Jumps, Leaps and Somersaults
Posted on December 18th, 2017

translated by : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

This is the translation of an article by Theja Godakanda Aratchi published in the Lankaweb.com on 18th December, 2017.  

Our elders used to predict about the emerging rain season from the croaks of the frogs that filled the ears.  This country’s political land was under a severe drought for nearly three years and owing to the local government election rain that is due to fall soon the ears of us, the general public are being thundered with the croaks of the political frogs.  But before the croaks of these bipeds what focussed the attention of the people were their jumps.  Especially it is significant about those who were in the joint opposition and jumped to President Maithripala Sirisena fold and those who have decided to jump.  Although others say that they will jump now, jump soon they are very strategic.  They are on the watch out of the colour and the quantity of the rain.  As there is an anecdote saying think before you jump” one cannot dispute that also.  The President is keeping the net of ‘ministerial portfolio’ to net the frogs jumping towards him. There is no need to say about the attractive things within such a net.  This is the best example to counter the saying that there was a real change after 2015.

These people may have made an assessment of the prevailing situation of the government.  Although a group including Dallas Alahaapperuma several months ago said about a group planning to join the joint opposition from the government side and the government will be toppled within a few days such a thing did not happen.  The Prime Minister stated clearly that if the UPFA group leaves the government he would form a government with the TNA.  Although he TNA is the official opposition, they function as a part of the government.  It is certain that other minority party groups also will join them.  Most of the responsible people in the government do not have a concern to think about the future of Sri Lanka because they do not have princes to crown after them even for devouring everything. Others also after earning as much as possible could send their children to a foreign country and die comfortably.  None of these people think about the 20.8 million people of this country. Therefore it is not a concern for them if anyone made somersaults or devoured the country by making it into many pieces after them.  Especially, handing over the future of Sri Lanka to the United National Party which destroyed in the 1980 decade more than 60,000 of the future youth generation which had at least some political vision and was like the backbone of this country and for a combine with the Northern politicians who white washed the terrorists who killed and destroyed the erudite and intelligent politicians of Sri Lanka is extremely dangerous.   Therefore, it is pertinent to think a little about the attempt of toppling the government. On the other hand people also should think about the policy of partitioning this country and selling these assets to foreigners.  It should be the people who must think about this because the majority of our politicians and our so-called international friends have no concern at all about Sri Lanka’s future. Although the contemporary Sri Lanka is referred to as a Democratic Socialist Republic there is neither Democracy nor Socialism in this country.   Even a small child of a non partisan parents without any party colour allegiance will vouch that the objective of those who jump from party to party in the name of people’s welfare and those get Ministerial portfolios to suit them are only concerned about their welfare and their sustenance.  Therefore the responsibility of lighting the yellow colour at this junction which falls into the government’s path and obstructing that haughty drive rests in the hands of the people.

When all these things are arranged with each other it cannot be left aside various kinds of jumps that come into the mind.  It is very rare to find in the present parliament who has not made such jumps.  These jumps did not start recently and sometimes there were no justifiable reasons also for such jumps.  Vijayaananda of Galle and Ronnie de Mel of Matara are such persons. When we were schooling it is without the knowledge of the depth of these somersaults we used to call Ronnie de Mel Panee the Pil”.

The present Minister of Finance and Media Mangala Samaraweera and his father Mahanaamaa Samaraweera are such persons.  Today the Rajapaksas are like poisonous leaves (Andu Kola) for Mangala Cobra.  It was saying to protect 6.2 Million mandate given by the people Mangala, Gamini Viyangoda and a gang held a demonstration in Matara on 25th November. It is something that Mangala should ask himself to whom it is being said and why he had to stand in front of the Matara sacred Bodhiya holding placards. And the other thing it was seen as a croak of premonition of the local government election rain that was to be announced on 27th November and about the somersaults that are to be started within a few days.  People’s mandate is not something that cannot by snatched away or that can be kept under lock and key. If the promises made to the people   in obtaining that 6.2 million mandate have been fulfilled those who hold state power need not stand under the hot sun on street corners. It becomes a question to ask whether the voters are a herd of bulls that can be handled by everyone as per their needs.  But there is also a group that goes on the way they are being led by their master with a stick in his hand as well.  The best example in this regard got imbedded in my heart also centres Mangala Samaraweera.

