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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Oh! What a Nation !

Helasingha Bandara
In the West we are known as a short, fat, black and ugly nation. Now we have lost our dignity, pride, self-respect, spines, ethics and morals. What are we left with? Nothing! What a nation we have become! A ‘nothing nation’!
Indeed our country is beautiful. The world admires its natural splendour, magnanimity and hospitality of at least some of its people. We have a glorious history to talk about and be proud of. But then, what has happened to us.
Are there any signs left in us to claim that we are the decedents of the people of the caliber of Wariyapola Sumangala, Maddumabanda Ehalepola, Puran Appu, and Keppitipola and so on? Hardly! Some recent examples I may bring in to highlight the despicable and undignified state that we have descended to.

Sarath Kumara

The school teacher who was threatened, abused and forced to kneel down did not have any reason to lie. The entire school, the teachers and the students saw it. The whole country knows that it is true that this rogue did what the teacher claimed that he did. I myself caned one student at D.S Senanayaka Vidyalaya a long time ago. His father happened to be an MP from Gampaha district. The father came to the school the following day. As a very young and inexperienced teacher I was afraid that I would be in trouble. To my relief I later learnt that he only came to report his son’s absence on that day, nothing to do with the caning. Sadly that era is long gone. Today’s teacher has to learn from the politician’s son or daughter instead of teaching them.

Our law is as such that it needs eye witness accounts to prove that this beast has done it. The police are powerless, ignorant and corrupt. In a developed country the circumstantial evidence that the police gather and/or other evidence that the police can get hold of through espionage, scientific and technological means are more than sufficient to nail a perpetrator in a court of justice. In Sri Lanka, the whole system and the people are so stupid that the court cases are still won or lost on flimsy evidence or legal arguments such as “Goyam Kolayata wehila wedi Thibba”, shot from behind a paddy stack. Only in a country full of idiots a lawyer can win a case on the ground that the leaf of a rice plant is too thin for a man to hide behind it. Only a moron of a prosecuting lawyer fails to prove that, that the witness meant a paddy stack not a leaf of a rice plant both of which are called ‘Goyam Kolaya’ in the vernacular.

Making things even worse, we have created a monstrous political system in which the witnesses can be easily intimidated. The Director and the other high-ranking officials of the education department who seek favours from the politicians either for survival or for little perks can threaten other teachers with unwarranted transfers or possible hindrances to promotion to shut them up. The local hooligans can be bought to intimidate the students. Who will then come forward to give evidence? None but Sarath Kumara with a few garlands around his neck, surrounded by thousands of people. He will reiterate that he was never there, he had never seen this teacher before but the teacher knelt down before a hologram of this politician on her free will. The funny reality is that a Sri Lanka court will accept that explanation in the absence of eye witnesses. The matter would be brought to the parliament by the ruling party as the final decision of the court of law, absolves the monster and thus the case be swept under the carpet.

The irony is that, the very same people who came to receive Sarath Kumara when he was given bail, the very same people who shouted slogans for his good health and political resurrection, if given a presidential decree to finish him off, will eat him alive, only metaphorically. Look at him! He personifies thuggery, ignorance and evil. The grandfather lie that he spewed out to the effect that he had not even seen this teacher before would be sufficient for the law abiding, ethical, dignified and just people to eat him alive.

The nation

The nation has descended into such an indecent depth that people come forward to defend even such rogues perfectly knowing what the truth is. Hundreds of people marched along to welcome Duminda Silva. Some women at TV interviews said that it is only a miracle performed by God that they could get their semi-god back alive. It had been the same in the cases of suspected murderer politicians such as Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana, Mervin Silva and a few others. How come people condone murder under whatever circumstances? How come the politicians such as Arundika Fernando, Indrani Dassanayaka went to the court to support such a criminal like Sarath Kumara in public, only because they know the nation has become a nothing nation without a spine, only because condoning evil is welcome by the regime. The ability of the nation to call spade a spade is long gone. Of course, Fernando is making a habit of manifesting his tomfoolery. He is the one who recently said that Ekneligoda is living in France while it is perfectly clear that he is in a solitary grave, six feet under, like the rest who were buried in the Matale mass grave and other graves around the island without receiving natural or man-made justice. Tissa Ballale was quoted as supporting Sarath Kumra. Tissa is far too old to make a sensible judgment and he deserves to be retired.

As a nation today we are prepared to lie while the truth is crystal clear, as a nation we are prepared to pardon the most ruthless killers, as a nation we are prepared to march in favour of the powerful despite that they commit heinous crimes against ourselves, as a nation we are prepared to let the politicians, their sons and supporters, abuse our mothers, daughters and wives, steal the wealth of the nation, terrorise and intimidate the public and pervert the course of justice. What can we call ourselves other than a ‘nothing nation’?

His gedi walata hena gahalada Sihalunne (S .Mahinda Himi). Are the heads of the Singhalese thunder struck?

courtesy Sri Lanka Guardian


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