OPEN LETTER to Hon. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka
Posted on December 27th, 2016
Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada
27 December, 2016
OPEN LETTER to Hon. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka
Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister’s Office
cc; His Eminence Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
I have just read an Associated Press news item titled ‘Sri Lanka claims world’s tallest artificial Christmas tree at 73 meters’ and the photo label under the image of the Christmas Tree read ‘The tree cost $US80,000.’’ (my comment = Rs,12,480,000, and there will be an additional cost for lighting and maintaining the tree until it is dismantled, I believe on January 7, 2017).
“The tree’s steel-and-wire frame is covered with plastic net decorated with more than a million natural pine cones painted red, gold, green and silver, 600,000 LED bulbs and topped by a 6-meter-tall shining star,” the news item continued.
The project showed the enthusiasm among the designer and the production team and their leader, their Yahapalanaya Minister of Ports and Shipping, Arjuna Ranatunga and the pride of possibly having their names in the Guinness Book of World Records. This paled into insignificance the impression you all projected to the Sri Lankans and the world that this was an exercise to promote “religious harmony.” That was a hard sell to swallow and a far fetched reason, to me which was hogs-wash. I told you so before, and I am telling you now.
You all said that you spent this fortune of over 12 million rupees through the generosity of sponsors to help the cash-strapped Sri Lanka, to promote “Religious harmony” in the island where persons of different faiths are inter-marrying and living happily ever after. In the island, after the tsunami on December 26th 2004, Buddhist monks volunteered to clean the grounds of mosques and helping the Muslims to build their places of worship. In the island where people of different faiths trek to worship Lord Katharagama and climb Adam’s Peak with palms together in reverence to what they believe in, and in an island where strangers of different faiths share their packets of rice and curry during their pilgrimages.
Honourable Gentlemen, I am not blind to the aberrations of such honest spiritual harmony by some religious extremists who refuse to accept commonsense religious protocols, like one doesn’t walk in to another person’s religious land with flats of bricks carried on their heads and buckets filled with mortar and start building their religious precincts. That is when disharmony among people of different religious faiths crop up. And when intruders knowingly ask for trouble, they will be dished out trouble in buckets full. That is how the cookie crumbles gentleman, and you two have lived long enough to understand our religious culture and we are no saints.
What I have difficulty to reconcile with this foolish expenditure of over 12 million rupees to inject harmony into these religious extremists by building a Christmas Tree that you all want it to be inscribed in the Guinness Book of World of Records. That’s foolish, gentlemen, it is asinine, when those monies could have been spent on the poor. The gamme duppath minissu who do not have a voice, who do not drive in BMWs, who do not have enough money to rush their sick child in a Tuk-tuk to the nearest medical clinic, nor have enough money to spend on a contractor to drill a well to find clean water to drink. Think about it, Honourable President and Honourable Prime Minister, aren’t you ashamed of yourselves, that your Yahapalanaya Government has been cruel to a point, insensitive to a point and being cursed by the poor, and I don’t blame them. And now I understand when I asked 24 Gamme Minissu in February this year, ‘Kohomadha aluth arnduwa? All 24 responded with a snicker, “Oya okkoma hora yakku, Mahaththaya.” You two honourable gentlemen of the Yahapalanaya Government, go figure that one out. That comment to me by the Gamme Minissu is the holy truth and nothing but the truth.
Honourable gentlemen, you have lost the feel of the pulse of the Gamme Minissu spending your time trying to figure out strategies to become the darlings of the UN, the West, India and China.
The Sequel to the Tallest Christmas Tree at Galle Face Green
Honourable President and Honourable Prime Minister, now that you have achieved together with your Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranathunga, watching the Tallest Christmas Tree in the World mushrooming on Galle Face Green at a colossal cost, let’s concentrate on a follow up sequel to this Tallest Christmas Tree Act.
If Christmas was your symbolic theme to bring about happy faces in your 20 million multi-religious peoples lets follow this up with a Sequel 2 – ArjunSanta brings clean water to Raja Rata’s parched people.
