Absolute indecency, other vices and a mite of  corrupting authority



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Sri Lankan society has deteriorated in every way. Cassandra started itemizing the areas of deterioration and ran out of fingers to count them on. Relaxing in her sofa she could not contort herself to add her toes to the count so she stopped short with ten. The leading deterioration is in morals, not just in some ‘manamala’ guys but generally, even obvious in staid top bureaucrats and politicians. And those deteriorations are bribery and corruption. Ask even a modest housewife whether our top buds in politics and the public sector are corrupt, and she will coyly agree. Cass dared not approach an unknown three wheeler driver or ordinary citizen with this question, for fear of being blown away by the strength and velocity of their vituperation of almost all in power for their lack of honesty and giving way to unbridled greed. I just watched on TV news the sharp questioning by Chairman COPE - Sunil Handunnetti - of Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy – Batagoda, sorry Doctor Batagoda. Some knots!!


Hooting a woman


The left over eight vices you can recount for yoursel. Cass here does not mean an ‘ese mese gal’ but a beautiful politician whom none accuses of corruption, though she once was faulted and had to face police questioning over allowing strong arm tactics to question someone. Was it an employee of hers? You would have seen on TV news or read in the daily press how Hirunika Premachandra was hooted when she went in solidarity to the UNP nominee as he submitted his nomination papers or was paying his deposit. Very unfortunately she joined the wrong crowd, those SLPPers who had come surging with Mahinda Rajapaksa, when Gotabaya was doing the same as his opponent. That was atrocious. So you hoot a lady who is in a public space doing what she wants to. That is not political loyalty of the hooters, not even sickening sycophancy. It is sheer brutal decadence and lack of all decency. Of course the lascivious ones would have drooled seeing this absolutely chic beauty, but still joined the vulgar in hooting.


Which reminds one that in Sri Lanka having opposing views to a political big bug and wanting to undo an injustice one believes is recognized to be a crime and deserves death? Cass refers to the alleged threats to the two persons who dared challenge Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s bid for the presidency on account of his dual citizenship, which they opined had not been correctly bestowed on him. So, for independent beliefs and action, one has to forfeit one’s life. Silent, sans gunshots, but so unspeakably cruel that one cannot even imagine a human hand would execute such torture.


Meting out so called justice unlawfully and murdering people for a misunderstanding, misinterpretation and through abject political sycophancy or for money, is a crime close behind   increasing corruption. Unless the police is very, very strict, there could be murders in mid- November and post elections.


Rank rudeness


​The guilty here are the lower tiers of both the public and private sectors. Put a man in a guard’s uniform and he is further clothed in false pride, rudeness and deserving of utter contempt.  One experience this almost everywhere and when one is met by politeness at doorways to officers, one almost falls backwards in surprise.Cassandra experienced this uppitiness and lack of mercy this afternoon. She had her charioteer take her in his three-wheeler of a chariot to Union Chemists. The charioteer, always considerate of Cass’ age and reluctance to move around in crowds, went down the lane beside Osu Sala and said he would park there for her to enter the chemists’ through the back entrance. A khaki coated Johnny with an angry face pounces on the three-wheeler driver and asks him what he thinks he is doing. Explanation follows. The guard very brusquely barks: no parking, no back entrance, just get out. So it meant a long walk and the driver staying on the lane until Cass phoned when she was to be picked up.  She walks back all the way to find the three-wheeler missing. Driver phones and says he will come for her. He had to cruise around because the guard did not hear of him parking in all the empty space available. Talk of consideration for the passenger angered the guard further.


Strikers


​Second to the GMOA causing untold suffering through their strikes, even when running skeleton staff as they promise, are the train workers’ strike. Crime worse confounded is that they have no reason to protest their grievances over salary, when negotiation could solve their problems. Also the engine drivers earn around two lakhs a month, and station masters and other railway officials’ salaries cannot be far behind. Commuters get so late to get home after work. Pictures were seen on TV of a pregnant woman being pushed into a train with no platform to reduce the distance between ground and compartment door. What much more do station masters do than casting desultory eyes on those workers in their charge and waving the green flag and receiving the ‘tablet’ from the engine driver. In large stations these are done by assistants.  Do the white collar workers in the railway department oversee the blue collared? If they do, how come the deplorable state of train compartments and horrendous condition of train toilets. Those in railway stations need not be arrowed. The smell emanating guides a person with an urgent call of nature or dries her up! Some guards and even their superiors flaunt ignorance and mismanagement in the name of managing. Classic example: the chain around the reinforced glass meant for walking over even in the sharpest of heels, covering a replica of the Sigiriya Fortress below, in the museum installed by the Japanese who worked on its interior. Asked why the chain, the local employee replied: to protect the glass. It was sheer cussedness and total ignorance.


Greed for money


A minor vice, relatively, but major considered on its own demerit is the greed for money exhibited in ancient historical sites. This is directed at tourists who are charged much more than locals (Rs. 5,000 per person, Cass believes to climb the Rock). Sigiriya, for example, charges so much; that often tourists with children have to choose who climbs or foregoes the excursion altogether. Shocking it is that even the Dalada Maligawa charges an entrance fee from foreigners. This is a huge blot on this land selected the best tourist destination in the world. Maybe the judges did not visit a toilet in a public place or enter the sites as mere tourists, but as VIP guests!


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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