Has “Dengue” infected Good Governance?
Posted on July 28th, 2017

I. P.C. Mendis Courtesy The Island

Some of the older folks would remember the famous parlour game intended to trace a culprit where the questioning goes ad nauseam in the following manner – Who Sir? You Sir, Not I Sir, who then Sir? You Sir, Not I Sir – and so it goes on with the ball being passed here and there. In the case of the “Dengue” epidemic too, the finger is unfailingly pointed at the people only. There is no ‘mea culpa’ plea on the part of any government institution responsible for garbage disposal. The government is absolutely deaf to the accusation that the non-functioning of local bodies and the mal-administration of some Provincial Councils are directly responsible for the malady. The “kokatath thailaya” – the Rajapaksa balm is being consistently applied to soothe the delirious effect as if it is of any consolation. It is counter-productive.

The Minister of Health draws inspiration and consolation from statistics of the final death toll comparing it with other countries. He pats himself on the back with his improvement of laboratory facilities in hospitals, which cost less now to patients. (Definitely poor consolation for those who have no hope of getting a free airlift and all-expenses paid stay at Queen Elizabeth). Residents have been increasingly threatened with the rigors of court attendance. The Chief Minister, Western Province has dared to impose a 2% tax on abandoned property, notwithstanding absence of Parliamentary approval. The up-shot of it all is – like the gun being.finally convicted of murder, the “lunch sheet” has been sent to the gallows! Smart diversion !!

Lakes, canals, drains are clogged with waste. Most lakes and canals are silted and the water does no flow. In other areas, weeds and “japan dabara” reign supreme with permanent blockade. Do these pontificaters care a damn ? Officials, Special Commissioners and politicians go scot free ! Is it their position that these are not breeding grounds? The latest decision is to prosecute Pincipals and Heads of government institutions. Is this not a clear case for a Fundamental Rights petition? No funds or iniitiative or priority for them, but plenty when it comes to personal comfort and luxury. Make a list of all those politicians who had gone abroad over the years to study garbage disposal elsewhere. What purpose did they serve.? Have there been any reports?

Out of sheer panic, long-term solutions are being introduced immediately. The electronic media showed recently some waste bags already loaded into vans being unloaded and people being asked to separate them in terms of instructions. Surely the people are not yet sufficiently educated or ready. This type of panic and people unfriendly attitudes do not augur well for any government. It is tantamount to harassment to cover sheer ineptitude! Power has to be used cautiously and understandingly. Confrontation does not pay!

I. P.C. Mendis

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