The Island Opinion 9
Monday 27th September, 2010
Ranil should have
Avert Karadiyanaru explosion: had green tea
disaster Address the must vital question T
he Leader of the
Leader of the UNP
admits that during a visit
write this on behalf the of resi- with the President, on his
dents living at the Katuwawala o the Sri Lanka Police who have loss of human life. Their efforts are police and other authorities responsi-
been limping from one disaster to directed at finding excuses and cover- ble for handling explosives. Hence, the invitation, he received a
Road, Boralesgamuwa near the Sri cup of black coffee with
another, the Karadiyanaru explo- ups. To those who lost their dear ones, inquiries should have been directed
Chandraratne Marasinghe school. sion must be another headache. Close the fact that the tragedy was just an first and foremost to see whether these no sugar. This appears to
This is the only road that has not been on the heels of that disaster, it has been accident and not due to sabotage or ter- procedures had been followed and safe- have angered several
repaired and so it is in a dilapidated reported that a police team headed by rorism gives little solace. To the fami- ty measures adopted. party supporters and oth-
condition. an ASP, dug up a temple land for treas- lies concerned, it is the loss of a father, Did the police have the approval of ers critical of him.
Unless timely action is taken, a ures at dead of night only to get a son or a brother. higher authorities to keep such a large Had the Leader of the Opposition
tragedy is bound to occur on this road caught. The focus of the authorities should stock of explosives in their premises, requested a cup of green tea (which is
Government politicians and official be not merely on the possibility of sab- in the manner it was done? always taken without sugar), perhaps
before long as people are exposed to
spokesmen keep repeating ad nauseam otage or terrorism but on how and why Were the police satisfied that the nobody would have made an issue of it.
the danger of being run over.
A large tree fell many months that there has been no sabotage or ter- the explosion occurred. Those with people who handled transport, custody
rorist activity and that the some familiarity with government pro- and storage of explosives had the Jeoffrey Gunasekera,
back, but nothing has been done about Colombo 05.
Karadiyanaru explosion was just an cedures would know that there are very expertise and training to do so?
it. So people fear for their lives when-
accident. The focus was not on the rigorous controls and safeguards to be There is also the larger question
ever they go past this bottleneck. enormity of the human tragedy but the observed in the handling and storage of whether the interests of country and
I urge the authorities concerned to need to deflect speculation on possible explosives, which if observed properly, local industrialists are not kept in
do something soon to avert disaster.
More on Astrological
terrorism, or sabotage, or international would help avert 'accidents'. Of course, mind when foreign contracts for mega
conspiracy and to convey the impres- many of the procedures come down projects are negotiated.
Anandi Kulatilleke sion that there was no from the time of the British 'imperial- Why should the road construction
cause for concern.
To the public, the
more disturbing aspect
ists' but they are meant to ensure safe-
ty of all and sundry; Sinhalese, Tamils,
Muslims and Chinese. Gelignite and
contractors get involved in rock blast-
ing and operating metal quarries?
Why can’t supplies of metal and
Aims of our
of the tragedy is dynamite in their destructive power other locally procurable materials be
have read several letters on
the are no respecters of persons, not even contracted out to locals?
'those who are with us'. That would be a fillip to the growth astrological predictions in The
The most likely cause of the disas- of local industries. Island of late. I am clueless
ter was the failure on the part of the Bandula Kariyawasam about astrology, but I would like to
Peradeniya contribute my two cents’ worth. I
read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in
ry. I will
our editorials are both read
incisive and thought pro- which was
voking. I refer to the one relevant to
titled, “Jumbos and 18-A”. That the subject
made me realise, as I often do, men-
that the aim of almost all politi- tioned.
cians is to make hay while the That was
sun shines, feather their own the time
nests and make sure that they when the
and their party return to power Roman
at the next election. emperor
This is their primary concern, t was only after May last made full use of, as it were, electorate for an additional was at the
year, when the ruthless the dictatorial powers that term of six years from
to hell with what happens to the height of
LTTE was exterminated in were latent in the constitu- November 2010, they expect
country, as long as they and their this country that general tion of the Democratic him in his wisdom and acu- his power. Julius Caesar
kith and kin enjoy the fruits of conditions of peace re- Socialist Republic of Sri men to review all political While he
power. With the addition of 18-A emerged. Prior to that for Lanka (1978) for dual purpose and governing establish- was on his way to the legislative
to the Constitution they are ments. In other words, it will body, he happened to go past a sooth-
assured of this. We are aware of be judicious for him to ratio- sayer. Seeing Ceaser he warned him,
how the party in power abused nalise the whole gamut of the “Ceaser beware the Ides of March”.
election laws and did as they structures and their process- Then on that fateful day, seeing the
wished at the last two elections. es by ruthlessly battling soothsayer Caesar recalled his
What did the Elections waste, bribery, corruption, prophesy, and looking at him said,
and indiscipline and remov-
Commissioner do? What did the “The ides of March has come”. The
nearly three decades the of governing the country and ing deadwood at the national
losing parties do? In the old days people were on tenter- defeating the LTTE within and provincial levels. soothsayer was quick to respond,
election petitions would have hooks. five years of his assuming In that regard, the fearless “But not yet gone”. The rest is histo-
taken the country by storm but Where previous govern- duties, in November 2004 as and discerning citizens will ry.
