I rage at remand prisoners who are kept in custody without recourse to lawyers. I cannot feel the Christmas cheer when I find six years since Tsunami struck, the funds from abroad only fattened the coffers of  NGOs and politicians and that the victims are still living in misery; sans decent housing and wherewithal to sustain themselves.    
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by Pearl Thevanayagam

(December 29, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) How do I greet the second decade of the new millennium? Some 6,000 miles away, away from my beloved country I envy even those in detention camps. What I would not give for a trip to sunny Sri Lanka and meet all my old friends and neighbours but I am warned that I could be charged with plotting to overthrow the government with my incendiary writings and held indefinitely under PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act).

The plotting is still in its embryo state; in that it is only in my mind. I plot so many things in my spare time. I plot against that old lady who swiped the one pound chicken I set my heart on after the nice boy at Sainsbury’s (a popular supermarket chain in the UK) reduced it from nine pounds. I vow to drag my ex-employer, a greedy Tamil solicitor, through all the Courts in the UK and report her to Law Society where she would be struck off, who fleeces innocent asylum seekers out of their meager earnings of three pounds an hour to sweat it out in sandwich factories, bakeries, cleaning toilets in airports and hotels and petrol stations by charging them £300.00 for preparing for an asylum interview when the government pays them legal aid.

I also plot against those by the Diyawanna Oya who perpetrated injustices on the common masses who cannot buy coconut at an affordable price and who are compelled to share an egg between three family members. I want to bring down this government which while defeating the terrorist outfit still cannot satisfy the hunger pangs of the average citizen.

All the while our President Rajapakse and his co-horts trot the globe luxuriating themselves in Dorchester in UK and Plaza in New York. To mask his thuggery and crass governance he co-opted GLP, a former VC and a party-hopping opportunist, into the cabinet and made him minister of external affairs. That he has not an honest vein in his bean-pole body does not go unnoticed.

Even Sirimavo appears a saint when she gave us bread queues, raw mouldy samba and strict rationing of sugar and milk in early’70s all the while stashing her wealth abroad for herself and cabinet of ministers. She was the predecessor for Mahinda in consorting with China and Tito from Yugoslavia who happened to be her personal friend and we all know what he did to his eastern bloc. Tito offered Sirimavo cure for her rheumatism but splintered the country and caused the bombing of Kosovo.

I rage at remand prisoners who are kept in custody without recourse to lawyers. I cannot feel the Christmas cheer when I find six years since Tsunami struck, the funds from abroad only fattened the coffers of NGOs and politicians and that the victims are still living in misery; sans decent housing and wherewithal to sustain themselves.

I do not wish for luxuries such as new clothes and kiributh with plenty of coconut milk and ambul thiyal for my brethren in sunny Sri Lanka. I want them to have three square meals a day with basic nourishment such as at least an egg a day and cow’s milk for the children. Is this too much on my wish-list?

Okay I imbibed a little bit too much for the Christmas cheer and I had duck for Christmas lunch with family. Except I managed to get away before the usual family feud started; such as reminiscing the time father bought me a cotton mattress because the coir ones itched my skin (Arpico was not dealing in Jaffna then) or when he took me with him on holiday to Maldives for a full six months to recuperate when I failed my GCE O/Ls due to stress and panic caused by more intelligent students qualifying for the A/Ls.

For some reason my other siblings studied like mad and got through. Perhaps I was too interested in Denise Robins’ Untrodden Snow, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and the evil lighthouse keeper in Enid Blyton, worshipped at Jaffna Library and cast knowing glances at the beloved gorgeous boys of St Patricks, my brother school, who sported batik shirts and rode racing bikes.

In a true sense I was the hot-blooded teenager who could not keep her raging hormones at bay. But alas, everything was cerebral and did not reach the practicals. Practicals were Miss Sinnathamby’s boring mercury experiment during physics when we purposely let the silver globules roll down the floor while we should be calibrating; or hiding behind the black screen pretending to simulate lunar eclipse. Miss Sinnathamby had to dye her hair before her late marriage to Mr Brodie thanks to her insufferable students. Practicals were when we opened the tap of the Kipp’s apparatus and let the lab stink with the sulphur stinking like rotten eggs.

It is important to stress here that I did qualify for the A/Ls on the third attempt through intensive coaching by tuition masters.

These trivia aside, this decade has seen Tsunami, Mahinda dynasty, the vanquishing of the LTTE along with decimation of thousands of Tamil civilians in the process, increasing intimidation of the media, plundering of the independence of the judiciary and the police commission, increase in the number of thugs in the cabinet and of course the starvation of the common masses through sky rocketing prices of essential commodities.

The afore-mentioned transformations are harbingers of worse things to come. In 2011 an average Sri Lankan would not only not have bread, eggs and coconut as daily dietary requirements he/she would be hard-pressed to eat one meal a day. After all a nation’s wealth is not measured by the girth of its politicians but by the contentment of its lowliest citizens. And the citizens are certainly not content and their revolt would be worse than the terror unleashed by the Tamil separatists.

Hungry citizens are angry sentients and if the present dynasty hopes to secure another term or hold onto this term then it had better feed them. I am dead serious.

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