Adrift in a stormy sea
Posted on April 12th, 2018

Editorial Courtesy The Island


Rats are abandoning the yahapalana schooner, with tattered sails and broken masts. Sixteen rodents have already jumped off the vessel, adrift in a stormy sea, and speculation is rife that six more will follow suit, soon. Chances of their survival, however, are zero. Citizen Perera is standing, astonished, on the deck. Is this his Casabianca moment?

The skipper of the battered vessel is taking wing for a glad-handing session in a faraway land, we are told. His predilection for gloveless handshakes is monumental. He won’t give a tinker’s cuss about the ship or anyone left on board. His subordinates are no better.

The koha seems to be unaware of the plight of Sri Lankan public; it is making its strident mating calls, heralding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which usually ends with mudalalis laughing all the way to the bank, and the ordinary people sobbing all the way to the pawnbroker.

Some good doctors have advised the public to cut down on their food intake during the festive season for health reasons. They deserve praise for their concern about people’s health. But their exhortation, we believe, is redundant in that there won’t be much food on anyone’s table this year. (The horizontally-gifted creatures in kapati suit, which croak near Diyawanna from time to time and their cronies are, of course, an exception.) Citizen Perera is dutifully waiting for the yahapalana Barmecide feast for the fourth consecutive year only to be disappointed again. He doesn’t care. He is used to waiting for Godot.

If the ominously dark clouds, gathering on the economic front, are anything to go by, then people should be encouraged to partake of as much food as possible before the conclusion of the traditional New Year––for all signs are that their struggle to dull the pangs of hunger will take a turn for the worse after the festive season. Some pro-government trade unionists, feigning concern for the public, have warned of a petroleum price hike. Such warnings are trial balloons and aimed at preparing the masses psychologically for the shock of price increases. So, it is as good as confirmed that a fuel price increase is in the pipeline, and the hapless public is in for another body blow before long. Probably, there will be a media-created hoopla about a Cabinet reshuffle or some other issue of that nature, and oil prices will be jacked up, in the meantime. That is the name of the game.

The holier-than-thou Rathu Sahodarayas, on whom yahapalanaya has apparently palled over the years, tells the public that the cost of living has increased under the present dispensation. They are preaching to the choir. We thought they were also instrumental in installing the present regime and the blame for its faults had to be apportioned to all government backers. They demand that workers be given a 6,000-rupee pay hike. They know they won’t succeed in their endeavor, but they couldn’t care less because they gain political mileage by flogging intractable issues.

The newly introduced tax laws, rejected by Africa and foisted on poor Lanka, will make the people skip more meals; the extortionate withholding tax will stop the frail tickers of some of the senior citizens who have deposited all their savings in banks or other financial institutions. What the yahapalana worthies are doing to them is akin to plundering homes for the aged. This may be the last avurudda for many of the elderly victims of the yahapalana extortion.

The tumble of the rupee continues and the country’s foreign reserves continue to dwindle at an alarming rate. The prevailing political instability is sure to aggravate the situation.

‘Things fall apart and the centre cannot hold’. Unless some miracle happens total anarchy is bound to be ‘loosed’ upon the country.

People, however, deserve some fun. They find themselves in a situation which is popularly known as apaye interval (or ‘Interval in Hell’) After all, avurudu comes only once a year. Even the Titanic band played on, didn’t it?

One Response to “Adrift in a stormy sea”

  1. Samanthi Says:

    OMG, has Prez Sirisena made yet another foreign tour?
    Is that the reason why he postponed the parliamentary session unnecessarily?

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