Prime Minister now in catch 22 position
SLFP presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse executed two electoral pacts with the JVP and JHU to ensure his victory.
These two groups represent chauvinist gaggles whose political ideologies are extremely detrimental to the ethnic problem which has stymied the country's economy over two decades.
The Prime Minister has adopted this stunt to entice the extremists, notwithstanding his party's deeply rooted principle of pacifism.
The nitty-gritty of both pacts is identical where they commit the Prime Minister to retain Sri Lanka's unitary status, irrespective of the plight of minor ethnic groups.
SLFP's solution to the ethnic problem is the devolution of power through a Federal system of government. World leaders too have accepted that devolution of power is the only effective remedy to Sri Lanka's communal problem.
Rajapakse signing pacts with communal minded war mongers, contrary to his party principle has tainted Sri Lanka's image. While the two pacts are in force, the Premier has sought the cooperation of some other minor political groups such as LSSP, CP and Vasudeva's group whose attitude is the same as the SLFP with regard to the ethnic
problem. It appears that Rajapakse is so greedy for power that he is prepared to accommodate even the devil to achieve his ambition.
Rajapakse is not a novice in politics. He has been a prominent politician since 1994. For the last 11 years he has not brought forward a single solution to the burning questions in the country.
Since his appointment as the presidential candidate of the SLFP, he is now in possession of solutions to all the problems. It is apparent that he sprinkles sugar coated bitter pills to hoodwink the hoi polloi to reach the apex of the political arena.
Rajapakse should explain in which direction he desires to steer Sri Lanka if by any chance, he becomes the victor. If he accedes to the SLFP election manifesto, the JVP and JHU have already notified to abrogate their pacts. If he desires to keep JVP and JHU intact, SLFP will field a separate candidate to represent the SLFP. Hence the Prime minister is now in catch 22 position.
JVP move to wipe out the Bandaranaikes
Taking an easy ride on presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse's back, the JVP has laid the initial foundation for them to wipe out the Bandaranaikes from the political arena of this country.
They are well aware that they must get rid of the Bandaranaikes first to destroy the SLFP for them to invade and occupy the place of the SLFP. They know that this is the ideal situation for them to exploit the willing vector, Mahinda who is ready to sacrifice anything and everything and is at anybody's beck and call in his
overambitious quest to become the elected president of this country.
He sees this whole situation only with one eye which is focused only at the vote bases of the minority parties irrespective of their national policies, if they have any, as long as he can be the president, come what may. It is a pity he cannot fathom the vast area he does not see which goes far beyond the borders he envisages. Mahinda has made more enemies than friends in his endeavour to grab votes with born-again alliances
with extremist groups that had created immense problems by trying to create a government within a government.
Mahinda's dream of shifting the party flag from Horogolla to Beliatta and have it hoisted there for generations to come may only be a daydream. Final outcome may be bulldozing the SLFP by the JVP and throwing him out of politics for the rest of his life.
JHU's pact with Mahinda
As a supporter of the JHU, I am indeed disillusioned that the party decided to support Mahinda R at the presidential election.
It was only the other day that the party leaders interviewed the two candidates, and announced that only Ranil has a policy, though not acceptable to us, while Mahinda had no answers to most of the questions, that were posed to him. It is quite clear to anyone that Mahinda will agree to anything and everything, just
to get the votes of that party. That is why he has agreed to diametrically opposed suggestions, such as abolishing the executive presidency to one lot and promising to amend it to another lot.
Besides his close confidant Mangala as well as his sons, while canvassing votes, are reported to have said that the agreements are only on paper and once he comes to power, he will be a different person. If this happens, both the JVP and JHU will become the laughing stock of the country.
Furthermore, how can a clean party like the JHU, support a candidate who was reported to have taken a large chunk of tsunami money belonging to the poorest of the poor for his personal needs? Indeed how can JVP or for that matter, Vasu, who always tries to teach us good governance, support such a candidate? Besides Mahinda is known to be
involved with the underworld as well.
Many independent people like me supported the JHU, as we wanted someone to be in parliament and speak for the just causes of the Buddhists, and get results just like the way Muslims and Indian Tamils pressurise and get things done for their communities. We do not want the JHU to join with any party and form governments, and get involved with corrupt politicians.
