Posted on June 13th, 2019

By Captain Elmo Jayawardena Courtesy The Island

June 13, 2019, 12:00 pm 


Times are hard for Sri Lankans and this time round the beating on Easter morning has affected all of us in many different ways. The ripples of the terrible tragedy are sinking us all in multiple mires, each connected to the horrific events that took place on that fateful morning. The deepest and the longest sighs are from people who lost their loved ones or those who are taking care of the maimed, perhaps for a lifetime. What difference would it make whether they were Sunday worshippers in a church or Easter breakfast-eaters in a hotel? They paid an incalculable price, irreversible and indelible, for a conflict they had nothing to do with. That is the fact that makes it all meaningless.

Then came the Political Drumbeats. The less I say about the shamelessness of some of the Powers-that-be would be better as the truth of this whole sorry incident is in technicolored masquerade. The ‘Blame-Game’ moved like the ‘passing the cushion’ frolic at a kids’ party. Some pointed the finger, and some made their best attempts to squeeze in some invalid Brownie Points for themselves to gain political ground. Yes, they have succeeded as we the ordinary are in bewilderment not knowing where the line lies between the scraps of truth and the ‘Pattapal boru’ that gushes out like drain water on a rainy day.

The show of the season was when the Cardinal celebrated the first mass after the tragedy; Tom, Dick and Harry sat alongside each other with meek faces and piously folded hands. They may have been invited and perhaps Tom felt if he doesn’t go Dick might hoard the lime light. Harry would have had similar thoughts, and so, they sat in angelic fashion waiting for manna to fall from heaven.

Of course, that is to be expected when Diyawanna Oya takes the reins.

It is almost a month and a half today (9th June) since that fateful Easter day and here I am sitting in a far away country and watching on Youtube the electronic version of the interrogation of the ‘compulsory leave’ IGP by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). He could not be sacked; the President did not have the power to do so. And he would not just fold up and resign even with high pressure from the Big Boss and he refused the ‘Bakshi’ from the same source of a lucrative diplomatic posting. All this was said under oath.

On the other side of the coin the President called up an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and protested against the activities of the PSC which was supposed to be seeking the truth behind the failures of the Government to stop the Easter morning carnage. There seems to be some Mickey Mouse business here involving the cream of the hierarchy and it will be interesting to find out which mouse or mice will get caught in the Rat-Trap if that ever happens. Let’s not forget that this drama is performed not by you and me, but by those gilded with power who are politically blessed to be exempted from punishment.

“The jury passing on the prisoner’s life, may in the sworn twelve have a thief or two, guiltier than him they try” so said the Bard, once upon a time.

The details of the post-tragedy political action and the camouflage are incomprehensible, to say the least. The holy and the unholy all played their little games while the graves in Katuwapitiya, Kochchikade and Batticaloa cried their shame for the loss of the innocent. I do not know how good or bad the track record of IGP Jayasundara is, but I must categorically state that when facing the power-packed PSC he was un-ruffled and eloquently stated what he had to say. The President has vowed to stop the operation of the PSC. That is what the Sunday Island said. Maybe the IGP was spilling some forbidden beans. Who knows? We are at best just the choice-less spectators of this ceaseless melodrama.

What I have written here is just the first line of a long and sorrowful litany. The big picture is much more, getting wider and deeper by the day and the actors dropping off the stage as new villains come crawling from the woods to take their place. Bad enough that we lost 250 plus lives with more than 500 injured, we had to watch with impotent anger the aftermath comedy acted by Diyawanna Oya. The Field Marshall had no hesitation to lash out against establishment and its lackadaisical handling of the entire operation. His words fell on deaf and dead ears and the truth remained buried as no one wanted to know.

So, the saga goes on and everybody has forgotten the James Bond and the 11 billion that is loitering fancy free in Singapore.

Brings me back to my headline fairy tale about Wadu Madu, and the fate awaiting them. The President in his infinite wisdom has declared war on those who cut down trees. Great thought and conceptually accepted as a merit of great magnitude by this entire planet. He planned it to the tee, no importation of hacksaws and then he played the ace of spades – all Wadu Madu will be closed, kaput, kuday kudu, and that is how he collected all the nails used for woodwork and crucified every carpenter to the ground. No more Wadu Madu, no more carpenters, no more furniture and we will all learn to sit on the ground and cheer our Leader’s brilliance. No wonder MR was worried that they may have to bury him without a coffin.

Status quo of the tree cutting business is now in limbo. The President has created a fool-proof strategy to stop anyone from logging, no one would be foolish enough to touch a tree if all the carpenters are crucified. So here we are, a land like no other, everyone seated on the ground, everyone sleeping on mats and all the trees intact in the entire country.

Man! This sure is a Nobel winning act, at least a Nobel nomination. Looks like old Alfi is sure to roll in his grave, whereever he is buried.

On a serious note I am shocked that a leader of a country can make such brazen predictions of his intentions. The people of Moratuwa walked in protest of this presidential decree. Placards in hand, the carpenters led by the city leadership walked the streets. I was born and bred in Moratuwa and I live there. The town has entire areas dotted with Wadu Madu, one-man workshops making tables and chairs for the pedestrians. These are just simple cadjan covered sheds where hard working bare bodied breadwinners toil all week to make a living. Then you see the sellers who collect a few items and hang around on the pavements to sell their ware to passing cars. Most work on a daily-paid wage, wood carvers, polishers, cushion workers and all and sundry who make up this wadu-baas brigade who barely live above the poverty line. All these people have families who totally depend on the Wadu Madu trade. I am just talking about Moratuwa, but the entire island is filled with poor pilgrims of the furniture business. This is no joke Mr President, these are your countrymen who you are trying to trample with your lofted intentions of environmental protection by kicking the very ‘belec pigang’ where they share their rice and pol sambal. Maybe you forgot such people existed while you shook hands with Trump and Moody and the Chinese Prime Minister.

Time to wake up Sir, and if the truth be said you owe these people an apology for rough-shodding their humble profession. Remember Sir, the emperor’s new clothes syndrome, the ones before you learnt it the hard way surrounded by ‘yes’ men who cheered at every turn. You are the one who ate hoppers and changed the tide, you should know better.

Do not crucify the carpenters Sir, the day of reckoning is only SIX MONTHS away.

One Response to “WADU MADU – KUDE KUDU”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


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