The Yahapalanaya Government has the money, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has contacts of Sponsors to collect millions of rupees with ease, let’s declare March 2017 as ArjunSanta’s Raja Rata Christmas, to help the people of Raja Rata win their battle for clean drinking Water as Water is Life.
The backgrounder for ArjunSanta’s Raja Rata March 2017 Christmas is this –
In December 2016, almost a year ago, a news report read –
“As drought conditions become increasingly severe, the people of the Raja Rata region are engaging in a battle to find water…
People walking to the main road in search of water is a common sight in villages like Kohomba Damana and Maha Ambagaswewa in Medirigiriya, Polonnaruwa,
All that is left in some villages in this region which is famed for its mighty reservoirs, is muddy water.
A News 1st team in the area met a mother, who has been tasked with removing soil from the well which her husband digs every evening when he returns from work as a hired labourer.
Throughout the day, she suppresses her own thirst as she searches for even a drop of water to give her children………….(and the heart-breaking story goes on.)
Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, for God’s sake don’t you two tell me that you have insensitive hearts that refuse to bleed for these people, and that your tear ducts are dried up to shed even a tear or two for these suffering people at Raja Rata. Come on… please be human for once! Give them a life…give them a break!
Sequel 2 of the Tallest Christmas Tree Proposal
Here’s my proposal for your Sequel 2, pick it up and run with it.
Have two large sleighs built and fill them with a million bottles of clean drinking water. Dress Minister Arjuna Ranatunga as ArjunSanta, and get the ten Port Truck drivers whose dream was to build the tallest Christmas Tree pull the sleighs with their trucks with their Minister ArujunSanta, along the Raja Rata Roads distributing the million bottles of clean drinking water to people who are parched and sick without clean drinking water. I will provide the drivers with reindeer horned -skullcaps to wear to pretend to be reindeer. And if one of the truck drivers want to be the red-nosed reindeer, I will supply him with a circus clown’s rubber red nose.
And use this event to announce the Yahapalanaya Good Governance’ promise that you will provide 1000 rain water-harvesting tanks by the end of 2017. Failing, give them the OK by saying if we don’t provide you with these tanks, then you have every right to remove us from office with your democratic vote, which is your democratic right. Provide them with that green-light. And that is democracy at work.
The Tamil Nadu government is taking care of their flesh and blood by providing the Tamils in Northern Sri Lanka with 3000 rain water-harvesting tanks to sustain their lives. If they can look after their Dravidian kith and kin, how come you cannot look after your own flesh and blood in Raja Rrata. Come on gentlemen, let’s be human.
Do it Mr. President, do it Mr. Prime Minister. It is your call now. Provide these poor people clean drinking water. Give them a life….as they deserve the right to live with dignity as every Parliamentary MP who with their new monthly perk of Rs.100,000, will find it easy to float their tired bodies in baths of fresh drinking water and gulp a mouth full when they want to.
Oops! Mr. Prime Minister, I do recall reading, you saying, “The monthly payment of Rs.100,000 to be given to each MP is not a take-home allowance but one which will be used to help the people on their constituencies.”
Perfect…..and I love it. Well………..! Now let us see you as Prime Minister act like the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka ordering the MPs of Raja Rata to spend that allowance to provide his/her constituents with Rain water-harvesting tanks, when they start receiving this allowance. Let them know that one rain water-harvesting tank for a family of five would only cost 75,000 rupees.
I hope you will consider my proposal of the Tallest Christmas Tree’s Sequel 2 to provide clean drinking water to the people of Raja Rata. After all….they were the ones who voted you all in to govern Sri Lanka. Didn’t they! And they could easily vote you out not to govern them, the next time around. And that is how the democratic cookie crumbles.
I wish you Two a Happy New Year that will provide you wisdom to govern Sri Lanka and not sell parcels of its prime real estate to one ethnic group in particular, as Sri Lanka is not your parent’s property, as every square-inch of land even parts that are covered with water belongs to the 20 million peoples of all ethnic groups. And that includes the north and east of the island. Perhaps you will let the man in the North with a blood red third eye between his eyebrows as that is how it has been…it is…and that is how it will ever be. And ask him to behave himself and not create problems for you two.
Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)