As it is, the policies of both Ranil and Mahinda are not acceptable to us. Why can't we be neutral and continue to pressurise whoever who wins to get our just demands? It will be a lot better than addressing 1000 meetings and later on seeing Mahinda breaking all what he agreed to, if he wins, in order to satisfy the LTTE.
Do not substitute prescribed drugs and do not repeat prescriptions, are cautionary and advisory labels that now insistently appear on prescriptions in the context of the widespread malpractice of the money spinning substitution of prescribed drugs and the liberal repetitive dispensing of prescriptions not to be repeated.
The medical profession is explicitly hostile to this brazen defiance of their prescriptions and ascribe the failure of treatment to the substituted drugs and the repeat dispensing of prescriptions to the creation of drug addiction and Iatrogenic disease
The prescribed drug is the doctor's diagnostic option, which the patient has the right to claim for treatment. In generic drug prescribing, the pharmacist decides with prejudice the generic drug of his choice the patient should be given. The costly reputed drug cannot be dispensed with in the quest for recovery.
It need not baffle pharmacists that locally unregistered brand name drugs, which cannot be substituted, are prescribed with impunity from the conviction of their efficacy.
It has been said that: the role of the pharmacist should be changed from that of a vendor to a professional. Pharmacists are professionals, who are members of the pharmaceutical society, which is a member of the O.P.A
Good pharmacy practice requires consulting the doctor for his decision on a substitute.
Justice relegated to the back burner
Is it too early to be happy that the police, the judiciary and the government are acting for the betterment of the security of society in general ?
The speedy end to the Sarath Ambepitiya trial, the IGP saying so eloquently and rightly about the land scams by certain unscrupulous criminals, the many crimes committed with impunity and daring are some elements which I feel, should wake up right thinking people among the highest in the land.
Recently we read that the murder trial of Yvonne Jonsson is to be speeded up. The A-G wants the Malaka Silva issue investigated fully. These instances augur well. I hope like every ordinary citizen that these trends continue so that criminality can be if not completely eliminated.
Naturally, it has been disheartening to the hoi polloi that justice is not meted out as naturally as the law books proclaim, but that justice in many an instance has been relegated to the back burner when it comes to be meted out to powerful people. Land scams, criminal breach of trust, murders, drug barons are some of the more important
matters that come to my mind as vital to be prosecuted in real earnest and with justice in the forefront.
The ordinary citizen is often taken for a ride and I had first hand experience when I had the occasion to seek justice in a land matter. How this matter was put into a cauldron is a story worth telling but it being too long I would say that morality did not concern those who were at the helm
of the inquiry because the person prosecuted had a powerful friend.
Now that even the IGP is calling specifically to give land fraudsters their desserts, the law must fearlessly and promptly be implemented. Law's delays are another deterrent for all citizens.
Coupling these delays with favouritism, cover-up and obviating the natural run of the law are a powerful incentives to criminals who should now be put aside for all time.
The rich criminals know they can buy their way out by engaging powerful and eminent lawyers who can even intimidate judges, for every judge is not Sarath Ambepitiya. Hence, if those in power could help bring about a peaceful life to the ordinary man, Sri Lanka could be a real Dharma dvipa.
Oh what leeches, sorry leaders!
It would have been very much appreciated by most if Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had proposed giving one and a half acres of his or his father's or grandfather's property as a gift to the President. But to suggest giving so much of prime land to some one who has acres and acres, especially at a time when most of the tsunami victims are still in refugee camps without an inch of land
to call their own, is downright callousness and indifference.
It empitomises the mind-set of our politicians who, come what may, just want to feather their own nests. That is the tragedy which has plagued this country from the time of independence.
The argument that the President has decided to forego all emoluments and only take the land does not carry much weight because in this thrice blessed land of ours anything is possible! For instance, we saw how a former secretary-general of parliament and ombudsman was coolly drawing two pensions till the Auditor-General stopped it. Or where the Public Trustee had invested public funds in a private bank and pocketed a huge
commission. The list is endless, politicians being the worst culprits. So at the end of the day, what is there to prevent our President from taking both?
I sincerely hope that the President will re-think her decision and not accept this 'gift' so that the suffering masses of this country, especially the tsunami victims will not think of her as just another selfish politician.
