Kanneliya Forest Reserve & a two-bit Minister
Posted on February 8th, 2010

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada.

February 8, 2010

Your Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa
President of Sri Lanka
Temple  Trees
Colombo, Sri Lanka

 Your Excellency:

I wrote to you two days ago complaining about the episode at the Kanneliya Forest Reserve and asked you to rein in the two-bit politician from the Southern Province and read him the Riot Act.

I read about this stunning incident again in the Sunday Times, “ƒ”¹…”Freedom of the wild ass by ministerial group’ bylined by Damith Wickremeasekera.

Good God, Your Excellency, the Forest Ranger Sunil Ranaweera to be beaten up for performing his job to the point that he had to be taken to the Udugama Hospital, should not be tolerated by you, neither me nor anyone else.

Being a conservationist myself, I know what it takes to be an excellent knowledgeable Forest Ranger.  According to journalist Malinda Seneviratne, the 25-year veteran Sunil Ranaweera is one of those rare breeds, thus a Sri Lankan treasure that a Minister, who ever he is and his thuggish catchers should not be allowed to push him around and beaten up for doing  the job that he is paid to do.  The Minister who is the culprit in this incident according to the Sunday Times is Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage. What audacity!  What goonish thuggery!  No doubt he will claim his innocence now.

The incident is unbelievable.  This bunch had gone to the Kanneliya Forest Reserve on February 4th apparently demanded that the Forest Ranger stop the on going pre-planned educational program which involved a group of 175 persons including school children so that they could use the auditorium which they had not reserved for their intended meeting..  What audacity.  What Tin-God arrogance!

They had allegedly demanded that the Forest Ranger provide lunch for more than 200 of them.  When it was explained that they did not have food for such a large number of people, the Minister’s group had invaded the kitchen and started cooking while some of them consumed liquor in violation of the Forest Reserve regulations.  Your Excellency, who the hell do these twits from your ruling party think they are?  Surely, you are not going to look the other way when such brutish acts happen in your back garden, do you?

After the Minister had left his catchers had stayed back and continued to drink liquor and when the Forest Ranger told them to leave, he was assaulted.  Ha! The bunch of  insolent thugs.

The litmus test to you Your Excellency is, will you encourage your children or your grandchildren how ever much they love the environment and conscious of saving its biodiversity in times of global warming to let them apply for a job to become a Forest Ranger? I wouldn’t.  I would tell my children and grandchildren, “Don’t, because you will be beaten up by a Government Minister and his catchers for doing your job.  It won’t be just a slap or two on your face but you will be beaten up good so that you will have to get yourself admitted to hospital to take care of your assault wounds.  Try to find another vocation.”  That is indeed the litmus test and the rub that comes with such a despicable and a sick episode.

Your Excellency, I know your legacy will be written into history as the President who saved the country from 27 years of terrorism and being split into two and along the way said “Boo!” to all the International Tamil Tiger do-gooder pressures.  But let’s add to that legacy a twin clause written into history: Mahinda Rajapaksa is the President of all the President’s until year 2010 who eradicated thuggery by parliamentarians who thought they were Tin God’s no sooner they get elected to parliament and that they had the right to push the masses around, intimidate them and also beat them up.

After you won the second term as President you told Sunil Ranaweera and the villager who were beaten up, “Doing what I say, and saying what I set out to do, I have earned your trust and confidence”.  Let these two unfortunate Sri Lankans know that they have earned your trust and confidence by reining in the Vocational Training Minister Piyasena Gamage and read him the Riot Act.  Tell him that enough is enough and ask him not to embarrass you, not to embarrass a cultured Sri Lanka and not to intimidate your people.

Your Excellency, you might ask yourself, who is this guy Asoka Weerasinghe who is telling me what I should do.  Well”¦.Your Excellency”¦.I claim my right to request you to clean up this thuggish behaviour by your elected representatives, as I am one guy among a few others in Canada who spent four hours a day, every day of the year for 27 years fighting from the Canadian trenches defending the honour of our Motherland Sri Lanka against an army of 250,000 Tamils.   And by the way, I am also a dual citizen.

And do you know what, Your Excellency?  This incident has made me livid.  I think you should  go ahead and inculcate your Ministers and parliamentarians what you and I were inculcated with as youngsters at our Alma Mater, Nalanda “”…” “ƒ”¹…”Apadana Sobini Pangna’ : Wisdom Beautifies Character.

Yours sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe

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