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Force used but protests continue

Let no man posture as an advocate of peace if he proposes or supports any social system that initiates the use of force against individual men in any form. Ayn Rand.

Does that apply to our President minus the common man’s vote? When he accepted the invitation to be President by poised-to-flee Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa, we sighed and intoned he was the best person during this terribly severe crisis period. Of course, it delighted the R family then slunk away in hiding. We, the likes of Cassandra, hoped Ranil Wickremesinghe would take the reins over, form an all-party government, bring order back to a chaotic country and use his dpl finesse and ability to stand tall, talk sensibly and negotiate with foreign countries and international organizations to bring relief to us all; to improve the dire economic situation and pull us out of bankruptcy which the Rajapaksa govt had driven us to with mismanagement, ill-advice, corruption and crass selfishness. And what have we got now? Greater protection to those in power and recently pushed out of power; escalating COL; continuing protests; and the iron fist more and more in evidence. We have seen certain improvements: no petrol queues and have great confidence in the Governor of the CB. He is slowly but steadily pulling us out of the quagmire of no money to pay even for bare essentials. But what do we see in our leader? Most opine he is a mere puppet and a kaputa pulls the strings.

The trillion-rupee question is why cannot President Ranil Wickremesinghe shed the second surname given him and do better by the people. He is the Executive Pres with unlimited powers. So why cannot he shake off the hands holding him back, the puppet strings pulling him and think of country first and last. More knowledgeable friends say he is beholden to the Rs and will not remain Prez if he does not pander to the SLPP. Cass replies she would much rather sacrifice herself if she were in his position. His first duty is by the people he is president of. Mr President, DO something for us, PLEASE!

True, you spoke well to world leaders or their deputies, most recently in Japan. But they know full well the situation in our country. Will they really help us if they know the government in charge is incompetent and more than even that, given to corruption at the first opportunity available? Does our cabinet of ministers inspire confidence in the outside world? Is having a President who cuts a fine figure and speaks English as she should be spoken, negotiating with world leaders and financial organizations, sufficient? The suffering poor needing help urgently is also not enough. The government has to pull itself up and present confidence, ability and honesty above all else. Why should foreign governments help us if our own leaders are more concerned about themselves and their political futures and ensuring pensions after five years doing next to nothing in Parliament? Thus, the best would be a new government voted in by the people for the people and not for some blood sucking leeches. Prez RW’s test in Cass’ opinion is how soon he will call for general elections after the mandatory date – February 2023, she thinks it is.

HSZs

Print and electronic media, conversations and discussions, social media, have been full of disapproval of the continuation of the PTA, use of police force, and now the declared HSZs. Even though a near idiot about politics and lawful and unlawful acts and impositions, Cass thought this was way out of order. Tuesday’s newspaper carried the headline: HRC: HSZ cannot be declared under Official Secret Act. Lawyers are up in arms and so is the general public. Is the President like his predecessor going to seriously mess up the country by listening to wrong advice? His personal team of advisors seem liberal and right thinking. So, who got this new restriction into place?

It’s bad enough using rough and extremely tough means to quell protests. Don’t the powers that be know that the tougher the police get under orders, the rougher the protestors will be? Does Ranil W R want another July 9 when a million protesting persons gathered in Colombo to protest against those in power? Is he ready to flee to hiding like his predecessor, leaving the country burning worse than ever?

An apt quotation is by David Friedman: The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.

Of course, the main protest promoters are over-reaching themselves. Are Stalin, Peratu Gamis and even the JVP really protesting for us – the People? To better our situation? Cass suspects that protest, unrest and turmoil is a way of life for them; that is what they want to perpetuate and while doing minimum harm to those in power, hit the Ordinaries and more especially the poor persons, death blows. What is teacher Stalin leading general protests for? Were the teachers’ unions not strong enough a bridge to personal political ascendancy? Almost all protest leaders are NOT concerned about the general welfare of the country or its people. If they were, they would stop these trouble shooting marches and get productive in their own fields whether it be in government offices, the private sector or pedagogy.

More in power

It is incomprehensible that the Prez appointed 37 state ministers. Now on Tuesday 27 September, we read he has appointed the same old useless bootlicking MPs to ministerships. Shehan Semasinghe, whom we recognize as one of the strongest supporters of Mahinda R and shrilly shouting acolyte of the R family is one of the two and the other, Anupa Pasquel: has not been heard in Parliament, at least by Cass. But they are pohottuwas.

What took the cake was Pohottu effigy-burnt Mahindananada A declaring loud and clear the Rajapaksas are coming back to power. But he can be sure he will not come back, voted in by the people. They burnt his effigy but sure shot wished it was he in person as the farmers suffered so strong under him as Minister of Agriculture who promoted the chemical fertilizer ban, just to keep his ministership by not opposing willful Gota the Prez.

Comic comments but spot on

Cass congratulates Jeff and Mutt (actually their anonymous creator) for their weekly very succinct comments on a news item of the day. Tuesday’s paper had a report that a 37-year-old resident of Salamulla, Kolonnawa, had been pestering the ex-First Lady demanding money. Not done at all, especially to this First Lady maintained a low profile. He was apprehended. Mutt mentions the crime. Mutt comments:”Why hasn’t anyone been arrested for bankrupting the country?” In this country like no other, it is a given that large crimes, huge pilfering, high corruption are passed over. Even if cases are brought against the offender/s, they are usually sent away painted lily white. It’s the small offenders who are caught and punished.

Even more than stealing politicos are those who now spout out shoulds and coulds that raises Cassandra’s murderous ire. Wednesday Sept 28 The Island quotes State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya” “SL wouldn’t have been in this mess if IMF conditions had been complied with?” Earlier, he means we suppose. And wasn’t he in the previous Cabinet too under Finance Minister and PM Mahinda R? Did he even squeak when that Raja was spending on credit left right and centre building ego boosting white elephants? Did he propose strong enough that the IMF be consulted when Cabraal was the Governor of the CB?

Cass has been watching BBC seeing Florida getting ready for a mass onslaught of wind and sea brought on by Ian, after it thrashed Cuba. The Philippines has had its northern island devastated by a typhoon. We, in this land, have been so benignly treated by Nature though we have rampaged forests and mangroves, killing animals. But where are we? Bankrupt, hopeless, hungry, children malnourished, protestors manhandled. Perpetrated by whom?

Cass quotes a great truth about this land of ours voiced by Reginald Heber in his Missionary Hymn (1819): “Though every prospect pleases/And only man is vile” So very true!

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