Land gift thunderbolt
With Lands Minister Kobbekaduwa of many decades ago of an SLFP Government, the chopping of lands taken over from feudal lords and leeches was one of the socialistic moves of our modern onward marches in Sri Lanka.
The paradoxical thunderbolt now by our Minister. Dinesh Gunawardena to gift land to the President, a landowner herself bears no coherence or meaning whatever-in simple jargon, is like taking coals to New Castle. Rather ironical too from the poor man's state to redraw the map for the affluent. How come the acres and acres of land and the
homeless and, of course, the hapless tsunami victims?
Dr N.M. Perera, our famous Marxist oriented finance minister, also from the SLFP coalition , decades back demonetised currency notes to tighten the common man's deficit and the haves and have nots' gap. Philip Gunawardena, father of Dinesh, the fiery Marxist also brought in legislation for the poor, and can also be remembered for his heroics in sleeping across the entrance of the South Western Bus Co. entrance, blocking
strike breaking buses. He was totally against private ownership.
Pieter Keuneman, also from the earlier SLFP coalition as minister of housing made a possible dent into housing problems by arbitrarily making 10-year rental occupants automatic owners!
A house and piece of land for everyone is our dream for a better Sri Lanka always.
|Prof. P.P.G.L. Siriwardana
ProF. P.P.G.L. Siriwardena passed away peacefully in his Sunday afternoon siesta on June 19.
Prof. Siriwardena was one of the most respected scientists both in Sri Lanka and abroad. A brilliant product of S.Thomas' College, Mt.Lavinia, he was a wonderful human being who was very much concerned about the welfare of the student - ever ready to listen, help, encourage and guide them. He led an extremely busy life both in his academic activities and administrative work as vice
- chancellor of the University of Ceylon and also as member of the boards of directors of many government corporations such as steel, cement, ceramics, state hardware, Industrial Development Board, Bureau of Sri Lanka Standards, Tea Research Institute, Rubber Research Institute, Ceylon Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research, Mineral Sands Corporation in addition to being the Chairman,
In spite of his having so many irons in the fire, he had a very pleasant and cheerful disposition and a thorough understanding of the problems of the university students and their aspirations and also those of the academics and the staff.
We as students of the university eagerly looked forward to his lectures on metallurgy. Impeccably dressed in a complete white suit with a matching tie, he had a wonderful, magnetic personality - tall, big made, broad - shouldered, of fair complexion, and very personable - driving in his Mercedes Benz, always punctual, very pleasant and lovable in his ways. His style of lecturing
was so lucid we never had to study hard his notes on metallurgy as they were so well presented and got well registered in our minds.
He excelled in the field of industrial chemistry and metallurgy was his forte. He lectured both at the faculties of engineering and science of the University of Ceylon. It was Prof. P.P.G.L. who was instrumental in getting metallurgy as a subject in the curriculum of the Engineering Faculty through his close and devoted friend, the late Prof. E. O. E. Pereira who was the then dean
of the Faculty of Engineering.
During the early stages of space travel his advice was sought by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on metals and alloys used in spacecraft. A local blade manufacturer once wrote to NASA for advice and, they promptly wrote back saying why do they need foreign expertise when there is an authority on metallurgy like Prof. P.P.G.L. in Sri Lanka.
He managed extremely well the administration of all the universities as the sole vice-chancellor under the concept of university campuses with a president designated to each of them. It was one of the most turbulent periods in Sri Lanka. Prof. P.P.G.L. waded through the difficult period very efficiently and effectively, because of his foresight and very good public relations he had
both with the students and the academics of the different universities.
He was mainly instrumental in playing the lead role during the formative years of the Open University of Sri Lanka. Towards the latter part of his life he served as a consultant to UNICEF and UNESCO when he was domiciled for a short period in Bangaladesh and subsequently in London.
He spent much of his time and personal resources to help tsunami victims in his native village at Weligama when on holiday in Sri Lanka.
His demise is indeed not only a great loss to his wife, children and other family members but to Sri Lanka and the outside world.
May we have the good fortune to have him as our most respected and beloved university teacher in the furture too in our journey through Sansara till he attains the supreme bliss of Nirvana.