In 1987 the young Mangala returned from London and came to reside in the 4th Cross road of Walpola in the Matara town in the house opposite to my house.  Prior to that that house was the UNP office from 1977 and it was kept closed for some time.  Then the UNP MP for Matara was S.K.Piyadasa who was Mangala’s uncle (Mother’s sister’s husband). I have heard that earlier it was the office of Mahanama Samaraweera.  I was a student during the time of the 1977 election. But we had the quandary about this party office.  Girly Akka who was resident in the house behind our house was a staunch UNPer.  There was a big commotion one evening when a party meeting was held at the UNP party office.  That was for election of office bearers of the District Central Committee.  We clearly heard the proceedings of that meeting.  The voice of Girly Akka’s protest for not offering her a position clearly ringed in our ears.  She asked Mr. Piyadasa, Do you remember we were in the UNP when you all were in the Communist Party”. It was clear that she made this reference to remind about Mangala’s father Mahanama Samaraweera’s political activities in the Communist Party.  It was later I comprehended that one of the group involved in this dispute belonged to those who claim that they are green even if they were cut and the other group belonged to the herd that goes on the way they are being led by their master. (In Matara it is common that staunch UNPers say that they are green even if they were cut implying that even their blood is green – translator’s addition). Those who held the demonstration in front of the Matara sacred Bodhiya on November 25th had no necessity about those who are outside these two groups. This is the calamity of politics in our country.  As long as these two groups exist we cannot expect a positive political future in our country.

I still remember my mother laughing at when Mangala came to Matara as the SLFP President of the Matara electorate in 1987 and occupied that house and it became the SLFP office saying that naming of the houses also changes in accordance with people’s politics.

When he submitted nomination for the Parlismentary election of the Matra district the whole country was inflamed with the youth uprising of the Patriotic People’s movement.  It was just like the riddle of fire above and fire underneath. In that era in which the youth uprising gathered momentum as an alternative to UNP governments acute dictatorial attitude and inhuman measures taken by the government to suppress the youth uprising the  Pavana” presentation of Nanda Malini which had been created to espouse feelings of the reality in the hearts and minds of the people became a great attraction n all Universities.  A set of cassettes of this presentation had been issued and there was a great demand for them.  Mangala had also purchased these cassettes. At that time it was the Pavana cassettes that Mangala used at his propaganda meetings.  I still remember Mangala on top of his voice asking one of his acolyte Kalu Mahattaya only Pavana okay, only Pavana”.  It is how he addressed the feelings of the people then before making a great leap to the UNP. When we look at these things there had been only misleading in these activities.  The future activities of these misleadings were establishment of the Mothers’ Front of Missing Persons in 1990 and making a leading role in digging mass graves in 1994.

Against whom it is?.  Mahinda Rajapaksa who sat in the chairs in the portico of Matara SLFP  office and held discussions with Mangala was not a stranger to that house.  Those days as Mahinda was appearing for human rights issues of the youth who smashed the suppression of the government Mangala may have got inspirational ideas from Mahinda.

