End of the Year, the State of our Island of Sri Lanka 2016
Posted on December 24th, 2016
Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada
22 December 2016
Honourable Maithripala Sirisena
President of Sri Lanka
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Your Eminence, Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
Re: End of the Year, the State of our Island of Sri Lanka 2016
Dear Honourable President Maithripala Sirisena:
I am hopeful that you will address your people of Sri Lanka, perhaps on Television as to the state of Sri Lanka having ruled it for almost two years having promised many things like eradicating nepotism, corruption, financial-scams, frauds, et cetera, which were to be part of your contribution towards “Yahapalanaya Good Governance”. And people bought your choice of words hook-line and sinker and helped you to topple the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. And they should have known that it was coming sooner or later. But what the ordinary people wanted was “Hope”, especially the people who have no voice, like the Gamme minissu’.
In your address I hope you will add two components, which I have a keen interest in, to make Sri Lanka, a better place to live in with dignity, especially the remote ‘gamme minissu’, and I hope your statement will be honest and part of it will be expressed somewhat like this…
“My fellow Sri Lankans, as you are aware, one of my goals has been to promote equality among all ethnic communities to enjoy the quality of life and ethnic harmony with love, among each and every one of you 20 million peoples.
As you all know, ‘Water is Life’, and on and off most of us suffer with the lack of it as a result of climate change that the whole world is experiencing presently. Drought with the lack of clean water which is our life’s blood is one of them, and those who are really affected are people in Rajarata in the South. And I want to let the people of Rajarata know very sincerely that your plight has not gone unnoticed.
And I have a strange feeling that all you people at Rajarata must be envious to know that our neighbour India is granting funds to construct 3,000 rainwater harvesting tanks in the Jaffna District at a cost of 300 million rupees. To be honest, I am not happy with this proposal, when ‘equality’ is one of my main goals which also ties into my wanting to promote ‘ethnic harmony’.
Hence forth, I promise you all that I will not accept such a gift from India to be enjoyed and benefitted only by our Tamil population, their kith and kin, and the only ethnic community in the world which wants to have two “homelands’ one in Tamil Nadu with 71 million Tamil people, and the other in the North and East of Sri Lanka. I will, in the future, only approve such proposals as gifts if they are benefitted by all communities such as people in Rajarata in the South and not just the Tamil population in the North and East. Such calculated divisiveness has no place in Sri Lanka when we are striving to be united. And that I promise you.
I am also been told by a concerned member of our expatriate community in Canada, an eminent academic and scientist, that it would only cost 75,000 rupees to supply a rain water- harvesting tank for a family of five.
And I have also been made aware of that the Tallest Christmas Tree in the world that is been built on Galle Face Green, is going to cost 12 million rupees if not much, much more, and we will find out the final figure only when the audited final tally has been presented. This project I have been told was a temporary monument built to satisfy the folly and ego of a politician and some workers at the Port Authority as well as some church clerics, to get some of their names in the Guinness Book of World Records having built the world’s tallest Christmas Tree. It has been argued that it had nothing to do with ‘religious harmony’ as has been presented to us. And I believe that there is some truth to it.
The cost of building this temporary Christmas Tree has eaten into my conscience like a cancer as I agree that is a lot of money spent on an ego trip when with that money we could have provided 160 rain-water harvesting tanks for 160 families in Rajarata who are living under dire circumstances. I feel genuinely embarrassed to be party to this folly and I want to apologize to all you people in Rajarata as with that money we could have provided these rain-harvesting tanks within three months.
Let me think aloud for a moment. I am toying with the idea of requesting the same sponsors of the Tallest Christmas Tree, to extend their same generosity to match the same funds that were spent on the Christmas tree and provide the people in Rajarata 160 rain water harvesting tanks, when you all can use them for considerable number of years, when I gather the 12 million rupee Tallest Christmas Tree on Galle Face Green will come down on January 6.
I promise you one thing, that I will be careful to approve such an egoistic project in the future, saying that they want to build the tallest Dagoba or a minaret on Galle Face Green for the sake of ‘religious harmony’ which I am certain is for a few people to get their names included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
You have to excuse me as I am still a rooky in this business of governing a country where, nepotism, lies, corruption, financial-scandals and frauds have been an every day affair in the culture among the past governments in Sri Lanka for a long time. I have made mistakes trying to govern Sri Lanka, like appointing MPs that you had rejected in a democratic vote, and some I even appointed to the cabinet. I now regret it as I am now been painted as a demagogue who cheated my way to grab power. One learns by one’s own mistakes, and believe me I have and I promise you that it will not happen again.
One last note as a plea to all of you who are living in Rajarata. I am very aware of your difficulties, but please don’t move away from your land. I fear that it will make it difficult for me and my government, as the law of nature is that when there is a vacuum or an empty space it will get filled quite naturally by whatever means. And in this instance, I am afraid it will be filled by squatters or by those who are maestros of ethnic cleansing by claiming that land to be part of their ‘motherland’. So please do not move away as I promise you that I and my government will take care of your needs to begin by providing you all with rain-water harvesting tanks. This will be my priority for 2017.”
Mr. President, I will be eager to read or hear your end of the year State of the Union message of Sri Lanka. If honesty is your forte, then I am certain that the above two pointers will be stated in some form of what I nave outlined.
Wishing you a year that will bring you Good and honest friends with real haloes over their heads, good health, good luck and strength to govern Sri Lanka with honesty. And please don’t challenge the intelligence of your peoples as they are no fools even the ones who till the soil with a mamottee wearing a loin cloth knee deep in muddy water.
Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr,)