Shock to Sri Lankans – corruption encouraged from on high
Posted on December 1st, 2023

Courtesy The Island

Minister Roshan Ranasinghe

Inconceivable, unbelievable, incomprehensible, unfathomable, unaccountable, perplexing and plain shocking are the terms that came to Cassandra’s mind as she read the stunning news that the President of Sri Lanka sacked the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs on Monday 27 November, 2023, who was on the trail of allegedly corrupt SLC office bearers.

The President was not voted in but selected by the SLPP, when its leader President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stole away to Male and elsewhere in a blue funk for his life. Before that, his elder brother, Mahinda resigned as Prime Minister after sending goons to attack defenseless protesters at Gotagogama protest site.

Ranil W is becoming more and more dictatorial and intractable. He has now done the unthinkable and in most Sri Lankans’ opinion, the unwise act of sacking a Cabinet Minister for trying to reduce or if possible, wipe out corruption in cricket. This really is unbelievable and incomprehensible to Cass and most Sri Lankans, she believes.

The Island Editor on Tuesday 28 titled his editorial ‘Victory for the corrupt’ and noted emphatically that President Ranil W by sacking Minster Roshan Ranasinghe derailed his campaign against corruption in cricket. The final indictment we all shout out in unison echoing the Editor’s justified comment: The SLPP–UNP regime has demonstrated once again that it is a government of the corrupt by the corrupt for the corrupt.” So very true and evident.

The Editor’s lead article carries a justified ominous warning: ‘Under the shadow of dictatorship’. Herein he deals with the inexplicable act of the President in appointing a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the affairs of the Constitutional Council. Unrestrained in language, Cass pronounces How dare he?” This is the way the wind blows and brings new woes to this already woeful country that can be so prosperous with contented people living within its surrounding shores.

The Cricket debacle

Cass never fails to read The Island Sports Editor Rex Clementine’s articles as he writes very well and reveals the truth the ordinary person is not privy to. Cass admits she is no cricket fan but she definitely is a fan of Rex’s writing on Sri Lankan cricket, exposing warts of the SLC – Board, managers of teams, etc., and players themselves.

Rex C’s article on Tuesday Nov., 28, is titled ‘Shooting the Messenger’, the messenger here being Minister Roshan Ranasinghe, who recently was accepted by the entire country as honest, brave, minister attempting to set things right in cricket and also tackle the prime menace of corruption. Rex C writes The suspension imposed by the International Cricket Council on Sri Lanka and shifting next year’s Under 19 World Cup from Colombo to Johannesburg may have gone against the Polonnaruwa District MP.” Then he reveals …

it was the SLC’s Executive Committee that asked the ICC Board to authorise the suspension.” Another stunning shock. Like looking up and spitting, and the saliva hit the Minister of Sports. However, someday their evil actions will boomerang on them. Roshan Ranasingha, rich in his own right, was considered to be one of the few honest Pohottu chappies. Now, the fact is proven. Rex C warns at the end of his article; again, correcting and echoing what many Sri Lankans feel: The government is also toying with public anger.”

Yes, we Ordinaries while being perplexed by the President’s rulings, some definitely dictatorial are losing patience and getting very angered. Mass anger is worse than a tsunami. It goes right across the land unlike the sea flooding the shore and proceeding inwards to lengths according to certain givens.

Mass anger is as rapid and devastating as a raging storm. Leaders must never gamble on people’s subservience, foolishness, tolerance, sheep like natures. When they rise, they RISE to wreak destruction. The very peaceful Aragalaya with its disciplined masses congregating on Galle Face Green in Colombo and in many towns, started off with slogans and demands and then stripped the power off mynas, kaputas and even the die-hard, hard-hearted ex-soldier. The storming of the presidential residence and old Parliament were below-the-belt violent acts of the infiltrators. And then came the sudden quelling, nay the crushing of the Aragalaya – ordered by the new Head of State.

Dashing of hopes

A given of the times is that with the onset of hopes, there inevitably is a dashing of them. SL has been going through the worst times since independence, the very worst with the country descending to bankruptcy – sent to that state by its leaders and top bureaucrats. We say it is Kuveni’s curse working on us, the supposedly descendants of Prince Vijaya, who did the dirty on her. So, her curse soon after independence included the curse of Heads of State who acted unwisely, deliberately sending us down to the depths of poverty and widening the chasm between Haves and Havenots, inclusive of the middle class.

We built up hopes with the defeat of the insurrecting JVP (1990s) and later the most vicious LTTE (2009). We hoped and expected peace and amity accompanied by prosperity. Mahinda R was hailed as a hero. He and brethren got a most significant agent of defeating the LTTE imprisoned, that is Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. The war was won but peace was lost.

Hopes were renewed with the election of a common candidate and a coalition government in 2015. Hopes were dashed and almost 300 killed on an Easter Sunday due to negligence, or as some say, deliberate manoeuvers. Then came an outsider who most thought would be a statesman. He came with a band of so-called intellectuals. Hopes were high. Dashed within weeks. He, with inside and outside advisors, ruined the economy, agriculture and the country. The success of the Aragalaya resurrected hope and optimism. Dashed, shattered, crushed.

Hopes rose again with the economy being tackled with a good CB Governor and Ranil Wickremesinghe at the helm. He soon was given the second surname of Rajapaksa. He seems to continue his loyalty. When he returned from his official visit to the Maldives, he reportedly went direct from the airport to Namal Rajapaksa’s residence to wish Mahinda R on his birthday. Many watched on TV the cutting of the elaborate birthday cake. Maybe he sang the birthday song and then he ‘feeds’ Mahinda R a piece of cake. Cass did not see this on TV but was shocked speechless.

The headline in the newspaper on Wednesday, November 29 went thus: MR blames economic crisis on Yahapalana leaders” – the second leader being the cake feeder.

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