At that time a bomb attack was carried out at Mangala’s Party Office in the mid night.  On hearing this news lot of people gathered at his party office next morning to find out what happened.  Among them was one of his relations.  Mangala asked from him in a loud voice  After being with Dayananda and his people are you coming now to show your face and see what has happened?”  The house of Dayananda Wickremasinghe who was the then MP for Akuressa was situated a few yards away from Mangala’s house.  Althugh Mangala took it on a personal basis,  his relation was in fact a UNPer but not a person actively involved in politics. These immature qualities that existed with him then seem to exist still and this was displayed in the November 25th demonstration as well.  That allegation against Dayananda on hurling a bomb could have been true also but he did not take any action to prove it.  He did not do anything other than making allegations.  In that election as the JVP has declared their jungle Law of Death for those who vote” majority of the people did not cast their vote and the government and opposition candidates with armed guards impersonated as much as possible. It is true in respect of Mangala as well. As there was no much difference among the politicians of the two groups holding power in the society which was in an uncertain status in the face of the Deshapremi Janatha Viyaapaaraya (DJV).

The subject about the Leaps and when it is turned towards Mangala he has an inherited talent about Leaps.  The mistake is making isuse of people’s feelings for his Leaps. He talks about the number of telephone calls taken by Mrs. Shraanthi Rajapaksa on the day of Thajudeen’s death not on a professional basis but Just as whatever that came to his mouth.  In it there is also an attempt to justify the calls received by Ravi Karunanayake from Arjuna Aoysius.  If it can be balanced saying that for this” what is the meaning of the 6.2Million mandate?

There are many more things that can be balanced in such manner.  His father named the bridge across the Nilwala river as the Mahanama Bridge” and Mangala got this bridge renovated and instead of the old plaque fixed a new very expensive plaque and baptised it as Mahanama Bridge” When he was the Minister of Housing and Public Utility under Chandrika Kumaratunga government his mother Mrs. Khema Samaraweera due to a fall got her spine fractured. To facilitate his mother to climb up and come down he got an electric lift fixed in his official residence at a cost of over Rs. 25 million. When the media enquired about it he said that the lift will become useful to anyone  This is how he performed maternal worship,  His Credit Card matters can also be not forgotten by the people.  When speaking about D.ARajapaksa foundation what the people should understand is that there is lime in  everyone’s lime holders.  Therefore these Leaps do not change to whichever side they Leap.

When Mr. Mahinda Rajaoaksa was the President the Temple Trees it was referred to as the Pinnawala.  At that time most of the UNPers who were suffering under the bitter taste of continuous defeats in order to get their ministerial expectations fulfilled and having no other alternative visited the Temple Trees frequenty and another group revolted within the party itself against the leadership of Ranil Wickremasinghe. Mangala who had formed a new party in the name of SLFP (People’s Front) by 2010 joining with the UNP branding Sarath Fonsea (who was condemned by him as fit only to lead the SaLvation Army) as a war hero and supported him in the 2010 Presidential Election.  After a few days he permanently joined the UNP. In 2013 he used his stooges and attacked a foot walk with cinnamon poles in Matara which was being held against Ranil Wickremsinghe’s leadership in the UNP and it was Mangala who forced abandon this foot walk meant to go to Colobo.  As it is being said today if they can form a government with the cooperation of minority parties then why Ranil Wiciremasinghe did not come forward for the presidential election of 2015 instead of Sirisena?  Those days based on the number of MPs they had their only objective was to weaken the SLFP.  Accordingly at the time of 2015 August election period John Aeratunge;s the Police and the governed are ours theory may have been in operation clandestinely. The group that helped in this effort most was those who were with Mahinda until January 8th and jumped to Sirisena’s fold by January 10th.  The most hilarious thing was Nishantha  Muthuhettigama who destroyed a  stage erected for Sirisena in Baddegama and got a case filed against him by the Police are appearing for that case as a Deputy Minister of the government.

Therefore, people should not get upset about these jumps, leaps and somersaults and about those who are involved in these acts. For politicians it creates a fear because it shatters their political foundation. The best thing to do at a time when an election approaches is not to bother about these jumps, leaps and somersaults and think independently about your self protection.


One Response to “Jumps, Leaps and Somersaults”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    An excellent translation of Theja’s article by Nizam, Thank you. I read both articles with interest.

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