now they hardly interest the ments failed to bring the Executive President. most probably extend their This was a prediction proved
voter and average man in the LTTE to its knees, President In that regard, our tribute unstinted co-operation. The beyond doubt. As for those who
street, as they have lost confi- Mahinda Rajapaksa accom- is also due to President J. R. unprincipled political and believe in astrological predictions, I
dence in fair play and clean jus- plished a feat that eluded Jayewardene, who introduced obnoxious ethnic and reli- would like to quote the Bard: “The
tice. his predecessors. the unique Constitution of gious approaches and atti- fault lies not on your stars, but your-
President Rajapaksa, 1978 with a powerful tudes will have to be spurned. self ”.
despite various obsta- Executive Presidency .
G. P J.
cles and protests from Now that President D. Kuruneru
(A disillusioned voter) within and from over- Mahinda Rajapaksa has been Moratuwa Rex Wijewardena
seas, at critical stages, re-installed in power by the
by Basil Fernando Arthur Koestler's The Darkness to what the rights to fair trial humiliation, all these are depri- the views and the wishes of the know what that means. Those
at Noon is one such example. means may not be necessary vations of freedom. To those people. With somebody holding who do not value freedom do
n an article, which appeared Similarly, Adolf Hitler did not when talking to a political scien- who do not value freedom none absolute power, having the not see that anything has
in the Island newspaper, enti- kill the German nation. The tist. But there are many nations of these things matter. However, capacity to participate in the changed at all.
tled, 'Hardly the Death of German nation has survived and in which the right to fair trial what the death of freedom can elections the possibilities of a People who have the free-
Democracy or the Nation — Ten has overcome many of the prob- does not exist. Sri Lanka has be seen if we observe these free and fair election dies. Free dom to breathe fresh air know
Nations may not die but freedoms do
A reply to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka
what it means when this free-
Points from a Political Scientist', lems he created. However, dur- and fair elections are a part of dom is taken from them. The
(September 11, 2010) the author, ing his lifetime Hitler killed the human freedoms. A political sci- problem of freedoms are simi-
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka wrote the freedoms of the German people entist who does not value the lar. The problem of dictator-
following words: 'Nations are too and a political scientist who right of people to have free and ship is of a similar kind. To
strong a reality to be killed off does not know what dictatorship fair elections may not believe discuss dictatorship without
by constitutional amendments'. meant to Russia and Germany that anything called freedom has discussing freedom is to have
Nations, as someone once has not understood anything the possibility of dying. no meaningful discourse at all.
said are imagined communities. about political science at all. However, those who value elect- What was lost by the 18th
As such, to talk about the death Discussions about dictator- ing their representatives Amendment was the capacity
of nations is to talk about an ships are a discussion about through the possibility of the of the people of Sri Lanka to
abstraction. However, the discus- freedom. What the death of free- vote are expressing an apprecia- be free. Many individuals will
sion about the 18th Amendment dom means can be seen in the tion of a freedom to have repre- experience this daily. They may
which is really about the 1978 actual lives of the people. Take sentatives of their choice. be ordinary individuals who
Constitution, is about the killing the case of Sarath Fonseka, In this article judges are also want to live their lives without
of freedoms. Joseph Stalin could what kind of freedom does he referred to as umpires. The the favour of political patron-
not kill the Russian nation. enjoy? If Sri Lanka had even the umpires can be effective only to age. They may be qualified stu-
However, he was able to kill the limited democracy that it once the extent that their judgments dents who want to get a job on
freedom of the Russian people had he would have enjoyed a fair can be made freely. Within a the basis of their merits and
for a long time during his own trial. The accused in the 1962 dictatorship, the judiciary not on the basis of patronage.
lifetime and for many years fol- coup had this right. They were loses the capacity to make their They will know what it means
lowing. The full recovery of the accused of the attempt to over- own judgements on the basis of to have freedom and what it
freedom that were lost, due to throw a legitimately elected gov- Hitler (L) and Joseph Stalin judicial considerations through means to lose it.
Stalin, has not yet happened. ernment and there was enough the basis of rational discourse. Those who have built their
Anyone wishing to know what evidence to prove their guilt. become such a nation when it cases closely. There are many countries in lives behind a political patron
the killing of a nation really is However, they enjoyed the rights comes to political trials. The With the 18th Amendment which the judiciary exists in will see everything as right. As
would do well to read the Gulag that any other accused would possibility of charging people completing the work of the 1978 name only. Joseph Stalin and they have the benefits of a
Archipelago by Aleksandr have enjoyed and at the end on purely on fabricated charges and Constitution, being a member of Adolf Hitler also had their patron whatever they get or do
Solzhenitsyn. the matter of a pure technically thereafter making a theatre out parliament does not matter very judges! They are umpires by not get in life is the responsi-
Of course, there are many legal argument, they were of so-called trials and then much anymore. With this lies name only. When the judiciary bility of their patron. A dog
other books that explain what acquitted from the charges. detaining the person in jail or the freedom to be able to have loses its capacity to be free who is used to his patron may
the death of freedom means. Of course, an explanation as subjecting him to worse kinds of the representatives to express then those who value freedom not know what freedom means.