roads and houses for the ever increasing xxx population in Sri Lanka
    list is endless.

    Don’t expect anything constructive from the murderous gang. Pathalogical liars don’t know the meaning of constructive work!

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    The downing of Buddhists (Sinhala and elsewhere) starts, unfortunately, in INDIA.

    In INDIA (including Tamil Nadu), according to the present day Caste System there (incl. Tamil Nadu), Buddhists are considered as Dalits (under the Scheduled Castes census 2011). Christians & Catholics, and Muslims & Sikhs, are also considered as Dalits under the Scheduled Castes census of 2011.

    The Caste System is 3,000 yrs old.

    It is not surprising that INDIA considers all smaller countries around INDIA which are Buddhist, as under Indian hegemony …….

    Are Ranil & CBK aware of this ? If residing in INDIA, Ranil and CBK will be Dalits, as will be the rest of us !! Even if Ranil & CBK think themselves as Christians/Catholics, they will be classified as Dalits in INDIA. Again, are they are of this ?

    Is the West aware of all this ?
    In INDIA, this DALIT business includes all Christians & Catholics, and Muslims & Sikhs, as well.

    Sinhala/Buddhists : Please be AWARE. As far as INDIA is concerned re their Caste System, all in Lanka are Dalits, except the Vellalas !!!

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